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. I’ll
also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous
LV – Carr is owned in about 60% of leagues but the poor
performance against the Bengals in Week 11 could have resulted in
him being available leading up to Week 12, when he completed 24
of 39 passes for 373 yards and a touchdown in a 36-33 overtime win
over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. His next three games (WAS, @KC,
@CLE) could provide more opportunities for high passing totals and
decent fantasy numbers.
Jones, NYG – With a lot of QBs on
bye in Week 13, some folks may need to dig deep, especially in
two-QB leagues. Jones (25-30% owned) showed off a few of his better
qualities on Sunday in the win over Philly, and while his final
line wasn’t super impressive (19-for-30, 202-1-0, 30 rushing yards)
it was only his first game under the new offensive coordinator/playcaller
and he didn’t have WRs Kadarius Toney or Sterling Shepard. The
Giants head to Miami to face the Dolphins in Week 13, and that
matchup could even be considered favorable if he has a full complement
Heinicke, WAS –UPDATE:
Heinicke did enough to notch another win for his team on Monday
night, completing 27 of 35 passes for 223 yards, a TD and one
INT. He actually had another touchdown overturned late in the
fourth quarter, so the mediocre passing stats could have been
Garoppolo, SF – Garoppolo completed
17 of 26 passes for 230-1-1in Sunday’s 34-28 win over the Vikings
and gets a middle-of-the-road matchup against the Seahawks in
Week 13. He’ll be a QB2 option on a tough bye week.
Mattison, MIN – Mattison (available
in about two-thirds of ESPN fantasy leagues) carried the ball
just seven times for 21 yards and a TD and caught two of three
targets for 7 yards on Sunday. The touchdown, his first rushing
TD of the year, came early in the second half, but starting RB
Dalvin Cook left the game on the next drive with a shoulder injury
and didn't return. If Cook can’t play in Week 13, we may see Mattison
in workhorse role in a favorable matchup with the Lions – a scenario
we’ve talked a few different weeks in this column.
Hubbard, CAR –UPDATE:
With the news that Christian McCaffrey is out for the rest of
the season, Hubbard (who was listed in RBs to consider before
the news that CMC was going on IR) should be added by owners who
have the ability to keep him on the bench for his Week 13 bye.
He’s about 30-35% owned and will probably be unavailable in most
leagues after this week.
Michel, LAR –UPDATE:
With Darrell Henderson looking questionable for Week 13 with a
quad strain, Michel could be in line for a huge workload against
the Jaguars. He’s about 25-30% owned in ESPN leagues and should
get upwards of 20 touches facing a defense that’s actually done
well vs. opposing RBs, but will have trouble stopping Michel from
scoring double-digit fantasy points with such high volume if Henderson
Breida, BUF – Breida (just 5% owned)
has been looking great in the Bills RB committee, and Thursday
he carried nine times for 26 yards and caught both targets for
29 yards and a TD in the win over New Orleans. Zack Moss was inactive,
lead back Devin Singletary finished with 16 touches and 62 percent
of the snaps, and while Breida had 11 touches and 38 percent of
the snaps, he seems like a must-add in 12-team leagues considering
his new role.
Williams, DET – Williams (45-50%
owned) rushed 15 times for 65 yards and hauled in five of five
targets for 18 yards during the Thanksgiving Day loss to Chicago.
If D’Andre Swift (shoulder) misses the Week 13 matchup with Minnesota,
Williams could assume a heavy workload against a Vikings defense
that has struggled at times against opposing RBs.
UPDATE: Swift is expected to miss
Week 13, vaulting Williams into must-add territory as an RB2/3.
Scott, PHI – The Eagles RB situation
seems fluid, but Scott (15-20% owned) ran for 64 yards and a TD
on 15 carries (2-8-0 receiving) against the Giants on Sunday.
He’s in the waiver wire mix this week, but he’s incredibly risky
given the shenanigans the Eagles have been pulling this season.
Freeman, BAL – Freeman had 16 carries
for 52 yards and caught one ball for eight yards in Sunday night’s
turnover-laden win over the Browns. The sloppiness of this game
could lead the Ravens to focus more in the running game the next
few weeks (@PIT, @CLE, GB).
Hilliard, TEN – Hilliard had a monster
game Sunday, rushing 12 times for 131 yards and a huge 68-yard
TD run that accounted for over half of his rushing total. He did
lose a fumble and backfield mate D'Onta Foreman was the starter
in name, but both back surpassed the 100-yard mark in the loss
to New England. With the Titans on a Week 13 bye, it appears they’ll
resume some type of timeshare or committee in a Week 14 home matchup
versus the Jaguars.
NYJ – Johnson (25-30% owned) rushed six times for 42
yards and failed to catch his only target (which bounced off his
back for an interception in the first quarter) in the Jets’ 21-14
win over Houston.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Hilton, IND – Hilton (20% owned)
could be a big part of the Colts offense in the next few weeks
as teams try to stack against Jonathan Taylor. He had 4-28-1 on
five targets in the loss to the Bucs on Sunday and draws a favorable
matchup in Week 13 when the Colts head to Houston.
Thomas, WAS –UPDATE:
Thomas (hamstring) was activated from IR on Monday night and caught
3-31-0 on six targets in a limited role against the Seahawks.
He should be ramped up to more snaps and nearing full strength
in Week 13 against the Raiders and should resume low-end TE1 status,
so he’s a must-add in most formats.
Bourne, NE – I seem to include Bourne
in this space every couple of weeks, but his ownership (just 15%
right now) never seems to reflect what he brings to this Patriots
offense, and how often he’s used in the red zone and on big plays.
I played him in one 14-team league this week and he hauled in
5-61-2. A top scoring threat for this emerging Pats offense, Bourne
should be owned in all formats.
Jackson, LV – Jackson (3% owned)
caught three of four targets for 102 yards and a touchdown in
a 36-33 overtime win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. With Darren
Waller nursing an injury suffered in that game, Jackson could
take on an even more important role in Week 13 against Washington.
Gage, ATL – Gage (about 20% owned)
caught six of seven targets for 62 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's
21-14 win over Jacksonville. The Falcons face the Bucs in Week
13, a matchup and likely game script that almost guarantees he’ll
be targeted frequently.
Jefferson, LAR – Last week I told
you that Jefferson (40-45% owned) “could be a big part of the
game plan against the Packers in Week 12” and he responded with
three receptions on nine targets for 93 yards and a touchdown
in the 36-28 loss. The Rams face the Jaguars in Week 13.
Doyle, IND – Doyle (just 1% owned) brought in six
of seven targets for 81 yards and a TD Sunday and now that’s he’s
healthy, seems to be a popular target for Carson Wentz these days.
Westbrook-Ikhine, TEN – Westbrook-Ikhine
(5% owned) isn’t a very efficient receiver, but he did manage
2-25-1 on five targets in the Titans’ 36-13 loss to the Patriots
on Sunday. He should be busy during a Week 14 matchup against
the Jaguars following their Week 13 bye – since A.J. Brown (IR)
will be out for that game as well.
Moore, NYJ – Moore caught 4-48-0
on eight targets and added a 7-yard carry in the win over the
Texans. He’s still the top fantasy WR in the Jets’ offense, and
the matchup in Week 13 (vs. PHI) should yield better results.
Trautman, NO – Trautman hit the IR after I wrote
the column up. It’s a shame, because he was just starting to find
his groove in an offense in desperate need of viable receiving
Freiermuth, PIT – Freiermuth (available in less than
one third of ESPN leagues) caught all four targets for 40 yards
and a TD Sunday, but that bright spot was dimmed because he was
evaluated for a concussion after the 41-10 loss to the Bengals.
If Freiermuth is unable to go, the Steelers will be forced to
look to Zach Gentry as the starter against the Ravens next Sunday.
UPDATE: No word on Freiermuth’s
Week 13 availability yet, so stay tuned.
Valdes-Scantling, GB – Valdes-Scantling
continued his role as an inefficient but potent WR this week with
4-50-0 on nine targets in Sunday’s 36-28 win over the Rams. He’s
a fringe fantasy WR4 with some upside.
Agholor, NE – Agholor (10-15% owned)
looked good on Sunday, hauling in all five targets for 40 yards
and a TD in the Patriots’ win. Perhaps his athleticism will come
into play against a tough Bills defense in Week 13.