Last-minute pickups for Week 11: Kirk Cousins, Taysom Hill and more

    Jim McCormick is a fantasy football and fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.

The roster percentages for this column are updated every Friday morning, and any players from Thursday’s Cardinals-Seahawks game have been taken out.

Each week of the NFL season, we will identify fantasy football waiver-wire pickups specifically for those of you looking for streaming options in deeper formats (including IDP leagues). These are players available in a majority of ESPN Fantasy leagues (or close) who have enticing matchups in the week ahead that make them worthy of consideration for your lineup.

While you might notice some overlap with Field Yates’ pickup column that publishes on Mondays, an important distinction is that the options mentioned in this column are focused solely on this week’s matchup and not the players’ values for the remainder of the season.

Do you need replacement options for injured players or those on a bye week? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? A roundtable of fantasy analysts will join me to identify some choice names to consider each week.

Here are some of our favorites for Week 11:

Quarterback

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (17.1% rostered; vs. Cowboys)

Cousins is capable of producing some strong multiscore outings when the settings are favorable, so he is poised for a big fantasy line this week hosting a Dallas defense allowing 19.9 fantasy points per game to passers. With the Cowboys allowing the seventh-most yards per catch to opponents and the Vikings boasting an elite tandem of receivers, it’s a good week to ride with Cousins. -Jim McCormick

Running Back

Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins (40.1% rostered; at Broncos)

We saw Myles Gaskin rise from former gadget player to full-time feature back for the Fins, so we should trust Ahmed’s recent bid as the team’s main backfield playmaker as legitimate. The Broncos just got rolled on by the Raiders’ ground game, suggesting Ahmed could shine as a strong streaming option in Colorado this weekend.-J.M.

Damien Harris, New England Patriots (55.8% rostered; at Texans)

Harris’ limited skill set makes him a threat to be scripted out of some games, but with New England a 2.5-point road favorite, I’m all-in on him in this spot. The Texans are coughing up a league-high 167.4 rushing yards per game this season, so the fact that Harris is gaining yardage on nearly 89% of carries during the past month (putting him in the Dalvin Cook neighborhood) is reason enough for me to label him as a top-20 play at the position for Week 11.-Kyle Soppe, ESPN Fantasy researcher

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (67.8% rostered; vs. Packers)

Sure there is a risk that Hines’ usage in the up-and-down Colts backfield wanes in Week 11, but I think the upside pays off. He faces the horrid Packers rush defense (second-most fantasy points allowed to RBs), and the Colts likely will have to throw the ball to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and crew, and Hines has shined lately as a receiving back. There is a lot to like about Hines this week.-Tom Carpenter, ESPN Fantasy editor and analyst

Wide Receiver

KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos (5.1% rostered; vs. Dolphins)

Streaming is dating — you latch onto whatever positives you can and hope a relationship buds. Is the matchup against the surging Dolphins perfect? No, but Hamler has carved out a nice little role that could pay dividends against a top-five defense in terms of both blitz and pressure rate. During the first eight weeks of the season, Jerry Jeudy saw 45.6% of slot targets in Denver, but over the past two weeks, that duty has been Hamler’s, as he’s been responsible for 57.6% of slot targets. The game script should work in his favor this week and if quick-hitting passes are the plan to beat the aggressive Dolphins, Hamler could impress. -K.S.

Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs (31.5% rostered; at Raiders)

Before bowing out of Week 5’s loss to the Raiders with a hamstring injury that has lingered for several weeks, Watkins had scored for the second time this season. In fact, Watkins has earned at least seven targets in three of five appearances this season and could return to action this week given recent practice trends. The Raiders have allowed roughly 14 yards per catch to wideouts, setting up Watkins with a promising ceiling. -J.M.

Tight End

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (26.7% rostered; vs. Falcons)

Following the news that Hill will start at QB on Sunday, and the fact he cannot lose his TE eligibility until after this week, this is a no-brainer. Even if he doesn’t take all of the snaps under center, why not? We live in a world where Jonnu Smith is still TE5 on a per-game basis despite not catching more than two passes in a game in more than a month. With Drew Brees (ribs) banged up, Sean Payton will start Hill, but could still get creative with him (5.5 yards per carry, 12.3 yards per catch) if Payton turns to Jameis Winston at any point. Hill could turn out to be quite the bonus at a position that is as ugly as it’s been in years. -K.S.

Defense/Special Teams (D/ST)

Los Angeles Chargers (57.1% rostered; vs. Jets)

The leading D/ST this season (Indianapolis) is averaging 11.6 fantasy points in ESPN standard scoring, while defensive opponents of the Jets have averaged 11.1 fantasy points on the season. The Chargers’ deep and talented defense has been hit hard by injuries, but the likely return of Joey Bosa combined with this choice matchup earns this group real streaming value for Week 11. -J.M.

Individual Defensive Players (IDP)

Defensive Line

Romeo Okwara, Detroit Lions (6.4% rostered; at Panthers)

Earning an endorsement for a second straight week, Okwara is averaging the same amount of fantasy points as J.J. Watt and yet is widely available in fantasy leagues. With the Panthers allowing the 12th-highest pressure rate to opposing defenses this season, Okwara is in a good spot to deliver another strong fantasy line. -J.M.

Linebacker

T.J. Edwards, Philadelphia Eagles (6.0% rostered; at Browns)

The Birds haven’t devoted much draft or financial capital to the linebacker position for some time, which makes the emergence of Edwards significant. The young ‘backer has produced 25 tackles across his past two games and should be on the field plenty against the run-heavy Browns. -J.M.

Defensive Back

Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans (9.3% rostered; at Ravens)

This playmaking safety has at least six tackles in five straight outings and has produced 24 tackles during the past three games. With Baltimore’s four-headed rushing attack up next, Byard could prove busy in the box. -J.M.

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