Waiver Wire, Week 13: AKERS OF LAND to win on

John Daigle
·19 min read



Welcome to the Week 13 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2020 season. It's almost sad to see this fantasy regular season come to a close since it's taken a grueling amount of work to stay competitive all year, but there's still one last week to prep the end of your benches for a successful postseason run. We’ll also set our sights on substitutes for Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers skill players while sifting through potential injury and COVID list replacements ahead fo 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.

Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!

The Drop List

QB: Drew Brees

RB: Joe Mixon, Devin Singletary, Jerick McKinnon

WR: Travis Fulgham

TE: Jared Cook, Tyler Higbee

Travis Fulgham’s target share dipped to an absurdly low 4.4% on Monday night as fake-sharp Doug Pederson had the audacity to play 30-year-old Alshon Jeffery for a season-high 27 routes run over Fulgham (26). I would rather log-in every morning and see the You have 1 empty spot on your roster notification than keep Fulgham on my bench...Jerick McKinnon kept fantasy players afloat with 15 and 19 touches before the bye, but Raheem Mostert’s and Jeff Wilson’s availabilities sent McKinnon to the back of the line with 18 snaps (25%) against the Rams. McKinnon would need not one, but two injuries to happen ahead of him to be relevant for fantasy again this year...Everyone is too busy complaining about Alvin Kamara’s -2 receiving yards from Taysom Hill (!!!) the past two games to notice that Jared Cook has totaled one catch in that stint. He’s bench fodder as long as Hill remains under center.

Overall Top 5

1. Cam Akers
2. Devontae Booker
3. Sammy Watkins
4. Denzel Mims
5. Brian Hill

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. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in Week 13. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster — touches, high-upside bench stashes, targets, one-week spot-starters, etc.

Quarterbacks

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick
2. Kirk Cousins
3. Mitchell Trubisky

4. Philip Rivers

Running Backs

Latavius Murray rostered in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.

1. Cam Akers
2. Devontae Booker
3. Brian Hill
4. Alexander Mattison

Wide Receivers

Deebo Samuel rostered in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 add if available.

1. Sammy Watkins
2. Denzel Mims
3. Nelson Agholor
4. Gabriel Davis
5. Josh Reynolds
6. Allen Lazard
7. Keke Coutee

Tight Ends

1. Jordan Reed
2. Logan Thomas
3. Kyle Rudolph
4. Jordan Akins

Defense/Special Teams

1. Atlanta Falcons
2. Las Vegas Raiders
3. Detroit Lions
4. Arizona Cardinals

Kickers

1. Tyler Bass
2. Greg Zuerlein
3. Ka’imi Fairbairn

QUARTERBACKS

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins — Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo Leagues (Suggested 2-4% FAAB Bid)

Rather than leaning on any uncertainty in the team’s backfield without both Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) and Myles Gaskin (knee) Sunday, coach Brian Flores simply allowed Fitzpatrick to mount a lead with 34 pass attempts to 10 running back carries through three quarters; only then did DeAndre Washington get the go-ahead for nine of his backfield-high 13 runs to close the game. Fantasy players can confidently look to Fitzmagic once more (assuming Tua Tagovailoa remains sidelined) since the Bengals create the league’s lowest pressure rate and have reached its opponents’ quarterback just 13 times all season.

2. Kirk Cousins, Vikings — Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

The Vikings shot themselves in the foot for the second week in a row with two third-quarter miscues that resulted in S Jeremy Chinn running a fumble into the end zone on back-to-back snaps. That of course forced Cousins into negative game script for the final 15 minutes, throwing two of his three touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone. This week’s matchup against the Jaguars entails much of the same: if whomever is under center can clap back against the Vikings’ secondary, Cousins will again tower over other streamers, as he has behind 9.2 yards per attempt and eight touchdowns on an average 37 pass attempts in Minnesota’s last three games. His 17 attempts per game in two contests prior to that stretch would be the ensuing result if Mike Glennon/Gardner Minshew fail to put up a fight.

3. Mitchell Trubisky, Bears — Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

The wheels have come completely off for Detroit's defense since Week 8, allowing a league-high 32.6 points per game in that stretch with an average 289.6 yards through the air. Trubisky meanwhile has played his best ball against the Lions with three touchdown passes in each of his last four games opposite them (including his performance in Week 1). He's a thin option who at least is guaranteed to be slinging it, for better or worse, in garbage time.

4. Philip Rivers, Colts — Rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo Leagues (1-2%)

Rivers was under pressure on 30% of his dropbacks (and only completed 57.1% of his passes for it) Sunday because both C Ryan Kelly (neck) and LT Anthony Castonzo (knee) were lost for the game. That could be the case again this week, sending Rivers plummeting further down the rankings, but this spot opposite Houston’s defense (and suddenly sans CB Bradley Roby) is one that even Matthew Stafford most recently had no issues moving the ball without two of his top playmakers. Jacoby Brissett’s goal line packages are certainly a nuisance for fantasy, but Rivers has still quietly thrown for 300 yards and/or multiple touchdowns in five of his last six starts.

Watch List: The Titans, likely short both Adoree Jackson (knee) and Jadeveon Clowney (injured reserve), are not considered a real threat to stump Baker Mayfield in what has been bet up to the week's highest total (53.5). Having said that, Mayfield has attempted fewer than 30 passes in each of Cleveland's last five games with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt available.

RUNNING BACKS

1. Cam Akers, Rams – Rostered in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 100% of remaining FAAB Bid)

As much as Dr. Dre needed a doctor that one time, the Rams needed a playmaker on Sunday, and Akers delivered with a 61-yard dash in the second half (his longest of the year) and three consecutive runs that eventually resulted in a goal line score. Scan the scene and it’s clear that the rookie’s time has finally come: Darrell Henderson has averaged 2.08 yards per carry since returning from Los Angeles’ bye post-quad injury while Malcolm Brown has only been entrusted for 17 total touches (5.7 per game) in that same three-game stint. Los Angeles also been bet up to -3 road favorites (from -1) since this line initially opened Sunday night, suggesting a favorable game script for Akers if he is in fact passed the torch.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Devontae Booker, Raiders – Rostered in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues (25-30%)

Booker admittedly wasn’t impressive in Las Vegas’ no-show Sunday, rushing for six yards on five carries and hauling in just one of his season-high four targets. Even so, Josh Jacobs’ (ankle) pending availability opens the door for Booker to perhaps see the field against a Jets front-seven that has permitted the most receptions to running backs (73) this year. West-to-East travel for an early game is worrisome, but Booker would at least be on the field in any negative game script since Jalen Richard (chest) is still banged up.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues if Josh Jacobs (ankle) is ruled out

3. Brian Hill, Falcons – Rostered in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues (15-20%)

Without Todd Gurley (knee) Sunday, Ito Smith out-touched Hill 16-13 and received this backfield’s only two touches inside the 10-yard line on the surface. Peek behind the curtain, though, and you’ll notice that Hill actually ran more routes than Smith (17-15) and had out-touched him 13-6 through three quarters before Ito was put on the field for 15 minutes of garbage time, recording 10 of his 16 touches in that final stretch. Atlanta’s matchup against New Orleans is less than ideal since the Saints haven’t allowed a single 100-yard performance on the ground since 2017, but Hill’s usage isn't up for debate if you're hurting to fill slots without Ronald Jones and Mike Davis one last time.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues if Todd Gurley (knee) remains sidelined

4. Alexander Mattison, Vikings – Rostered in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues (45-50%)

Dalvin Cook (ankle) reportedly won’t miss any time, but Sunday’s scare — the second straight week Cook got nicked up — was a reminder to keep Mattison rostered wherever applicable. He’s much more useful in the event Cook goes down than any meandering committee backs at the tail end of your roster. Mattison is the better long-term stash over Hill (hence his higher suggested bid).

Recommendation: Should be stashed in 12-team leagues

Watch List: Carlos Hyde out-snapped Chris Carson 41-25 in the latter's first game back from injury Monday night but still looked far worse than Carson on film. Carson's performance was likely good enough to assume a larger workload moving forward and thus remove Hyde from our player pool altogether...Even without Jonathan Taylor, who has since been activated from the team's COVID list, Sunday, Jordan Wilkins was doubled-up in touches (18-9) by Nyheim Hines. Wilkins has subtlely fallen out of Indy's picture of late, handling no more than nine touches in any of the Colts' last three games...Adrian Peterson unsurprisingly out-carried Kerryon Johnson 15-11 but the latter did turn four targets upfield for 52 yards. It still seems wiser to chase Johnson's receiving role, which is guaranteed, than Peterson's unpredictable goal line scores, especially since interim coach Darrell Bevell promised the Lions would play with "their hair on fire" for the rest of the season.

Deep Leagues: Benny Snell out-snapped Anthony McFarland (50-14) significant Wednesday night but the fact is the Steelers had 51 pass attempts to 19 running back carries and, in its last four games, 188 passes to 84 runs — a 69.1% pass play rate in that stretch. Pittsburgh's backfield carries, even if there is a bell-cow among the group in that time, are not anything to fight over off waivers since they're a minimal part of the team's gameplan.

WIDE RECEIVERS

1. Sammy Watkins, Chiefs — Rostered in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 25-30% FAAB Bid)

Watkins returned as Kansas City’s full-time slot receiver against the Bucs, mirroring Demarcus Robinson in snaps (57) while running far more routes than Mecole Hardman (46-19). Tyreek Hill stole the show of course, but Watkins’ 15.5% target share in an offense that has thrown the ball at the league’s highest rate in its last three games should not go overlooked.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Denzel Mims, Jets – Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues (25-30%)

Even with Sam Darnold back under center, Mims tied Breshad Perriman with a team-high eight targets and saw the team’s only end zone opportunity against Miami. The rookie has now out-targeted Perriman 24-19 since Jamison Crowder (10 targets in that span) returned to the lineup in Week 9.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

3. Nelson Agholor, Raiders – Rostered in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues (15-20%)

Agholor kept afloat as the overall WR36 in Sunday’s six-score blowout to the Falcons as he again out-produced Henry Ruggs for the fourth consecutive game. Bryan Edwards has been an afterthought as Las Vegas’ fourth wideout since returning from injury the past month, keeping Agholor entrenched as a viable WR3/4 weekly.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. Gabriel Davis, Bills – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues (15-20%)

Davis has now averaged three more targets per game (2.3 to 5.3) without John Brown (calf, injured reserve) this year, most recently playing 97% of Buffalo’s snaps against the Chargers. Although Stefon Diggs (12 targets per game) and Cole Beasley (7.3) remain light years ahead of Davis in terms of volume in those starts, fantasy players are at least buying into an immensely talented wideout guaranteed to be on the field inside the red zone for an offense that has averaged the third-highest pass play rate in neutral script the past three games.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

5. Josh Reynolds, Rams – Rostered in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues (15-20%)

Reynolds has been doused in Sex Panther of late, seeing six targets per time every time in Los Angeles’ last two games without LT Andrew Whitworth. The former at least played a season-high 98% of the Rams’ snaps this past week ahead of Sunday’s salivating matchup against a Cardinals Defense Jared Goff tagged for 743 yards and five touchdowns across two starts last year.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

6. Allen Lazard, Packers – Rostered in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues (15-20%)

Lazard saw the second-most targets (6) behind Davante Adams (9) Sunday night but was concerningly out-snapped (33) by both Marquez Valdes-Scantling (56) and Equanimeous St. Brown (38). I’m comfortable betting on his role progressively increasing, but Sunday’s usage won’t cut it as a WR2 in a vacuum. It’s something to monitor this week against the Eagles.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

7. Keke Coutee, Texans – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (15-20%)

To be clear, there is no apples-to-apples replacement for Will Fuller (suspended) and it’s entirely plausible the Texans suddenly can't move the ball since Deshaun Watson’s YPA has dipped from 8.7 to 7.2 in 18 career games without the former. But Coutee still projects for an uptick in targets from the slot since Kenny Stills (waived) and Randall Cobb (injured reserve) are also gone for the foreseeable future. Coutee at least leads Houston in red zone targets (4) since stepping in for Cobb the past two weeks.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues

Watch List: Like Mims, Breshad Perriman has kept a high floor by leading the team in air yards since Jamison Crowder returned from injury. Mims is the preferred target off waivers since his weekly opportunity has yet to hit a speed bump, but Perriman himself is also a terrific FLEX opposite Las Vegas...Willie Snead has seen more targets (25-16) and air yards (232-213) than Marquise Brown in their last five games together and remains the preferred target despite Brown's 70-yard touchdown with no one else available on offense Wednesday night.

Deep Leagues: Isaiah Coulter (6'2/198) did a majority of his damage against small-school competition at Rhode Island but did recorded 9/152/0 against Virginia Tech, 2/53/1 against Ohio, and 10/156/1 versus UConn in his three career games in FBS play. He'll likely man Fuller's spot on the boundary since Coutee has only played 17 snaps out wide all year...Andy Isabella logged 60% of Arizona's snaps and saw an 18% target share without Larry Fitzgerald (COVID). With the old-timer expected back against the Rams, reminder Isabella totaled six targets in three games prior...Like Isabella, Bisi Johnson's (7/74) and Chad Beebe (7/63/1) performances were a product of Adam Thielen being unable to turn around from the team's COVID list Sunday. He's since been activated and will play against Jacksonville...Speaking of Jacksonville, rookie Collin Johnson emerged as the wideout to target if D.J. Chark and Chris Conley are again ruled out. Keelan Cole (40) and Laviska Shenault (38) ultimately ran more routes than Johnson (36), but the latter still recorded a team-high 24.2% target share in three-wide sets from Mike Glennon with an end zone target to boot.

TIGHT ENDS

1. Jordan Reed, 49ers — Rostered in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 8-10% FAAB Bid)

Reed’s box score would have popped had Nick Mullens not missed him streaking up the seam wide open on Sunday. Fantasy players will instead have to take comfort in Reed’s six targets in back-to-back games and the fact he ran 25 routes to Ross Dwelley’s 10 against the Rams. The Bills, San Francisco’s upcoming opponent, have quietly permitted the seventh-most fantasy points to enemy tight ends.

2. Logan Thomas, Washington — Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Thomas’ team-high five red zone targets from Alex Smith the last three weeks are enough to garner him interest off waivers. His expanded usage with a carry (???) in consecutive games and, as displayed on Thanksgiving, trickery downfield is what rockets him up to fringe-TE1 status. He’s also run a route on all but one of Smith’s dropbacks (122-of-123) in Washington’s last three games.

3. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings — Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Rudolph didn’t disappoint in his second start for Irv Smith (groin) this year, collecting a two-year high in targets (8) on 78% of Minnesota’s offensive snaps. With a tantalizing route rate (77.5%) in his two spot-starts this season, Rudolph remains a strong usage-based streamer if Smith is again ruled out versus Jacksonville.

4. Jordan Akins, Texans — Rostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Akins was a turkey with zero catches on Thursday but did see two end zone targets that were nearly hauled in (one being a slight overthrow from Deshaun Watson). Without Randall Cobb and Will Fuller, though, we shouldn't expect their vacated 11.6 targets per game to all trickle down to Houston’s wideouts. Akins offers a different way to soak up that opportunity without the consequences of starting him at a position with stronger options.

Looking Ahead: Don't get caught chasing Trey Burton's performance (3/42/1) from Sunday since Mo Alie-Cox actually out-snapped him 38-27 on the day. Mo also quietly ran three more routes than Burton despite seeing four fewer targets...Will Dissly was expected to take over for Greg Olsen (foot, injured reserve, but it was instead Jacob Hollister who out-targeted the former 5-0 Monday night. Hollister, albeit a thin play, is suddenly the go-to option over Dissly if forced to choose.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

1. Atlanta Falcons – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues

Although this matchup on-paper against New Orleans logically entails fireworks, its total (45.5) has been bet down two points since initially opening and currently resides as the third-lowest on this slate. Note that Taysom Hill has taken six sacks and fumbled twice in his last two starts.

2. Las Vegas Raiders – Rostered in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues

The Jets have averaged 7.3 points per game in Sam Darnold’s last three starts as Adam Gase has taken over play-calling whenever the 23-year-old is under center. The Raiders are a high-floor option in a week with few confident streaming D/STs.

3. Detroit Lions – Rostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues

Any defense opposite Mitchell Trubisky or Carson Wentz will always make this list.

4. Arizona Cardinals – Rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues

Cardinals would benefit, much like the Niners did, if Bad Goff rears his head. Rostering Arizona this week also means starting them against the Colt McCoy-led Giants in the first round of the fantasy playoffs.

Watch List: Dallas Cowboys get Robert Griffin/Trace McSorley in Week 13 if Lamar Jackson is unable to get cleared in time for Tuesday.

KICKERS

1. Tyler Bass, Bills – Rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues

Odds are Bass is still widely available only because the Bills were on bye the week prior. Whatever the case, he’s the clear-cut top option for us since he’s sunk five field goals from 40-plus yards the past two games, notching at least 11 fantasy points in four of his last five outings.

2. Greg Zuerlein, Cowboys – Rostered in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues

Dallas’ cowardly play-calling has been a blessing for Zuerlein, who has knocked in 11 field goals for an otherwise anemic offense the past month. Expect Dallas to settle for more field goals on Tuesday night against Baltimore.

3. Ka’imi Fairbairn, Texans – Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues

Houston’s surging offense without Bill O’Brien had previously afforded Fairbairn at least 9.0 fantasy points in three of his last four starts. Will Fuller’s absence could tank the Texans’ red zone opportunities, but this divisional matchup against the Colts still projects with the second-highest total (53) on Sunday’s slate.