By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston)– Thanksgiving is right around the corner, meaning we have entered the final stretch of the fantasy regular season.
With Week 11 here, only three weeks remain until the start of the fantasy postseason. That means there is not much time left to clinch your playoff spot, improve your playoff seeding or fight for that first-round bye.
The Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers are on bye this week, the final time we will see four teams on bye this season (no teams are on bye in Week 12 while only the Buccaneers and Panthers are off in Week 13). Whether you’re looking for a one-week replacement or a potential late-season steal, the waiver wire recommendations are here to help guide you.
With that said, here are the top waiver wide adds for Week 11.
QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints- It is officially Jameis time in Nola! While we don’t know the official injury diagnosis for Drew Brees, early reports say the Saints are bracing for some kind of an absence for their future Hall of Fame quarterback. This opens the door for Winston to show the rest of the league what he’s capable of as a starting quarterback, and it begins this upcoming weekend against the Falcons. In fact, New Orleans’ schedule the next three weeks looks like this- home vs. Falcons, at the Broncos, at the Falcons. Those are three straight plus-matchups for Winston (or Brees if he returns before then). Winston looked fine in his one half of play this past week, completing six of 10 passes for 63 yards. Winston is an intriguing streaming option in Week 11, and possibly for the next few weeks depending on how long Brees is sidelined.
QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants- Daniel Jones had his best overall game of the 2020 season against the Eagles in Week 10. The second-year quarterback completed 75 percent of his passes for 244 yards, adding 64 yards and a touchdown on the ground. This was also the second consecutive game in which Jones did not record a turnover after having at least one in each of the first eight games of the season. The Giants are on bye this week, but when they return to the field in Week 12, Jones gets a Bengals defense that just allowed Ben Roethlisberger to throw for 333 yards and four touchdowns. After the Bengals, the Giants will travel west to take on the Seahawks and their struggling defense. Jones looks like a solid streaming option at least for a few games following the Week 11 bye.
RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts- Predicting how Frank Reich will deploy the Colts’ running backs each week has become quite the challenge. After a few weeks of Jordan Wilkins leading the way in the Indy backfield, Hines exploded for a monster performance against the Titans on Thursday Night Football. Hines carried the ball 12 for 70 yards and a touchdown, grossly outperforming both Wilkins (8 carries for 28 yards) and Jonathan Taylor (7 carries for 12 yards). Hines maintained his role in the passing game as well, finishing the game with five receptions for 45 yards and a second touchdown. While his rush attempts may vary week to week, Hines seems to be Reich’s preferred back in the passing game, which should help him keep a solid floor for the rest of the season. Make sure to add Hines if he’s still available.
RB Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins- Who?? With Myles Gaskin on injured reserve, Matt Breida still hurt and Jordan Howard a healthy scratch, it was Ahmed who led the Dolphins’ backfield in Week 10. The undrafted rookie back carried the ball 21 times against the Chargers, gaining 85 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and scoring a touchdown. This performance might have been enough to earn Ahmed the lead back duties until Gaskin is able to return to the field. While a Week 11 matchup against the Broncos may not look the easiest on paper, the Raiders did just run for over 200 yards and four touchdowns against them on Sunday. The Dolphins then get the Jets and Bengals to close out the fantasy regular season, making Ahmed one of the top adds of the week.
RB Kalen Ballage, Los Angeles Chargers- Ballage led the Chargers’ backfield in touches again in Week 10, and while he did not run wild, he certainly showed enough to continue leading the RB group until Austin Ekeler returns. Ballage rushed the ball 18 times for 68 yards (3.8-yard avg.) while catching five of six targets for 34 yards. Ekeler does not look likely to return for Week 11, meaning Ballage will almost certainly lead Los Angeles in carries again in an appetizing matchup. The Chargers will welcome the Jets out west in Week 11, making Ballage a very solid streaming option. With four teams on bye, fantasy owners could do much worse than Ballage at RB.
WR Michael Pittman, Indianapolis Colts- For the second consecutive game, Pittman acted as the Colts’ top receiver. The rookie out of USC enjoyed his best game as a pro in Week 10, catching seven of eight targets for 101 yards while adding one rush for 21 yards, all of which were career-highs. Pittman now has 15 targets over the last two weeks, turning that into 11 receptions for 157 yards. Frank Reich recently said it’s too early to tell if Parris Campbell will be able to return from injured reserve this year. Even if Campbell can make a return in 2020, it does not look like that will happen anytime soon. Pittman looks like he will continue being the go-to guy for Philip Rivers, and while his matchup this week against the Packers is tough, the Colts get the Titans and Texans the following two weeks. Go get Pittman before he truly explodes onto the fantasy map.
WR Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles- It’s been two games since Reagor returned to action for the
Eagles. While he hasn’t popped in a big way, the rookie wide receiver has quietly led the Eagles in targets in both contests. Reagor saw seven targets against the Giants, turning it into four catches for 47 yards. In Week 8, Reagor reeled in three of six targets for 16 yards and a touchdown. It’s tough to trust Carson Wentz right now, but Reagor does appear to be one of his favorite targets in the passing game at the moment. With the Eagles fighting for the NFC East crown, don’t be surprised to see Doug Pederson get creative in finding ways to get their talented rookie wideout the ball. One more big performance out of Reagor could make him one of the top waiver wire adds next week, so go get him while you still can.
WR Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars- This one here is probably the riskiest name on this week’s list, but if it ends up paying off, it is likely to pay off big. Cole went off in Week 10, catching five of seven targets for 47 yards and a touchdown while also returning a punt 91 yards for a second touchdown. The Jaguars have three consecutive plus-matchups on the horizon, as they take on the Steelers, Browns and Vikings in the next few weeks. All three of those teams have been giving up fantasy points to opposing receivers at a high rate. Jake Luton has brought some stability to the quarterback position in Jacksonville, raising the fantasy outlook for all of the Jaguars’ pass-catchers. With receiving touchdowns in four games this season, Cole has proven to be somewhat consistent. Again, it’s certainly a gamble, but Cole could come up big for fantasy owners in this final stretch of the season.
TE Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team- Considering the lack of depth we’ve seen year after year at the tight end position, Thomas is a must-add for anyone in need of help at the position. For the second consecutive week, Thomas saw six targets, this time turning it into four receptions for 66 yards against the Lions. This comes after two consecutive games with a touchdown in Weeks 6 and 7. Washington takes on the Bengals in Week 11. Cincinnati is towards the top of the league in fantasy points allowed to tight ends this season. With a Thanksgiving Day showdown against the Cowboys in Week 12, Thomas is firmly a TE1 for at least the next two games, making him a top add for anyone looking for help at fantasy’s most unpredictable position.
TE Jordan Reed, San Francisco 49ers- Jordan Reed may have made his return to action in Week 9, but the veteran tight end was only on the field for 13 offensive snaps in the loss to the Packers. Reed’s usage was significantly better in Week 10, however. The 30-year-old tight end caught five of six targets for 62 yards, trailing only Brandon Aiyuk in all three statistics. Reed appears fully healthy now, and with George Kittle potentially out for the remainder of the season, Reed appears likely to keep this usage in the 49ers offense for the rest of the year. The 49ers are on bye this week, but their last few games is quite fantasy friendly towards tight ends. For tight end-needy teams, as long as you have a bench spot to spare, go out and add Reed to your bench now so you can start him Weeks 12 through 16.