When we got to Week 12, we were supposed to be making plans for the Fantasy playoffs. We were past the bye weeks and the hope was healthy reinforcements were on the way.
Boy, were we wrong.
Week 11 brought some devastating injuries, including Willis McGahee (knee) and Rob Gronkowski (forearm) possibly being lost for the rest of the Fantasy season. LeSean McCoy (concussion) is likely out for Week 12 and Julio Jones (ankle) may have suffered a setback.
On the other hand, there was some good news with the emergence of Justin Blackmon and Chad Henne, the continued production from Danario Alexander and Brandon Myers and the expected return of Beanie Wells in Week 12. It all sets up to be a busy week on the waiver wire.
Look for Bryce Brown and Ronnie Hillman to be the most added players this week with Blackmon, Alexander and Myers to see huge spikes in ownership. We'll also see if owners buy into Wells and we might have a quarterback controversy in San Francisco following a breakout performance from Colin Kaepernick.
Editor's note: Must add is for players worth adding in all leagues. Maybe add is for players worth adding in 14-team leagues or larger. Desperation add is for players worth adding only if you're, well, desperate. The ownership percentage listed is how many leagues that player was owned in the previous week for CBSSports.com.
Must add: Russell Wilson, Seahawks (42 percent), Jake Locker, Titans (21 percent), Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (5 percent)
Maybe add:, Sam Bradford, Rams (49 percent), Brandon Weeden, Browns (26 percent), Chad Henne, Jaguars (1 percent)
Desperation add: Nick Foles, Eagles (30 percent), Jason Campbell, Bears (3 percent), Brady Quinn, Chiefs (2 percent), Charlie Batch, Steelers (0 percent)
The breakdown: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh hinted Kaepernick might remain his starting quarterback after he led a rout of the Bears with 22 Fantasy points. If that happens, even for Week 12 alone, Kaepernick is worth adding in all leagues with a matchup at the Saints. And if he remains the starter for the rest of the season ahead of the injured Alex Smith (concussion) then Kaepernick could continue to be Fantasy relevant in all leagues. … Wilson has been great at home (at least 20 Fantasy points in his past three games in Seattle) compared to on the road (only one game with more than 11 Fantasy points in five outings). But his matchup with the Dolphins in Week 12 is enticing and he's a sleeper in all leagues. … Locker faces a Jaguars defense that just allowed 527 passing yards and five touchdowns to Matt Schaub and Locker is another sleeper in Week 12. … Henne has the chance to help owners after 38 Fantasy points against the Texans and he also has a favorable matchup against the Titans, who are among the league leaders with 20 passing touchdowns allowed.
Must add: Mark Ingram, Saints (52 percent), Beanie Wells, Cardinals (44 percent), James Starks, Packers (42 percent), Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (28 percent), Bryce Brown, Eagles (5 percent), Jalen Parmele, Jaguars (0 percent)
Maybe add: Cedric Benson, Packers (37 percent), Shane Vereen, Patriots (17 percent), Bilal Powell, Jets (5 percent), Lance Ball, Broncos (1 percent), Lance Dunbar, Cowboys (1 percent)
Desperation add: Lamar Miller, Dolphins (4 percent), Philip Tanner, Cowboys (4 percent), Cedric Peerman, Bengals (3 percent), Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (3 percent), Justin Forsett, Texans (2 percent)
The breakdown: If you're ranking the running backs for this week only, put them in this order: Brown, Hillman, Parmele, Wells and Ingram. If you're looking for the rest of the season, then put them in this order: Hillman, Parmele, Wells, Ingram and Starks. … The reason we like Brown this week is he should get all the carries in a favorable matchup against the Panthers if McCoy is out as expected. … Hillman is a close second with a tremendous matchup against the Chiefs, but he will share carries with Ball and maybe even Moreno. Put Ball and Moreno on your radar in deeper formats, but Hillman should benefit the most with McGahee out. … Wells makes his return after being out since Week 4 with a toe injury. He will likely share playing time with LaRod Stephens-Howling, but Wells should play a prominent role right away. … Parmele appears to be the Jaguars' featured rusher until Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) returns, but who knows when that will happen. Parmele moved ahead of Rashad Jennings on the depth chart and finished with eight Fantasy points against the Texans. … Ingram has taken advantage of Darren Sproles (hand) being out and he should continue to get carries even when Sproles returns this week. Chris Ivory might be the odd man out -- which is disappointing -- but the Saints don't need to carry four running backs. … Starks is the starter for the Packers moving forward until Benson (toe) returns, which looks like Week 15. Starks is not exciting, but he can give you about seven Fantasy points on a weekly basis, making him a flex option in standard formats. … Powell did a great job with two touchdowns against the Rams, but he remains behind Shonn Greene on the depth chart. We wouldn't invest heavily in Powell unless Greene got hurt. … If you want to speculate on a running back then add Miller. The Dolphins are struggling with Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas and might give Miller a chance at increased playing time in the near future. … Keep an eye on Dunbar and Tanner, who might be the only healthy running backs in Dallas. DeMarco Murray (foot) and Felix Jones (knee) are injured, although Jones hopes to play on Thanksgiving. If he suffers a setback in practice then Dunbar or Tanner could get an increased role.
Must add: Cecil Shorts, Jaguars (72 percent), Golden Tate, Seahawks (47 percent), Danario Alexander, Chargers (37 percent), Justin Blackmon, Jaguars (36 percent), T.Y. Hilton, Colts (26 percent), Julian Edelman, Patriots (1 percent)
Maybe add: Pierre Garcon, Redskins (70 percent), Jeremy Kerley, Jets (51 percent), Davone Bess, Dolphins (36 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (36 percent), Brandon Gibson, Rams (26 percent), Mohamed Sanu, Bengals (4 percent)
Desperation add: Plaxico Burress, free agent (1 percent), Harry Douglas, Falcons (1 percent), Aldrick Robinson, Redskins (1 perent), Riley Cooper, Eagles (0 percent), Juron Criner, Raiders (0 percent), Chaz Schilens, Jets (0 percent)
The breakdown: There are a lot of receivers to covet this week, but Shorts should be added in all formats. He now has double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five games and is worth starting in Week 12 against the Titans. Blackmon might not be a starter in all leagues, but he is worth adding with the hope that Henne can continue to get him the ball. The two hooked up on seven catches for 236 yards and a touchdown against the Texans. … Alexander could finish the season as the best receiving option for the Chargers, including Antonio Gates. In only three full games in San Diego he has 15 catches for 291 yards and three touchdowns. He also has a great matchup against Baltimore at home in Week 12. … For the second time in three weeks, Hilton took advantage of an injury to Donnie Avery (concussion) with double digits in Fantasy points. If Avery is out in Week 12 against Buffalo then consider Hilton a sleeper. … The same goes for Tate who, like Wilson, is better at home than on the road, but he's also worth owning in all leagues since he has six touchdowns on the season, including one at Carolina in Week 5. The Dolphins also have struggled with secondary receivers this year. … Edelman could benefit with Gronkowski's injury and he also might have passed Brandon Lloyd on the depth chart. Edelman had seven targets and finished with five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown and one run for 47 yards against the Colts. The Patriots might continue to use him and Wes Welker together, which they have tended to avoid in the past. … I hope Garcon can get back to 100 percent, but I'm skeptical. Still, he's worth adding if you have the roster space since he returned in Week 11 after being out since Week 5 with a toe injury. … The last time Kerley faced the Patriots in Week 7 he had seven catches for 120 yards on 11 targets. … Sanu now has two touchdowns in his past two games. He's someone to monitor with the hope this continues. … LaFell had 15 Fantasy points against the Buccaneers in Week 11 and has favorable matchups ahead against Philadelphia and Kansas City. Hopefully he can close the season strong after cooling off following a hot start. … It looks like Burress is going to sign with the Steelers with Antonio Brown (ankle) and Jerricho Cotchery (ribs) injured. Given their quarterback situation, Burress is only worth adding in the deepest of leagues.
Must add: Jermichael Finley, Packers (74 percent), Brandon Myers, Raiders (62 percent)
Maybe add: Dustin Keller, Jets (62 percent), Jared Cook, Titans (50 percent), Dwayne Allen, Colts (30 percent), Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (15 percent), Dallas Clark, Buccaneers (11 percent), Logan Paulsen, Redskins (10 percent)
Desperation add: Tony Moeaki, Chiefs (3 percent), Benjamin Watson, Browns (1 percent), Garrett Graham, Texans (1 percent), Visanthe Shiancoe, Patriots (0 percent)
The breakdown: Aaron Rodgers said during the bye in Week 10 he worked on some things with Finley and it showed in Week 11 at the Lions. Finley scored for the first time since Week 1 and his 66 yards was the highest output of the season on three catches. We hope that's something to build on in Week 12 against the Giants. Finley scored against New York in the regular season last year. … Myers continues to post quality stats yet still isn't owned in every league. He now has three touchdowns in his past three games with 33 Fantasy points over that span. He has at least seven targets in five of his past six games and he has at least five catches in seven outings this year. With all the problems at tight end, he should be a starting option in all formats until he proves otherwise. … If Coby Fleener (shoulder) remains out then look for Allen to remain a starting Fantasy option. He has a favorable matchup against the Bills in Week 12 and Allen has at least six catches for 69 yards in two of his past three games. … After those three tight ends you should look at the matchups in Week 12 with these next five options: Keller vs. New England, Lewis vs. Tennessee, Cook at Jacksonville, Paulsen at Dallas and Clark vs. Atlanta. The Patriots allow the third-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends and Keller had seven catches for 93 yards and a touchdown against them in Week 7. … Lewis just scored two touchdowns against the Texans and the Titans allow the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Maybe Lewis can get things going with Henne. … The Jaguars just allowed two touchdowns to Graham, their first two touchdowns of the season to tight ends, but Cook is also the only tight end to score against the Dolphins in Week 10. … Paulsen continues to do well as the starter for the Redskins and scored his first touchdown in Week 11 at Philadelphia. The Cowboys just gave up two touchdowns against Benjamin Watson. … And Clark has done a solid job of late with 17 Fantasy points in his past two games. He had 11 targets in Week 11 at Carolina and finished with seven catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons allow the fifth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. … Watson is only an emergency replacement option even though he scored twice. The Steelers should be able to limit him this week. … Shiancoe would only have increased value if Aaron Hernandez (ankle) doesn't return in Week 12 at the Jets. But Shiancoe is worth monitoring with Gronkowski now out.