The Waiver Wire – Week 13

Here we go the final week of the regular season for the majority of the fantasy football leagues around the world (Don’t worry all those who’s league ends in week 14 I got you next week!).  This is it for so many of our readers, you win and you’re in, you lose and the offseason begins early. It’s as simple as that and with some key players out on a bye this week and a few injured, it is vital you use the waiver wire to help fill in those gaps, especially if you don’t like the options you have on your bench. Last week we saw the entire slate of NFL teams on display and boy was it nice and we escaped fairly injury free but there were some big names who went down in week 12. Gronk hurt his back and didn’t return Sunday vs the NY Jets and he may be sitting out this week to rest up before back to back big primetime games against Baltimore and Denver. Derek Carr jammed two fingers on his throwing hand but was able to finish the game and says he is fine. Also, Allen Hurns and John Brown both left with hamstring injuries no report on the seriousness of them. Like always monitor these players status throughout the week to see if they will play.

Week 13 marks the end of bye weeks and are last two teams to take a break are the Cleveland Browns and the Tennessee Titans. With the playoffs a week or two away for those lucky enough to make it in, you have your starting lineup ready to go for a championship run so look to the waiver wire to help strengthen a position of need or take a much-needed player away from your opponent.

Like always I will give 3 choices at each position (plus bonus’s from time to time). This is ranked in order of who I would target first to third. At the end of the day you control your waiver rankings, so go get the guy you want! Without further hesitation let’s dive right into this weeks The Waiver Wire.

Quarterback: 

  1. Colin Kaepernick (ESPN 23% / Yahoo 24%) – Kap has been on fire over the past 4 weeks posting 19+ performances over the time and one 30 point performance last week against the Buffalo Bills. No one is going to deny that the 49ers are a bad team but somehow Kap has still produced back to back multiple touchdown games and watch out he begins to use his legs again. Last week he added 113 yards on the ground on 10 carries. Kaepernick is a great play this week against a very beatable Bears defense even at home. Mariota just posted 226 and 2 touchdowns against them this past Sunday.
  2. Ryan Fitzpatrick (ESPN 9% / Yahoo 16%) – Fitzy didn’t disappoint against his arch nemesis the New England Patriots on Sunday posting a nice plug and play fantasy day with a stat line of 262 and 2 touchdowns. The most surprising stat of the day was ZERO turnovers! Fitzpatrick still leads the league in interceptions but he and the coaching staff might be able to build off the playcalling they showcased during the New England Game and use that momentum on Monday night against a very beatable Colts secondary. It’s hard to trust Fitzpatrick in a must win situation but the game is in primetime, at home, and the Colts are giving up just under 280 yards per game through the air.
  3. Matt Barkley (ESPN  1% / Yahoo 1%) – When you talk about the biggest surprises of week 12 you can’t begin without mentioning Matt Barkley’s name. The kid balled out Sunday vs a playoff contending defense in the Tennesse Titans posting a 300-yard game and 3 touchdowns! He could have had 4 if his receiver didn’t drop a game-winning touchdown late in the 4th qtr. San Francisco is coming to town and will bring a secondary that has given up 26 passing touchdowns on the season, ranked 2nd only behind the Cleveland Browns.

Running Back: 

  1. Kenneth Dixon (ESPN 25% / Yahoo 29%) – The RB position is getting light and starting running backs coming off the waiver wire are almost impossible to find this time of the year. Dixon out-touched West for the first time this and has an opportunity against a beatable Miami rush defense to produce for you in Week 13. Dixon is not a long term solution but this late in the year the potential volume he may see this week is too good to not take a shot on.
  2. Tim Hightower (ESPN 66% / Yahoo 57%) – Run to your computer, pull up your league and check and see if Tim Hightower is available. If you play in a Yahoo league you have a significantly better chance of getting him then an ESPN one (ESPN owners are smart!). Hightower by far is playing on the best offense on this list and has another home matchup this week which means you play all your SAINTS! Hightower is in a true RBBC so his overall value is less than say a starter but the position his offense puts him in and ease of yardage or touchdowns during his limited usage is second to none this late in the year. Tim Hightower is going to help get you into the playoffs and win a playoff game or two.
  3. Charles Sims (ESPN 9% / Yahoo 10%) – Long term play alert! Sims isn’t eligible to return until week 14 so he is not going to help you get into the playoffs but he will add tremendous depth to your lineup once you are in. His playoff schedule NO, Dal, NO is enough to jump and down over. Sims is a must own in all PPR leagues because he provides tremendous value. Also, Sims is only one injury away from Martin which can totally happen to be the Bucs starting RB.

Wide Receiver: 

  1. Tyreek Hill (ESPN 27% / Yahoo 37%) – If you listen to our podcast (Trophy Time presented by TFFGurs.com..Click here to listen!) then you already know we have been talking about Tyreek Hill since week 8 when he burst onto the scene against the Colts. Hill is explosive and provides the Chiefs a much-needed playmaker that can catch a slant and take it to the house. Hill is by far my #1 target this week and I believe regardless of Maclin’s health down the stretch he will continue to be a vital part of the offense. It also doesn’t hurt that he gets to face the Falcons this week either.
  2. Taylor Gabriel (ESPN 6% / Yahoo 6%) –  Small shifty slot style receivers are all the rage and Gabriel like Hill fits perfectly in his offensive system. Gabriel is being asked to do less than Hill but playing in an offense that has Julio Jones allows Gabriel the space he needs to make big plays and produce on limited volume. One of two things are going to happen, defenses are going to put less attention on Julio Jones to try and stop Gabriel or Gabriel is going to continue to see one on one coverage and will continue to produce at the same rate that has propelled him into the national spotlight. Gabriel is averaging 50+ yards a game over his last 4 and has 4 touchdowns over that same span. KC has allowed 20 passing touchdowns and is giving up about 261 yards per game through the air. Gabriel is a flex option this week.
  3. Malcolm Mitchell (ESPN 3% / Yahoo 3%) – Hello Mr. Mitchell! Malcolm has burst onto the fantasy scene late in the season posting back to back double digit games and scoring 3 touchdowns over that same period. In week 11 some in the fantasy community saw a productive game coming from the Rookie with Hogan being sidelined and given the opponent but last week with Hogan active I don’t think many thought Mitchell would produce in the way he did. He was a total mismatch for the Jets second or third corner and even beat Revis on the game-winning touchdown for the Pats. Mitchell’s lack of snap volume is a bit of concern but he is a nice option to have coming off the bench when Hogan or another piece of the offense is down. Gronk might miss this weekend’s game against the Rams at home and it could mean a larger role for Malcolm Mitchell. A good stash option indeed as we head the playoffs.

BONUS:

  1. Marquess Wilson (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%) – Another out of nowhere performance of the weekend, Marquess Wilson was Matt Barkley’s favorite target and if you think about it makes complete sense. Wilson is 3rd on the depth chart and he and Barkley probably saw the most snaps together all off-season and in practices all season. Wilson was a one man wrecking crew posting 8/125/1 on 11 targets against the Titans. Up next is San Fran and we already know how bad they can be on defense.
  2. Dontrelle Inman (ESPN 7% / Yahoo 5%) – Inman has seen 6 or more targets in all of his past 5 games and has 40 or more yards over that same period. Last week Inman finally got into the end zone and went over the 100-yard mark in the process. Tampa Bay played well against the Seahawks but I expect a big letdown from a team who put everything they had into that game. I like the Chargers wide receivers this week and Inman is a nice flex play.

Tight End

  1. Cameron Brate (ESPN 44% / Yahoo 57%) – Brate could have had a big game against the Seahawks if it wasn’t for a holding call that wiped a touchdown grab off the scoreboard. Brate is seeing decent volume at the TE position and he is a threat to score each week. I like his chances to break his two-game touchdown drought against the Chargers.
  2. Lance Kendricks (ESPN 13% / Yahoo 15%) – Kendricks has seen back to back 7 target games and posted 51 and a touchdown Sunday vs the Saints. Tight Ends are every rookie quarterbacks best friend and Goff is looking to Kendricks early and often since being named the starter. New England has been vulnerable against TE’s this year and I like Kendricks chances of seeing 7 targets once again the question will be will he find the end zone. He should give you a respectable outing on yardage alone.
  3. Vance McDonald (ESPN 7% / Yahoo 10%) – I love me some McDonald’s and since Kap has taken over the quarterback play in San Fran, Vance has seen 6 or more targets in 5 straight games and has 2 touchdowns over his last 4 games. I like the creative ways they are using him in the passing game and believe he has a great shot of finding the end zone this week and should top 50 yards as well.

Defense

  1. Dallas Cowboys (ESPN 37% / Yahoo 48%) – This will not be a normal Thursday Night game where both teams have a short week to prepare and their bodies hurt. No, this week both teams played on Thanksgiving day and have a normal schedule to prepare for each other. It’s a road game for the Cowboys but I like their chances to create a few TO’s on Sam “Merlin” Bradford.
  2. Baltimore Ravens (ESPN 68% / Yahoo 56%) – The Ravens defense is playing at an elite level and is currently ranked 2nd in total defense in the NFL. You combine that with their ability to take the ball away (Tied for 6th w/ 19) and you have yourself a great fantasy streaming option this week. Yes, Miami has played better of late but Baltimore is going to force Ryan Tannehill to beat him and I don’t think he can get out of this game without a turnover.
  3. Green Bay Packers (ESPN 39% / Yahoo 28%) – Green Bay looked much better last night and posted a respectable defense score (10) on the road against a pretty good opponent. This week they get to eat some home cooking and they welcome the turnover prone Brock Osweiler to Lambeau field. If there was ever a week to stream the Packers defense it is this one. Getting healthier and needing to win to stay alive in the playoff picture means they can’t take a game off.

Kicker: 

  1. Brandon McManus (ESPN 34% / Yahoo 31%) – He is playing Jacksonville enough said!
  2. Matt Prater (ESPN 70% / Yahoo 38%) – Face New Orleans in the dome on the fast track this one has the makings of a shootout. Kickers indoors are money in the bank.
  3. Chris Boswell (ESPN 16% / Yahoo 71%) – I told you to pick up Boswell last week and he was a big disappointment but this is his week! This has the makings to be the game of the week and that could mean a high scoring game. I like Boswell to bounce back big this week.

Well there you have it,  The Waiver Wire for this week is in the books. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition! Remember to send us your lineup questions on Twitter @TFFGurus, @DaFantasyFather, and @TheFantasyBoys. Or if you want to go old school shoot us an email at insider@tffgurus.com or check out our Facebook page called The Fantasy Football Gurus.  We’re here to help you, and if you need more Guru help, be sure to listen to our weekly podcasts by checking out Trophy Time on Google Play, Stitcher Radio, and iTunes.

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