Holding on to fantasy hopes by a thin waiver wire

col-BuddhaWelcome to the Week 12 waiver wire, a scary and confusing place.

I hope you’ve made a list of your shopping needs, because there’s a lot to choose from. But pay close attention, because it all looks kind of the same. Nothing great. No sure things. Just a bunch of modest talent for you to plug into those final bye week holes and hope for the best.

There are former superstars on this list — and possibly a couple of future fantasy regulars — but nothing very special. Each of these players can, however, give you a chance at victory and that’s the key.

  • Carson Palmer – Palmer led all passers with 419 yards in Week 11 at Jacksonville, so he’s at least coming into his matchup with the Colts on a high note. The Cardinals running game looked abysmal versus the Jags and forced the former Pro Bowler to have to air the ball out, throwing the ball 42 times. With underachieving running backs and a very nice set of wide receivers, you do the math. Arizona will have to beat Indy on the strength of Palmer’s right arm. If you didn’t adequately back up Russell Wilson or Nick Foles earlier in the season, this is the guy you want in Week 12:
  • Mike Glennon – And this is this week’s consolation prize at QB. Glennon is coming off another nice outing against the Falcons and draws a Lions defense that just gave up 367 yards and four touchdowns to Ben Roethlisberger. Glennon relies heavily on Vincent Jackson, who should be motivated to have another big game as he faces off with Calvin Johnson and tries to show that he can do everything Megatron can do. This is another good thing for Glennon’s outlook this week. Big games from V-Jax usually lead to 20+ point performances from the rookie signal caller.
  • Bobby Rainey – Two consecutive Buccaneers? Yep. Rainey is the guy I would have mentioned last week if I hadn’t turned this column in mere hours before Mike James’ season ended on Monday Night Football. Rainey — despite playing for his third team since August — is clearly the most talented back still standing in Tampa Bay. While his 163 yard performance likely will not be duplicated the rest of way, Rainey still stands to be a useful flex play, or even a RB2 if you’re in a pinch. Definitely worth burning a waiver claim on.
  • Chris Ogbonnaya – The Willis McGahee experiment appears to be over. Enter Ogbonnaya. He has been a decent contributor for the Browns all season, but now the coaching staff wants to get him even more involved. In Week 11, Ogbonnaya had 14 touches for 93 yards. And — worth mentioning for PPR owners — Ogbonnaya is on pace for 50 receptions this year. Factor in a very inviting schedule over the next month, and you may just have yourself a steal in this fourth year back out of Texas.
  • Michael Floyd – Floyd was drafted in many more leagues than he’s still owned in. A somewhat sluggish start — no touchdowns until Week 6 — saw to that. The problem for most of the owners who discarded Floyd is that he has now scored in three of his past five games and it’s gone largely unnoticed. But it’s hard not to notice his 193 yard effort this past Sunday. This guy has big-time ability and should be counted on heavily by the aforementioned Mr. Palmer as Arizona challenges for a NFC playoff bid.
  • Santonio Holmes – Holmes has had a rough year or so. He severely injured himself a month into the 2012 season and has only appeared to be fully healthy in two games so far this year. But he has a rookie quarterback in the cockpit for the Jets and rookies often look to veterans as security blankets to aid them in navigating the turbulence of their first seasons. Holmes projects as a Top 30 WR going forward and could be a nice addition for DeSean Jackson owners in Week 12.
  • Ace Sanders – I had to mention this former Gamecock after his eight catch game against Arizona. Many people had pegged Mike Brown to be the beneficiary of the Justin Blackmon suspension, but I had my reservations. Sanders has every bit the look of the new breed of NFL slot receiver. Elite quickness and the ability to create space make him a potentially valuable addition in 12-team or deeper PPR leagues. His developing game compares to that of a Davone Bess or Julian Edelman.
  • Delanie Walker – Every week we’re looking for useful tight ends. Walker looks like flavor of this week. Since Jake Locker went down for the season in Week 10, Walker has hooked up with Titans backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for over 150 yards and two touchdowns. That’s nothing to sneeze at from your TE. It’s doubtful you’ll need to use a waiver claim on Walker, but he worth an add as a free agent if you’ve been streaming at that position.

Speaking of streaming, my favorite defenses in Week 12 are the Rams and the Jaguars, believe it or not. Jacksonville plays a Houston squad that played as if they had given up in Week 11 at home versus the Raiders. Opponents of the Texans have averaged 14.1 fantasy points on the season and it’s a nice opportunity to end the streak of picking on the poor Jags offense.

You tweet me any questions you may have to @FantasyBuddha on Twitter.

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