Fantasy News & Analysis

Early waiver wire targets and biggest risers/fallers in fantasy football following NFL Week 11

Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Adam Trautman (82) runs after a catch against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Only Monday Night Football remains on the 2021 NFL Week 11 slate, so most fantasy football managers will now be turning their gaze to Week 12 to try to gain an advantage in their fantasy leagues.

It’s important not to overreact to individual stat lines. For example, some players scored two touchdowns this week yet probably won’t do that again this season, while other players saw the field for most of their team's snaps but couldn't quite make it to the end zone.

Remember: chase the usage, not the box score.

Here are some early waiver wire targets, as well as the biggest risers and fallers from NFL Week 11. For a more detailed 32-team view of the week, including snap counts, check out the Complete Week 11 Fantasy Football Recap.

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Waiver Wire Targets

RB Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans: The Texans' backfield has been one to avoid because the team has consistently used four players. However,  Mark Ingram II is no longer with Houston, Scottie Phillips is on injured reserve and Phillip Lindsay is all but an afterthought, making this a two-man committee going forward.

Burkhead led the team in carries and was the team's most impressive runner this past week. He gained 40 yards on 18 carries and avoided four tackles. He’s graded better than David Johnson on the season and put up better numbers on Sunday.

This still isn’t an ideal situation due to the offensive line, but very few waiver wire targets have the upside of 15-plus carries.

Houston Texans Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
David Johnson 35 17 3 13
Rex Burkhead 27 7 0 18
Phillip Lindsay 2 1 0 1
Total 64 29 20 33

RB Tevin Coleman, New York Jets: Rookie running back Michael Carter had emerged as a weekly must-start but suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter on Sunday and didn’t return. Coleman took over as the primary rusher in his absence, while Ty Johnson played most of the snaps as the Jets were passing to catch up. Coleman ran five times for 16 yards and caught a pass.

If the injury is serious, both Coleman and Johnson are worth waiver wire pickups. The Jets have one of the easiest schedules remaining, which should allow Coleman to see double-digit carries in most games Carter is out.

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers: The Packers receiver has largely disappointed this season, but he put together his best game of the campaign in Week 11. He recorded season highs in targets (10), receptions (4) and yards (123), and he scored his second touchdown of the year. 

Fellow wideout Allen Lazard was inactive this week, which partly explains MVS' uptick in usage. It will be too early to put him in starting lineups, but it’s still worth seeing if he can keep up this momentum.

TE Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints: The second-year tight end has been a borderline waiver wire target since Trevor Siemian took over as starting quarterback. On the bright side, he hauled in his first touchdown of the season and enjoyed his fourth straight game with at least six targets. He finished Sunday’s matchup with five receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown.

On the downside, his playing time significantly declined because Nick Vannett played his first game of the season. The decrease in playing time would have me concerned about starting him, but he’s seeing so many targets and playing well enough that it might not matter.

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Biggest Risers

WR Elijah Moore, New York Jets: Moore excited fantasy managers over the previous two weeks by scoring three touchdowns in that short span. The only problem was that he played less than 60% of offensive snaps each week while sharing time with Keelan Cole.

Yesterday, he saw his highest snap percentage in a game while all of the top receivers were healthy. He caught eight passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Moore's Week 11 game resulted in the best statistical performance of his NFL career. His big game was predictable, and the playing time and targets are reason to believe he could remain a must-start player.

New York Jets Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Corey Davis 56 41 7 0
Elijah Moore 49 36 9 1
Jamison Crowder 41 31 8 0
Keelan Cole 12 9 1 0
Braxton Berrios 10 7 1 0
Jeff Smith 1 0 0 0
Total 60 43 34 17

WR Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers ran the ball all game long, but they threw to Aiyuk when they needed to pass. The second-year wideout was targeted on 29% of his pass routes and finished the game with seven receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown.

The former Arizona State receiver has accumulated at least seven targets in three of the last four weeks, playing at least 88% of the team’s offensive snaps in that span. It’s officially time to forget about the drama from the first third of the season and focus on the recent success.

TE Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills: Knox was one of the biggest fantasy football surprises over the first third of the season, but a broken bone in his hand threw his year off course.

Knox returned a week ago after a three-week absence but only caught one pass for 17 yards. However, the former Mississippi tight end was back to his old self on Sunday, playing all but one of the offensive snaps and catching six of 10 passes for 80 yards. He didn’t score a touchdown, but those will come as long as the Bills' offense can get back on track.

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Biggest Fallers

RB Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned after a stint on injured reserve and was elevated back to the top of the depth chart. Edwards-Helaire handled most of the Kansas City carries while Darrel Williams took over as the primary receiving back.

Jerick McKinnon suffered an injury early in the game on a special teams play, so this backfield could be even more crowded once he’s healthy. Derrick Gore was also inactive for this game.

Williams led the team in offensive snaps because he ran most of the routes in the passing game, but it wouldn’t be surprising if his snaps decline with a healthy McKinnon. This would be similar to his role earlier in the season. Williams ran five times for 15 yards and caught an 11-yard pass on Sunday.

RB Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens: Murray missed the previous four weeks with an ankle injury. His anticipated return led the Ravens to release Le’Veon Bell, leaving the Ravens with a two-man backfield for the first half with both backs seeing exactly 18 carries. Freeman outplayed Murray during the half, just as he’s done all season. This led to Freeman gaining 70% of the offensive snaps in the second half. This is good news for Freeman and bad news for Murray going forward.

WR Jamal Agnew, Jacksonville Jaguars: Agnew suffered a hip injury early in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. Even before the injury, Agnew wasn’t receiving the amount of playing time he had in recent weeks. Laviska Shenault Jr. spent the previous five games as an outside receiver but moved back to primarily playing in the slot yesterday. Laquon Treadwell took over as the outside receiver in three-receiver sets.

Even if Agnew is healthy for their next game, he probably shouldn’t be in starting lineups.

Jacksonville Jaguars Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Marvin Jones Jr. 42 29 6 0
Laquon Treadwell 33 20 3 0
Laviska Shenault Jr. 29 22 5 0
Tavon Austin 12 9 2 0
Jamal Agnew 10 8 3 1
John Brown 4 3 1 0
Total 46 31 23 14
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