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Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league.
With Melvin Gordon on the shelf Austin
Ekeler will step into a RB2 role over the next few weeks.
Prescott, DAL – He’s been solid since the bye week
and had his best game in 2018 on Thanksgiving against Washington,
throwing for 289-2-0 and adding 18 rushing yards and a score on
the ground. The upcoming schedule has some implied shootouts so
Prescott (40-75 percent owned) could make a solid spot starter
in the right matchup. He’s also scored a rushing TD in five of
his last six games.
Keenum, DEN – He threw for 197-2-0 in Week 12 and draws
the Bengals in Week 13, so he could be worth a look as a QB2 and
possible starter if you’re really desperate. Keenum (10-40 percent
owned) is inefficient and wildly inconsistent, but he could have
a big game or two in him before the season is over.
UPDATE: Keenum is starting to
look more and more like a solid streaming option in Week 13 and
a possible DFS value option in GPPs. Given how awful the Bengals
defense has been, and with Jeff Driskel named the starter and
possibly turning the ball over a few times, I really like Keenum
in daily fantasy at what could be relatively low ownership.
Allen, BUF – Allen (5-15 percent owned) returned after
a shoulder injury and threw for just 160-1-0 in the win over Jacksonville,
but he really impressed with his legs, rushing for 99 yards and
a TD on 13 carries. Maybe the Bills have their franchise QB after
all? The schedule isn’t entirely awful either with @MIA, NYJ,
DET, @NE over the next four games.
Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield had his best game as a pro
in Week 12, torching the beleaguered Bengals defense for 258-4-0
and completing 19 of his 26 passes. We’ve been talking him up
for a few weeks now and noting his upside in the newly explosive
Winston, TB – Winston threw for 312-2-0 on 29-of-38
passing and added 24 rushing yards in Sunday’s win over the 49ers.
He’s about 50-75 percent owned but should be owned in all formats
heading into the Week 13 slate.
UPDATE: Winston has agreed to a settlement in a sexual battery
lawsuit filed by an Arizona Uber driver in September, but he’s
already been punished by the NFL with a three -game suspension
he served at the outset of 2018. He’s a high-end QB2, low-end
QB1 this week facing the Panthers.
McCoy, WAS – McCoy finished with 268-2-3 and 28 rushing
yards in the Thanksgiving Day loss to Dallas. McCoy may have more
upside than Alex Smith but probably a lower floor, since he’s
Jackson, BAL – Jackson rushed for 71 yards and a TD
and threw for 178-1-2 in the win over Oakland. There’s also been
talk of him holding onto the starting job even when Joe Flacco
(hip) is healthy enough to play.
Ekeler, SD – Melvin Gordon is week-to-week with an
MCL sprain and that almost elevates Ekeler – who’s been productive
this season despite limited touches – into RB1 territory for Week
13. He’s coming off a huge game (35 rushing yards, TD on five
carries; 10-68-0 receiving) and is only available in about 15-45
percent of leagues, but makes for a fine RB2 with RB1 upside against
Yeldon, JAC –UPDATE: With Leonard Fournette
suspended one game for his altercation in Week 12, Hyde (30-60
percent owned) takes over as the lead back for the Jags, and Yeldon
(55-85 percent owned) assumes his change of pace/passing game
role. Cody Kessler is the new QB in Jacksonville, so it’s
likely these two RBs get a huge workload against the Colts.
Hines, IND – Marlon Mack exited Week 12 with a concussion,
which means that Wilkins (5-15 percent owned) and Hines will assume
his share of the workload. If Mack sits in Week 13 against the
reeling Jags, look for Wilkins to handle early down work and Hines
(30-60 percent owned) filling in on passing downs.
Gore, MIA – Gore doesn’t provide much comparable value
in PPR leagues, but he’s owned in just 30-60 percent of fantasy
leagues and he’s racked up 595 rushing yards this season in a
timeshare. The problem is that he hasn’t scored a rushing TD this
season – which could change this week against the Bills, who’ve
given up 12 on the year. Gore isn’t very exciting, and he doesn’t
have too many big runs left in the tank, but he’s a serviceable
flex play in Week 13 with a decent floor because of his touch
Thompson, WAS – Thompson is practicing this week and
could play against the Eagles in Week 13, which means he needs
to be on your radar, especially in PPR formats. The veteran scatback
had 26 receptions in his first four games in 2018 before the injuries
started piling up, and now that he’s ready to play he needs to
be owned in more than 50-70 percent of leagues. Adrian Peterson
doesn’t pose much of a threat to his passing game presence, and
Kapri Bibbs isn’t as talented a pass catcher or runner.
Edwards, BAL – Edwards rumbled for 118 rushing yards
on 21 carries in Sunday's 34-17 victory over the Raiders, failing
to reach the end zone – one of the details that keeps him from
being a RB2 moving forward. The other is that he wasn’t targeted
in the passing game. Edwards makes a fine addition in standard
leagues but without TDs and receptions he’ll just be a RB3/flex
play in PPR formats.
Barber, TB – Barber ran for 47 yards and a TD on 18
carries and caught 2-16-0 in the win over San Francisco. He’s
an RB3/flex with upside and is only available in about 15-30 percent
of fantasy leagues.
Riddick, DET – Blount erupted for 88 rushing yards
and two scores, adding 1-15-0 on Thanksgiving. He’s probably going
to see more work if Kerryon Johnson remains out, but the Week
13 matchup against the Rams staunch run defense is a tough one.
Perhaps targeting Riddick (7-48-0, 12 rushing yards) makes more
sense in that matchup, especially in PPR leagues.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Moore, SEA – Moore hit the waiver wire in a few leagues
when Doug Baldwin came back but the second-year WR finished with
4-103-1 on five targets and is available in about 70-80 percent
of fantasy leagues. The Seahawks throw a lot, but the 49ers pass
defense is a joke at the moment, so it’s possible they throw a
bit more in Week 13.
Callaway, CLE – Mayfield spreads the ball around, but
he’s pretty fond of Callaway (5-25 percent owned), who had 4-62-1
on Sunday and now has two TD catches in his last four games. For
a rookie, he’s getting consistent looks and could be a solid dynasty/keeper
stash in format that allow for waiver pickups to be kept as final
Godwin, TB –UPDATE: Godwin (30-70 percent owned)
keeps popping up in waiver wire rankings as a possible addition
– mainly because he’s a monster red zone target (four
TDs in his first five games) with moderate upside and a somewhat
steady floor. After seeing 10 targets in Week 4 and nine in Week
6, he’s fallen off in target volume and has just 17 targets
over his last four weeks. Now that his ankle is healed (an injury
which may have contributed to his drop-off in recent weeks), perhaps
it’s time for a big game, though the matchup with Carolina
Switzer, PIT – The Steelers are looking more and more
to the receivers not named Antonio Brown this season, and Switzer
has made the most of his opportunities lately. He’s got 14-147-0
on 17 targets over his last four games and could be worth a look
in deeper formats as a WR4/flex play.
Williams, LAC –UPDATE: I love me some Mike Williams,
but I can never get him right. He caught all four of his targets
for 25 yards and two TDs in the 45-10 win over the Cardinals on
Sunday, and remains a boom-or-bust, TD-dependent WR3 option moving
Ellison, NYG – With Evan Engram sidelined, Ellison
caught 4-77-0 in Week 12 and could play an even bigger role in
Week 13 against the Bears if Engram remains out.
Moore, CAR – Moore (60-85 percent owned) caught 8-91-0
on nine targets from Cam Newton Sunday and appears to be the No.1
WR in the absence of Devin Funchess (back). He’s a great pickup-and-play
facing the Bucs in Week 13 if he’s somehow still available.
Smith, NO – Smith ended up sitting out Week 12 but
should resume his role as boom-or-bust WR3 when healthy.
Coutee, HOU –UPDATE: After recording 2-14-0, Coutee
suffered another hamstring injury in the third quarter on MNF
and could be forced to miss some time.
Humphries, TB – Humphries had a solid game with 6-54-1
on Sunday as the Bucs dispatched the 49ers. He’s worth a look
in Week 13 in a matchup with Carolina.
Everett – The Rams were on a Week 12 bye but Everett
remains a possible TE2 pickup this week.
Gates, LAC – Philip Rivers completed an incredible
28 of 29 passes Sunday, but just one of them was to Gates (1-18-0).