In Week 12, The Chiefs and Cardinals are on a bye, but since fantasy managers have been without DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray for multiple weeks, they likely already have replacements. However, replacing Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce will be a difficult task but there are some emerging players on this week's waiver wire.
Cam Newton, Quarterback-Carolina Panthers
I mentioned Cam Newton last week in the early waiver wire report. He played well in his first start (235 combined yards with three scores) and with Carolina taking on the Dolphins in Week 12, Newton is a suitable replacement for Murray or Mahomes. The Panthers' defense struggled to get Washington off the field over the last two-and-a-half quarters, which cost Newton more chances to produce fantasy points. Plus, Carolina failed to convert on two fourth downs in the fourth quarter. The Panthers play at home against Miami and the Falcons the next two weeks.
Mac Jones, Quarterback- New England Patriots
In a blink of five weeks, the Patriots climbed to the top of the AFC East with a 7-4 record. Their offense has been sensational over their previous two home matchups (99 points, 13 touchdowns and five field goals over 20 possessions, and 1,033 combined yards). Jones averaged only 190.25 passing yards and 1.25 touchdowns over his past four starts, but he did have more starting fantasy value over his last two home games (326/2 and 198/3).
The Titans come into this matchup after a bad loss at home against the Texans. Tennessee ranks near the bottom of the league in quarterback defense (23.97 FPPG – 29th) and defending wide receivers (46.35 FPPG – 32nd), giving Jones and the Patriots’ passing game plenty of upside next Sunday as a possible bye week cover.
Jeff Wilson, Running Back- San Francisco 49ers
With Elijah Mitchell suffering a broken finger that required surgery, Wilson picked up the start against the Jaguars. He finished with 20 touches for 58 combined yards and one catch. Wilson missed out on a touchdown opportunity when Jimmy Garoppolo missed him in the first half. Mitchell's injury shouldn’t keep him out too long but that hasn't stopped high-stakes players from adding Wilson to their teams. He fits in the buy-hold category due to the 49ers having an excellent fantasy playoff schedule from Week 15 to Week 17 (ATL, @TEN, and HOU).
Matt Breida, Running Back- Buffalo Bills
The running back rotation in Buffalo has been squirrelly over the past two games Breida saw his most action of the season in Week 10 where he gained 50 yards with two touchdowns and three catches. In a mop-up role against the Colts, Breida gained 67 combined yards with a catch on six touches. If Zack Moss or Devin Singletary is on your squad, it would be wise to pick up Breida this week for handcuff insurance.
Cedric Wilson, Wide Receiver- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys lost Amari Cooper over the weekend after the veteran tested positive for Covid-19. Cooper will also be out for the team's game on Thanksgiving. To make matters worse, CeeDee Lamb left this week’s game against the Chiefs with a concussion. As a result, Wilson saw a bump in chances on Sunday (four catches for 36 yards on seven targets). I expect him to have starting snaps against the Raiders while offering possible insurance for someone with Lamb or Cooper on their roster.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Wide Receiver-Green Bay Packers
After missing five games with a hip issue, the Packers gave Valdes-Scantling WR3 snaps in Week 9 and 10. Aaron Rodgers looked his way only four times over this stretch, leading to three catches for 60 yards. With Allen Lazard out in Week 11, Valdes-Scantling posted his best game (4/123/1) of the year, thanks to a late 75-yard touchdown. Valdes-Scantling has a boom or bust feel while playing for one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Adam Trautman, Tight End-New Orleans Saints
Over the last three weeks, Trautman caught 14 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown on 21 targets. His improved opportunity works out to 11.23 fantasy points per week in PPR leagues. That's a drastic difference from the first seven games where he saw just 19 targets, which led to 11 catches for 104 yards. For now, he has matchup value while being a backup tight end option on most fantasy leagues.