Here’s to those of you still needing the Fantasy Football waiver wire. Hopefully, you’re still in the hunt with one or two weeks left before the playoffs. Also hopefully, it would be good if you only need one or two of the Week 12 waiver wire pickups. On that note, make sure you are loaded up with your handcuffs, high-upside fliers and a backup quarterback plan. You don’t want to be left grasping at straws if your main running back or starting quarterback goes down with a late-season injury.
As a reminder, these waiver wire players aim for the 50 percent or less ownership on average across the major sites and have Yahoo! ownership listed. They’re also good for DFS too, as they will often have a lower cost and present values.
Week 13 Waiver Wire Pickups QBs (Streaming Quarterbacks)
Colin Kaepernick, SF (24%) – You can’t see it, but I’m throwing my hands up in the air in exasperation. Just 24 percent owned? What more does Kaepernick have to do at this point? Honestly, there is nothing left, as Kaepernick was already a 15-point floor/25-point ceiling quarterback, but then he one-upped himself and put up 34.1 points in Week 12. Kaepernick actually has the 17th most rushing yards since taking over at quarterback, or more than Todd Gurley, Frank Gore, Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray and more.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ (16%) – Fitzpatrick has plenty of picks this year, but he still has 14-plus points in five games. That’s not overly exciting, but with 16.9 against the Patriots, Fitz showed he can still produce, and the Jets host the Colts this week. Only the Falcons allow more FPPG to quarterbacks, and the Colts only have three interceptions all year.
Matt Barkley, CHI (1%) – It’s tough to trust Barkley, even after last week, but that game did show the potential he has when asked to pass a good amount. The 49ers have allowed the fourth most FPPG to quarterbacks with the second most passing touchdowns given up this year. Barkley would be one of my last-ditch choices if I’m a Marcus Mariota owner, but he might also be the best option on the waiver wire if Kaepernick and others are owned.
Week 13 Waiver Wire Pickups RBs
Should Have Picked Them Up: Dion Lewis, NE; Tim Hightower, NO; T.J. Yeldon, JAX
Kenneth Dixon, BAL (29%) – If Dixon is at the top, you know it’s going to be a rough running back week. It appears the shift is happening, as Dixon finally out-snapped Terrence West. They had similar numbers in the boxscore, but Dixon looks more explosive, and the facts remains that Dixon has a higher ceiling than West does. If he continues to flash his potential, the workload will continue to grow and have Dixon knocking on the RB2 door in short time.
Wendell Smallwood, PHI (49%) – Honestly, I’d rather chase a handcuff or returning player. Smallwood led the Eagles in rushing, but he only saw nine carries (half the team’s total) for 37 yards. As with Ryan Mathews before, there is simply no consistency or guaranteed usage in Doug Pederson’s offense. Add in the fact that Mathews could return before the end of the season, and it’s not an overly exciting situation.Matt Asiata, MIN (48%) – If I don’t need a running back to start over the next two weeks, I prefer Adrian Peterson at 43 percent owned. Granted, Peterson didn’t look great before his injury, and the Vikings offensive line is awful, but he’s still Adrian Peterson. As for Asiata, he clearly is the red zone running back of choice and seems to have a 50/50 shot of scoring each week.
Charles Sims, TB (10%) – The Buccaneers already declared Sims as their player to return from the I.R., and he is eligible for Week 14. Sims was RB22 in standard and RB16 in PPR last year. There are two factors working in Sims favor for late-season value, as the Buccaneers likely want to ease up Doug Martin’s workload and their schedule is quite good with the Saints in Weeks 14 and 16.
Ameer Abdullah, DET (11%) – Abdullah could return in time for the Fantasy playoffs, and the Lions have a need for a more traditional runner. Dwayne Washington has struggled in his opportunities, and Theo Riddick just isn’t built for the tough carries… or 20-plus touches per game. Abdullah was looking good before his injury, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and nabbing five catches for 57 yards and a score in two games.
Rex Burkhead, CIN (4%) – Jeremy Hill missed some time against the Ravens, and Burkhead saw all of the backup work. It was limited use, but he did average 5.8 yards on his five carries and added two catches for 19 yards against a tough Ravens run defense. If Hill misses time or is less than 100 percent, Burkhead would have deeper value.
Handcuffs that need to be owned: Alfred Morris, Derrick Henry, Jeremy Langford, Andre Ellington, Paul Perkins, DuJuan Harris, Damien Williams, Cameron Artis-Payne, Kapri Bibbs
Week 13 Waiver Wire Pickups WRs
Should Have Picked Them Up: Sammy Watkins, BUF; Kenny Britt, LA; Travis Benjamin, SD; Corey Coleman, CLE; Tyler Boyd, CIN
Marqise Lee, JAX (10%) – Lee isn’t new to this piece, but people need to come around on him. Yes, the Jaguars schedule is as bad as it gets for the playoff run, but Lee has four catches in each of the last four games with touchdowns in the last two and 52.8 Fantasy points in that stretch. Allen Hurns injured his hamstring Sunday, and with Lee already surpassing Hurns in production and now getting the No. 2 receiver snaps, he’s a must-own.
Tyreek Hill, KC (37%) – It’s hard to project or trust Hill’s value once Jeremy Maclin returns, but for as long as Maclin is out, Hill is going to carry a high ceiling with a flex/WR4 level floor. His value is even higher in PPR formats, but the Chiefs offense rarely provides value for more than one receiver. In addition, Hill has been exceptionally productive on a per-touch basis, which already points to regression, even without Maclin’s return.
Marquess Wilson, CHI (1%) – Barkley targeted Wilson more than any other Bears receiver by two, and he clearly has Barkley’s eye and trust. As mentioned in the quarterback section, this week’s matchup is a great one, but Wilson could have value the rest of the way as the Bears’ top option. Cameron Meredith saw nine targets but only caught two due to drops and not being on the same page as Barkley at times. After Week 12, it appears Wilson is the receiver to own in Chicago.
Dorial Green-Beckham, PHI (5%) – This is assuming Jordan Matthews misses time due to his ankle injury. If Matthews were ready for Week 13, DGB would drop below Adam Thielen. On the chance that Matthews is out, DGB would become a WR3 with potential for more. He is still raw in some areas and needs work, but as the Eagles’ top receiver, the upside would be there. Green-Beckham led the team in targets, receptions and yards against the Packers… but just know that not every matchup is going to be this friendly.
Malcolm Mitchell, NE (3%) – Mitchell has terrific stop-and-go ability and I likened it to that of a running back in my draft breakdown. That ability has translated in Mitchell getting himself open for Tom Brady to find him for three touchdowns the last two weeks. If Rob Gronkowski is on the field, it’s a bit tough to trust Mitchell when he’s the fourth option on the Patriots… at best. Nevertheless, Mitchell still has a high ceiling with how much the Patriots pass and is worth a start over many WR4/5 receivers with low upsides.
Taylor Gabriel, ATL (6%) – As with Hill, you can’t count on Gabriel continuing this level of production given his limited touches, and with Gabriel, it’s even a bit worse given his lower snap count. Julio Jones isn’t going to be shut down every week, and when he’s getting his and Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are seeing their typical work, there just isn’t enough left over to make Gabriel reliable. However, few players are doing more with less, so Gabriel is still a good boom/bust play for those needing pure upside.
Adam Thielen, MIN (20%) – Thielen led the Vikings in targets with 11 last week, finishing with 53 yards after putting up 65 and a touchdown the prior week. Stefon Diggs is still questionable to return with a Thursday night game this week, and as long as he’s the top receiver for the team, Thielen will have WR3 value.
Will Fuller, HOU (44%) – Speaking of pure upside, Fuller has plenty with his big-play ability now that he’s close to 100 percent again. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a big game from Fuller, but the Texans face the Packers this week. In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Packers defense is giving up yards and points by the truckload.
Brandon LaFell, CIN (18%) – Both Tyler Boyd and LaFell had nine targets in Week 12, but Boyd was the more productive receiver of the two. On the positive side, LaFell did have two red zone targets, the same amount as Tyler Eifert, so the scoring potential is there. In PPR, there is no question that Boyd is the better option and LaFell is fringe roster worthy. However, with the red zone targets coming (and needed with no A.J. Green) LaFell has some deep-league standard value.
J.J. Nelson, ARI (19%) – I guess we’re doing this again? There is a reason Nelson is last on this week’s list. He flashed for two games earlier this year but failed to do much in his opportunity as the team’s No. 2 option when given the chance. Nevertheless, John Brown injured his hamstring, and Michael Floyd is still less than 100 percent and likely to see plenty of Josh Norman this week. Nelson is a Hail Mary of a play, but there is a chance he could surprise.
Week 13 Waiver Wire Pickups TEs
Cameron Brate, TB (57%) – We’re getting to the point where tight ends won’t make the column each week with nearly every quality option owned. I’m including Brate even though he’s slightly over 50 percent due to his red zone potential and schedule. Brate leads the Buccaneers in red zone receptions and touchdowns and is tied with Mike Evans for red zone targets. As mentioned with Sims, Brate also sees the Saints in Weeks 14 and 16.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU (35%) – Fiedorowicz has at least 8.2 or more points in all but one of his last eight games in PPR formats with five double-digit performances. You can forgive Fiedorowicz for three of his four lower-scoring games, as they were against the Vikings, Broncos and Jaguars on the road… and yes, the Jaguars are actually pretty strong against tight ends with the ninth fewest points allowed. The Texans face the Colts, Jaguars and Bengals to finish out the Fantasy season, which is two top-end matchups in Weeks 14 and 16, similar to Brate.
Vernon Davis, WSH (9%) – This is really as simple as if Jordan Reed misses time due to his shoulder injury. Davis has 129 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 6-7 with Reed out, and then managed 66 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings when DeSean Jackson was sidelined. Davis has the ability to step up when others are out, and while the Cardinals are the toughest defense for tight ends, the position is lacking for reliability, and Davis has been just that when called upon.