The stretch run of the season is well underway and it’s now or never for fantasy owners on the cusp of either making or missing the playoffs to make their move.
A bye week for the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams may leave some owners flat without a key player or two, but there are still some very viable waiver-wire options to help fill the void.
On top of that, injuries to several key players around the league make it a must to search through available players in the hopes of finding that gem that will save your week or season.
Let’s take a look at some candidates who make for great waiver-wire options in Week 11 and beyond.
Fantasy point totals and point rankings are based on ESPN standard scoring leagues.
Case Keenum, QB, Houston Texans
Tony Romo owners may want to take note of Case Keenum, who could prove to be a solid replacement for the Cowboys quarterback on his bye week, or for the injured Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.
Aside from those two, Keenum could be a replacement altogether for owners frustrated by underperforming quarterbacks. Keenum has a short history in the NFL, as he’s a first-year signal-caller, but his limited resume is an impressive one to say the least.
In three games, the Texans QB has thrown for 822 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions against three tough defenses in the Kansas City Chiefs (No. 6 pass defense), Indianapolis Colts (No. 9 in points allowed per game) and Arizona Cardinals (No. 12 in points allowed per game).
In the process of throwing three touchdowns in each of his last two games, Keenum has notched 28 and 19.3 points against the Colts and Cardinals, respectively.
A Week 11 matchup with the Oakland Raiders and their No. 22-ranked pass defense is a favorable one and it was this same Raiders team that allowed Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles to throw for a record-tying seven touchdowns in Week 9.
Rob Housler, TE, Arizona Cardinals
In his third season, tight end Rob Housler is finally starting to break through as a viable passing option in the Cardinals offense and his last game proved that.
Not only did Housler notch his first career touchdown reception in Week 10, but he also enjoyed a season-high mark in yards with 57.
Housler‘s QB, Carson Palmer, took notice of his tight end’s performance as he admitted he’s been trying to get Housler involved all season, per Scott Bordow of AZCentral.com:
Robby really hadn’t gotten going until today. All season long we’ve been trying to get him involved. He made some great plays and catches.
Now that Housler is beginning to turn some heads on his team and make plays, it appears he will be more involved in the Cardinals offense moving forward.
If that isn’t enough assurance for you, consider that Housler is facing the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11, a defense that has allowed the second-most points to opposing tight ends in fantasy.
Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
During the 2013-14 campaign, Jerricho Cotchery has quietly emerged as one of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s favorite end-zone targets. His six touchdown receptions leads the team and is one fewer than the rest of his teammates combined.
In Week 9, Cotchery absolutely exploded with seven catches for 97 yards and three touchdowns that netted him 27.6 points in total. Aside from his performance last week against the Buffalo Bills and a Week 6 game versus the New York Jets, Cotchery has caught three or more passes in each game this season.
This week’s game against the Detroit Lions will allow plenty of chances for Cotchery to have another great week.
Detroit’s defense is allowing the third-most points to wide receivers in fantasy this season and the Lions’ high-powered offense (No. 7 in points per game) may grab a lead early, thus forcing Big Ben and company to abandon the run in favor of airing it out to make up ground quickly.
Regardless of the outcome of the game, Cotchery will no doubt be in the mix and have his chances to make an impact as he does every week. Owners who will be missing out on Dez Bryant of the Cowboys may want to give Cotchery a look this week.