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Welcome to the Week 13 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2021 season. It's almost sad to see this fantasy regular season come to a close given the painstaking amount of work it’s taken to keep competitive all year. With one last week to prep the end of your rosters for a successful postseason run, we’ll continue to set our sights on viable long-term stashes while sifting through immediate injury replacements ahead of Sunday. Feel free to assess your roster and splurge however much remaining FAAB you hold in your back pocket accordingly — after all, it’s now or never.
As a refresher, The Drop List consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended additions are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the Watch List contains in-depth notes on fringe waiver adds, and Deep Cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.
The Drop List
WR: Julio Jones
The Seahawks have scored three touchdowns on 30 possessions since Russell Wilson returned to the lineup, tying the longest three-and-out streak in the NFL on Monday night and only getting there for managers with eight completions for 86 yards and a touchdown on the team’s final drive. Averaging 200 yards with a 2:2 TD:INT ratio in three starts post-finger surgery, Wilson is droppable for Taysom Hill for the rest of the season...The QB20 in fantasy points per game, Ryan Tannehill will return from Tennessee’s bye in Week 14 with the exact surrounding cast that could only elevate him for 93 yards against New England. Taylor Heinicke offers a higher weekly floor than Tannehill...Zack Moss was healthy scratched on Thanksgiving in favor of a two-headed committee between Devin Singletary and Matt Breida. One or the other should be rostered in place of Moss...With Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle) back in the lineup, Mike Davis rushed five times for 16 yards. Qadree Ollison (illness) is expected to be active and sponge touches from Davis in Week 13...The Cardinals moved Chase Edmonds (ankle) to injured reserve before their bye, sidelining him until Week 14 at the earliest. His immediate availability in attempting to return from a high-ankle sprain next week would then cause start/sit headaches in the first round of the fantasy playoffs. Feel free to keep him stashed if he wasn’t in your starting lineup to begin with...Only one reporter in the entire nation irresponsibly reported that Derrick Henry (foot surgery) will return in “6-10 weeks.” The Big Dog is expected to miss the rest of the year...The WR75 in fantasy points per game, there’s no guarantee Julio Jones (hamstring, IR) returns in Week 14 or if he’s even usable upon being active.
Overall Top 5
High-Stakes Top 5
For those looking to roster the best available player(s) regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus players’ actual positions for both recreational and high-stakes (FFPC, NFFC, 20-player rosters, etc.) formats, the latter which have far fewer viable players available with every passing week. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in those leagues ahead of Week 13. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster — touches, high-upside bench stashes, targets, one-week spot-starters, etc.
Contingency Top 10
For those looking to stash the best available backup(s) with minimum standalone value, the rankings above were designed to help prioritize direct backups in the event a player in front of them were absent. These are listed in the precise order I would stash them ahead of Week 13. Presumed targets, touches, environment, remaining schedule, etc. are included in the process.
Alexander Mattison rostered in 51 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 RB add if available.
Van Jefferson rostered in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 WR add if available.
1. Miami Dolphins
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Minnesota Vikings
1. Taysom Hill, Saints — Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 3-5% Remaining FAAB Bid)
Now that the Trevor Siemian experiment has whimpered to its end, Hill is primed for fantasy stardom after averaging 28.5 passes and 9.8 scrambles as the overall QB3, QB13, QB8, and QB11 in four starts last season. I would roster him over Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, and Tua Tagovailoa (among others) for the rest of the year, lack of weapons be damned.
2. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers — Rostered in 34 percent of Yahoo Leagues (1-2%)
Seattle's offense has been the focal point of standup acts of late, overshadowing the fact its defense has been just as putrid in permitting 281 yards per game to Aaron Rodgers, Colt McCoy, and Taylor Heinicke since their bye. It's Garoppolo's turn, with arguably a higher ceiling than before, in hopes Deebo Samuel's absence forces San Francisco's offense into more receiver targets and thus passing volume to replace Samuel's usage as a running back.
3. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins — Rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo Leagues (1-2%)
The Giants have limited a murderer's row of signal-callers to an average of 12.6 fantasy points over the last month but have seeped production beyond touchdowns — 254.5 passing yards per game, only five total sacks — in that span. That Tua and the Dolphins have engineered the league's fourth-highest pass play rate from neutral game script and eighth-highest with a lead since he initially returned from injury in Week 6 at least pins Tagovailoa with volume through the air as a high-floor option for Sunday.
4. Taylor Heinicke, Washington — Rostered in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues (1%)
Las Vegas has pressured enemy quarterbacks at the eighth-highest rate under interim coach Rich Bisaccia but have still leaked 29 points per game in that stretch, and a league-high 32.3 over the last month. Heinicke, averaging a respectable 6.7 yards per attempt with only four turnovers on 96 attempts under duress this year, is as safe an option as there is in Week 13. His 15.7 rushing yards per game out of Washington's bye only helps.
Watch List: The Jets moved out of the way for 7.3 yards per play and 39.8 points per game in five contests after their bye before running into Tyrod Taylor and Houston's lifeless offense. It's arguably the one opponent managers should have confidence in playing Gardner Minshew against for 2-QB and SuperFlex leagues if Jalen Hurts (ankle, day-to-day) were ruled out.
1. Jamaal Williams, Lions — Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 60-70% Remaining FAAB Bid)
The Lions didn’t look to Jermar Jefferson or Godwin Igwebuike, both who were active Thursday, once D’Andre Swift (shoulder) went down, instead being carried by Williams for 20 of the team’s 21 running back touches behind Swift. Williams also out-snapped Jefferson and Igwebuike by a combined 31 to 9. We’ll see how Minnesota’s injury report shakes out, but the pending absences of Danielle Hunter (torn pec), Everson Griffen (personal), Michael Pierce (elbow), and Dalvin Tomlinson (COVID) could lead to another huge day for enemy runners.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues
2. Boston Scott, Eagles — Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues (20-30%)
It’s unclear if Miles Sanders (ankle) will miss any time or when Jordan Howard (knee) will return after failing to practice at any point last week. If both are out, it’s Scott who receives the benefit of the doubt as Philadelphia’s de facto fill-in after out-carrying Kenneth Gainwell 15-0 with Sanders in and out of the lineup Sunday. Note that the Jets are permitting a league-high 28 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields, making Scott the stronger pickup over Ameer Abdullah and Chuba Hubbard (see below) if you’re in need of an immediate starter.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues if Miles Sanders (ankle) is ruled out
3. Ameer Abdullah, Panthers – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (60-70%)
4. Chuba Hubbard, Panthers – Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues (30-40%)
You’ve come here for the skeleton key to replace Christian McCaffrey (ankle, out for the year) and unfortunately, I can’t give it to you. In fact, no one can. It was Hubbard previously, but Abdullah has run 37 more routes and seen 13 more targets than the former since he was first implemented into the offense in Week 8. Furthermore, Cam Newton has siphoned a team-high three carries inside the five-yard line since he was signed, robbing Hubbard in the very area his ceiling existed alongside Sam Darnold. The Panthers also face the Bills, Bucs, and Saints in three of their next four games out of the bye, leaving no room for Hubbard to successfully run (though he will receive empty carries).
For all those reasons, he’s admittedly a viable short-term option in a juicy matchup for Week 14 against the Falcons. Beyond that, Abdullah is the reception-floor safety blanket to acquire just in case one of your starters goes down in the playoffs. Neither should be viewed as a weekly RB2 for shallower leagues given their shared roles, but should be prioritized over Scott in their listed order if planning beyond Week 13.
Recommendation: Both should be rostered in 12-team leagues ahead of Week 14
5. Matt Breida, Bills – Rostered in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues (20-25%)
Breida was actually leaned on for eight of Buffalo’s first nine backfield touches over Devin Singletary before the former ran the wrong direction on a screen pass and was (presumably) placed in Sean McDermott’s doghouse until the fourth quarter. If Breida’s usage from the first half increases in his second game for Zack Moss, though, it’s Breida who remains the strongest RB3/4 buy of the bunch ahead of the fantasy postseason.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues
6. DeeJay Dallas, Seahawks – Rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues (20-25%)
I can't consciously move Dallas any higher since we're ultimately discussing the backup running back of a putrid offense averaging 4.5 fewer plays per game (54.1) than the next closest team. Dallas did log a season-high 60% of Seattle's offensive snaps on Monday night, mirroring Alex Collins in touches (8) for the first time all year. A changing of the guard down the stretch makes sense since Collins isn't under contract beyond 2021.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues
Watch List: D’Onta Foreman out-touched Dontrell Hilliard 20-13 against the Patriots, the latter only getting there after he luck-boxed a 68-yard touchdown run while trailing 16-6 before the half. With Jeremy McNichols (concussion) expected back after the bye, this backfield is filled with lottery tickets (with undefined roles) that could hit or miss completely without any notice. If forced to choose, I rank them Foreman > Hilliard > McNichols rest of season...Latavius Murray handled eight carries behind Devonta Freeman's workhorse-like 17 as Baltimore's backfield remained a two-man show. Sunday against Pittsburgh, which has allowed 158 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs over the last three weeks, is a favorable matchup for Murray as a desperate touch-based RB3/4...I would push Sony Michel to No. 1 on this list if Darrell Henderson (quad) were ruled out...With David Johnson and Scottie Phillips both battling ankle injuries, Rex Burkhead may have a 20-touch floor all to himself. His viability is based solely on Johnson's pending status.
Deep Cuts: Recall that spiel on Boston Scott from above? Same goes for Kenneth Gainwell too as long as Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard are ruled out...Austin Walter was promoted from the practice squad ahead of Sunday and debuted with nine touches to Tevin Coleman's 18 in a three-headed committee. This backfield, shaping up similar to New England's, will likely feature all while Michael Carter is sidelined. If desperate, I rank them Coleman > Walters > Ty Johnson until Carter returns...J.D. McKissic was reportedly in good spirits and cracking jokes in the locker room after being carted off with a head injury Monday night. Although the logical response would be even more work for Antonio Gibson if McKissic were sidelined, Jaret Patterson is a viable stash just in case.
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1. DeSean Jackson, Raiders – Rostered in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 70-80% Remaining FAAB Bid)
Even in producing season-highs (3/102/1) across the board with the Raiders on Thursday, there’s plenty of meat left on the bone for Jackson since he quietly logged the fourth-most snaps (42, 48%) and routes (27) among Las Vegas’ receivers. A (progressively) increasing role over Zay Jones and Bryan Edwards would easily qualify Jackson as a weekly starter for the rest of the season for however long he’s healthy. Jackson, for example, has a higher ceiling than Rashod Bateman down the homestretch.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues
2. Kendrick Bourne, Patriots – Rostered in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues (20-30%)
The WR12 in fantasy points per game since Week 3, Bourne is a high floor option if only for his 18.6% target share accrued over New England’s last five games. Temper your expectations for any ceiling performance since the Patriots, on bye this week, play the Bills in two of their next three contests.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues
3. Jauan Jennings, 49ers – Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)
Averaging 30 snaps as San Francisco’s No. 3 receiver (by default) since Week 10, Jennings most recently registered a team-high two red-zone targets in place of Deebo Samuel (groin), scoring on his lone end-zone look. Although Laviska Shenault and Josh Reynolds are relatively safer plays that can be plugged in immediately, the 49ers’ remaining schedule — Seahawks, Bengals, Falcons, Titans, Texans, Rams — gives Jennings a potential ceiling in friendly matchups that the others are not afforded in their offensive schemes.
Recommendation: Should be stashed in deep 12-team leagues
4. Laviska Shenault, Jaguars – Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)
In Jacksonville’s first game without Jamal Agnew (hip, IR), Shenault was slid into an ideal role with a team-high 41 slot routes and nine targets for a 21.4% share. Settling with a 7.7-yard depth of target, he clearly doesn’t offer a ceiling you’ll regret missing out on if a league mate comes over the top of you on waivers. Shenault’s floor is a fine bye-week replacement though now that his place on the team has been resolved.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues
5. Josh Reynolds, Lions – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (4-6%)
A weekly boom-or-bust option given his extreme 22-yard depth of target with little volume (16.5% target share) to speak of with the Lions, Reynolds at least offers a cemented role in running just two fewer routes than Amon-Ra St. Brown (46-44) as Detroit’s second receiver since signing with the team in Week 11.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in deep 12-team leagues
6. Damiere Byrd, Bears – Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)
Byrd has sneakily seen the third-highest target share (11.2%) from Andy Dalton since Week 11, surging into the starting lineup after Marquise Goodwin suffered a foot injury on Thanksgiving. Byrd is strictly a pivot for deeper leagues if Dalton is forced to make another start without Allen Robinson (hamstring).
Watch List: Even with Allen Lazard back on Sunday, Marquez Valdes-Scantling worked as Green Bay's No. 2 receiver with nine targets and, all of a sudden, 19 in his last two performances. MVS would be listed above DeSean Jackson if the Packers were not on bye this week...There's "hope" Sterling Shepard returns against the Dolphins while Kadarius Toney's status in recovering from a quad injury is still unknown. In case you were curious, I still rank them Shepard > Toney > Kenny Golladay > Darius Slayton in order for the rest of the season.
Deep Leagues: Russell Gage has seen at least seven targets in three of his four spot-starts in place of Calvin Ridley, assuring his managers volume in an up-tempo matchup for Atlanta's passing offense against the Bucs.
1. Foster Moreau, Raiders — Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 70-80% FAAB Bid)
Reminder Moreau played on every snap in his lone spot-start for Darren Waller (knee) this year, running 32 routes on Derek Carr’s 37 dropbacks and recording 6/60/1 on six targets (17.6% share). He’s the strongest fill-in for however long Waller, labeled week-to-week, is sidelined. If you have Waller, I would bid the farm for Moreau since whomever is starting inarguably qualifies as a TE1. I would even play Moreau over Kyle Pitts, Noah Fant, and Dalton Schultz if we were certain Waller was out.
2. James O’Shaughnessy, Jaguars — Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues (40-50%)
O'Shaughnessy was in this exact position in Week 1 2021 BDA (Before Dan Arnold), running a route on 78% of Jacksonville's dropbacks (for a 15.6% target share) in the regular-season opener. Treat him as a one-for-one replacement for Arnold (knee, IR) for the rest of the year.
3. Gerald Everett, Seahawks — Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues (20-30%)
Everett has (sadly) been the highlight of Seattle's offense since Russ returned, averaging a team-high 21.4% target share and route on 75% of dropbacks in that stretch. He arguably has a higher ceiling than O'Shaughnessy, though the latter's floor is much safer.
4. David Njoku, Browns — Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)
There's increased opportunity for Njoku looming for the stretch run since Harrison Bryant (high-ankle sprain) is eyeing a multi-week absence. Baker Mayfield's woeful 4-of-15 passing inside the 10-yard line (26.7%) still limits Njoku's ceiling long-term.
Watch List: Cole Kmet ran a route on a whopping 84.4% of Andy Dalton's dropbacks on Thursday, accruing a season-high 28.2% target share without Allen Robinson and Marquise Goodwin for a majority of play. Although I would move him ahead of Njoku if those two receivers were out again, Kmet's ceiling is severely limited as long as Jimmy Graham remains Matt Nagy's best friend in the red zone.
Deep Leagues: With Eric Ebron (knee, IR) and Pat Freiermuth (concussion) potentially sidelined against Baltimore, the Steelers may have no choice but to lean on Zach Gentry as their only inline option.
1. Miami Dolphins – Rostered in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Xavien Howard and Byron Jones finally back at full health, no team has registered more sacks (16) or interceptions (2) as an elite coverage unit than the Dolphins since Week 9. Their 11.5 points per game allowed in that span is the stuff of nightmares for Mike Glennon. With the Jets, Saints, and Titans scheduled beyond Week 13, feel free to overbid for Miami as a fantasy playoff juggernaut.
2. Kansas City Chiefs – Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues
The D/ST10 in average fantasy points since rejiggering its front-seven with Melvin Ingram (among others) in their last four games, the Chiefs have quietly registered 2.7 sacks while permitting 11.8 points and just 227 passing yards per contest in that stint. A favorable spot as 10-point home favorites over Denver lends Kansas City an above-average streaming floor.
3. Minnesota Vikings – Rostered in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues
Watch List: Packers against the Bears in Week 14...Broncos served the Lions.
Only a fool wouldn’t pass the ball to Michael Jordan in his prime, so it only makes sense that I pull each week’s kicker streamers from Denny Carter’s column and #adjust them accordingly. For in-depth analysis, you can read his entire piece here:
1. Evan McPherson, Bengals – Rostered in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
2. Jake Elliott, Eagles – Rostered in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
3. Robbie Gould, 49ers – Rostered in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
4. Michael Badgley, Colts – Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues