Week 12: Waiver Wire Pickups
Players who have been mentioned in this space in the past and are still worth a waiver pickup include: QB Kyle Orton, RB Denard Robinson, RB Charles Sims, WR Odell Beckham, WR Jarvis Landry and TE Mychal Rivera. Check to see if any of these players are available in your league before consulting this list.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Mallett made his first career start in Week 11 and came away with fairly solid results. The Texans won the game, but more importantly from a fantasy perspective, Mallett finished 20-for-30 on throws, passing for 211 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He showed strong chemistry with WRs Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans will continue to identify themselves as a run-first offense - Alfred Blue carried the ball a stunning 36 times on Sunday - and that ground-game focus does limit Mallett's upside. And as a first-time starter, he likely won't break into the upper echelon of QBs this season, or even become viable starter in one-QB leagues. But in two-QB formats or very deep leagues, Mallett is worthy of owning. The Texans face a slate of fairly soft pass defenses in the final weeks of the season, which could help Mallett's numbers during the fantasy playoffs. And this coming week, with Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisbergerout on the final byes of the season, Mallett's a reasonable fill-in option.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
It's probably safe to say that we've now seen Gray's best game of this season. His effort Sunday night versus the Colts was nothing short of Herculean. In one of the top fantasy performances of the year, Gray amassed 199 yards and four touchdowns on an incredible 38-carry workload. Understand that this one performance won't be repeated, but Gray should have value over the rest of the season. Since taking over Stevan Ridley's former role in Week 8, he's had at least 12 carries every game. The normal caveat about New England running backs certainly applies here - the workload allocation could change at any time without warning. But running behind a rejuvenated Patriots' line this weekend, Gray looked positively studly. He's the best power runner the Patriots have, and as long as he doesn't fumble, he should continue to see plenty of volume. Looking to Week 12, he seems like a reasonable low-end RB2 play against a tough Lions defense. Gray is the top waiver pickup of the week.
The Raiders' backfield has been disastrous this season, with Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew both facing the twilight of their careers and their yards-per-carry averages reflecting the decline. Enter Murray, a second-year RB who has the most upside in Oakland's backfield without a doubt. He was a popular sleeper pick this preseason but has yet to be fully rolled out by the Raiders in a regular-season game. That may change as early as Week 12. Murray saw some action during the second half of Sunday's loss to the Chargers and managed 59 yards on seven touches, the most of any Raider except McFadden, who had eight carries. The Raiders have been gradually increasing Murray's involvement in recent weeks, and that's a trend that is likely to continue over the final six games of the season. Murray certainly looks the part at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds and with 4.4-40 speed. He is also viewed as a strong receiving threat out of the backfield. Because it's still not clear whether he's poised to take over as the feature back for the Raiders, Murray is primarily a speculative waiver add. But he's a talented athlete who could see more touches in the coming weeks. Murray should be regarded as a very interesting stash by owners searching for late-season upside.Injury Status: Out - Ankle
With Shaun Hill back under center for the Rams in Week 11, Britt saw his production improve markedly. He was targeted a team-high seven times and caught four of those balls for 128 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown. Britt is notoriously streaky, so fantasy owners shouldn't expect a repeat performance in Week 12 versus the Chargers. But it's possible that Hill continues to look Britt's way more often. In an offense that is still searching for a consistent weapon to replace injured WR Brian Quick, Britt has a shot at fantasy relevance as a WR3 and is worth owning in very deep leagues.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Gabriel was mentioned in this space a few weeks ago, and he had yet another productive game in Week 11. He was targeted an incredible 13 times, third-most of any player this weekend. And he managed to catch five of those balls for 92 yards. Josh Gordon returns to the field for the Browns in Week 12, and he's sure to draw both plenty of targets and plenty of defensive attention. Don't count on Gabriel seeing 13 balls thrown his way again this year, but with opposing DBs forced to key in on Gordon, it's possible that more opportunities will open up for Gabriel. The Browns' offense is surprisingly competitive, and as its possible No. 2 WR, Gabriel will continue to have value for fantasy owners.