Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 13
Whether managers have clinched a playoff berth or are desperately seeking a Week 13 victory, the waiver-wire game never truly ceases. Gamers without much at stake this week can instead start planning ahead by examining future matchups and stowing impact pieces away from the competition.
The following players, per FantasyPros’ consensus rates, are rostered in under 30% of leagues entering the upcoming waiver window. Before sorting out which of these players to add, consider that a handful of names highlighted in previous weeks also remain available in most spots. They missed the cutoff mark, but it might not be too late to snag Jonathan Williams (46%), Bo Scarbrough (46%), Kyle Rudolph (43%), Randall Cobb (36%), or Ryan Griffin (36%).
Sam Darnold (NYJ): 29% Rostered (7% FAAB)
This is the fourth time Darnold has graced this column this season. It should also be the last time he’s eligible. He’s defiantly erased the stench of two poor outings against the Patriots and Jaguars by producing at least 20 fantasy points as a top-seven QB in each of his last three games. The Jets put up 34 on the scoreboard in each triumph. Darnold is averaging 263.2 passing yards per game with a 67.1% completion rate on 8.3 yards per attempt since getting humiliated by New England’s elite defense in Week 7. An easy schedule brought him here every time before, and it’s once again why gamers should pursue Gang Green’s second-year passer. The Jets get two more cupcake opponents in the Bengals and Dolphins for Darnold to exploit.
Ryan Tannehill (TEN): 21% Rostered (6% FAAB)
Unlike most quarterback recommendations, this has nothing to do with the upcoming matchup. The Colts represent a neutral opponent for Tannehill, who nevertheless demands consideration as the QB3 since taking over for Marcus Mariota. He’s offered at least two touchdowns and 19 fantasy points in each of those five starts from Weeks 7-12. The 31-year-old has delivered value on the ground by scrambling for 37-40 yards — with three rushing scores — in his past three games. Even if the Colts are a capable adversary, the Raiders and Texans present far more favorable opponents in the ensuing two weeks.
Nick Foles (JAC): 28% Rostered (4% FAAB)
Honestly, it didn’t matter what Foles did in his second start back from a broken clavicle. When the Buccaneers beckon, just about any quarterback is a viable streamer. Before Matt Ryan‘s disappointing Week 12, Kyle Allen (QB14 with 17.4 fantasy points) was the only passer in eight previous games to finish outside the position’s weekly top 12. Tampa Bay has still surrendered the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks behind Arizona, and Foles has already attempted 97 passes since replacing Gardner Minshew under center. Sustaining that volume against a pass-funnel defense should lead to an easy 300-plus yards.
Rashaad Penny (SEA): 24% Rostered (27% FAAB)
Although he recovered it, Chris Carson fumbled for the third straight game and seventh time this season. Perhaps finally fed up with his starter’s turnover woes, Pete Carroll turned to Penny for a team-high 14 handoffs. He had combined for 14 touches in the last three games, two of which required overtime. Last year’s first-round pick bulldozed one of those carries to the house for a 58-yard touchdown against a potent Philadelphia rushing defense. Next Gen Stats highlighted his noteworthy acceleration en route to a season-high 129 yards:
Rashad Penny has reached 20+ MPH on 2 plays as a ball carrier today.
(2nd Qtr) 26-yard rush: 20.78 MPH
(4th Qtr) 58-yard rush TD: 20.29 MPH
Penny had only reached 20+ MPH as a ball carrier on 1 play over the last 2 seasons entering today. https://t.co/eTOokhdl4L
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 24, 2019
If an active fourth quarter is any indication of what’s to come, Penny could continue to eat into Carson’s snaps (instead of McDonald’s) and at least perform like the flex piece drafters expected in the preseason.
Benny Snell (PIT): 4% Rostered (18% FAAB)
While a shoulder injury sidelined James Conner, Snell returned from a knee ailment to procure 98 yards on 21 rushes against the Bengals. In two games without Conner, the fourth-round pick has earned 173 yards on 38 carries. With Jaylen Samuels clearly ill-suited for the role, Snell should get plenty of ground work against the Browns with Conner likely to miss another game. His upside, however, is limited by Samuels taking any receiving work from whichever understudy quarterback Pittsburgh deploys. The volume would nevertheless lead to flex appeal in non-PPR leagues without Conner.
Jalen Richard (OAK): 8% Rostered (2% FAAB)
Richard has quietly re-assumed a role in Oakland’s offense, accruing 153 receiving yards in the last four games. He’s made the most of his chances by corralling 14 of 16 targets, many of which came on game-winning drives against the Lions and Chargers. Having also received just two carries each time, he remains a clear complementary piece to Josh Jacobs. He’s also, however, a highly talented pass-catcher who boasted 68 receptions last season and matched his teammate’s 23 snaps in Week 12’s blowout loss. If you gave any thought to playing Patrick Laird last week, Richard may be of use in deeper PPR leagues as a poor man’s James White. The opposing Chiefs entered their bye last in targets (93) and receiving yards (700) allowed to running backs.
Qadree Ollison (ATL): 1% Rostered (1% FAAB)
He’s mustered just 38 yards in the process, but Ollison has found the end zone in consecutive games without Devonta Freeman. Brian Hill still saw more touches (12) in a lopsided loss, so the rookie is no more than a deep touchdown vulture with Freeman sidelined.
A.J. Brown (TEN): 16% Rostered (18% FAAB)
The boom-or-bust Brown broke out for 135 yards and a touchdown in Week 12’s 42-20 rout over Jacksonville. Despite Week 10’s dud against Kansas City, the rookie now has 305 yards and a 19.6% target share in Tannehill’s five starts. He’s averaging 8.5 yards after the catch per reception with three plays beyond 50 yards this season. The last two games have displayed his massive range of outcomes, but Brown could swing some playoff matchups against Oakland and Houston in Weeks 14 and 15.
James Washington (PIT): 21% Rostered (14% FAAB)
Shortly after replacing Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges connected with Washington for a 79-yard touchdown. While Mike Tomlin wouldn’t reveal his Week 13 starter, “Duck” may have earned the opportunity on that one play alone. Even if JuJu Smith-Schuster returns, Washington was earning his keep well before stiff-arming his way to a huge score. Since producing a goose-egg in Week 4’s first meeting with Cincinnati, Washington is averaging 63.2 yards and 5.8 targets per contest. There’s at least WR4 appeal despite Pittsburgh’s quarterback uncertainty.
Anthony Miller (CHI): 11% Rostered (9% FAAB)
Miller has exceeded 50 yards in five of the last seven games. He also combined for seven yards in the other two contests against a pair of vulnerable secondaries (Eagles and Lions). Although he can’t be safely deployed in a standard league, it’s awfully hard to ignore a talented wideout who has drawn 20 targets in the past two bouts. He’s traded off spurts of utility with Taylor Gabriel, who entered concussion protocol at the beginning of a short week for Chicago. That could open the door for Miller to feast against Detroit on Thanksgiving.
Cole Beasley (BUF): 26% Rostered (8% FAAB)
He won’t blow anyone away, but Beasley continues to produce as a steady WR4 worth using beyond shallower formats. The 30-year-old has banked all four of his touchdowns in his last six games while averaging a sturdy 47.7 yards and 6.7 targets this season. He’s offered at least nine PPR points all but twice. so Beasley’s floor could come in handy.
Russell Gage (ATL): 6% Rostered (2% FAAB)
Since the Falcons sent Mohamed Sanu to New England, Gage has caught 21 of 28 targets in an offense that has lost the ability to run without Freeman. It’s resulted in 189 yards and no touchdowns, so he’s more of a deep play with a somewhat higher floor than other bargain-bin options. Like Sanu with Atlanta, Gage particularly looks capable of helping PPR gamers in the right matchups.
David Njoku (CLE): 25% Rostered (10% FAAB)
Initially hoping to return from a knee injury that has sidelined him since Week 2, Njoku wasn’t quite ready over the weekend. Per Andrew Gribble of Cleveland.com, the tight end’s status remains unclear for Week 13. Managers with roster flexibility should stash him anyway. The popular breakout pick followed a standout preseason with a touchdown to open 2019. After traveling to Pittsburgh this Sunday, the Browns get two games against the Bengals and a bulls-eye Week 15 matchup against Arizona, by far the most favorable opponent for tight ends.
Mike Gesicki (MIA): 12% Rostered (6% FAAB)
After commencing November with a 95-yard outing against the Jets, Gesicki’s momentum halted to the tune of 46 combined yards versus the Bills and Colts. There was, however, a common thread to all three games: He received six targets each time. That number bumped up to seven on Sunday. While he produced just 28 yards for the second time this month, he also recorded his first touchdown of 2019. Gesicki is ninth in air yards among all tight ends, and his snap rates skyrocketed to 86 and 90% in Miami’s last two games. Although yet to truly flourish, the ingredients for a late-season surge remain on the table.
New York Jets: 17% Rostered (2% FAAB)
In the last three games, the Jets have capitalized on a golden schedule with a defensive touchdown against the Giants, six sacks on Washington, and three points allowed to Oakland. Only the 49ers and Ravens have more fantasy points during that window. Although it would have been better to draw Ryan Finley, the Bengals averaged just 15.5 points per game behind Andy Dalton.
Kansas City Chiefs: 25% Rostered (1% FAAB)
Back in Week 2, the Chiefs coerced three fumbles, three sacks, and two picks in a 28-10 victory over Oakland. While the Raiders had since improved, they went backward when gaining 208 total yards in a devastating 34-3 loss to the Jets. As Oakland prepares for another long road trip, the hosts have had plenty of time to rest and prepare for the pivotal AFC West showdown after picking off Philip Rivers four times in Week 11.