The Waiver Wire: Week 13
This is it, the final week of the regular season for almost all of you as week 13 marks the end of the regular season. Win and you’re in the fantasy playoffs is something a lot of you will be saying all week long. Unfortunately week 12 didn’t do you any favors as the injury bug hit hard knocking out one of the best RBs in the game with a multi-week injury, we lost a rock solid QB, TE & WR for the season, and Leonard Fournette has been suspended for week 13 because of the punch he threw in Jacksonville’s loss to Buffalo last week. The same punch that got him ejected and kept him from scoring even more fantasy points for you which may or may not have cost you a win last week.
On top of all of that, we have reached the end of the Blake Bortles era in Jacksonville as he has been benched for the remainder of the year. Marlon Mack may also miss week 13 as he suffered a concussion in week 12 and is in the NFL’s concussion protocol. With so much on the line this week for all of you this week’s waiver wire is one of the most important of the season. I don’t take the fact that your season has come down to just one game lightly. I have put together a list of players that I think can help fill the gaps lost by those players who are injured or suspended and help get you into the playoffs! Before we jump into who those players are let’s first take a look at the key injuries that occurred in week 12:
- Melvin Gordon: Grade 2 MCL sprain. Recovery time is between 2 to 4 weeks.
- Jack Doyle: Heading to the IR with a kidney injury
- Marvin Jones Jr.: Heading to the IR with a knee injury
- Andy Dalton: Heading to the IR with a thumb injury
- Marlon Mack: In concussion protocol after suffering a concussion in the Colts week 12 win vs Miami
Now onto the top Waiver Wire pickups for week 13!
As a disclaimer, all players must be owned by less than 60% of ESPN or Yahoo leagues. Ownership percentages are in parenthesizes. Below I have ranked the top 3 adds at each position with a bonus player or two sprinkled in throughout.
Jameis Winston (ESPN 54% / Yahoo 47%)
The carousel that is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting QB continues to go round in circles. At least for this week, Jameis Winston will once again be behind center. Winston gets yet another juicy matchup at home as he gets to take on the 22nd ranked passing defense of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are giving up 260.0 yds/g and the last time these teams met Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 243 yards and 4 TDs. Look for Winston to once again be in the QB1 conversation this week!
Lamar Jackson (ESPN 49% / Yahoo 42%)
Konami as he is being called on fantasy Twitter, Jackson is the ultimate cheat code. In only 9 offensive possessions Jackson was able to rack up 178 yds passing and 1 TD. He also was able to add 71 yds and a TD on the ground. He is currently a QB1 with only MNF to go. Jackson is producing the 2nd most fantasy pts/drive (2.54) only behind Pat Mahomes (2.65) in a very small sample size. Jackson’s upside is unmatched on this list and his running ability gives him a safe floor. If he starts the rest of the season Jackson has league winning potential.
Baker Mayfield (ESPN 42% / Yahoo 55%)
Talk about league winning potential under the new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, Baker Mayfield has been on fire. Since the coaching change prior to week 9, Mayfield has thrown for 771 yds, 9 TDs, to only 1 Int. Baker has now put together back to back QB1 outings and still has both Carolina (wk 14) & Cincinnati (wk 16) at home.
Josh Adams (ESPN 66% / Yahoo 55%)
Coach speak is usually filled with a bunch of hot air and lies but in the case of what Doug Pederson said about Josh Adams becoming their number 1 RB and wanting to get him more touches I believe him. First, his snap share has gone up week over week since week 10 reaching 62% this past week and secondly, his 22 attempts were the 4th most of all RBs this week. Adams is our top waiver wire grab of the week and someone you should be unloading the FAAB clip on.
Justin Jackson (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%)
Melvin Gordon’s MCL sprain could sideline the All-Pro RB for anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks and most likely Austin Ekeler is already on one of your league mates roster. After Gordon left the game it was Jackson, not Ekeler who led the Chargers in RB carries the rest of the way. Ekeler was more utilized in the passing game and will be asked to handle more of the RB carries until Gordon returns but don’t count Jackson out from being a solid fantasy contributor as well.
Carlos Hyde (ESPN 38% / Yahoo 37%) Standard & T.J. Yeldon (ESPN 59% / Yahoo 60%) PPR
Leonard Fournette has been suspended 1 game for the punch he threw in Buffalo that got him kicked out of that game. Because of the suspension to Fournette, it opens up a 1 game opportunity for both Hyde & Yeldon to help catapult you into the playoffs! Hyde should see the early down work and get anywhere between 12 & 15 touches where Yeldon will be utilized heavily in the passing game and as a change of pace back. Hyde is the clear-cut choice in standard leagues where Yeldon presents better PPR value.
BONUS: Nyheim Hines (ESPN 29% / Yahoo 22%)
Marlon Mack missed most of the 4th qtr in the Colts come from behind victory due to a concussion. If Mack is unable to go this week, Nyheim Hines will once again be asked to fill the #1 role just like he did earlier in the season. Over the 3 games that Mack missed, Hines touched the ball 50 times, racked up 2 TDs and was an RB1 back in week 4 & an RB2 in week 5. All Mack owners if they haven’t done so already need to pick up Hines as insurance for the playoffs.
Josh Reynolds (ESPN 33% / Yahoo 51%)
WR has been the deepest position in all of fantasy this year with so many season long and now playoff contributors coming from the waiver wire/FA pool. This week the RBs get the torch as WR is very top heavy. Reynolds is the clear cut head and shoulders top choice at the WR position. Now the LA Rams third WR option, Reynolds will be coming back refreshed after dropping 8/6/80/1 in a win vs the Chiefs. Reynolds was a big toe away from making it 2TDs in that game. Go attach yourself to a WR that is playing on a Rams team that has scored the 3rd most points this year (389)!
John Ross (ESPN 18% / Yahoo 10%)
Dalton is out at QB in Cincy but that also means AJ Green may not be rushing back to the field as quickly either. Green was slated to play this week but now with Dalton out for the remainder of the season, there is no need to rush back if you are Green. If that is the case Ross will benefit from Greens absence. In the three games, AJ has missed Ross has seen snap shares of 84%, 93%, and 92% and over that same span, he has 20 targets & 3 TDs. Ross still has elite top speed making him dangerous regardless with who’s behind center.
Trey Quinn (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%)
The whole world now knows who Trey Quinn is after his Scarn Dance touchdown celebration on Thanksgiving. With Jamison Crowder still banged up and Paul Richardson done for the season guys like Quinn and Doctson are seeing 70%+ & 90%+ snap shares respectively. Quinn is a nice add in deeper leagues at least until Crowder can return. Doctson could have more lasting power as he plays on the outside more. McCoy showed he could carry an offense vs a very good Cowboys defense so I would let Smith’s injury scare you away from either Quinn or Doctson.
BONUS: Dante Pettis (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%)
A deep league flyer Pettis was my co-host of the Trophy Time Podcast (Follow us @trophytimepod) & our DFS expert Doug’s break out star of 2018. Injuries to Jimmy GQ derailed that from happening but with both Garcon & Goodwin missing time, Pettis was finally able to shine in SF even with Mullens behind center. With the 49ers only fighting for a better draft pick, coach Shanahan may look to see more from the rookies on the depth chart to see what he has as they head in 2019. Pettis could be an interesting deep FA flyer as the playoffs approach.
Chris Herndon (ESPN 10% / Yahoo 8%)
Herndon is the top TE to target this week as his volume in a bad Jets offense has been extremely consistent. Herndon is seeing between 4 to 8 touches per game and has delivered 3 Tds over Jets last 6 games. Over the past 4 weeks, Herndon has scored the 14th most fantasy pts at the TE position (37.9) and his receptions (15) & yardage (169) have him as your TE10. Herndon is a solid TE fill in but his ceiling like most TEs is capped because of the bad Jets offense he plays in.
Jonnu Smith (ESPN 5% / Yahoo 20%)
Jonnu showed off his 4.62 40 yards dash time on his 61-yard touchdown catch on Monday Night. Smith presents unbelievable upside because the number 1 TE job is his to lose and because on his athletic profile which allows him to win in space. Smith’s targets volume is a major red flag as he is averaging just under 4 targets per game over the past 4.
Gerald Everett (ESPN 6% / Yahoo 11%)
Attach yourself to high scoring offenses! It’s that simple! Everett like Herndon and Smith before him has low weekly target volume (4 per game) which makes him volatile start each week. Everett does have 3 TDs over the Rams past 3 games and could see his role increase after the bye week. With no Cooper Kupp the rest of the way the Rams will be looking to lean on Reynolds and possibly even Everett to help pick up the production slack.
BONUS: Mo Alie-Cox (ESPN 0% / Yahoo 0%)
The injury to Jack Doyle is a major blow to fantasy owners all across the world and it thins out an already razor-thin TE position. Next man up in the rotation is going to be Mo Alie-Cox the undrafted rookie out of VCU. Cox missed the Colts week 12 game against the Dolphins with a calf strain so monitor his health as Erik Swoope may see TE2 duty if MAC can’t go again this week. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, Cox is a converted basketball player.
Double Bonus: Matt LaCosse (ESPN 0% / Yahoo 0%)
With the news that the Broncos will be placing TE Jeff Heuerman on IR, Matt LaCosse becomes Waiver Wire viable. The Broncos offense leans heavily on the TE as Heuerman has seen 25 tgts over the past 4 weeks. LaCosse will get the first crack at the starting job but keep an eye out for Brian Parker an undrafted FA like LaCosse from Albany who has a 126.9 88th percentile burst score, 11.43 70th percentile agility score, and a 121.8 87th percentile SPARQ-x score.
That will do it for the top players to target for Week 13! Don’t forget to get those waiver claims in and thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. You can find me on Twitter @Trotta23. If you need EVEN more fantasy advice, you can follow The Gurus @TFFGurus & you can find all our season-long advice at tffgurus.com. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition of The Waiver Wire. Until then may the health gods forever be in your favor.