Fantasy Football: Week 13 Waiver Wire Pickups
Fantasy Football: Week 13 Waiver Wire Pickups
Week 13 is already upon us on the NFL schedule, and fantasy football owners mostly fall into two categories. There are those that are legitimately in playoff contention, and then those that are simply resigned to playing out the string and hoping to win their league’s consolation bracket.
Either way making shrewd waiver wire additions should not stop being a priority at this point, if only to keep players that are emerging off the roster of anyone else in your league down the stretch. Owners who are out of playoff contention should relish the idea of playing spoiler over the next week or two (if your league uses Week 17) of the regular season, and obviously those that are playoff contenders still need to continue to churn their roster depth as needed.
As has been the case all season, I have again focused on players who are available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues this week. Most, if not all, of these players should be available in a comparable percentage of fantasy leagues regardless of league host.
I have also again attempted to zero in on players who can have more than a one week impact for fantasy owners down the stretch, even with obviously only a few weeks left. Players with good playoff matchups (Week 14-Week 16 in most leagues), an expanding role or at least a positive trend in production jump to the front of my list.
With all of that as a lead-in, here are my “Waiver Wire Pickups” for Week 13.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Kaepernick performed solidly in his second NFL start, going 16-for-25 for 231 yards with one touchdown and one interception along with 27 rushing yards and a touchdown against theNew Orleans Saints on Sunday. His performance should allow him to keep the starting job over Alex Smith going forward, and a stretch of favorable matchups are coming in Week 13-Week 15 against the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. All three teams entered Week 12 at or near the bottom half of the league against opposing quarterbacks (ESPN scoring), and Kaepernick’s running ability only boosts his fantasy potential. His ownership percentage is sure to rise again this week, but fantasy owners looking for a QB2 with significant upside should absolutely look to add the second-year man out Nevada.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
Tannehill threw for 253 yards with one touchdown and one interception along with 33 rushing yards against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12, as the ups-and-downs of his rookie season continued. But a very favorable matchup is coming in Week 13 against the New England Patriots, who have allowed at least 300 passing yards in three straight games and entered Week 11 in the bottom 10 of the league against opposing quarterbacks (17.3 fantasy points per game, ESPN scoring). After that a tough matchup is on the slate in Week 14 against the San Francisco 49ers, but things get easier again in Week 15 and Week 16 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills. Both the Bills and Jaguars came into Week 11 in the bottom 10 of the league against opposing quarterbacks, and Week 17 brings a rematch with the Patriots. There is the risk of continued inconsistency here, but any owner looking for a QB2 with potential can do worse than Tannehill.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos
After Willis McGahee (knee) was injured and then placed on IR last week, most of fantasy-centric buzz in the Broncos’ running back rotation focused on Ronnie Hillman. But Moreno surprisingly emerged as the team’s primary option with 20 carries for 85 yards and four catches for 26 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Just how the situation will play out over the rest of the season is unclear, but Moreno is at least back on the fantasy radar at this point. A fairly tough matchup is coming in Week 13 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but after that things soften up again from Week 14-Week 16 (Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns) before a second game against the Chiefs in Week 17. Fantasy owners should exercise some caution here and not go spending their remaining waiver wire budget on Moreno, but anyone looking to bolster their running back depth should at least take a look at him.
Bryce Brown, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Brown is expected to start on Monday night against the Carolina Panthers in place of LeSean McCoy (concussion), and has a good chance to have some success against a Panthers’ defense that came into Week 11 allowing 17.7 fantasy points per game (10th worst in the league, ESPN scoring) to opposing running backs. McCoy’s status beyond this week is unclear, so it’s possible Brown stays the Eagles’ primary ball carrier for a couple more games at least. A good performance on Monday night will definitely make Brown a hot commodity on waiver wires this week, and even with the uncertainty of his future role anyone looking for a running back (McCoy owners in particular) should consider him a must-add.
Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
Powell had 12 carries for 40 yards and a touchdown on Thanksgiving night against the New England Patriots, and now has three touchdowns over the last two games with 23 carries over that span. Shonn Greene is still in the mix in the Jets’ backfield (14 carries for 71 yards against the Patriots), but Powell looks to be the top option near the goal line and that gives him automatic appeal to fantasy owners. Three of the Jets’ final five opponents entered Week 11 in the bottom five of the league against opposing running backs (ESPN scoring), and two ( the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills) were also in the bottom five in rushing touchdowns allowed to the position. The mess that the Jets are may lead to fantasy owners ignoring their players, but those who are in deep or touchdown-heavy leagues should consider adding Powell.
Davone Bess, WR, Miami Dolphins
Bess had seven catches for 129 yards (on nine targets) against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12, giving him at least four receptions in six straight games. Now some favorable matchups are coming over the next few weeks, starting in Week 13 against the New England Patriots. The Patriots came into Week 11 allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers (26.0 per game, ESPN scoring), including a tied for league-high 15 touchdowns to the position. Similar to Tannehill, as could be expected, a tough matchup will come in Week 14 against the San Francisco 49ers before an easier stretch to end the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills and the Patriots. Bess only has one touchdown all season, limiting his value in a lot of leagues, but owners who are in PPR formats should take a long look at him this week.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Sanu had five receptions for 29 yards and two touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and he now has four touchdowns over the last three games. There are no clear-cut favorable matchups left on the Bengals’ schedule, but the rookie out of Rutgers has emerged as at least a favorite red zone option for quarterback Andy Dalton. That alone should put him on the radar of fantasy owners right now, and it’s fair to think his catch and yardage totals will rise late in the season. At the very least, Sanu should be available in nearly all leagues right now and is well worth a look for those in search of a wide receiver in deep leagues.
Adam Vinatieri, K, Indianapolis Colts
Vinatieri went 2-for-2 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, and is now 10-for-14 on field goals over his last five games with at least six fantasy point (ESPN scoring) in seven of his last eight contests. Outside of two games against the Houston Texans (Week 15 and Week 17), the Colts’ other three opponents (Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs) each entered Week 12 in the bottom half of the league against opposing kickers (ESPN scoring). The venerable Vinatieri is worth a look for any fantasy owner looking to upgrade their kicking situation down the stretch.
Cleveland Browns, Team Defense
The Browns’ defense put together an excellent performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, forcing eight turnovers and holding the Steelers to 242 yards of offense with Charlie Batch under center. They also sacked Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo nine times back in Week 11, so they enter a fairly favorable upcoming stretch with some momentum. Cleveland takes on the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13 and Week 14, who now have 33 and 22 give-aways respectively after Sunday’s action. A three-week stretch from Week 15-Week 17 (Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers) looks tougher and makes this unit a shorter-term solution for fantasy owners. That being said, anyone looking for a matchup play over the next two weeks can do worse.