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Deep Dive: Finding RB, WR help on Week 11 waiver wire

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Every game, all season

Each week, I'm tasked with picking the top waiver wire targets for fantasy football fans. That article is a more cursory glance at the waiver wire, helping the countless fantasy players in more casual leagues on NFL.com figure out who is worth adding to their roster.

Typically, this column is the one for the diehards in more intense leagues, where I try to highlight breakout candidates to add before they become a household fantasy name. Unfortunately, we've reached the point of the year where that task becomes incredibly difficult, as after 11 weeks there are very few players not on the fantasy radar. That's why you'll see a lot of repeat names in here over the next few weeks, without a ton of new analysis. Most of these players are in need of something to change to get their opportunity to truly produce, such as an injury to someone ahead of them on the depth chart. And while we never wish injury on a player, it's a fact of fantasy and real football that injuries happen, and teams need to be prepared to fill the void.

On to the "Deep Dive" waiver wire targets for Week 11.

Running backs


Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis backfield belongs to Frank Gore. That's evident as he's owned just shy of 80 percent of the backfield touches since Bradshaw joined the team. However, Bradshaw has a small role as a change-of-pace pass-catcher, and we saw him get into the end zone back in Week 9. He's worth a stash for owners looking for depth, and for Gore owners. With the Colts waiving struggling rookie Josh Robinson, Bradshaw is the next man up to a massive workload if Gore suffers an injury.

Chris Polk, Houston Texans (0.9 percent owned)

We're still waiting to see if the team uses Polk more coming out of their bye week, so keep an eye on his production against the Bengals on Monday Night Football. I'll update his blurb once we see his snaps and touches in that game, but for now, he remains a decent deep stash as the Texans could look to turn their backfield into more of a split committee between Polk, Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes.

Stevan Ridley, New York Jets (16.8 percent owned)

With Zac Stacy landing on IR last week and Bilal Powell out with an ankle injury, Ridley becomes the primary handcuff to Chris Ivory. Ivory's owners would be wise to stash Ridley if they can, as he'll inherit a ton of volume if Ivory suffers another injury or one of his previous injuries flairs up. Handcuffs become important with the playoffs nearing, and Ridley is one of the few who verges on must-own status.

Tim Hightower, New Orleans Saints

This section has basically been handcuff-palooza, so I'll throw out one more. Mark Ingram had 98 total yards on eight touches in Week 10 against Washington before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury. That paved the way for Hightower to see 11 carries and take them for 46 yards, a 4.2 ypc average. While it sounds like Ingram's injury isn't serious and he should be fine after the team's Week 11 bye, this served as a reminder that his owners might want to scoop up Hightower as a handcuff just in case. C.J. Spiller is likely off of waivers already, and if this game was a peek into what life without Ingram would look like for the Saints, it seems Hightower would be the workhorse anyway. He's worth a speculative add for Ingram owners in deeper leagues.

Other names to consider: Tevin Coleman (ATL), Theo Riddick (DET), Jerick McKinnon (MIN), Javorius Allen (BAL)

Wide receivers


Jamison Crowder, Washington (0.2 percent owned)

Over the last five weeks, no one has received more targets from Kirk Cousins than Crowder, who's seen 35. He's turned those into 27 receptions, 295 yards and one touchdown. Not remarkable production, but he's been consistent -- especially in PPR leagues. While Washington will have to contend with the fierce Panthers defense next week, Crowder could still be worth a look in PPR formats. Crowder has run his routes almost exclusively from the slot, which means he'll avoid the dreaded Josh Norman treatment. He could put together another nice outing next week, so now is the time to grab him before he officially starts heating up.

Nate Washington, Houston Texans (4.8 percent owned)

Like with Polk, we're still waiting to see how Washington fits into the Houston offense coming out of their bye. In the last two games before their bye he'd racked up 13 receptions, 201 yards and three touchdowns on 22 targets. The team desperately needs someone to emerge as a reliable No. 2 option behind DeAndre Hopkins, which makes Washington worth an add in case he assumes that role full time the rest of the season.

Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (1.3 percent owned)

It seems Harris and Rueben Randle are alternating good weeks as the Giants No. 2 wideout. This past week belonged to Harris, who looked good against the Patriots. If you're in a pinch for a wide receiver down the stretch, I'd add Harris over Randle as he's been the more consistent player on the field for the G-Men. Just remember the Giants are on their bye in Week 11, so you'll have to stash Harris for two weeks if you want him.

Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (0.1 percent owned)

Inman had a bit of a rough outing in Week 9, only catching three of his five targets for 28 yards while also losing a costly fumble. However, with Malcom Floyd now battling through an injury, there should be targets available for Inman to try and redeem himself on in Week 11. He'll get to face the soft Chiefs secondary as well, which makes him an interesting deep league flier as a WR3 or flex.

Other names to consider: Ted Ginn (CAR), Rueben Randle (NYG), Marquess Wilson (CHI), Jared Abbrederis (GB), Devin Funchess (CAR)

Tight ends


Fantasy Perfect Challenge

Jacob Tamme, Atlanta Falcons (4.4 percent owned)

Tamme was on his bye last week, but has seen double digit targets in three of his last five games, never receiving fewer than five looks in any game in that span either. To put that into perspective, the only other tight ends to see double digit targets in at least three games are Martellus Bennett (three) and Greg Olsen (four). Tamme will face the Colts in Week 11 and be a fringe TE1 until we see a secondary pass-catcher for the Falcons step up and fill the void opposite Julio Jones.

Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (0 percent owned)

The Bears made a change coming out of their Week 7 bye to include more two tight end sets in their offense, with Miller being the primary beneficiary. In the first six weeks of the season he was only on the field for 33 percent of the snaps, where as he's played just shy of 50 percent the last three weeks, with a season-high 80 percent in Week 10. Miller has scored three touchdowns in the last two weeks, catching all seven of his targets in that span as well. He's still clearly behind Martellus Bennett in snaps and targets, but with no second option at wide receiver emerging behind Alshon Jeffery, the team could be looking to Miller for a spark. Keep in mind, though, that 47 percent of his fantasy points this season (31) came on his 87-yard touchdown this week. So there is still likely a lot of volatility with his procuction moving forward. With that being said, teams in deeper leagues could think about streaming Miller down the stretch, though he has a tough matchup in Week 11 against the Broncos.

Clive Walford, Oakland Raiders (0.3 percent owned)

Rather quietly, Walford has jumped Mychal Rivera as the Raiders top tight end. He's now caught a touchdown in three of his last four games, though he's barely had the receptions or yardage to sustain fantasy relevance outside of the scores. He's had seven receptions for 72 yards and three touchdowns in his last four games. He's a name to look for off waivers though, as his role could be growing. And if not, he's a decent streaming option in Week 11 as the Raiders face the Lions, who have given up a touchdown to the tight end position in each of their last three games.

Maxx Williams, Baltimore Ravens (0.6 percent owned)

Williams' rookie year has been up-and-down, as he's battled injuries and the likes of Crockett Gillmore and Nick Boyle for playing time. On the season, he's only seen about a third of the offensive snaps. However, after healing up over the bye, Williams found a bit of a groove in Week 10 against the Jaguars, catching all four of his targets, for 40 yards and a touchdown. We still like Gillmore as the tight end to own in Baltimore, but Williams could have some upside as the season progresses. He's worth an add in deeper leagues.


-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy football writer and editor for NFL.com, and the producer of the NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast. He watched the series premiere of "Into the Badlands" Sunday night on AMC, and thought it was interesting. He'll stick around for awhile, if only for the crazy martial arts action sequences. Talk to him about TV/movies or ask him for fantasy advice on Twitter @AlexGelhar.

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