In this edition of Win the Waiver Wire, Curtis Patrick shares his top waiver targets for Week 11 in seasonal fantasy football leagues. You can find more of his work at RotoViz.com
We’ve reached the point in the season where some teams are mathematically eliminated, but hopefully you’re not among them. Stay active even if your team is on life support; you never know if your next waiver claim or two could combine with a few hot players on your squad to help you make an improbable run. If your team is in great shape, you still need to make claims to make sure you have strong roster depth and also to prevent your competitors from catching you.
There’s no way for me to reasonably know how much FAAB you and your league-mates have left this deep into the season. Until now, I’ve been using my own leagues as a guide, but over the past two weeks I’ve seen a few teams run it down to just a few dollars remaining while others haven’t really been active on waivers at all. Moving forward I won’t be including FAAB percentage recommendations, instead simply listing players in order of preference or adding commentary regarding when to make a situational claim.
*For the purposes of this week’s article, I’ll be using ESPN “percentage rostered” data. Players are listed in the order of priority, by position. To make the most of my time and yours, I only provide analysis for players who are available in around 50% of leagues.
Jameis Winston (available in 99.4% of leagues)
Sean Payton is being coy about who his Week 11 starter will be, but I think it’s going to be Jamies Winston taking the majority of snaps, even if Taysom Hill sees an expanded role.
For all his on the field warts, Winston has never failed to be a fantasy football live wire. Winston was the QB8 in fantasy points per game and QB4 overall in 2019. Over his past two seasons as a starter, he finished as a QB1 in 48 percent of games and averaged over 22 points per week.
Winston’s downfield arsenal in New Orleans won’t be as impressive as it was in Tampa Bay, but he’ll hardly be lacking for weapons. Even at his advanced age and playing sans Michael Thomas for an extended period in 2020, Drew Brees has still managed to produce at a QB16 overall clip thanks to short dump-off TDs to Alvin Kamara and company. I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest Winston has higher upside in this offense than Brees at this point in their careers.
Looking ahead, Winston has the second-best QB fantasy schedule from Weeks 11 through 14, including two bite-my-fist matchups with Atlanta on indoor tracks over the next three weeks. I’d be comfortable plugging him in and expecting low-end QB1 numbers immediately.
Claim Winston and hopefully you’ll be “eating Ws” in your fantasy leagues in Week 11 and beyond.
Wayne Gallman (available in 71.7% of leagues)
I had to rub my eyes after seeing Gallman’s roster percentage in ESPN leagues. Among RBs, he trails only Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook in total PPR points scored since Week 7. Gallman has scored a TD in each game since then and per the NFL Stat Explorer he never posted fewer than 13.2 PPR over that stretch.
Devonta Freeman is on Injured Reserve until at least Week 14 and newly signed Alfred Morris seems to be locked into a fairly defined complementary role, having seen either eight or nine carries in each of his three games with the Giants. All of this sets Gallman up as a legit fantasy RB2 or better for the rest of the fantasy regular season and potentially beyond.
Now for the bad news: Gallman in on bye in Week 11. It’s tough to spend precious FAAB on players you can’t play yet this deep into the season, but given the landscape of the RB position, he’s probably one of the few players who could be worth that gamble. Shawn Siegele called Gallman a viable starter and ranked him as his RB32 rest-of-season, which is adjusted for him not playing in Week 11.
Damien Harris (available in 55.6% of leagues)
From a pure football standpoint, Damien Harris is having an improbable season. An afterthought as a rookie, he finds himself among the more effective runners in the league despite playing in an offense with no lid-lifter to keep defenses honest, a meager passing attack in general, and a QB who steals rushing production.
Since his first appearance in Week 4, Harris ranks fifth among RBs in rushing yards.
Unfortunately, his fantasy upside is severely capped by his lack of use in the receiving game (two targets on the season) and Cam Newton vulturing every goal-line rushing attempt. Harris should be a significant part of the game plan (and thus a flex-worthy play) in Week 11 as a favorite against Houston, a squad that has allowed five rushing TDs to RBs over the past four weeks.
Salvon Ahmed (available in 99.6% of leagues)
Entering 2020 the question was which of two Miami running backs was going to be the better producer: Jordan Howard or Matt Breida? The correct answer, of course, was “secret options three and four!”
Myles Gaskin posted five top-24 RB fantasy weeks prior to his Week 8 injury. Salvon Ahmed picked up right where he left off, posting 16.0 PPR against the Rams in Week 10. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Ahmed has spelled Gaskin on the football field; he was his primary backup at Washington in college as well. Ahmed has posted positive rushing fantasy points over expectation in both games this season. Miami hasn’t opted to throw to him much yet; he’s seen just one target. However, if he holds this role moving forward I’d expect that to change. He corralled 50 receptions in three seasons at Washington despite playing RB2 to Gaskin’s RB1. Prior to injury, Gaskin saw a 16 percent team target market share, which was sixth-best in the NFL.
The Dolphins cut Jordan Howard, a signal they’re comfortable moving forward with Ahmed for the time being and that Matt Breida must be looking healthier. Miami has a bottom-10 fantasy schedule for RBs over the next month, but the way the team is playing I don’t think Ahmed (or Breida) will get scripted out of any games.
*I think Gaskin is the most-talented back in Miami and if his injury caused his manager to drop him in your league, he’s worth a stash for when comes back, too.
Kalen Ballage (available in 74.2% of leagues)
So…last week I called Kalen Ballage a mirage. Since then, the Chargers placed Justin Jackson on Injured Reserve and gave Ballage another bell-cow game. You can’t win them all, and this is one I got wrong.
Lucky for you, not many other fantasy players bought in after his first big game either and he’s still available in nearly 75 percent of public leagues. Why should you claim him now? He’s posted back-to-back games with 15 carries and in Week 10 they started throwing him the ball, too (six targets).
Surprisingly, Ballage saw the fourth-most expected fantasy points of any RB over the past two weeks. We can’t ignore that kind of role, regardless of a player’s history.
Jakobi Meyers (available in 77.7% of leagues)
After being my top recommendation last week, Jakobi Meyers delivered once again in Week 10 with a 5/59 receiving line and a passing TD on a trick play. Though Julian Edelman may return as early as Week 11, Meyers is one of the only things that works in the current version of the Patriots offense and can be counted on as a WR3/Flex for the rest of the season. Meyers ranks seventh in the NFL in targets since Week 7. A role like that isn’t going to evaporate into thin air.
Cole Beasley (available in 53.3% of leagues)
Cole Beasley will be a hot commodity in Week 11 waivers after finishing as the overall WR1 in Week 10. A bit lost in the Buffalo shuffle behind Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen, the slot specialist is PPR WR20 on the season!
There’s enough supporting documentation to warrant a strong recommendation on Beasley as a dependable WR3 or better for the rest of the season. He’s scored 11 or more PPR in seven of 10 games and has been a WR2 or better in three of his past five.
Beasley’s seasonal ranks in key categories:
- Targets – 20th
- Receptions – 11th
- Receiving Yards – 15th
Let me frame this for you: if Beasley had just two more touchdowns on the season, he’d currently rank as PPR WR11. No typos, triple-checked for accuracy.
I started him over Will Fuller in Week 10 in the Fantasy Football World Series and he rewarded me handsomely. Maybe he’ll do the same for you in the most critical weeks of the season.
Jalen Reagor (available in 62.6% of leagues)
Jalen Reagor asserted himself as the new Philadelphia alpha in Week 10, leading Eagles WRs with seven targets. Unfortunately, Carson Wentz is playing the worst ball of his career, so the targets didn’t mean much. This offense is totally out of sync.
However, Reagor gets the lowly Seattle secondary in Week 12 and has the second-best fantasy playoff schedule of any WR with great road matchups against Arizona and Dallas. Add him and stream him.