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“Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down…

Chippin’ around, kick my brains across the floor
These are the days, when it rains it pours…

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?”

“Under Pressure” Queen/David Bowie

It’s that time of year. It’s time for the annual white-knuckle ride to the playoffs. You have two, maybe three, games left and could very well be the make-or-break game for your team this season. If your team is around .500, you’re definitely feeling the pressure.

What a week we had in week 11. Backup quarterbacks everywhere and a pair of major injuries have really rattled up in fantasy football. Add to that it’s Thanksgiving week with THREE Thursday games and this becomes one of the more difficult weeks of the year.

Thankfully, I’ll help you get through it with this edition of the waiver wire. As always, percentages reflected availability on ESPN leagues and FAAB is based off of $100. The byes are finally done and over with so it’s full speed ahead from here on out.

Philadelphia RB LeSean McCoy suffered a concussion in the latter stages of the Eagles’ loss to Washington. He was quite woozy after the hit and didn’t return. Even though Philadelphia doesn’t play until Monday night, it looks highly unlikely that he will play this week. Both McCoy and Michael Vick are recovering from concussions and are just at the first step of the five-step process to get back on the field, according to Philly.com.

With McCoy’s mind being wobblier than Grandma’s Jell-O mold, it makes Bryce Brown (99.7%; $10) one of the adds of the week. Brown will get the call against a Carolina defense that hasn’t stopped much of anything this season. If McCoy is out for an extended period of time, the rookie from Kansas State would face the Cowboys and Bucs in the two games after.

Denver RB Ronnie Hillman (99%; $12) is the better choice to add at running back than Brown is. Hillman has popped up on the radar after Willis McGahee left the Broncos’ win over San Diego with a knee injury. It was diagnosed as a torn medial collateral ligament and he’s done for 6-8 weeks. That will make McGahee droppable in every league since he’s done for the balance of the NFL regular season.

Hillman also has more value in PPR leagues with his pass-catching abilities out of the backfield. Add to that an easy schedule the rest of way and he looks like a great pickup.

The other major injury of the weekend was New England TE Rob Gronkowski breaking his arm blocking on an extra point in a 59-24 game with four minutes left in the game. Yeah, it sucks that the Gronk is down for 4-6 weeks after having surgery yesterday but you’ll need some fill-ins. Aaron Hernandez is expected to be back this week but if for some reason he can’t play look for Visanthe Shiancoe (99.8%; $2) to get the call at tight end. You remember Shiancoe from one great season in Minnesota…and dropping his towel in the locker room.

There are going to be several options depending on your league, so take a deeper look through the waiver wire and see who you can pick up. Jermaine Gresham of the Bengals (26%) and Jermichael Finley (28%) might be available in your league. Deeper options include Dallas Clark of Tampa Bay (97%) and Tony Moeaki of the Chiefs (99%) and both have favorable matchups this week.

Jacksonville QB Chad Henne (98%; $5) is worth picking up if you need a backup quarterback for the stretch run. Henne was pressed into service and shined against Houston with 354 yards and 4 TD passes. Blaine Gabbert left the game with an elbow injury and is not likely to return. Not because of the injury but because of how well Henne did. You know Henne must be on to something when he makes Justin Blackmon (53%; $4) relevant with his 7-236-1 line in the loss. Blackmon gets the bump here with Henne under center; if Gabbert comes back, Blackmon’s value drops like a rock.

Also from the Jaguars, RB Jalen Parmele (99% $3) is available and is worth an add for the week or two until Maurice Jones-Drew returns from his foot injury. Parmele got the bulk of the work against Houston and has a juicy matchup with Tennessee next. Rashad Jennings has completely fallen off the radar after this week and is droppable.

The New England DST (43%; $4) is pumped up after shutting down Andrew Luck and the Colts on Sunday. The Pats D got a pair of touchdowns and had another solid game. They have the short week and are on the road but when they play the Jets, this has big points written all over it. If you can find them, snag them. That defense should be feasting on the Jets like you feasted on turkey earlier in the day.

Other players we’ve mentioned before that are still widely available are as follows: Oakland RB Marcel Reece, Jacksonville WR Cecil Shorts, San Diego WR Danario Alexander and Indianapolis WR T.Y. Hilton.

Leave your questions and comments below. Happy Thanksgiving and good luck this week!

  1. Evan says:
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    I can’t trust Reggie Bush anymore…time to drop him?
    I’ve made the playoffs but is it worth holding onto Gronk and Big Ben for late playoff push?

    • Wilsonian says:
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      @Evan, depends on who you’re dropping Reggie for.

      And you gotta hang tight on Gronk. Gronk catch ball. Gronk spike ball in endzone. Gronk probably have superhuman strength and come back sooner than we think.

      As for Ben, depends on who your starting QB is. If you are set there, then I would think he’s droppable.

      • Evan says:
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        @Wilsonian

        I’ll hold on to Gronk but I was able to repick up Myers this week (dropped him the week before) so I’ll hope he’s healthy week 15/16 for a potential flex with Myers. Thoughts?

        I’ve got Payton Manning and I picked up Henne and Kolb. I think Henne has a legit chance to put up good points for my PPR league but I’m wishing Big Ben will recover. I’d hate to give up Big Ben and have him come back Week 15 or 16. With Henne and perhaps Kolb coming out strong, should I drop Ben?

        Also, I’m in a sticky situation, I’ve got Lance Moore and Marques Colston. I picked up Edelman as a sleeper and see how the Patriots adjust without Gronk and maybe Lloyd. Trade deadline’s the 30th. Do I start both saints or try and trade one? If so, which one?

        Here’s my team…
        QB- Payton Manning
        QB- Chad Henne/Kevin Kolb
        WR: Marques Colston
        WR: Lance Moore
        WR: Cecil Shorts
        RB: Jamaal Charles
        RB: Alfred Morris
        RB: LeSean McCoy
        TE: Brandon Myers
        Flex:Percy Harvin
        K: Lawrence Tynes
        DST: Arizona (worth keeping rest of the way?)

        RB: Reggie Bush
        TE: Gronk
        QB: Ben R.
        WR: Edelmen

        Lastly, I highly recommend seeing Lincoln, great movie.

        Thank you so much for your time and advice!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Evan, Depends on what else you have for RBs on the team.

      Congrats on making the playoffs!

      I would still hold onto the Gronk since his injury is more simple. And he might heal fast. I’ve dropped Big Ben since his injury is more complicated and painful…like M Night Shamalyan’s last few movies.

      • Evan says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier,

        I’ll hold on to Gronk but I was able to repick up Myers this week (dropped him the week before) so I’ll hope he’s healthy week 15/16 for a potential flex with Myers. Thoughts?

        I’ve got Payton Manning and I picked up Henne and Kolb. I think Henne has a legit chance to put up good points for my PPR league but I’m wishing Big Ben will recover. I’d hate to give up Big Ben and have him come back Week 15 or 16. With Henne and perhaps Kolb coming out strong, should I drop Ben?

        Also, I’m in a sticky situation, I’ve got Lance Moore and Marques Colston. I picked up Edelman as a sleeper and see how the Patriots adjust without Gronk and maybe Lloyd. Trade deadline’s the 30th. Do I start both saints or try and trade one? If so, which one?

        Here’s my team…
        QB- Payton Manning
        QB- Chad Henne/Kevin Kolb
        WR: Marques Colston
        WR: Lance Moore
        WR: Cecil Shorts
        RB: Jamaal Charles
        RB: Alfred Morris
        RB: LeSean McCoy
        TE: Brandon Myers
        Flex:Percy Harvin
        K: Lawrence Tynes
        DST: Arizona (worth keeping rest of the way?)

        RB: Reggie Bush
        TE: Gronk
        QB: Ben R.
        WR: Edelmen

        Lastly, I highly recommend seeing Lincoln, great movie.

        Thank you so much for your time and advice!

  2. Rags says:
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    Attack of the flex!

    At RB I have Martin and Gore.
    At WR I have Megatron, James Jones, Miles Austin

    At flex I have to choose between Denario Alexander, Brian Hartline, Mendenhall, Sproles, Donald Brown and Britt. Standard scoring.

    Crazy depth but nobody in my league would trade at the deadline. :(

    Are any of those guys droppable for Hillman or B. Brown? Probably won’t get either but was thinking of going for Hillman as a keeper for next year as a potential 15th rounder. Drop Donald Brown if I do?

    • Wilsonian says:
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      @Rags, Denario for sure in the flex. Sproles is the only other option, but he’s coming off a big injury and is going against SF.

      I would drop the Donald for Hillman. And heck, probably even for Bryce if I missed out on Hillman.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Rags, The joy of flex! Hee hee

      Mendenhall gets the call for me. You know the Steelers will be running against Cleveland. I’m not sure Charlie Batch’s Rocket Arm is anything more than a crappy tongue-in-cheek name for a fantasy football team.

      Sproles will be a tough one to go with because of the matchup. Alexander would be my second pick but I wonder how well he’ll do against the Ravens.

  3. Wilsonian says:
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    Have an RB controversy in the mix. I don’t really like any of my guys this week. But here are my options:

    Morris
    Forte
    Hillman
    B.Brown
    LeShoure
    Beanie
    A. Brown

    It’s a bonus point league – 3 points at 100 yards rushing or 85 yards receiving; 6 points at 150 yards rushing or 135 yards receiving. Also is a 0.5 PPR league. I can only play two out of that group.

    I don’t trust Morris anyore, as it seems RG3 gets all the big time carries. He hasn’t found his way to the endzone since the middle of October. Forte sucks, especially with Cutler out, and he’s against Minny this week. Not sure he can be trusted much either (check his last few weeks, it’s like RB4 or 5 territory). I don’t really trust LeShoure against HOU (who’s probably PISSED), and he’s the early T-Giving game, so I could be in a big hole early if he tanks. Hillman, Brown, and Beanie can’t really be trusted either at this point in the game, although they all have good matchups and could surprise. Then Brown is decent, and if Bradshaw was for sure out, he’d be in the lineup. But I think Bradshaw is playing.

    Who are your two guys?

    • Wilsonian says:
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      @Wilsonian, technically I could play more than two, as I could put up to two more in the flex spots – but those are currently clogged up by Witten and Nicks.

      • Murph says:
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        @Wilsonian,

        Need to keep Forte in there although frustrating he is getting touches and is too talented to keep on the bench. Don’t forget Minnesota got torched by LSH and Doug Martin who have similar run styles as forte.

        Option 2 is between Morris and Leshoure but I would lean Leshoure because he is finally getting the heavy workload and I agree it’s hard to go with Morris due to RG3 limiting his big play potential. Don’t put too much thought into how the defense with react to their poor performance if anything it will help Leshoure as it was the secondary of Houston that needs to make the adjustments to game plan for Calvin and stafford.

        Don’t risk it by starting the guys you mentioned with an unknown role too risky in my opinion.

        Agree with Nicks and Witten in the flex witten’s matchup is too perfect and nicks could really come on strong after the much needed bye week. Traded for him in a couple if leagues and have him as a flex option as well.

      • Murph says:
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        @Wilsonian,

        And Bradshaw practiced today that’s usually a for sure indicator he will play. Leave Brown on the bench

        • Wilsonian says:
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          @Murph, thanks Murph. It’s such a tough call. I was leaning LeShoure, too. But he still worries me. He could really put up a stinker and I’d start in a pretty solid hole by the time I’m at my first turkey day nap.

          • Murph says:
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            @Wilsonian,

            Yeah I understand your hesitation and wouldn’t blame you for going Morris it really is close but the fact that you get bonus points and PPR works more in Leshoures favor. Morris has been completely absent in the passing game all year. No doubt Hillman or Brown could go off but way too risky. Good luck and don’t over do it on the turkey you need to be up for the games no naps!!!

  4. swanson says:
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    I have a chance to pick up Hillman, but need to drop either Marcel Reece or Darren Sproles. Is it worth it ? who should I drop.

  5. Joe says:
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    Drop Boldin for Blackmon in a .5 PPR keeper with three WR spots and one flex spot? Also carrying Wallace, Brown, Lloyd, Amendola, Mike Williams at WR.

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