Fantasy football Week 12 waiver wire: Darnell Mooney's stock on the rise

Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) catches a 15-yard touchdown pass as New York Giants cornerback Corey Ballentine (25) defends during the first half of an NFL football game. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Week 12 of the NFL season requires fantasy football managers to pay extra close attention to their lineups. There are three Thursday games to feast on for American Thanksgiving as well as a pile of talent taking a seat as the Chiefs and Cardinals are both on byes.

As the push to the playoffs continues, I've got some widely available waiver wire pickup possibilities and top defences to stream. As always, send me your fantasy questions on Twitter @AndyMc81 using #AskAndy.

Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears
Yahoo! Ownership: 53%
Draft Kings salary: $5,700

Bears versus Lions is the first -- and perhaps worst! -- matchup of Thursday's Thanksgiving triple-header. Entertainment quality aside, there is definitely rising fantasy capital in rostering Chicago’s Darnell Mooney.

The sophomore wideout proved Sunday he could produce no matter which inconsistent quarterback was under centre as Andy Dalton took over for an injured Justin Fields. Mooney has delivered double-digit fantasy points in four of his last five games, averaging 18.7 fantasy points in full PPR since Week 8, and has put up back-to-back contests with a touchdown reception. Regardless of whether Allen Robinson (hamstring) plays on the short week, Mooney’s target-share dominance on a Bears squad with few weapons on it is undeniable.

There aren’t many juicier opponents than winless Detroit, so add Mooney, start him, and give yourself a reason to tune into what should be a messy Thanksgiving opener.

Other wide receiver options: Laviska Shenault Jr. (Jaguars, 39 per cent rostered), Elijah Moore (Jets, 57 per cent)

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Texans
Yahoo! Ownership: 6%
Draft Kings salary: $5,300

This Jets-Texans encounter is only slightly more tolerable than the above Lions-Bears showdown. With Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray both out because of byes, Tyrod Taylor lines up as a pretty sweet fill-in option for fantasy managers looking for a one-week solution.

The veteran journeyman shocked the heavily favoured Tennessee Titans with a win on Sunday, and registered just shy of 20 fantasy points in the process. Taylor was his typical uber-conservative self through the air, but protected the ball and ran in a pair of scores. Before getting injured back in mid-September, Taylor dominated a bad Jacksonville secondary by posting over 23.0 fantasy points and finishing as the 10th best QB that week.

Now, he faces another stinker of a defence in the New York Jets, who rank last in total yards allowed per game at an embarrassing mark of 414.2. Taylor is a tremendous DFS contrarian play as well as an under-the-radar streamer in season-long leagues.

Other quarterback options: Joe Flacco (Jets, two per cent rostered), Cam Newton (Panthers, 51 per cent)

Logan Thomas, TE, Washington
Yahoo! Ownership - 52%
Draft Kings salary - N/A

This is a heads up proactive roster move for fantasy managers, as Logan Thomas has been designated to return from injured reserve and is expected to begin practicing in the next couple of days. We all know how thin the tight end position is in fantasy football, so to add a bonafide playmaker to your team at this point in the season could make a big difference.

Before his hamstring issue, Thomas was the seventh-best TE through three games after finishing fourth best at the position in PPR formats overall in 2020. Washington's quarterback situation is obviously not ideal, considering Taylor Heinicke’s rollercoaster performances and unpredictability, but Thomas is a plug-and-play starter regardless. As soon as he is ready to suit up, slot him in confidently. It certainly helps that he gets a slew of below-average defensive opponents down the stretch.

Other tight end options: Pat Freiermuth (Steelers, 52 per cent rostered), Cole Kmet (Bears, 26 per cent)

Top defences to stream for Week 12
● Chicago Bears (at Lions)
● Buffalo Bills (at Saints)
● Philadelphia Eagles (at Giants)
● Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Falcons)

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