- Three names you should target when you place your waiver wire claims this week.
Week 11 was one of the worst weeks of the season on the injury front, with Alex Smith suffering a season-ending broken leg, Marcus Mariota aggravating the elbow issue that has plagued him since Week 1, and Kerryon Johnson’s day ending early because of a sprained knee. We’ll discuss one of those below, but we begin this week’s early look at the waiver wire in Baltimore, where there may have been a changing of the guard in the backfield. As always, all players listed here have ownership rates of 40% or lower on at least two of Yahoo, ESPN and CBS.
Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens
Alex Collins seemed ticketed for a big day early in the Ravens’ 24-21 win over the Bengals, running for a 7-yard touchdown on the team’s first possession. He got four carries the rest of the afternoon, though, getting benched in favor Edwards, an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers. Edwards ended up running all over the Bengals, totaling 115 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. We’ll likely get some clarity on the backfield situation in Baltimore early in the week, but, for the time being, fantasy owners should assume that Edwards has at least a share of the work going forward. It’s entirely possible that he unseated Collins as the starter with his work in Week 11. He should be at the top of your waiver wire wish list, no matter the composition of your roster.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Lions
Kerryon Johnson left the Lions’ 20-19 win over the Panthers in the third quarter with a knee injury and did not return. Early reports indicate that it’s a sprain and not an ACL tear, but it still could cost the rookie a game or two. That puts Blount firmly back on the fantasy radar. He’d be the primary back for the Lions if Johnson is forced to miss time. Blount hasn’t had much of a role outside of short yardage this season, running for 182 yards and three touchdowns on 71 carries. The Lions have a quick turnaround this week, hosting the Bears on Thanksgiving Day, which makes it likelier that Johnson will be out.
Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
The Buccaneers’ season-long quarterback saga took another turn in Week 11, with Jameis Winston this time playing the role of late-game near-savior. Winston replaced an ineffective Ryan Fitzpatrick with the Buccaneers trailing 24-7 halfway through the third quarter. Winston ended up completing 12 of his 16 pass attempts for 199 yards, 12.44 yards per attempt, two touchdowns and an interception, getting the Buccaneers within three points in what was ultimately a 38-35 loss. His pick can’t really be held against him, either, with the Buccaneers down by three with 23 seconds left, and forced to take a desperation shot deep down the field. Winston will likely take back over as the starter when the Buccaneers host the 49ers in Week 12. As bizarre as the revolving-door situation under center in Tampa has been this season, the position has produced six QB1 weeks.