Normally, the Week 13 waiver wire is an exercise in reduction, but 2015 is no normal season and Week 13 is no exception. The Week 12 games featured another round of major injuries to major players. The hard hit position this time was tight end. Luckily for the Patriots, Rob Gronkowski‘s knee injury doesn’t appear to be season-ending, but for those hoping to play him in fantasy he is week to week and almost certainly out for Week 13.
Jimmy Graham owners were not as lucky. His patella injury will end his season. So, while I would normally be focusing on the rest of the season, I understand that many of you are simply trying to win this week and with scrambled rosters no less. For this reason, it’s a typical waiver wire with plenty of options. Next week, once the field of fantasy teams is cut in half, I will pare down the wire to focus on the guys who can really move the needle. This week’s breakout player is Arizona’s David Johnson, who could return RB1 value in the coming weeks.
As always, I will be expanding the wire over at Rotobahn this afternoon. If you play in a really deep format, you should head over as I will be adding talent all day long, as I continue to work through the game film from Week 12.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets, 23 percent
It’s not pretty with the Jets’ little bearded quarterback, but the numbers are pretty because he has Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker dominating cornerbacks and getting open consistently. Now, Fitzpatrick has rookie Devin Smith emerging, which gives him another dynamic threat. This week’s matchup is sweet because the Giants do not rush the passer well and they do not cover well. It’s hard to envision Fitzpatrick getting shut out this week, so if you are a desperate Tony Romo owner, this is a move that can save your Week 13 bacon.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills, 34 percent
The calculus is simple. Taylor is a good fantasy option if Sammy Watkins is healthy. This week he is, so Taylor is a solid option at home against the Texans, who have been playing better defense of late, but are still a beatable unit overall.
Kirk Cousins, Washington, 23 percent
Washington hosts Dallas this week and they have something to play for after upsetting Eli Manning and the Giants in Week 12. The Cowboys, on the other hand, could to be primed for a letdown after losing Tony Romo yet again. Cousins has been a 300-yard passer in three out of his last five starts, so he’s got plenty of upside here with a healthy cast of skill players around him.
Jay Cutler, Bears, 43 percent
Cutler has been without a lot of his weapons lately and it showed against the Packers in Week 12. Still, Cutler won the game and he has a sweet matchup this week with the 49ers coming to Soldier Field. I would not hesitate to use Cutler in any league this week, and his closing schedule is largely favorable with the exception of the Vikings in Week 15.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, 43 percent
If you are a playoff team looking to bolster your bench or widen your options at quarterback, you might consider Winston, who has a tasty matchup with the Saints in Week 14. It doesn’t get much better than that. Heck, he’s worth adding just so nobody can stream him against you.
David Johnson, Cardinals, 25 percent
This is the player to target in any league where he is available. Johnson will be the man in the Arizona backfield with both Chris Johnson (fractured tibia) and Andre Ellington (toe) suffering injuries in Week 12. David Johnson could start the rest of the way and he will almost certainly be the primary back this Sunday at St. Louis. Johnson has enhanced value in leagues with PPR scoring because he’s an outstanding receiver out of the backfield as I said in his pre-draft scouting report.
Alfred Blue, Texans, 53 percent
He’s a good add in all leagues as the main back in the Texans backfield. Blue is also the primary goal line runner and he should maintain RB2 value for as long as he can stay healthy. He can help you in any league if running back help is what you need.
Ameer Abdullah, Lions, 55 percent
He is one of the few breakout candidates left and he is coming off of his best carry total of the season. The big thing for those considering Abdullah is his schedule. With the exception of Week 14, he has plus matchups every week and that includes a great Week 15 matchup at the Saints. At minimum, Abdullah is a player worth stashing just in case they continue to increase his workload.
Ryan Mathews, Eagles, 51 percent
He should return from a concussion this week and he has big upside if anything happens to DeMarco Murray. In large formats, Mathews has stand-alone flex appeal. He should be owned in all leagues as a stash, flex option or handcuff. Go get him if you can.
Shaun Draughn, 49ers, 28 percent
He was the team’s workhorse once again and that should continue this week when the 49ers play the Bears in Chicago. If you need a secure source of RB2 production, Draughn should give it to you.
Duke Johnson, Browns, 46 percent
Johnson is now playing starter snaps and that should lead to greater production in the season’s final stanza. I would be adding Johnson in all PPR leagues if running back help is something I needed. He’s got legit breakout potential and he also has a sweet Week 14 matchup with the 49ers.
Tevin Coleman, Falcons, 58 percent
He’s still out there for the Devonta Freeman owners who failed to add him last week. Coleman had a strong Week 12 with the exception of a fumble, and he is a strong option should something else go wrong for Freeman, who is expected to return from his concussion this week.
Jay Ajayi, Dolphins, 17 percent
He played well once again, but the thing that really jumps out is his snap total (41), which was bigger than starter Lamar Miller’s. While Miller has done little to earn a demotion, he has clearly fallen into some kind of timeshare with Ajayi, who has more ability as a receiver than Miller. If the Dolphins continue to stink and play from behind, Ajayi could have significant value and he should be owned in all leagues going forward. Go get him today if you own Lamar Miller.
Matt Jones, Washington, 49 percent
Jones is a very good stash play because they may decide to use him more down the stretch as they move towards a more diverse offense. Jones is the future and he’s obviously had some really big games. With the exception of Week 15 against the Bills, he has a very nice closing schedule.
Theo Riddick, Lions, 25 percent
At this point, he has some predictable value in PPR leagues. His upside is limited but the weekly floor is there and it’s solid. He’ll catch five balls for 50 yards most every week as he plays on almost all passing downs.
Brandon Bolden, Patriots, 6 percent
He was the Week 12 version of James White — doing a lot with limited touches. In fact, Bolden only played a small percentage of the team’s offensive snaps, so he is certainly risky moving forward. Having said that, the Patriots are so in need of players who can make plays, Bolden should have some value for those in deep PPR formats. He and White probably have similar value going forward.
Terrance West, Ravens, 1 percent
He emerged as the next man up in Baltimore, so he is a handcuff for those who own Javorious Allen. West has bounced around this year, but he’s a big back with good feet and he could be a factor as a goal line back if Allen goes down.
Doug Baldwin, Seahawks, 36 percent
The fact that he’s so widely available is hard to figure, but he’s a gift right now if you can add him and I like the other receivers in Seattle’s offense as well. Go get Baldwin in all leagues and feel free to use him down the stretch as there will be more targets available with the season-ending injury to Jimmy Graham.
Cecil Shorts, Texans, 11 percent
He’s not a great play this week against the Bills, but Shorts is the top option in the Texans’ passing game after DeAndre Hopkins and can be used any time he is healthy enough to play. He’s healthy now, so go add him if you need a receiver for this week or depth for the next few weeks.
Marquess Wilson, Bears, 9 percent
He did not have a big week in the Bears’ win over the Packers, but all signs point to him starting again this week and he has plenty of upside as a WR3 in bigger leagues.
Devin Funchess, Panthers, 51 percent
He wasn’t great last week, but he playing starter snaps and that should lead to production soon. The fact that he is a nice red zone target is obviously appealing, and Cam Newton needs options near the goal line. Stash Funchess and he may help you at some point.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks, 19 percent
The loss of Jimmy Graham will probably mean more targets for the wide receivers and the loss of Marshawn Lynch should mean more throwing in general. I like adding all three of Seattle’s top receivers right now, so add Jermaine Kearse to the mix as well. They all ought to be owned in 12-team leagues going forward.
Dontrelle Inman, Chargers, 10 percent
He will be a big part of the offense down the stretch but he plays a tough schedule, so don’t get too excited. He’s a good add in 12-team leagues, but be careful of his matchup with the Broncos this week.
Rueben Randle, Giants, 37 percent
He’s far from exciting, but he scored in Week 12 and he usually gets you a handful of points each week. What you don’t get is much of a ceiling.
DeVante Parker, Dolphins, 4 percent
With Rishard Matthews now banged up with a rib injury that should keep him sidelined for weeks, Parker is in position to break out a bit. He’s should be picked up in most 12-team leagues as a strong stash option.
Markus Wheaton, Steelers, 13 percent
His huge Week 12 performance really came out of nowhere. Still, he’s a player to watch now because that kind of production gets the attention of the coaching staff. Wheaton could be a bigger part of the game plan going forward. He’s always been a talented player. He’s worth a speculative add in big leagues.
Scott Chandler, Patriots, 8 percent
He’s Tom Brady‘s starting tight end for the next week or so, and that obviously gives him significant value for the time being. Chandler is a great pickup for those who own Rob Gronkowski, but he can help anybody in need at tight end.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings, 46 percent
He followed up a big Week 11 with 10 targets and 53 yards in Week 12. Rudolph’s involvement is most certainly on the upswing, and he can help you if you need a tight end right now.
Vance McDonald, 49ers, 1 percent
He has been a near full time player since Vernon Davis was traded and he’s formed a nice connection with Blaine Gabbert who will continue to be the quarterback. I would have no qualms adding McDonald, who was a very good receiving tight end at Rice, in bigger leagues. His production is not a fluke. Quite honestly, we expected him to break out last season.
Luke Wilson, Seahawks, 1 percent
Jimmy Graham is done for the year, so Miller’s talent will be back on display. Wilson, who played with McDonald at Rice, has big play potential as we have seen in the past, and he has the trust of Russell Wilson, which is obviously important. Wilson is worth adding in bigger leagues as he has weekly upside and should be a near every down player.
Jacob Tamme, Falcons, 22 percent
Once again, Tamme performed well with Leonard Hankerson sitting out, so keep an eye on Hankerson’s Week 13 status. Yes, it really seems that simple. It’s also worth noting that Tamme’s value is considerable higher in PPR formats.
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