When it comes to fantasy football, injuries can be detrimental to the season-long success of your fantasy squad and can leave you scrambling for plug-in starters, especially after another action-packed, injury-riddled week of football. There are zero teams on bye this week but you will still need to work the fantasy football waiver wire to grab high-upside players to help fill these empty roster spots and reduce that Sunday morning pre-kickoff panic.
If you’re looking to do just that, here are the best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 12 that could help push your fantasy team in the right direction.
All players must be owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues to be included in the best fantasy football waiver wire pickups weekly column. All ownerships for waiver wire players will be provided and will reflect that of Tuesday morning.
QB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Jordan Love Fantasy Ownership (43.6%)
While I don’t necessarily love any of the fantasy football waiver wire pickups at QB this week, Jordan Love is right there at 43.6 percent ownership and has started to become a bit more consistent. Love has floated around the mid-teens in terms of fantasy points all season but his pass-catchers are finally healthy and he’s looking a bit more comfortable with them –– having thrown for at least 289 yards and two touchdowns in back-to-back games.
The Green Bay Packers tend to play from behind a ton, making Love even more viable to produce fantasy points due to negative game scripts. Quarterbacks are dropping like flies at this point so it’s going to be hard to find consistent waiver wire options outside of these guys floating right under the 50 percent threshold.
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RB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Zach Charbonnet Fantasy Ownership (32.6%)
I suggest adding Zach Charbonnet a few weeks ago because his role was steadily increasing, but with Kenneth Walker III now injured and potentially sidelined, he becomes a top Week 12 fantasy football waiver wire pickup. He’s posted back-to-back double-digit fantasy performances now and practically has the backfield to himself barring any DeeJay Dallas breakouts.
Charbonnet’s pass-catching abilities and overall route share was the thing that kept him on most fantasy managers’ radars the last few weeks but the workload is now there. Plus, Geno Smith is dealing with an injury that could lead to a focus on the running game to fuel the offense.
WR Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Josh Downs Fantasy Ownership (44.3%)
Josh Downs is coming off a bye week where hopefully his ailing knee injury had some time to heal. Outside of Weeks 9 and 10 where he totaled a combined three receptions for 50 yards, he was feasting on opposing secondaries –– topping 13 fantasy points in five of the last six games. He was running fewer routes the past two weeks due to his injury and his ownership has taken a hit as a result.
Downs should absolutely be added to every fantasy roster moving forward, especially since he’s presumably healthy after the week off. Gardner Minshew developed some chemistry with him early on, as well, and there’s no denying he is the only receiver on the Colts roster that offers big-play ability.
Jayden Reed Fantasy Ownership (18.7%)
Jayden Reed has posted back-to-back 19-plus fantasy point performances and finds himself in an even better situation heading into Week 12. Reed is coming off a clean four-reception, 46-yard day where he also picked up 46 yards and a touchdown on just three rushing attempts. His big-play ability is there and the Packers just lost Aaron Jones for multiple weeks and potentially Dontayvion Wicks to a concussion.
With Jordan Love somewhat commanding the offense the last two weeks, Reed is set up to be a main target in the offense. His production has already been there for multiple weeks and his rushing ability presents even more upside.
TE Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Isaiah Likely Fantasy Ownership (1.0%)
Likely the most obvious fantasy football waiver wire pickup of the week will be Isaiah Likely. See what I did there? Mark Andrews is done for the regular season, kicking the door wide open for Likely to slide into his role and become a viable fantasy tight end for the remainder of the season. Likely didn’t exactly wow fantasy managers once he filled in for Andrews –– garnering two targets and hauling in none but let’s give him a full week of practice catching balls from Lamar Jackson and not Tyler Huntley first.
Considering it is already Week 12, fantasy managers likely don’t have the time to wait on him to see if he becomes something but he’s still worth the add if you can afford it. It may take a week to adjust but the Ravens love throwing to their tight ends so the volume should be there.