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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 13
11/28/16; Updated: 11/29/16 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.

Taylor Gabriel

All he does is score touchdowns. Taylor Gabriel has five scores in the last four weeks for the Falcons.


Carson Palmer, ARI – I scooped up Palmer this past week (75-85 percent owned) in a 10-team league as additional insurance, so he’s available in a few leagues. He’s got a great schedule over the next three weeks (WAS, @MIA, NO) and could be a huge boost during the fantasy playoffs, when he could come in handy for owners of Ben Roethlisberger (tough matchups) and Andrew Luck (concussion).

Colin Kaepernick, SF – UPDATE: Kaep had a solid day versus the Dolphins, throwing for 296-3-1 and rushing for 113 yards on 10 carries. He’s a low-end QB1 facing the Bears in Week 13 with plenty of Top 5 upside. I’ve included him here before, but I’m reiterating because there are plenty of owners who’ve yet to recognize what he offers from a fantasy perspective.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ – The Jets came up short against the Patriots, but Fitzpatrick’s next couple weeks feature less-than-stellar opponents (IND, @SF) with relatively poor pass defenses. He’s only 10-20 percent owned, has great rapport with Quincy Enunwa and Brandon Marshall, and has been utilizing the Jets TEs more.

UPDATE: As expected, the Jets confirmed that Fitzpatrick will start Week 13 against the Colts. He’s a deeper option in a favorable matchup, and Luck’s likely return means he’ll be forced to throw more.


Joe Flacco, BAL – Flacco’s 234-1-1 was a disappointing result considering the matchup, but this is usually what happens when you trot out Flacco in these situations. Next week’s tilt with Miami should yield better numbers.

Ryan Tannehill, MIA – The much beleaguered Tannehill posted his best fantasy numbers of 2016 (285-3-0, 34 rushing yards) against the 49ers, and the Dolphins held off a late surge by an San Fran to notch their sixth straight win. He’ll have a tougher time at Baltimore in Week 13.

Sam Bradford, MIN – The Lions defense stepped up in a big way on Thanksgiving, holding Bradford to just 224-0-1 and handing the Vikings their fifth loss in the last six games. Perhaps he’ll get something going against the Cowboys secondary which is still dealing with some injuries and has given up some big plays over the past few games. However, Bradford is still a major risk.

Matt Barkley, CHI – Barkley was far from perfect in the Bears loss to Tennessee, but he did throw for 316-3-2 and was a solid value in DFS and a Top 10 QB in regular play. He’s a QB2 next week against the 49ers, who are among the worst defenses against opposing QBs.

Running Backs

Kenneth Dixon, BAL – The pickings are awfully slim at RB these days, but Dixon is available in about 35-50 percent of fantasy leagues and is coming off a decent performance against the Bengals where he ran for 49 rushing yards on 13 carries and hauled in all four of his targets for 31 yards. He’s an RB3 in PPR and solid flex play in standard leagues. His backfield mate, Terrance West, is owned in 75-95 percent of leagues and is receiving an equal share of carries and targets.

Derrick Henry, TEN – Henry is about 60-80 percent owned and had his second-best game of 2016 in Week 12, rushing for 60 yards and a TD on 8 carries but failing to have a presence in the passing game – a peculiar pattern that has developed for four straight weeks after five targets and 4-37-0 in Week 8 against Jacksonville. He’s a must-own in 12-team leagues and would take over primary duties should DeMarco Murray miss any action down the stretch.

UPDATE: Coach Mike Mularkey said Monday that the Titans have bandied about the idea that Henry could be used more in short-yardage and goal line situations. At 6-2, 247 pounds, it makes sense to utilize the rookie this way.

Charles Sims, TB – UPDATE: Sims (knee) isn’t eligible to return to game action until Week 14, but he’s practicing and could be activated off IR just in time for the fantasy playoffs when he could make a big impact on a favorable schedule. Don’t sleep on this guy if he’s available in your league, especially if it’s a PPR format.

Denard Robinson, JAC – Robinson had 39 rushing yards on 13 carries in Week 12 after Ivory suffered a hamstring injury and was forced from the game. He seemed to be the preferred option over T.J. Yeldon (ankle), who had just six carries for 17 yards and 1-3-0 on two targets. No Jags back will have easy sledding against the Broncos in Week 13, but it’s a situation worth monitoring.


Rashad Jennings, NYG – Jennings failed to take advantage of cake matchup and posted just 55 rushing yards on 15 carries and 2-4-0 on two targets in the passing game. He and Paul Perkins are in about a 2-to-1 timeshare for touches, and the Giants face the Steelers without Cameron Heyward in Week 13.

Tim Hightower, NO – Hightower had a nice game (51 rushing yards on 15 carries; 2-54-1 receiving on two targets) despite splitting time with Mark Ingram (concussion), who played very well in a relatively difficult matchup. His big play (the 50-yard TD pass from Willie Snead) helped rescue an otherwise humdrum fantasy performance.

Wendell Smallwood, PHI – UPDATE: Owners didn’t get the volume expected from Smallwood on Monday night with Ryan Mathews out, as the rookie carried just nine times for 37 yards and 1-10-0 receiving. Sproles was more involved in the passing game (5-48-0) but had just three carries for 6 yards. Sproles could pick up more targets next week with the WR corps hurting.

Mike Gillislee, BUF – Gillislee (hamstring) was inactive for Week 12, and Shady ran wild all over the Jags.

Chris Ivory, JAC – Ivory’s hamstring injury could force him to miss some action, but he ran quite well before leaving Week 12 (44 rushing yards, TD; 1-11-0). Stay tuned.

Rex Burkhead, CIN – Burkhead ran for 29 yards on just five carries and added 2-19-0 on his two targets in Week 12. Expect more of him going forward.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Tyreek Hill, KC – In my update last week, I mentioned that Hill was a versatile weapon, and he responded by scoring there different ways – running, receiving and returning – the first since Gale Sayers in 1965. Hill finished with 9-52-1 receiving, and the two other TDs (a three-yard run and 86-yard return on a safety free kick). Expect more targets and offensive plays designed for him after this dynamic performance.

Quincy Enunwa, NYJ – In the absence of a viable TE target, Enunwa filled that niche for the Jets during the early going in 2016, and had 5-109-1 in Week 12 following two poor outings and a bye week. The next couple of matchups look to be more up his alley now that Fitzpatrick is under center again.

Marquess Wilson, CHI – Wilson’s 8-125-1 was a quite a welcome revelation for the Bears. In just his second game back after PUP activation following a foot injury, Wilson made his presence known early and often. He may not have another game like this n 2016, but the rapport with Barkley was palpable and fruitful.

Dontrelle Inman, SD – I’ve gone back and forth on Inman as his production has waxed and waned, but his 6-119-1 shows his upside is still high in the right matchup. Perhaps he’ll continue his breakout in Week 13 against the Bucs, but they did an excellent job shutting down the Seahawks passing game on Sunday.

Sammy Watkins, BUF – Watkins (foot) was active for Week 12 and played a little less than half of his team’s snaps against Jacksonville. Still, he didn’t suffer any setbacks, caught all three balls thrown his way for 3-80-0 and will be a bigger factor against the Raiders next week. He’s 50-80 percent owned and should be added in all formats for his excellent upside in the next three matchups (@OAK, PIT, CLE).

Will Fuller, HOU – UPDATE: He’s an obvious risk because of injury (knee) and the ineffectiveness of Brock Osweiler, but Fuller is a talented receiver and we’ve seen what he can do (two consecutive 1000-yard games to start his career). The remaining five-game schedule screams upside in favorable matchups (@GB, @IND, JAC, CIN, @TEN), and it makes sense for the Texans to open up the offense a bit down the stretch.

Dorial Green-Beckham, PHI – UPDATE: Jordan Matthews went down with an ankle injury that looks like it could force him to miss some action, and Odell’s cousin took over as Carson Wentz’s preferred target, finishing with 6-82-0 on 10 targets. He’s still raw but would be the Eagles’ default WR1 in Week 13 against Cincy.

Taylor Gabriel, ATL – Mohamed Sanu had a solid game as well, but Gabriel (4-75-2) picked up most of the fantasy goodness with Patrick Peterson draped all over Julio Jones for much of the Week 12 game with Arizona. The former Browns WR had a couple of nice catch-and run TDs and could see more playing time as he’s proven to be explosive and teams roll most of their coverage to Julio.

UPDATE: Matt Ryan has described Gabriel as a “sparkplug” who‘s done everything asked of him this season. He’s a risk-reward WR4 in the matchup against Kansas City.

TE Ladarius Green, PIT – The big-play TE looks to be healthy and had 2-67-0 on three Thanksgiving Day targets. At a position where steady production if fleeting, Green is a typical feast-or famine guy with decent upside but a low floor.


Brandon LaFell, CIN – LaFell converted nine targets from Andy Dalton into just 3-38-0, an inefficient performance that will likely see him cast off most fantasy rosters.

UPDATE: A.J. Green is likely to miss Week 13, so there’s still a chance at some value in the red zone. LaFell is definitely the kind of receiver who has big games when you least expect it.

Malcolm Mitchell, NE – I was worried that Mitchell might be done producing one Rob Gronkowski returned and Dion Lewis was healthy, but Gronk’s early Week 12 departure meant a few more targets (7) and 5-42-2 on the day. Still just 10-15 percent owned, he’s a big target in a good offense and Brady loves looking his way.

Tajae Sharpe, TEN – Sharpe has a Week 12 stinker with just 2-11-0 on three targets. Another step backward, it appears.

Tyler Boyd, CIN – The rookie is one reason the Bengals can be excited, because he followed up a productive Week 11 with 5-62-0 on nine targets against the Ravens. He’s owned in about 50-70 percent of leagues.

TE Charles Clay, BUF – Clay continues to underperform in favorable spots. He’s safe to drop in most formats.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU – C.J. had six targets in week 12 and caught 4-42-0. He’s a high floor, low-upside TE until Brock Osweiler loses some of the restraint and gets his confidence back.