No wide receiver core in the league was more devastated this week than the Bengals’. With Joe Burrow’s tragic, season-ending injury, Cincinnati is forced to start Ryan Finnely at QB1. In his substitution for the rookie this past week, he went 3 for 10 on passing attempts, for just 30 yards and an interception. Next week against a surprisingly above average Giants’ defense, it is likely to be more of the same. If you have relied on Tyler Boyd this season, or were risking it with A.J. Green, you especially need to check out my week 12 WR waiver wire pickups & adds.
The WR3 of the week came from a surprise undrafted 5th year veteran on the Patriots. Damiere Byrd torched Houston for 132 yards and a touchdown in 6 receptions. He totalled 26.3 fantasy points. It was by far the best game of his career, let alone season. The question remains, however, can he become reliable?
It’s unlikely Byrd will put up near the same numbers he did this past week, but it shows he has a huge upside. The Patriots play a disappointing Arizona passing defense that just let Wilson throw 200 yards and 2 passing touchdowns. Byrd may become fantasy relevant this season, so look for him on the waiver wire.
Last week I mentioned Breshard Perriman in my WR waiver pickups, yet he remained largely unrostered. On Sunday, however, he had yet another great game with 2 receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. He now has back-to-back games with touchdowns. The Jets are no offensive powerhouse team, but with few options someone has to catch Flacco’s throws. The team stays at home this weekend to play a below average passing defense in the Miami Dolphins. If you are in need of a receiver because of bye weeks or an injury, Breshard Perriman would be a good investment.
Patrick has quietly been a reliable fantasy receiver for most the season. Since the Broncos’ bye week in week 5, Patrick is averaging over 12 fantasy points per game, with his worst performance in that time period still netting 7.4 fantasy points. These are not WR1 or WR2 numbers, but they are fair flex numbers for a player only rostered in 14% of leagues. He is a strong replacement in a week for when you need an option at the flex, especially in deeper leagues. For a position so historically inconsistent in fantasy, Tim Patrick is a respectable play in most leagues.
New Orleans ranks 12th against the pass, so keep that in mind if you start him this weekend, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t keep his numbers going for this second half of the year.
Michael Pittman Jr.
Pittman Jr. now has back-to-back strong performances after being fantasy irrelevant all season. For his first 5 games of the season, the Colt averaged just 5.5 fantasy points. In his last two, he is averaging over 17. The return of teammate T.Y. Hilton has likely played a key role in Pittman’s recent success, as the defense is drawn more towards the star receiver. Pittman Jr. may have trouble this weekend, however, scoring as many fantasy points against a very strong Tennessee defense. That being said, I see no reason Philip Rivers stops looking his way when Hilton is double-teamed going forward. He is a questionable start week 12, but a very strong waiver wire pickup for the rest of the season.
Higgins is coming off a 3 catch, 65 yard game against Philadelphia. In 5 of Higgins’ last 6 games since coming back from injury, Higgins has scored at least 7.8 fantasy points. He is not having an amazing season, but he’s doing enough so that fantasy mangers should pay attention to him in the waiver wire. Cleveland is not a pass heavy offense (31st in attempts per game), but when Mayfield throws it he looks Higgins’ way. The receiver is averaging close to 4 targets per game since returning from injury in week 5 as well. If your receiver core is weak, try this Brown at the flex one week.
Beasley was on a bye this past week, but had his best game of the season week 10. He tallied 11 receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown against Arizona. The 31 year old veteran looks to keep his momentum against an unimpressive Chargers defense. With his quarterback having a breakout season, any Bills receiver is worth rostering this year. Beasley is already on a team in almost half of leagues, so optimistically check the waiver wire to see if you can snag him for the second half of the season.
I mentioned Agholor a couple of weeks ago in my WR waiver wire pickups, and he went on to have a 1 reception game week 10. I did, however, emphasize the absurd inconsistency of his games in the analysis. Well this past week he had over 20 fantasy points. Agholor may be the single-most inconsistent fantasy WR in the league. This does mean, however, that he has an upside. If you’re in desperate need for a WR with a losing record, you should start Agholor. His ceiling is higher than many of the wide receivers you find inside the top 25 rankings. He’s not a safe option, but he has potential for big numbers every week.
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