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Week 12 deep dive fantasy football waiver-wire picks

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Week 11 is wrapping up and chaos continues to roll on. Backfields continue to turn over and the new realities the NFL reveals constantly remind us not to cling to our conceived notions. It's a reminder that pain is always present in the joy that is fantasy football. Now we must look forward to options to assist in beefing up our fake teams to move forward, whether it be long-term replacements or a streamer just to get by.

It's just those sort of symptoms that the Deep Dive is prescribed to help alleviate. NFL Fantasy's editorial overlord Alex Gelhar dutifully attacks the waiver wire to give you the top adds for the coming week in hopes of bolstering your roster. However, in this arena, we'll look at options to help those of you looking to go a little bit further down the rabbit hole, whether you play in a deeper format or are at the mercy of your incredibly sharp league-mates who scour the waiver wire relentlessly. A player can only qualify for the deep dive if they're owned in less than 10 percent of NFL.com leagues. With that, here are 11 players you can consider adding before Week 12 either as deep FLEX plays or simply as bench stashes.

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1

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens


The Texans defense has crumbled under the weight of so many injuries. Houston has allowed an average of 27 fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last four weeks, the most in the NFL. Their nine passing touchdowns given up in that span are tied for second-most. Nothing about Joe Flacco's play this year inspires confidence but drawing a matchup against this Houston defense on a road trip to Baltimore is enticing. He can be a low-upside streamer for Week 12.

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2

Alfred Blue, RB, Texans


Rookie D'Onta Foreman is now out for the season with a torn Achilles. Alfred Blue will assume No. 2 back duties in Houston for the remainder of 2017. The touches are not nearly as valuable with Tom Savage under center, but the volume is still there for Lamar Miller. The starting Texans back got loaded with 26 touches in Week 11. If he misses any games, Blue would inherit that workload and be a possible flex play in fantasy.

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3

Byron Marshall, RB, Redskins


Chris Thompson was placed on IR and will miss the rest of the season. He joins backfield-mate Rob Kelley on the list. Samaje Perine will now step into a workhorse role and Byron Marshall is currently the only other running back on the active roster. Marshall once had 74 catches for the University of Oregon back in the year 2014. He's worth keeping an eye on in case Washington does not bring in another option and the 23-year old Marshall inherits the passing-down back role.

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4

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars


Leonard Fournette came into Week 11 with clouds of his multi-week ankle injury hanging over his head. It didn't seem to hinder his assignments, as he tied a season-high in carries (28) and rumbled for 111 rushing yards. Nevertheless, holding onto the Jaguars backup running backs remains a worthwhile effort.

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5

Charles Sims, RB, Buccaneers


The Buccaneers kept Charles Sims involved for a second straight week with three catches. He's played 22 and 23 snaps over the last two games. Doug Martin is averaging just 1.8 yards per carry during the Buccaneers' last three contests. Sims could carve out a bigger role in addition to his light receiving duties should Martin keep pace with his current struggles.

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6

James Conner, RB, Steelers


Another week, another game of Le'Veon Bell inhaling 20-plus touches. Bell currently leads the NFL in carries with 232, while Jordan Howard is in second-place with 192. Even more aggressive: Le'Veon Bell leads the NFL with 281 touches. Todd Gurley is second with 225. So, Le'Veon Bell has 40 more rush attempts and 56 more total touches than the second-place running backs in each respective category. Just in case the levee breaks for the Steelers back, James Conner should be on fantasy rosters.

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7

Dontrelle Inman, WR, Bears


Dontrelle Inman has 13 targets and nine catches over his first two games of action with the Chicago Bears. He's clearly established as the top wideout on the team, at this point, playing 95 and 84 percent of the snaps the last two weeks. The Bears don't exactly sport the most fertile soil for growing wide receiver production, but deep league PPR players can feel free to add Inman for some production.

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8

Bruce Ellington, WR, Texans


Bruce Ellington mostly delivered on his increased role in Week 11. He went out for 97 percent of Houston's plays and hauled in six of his targets for 63 yards. Ellington has target totals of eight, nine and seven over the last three weeks. Bill O'Brien is currently unsure if Will Fuller will be able to return for Week 12.

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9

Russell Shepard, WR, Panthers


Curtis Samuel handled 12 targets and played 70 percent of the snaps in the two games following Kelvin Benjamin's ouster at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, the rookie suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the second-half of the Panthers win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 10. Carolina comes off their bye with another hole to fill in their passing game. Greg Olsen is set to return soon but the most likely wide receiver to see a bump in volume is veteran Russell Shepard. He should see plenty of high-percentage looks, as he's taken 68 percent of his plays from the slot this season. Shepard and the Panthers get the vulnerable Jets in Week 12.

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10

Josh Gordon, WR, Browns


Josh Gordon is eligible to practice this week with his teammates. Hue Jackson seems quite excited about it. Gordon can return to play in his first NFL game since 2014. He should only be added by deep locked-in playoff teams.

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11

David Njoku , TE, Browns


The Bengals overall pass defense has been strong this season but they've started to spring leaks in the middle of the field lately. Cincinnati allowed an NFL-high 27 catches to the tight ends over the last four weeks. David Njoku saw his playing time go down this past week after seeing his snap share trend up the three weeks prior (38.4, 40.7 and a season-high 56.8 percent in Week 10). Njoku looked to be developing a solid role for fantasy value headed into Week 11 with four targets inside the 10-yard line before his game against the Jaguars. If Njoku can get back to that usage, he'll at least be a solid bet for a touchdown.

Matt Harmon is a writer/editor for NFL.com, and the creator of #ReceptionPerception, who you can follow on Twitter @MattHarmon_BYB or like on Facebook.

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