Waiver Worthy: Week 11 Fallout: Chad Henne, Brandon LaFell and More

by Will Overton

Week 11 is in the books now. In some leagues this week 12 may be the last week to make the playoffs before the playoff run begins. Now you have to start considering what the playoff schedule is going to look like.

Still though, you have to make the playoffs to succeed in the playoffs and so I’m still focusing mostly on who might have value in week 12. Bye weeks are done now, so the urgency to make additions might not be as high. But injuries still happen and so does inconsistency and plain old poor performances. Waiver wire additions are still important, you just have the opportunity to be a bit more picky now. Here are several week 11 standouts who are going to be under consideration on a lot of waiver wires this week.

Julian Edelman – WR, New England Patriots: There are few teams in the league who turn up surprise fantasy performers more often than the Patriots and their wide open offense. This week it was Edelman who emerged into the scene with 5 catches for 58 yards and a TD, as well as a 47 yard run and a return TD. Throw the latter two stats out, but the catch total is interesting. Some are pegging Edelman as the heir apparent to Wes Welker in New England, but right now I think he’s still more of a fringe player. He’ll have nice games like this when the Pats offense explodes, but it’ll be tough to count on him week in and week out with all the other weapons.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

Chad Henne – QB, Jacksonville Jaguars: You want to talk about your surprise performers of the day, none were more suprising than the one turned in by Chad Henne. After Blaine Gabbert was hurt on the team’s first drive Henne came in and lit up the number three pass defense in the league for 354 yards on 16 – 33 with 4 TD’s. Henne has struggled to be a consistent performer when given the chance, and he did complete less than 50% of his passes this week. Still, the numbers can’t be ignored and neither can the fact that Henne would face the Titans this week if he starts. Keep an eye on Gabbert’s health and Henne’s status and if he starts he’s worth using in deep leagues or 2 QB leagues.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Ronnie Hillman – RB, Denver Broncos: The potential has been here, but the opportunity hasn’t. Yesterday Willis McGehee went down in the first half of the game against the Chargers and Hillman was given a chance. Hillman had 43 yards on 12 carries with 2 catches for 16 yards as well. Not an overwhelming performance, but it’s a start. It’s unclear how bad the injury to McGehee is, but if he misses time Hillman will split carries next week with Lance Ball against the Chiefs. I prefer the upside of Hillman in that split and he’d make a decent deep league flex play at the least.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Ben Watson – TE, Cleveland Browns: Yesterday was not only a season best day for Brandon Weeden in Cleveland, it was for Ben Watson as well. Watson was a favorite of Weeden all day and ended up with 4 catches and 47 yards on 8 targets, and he also caught 2 TD passes. However this was the first game in which Watson has posted significant fantasy value, and had only 1 TD catch all year prior to this. Without seeing at least one more good week I can’t trust Watson at a crucial point of the season like this unless you are very desperate.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

Dallas Clark – TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Somewhat similar to Ben Watson here, but Clark should prove a bit more trustworthy in my opinion. Clark caught 7 passes yesterday on 11 targets, finishing with 58 yards and a TD. While this is significantly better than any game Clark has posted as of this date, Clark has caught 3 TD’s in his last five games now. Clark isn’t a high value add, but if you’re in a pinch at tight end, he’s worth a flier.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Bilal Powell – RB, New York Jets: It was a pretty impressive performance from Jets backup running back Bilal Powell who ran for 42 yards on 11 carries and scored 2 TD’s, his first TD’s of his NFL career. Powell has clearly taken hold of the backup running back spot in New York at this point. And with the way Shonn Greene has underperformed he could find himself getting more carries down the stretch. Still, considering he had only 13 carries combined in his last four games before yesterday, I need to see more.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

Brandon LaFell – WR, Carolina Panthers: This was a popular name early in the season when more was expected of Cam Newton and Carolina. As the offense and LaFell struggled early, his owner rate dropped considerably to where he is now, less than 15% of leagues. LaFell is now turning it back up and I’m not sure how many people know it. Yesterday LaFell caught 5 passes on 7 targets and finished with 93 yards and a TD. This was the third time in three games LaFell has had at least 7 targets or more and gone over 50 yards receiving. The Panthers have some rather enticing matchups ahead and LaFell could prove very useful.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Garrett Graham – TE, Houston Texans: Yet another tight end who turned in a big performance in week 11. Graham caught 8 passes on 9 targets for 82 yards and 2 TD’s. Owen Daniels was banged up, but he still played and caught 6 passes, so that doesn’t fully account for this breakout game. Still, I don’t see the Texans completing 43 passes for 527 yards often. That’s because the Texans don’t get behind very often. Graham is intriguing and worth watching this week, but I would watch him, not add him, not yet at least.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

Who are you looking to add this week? Who are you ready to part ways with as you head into the playoff stretch?

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