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Deep dive: Time to stash Sammy Watkins off waivers

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Each week, I'm tasked with picking the top waiver-wire targets for fantasy. 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.

Every game, all season

However, for those of you in more intense or competitive leagues, this is the column for you. With the fantasy playoffs looming and injuries mounting, the waiver-wire is becoming increasingly thin. Nevertheless, there are some solid Week 11 plays, stash candidates, and players to buy-low below. As a reminder, the following teams have byes: Falcons, Broncos, Jets, Chargers.

Deep waiver targets for Week 11:



Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals - 1.2 percent
Alfred Morris, RB, Dallas Cowboys - 6.9 percent
Kenneth Farrow, RB, San Diego Chargers - 0.0 percent owned
Peyton Barber, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 13.8 percent
Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles - 0.5 percent owned
Kapri Bibbs, RB, Denver Broncos - 2.5 percent owned
Damien Williams, RB, Miami Dolphins - 0.5 percent owned
Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills - 56.1 percent owned
Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs - 11.2 percent owned
Albert Wilson, WR, Kansas City Chiefs - 0.1 percent owned
Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens - 0.6 percent owned
Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings - 2.5 percent owned
Roger Lewis, WR, New York Giants - 0.1 percent owned
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Atlanta Falcons - 0.9 percent owned
Ladarius Green, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers - 16.1 percent owned

Running backs


While the league's top workhorse backs all delivered once again, it remains "handcuff season" in fantasy. That puts the likes of Andre Ellington, Alfred Morris and Kenneth Farrow on the radar as players to stash.

Doug Martin returned to lead the Tampa Bay backs in snaps and touches, but Peyton Barber still saw a fair amount of work. Martin's hamstring injury could flare up at any time, so Barber is worth holding onto. I think my odds of solving a Rubix cube blindfolded with my feet are better than figuring out the Eagles backfield. Nevertheless, Wendell Smallwood's 13 carries and one target (on 19 snaps) merit attention in deeper leagues. If the Eagles attempt to control the clock as they did against Atlanta the rest of the season, Smallwood might have low-end flex appeal and handcuff upside if Ryan Mathews gets hurt.

Kapri Bibbs didn't overtake Devontae Booker in playing time as Gary Kubiak had hinted he might last week. However, Booker didn't exactly make a resounding statement to continue as the unquestioned leader in this backfield, either. He's averaged just 2.9 yards per carry over the last three weeks. Two of Damien Williams' three touches in Week 10 came in the red zone, and both went for touchdowns. That's not reliable to trust in a starting lineup next week, but Williams could be worth a look in case his usage in this space increases even more down the stretch.

Wide receivers


Sammy Watkins isn't eligible to play until Week 12 after spending time on the PUP list, and it's unclear if he'll even be fit at that point after being sidelined with a foot injury since Week 2. Still, Watkins' fantasy ceiling is tremendous, and playoff teams looking for a potential knockout punch could stash the Buffalo speedster just in case he closes out 2016 with a bang.

So far, it's been the combination of Tyreek Hill and Albert Wilson filling in for the injured Jeremy Maclin. They've seen 18 and 15 targets the last two weeks, respectively, and each could be worth a dart throw in the flex this week against Tampa Bay if Maclin misses time again. Breshad Perriman has fallen to a rotational role in the Baltimore passing game with Steve Smith and Mike Wallace healthy, but he's a big-play threat (leads the team in air yards/target at 15.9 heading into Week 10) who could be worth a stash for now until the Ravens hit more pass-heavy game scripts. Next week's tilt with the Cowboys, who slow the game down and control the clock, doesn't figure to feature Perriman prominently.

Adam Thielen has averaged 9.03 PPR fantasy points per game over the last month for the Vikings. Next week's matchup with the Cardinals isn't ideal, but Thielen could be a flex option in leagues of that ilk. As of the publication of this column Roger Lewis has yet to play in Week 10, but if Victor Cruz continues to miss time with an ankle injury, the rookie could see an increased role for the Giants, who run three-wide receiver sets on nearly all of their offensive plays. Taylor Gabriel is heading into his bye after three consecutive 12.8-plus fantasy point outings. His usage is too low (12.7 percent target share, 3 percent rush attempt share) to expect weekly returns, but he's a big-play threat who can offer boom-or-bust flex appeal in the Falcons' high-flying offense.

Tight ends


In his first game of the 2016 season, Ladarius Green played just 11 snaps to Jesse James' 51, though both saw four targets. This is encouraging for Green, as up next on the schedule is a trip to face the Browns -- a team that simply cannot cover tight ends. Cleveland allows more receiving yards (751) to the position than any other team in the league, and has given up three top-two weekly scoring finishes to the position in 10 games.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar

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