Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 12
Colin Kaepernick (SF): Not only did Kaepernick tear apart the Bears' vicious defense with beautiful throws and impressive mobility, but Jim Harbaugh declined an easy chance to squash any quarterback controversy after the game. When asked if Kaepernick was the starting quarterback, Harbaugh said, "We'll see. I usually tend to go with the guy who has the hot hand." Kaepernick's play on Monday night was incredible, and the young quarterback didn't turn the ball over once against a Bears defense that had forced more than three turnovers per game. Alex Smith has still not been cleared to practice, and reports have come out that all signs point towards Kaepernick starting as of now.
Ronnie Hillman (DEN): The running back section is loaded this week on the waiver wire. Willis McGahee tore his MCL on Sunday, and Hillman - a kid that the Broncos' coaching staff is very high on - will be the lead man in the backfield while McGahee is sidelined. McGahee's best case scenario is to return for the fantasy championship round (Week 16), so you could ride Hillman through the playoffs as a low-end RB2/flex play.
Bryce Brown (PHI): LeSean McCoy was carted off the field with a concussion during Sunday's game, and was still experiencing headaches on Monday. With the NFL's strict concussion protocol, McCoy seems quite unlikely to suit up against the Panthers on Monday night. Bryce Brown will be the featured back for the Eagles if McCoy does miss time. Brown, the top ranked high school player in 2008, allegedly ran circles around last year's backup Dion Lewis, and is trusted as a runner, receiver, and pass blocker. For what it's worth, Brown looks to be the better short term option as a fantasy running back, while Hillman is likely the better long term pickup.
Jalen Parmele (JAX): With Maurice Jones-Drew still sidelined with a foot injury, and Rashad Jennings completely ineffective as his backup, head coach Mike Mularkey has stated that he'll stick with Jalen Parmele as his starting running back going forward. Parmele ran the ball 24 times for 80 yards against the Texans' 2nd ranked run defense on Sunday, and has juicy matchups against the Titans and Bills the next two weeks (28th and 31st ranked run defenses). Pick up Parmele as a solid flex play if you can't get a hold of the two guys above.
Danario Alexander (SD): Head coach Norv Turner said he'd give Alexander a chance to play regularly at receiver, and Alexander has made Turner look like a smart man. Alexander has now supplanted Robert Meachem as the starting receiver, and has put up huge numbers in two straight games - six catches, 115 yards, 1.5 touchdowns on average. If you need help at wide receiver, Alexander should be at the top of your priority list.
Justin Blackmon (JAX): The Jaguars have finally benched Blaine Gabbert, and Blackmon is finally free to produce. Blackmon was drafted in most leagues, but subsequently dropped in most of those leagues due to a terrible start to the season. Once Henne replaced an injured Gabbert in Sunday's game against the Texans, Blackmon went off for 236 yards on seven catches with a touchdown. He nearly doubled the yards he had amassed over the previous nine games. With Henne under center for the foreseeable future, Blackmon should be in for more consistent solid games, but don't expect many more 200 yard performances.
Ryan Broyles (DET): Broyles burst on the scene after Nate Burleson got hurt for the Lions, putting together three straight solid fantasy games as the No. 3 receiver. The past two games, however, Broyles has been quite disappointing. He'll have another chance to reestablish himself as a viable fantasy option thanks to the suspension of No. 2 receiver Titus Young, who finds himself in the doghouse due to laziness, lining up incorrectly, and sulking when he doesn't get the ball. Broyles becomes a solid WR3 option in Young's absence.
Brandon Myers (OAK): This is the last time I'm going to put him on this list. He's been on the list plenty of times before, but is still only owned in 43% of Yahoo leagues. With 50 receptions for 554 yards and three touchdowns on the season, Myers has actually become a low-end TE1. The only difference between the numbers of Myers and Jimmy Graham are the touchdowns, but Myers has been finding the end zone much more as of late (three times in the past three weeks). I know a lot of you out there are digging for ways to replace Rob Gronkowski in your lineups - look no further than Myers.
Cleveland Browns: The Browns are coming off of a game against the Cowboys in which they sacked Tony Romo seven times. On the season, the team actually has a decent amount of turnovers (12th most in NFL) and doesn't give up a ton of points (18th least in NFL). Facing the Steelers this week, they'll be up against a third string quarterback and an incredibly depleted receiving core that was just forced to sign Plaxico Burress. The St. Louis Rams are also not a bad option facing the Cardinals' miserable offensive line that allowed Robert Quinn and Chris Long to tee off on Kevin Kolb earlier in the season.