Waiver Wire: Week 13

Raymond Summerlin

Welcome to the 13th edition of Waiver Wired for the 2018 season. Unfortunately, the injuries finally showed up in Week 12. Melvin Gordon is going to miss weeks if not the rest of the fantasy season with an MCL sprain, Marlon Mack suffered a concussion, Kenyan Drake is dealing with a shoulder injury, DeSean Jackson saw a specialist on Monday because of his thumb issue, Evan Engram sat out the entire game after injuring his hamstring in pregame warmups, and Andy Dalton, Marvin Jones, Jack Doyle, and Jeff Heuerman were sent to injured reserve on Monday. To top it all off, Todd Gurley suffered some kind of ankle injury before the bye, and Leonard Fournette was suspended one game for getting into a fight on Sunday. Needless to say, there is a lot to parse this week on the wire.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-roster assets in shallow leagues, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worth monitoring, and deep cuts are players rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

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The Drop List

With the must-win weeks upon us, the drop list can be simplified to any player, within reason, who is not going to be in the starting lineup this week. Of course, stashing players like Malcolm Brown makes sense if bench space is available, but do not be afraid to cut a bench stash to pick up someone with less upside who will actually help get a win this week. As for some specific names, Alex Collins can be cut in a roster crunch after being inactive on Sunday, but the Ravens’ schedule at least makes him an intriguing stash to see what happens. The same is true of Royce Freeman.

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1. Jameis Winston
2. Lamar Jackson
3. Marcus Mariota
4. Case Keenum

Running Backs
Austin Ekeler is rostered in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.
T.J. Yeldon is rostered in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 add if available.

1. Carlos Hyde
2. Nyheim Hines
3. LeGarrette Blount
4. Rex Burkhead
5. Frank Gore
6. Jordan Wilkins
7. Justin Jackson
8. Malcolm Brown

Wide Receivers
1. Chris Godwin
2. Josh Doctson
3. Antonio Callaway
4. David Moore
5. Christian Kirk
6. Mike Williams
7. Adam Humphries
8. Bruce Ellington
9. Dante Pettis

Tight Ends
1. Jonnu Smith
2. Chris Herndon
3. C.J. Uzomah

Defense/Special Teams
1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Seattle Seahawks
3. Green Bay Packers

1. Brett Maher
2. Josh Lambo
3. Brandon McManus

1. Jameis Winston, Bucs – Rostered in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues
As always, an in-game benching remains a concern, but Winston played his best game of the season the last time out and gets a great matchup against a struggling Panthers defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns against Carolina in Week 9. Winston could easily do something similar.

2. Lamar Jackson, Ravens – Rostered in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
As of publishing, it remains unclear if Jackson will get another start or if the Ravens will turn back to Joe Flacco. There is little question, however, about Jackson’s fantasy prospects if he keeps the starting job. Going up against a burnable Falcons defense, Jackson will be a QB1 if he gets the start.

3. Marcus Mariota, Titans – Rostered in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
Coming off a dreadful game he left early in Week 11, Mariota completed 22-of-23 passes for 303 yards and two scores against the Texans on Monday night. Those up-and-down swings have been a staple of the Titans’ season to this point, but Mariota has now played well in three of his last four games and has a good matchup at home against the Jets this week.

4. Case Keenum, Broncos – Rostered in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues
Keenum has not flashed much ceiling as of late, but he does get an absolutely golden matchup this week against a Bengals team which was just shredded for four touchdowns by Baker Mayfield. As desperation options go, Keenum is a pretty good bet this week.

Week 14:
Dak Prescott faces off against the Eagles. If Mitchell Trubisky is healthy, he will be in a good spot against the Rams.
Week 15:
Prescott’s good run continues with the Colts. If he is still the starter, Lamar Jackson will get a matchup with the Bucs. It would be a gutsy play in the semi-finals, but Derek Carr gets the Bengals.
Week 16:
Prescott’s great playoff run finishes off against the Bucs. Baker Mayfield gets another matchup with the Bengals.
Week 17:
The Tampa Bay starter will be in a great spot against the Falcons. Colt McCoy will finish his season with the Eagles.

Watch List:
Dak Prescott has a great schedule down the stretch and will be usable in those games, but the Saints have been playing mostly shut-down defense of late…Colt McCoy had a decent fantasy game against the Cowboys, and he gets a great matchup against the Eagles. There are worse desperation options…Josh Allen is going to pop for some good fantasy games when he gets it going on the ground, but his floor is dangerously low…Blake Bortles had a big game against the Colts a couple weeks ago, so perhaps Cody Kessler can find some success. This situation is probably best avoided, though.

1. Carlos Hyde, Jaguars – Rostered in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is difficult to know what to do with Hyde. In his only Jaguars game without Leonard Fournette, Hyde got the start, but he touched the ball just six times, did not catch either of his targets, and played nine fewer snaps than T.J. Yeldon. Of course, that game came just two weeks after he was acquired in a trade from the Browns, and script played a role in tilting the usage Yeldon’s way. Now more acquainted with the system and with the Jaguars attempting to ride the running game, Hyde should get more work this time around. Assuming Fournette’s suspension stands, Hyde will be a FLEX option this week.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Nyheim Hines, Colts – Rostered in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Marlon Mack’s availability in question due to a concussion, Hines could be in line for a big workload. In the Colts’ last game without Mack, Hines touched the ball 22 times including 15 carries against the Patriots, easily out-touching and out-snapping Jordan Wilkins. He also handled most of the work after Mack left against the Dolphins, although script could have played a role in that. The matchup this week with Jacksonville is not great, but Hines will be a FLEX option in all formats if Mack sits.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

3. LeGarrette Blount, Lions – Rostered in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues
Blount shocked the world on Thanksgiving not by scoring two touchdowns, something which is always a possibility, but by rumbling for 88 yards against the Bears’ tough run defense. Blount’s overall effectiveness this season suggests that was something of a fluke, and there is a great chance he is scripted out of this week’s game against the Rams. Even so, his usage and scoring upside makes him an option in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. Rex Burkhead, Patriots – Rostered in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues
Officially activated on Monday and likely to play against the Vikings, Burkhead has graduated from upside stash to actually going to play territory. Still, his role remains a mystery, especially after Sony Michel rumbled for 133 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries against the Jets. Burkhead likely will get some work, but it might not be enough to make him worthy of a starting spot. Even so, he should be added to see what happens.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

5. Frank Gore, Dolphins – Rostered in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
The owner of one touchdown all season, Gore remains a relatively low-upside fantasy option, but his prospects would be better if Kenyan Drake’s shoulder injury forces him to miss this week’s game against the Bills. At worst, Gore has established a high yardage floor the last several weeks.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. Jordan Wilkins, Colts – Rostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
History suggests it is more likely Nyheim Hines gets the bulk of the work if Marlon Mack is forced to sit, but Wilkins has been pretty effective on limited touches over the last several games and could see a surprising number of carries. He is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

7. Justin Jackson, Chargers – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Austin Ekeler will likely get the lion’s share of the work with Melvin Gordon sidelined, but Justin Jackson served as the No. 2, albeit distant, when Gordon was out against the Titans. He also handled seven carries against the Cardinals, although all of them came in the second half. It is unlikely he hits, but it is worth taking a shot in deep leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

8. Malcolm Brown, Rams – Rostered in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues
It seems like Todd Gurley’s ankle injury is nothing to worry about, but it is better to be safe than sorry this late in the season. Brown would be a plug-and-play RB1 against the Lions if Gurley is not able to play.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

Week 14:
Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson face the Bengals. His role is uncertain, but Rex Burkhead gets the Dolphins.
Week 15:
Ekeler and Jackson once again have a great matchup against the Chiefs. Doug Martin gets to face the Bengals. He does not have much of a role right now, but Royce Freeman gets to face the Browns. D’Onta Foreman gets a nice matchup against the Jets if he is active.
Week 16:
Freeman gets another good matchup against the Raiders. It is Chris Carson’s backfield right now, but Rashaad Penny will be in a good spot against the Chiefs if that changes between now and then.
Week 17:
If the Chiefs are able to rest their starters, Spencer Ware will be in a great spot against the Raiders. It is the same story for Malcolm Brown, who gets the 49ers. If the Bucs decide to give him a shot, Ronald Jones would finish up with the Falcons.

Watch List:
With Lamar Miller crushing, D’Onta Foreman’s path to carries is narrow even if he returns this season…So much for Jalen Richard’s newfound usage in the running game…Chris Thompson returned to practice Monday, but his role is uncertain with Adrian Peterson atop the depth chart. Thompson touched the ball just five times in Week 8…Ito Smith has 55 total yards the last three games…Rashaad Penny was given just four carries against the Panthers. At this point, he is just a handcuff. Mike Davis should get more consistent work as the passing-down option, but he can also be left on the wire…Giovani Bernard touched the ball just twice against the Browns. He is a handcuff…Corey Clement seems to have established himself as the No. 2 behind Josh Adams…Ty Montgomery finally got some run with his new team (eight carries and three targets), and the Ravens have a great schedule down the stretch…With the Texans riding the run, Alfred Blue has 51 carries in the last four games…It is tough to see Elijah McGuire’s upside in the Jets’ offense…Like Malcolm Brown, Spencer Ware is a high-upside handcuff.

Deep Cuts: Jaylen Samuels’ tight end designation makes him very interesting in Yahoo leagues. Rod Smith, Chase Edmonds, and Wayne Gallman are other interesting handcuffs…With Alfred Morris a healthy scratch, Jeff Wilson served as Matt Breida’s backup against the Bucs…DeAndre Washington saw just four touches against the Ravens…With Ronald Jones continuing to sit, Jacquizz Rodgers continues to deliver some usable fantasy games in deep leagues.

1. Chris Godwin, Bucs – Rostered in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues
Godwin has been too up-and-down to really trust in standard-sized leagues this season, but that could change if DeSean Jackson’s thumb, which forced him to visit a specialist on Monday, causes him to miss time. Godwin has been outstanding with his targets as of late, catching all 14 of them for 195 yards the last three games, and even though Adam Humphries would remain a concern, he should be expected to command a more consistent target share if Jackson is forced to sit. In one of the best passing attacks in the league, that will make him a viable FLEX play, although it has to be noted the Bucs’ schedule is not great following this week’s matchup with the Panthers.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Josh Doctson, Washington – Rostered in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
Notoriously wary of taking chances, Alex Smith’s injury could end up being good news for Doctson’s fantasy outlook. Colt McCoy has targeted the receiver 15 times on his first 50 attempts this season, a 30 percent target share, including 10 times against the Cowboys. Doctson was able to turn that work into six catches for 66 yards despite a tough matchup, and he should have a much easier time on Monday night against the Eagles. A disappointment to this point in his career, Doctson has a shot to finish this season on a high note.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

3. Antonio Callaway, Browns – Rostered in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
Woefully inefficient early in the season, Callaway has turned things around over the last month, catching 77.8 percent of his targets for 188 yards and two touchdowns over the last four games. More importantly, his usage has been roughly on par with Jarvis Landry’s since the new coaching staff took over. Perhaps it is just a small-sample-size fluke, but Callaway’s arrow is pointing up.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. David Moore, Seahawks – Rostered in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
As mentioned last week, Moore’s usage has been trending up as of late, and that continued against the Panthers despite the receiver seemingly being benched in the first half. He did enough damage after the break, however, catching four passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Volume will always be a concern in this offense, but he is getting enough targets to be useful in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

5. Christian Kirk, Cardinals – Rostered in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues
Kirk is probably rostered in the leagues he should be, but his schedule the rest of the way has to be mentioned. The Cardinals get the Packers, Lions, Falcons, and Rams over the next four weeks. If Josh Rosen can offer anything resembling competent quarterback play, Kirk could finish the season with a flourish.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. Mike Williams, Chargers – Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
Perhaps Williams should be higher after two touchdowns against the Cardinals, especially with Tyrell Williams struggling with an injury, but he still caught just four passes for 25 yards in that game. Williams has been good for a touchdown every now and again this season, but consistent fantasy production just has not been there. Perhaps this game marks a change, making him worth an add, but he is just a stash at this point.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

7. Adam Humphries, Bucs – Rostered in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
Humphries caught yet another touchdown pass in Week 12, bringing his total to four over the last four games. He has also topped fifty yards in all but one of his last seven games. Humphries yardage upside remains limited, but he is seeing targets in one of the most productive passing attacks in the league. That makes him valuable in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

8. Bruce Ellington, Lions – Rostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Marvin Jones sidelined – he has since been placed on injured reserve – Ellington has 16 targets over the last two games. He has turned those looks into just 80 yards, highlighting his lack of real upside, but he should continue to see targets, making him an option in deep and especially PPR formats.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

9. Dante Pettis, 49ers – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
It could ultimately mean nothing if Marquise Goodwin is able to return this week, but Pettis saw a receiver-high seven targets against the Bucs and turned the work into four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. The matchup with the Seahawks this week is not daunting, so Pettis will be a deep-league option if Goodwin remains out.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

Week 14:
Christian Kirk will be in a great spot against the Lions. Tre’Quan Smith gets the Bucs. Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel face off with the Rams. Mike Williams faces the Bengals.
Week 15:
Kirk is again in a good spot against the Falcons. The Chicago duo faces the Packers. John Brown gets the Bucs. Josh Reynolds faces the Eagles.
Week 16:
Kirk’s good run continues with the Rams, although they will be healthier in the secondary by this point. Curtis Samuel gets the Falcons. Antonio Callaway faces the Bengals.
Week 17:
Mohamed Sanu finishes up with the Bucs. Dante Pettis finishes with the Rams. Josh Doctson finishes with the Eagles.

Watch List:
Curtis Samuel continues to make plays when given the opportunity. He is just not getting enough of them…John Ross has three touchdowns in three games, but he has also caught just 7-of-20 targets and will now be working with Jeff Driskel…Scoreless since Week 6 and with no games over 75 yards in that span, Mohamed Sanu is who he is at this point. Aim higher on the bench…Marquise Goodwin’s status is up in the air after he sat out Week 12 because of a personal matter…Nelson Agholor has three targets the last two games…Danny Amendola is hurt and DeVante Parker played limited snaps against the Colts, leaving Kenny Stills as the best fantasy option. With the Bills up next, he is not a very good one…Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel are interesting because of their schedule down the stretch, but Miller’s usage is a concern while Gabriel has not done anything with his work the last two weeks…It remains unclear when Randall Cobb will return, and it probably does not matter for fantasy purposes…Willie Snead goose-egging against the Raiders might be the most surprising result of the fantasy season…Dede Westbrook had himself a game against the Bills, but the Jaguars’ passing game is one to avoid even with Cody Kessler taking over at quarterback. That is also the case for Donte Moncrief…Robby Anderson is back, Jermaine Kearse had 12 targets, and Quincy Enunwa made a big play. Even so, this is not a passing game to target…The big game has not happened yet, but Michael Gallup is a name to watch given the Cowboys’ schedule down the stretch.

Deep Cuts:
He caught just three of them, but Marcell Ateman was targeted 10 times against the Ravens, nine more than Jordy Nelson…Washington’s new slot receiver, Trey Quinn turned six targets into five catches for 26 yards and a score on Thanksgiving…Ryan Switzer came out of almost nowhere to post a six-catch, 67-yard day against the Broncos. His usage felt game-plan specific, but it is something to watch in deep PPR leagues…Dante Pettis got the looks on Sunday, but Kendrick Bourne played the majority of the snaps as well and also has a big game to his name this season…Zay Jones faded back into oblivion, but Robert Foster made yet another splash with a 75-yard touchdown against the Jaguars…With Tyrell Williams struggling with an injury, Travis Benjamin caught three passes for 47 yards against the Cardinals…He only got one target against the Bengals, but Breshad Perriman’s snaps are on the way up…All of Tommylee Lewis, Austin Carr, and Keith Kirkwood scored against the Falcons, but it tough to imagine them returning consistent fantasy value once Tre’Quan Smith returns.

1. Jonnu Smith, Titans – Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
Smith was only targeted twice on Monday night, a step back after he saw eight looks against the Colts, but he made the most of the work. Left alone in the middle of the field, Smith caught a short pass, turned, and out-ran everyone to the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown. His matchup this week against the Jets is not great, and the volume is a concern. There are no good options on the wire, however, so he will have to do.

2. Chris Herndon, Jets – Rostered in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues
Even with the receiver corps back to the Jets’ version of full strength, Herndon was second on the team with eight targets against the Patriots. His matchup this week against the Titans is terrible, but so are the options on the wire, and he has at least proven to be one of the more reliable members of the Jets’ passing game.

3. C.J. Uzomah, Bengals – Rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
Investing in Cincinnati’s offense sans Andy Dalton and likely A.J. Green is not exciting, but it is impossible to overlook what Uzomah did after Jeff Driskel entered the lineup on Sunday. Uzomah was the target on eight of his 29 attempts against the Browns, and he has been the intended receiver on 10 of Driskel’s 36 attempts this season, a 27.8 target share. That level of usage is unlikely to stick around, but Uzomah could see a large bump in targets the rest of the way.

Week 14: Vance McDonald will be in a good spot in Oakland. Dan Arnold could be useful against the Bucs if his role continues to grow.
Week 15:
The quarterback situation could sink him, but C.J. Uzomah will be in a good spot against the Raiders. If he establishes himself, Matt LaCosse gets to face the Browns. McDonald (NE) and Arnold (CAR) also have good matchups again.
Week 16:
Uzomah is once again in a good spot against the Browns. LaCosse gets the Raiders.
Week 17:
Chris Herndon gets a great matchup against the Patriots. If a Baltimore tight end has emerged at this point, they will get to face the Browns.

Watch List:
Both Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee had big games before the bye, but the Rams have not supported a fantasy-viable tight end under Sean McVay. Perhaps this is the beginning of a turn, but it would be good to see it again…A converted receiver, Dan Arnold has looked like an interesting potential fantasy asset when targeted this season, and he saw six of those against the Falcons on Thanksgiving. He still played just 21 percent of the snaps, but Arnold is a name to watch with Ben Watson falling off…Matt LaCosse caught three passes for 34 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers, and now Jeff Heuerman is out for the season. He could be a deep-league option in a great matchup against the Bengals this week…Sharing time, neither Nick Vannett nor Ed Dickson will be useful without a touchdown…Vernon Davis is good for a big play every couple of weeks, but he has not seen consistent targets this season…Evan Engram’s hamstring injury appears to be minor, and Rhett Ellison would not be an option against the Bears this week even if Engram sits.

1. Kansas City Chiefs – Rostered in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Chiefs would be more appetizing if they were at home, but the Raiders are an offense to target no matter where the game is played. Kansas City recording 17 sacks in the last four games certainly does not hurt.

2. Seattle Seahawks – Rostered in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
Seattle did not record a sack last week and have not forced a ton of turnovers as of late, but a home date with San Francisco is a good time to get things turned around.

3. Green Bay Packers – Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Bills are another good option, but the Packers get the nod because they are playing at home. Banged up on defense, the Packers have not been a great option recently, but the Cardinals at home is a great matchup.

Week 14:
Bills vs. Jets, Titans vs. Jaguars
Week 15:
Seahawks @ 49ers, Washington @ Jaguars
Week 16:
Broncos @ Raiders, Browns vs. Bengals
Week 17:
Seahawks vs. Cardinals, Chiefs vs. Raiders

1. Brett Maher, Cowboys – Rostered in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Saints have not been an outstanding matchup for kickers this season, but Maher will get to kick at home in what should be a higher scoring game than he is accustomed. It is also worth noting Maher has a great schedule down the stretch.

2. Josh Lambo, Jaguars – Rostered in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues
His offense is a major concern, but the Colts have been a favorable matchup for kickers all season including Lambo, who saw three attempts against them in Week 10.

3. Brandon McManus, Broncos – Rostered in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
McManus has not been a great option this season, but the Bengals are an absolute dumpster fire right now. At worst, McManus should have a safe extra point floor this week.

Week 14:
Robbie Gould, Ka’imi Fairbairn
Week 15:
Ryan Succop, Brett Maher
Week 16:
Aldrick Rosas, Brett Maher
Week 17:
Ka’imi Fairbairn, Brett Maher

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