NFL Waiver Wire: Week 13 Deep Dive

NFL Waiver Wire: Week 13 Deep Dive

This article is part of our NFL Waiver Wire series.

We're in the final weeks of the regular season in most fantasy leagues, while deeper formats and larger tournaments (primarily on the FFPC) have already hit the postseason. It's an exciting time, but it's also when injuries start to mount. That's the case as we enter Week 13, so we have to be prepared for contingencies both on Sunday and further ahead.

Quarterbacks

Ryan Tannehill at Eagles (nine percent ESPN)

I wouldn't be eager to start Tannehill against Philly, but he's displayed significantly improved efficiency in recent weeks. And the emergence of Treylon Burks could continue to benefit Tannehill.

Kenny Pickett at Falcons (eight percent ESPN)

Pickett missed some throws on MNF against the Colts and was also let down by his receivers on a few occasions. The Steelers' offense isn't dynamic, but the narrative surrounding Pickett seems to be positive – even if that hasn't shown in the numbers yet.

Sam Darnold BYE (zero percent ESPN)

The Panthers did everything they could to hide Darnold against the Broncos and they'll likely continue to rely on the run game. On the other hand, he was confirmed as the starter for Week 14 and represents a potential pickup in 2QB or SuperFlex leagues.

Desmond Ridder vs. Steelers (zero percent ESPN)

Kevin Payne highlighted Jordan Love in the QB section of his waiver wire article Tuesday, and Ridder is a similar type of stash. Marcus Mariota threw a back-breaking pick in the final moments of the Falcons' loss to Washington and clearly

We're in the final weeks of the regular season in most fantasy leagues, while deeper formats and larger tournaments (primarily on the FFPC) have already hit the postseason. It's an exciting time, but it's also when injuries start to mount. That's the case as we enter Week 13, so we have to be prepared for contingencies both on Sunday and further ahead.

Quarterbacks

Ryan Tannehill at Eagles (nine percent ESPN)

I wouldn't be eager to start Tannehill against Philly, but he's displayed significantly improved efficiency in recent weeks. And the emergence of Treylon Burks could continue to benefit Tannehill.

Kenny Pickett at Falcons (eight percent ESPN)

Pickett missed some throws on MNF against the Colts and was also let down by his receivers on a few occasions. The Steelers' offense isn't dynamic, but the narrative surrounding Pickett seems to be positive – even if that hasn't shown in the numbers yet.

Sam Darnold BYE (zero percent ESPN)

The Panthers did everything they could to hide Darnold against the Broncos and they'll likely continue to rely on the run game. On the other hand, he was confirmed as the starter for Week 14 and represents a potential pickup in 2QB or SuperFlex leagues.

Desmond Ridder vs. Steelers (zero percent ESPN)

Kevin Payne highlighted Jordan Love in the QB section of his waiver wire article Tuesday, and Ridder is a similar type of stash. Marcus Mariota threw a back-breaking pick in the final moments of the Falcons' loss to Washington and clearly isn't the answer. Atlanta should eventually try to see what they have in Ridder.

Running Backs

Mike Boone at Ravens (three percent ESPN)

Boone was designated to return from injured reserve Wednesday, which means he could potentially play for the first time since Week 7. After cutting Melvin Gordon, the Denver backfield is very thin. Latavius Murray would likely remain the lead back, but Boone could come back to plenty of pass-catching opportunities and a change-of-pace rushing role.

Ameer Abdullah vs. Chargers (two percent ESPN)
Zamir White vs. Chargers (two percent ESPN)

It's hard to believe Josh Jacobs played through an injury given his performance against Seattle, but he remained a limited practice participant on Wednesday. He very well could suit up Sunday, but it's worth stashing the two likely contributors out of the Las Vegas backfield if he were to be ruled out.  

Tyrion Davis-Price vs. Dolphins (two percent ESPN)
Jordan Mason vs. Dolphins (two percent ESPN)

San Francisco is another ambiguous situation. We know the backup role is up for grabs after Elijah Mitchell suffered another knee injury. Christian McCaffrey also has a knee issue and didn't practice Wednesday. Recent usage suggests Mason is the better speculative add, but Davis-Price could also mix in – particularly if McCaffrey is sidelined.

Chuba Hubbard BYE (17 percent ESPN)

Hubbard worked nearly evenly with D'Onta Foreman last week. The outlook moving forward should still be restrained because the Carolina offense is poor and Foreman has done nothing to lose the job.

Ty Johnson at Vikings (two percent ESPN)
 
Zonovan Knight was one of the top waiver wire options this week. But if Michael Carter is out, there could be two relevant additions from the Jets' backfield. In addition to Carter, Johnson's potential to contribute will depend on the status of James Robinson – a healthy scratch in Week 12.

Wide Receivers

Julio Jones vs. Saints (25 percent ESPN)

Jones likely isn't available in many leagues, but it's worth checking to be sure. He saw a season-high 41 offensive snaps last weekend. And if the Buccaneers plan to cut him loose, it will come late in the campaign. He's also shown some explosiveness by recording a reception of 20 or more yards in each of his last two games.

Nico Collins vs. Browns (12 percent ESPN)

Collins has taken over as the Texans' top receiver. That may not be worth much given the state of the offense, but he's registered a combined 26 targets, 16 receptions and 141 yards across his last three contests. As those numbers illustrate, Collins hasn't been much of a threat for big plays or TDS, but is a fine FLEX or WR3 in PPR leagues.

Jameson Williams vs. Jaguars (22 percent ESPN)
DJ Chark vs. Jaguars (19 percent ESPN)

Because Amon-Ra St. Brown covers so many targets, this duo isn't likely to be relevant at the same time. However, Williams has already been ruled out and that leaves Chark to operate as the short-term second receiver. In his second game back from injury, he saw his role significantly increase and could remain relevant until Williams gets healthy and caught up to the speed of the NFL.  

Mack Hollins vs. Chargers (15 percent ESPN)

Hollins scored a TD on a trick play last week, so we can't necessarily expect a repeat of his elevated numbers against Seattle. Even so, he's managed at least five targets in four of his last five games. Until Hunter Renfrow and/or Darren Waller return – there was negative news on both Wednesday – Hollins has a chance to be fantasy-relevant.

DeAndre Carter at Raiders (six percent ESPN)

Carter saw a surprising spike in targets in Week 12 considering both he and Keenan Allen play a lot of snaps out of the slot. Regardless, he showed he was capable of putting up decent numbers until Mike Williams (who didn't practice Wednesday) returns.

Randall Cobb at Bears (six percent ESPN)

Cobb has gotten there different ways in the last two weeks, but he's combined for 23.2 points combined over two outings since being activated from IR. As long as Aaron Rodgers remains under center, Cobb will have the chance to be part of the Packers' offense.

Quez Watkins vs. Titans (one percent ESPN)

Watkins has notched a touchdown in each of the last two games, which has inflated his production, but he's had at least four targets in two of three since Dallas Goedert suffered a shoulder injury. That could lead to more production in the next few weeks given Watkins' ability to hit the big play.

Olamide Zaccheaus vs. Steelers (one percent ESPN)

Zaccheaus earned eight targets last week, exactly doubling his previous high on the season. Perhaps it's a one-game coincidence, though it may also be that he benefited from the absence of Kyle Pitts. It's worth speculating to find out for those who can do so with little risk.

Tight Ends

Isaiah Likely vs. Broncos (12 percent ESPN)

The Baltimore offense has been strange this season, and it's difficult to trust anyone on a weekly basis with the exception of Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews. The TE position is important to the team, and we saw that in Week 12 when Josh Oliver stepped up against the Jaguars with Likely sidelined. There's potential for one of those two to be a key part of the offense in the final weeks of the campaign.

Austin Hooper at Eagles (10 percent ESPN)

Hooper isn't an exciting option, but he's received at least four targets in each of his last three games. And through Tennessee's first eight contests, he only hit that mark once.

Daniel Bellinger vs. Commanders (one percent ESPN)

Bellinger was starting to do well prior to suffering a significant eye injury that has kept him sidelined since Week 7. He practiced for the first time on Wednesday and could soon be in line for a return.

Jelani Woods at Cowboys (one percent ESPN)

Woods enjoyed a breakout effort against the Steelers on MNF. Kylen Granson was out and could return, but Woods may also have done enough to earn a role for the remainder of the season regardless of Granson's status. 

Cameron Brate vs. Saints (one percent ESPN)

Brate has overtaken Cade Otton as the top tight end in Tampa Bay and commanded five targets last week. If that role stays consistent, he'd fall in line with Hooper as a consistent - if unexciting - option.

Jordan Akins vs. Browns (one percent ESPN)

Akins has made some big plays in recent weeks by topping 60 receiving yards in two of his last three appearances. It's hard to trust anyone in the Houston offense, but he's an option for those in desperate need for production at the position.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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