The QB jumble continues heading into week 12, yet don’t be too trigger happy to pick up Colin Kaepernick, regardless of whether or not he shredded what many consider to be the league’s top defense on Monday Night Football. Why? With all the fireworks, it’s easy to forget that Alex Smith still has a higher QB rating than Tom Brady 11 weeks into the season. Now, for the picks. I never thought I would write a waiver wire post with three players from Jacksonville, but when considering how easy their remaining schedule is, these may very well be the unsuspected players to lead you to the championship.
Ronnie Hillman (RB – Den): McGahee will be out for the remainder of the regular NFL season. The remaining options Denver has to go with are: Hillman, Lance Ball, or the forgotten, Knowshon Moreno. Hillman is almost certain to get the hole shot for this starting job, and if he is able to capitalize against a porous KC defense, he should see tremendous value moving forward.
Chad Henne (QB – Jax): It’s amazing what a prolonged stint on the bench can do to a player. Previously, Henne held a 13-18 record as the starter in Miami, with an astoundingly mediocre 36 TD’s/38 INT’s. Fresh off the bench in a Jaguars uniform, however, he threw for 354 yards, four TD’s, and zero INT’s against one of hardest opponents possible. This (and Blaine Gabbert’s struggles) were enough to earn him a guaranteed start moving forward. What does this mean? For one, the Jaguars realize Gabbert is going nowhere. The team has no hope of making the playoffs, and have seemingly given up trying to sculpt their former 10th overall pick into a winning NFL quarterback. From a fantasy perspective, Jacksonville’s schedule reads out: Ten, Buf, NYJ, Mia, NE, Ten. He has favorable matchups from here on out, and could present a solid spot start if your non-elite QB faces a punishing defense, or you play in a two QB league.
Jalen Parmele (RB – Jax): To be perfectly honest, I thought that Rashad Jennings would have seized this opportunity, and not looked back several weeks ago. Which is why I spent oodles on him in my auction league. You can’t win ‘em all (Titus Young, anyone?). However, against the Houston defense, Parmele rushed 24 times for 80 yards which is more than you would hope for. As stated before, he now heads into Tennessee, and then will see Buffalo – two of the worst run-stopping defenses in the league. At this point, the date of MJD’s return (if at all) is still questionable, so Parmele presents a very solid fill in at that position for the meantime, and potentially the rest of the fantasy season & playoffs.
Danario Alexander (WR – SD): Did you listen to me on this one last week? If not, he’s probably gone, and you’re left kicking yourself over it after his second huge game in a row. If he isn’t owned, grab him now.
Justin Blackmon (WR – Jax): Finally, what we’ve been waiting for! Maybe Blaine Gabbert had trouble getting him the ball, or just didn’t look his way, but despite his early woes, I like Blackmon more than Cecil Shorts. Regardless of the fact that Blackmon has been a literal ghost this season, scoring only one TD, and zero 100+ yard games prior to this monster against Houston, a QB change is seemingly just what the doctor ordered. Many frustrated owners of his (can you blame them?) have already cut ties, seeing his ownership drop to just under 45%, and if you have room on your bench, this guy has tremendous upside for the remainder of the season if he can do even half of what he did against Houston every week. With the Jaguars remaining schedule, it’s not that far fetched.
Brandon Myers (TE – Oak): Another recommendation from last week, Myers continues to perform. Averaging 6.3 catches, 57 yards, and one TD over his past three games, Myers is all you can hope for and more from a waiver wire tight end in week 12.
WORTH A FLIER: Colin Kaepernick (QB – SF): Jim Harbaugh is playing coy over who is week 12 starter will be, but there is no dying that Kaep looked like an absolute stud in his start on Monday against the Bears. If you have room on the bench, I actually think he has way more upside than Henne. However, Alex Smith is one of the best game managers in the league, which is exactly what SF needs with their deep, potent backfield, and incredible defense. It’s also pretty hard to bench a guy with a higher QBR than Tom Brady through 11 weeks. If you play keeper or dynasty formats, I’d bet everything just short of my left nut that this guy will have a starting job somewhere next year. Definitely worth stashing depending on your keeper format, but don’t grab him as a sure-fire answer to your QB problems this season.
DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME: Beanie Wells (RB – Ari): Although he is slated to come back against a favorable Rams defense, he will be out of game shape, and likely to split carries with LSH. Following this week, he will have to play against the Jets, Seahawks, Bears, and 49′ers with one of the worst offensive lines in football.