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Fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 12

The fantasy football playoffs are within sight. Andy Behrens is here to help you make a final push with his list of the top pickups for Week 12.

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We get a reprieve from the byes during Thanksgiving Week, so perhaps your fantasy roster problems aren’t too dire. But some of us are preparing to break the bank for Latavius Murray, which feels like the last gasp of a nearly eliminated roster. If your lineup needs a boost, read on. All potential pickups mentioned here are unattached in a majority of Yahoo leagues.

Running backs on the wire

Well before Joe Mixon was ruled out with a concussion on Sunday, Perine was cooking for the Bengals. He hauled in a pair of early touchdown catches, absolutely wrecking another human being on his second score:

Perine added a game-deciding fourth-quarter receiving TD, finishing with 82 scrimmage yards on 15 touches against the Steelers. If Mixon can’t clear the concussion protocol in time for this week’s matchup at Tennessee, Perine will rank as a playable RB2. The Titans D is one of the league’s best against the run, but that group has also allowed 69 catches and 400 receiving yards to opposing backs. Perine is clearly a circle-of-trust receiving option for Joe Burrow, so he can help even if he’s not feasting on the ground.

Recommended waiver offer, assuming $100 budget: $15

Look, nobody should go out of their way to acquire shares of Denver’s offense these days, but it seems worth noting that Melvin Gordon III was released by the team on Monday after yet another fumble. He was also out-touched by Murray, 21 to 13, in the loss to the Raiders. And Chase Edmonds has a high-ankle sprain, so he won’t be available to help this situation any time soon. Murray hasn’t been the most efficient runner for the Broncos (3.3 YPC), but he’s made three house calls in five games and he just played 50 percent of the snaps for the first time this season. If you have desperate backfield needs, Murray can certainly help. He won’t lack opportunities moving forward. Marlon Mack will presumably have a rotational role and Mike Boone could be close to returning from IR as well.

Offer: $21

Latavius Murray is back on the fantasy radar simply because of the volume he should get in the Denver backfield. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Latavius Murray is back on the fantasy radar simply because of the volume he should get in the Denver backfield. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Other RB adds: Jerick McKinnon (he remains the trusted receiving option in the Chiefs backfield), Cam Akers and Kyren Williams (Akers led this backfield in yards, Williams in snaps; both can be considered sketchy flexes against the Chiefs in Week 12), James Cook (the rookie only played 16 snaps against the Browns, but he made the most of ’em, carrying 11 times for 86 yards; the Lions are up next, so he may not need many touches to make a fantasy splash), Justice Hill (he carried seven times for 30 yards against the Panthers and will clearly serve as a big piece in Baltimore’s backfield committee if Gus Edwards remains sidelined), Alexander Mattison (as we’ve previously discussed, Mattison is a premier understudy RB who needs to be stashed pretty much everywhere).

Wide receivers and tight ends to target

Burks produced a signature game on Thursday night in Lambeau, catching seven of eight targets for 111 yards, sealing the win with a late 51-yard grab:

Hitting Jaire Alexander with the too-small gesture was a bold move, but the rookie had earned the right to celebrate. Burks not only demonstrated that he’s fully healthy following a four-game absence (turf toe), but he genuinely looked the part of a first-round wideout. We probably shouldn’t expect many more 300-yard games from Ryan Tannehill, but at least we now know he has a big-play receiver at his disposal. Burks has seen 14 targets over two games since returning from injury, usage that should keep him in the WR3 conversation.

Offer: $14

If you enjoy a good contested catch, have a look at this Peoples-Jones touchdown receptions against the Bills:

And that wasn’t even close to DPJ’s best grab on Sunday. He’s been quietly excellent this season and uncommonly consistent, stringing together seven straight weeks with at least 50 receiving yards. Peoples-Jones finished with five grabs for 61 yards on six targets against Buffalo, the third consecutive game in which he’s reached double-digit fantasy points. His catch rate over the past five weeks is 80 percent, well beyond what you’d expect from a big-play receiver. Consider DPJ a solid starting option down the stretch; he’ll have Deshaun Watson as his quarterback beginning in Week 13.

Offer: $8

Another week, another spike for Johnson. He’s found the end zone five times in his last five games, emerging as a primary red-zone receiving option for the Saints.

Johnson finished with three receptions for 47 yards on four targets against the Rams on Sunday, delivering yet another top-8 positional finish. Most of us have been flummoxed by this roster spot in 2022, so we need to act when we see production at Johnson’s level.

Offer: $8

Additional receivers to stash: Demarcus Robinson (the vet delivered his best game of the season when the Ravens desperately needed it, catching all nine of his targets against Carolina and finishing with 128 yards), Parris Campbell (he’s drawn 15 targets over the past two weeks with Matt Ryan back behind center, snagging 12 for 143 yards and one score), Zay Jones (he saw 10 targets against the Chiefs ahead of his team’s Week 11 bye and he’s about to face a series of vulnerable pass defenses: Bal, at Det, at Ten), Greg Dortch (he would clearly benefit in terms of usage if Rondale Moore‘s groin injury sidelines him in the week ahead), Odell Beckham Jr. (it kinda feels like the entire league is flirting with OBJ on Twitter while we wait for him to choose a team), Skyy Moore (KC is running out of healthy receivers, which led to a season-high six targets for Moore on Sunday night).

Various available tight ends: Taysom Hill (he’s played at least 40 percent of the snaps in each of the Saints’ last two games, which is going to result in another eruption in the closing weeks), Trey McBride (the rookie caught all four of his targets on Monday night and he has a significant opportunity ahead with Zach Ertz sidelined by injury), Austin Hooper (he won’t have a better game this season than Thursday’s two-TD effort, but, hey, it’s a thin position and his targets are trending up), Logan Thomas (it’s been a quiet season for Thomas, post-injury, but he was targeted six times in Sunday’s win, catching five for 65 yards).

Quarterbacks to stream

Heinicke hasn’t actually thrown a touchdown pass since Week 9, but he’s been at the controls of Washington’s offense during the most successful stretch of the team’s season, delivering four wins in five games. The Commanders aren’t about to hand the keys back to Carson Wentz any time soon — not while things are going so unexpectedly well — which means Heinicke will get to face Atlanta in Week 12. The Falcons defense has ranked at or near the bottom of the league against the pass all year and they allowed a monster game to Justin Fields on Sunday, so feel free to fire up Old Dominion’s finest if you have a need at QB.

Offer: $3

Other approved QBs: Deshaun Watson (we’re just a week away from his return against Houston and he remains widely available), Ryan Tannehill (he’s delivered back-to-back multi-touchdown games and rookie wideout Treylon Burks is looking like a potential star).

For your defensive needs

Miami returns from the bye to host Houston, the NFL’s least productive offense. The Texans currently rank dead-last in total yards (285.9 YPG) and No. 30 in scoring (15.9). Davis Mills has tossed a league-high 11 interceptions, including five in his last three games. Expect Bradley Chubb & Co. to have a productive afternoon on Sunday.

Offer: $2

Follow the Yahoo fantasy crew on Twitter: Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Matt Harmon, Scott Pianowski, Dan Titus and Tank Williams.

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