Waiver Wire: Week 13

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Welcome to the Week 13 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2019 season. With the fantasy playoffs right around the corner, I’ll direct your attention to a handful of viable win-and-in streaming options all the while prepping the end of your bench for a successful postseason run. We’ll also set our sights on substitutes for Marlon Mack (hand), Taylor Gabriel (concussion), Eric Ebron (ankle), and Damien Williams (ribs), among others. 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 reminder, 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 adds are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list contains in-depth notes on players who are worthy of roster spots if possible, and deep cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

The Drop List
QB: Derek Carr, Philip Rivers, Jared Goff
RB: Royce Freeman, David Johnson, Duke Johnson
WR: Tyrell Williams, Brandin Cooks
TE: Gerald Everett, Eric Ebron, Jimmy Graham

Jared Goff’s totaled four touchdowns, five interceptions, and six fumbles in his last six games and can’t be trusted in upcoming divisional bouts against the Cardinals and Seahawks. Brandin Cooks and Gerald Everett have been directly impacted by Goff’s inability to score and can be outright cut if you need the roster space. Royce Freeman has lost all value (outside of being stashed as a potential handcuff) since Phillip Lindsay was initially unleashed in Week 11, handling a season-low four touches against the Bills and getting out-carried 29 to 10 by the latter in their last two games. Perhaps coach Kliff Kingsbury finds an efficient role for David Johnson over Arizona’s final five games, but it isn’t worth keeping him around to find out with both Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds (hamstring) in the frame for the first time together. Reminder Johnson’s handled just six touches in his last two outings including a goose egg on nine total snaps against the 49ers.

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Overall Top 5
1. Rashaad Penny
2. Jack Doyle
3. Bo Scarbrough
4. Anthony Miller
5. Randall Cobb

For those simply looking to roster the best player available regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus the actual positions. These are listed in the precise order I’d prioritize waiver claims in Week 13.

Handcuff Top 5
1. Alexander Mattison
2. Tony Pollard
3. Ryquell Armstead
4. Wayne Gallman
5. Dion Lewis

For those refusing to stand pat and itching for an end-of-roster stash, the above list was carefully assembled to highlight league-winners in the event the player ahead of them misses any time. Presumed snaps, carries, targets, and the play-calling each are tied to have been factored in. This list could adjust weekly based on current situations — Rashaad Penny’s recent removal, for example, after he rushed for 14/129/1 against the Eagles, clearly forcing himself into a timeshare with Chris Carson over Seattle’s final five games.

Kirk Cousins rostered in 76 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.
1. Ryan Tannehill
2. Sam Darnold
3. Nick Foles
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Running Backs
Jonathan Williams rostered in 63 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.
1. Rashaad Penny
2. Bo Scarbrough
3. Darrel Williams
4. Nyheim Hines
5. Benny Snell

Wide Receivers
Deebo Samuel rostered in 67 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.
Robby Anderson rostered in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 add if available.
1. Anthony Miller
2. Randall Cobb
3. Darius Slayton
4. Russell Gage
5. A.J. Brown
6. Allen Hurns
7. Chris Conley
8. N’Keal Harry

Tight Ends
1. Jack Doyle
2. Ryan Griffin

Defense/Special Teams
1. New York Jets
2. Philadelphia Eagles

1. Zane Gonzalez
2. Chase McLaughlin

1. Ryan Tannehill, Titans — Rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues

With at least three carries and 37 rushing yards in each of his last three starts, Tannehill’s arguably reached matchup-proof status under center with Tennessee. Four consecutive Top 10 finishes (QB10, QB6, QB10, QB2) make him a buy-high candidate with any remaining FAAB if your roster is still struggling under center. It also ensures you have stake in his week-winning ceiling against the Raiders and Texans in Weeks 14 and 15.

2. Sam Darnold, Jets — Rostered in 39 percent of Yahoo Leagues

The Jets have finally figured it out, shortening their passing game to efficiently get Jamison Crowder, Ryan Griffin, Robby Anderson, and even Demaryius Thomas involved underneath in order to mask their everchanging and ineffective offensive trenches. The Bengals don’t offer a single threat on defense and trail only the Dolphins in sacks (16) and pressures (72), keeping Darnold as one of the safest plays on the board (with a salivating ceiling) in Week 13.

3. Nick Foles, Jaguars — Rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues

If there were ever a time for Foles to bounce back, it’s obviously against a Bucs secondary that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks. This game also features the second-highest projected total (48.5) on Sunday, making any exposure to Foles and the Jags’ offense an enticing one-week proposition.

4. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins — Rostered in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues

Philadelphia’s defense is one of the top streamers of the week and Fitzpatrick can shred them for 200 yards and two scores. Yes, both can be true. He’s merely a flier if desperate for help under center since he’s bucked tougher matchups against the Bills (QB19) and Browns (QB7) in Miami’s last two games.

Honorable Mention: Washington’s sudden change of heart in shifting Josh Norman to the bench resulted in the secondary’s best performance to date opposite Jeff Driskel, but that obviously isn’t a lock to continue against Kyle Allen and the Panthers’ set of explosive wideouts. Allen’s disastrous floor — four picks against the Falcons in Week 11, for example — render him as a 2-QB and SuperFlex option only.

1. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks – Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues

Chris Carson’s seventh fumble (and second in as many games) was clearly enough to send him packing to the bench. As DraftSharks’ Jared Smola notes, Penny out-carried Carson 5 to 0 following the latter’s untimely fourth-quarter fumble. The second-year pro’s snaps (30, 46%), carries (14), and rushing yards (129) were also season-high marks. Penny projects to be used in a timeshare at the very least over the next five games, suddenly becoming a sturdy FLEX play on similar touches to Carson.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team PPR leagues

2. Bo Scarbrough, Lions – Rostered in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues

Scarbrough’s handled 76 percent of Detroit’s backfield carries over the last two weeks, shedding four tackles and ranking No. 9 in yards after contact per attempt (3.53) among 48 qualifiers with at least 10 carries in that stretch. Note that the Bears struggled to contain Todd Gurley (25/97/1) without Akiem Hicks (elbow, IR) and Danny Trevathan (elbow) before running into 2019 version of Saquon Barkley (17/59) last week.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team standard leagues and 12-team PPR leagues

3. Darrel Williams, Chiefs – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues

Darrel previously squeezed out two top-15 finishes as Kansas City’s direct backup in Weeks 3 and 4 and more recently finished as Week 11’s RB25 with both Damien Williams (ribs) and LeSean McCoy (concussion) leaving early against the Chargers. Buying Darrel now obviously allows for an RB2/3 on your bench in the event either ahead of him miss any more time. I would prioritize Darrel over Scarbrough if looking for a postseason stash rather than a one-week play.

Recommendation: Should be stashed in 12-team leagues

4. Nyheim Hines, Colts – Rostered in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues

Jonathan Williams (26/104/1) obviously took Marlon Mack’s (hand, out) workhorse role against the Texans but Hines still sneakily accounted for 25.7 percent of Indianapolis’ backfield carries and 11 routes run. He’s still a viable pickup and FLEX in PPR leagues.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues

5. Benny Snell, Steelers – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues

Snell’s 21 carries sans James Conner (shoulder, doubtful) on Sunday is a positive. His inability to eclipse the century mark on as many carries against the Bengals, however, goes to show how disastrous his weekly floor projects to be in tougher matchups. It doesn’t help that Jaylen Samuels (22 snaps), Trey Edmunds (12), and even Kerrith Whyte (7) were all involved behind him. Bid with caution.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team standard league

1. Anthony Miller, Bears – Rostered in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues

Miller was going to make this list anyhow, but Taylor Gabriel’s (concussion) likely absence on Thursday puts the former in prime position to explode away from Darius Slay’s shadow coverage on Allen Robinson. Gabriel vacates 5.7 targets and a nice 69.3 air yards per game since Chicago returned from their Week 6 bye and had more recently logged 88.5 percent of the Bears’ offensive snaps in his two performances prior to leaving early against the Giants. Miller meanwhile has soaked up a team-high 23.8 percent target share and 12/131 receiving in his past two games. I would confidently start Miller over fringe WR3 options such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, Brandin Cooks, Curtis Samuel, and Larry Fitzgerald (among others) in Week 13.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Randall Cobb, Cowboys – Rostered in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues

Amari Cooper (0/0) wasn’t on the injury report and played 81 percent of Dallas’ snaps on Sunday but ultimately failed to fight through Stephon Gilmore’s coverage on 27 of his 30 routes. Tre’Davious White presents a similar matchup on Thanksgiving Day, keeping Cobb in line to continue his four-week run as fantasy’s WR8 since Week 9. He’s tallied at least seven targets and four catches in every outing in that stretch.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

3. Darius Slayton, Giants – Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues

Slayton is only back on the fantasy radar because Golden Tate (concussion) is currently in the league’s protocol. Having averaged 6.7 targets on 91.8 percent of New York’s offensive snaps since Week 6, there’s an obvious path for the fifth-round rookie to continue his rapport with Daniel Jones if Tate (and Engram, for that matter) aren’t cleared for Sunday.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues if Golden Tate (concussion) is ruled out

4. Russell Gage, Falcons – Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues

Much like Slayton’s touch-and-go status, Gage is only an option on Thanksgiving evening if Julio Jones (shoulder) can’t go. The career special teamer saw 10 targets on 64-of-87 snaps in the interim against the Bucs, though, and would qualify as a WR4/5 and DFS flier if Julio isn’t ready for Atlanta’s short turnaround.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues if Julio Jones (shoulder) is ruled out

5. A.J. Brown, Titans – Rostered in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues

We’ve been here before. Brown’s snap rate returned to its usual 70-percent mark with Corey Davis (hip) back in the fold against Jacksonville despite the rookie’s impressive 4/135/1 box score. In his prior performance on a season-high 94 percent of Tennessee’s snaps, though, Brown busted on 1/17 and four targets. The No. 51 overall pick is obviously a superior talent, but depending on any of the Titans’ wideouts for weekly consistency remains a crapshoot. Move Brown ahead of both Slayton and Gage is Julio's cleared for Thursday.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

6. Allen Hurns, Dolphins – Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues

Miami’s target tree should dwindle to DeVante Parker and Hurns (in order) with Albert Wilson (ribs) and Jakeem Grant (ankle) likely done for the year. Hurns accounted for 4/42/1 on an 18 percent target share in his first interim run off the bench in Cleveland.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

7. Chris Conley, Jaguars – Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues

Conley’s 134.5 air yards per game from Nick Foles the past two weeks rival D.J. Chark’s team-high 137 per game in that span. All ancillary pieces typically cash-in against the Bucs’ corners room and that shouldn’t change with M.J. Stewart (knee, out) still on the mend.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues

8. N’Keal Harry, Patriots – Rostered in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues

Undrafted gem Jakobi Meyers (4/74) out-performed Harry (6’4/225) on Sunday but the latter still gets the preferable nod off waivers since his touchdown equity (as proven by his lone pitch-and-catch inside the 10-yard line on Sunday) remains higher. Harry also projects to stick around in three-wide sets when Phillip Dorsett (concussion) is cleared since he out-snapped Meyers 57 to 54 on Sunday.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

1. Jack Doyle, Colts — Rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues

Ebron’s (ankle) sudden trip to injured reserve leaves 4.7 targets and 20.4 routes per game on the table to soak up in the homestretch. Mo Alie-Cox or Ross Travis will take the contract-year tight end’s role in 12 personnel, but Doyle projects to stay glued to the field for every offensive snap in the next five games. Even if his two targets to date inside the 10-yard line don’t budge, Doyle now carries a floor worth starting over anyone not named Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz, Darren Waller, George Kittle, and Hunter Henry.

2. Ryan Griffin, Jets — Rostered in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues

Griffin’s box scores in his last four games without Chris Herndon (knee, IR) speak for themselves as he’s posted 4/66/2, 6/50, 5/109/1, and 3/13/1 on 89.7 percent of New York’s snaps in those four contests. The Bengals have only faced 46 tight end targets (21st-overall) this year but have permitted the ninth-most receiving yards (596) to that position.

Watch List: Kaden Smith was surprisingly an every-down player without Evan Engram (foot), playing 59-of-60 snaps against the Bears. Hi 16 percent target share and 41 routes (on 100 percent of Daniel Jones’ dropbacks nonetheless) would obviously diminish if Engram’s cleared for Week 13…David Njoku (wrist, IR) was downgraded mid-week and kept on injured reserve. He remains day-to-day but is essentially two weeks away from becoming fantasy viable until further notice.

1. New York Jets – Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues

You don’t have to smudge the numbers to explain New York’s sudden defensive breakout. Their combined 46 D/ST points against Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins, and Derek Carr over the last three weeks can solely be attributed to DC Gregg Williams’ blitzing unit running into incompetent signal-callers under pressure. That’s still the case in Weeks 13 and 14 with Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick on deck. Run back any Jets pickup with a forward-thinking claim on Dallas (versus the Rams) or Philadelphia (at Washington) to ensure the perfect pivot away from New York’s Week 15 matchup against the Ravens.

2. Philadelphia Eagles – Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues

Although their recent success is likely matchup-based, it’s worth nothing Philadelphia’s defense limited Josh Allen, Mitchell Trubisky, Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson to an average 181.3 yards through the air since Week 8, second only to the 49ers’ spotless 180 per outing in that span. Every defense to face the Dolphins this season has finished the week as a 12-team starter and that shouldn’t change on Sunday.

Honorable Mention: The Bills (D/ST6), Jets (D/ST10), and Lions (D/ST10) have all finished as Top 10 plays opposite Dwayne Haskins in the rookie’s only three starts. Carolina’s up next in a clear get-right spot without DT Dontari Poe (quad, out).

1. Zane Gonzalez, Cardinals – Rostered in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues

Gonzalez is only available in a majority of leagues because 72 percent of fantasy players couldn’t accept stashing two kickers (and rightfully so) through Arizona’s bye. Even in not having tried a field goal in over a week, though, Gonzalez remains fantasy’s K4 and No. 1 in attempts (21) and makes (20) from 20-39 yards out. I would only hold Harrison Butler over him for the rest of the season.

2. Chase McLaughlin, 49ers – Rostered in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues

Robbie Gould (quad) wasn’t close to playing against the Cardinals, putting his status for Sunday night’s showdown against the Ravens in serious doubt. McLaughlin has buoyed the veteran’s absence into 11 fantasy points per game due in part to his five attempts from 40-49 yards in that stretch. He’s a clear-cut Top 10 option until Gould is cleared.