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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 13
11/30/15; Updated: 12/1/15 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
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.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ – Perhaps the Dolphins futility helped lead FitzMagic to another solid stat line (277-4-0), but the Jets’ QB should be able to put up similarly excellent number against the Giants in Week 13. He’s available in about half of fantasy leagues and makes a solid roster addition if you just lost Tony Romo or need to shore up the position heading into the playoffs.

Brock Osweiler, DEN – Osweiler grew up quite a bit during the comeback victory over a perennial AFC rival Patriots team that hadn’t lost a game heading into Sunday night. He threw for 270-1-1 but engineered a couple efficient drives in the final minutes, showing off accuracy on long throws and developing some of the rapport that had been missing in previous drives. He’s about 35-50 percent owned and has a favorable schedule the next few weeks as he fills in for Peyton Manning. If he and DeMaryius Thomas started meshing, he’d be a fantasy QB1.

Matt Cassel, DAL – Romo has a hairline fracture in his left clavicle and will miss the rest of 2015, vaulting Cassel back to the top of the depth chart. His next matchup at Washington seems like a favorable one, though it’s hard to imagine him leading this team to a division win given how Washington played against the Giants. Still – he’s a starting QB who’s available via the waiver wire, so he could be worth a pickup in deeper formats and is definitely worth a look as a plug-n-play in two-QB leagues.

UPDATE: Johnny Manziel/Austin Davis, CLE – With the news that Josh McCown is likely dealing with a broken collarbone and is probably out for the rest of the season, the Browns will look to either Austin Davis or the much-maligned Johnny Manziel, who was demoted to third string duties in Week 12 for disciplinary reasons. Davis has less upside than Manziel, but did a good job relieving McCown on Monday night.

QB Updates

Brian Hoyer, HOU – Hoyer was quiet during the second half as the Texans protected a lead against the Saints, but he did throw for 205-2-1 in the win and appears to have the starting job as long as he’s healthy. The next few weeks aren’t favorable matchups (@BUF, NE, @IND) but he could be forced to throw more and fill up the stat sheet with more yardage and passing TDs.

Matt Hasselbeck, IND – The ancient wonder is still undefeated on the year, and the Colts will likely be throwing the next couple weeks as they take on Pittsburgh and Jacksonville in weeks 13 and 14. Hasselbeck (about 25 percent owned) threw for 315-2-0 in Week 12 and has a slew of viable receiving options – making him a borderline QB1 in deeper formats and worth a look in DFS as well.

David Johnson

With Chris Johnson (knee) and Andre Ellington (toe) injured, David Johnson could get the start Wk 13.

Running Backs

C.J. Anderson, DEN – He’s owned in about 80-90 percent of leagues, so it’s a longshot that he’d be available, but Anderson is finally running well and getting important touches. His big day against the Pats (15 carries for 113 yards, 4-40-0 receiving) was capped off with a 48-yard TD run in OT. Osweiler’s presence in the lineup has opened up running lanes because defenses have to respect the QB’s mobility – preventing them from “pinching” the backfield at the snap. In the past two games, the Broncos have averaged 174.5 yards on the ground, and Anderson is looking like a viable RB2 for the stretch run.

David Johnson, ARI – If Chris Johnson (knee) and/or Andre Ellington (toe) are forced to miss Week 13 with their “day-to-day” injuries, then Johnson would likely get additional work or even the bulk of touches – if both are out. When both RBs were forced from action in Week 12, Johnson finished with eight carries for 21 yards and a TD, as well as 2-8-0 on four targets.

UPDATE: David Johnson will likely be the top add this week after news broke that Chris Johnson will be out 6-8 weeks with a broken tibia. Fantasy owners (including me) who dropped the rookie recently will likely be scrambling to pick him back up off the wire. The Cards also added Kerwynn Williams since Ellington has been sidelined with turf toe.

Theo Riddick, DET – Riddick (50-60 percent owned) had a productive Thanksgiving, with 5-62-1 receiving and six yards on two carries. He’s not really a factor as a rusher, but I’ve been lauding his value in PPR leagues for much of the season.

Dan Herron, IND – With Ahmad Bradshaw (wrist) on season-ending IR and Frank Gore (knee) battling his usual array of injuries, the recently reacquired Herron could get more work for the Colts in the coming weeks. He’s almost universally available and is definitely worth an add if you’re weak at RB.

Brandon Bolden, NE – Bolden (10-5 percent owned) had just eight touches on Sunday night but tallied 11 rushing yards on four carries and hauled in all four targets for 4-84-1 in the loss to Denver. With the Pats’ looking for healthy bodies in their passing game, we could see more of him the coming weeks.

Joique Bell, DET – Bell (40-50 percent owned) saw the bulk of his production Thursday with the game mostly out of hand, but is probably worth a pickup for Ameer Abdullah owners. If one were to get hurt, there’d definitely be an increase in value for the other.

RB Updates

Thomas Rawls, SEA – Rawls is most likely gone in all formats at this point with the news emerging that Marshawn Lynch would likely miss multiple weeks or even the remainder of the regular season. He had 21 carries for 81 yards and a TD on Sunday and is a strong RB2/low-end RB1 from here on out.

Spencer Ware, KC – Ware’s 114 rushing yards and TD were solid in the absence of Charcandrick West, who missed Week 12 with a hamstring injury. We anticipate a timeshare going forward with Ware assuming the bulk of duties as the “hot hand” RB.

UPDATE: There’s still no word on West’s progress following his inactive status for Week 12, so it appears Ware might be safe for another RB2 start in Week 13, at least as of this early stage. Ware is likely the better back anyway. Teams soured on him a few years back because of off-field issues.

Ahmad Bradshaw, IND – Bradshaw has been placed on season-ending IR with a wrist injury. He can be dropped in all formats. Dan Herron and Zurlon Tipton will assume his workload.

Javorius Allen, BAL – Update coming Tuesday.

UPDATE: “Buck” Allen rushed 12 times for 55 yards and caught 4-of-5 targets for 29 yards and one touchdown in the Ravens’ Week 12 win over the Browns on Monday night. Terrance West saw some action but Allen is the undisputed lead back in Baltimore.

Tevin Coleman, ATL – Coleman filled in admirably for the injured Devonta Freeman (concussion) in Week 12, rushing for 110 yards on 18 carries but losing a fumble. Freeman is expected back in Week 13.

UPDATE: Coleman may have earned a few more touches going forward, but Freeman has progressed through the protocol and is fully expected to carry the load in Week 13, according to HC Dan Quinn.

James White, NE – White (31) outsnapped both Brandon Bolden (15) and LeGarrette Blount (27) but managed just 1 yard on three carries and 2-5-0 receiving. It’s anyone guess how the Pats game-plan for Week 13, but it’s likely that more White touches will be involved.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Doug Baldwin, SEA – I listed Baldwin (now 70-75 percent owned) a couple of weeks ago and updated him last week, but even I didn’t expect the monster 6-145-3 day he had against the Steelers in what turned out to be an aerial assault in the fourth quarter. Baldwin’s production has been spotty, but he’s clearly capable of big days in this offense.

Markus Wheaton, PIT – Wheaton’s upside depends largely on the availability of Ben Roethlisberger and game flow, as the third-year receiver had a career day with 9-201-1 on 13 targets from Big Ben with Antonio Brown shadowed by Richard Sherman. Wheaton (5-10 percent owned) has long been an underachieving No. 2 WR with big-game potential, but something may have clicked this week.

DeVante Parker, MIA – Parker and the rest of the Dolphins receivers benefitted from garbage time’s soft prevent by the Jets secondary in the final quarter, and Parker went for 4-80-1 on 10 targets. Parker (5-10 percent owned) still has a lot to learn about route running and using his body to make plays, but with the season in the tank, he’ll be getting looks in the final five weeks.

Anquan Boldin, SF – Boldin is available in about 30-40 percent of fantasy leagues and he’s the unquestioned top receiving option for the 49ers. He was targeted 11 times on Sunday and hauled in 8-93-0. He’s a good bet for solid WR3 numbers next week facing the Bears.

UPDATE: Mohamed Sanu, CIN – With Tyler Eifert’s status (neck stinger, no structural damage) up in the air for Week 13, it’s possible Sanu, who has been very quiet lately but offers some upside in the right matchup, gets a few more targets against the Browns. Stay tuned.

TE Julius Thomas, JAC – Thomas is still available in about 20-25 percent of fantasy leagues and had a huge week, hauling in 9-116-1 in the loss to San Diego. He’ll be owned in all formats heading into Sunday, so jump on him now if you can.

TE Scott Chandler, NE – Even if Rob Gronkowski (knee) is okay to play in Week 13 and beyond, adding Chandler makes sense. He saw 11 targets and caught 5-58-1 and Gronk wasn’t hurt until the final drive of regulation. He’ll be a popular add this week and is available in about 95-98 percent of fantasy leagues.

UPDATE: Gronk is “week-to-week” with a bone bruise, which means Belichick will likely reveal pertinent information under penalty of death. You’ll probably have to take a chance on Chandler and decide whether or not to play him in the moments leading up to game time.

WR/TE Updates

Tyler Lockett, SEA – Lockett had 3-38-0 in Sunday’s won over the Steelers. He’s a high-risk WR4/5.

Terrance Williams, DAL – Williams is likely done as a fantasy option this season with the Romo injury. He’s safe to drop despite a hint of big-play upside.

Devin Funchess, CAR – Funchess had just 2-19-0 on four targets Thursday but remains a distinct WR4 option with upside in deeper formats.

Golden Tate, DET – Tate played second fiddle to Megatron on Thanksgiving but had 7-50-1 on eight targets in the win over Philly. He’ll likely be unavailable in almost all formats after this week.

Cody Latimer, DEN – Latimer was quiet with 1-7-0 in the win over New England. There are better options on the wire.

TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN – Rudolph failed to reach paydirt but caught 7-53-0 on 10 targets in the win over Atlanta. He’s due for a trip to the end zone and should see another 8-10 targets against the Seahawks in Week 13.

TE Jordan Cameron, MIA – Cameron had three targets and 2-13-0 in the loss to the Jets. He’s just not involved in this offense, even when it makes sense for him to be.