Chad Henne – The first of three Jaguar Waiver Saviors this week, Henne exploded against a tough Texans D for 354 yards over the air and 4 touchdowns. Coach Mike Mularkey has already stated that Henne will get the start next week against the Titans, and while he won’t give you another 30 point fantasy performance, he is a better option than most QB2s out there. Pick him up if you are desperate at QB, but with bye weeks now over, you may want to take a flier on a lottery pick QB like…
Colin Kaepernick – After last night’s win over the Bears, Niners coach Jim Harbaugh was non-committal about who would start next week, and my money is on Kaepernick to take over the job. Kaepernick passed for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Bears D, which is no small feat. While he only rushed for 12 yards, Kaepernick’s running ability extended plays, and even opened up Vernon Davis’s game last night. If Alex Smith is still out with concussion symptoms during practices this week, Kaepernick will surely get the start next week against a bad New Orleans Saints D. But even if Smith is healthy, the writing is on the wall for the Alex Smith era in San Francisco.
Note: Beanie Wells is eligible to come off of IR this week, so if he is still available and you believe in him (I don’t at all), make sure you do it now.
Ronnie Hillman – Willis McGahee is confirmed out for the rest of the 2012 season with a MCL tear. Hillman stepped into the feature RB role, but was largely ineffective (12 carries for just 42 yards). However, Hillman has shown in parts of other games all year that his speed and quickness does translate to the NFL. There is no guarantee to how the carries will be split between Hillman and passing down specialist Lance Ball, but I think Hillman is the starter going forward, and is my top Waiver Savior for week 12.
Bryce Brown – With LaSean McCoy’s very bad concussion last week, Brown is in line to pick up as the Eagles’ feature back. While there is no guarantee that McCoy will miss any games, Brown will be one of the top waiver adds this week, particularly in PPR leagues. New starting QB Nick Foles used McCoy as his safety valve in the passing game, to the tune of 6 catches for 67 yards. If Brown gets the start next week against the Panthers, I don’t expect the gameplan to change much—15 carries and 5 catches sounds about right. You can’t ask for more from a backup RB if you are hurting at that position.
Jalen Parmele – Maurice Jones-Drew is likely out for a couple more weeks, and Rashad Jennings has just not been able to be effective in his place. The Jaguars made the right move in giving Parmele a chance against the Texans last week. Parmele ran the ball 24 times for 80 yards, while Jennings had only 3 carries. I expect that trend to continue next week versus Tennessee. The Jaguars look better with Chad Henne at the helm, but I think this offensive explosion last week against a tough Texans D was a fluke, so buyers beware. Still, Parmele may get two starts before Jones-Drew returns from his foot injury, and he will face the porous Bills D in two weeks. Pick him up but don’t be too disappointed if he doesn’t pan out.
Note: I usually omit from my article any Waiver Saviors from the past few weeks, so if you missed it, guys like Danario Alexander, Cecil Shorts, and Darrius Heyward-Bey are all better WR options than the guys listed below (T.Y. Hilton is the exception)
T.Y. Hilton – Hilton exploded for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Patriots last week. Donnie Avery, who is Hilton’s biggest competition for targets, was knocked out of the game with a concussion, and if he misses any time, Hilton’s fantasy value will skyrocket. Keep an eye on the situation, but even if Avery plays next week, Hilton’s effort last week did not go unnoticed by the Colts, and they will find more ways to get him involved in the gameplan.
Brandon LaFell – LaFell is making another appearance in the weekly Waiver Saviors article, largely because I’ve run out of new WRs to talk about. However, LaFell has looked good in his last 4 games, averaging 4 catches and 65 yards per game in that span (and 2 touchdowns). The Panthers will let Cam Newton air it out every week, which bodes well for LaFell for the rest of the season. If you need help at WR, LaFell is your man.
Justin Blackmon – It only took 11 weeks, but Blackmon finally showed why he was drafted 5th overall. Blackmon reeled in 7 catches for 236 yards and a touchdown, eye-popping numbers. It is obvious that Chad Henne knows how to get him the ball, and Henne will get the start next week. All this bodes well for Blackmon’s fantasy value. There is no guarantee that Blackmon has finally “figured it out,” given his poor body of work all season, but take a chance and you could hit the lottery on this guy.
Julian Edelman – Finally healthy, Edelman showed last week why Belichick thought it was okay to bench Wes Welker early in the season. The only knock on this guy was that he couldn’t stay healthy and sure enough, he broke his hand in week 3. Edelman hauled in 5 catches on 7 targets for 58 yards and a touchdown, to go with a punt return TD as well. He is even more valuable in leagues that reward return yardage and touchdowns, as he handles all punt return duties for the Patriots Edelman is obviously not Tom Brady’s first option, but there may be enough targets in this offense for him now, with Rob Gronkowski out with a broken arm.
Brandon Myers - If Myers is still available for you, pick him up! He is now a TE1 for the rest of the season, especially in PPR leagues. I have touted Myers in PPR leagues all year, and last week he posted 6 catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. Carson Palmer loves to dump off passes (Marcel Reece was another big beneficiary of this), and that will never change. Myers will continue to get 5-6 catches a game, and is as consistent as they come at the TE position. Rob Gronkowski owners should add this guy immediately.
Dallas Clark – Clark hauled in a game-high 7 catches on 11 targets, for 58 yards and a touchdown last week against the Panthers. Clark won’t be the most consistent TE, but he is one of Josh Freeman’s favorite targets in the redzone. He now has a redzone touchdown in 3 of his past 5 games. Next week’s matchup against Atlanta is sure to be a shootout, so Clark will get his chances.
Arizona D/ST – Defense streamers should take a look at the Cardinals for a spot start at D/ST this week. The Cards were an early season pick for D/ST, but ownership in Yahoo! leagues has dropped to 41% now. Arizona picked off Matt Ryan 5 times last week, and Sam Bradford will have similar trouble this week. You can expect a pick and a few sacks, and the Cardinals D will keep the Rams under 21 points.
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