Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups, Week 12: Taking the leap with Jayden Reed

Each week, we identify a collection of priority fantasy football pickups available in at least 50% of Yahoo leagues and approved for immediate use. If you have roster needs, we have fixes for which you will be thankful...

Wide receivers and tight ends

Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers (36% rostered)

Green Bay's most effective playmaker this season has been the team's rookie slot receiver, and he once again tormented defenders again on Sunday:

Reed filled the box score against the Chargers, running the ball three times for 46 yards and one score while also catching four passes for another 46 yards on six targets. He's up to five house calls this season and he continues to lead the Packers in receiving yardage. Whatever you might have hoped to see from Christian Watson this year, Reed has been the guy who's actually done it. He's the most startable player in this team's receiving corps, yet he's well behind both Watson and Romeo Doubs in terms of roster percentage. Let's do our best to correct that issue this week.

Recommended FAB, assuming $100 budget: $16

Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens (8%)

Beckham hauled in four passes on seven targets for a season-high 116 yards on Thursday night, and he looked awfully elusive while doing it. The season-ending ankle injury suffered by Mark Andrews is going to result in a redistribution of his 6-8 weekly targets, some of which will find Beckham. He'd reached the end zone in back-to-back games entering Week 11 and it won't be much of a surprise if he makes a return visit on Sunday night against the Chargers. If you have a need for a flex and/or receiver, he can absolutely help.

Beckham dinged his shoulder in the fourth quarter of Thursday's win, but postgame reports were encouraging.

FAB: $9

Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints (45%)

Let's not focus on Shaheed's relatively modest fantasy output from his last game (5-24-0), but instead note the fact that he saw a season-high nine targets against the Vikings in Week 10. Shaheed is a classic boom-or-bust receiver, a player with blazing speed who sees a few potential game-altering vertical chances each week. His average depth of target is currently 15.0, so his opportunities are generally of the high-yield variety. Shaheed has delivered three games this season with at least 80 yards and a TD (and also five games with fewer than 35 yards and no score). If you can get comfortable with a high-variance WR3, he's a spicy fantasy option moving forward and he's now clear of his bye.

FAB: $7

Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals (15%)

With all due respect to Clayton Tune, the Cardinals passing offense is just a bit more entertaining with Kyler Murray back at the controls:

Moore has been a minimal-ADOT receiver since he entered the league, so it's a welcome development to see him using his 4.28 wheels to get deep. He's a week removed from catching five balls on eight targets against Atlanta, too. Moore finished with 54 total yards on only three touches on Sunday, so workload remains a concern despite his consistent weekly playing time.

FAB: $6

Other priority WRs and TEs

Khalil Shakir caught three passes for a season-high 115 yards against the Jets, doing most of the damage on a phenomenal 81-yard score on which he cooked Sauce Gardner.

Demario Douglas is back from bye and a clear asset in any sort of PPR format. He's caught 20 balls over his last four games, clearing 50 receiving yards three times.

Isaiah Likely becomes a clear TE priority following the Andrews injury, despite his 0-catch night in Week 11. Likely played 74% of the snaps against Cincinnati, running the second-most routes on the team (29).

Zay Jones was relatively quiet in Jacksonville's win on Sunday (4-20-0), following a not-at-all quiet week off the field. He managed to play 45 snaps for the Jaguars in his return from injury, a good sign moving forward.

Running backs

Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks (44%)

Charbonnet entered Week 11 averaging 5.6 YPC for the season and having out-snapped Kenneth Walker III in each of Seattle's last three games. He'd become a fixture in this weekly waiver wire feature, given his playing time and his contingent value.

On Sunday, Walker suffered a first-half oblique injury against the Rams, leading to a beefy workload for Charbonnet. The UCLA rookie was capable in a featured role, gaining 69 scrimmage yards on 21 touches and catching all six of his targets. Charbonnet was a terrific all-purpose back at the collegiate level, crossing the goal line 27 times over the past two years while piling up over 3,000 scrimmage yards.

If your fantasy squad has backfield issues, you're going to have to chase Charbonnet's potential workload in the game(s) ahead. But please note that his upcoming matchups are messy, including two meetings with the Niners over the next three weeks, so there isn't an obvious spot in which we'd expect a massive fantasy total.

FAB: $25

Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings (44%)

Chandler was the most productive back in the game on Sunday night at Mile High, picking up 110 total yards on 14 touches while catching all four of his targets. Alexander Mattison more than doubled-up Chandler's snaps (48 vs. 23), but the pair handled similar workloads against Denver. Chandler has taken over the backfield responsibilities that previously belonged to Cam Akers, and the early results have been excellent. He entered the league with 4.38 speed and that elite trait does not go unnoticed on the field.

Mattison has been relatively unspectacular to this point in the season, averaging 3.7 yards per carry and 4.1 yards per touch while fighting occasional ball-security issues. He's certainly not playing at a level that should prevent Chandler from consistently seeing 10-14 touches per game. The Vikings have another prime-time matchup ahead on Monday when they host a vulnerable Bears defense. Chandler can be flexed with confidence in Week 12.

FAB: $21

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (40%)

Zeke gained 88 yards on 15 touches in the Frankfurt game ahead of New England's Week 11 bye, and he looked as frisky as we've seen him in years. It was the fifth time this season he's seen double-digit touches and the yardage total was his highest mark of the season. Without question, Elliott is a flex-worthy play this week against a not-so-intimidating Giants defense. He'll then get the Chargers, Steelers, Chiefs and Broncos over his next four games, so there are plenty of friendly spots ahead.

FAB: $8

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears (20%)

Johnson entered the season as a well-hyped rookie with a supporting role in Chicago's backfield, but he was leapfrogged by D'Onta Foreman while injured in October. On Sunday, Foreman exited with an ankle issue, leading to additional usage for Johnson. He finished with six carries for 30 yards, playing roughly one-third of the offensive snaps. At 225 pounds, Johnson is an absolute sledgehammer of a runner and he's been a revelation as a receiver, catching 19 of 23 targets so far this season. If Foreman is sidelined in the Minnesota matchup on Monday night, Johnson will be a viable flex.

FAB: $7

Additional RBs on the wire

Kenneth Gainwell is rostered in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues at the moment, which is simply too low for a quality back who's clearly the next-man-up in a terrific offense.

The argument for Gainwell is applicable to Rico Dowdle as well. He's the guy behind Tony Pollard in Dallas and he's actually handled 22 touches over his last two games.

It may not come into play at any point down the stretch, but it's worth noting that D'Ernest Johnson now appears to be the understudy to Travis Etienne in Jacksonville. Tank Bigsby was a nice idea back in the summer, but his season has been a little rough. Johnson delivered 54 yards on eight touches against the Titans.

Tyjae Spears has been an efficient back all season and the matchup on deck with Carolina is a gift. Don't be shocked if he delivers 60-plus scrimmage yards, with splashy highlights included.


Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (46%)

As the man who gets to throw to Puka Nacua, Stafford has undeniable fantasy appeal. He shouldn't be viewed as an every-week rest-of-season option, however, because he'll alternate between friendly and nightmarish matchups for the remainder of the year. He finds himself in a great spot in Week 12 against Arizona, a defense that's allowed 7.6 yards per attempt this season, but he'll open December with stay-away matchups against Cleveland and Baltimore.

If you're simply taking a one-game-at-a-time approach at quarterback, Stafford deserves occasional consideration. He's coming off a 190-yard, one-touchdown effort against Seattle, generally demonstrating that he's clear of the thumb issue. Ideally, he'd have a healthy Cooper Kupp (ankle) in the mix this week, but no guarantees on that front.

FAB: $5

Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts (16%)

Unsurprisingly, Minshew has been a wild ride for fantasy purposes this season, producing huge stat lines against elite defenses and useless games in favorable matchups. This is his nature. We can't possibly know which Minshew experience we're going to have in any given week.

What we can say with certainty is that Indy's receiving corps is full of young talent and the matchup ahead with Tampa Bay should be a great one for any standard-issue reliable quarterback. The Bucs have ranked at or near the bottom of the league against the pass for most of the season. If you have a need at QB, consider giving Minshew a test drive. Please enjoy responsibly.

FAB: $3

Additional QB approved for use

Jordan Love is coming off back-to-back games with multiple TD passes and he hung 322 yards on the Chargers on Sunday. Love offers a dash of rushing ability, too.

Let the record show that Desmond Ridder was a completely playable fantasy QB earlier this season when healthy, between Weeks 2 and 7. He has a pair of 300-yard games to his credit as well as four rushing TDs. He's obviously been responsible for too many giveaways this year, but that's more of a real-life issue than a fantasy problem. Ridder will be back at the controls of Atlanta's offense following the bye, so he's back on the deep league radar.

Derek Carr is obviously still dealing with a shoulder issue and his head coach has been swatting away questions about a potential change at QB. So that's not great. But as long as Carr has the gig, he's in line for a friendly stretch of opposing defenses, beginning with Atlanta in Week 12. He still needs to clear the concussion protocol ahead of Sunday, however, or we'll be treated to a Jameis Winston start.

Defense/Special Teams

New Orleans (46%)

The Saints are tied for sixth in the NFL in takeaways (18) and preparing to face Desmond Ridder, a quarterback who hasn't been particularly adept at protecting the football (six INTs, seven fumbles). Consider keeping this defense around through matchups with Carolina and the Giants in Weeks 14-15.

FAB: $2

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