Each week throughout the NFL season, we identify six players to target on waiver wires, plus a lightly owned D/ST. All are available in a majority of Yahoo leagues and approved for immediate use. Add as needed.
Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots, 10% owned
Pretty much every Patriots running back found the end zone last week, Burkhead included. Rex finished with 63 scrimmage yards and one score on 13 touches, out-snapping both Dion Lewis and James White. Mike Gillislee, meanwhile, was a healthy scratch. Burkhead is perhaps the team’s most versatile RB, a weapon both in the backfield and split wide. He’s an every-week flex moving forward, and he has a string on friendly matchups on deck (see below). He’ll face the Raiders next Sunday, a defense that entered the week allowing the fourth most receiving yards to opposing backs and 116.6 rushing YPG. He deserves a roster spot in any league with 12 or more teams.
Schedule, next three weeks: at Oak, Mia, at Buf
FAAB bid: $15 of $100 budget
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers, 5%
Williams isn’t the game’s flashiest runner, and Green Bay’s offense hasn’t exactly been an all-you-can-eat fantasy buffet since Aaron Rodgers checked out. But Williams is going to see plenty of work in the weeks ahead, with both Aaron Jones (MCL) and Ty Montgomery (ribs) dealing with injuries. Jones is expected to miss 3-6 weeks, which makes him a drop in redraft leagues. Williams, a fourth-round rookie from BYU, gained just 67 yards on 20 carries against Chicago on Sunday afternoon, adding one catch for seven. Elusiveness isn’t necessarily his thing, but Williams runs with plenty of power when it’s required. Just ask Kyle Fuller. His upcoming matchups aren’t ideal, and, again, the ceiling for the Packers offense isn’t what it was. He’s in line for 20-or-so touches in the near term, however, and we can’t say that for many backs.
Schedule, next three weeks: Bal, at Pit, TB
FAAB bid: $10
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers, 4%
Ekeler was a revelation in Week 10, deliver a pair of touchdowns against Jacksonville, one of the league’s stingiest defenses. He led the Chargers in both rushing and receiving, finishing with 119 scrimmage yards on 15 touches, with multiple highlight plays. It should go without saying that he’ll have a rotational role moving forward, behind Melvin Gordon. Consider him a handcuff with benefits. Ekeler is a smallish back (5-foot-9) from a DII school who entered the league as a UDFA, but he’s an upper-tier athlete (40.5-inch vertical) who clearly isn’t overmatched. This week, the Bolts face a Buffalo defense that was just shredded by Saints rushers, so Ekeler has a shot at another solid stat line.
Schedule, next three weeks: Buf, at Dal, Cle
FAAB bid: $7
Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns, 22%
Coleman will return to action this week after being sidelined by a fractured hand since September. He’s obviously a dicey start against Jalen Ramsey & Co., but he belongs in your fantasy plans beyond Week 11. Coleman is, at least in theory, the No. 1 receiver for the Browns. He’s a burner who can expect plenty of targets in the weeks ahead. With Josh Gordon’s return looming as well, Cleveland’s offense has a chance to get interesting in the closing weeks.
Schedule, next three weeks: Jac, at Cin, at LAC
FAAB bid: $7
Dontrelle Inman, WR, Chicago Bears, 2%
OK, so if you can’t imagine leaning on Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears’ passing attack in the money weeks of your fantasy season, we can’t blame you. It has not been a winning plan to this point. Chicago’s offense has produced just nine passing scores and 6.6 yards per attempt this season. But it’s worth noting that new addition Dontrelle Inman saw a team-high eight targets in Sunday’s loss to Green Bay, snagging six for 88 yards. Inman had been buried on the wide receiver depth chart in Los Angeles, but the competition for snaps in Chicago isn’t quite so tough. (This team’s receiving corps looks like a fantasy wire from 2014.) Chicago’s receivers only have one stay-away matchup remaining through the end of the fantasy season (at Cin, Week 14). Inman belongs in your waiver plans in deeper formats.
Schedule, next three weeks: Det, at Phi, SF
FAAB bid: $4
Samaje Perine, RB, Washington, 7%
We need to be careful not to oversell Perine, a rookie with ball security issues who’s averaging just 3.2 YPC. He’s going to see plenty of work for Washington, however, because Rob Kelley suffered a high-ankle sprain and MCL tweak in Week 10. Perine should see double-digit carries at New Orleans next Sunday, in a decent matchup. The Saints defense is of course much improved, but it’s allowing 4.7 YPC on the season. It’s not crazy to hope for, say, 45 yards and a short-yardage score from Perine in Week 11. Add if you’re … well, if you’re desperate. And if Burkhead, Murray, Williams and Ekeler aren’t available to you.
Schedule, next three weeks: at NO, NYG, at Dal
FAAB bid: $6
Arizona Cardinals, D/ST, 47%
Arizona’s defense is a quality group that allows just 3.6 yards per rush and 7.0 per pass attempt, but this recommendation is really more about the opposing quarterback. The Cards are headed to Houston to face Tom Savage, a QB who’s directed just two scoring drives over the past two weeks. Savage threw a pair of picks against the Rams on Sunday and he was sacked three times. He’s completed less than 50 percent of his throws, averaging only 5.4 Y/A. For however long he’s starting, fantasy owners will want to take advantage.
Schedule, next three weeks: at Hou, Jac, LAR
FAAB bid: $1
Additional adds to consider: RB Latavius Murray, RB Rod Smith, RB Corey Clement, WR Corey Davis, WR Martavis Bryant, DEF Cincinnati Bengals