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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 13
11/27/17; Updated: 11/28/17 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

After his best fantasy game of the season, up next for Brett Hundley are the Bucs and Browns.


Brett Hundley, GB – I included Hundley in my QBs “to consider” last week facing a Steelers secondary that ended up looking not so formidable on Sunday night. Hundley has long had the confidence of head coach Mike McCarthy and responded with his first solid performance – 245-3-0 in a tough loss. Hundley is owned in fewer than 20 percent of fantasy leagues but should see an uptick in ownership heading into a favorable matchup with the Bucs.

UPDATE: During a pre-game workout Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers reportedly threw a pass that “traveled more than 50 yards” through the air – a big jump from a few weeks ago, when he was just doing simulations. The All-Pro QB isn’t eligible to return to the field until Week 15, which gives Hundley a couple more games to help fantasy owners.

Jameis Winston, TB – UPDATE: Reports of a clean MRI and plans to ramp up throwing activity mean Winston could be back in the saddle as soon as this week against a poor Packers pass defense. It’ll be worth monitoring how his shoulder responds to the increased strain on Wednesday and Thursday, but HC Dirk Koetter is optimistic and anxious to get his offense back on track. When healthy, Winston is a Top 10 fantasy QB and he’s owned in just 50-65 percent of leagues right now.

Josh McCown, NYJ – I’d only start McCown in leagues where your other options are guys who have completely gone off the rails (like Dak Prescott and Alex Smith), but the Week 13 matchup is a favorable one overall and the veteran QB is coming off a solid game against the Panthers (307-3-0). Temper your expectations but hope for a shootout against the Chiefs.

UPDATE: Todd Bowles reiterated early this week McCown “is our quarterback,” solidifying him in his current fantasy role as a streaming option.

Blake Bortles, JAC – Bortles threw for just 160-0-1 against the Cards, but rushed for 62 yards and two scores. In week 13, he gets to play at home versus the Colts and we could be looking at more robust passing numbers. He’s about 50-65 percent owned and should be considered a middle-tier QB2.

Other QBs to consider: Eli Manning (NYG), Blaine Gabbert (ARI), Jimmy Garoppolo (SF), Jacoby Brissett (IND), Trevor Siemian (DEN)


Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB – Sunday’s 283-0-0 with 20 rushing yards was very un-Fitzpatrick-like, since we’re used to a few TD passes and turnovers. Still, he’s got plenty of upside and will continue to have the starting role with Winston out. This week he has a favorable matchup against Green Bay and remains a decent streaming option.

UPDATE: It appears that Winston is back on track to return this week, effectively ending Fitzpatrick’s fantasy relevance.

Tyrod Taylor, BUF – Taylor turned in yet another steady but unexciting turnover-free performance in a win over Kansas City, throwing for 183-1-0. He’s the Bills QB heading into Week 13, when he might be forced to play keep-up with the Patriots juggernaut offense. It’s a favorable matchup and Taylor could be a sneaky value play in DFS tourneys.

UPDATE: If Sean McDermott continues to ride Taylor into Week 14 (not a sure thing considering his dubious faith in T-Mobile thus far), the Colts are an awfully good matchup for the Bills offense.

Paxton Lynch, DEN – Lynch was abysmal (41-0-1 on 9-for-14 passing; 20 rushing yards) in Sunday game against the Raiders before leaving with an ankle injury and being replaced by Trevor Siemian (Brock Osweiler was a healthy scratch). Reports from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport suggest that he’s considered day-to-day with an ankle injury, so it’s likely we see Siemian under center in Week 13 @MIA.

UPDATE: Lynch is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a high-ankle sprain, so it's looking more and more like Siemian will finish the year as the starter.

DeShone Kizer, CLE – Kizer had 268-0-0, 39 rushing yards and a TD – his second game this season without a turnover. He’s not a good option against the Chargers and their excellent pass rush next week.

Running Backs

Kenyan Drake, MIA – With Damien Williams (shoulder) not expected to play in Week 13, Drake will assume a feature role and be a popular addition on the waiver wire this week. He’s got a tough matchup (vs. DEN) but is still available in about 20-30 percent of fantasy leagues and could be worth a look as an RB3/flex against the Broncos.

UPDATE: Williams’ shoulder injury is apparently a dislocation, which likely means a multi-week absence for Williams and a few weeks of Drake as the feature back.

Rex Burkhead, NE – Burkhead (70-75 percent owned) followed up a disappointing Week 11 with 50 rushing yards and a TD, as well as a 1-yard TD pass from Tom Brady (2-3-1 on two targets). Burkhead has emerged as a favored pass-catching option for the Patriots and has been heavily involved over the past few weeks. Burkhead and Dion Lewis are the best running back fantasy options for the Patriots moving forward, as James White’s touches have been decreasing.

Peyton Barber/Jacquizz Rodgers, TB – With Doug Martin (concussion) on the shelf, Barber (1 percent owned) had his best fantasy game of the season, rushing for two TDs on just five carries against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 12. Rodgers (5-15 percent owned) rushed for 31 yards on eight carries and both could see expanded roles if Martin is forced to miss time.

Mike Davis, SEA – UPDATE: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Davis (groin) will play Week 13 against the Eagles. The team promoted the former Niners and Gamecock RB from the practice squad prior to Week 11 in the wake of the C.J. Prosise ankle injury, and he’s now finally ready for his shot. Of course, Carroll is always sunbeams and butterflies when talking about injuries and availability, so there’s room for pessimism among the rest of us. Still, Lacy didn’t show any explosiveness and the Seahawks are hoping for a lead back that can deliver chunks of yardage to ease the burden on their QB. Davis (5-10 percent owned in competitive leagues) is worth adding in 12-team leagues and deeper formats, though he’s still a longshot for steady production.

Eddie Lacy, SEA – Lacy finally had a decent game with 46 rushing yards on 17 carries and 3-15-0 – even if the Seahawks RBs remain a sparsely effective unit. It’s pretty clear that Lacy and the other Seattle backs are dart throws at best, especially since Russell Wilson is the team’s rushing leader and preferred goal line back. Still, Lacy (20-25 percent owned) looked better than he has at any other point this season and his involvement in the passing game is encouraging.

UPDATE: The news that Davis will return this week hurts Lacy’s fantasy value, since the Seahawks are desperate to find a RB that brings a hint of upside to the table.

Other RBs to consider: Rod Smith (DAL), J.D. McKissic (SEA), Wayne Gallman (NYG), Marlon Mack (IND)


Tarik Cohen, CHI – Cohen was a total bust Sunday, running for -11 yards on two carries and adding 2-8-0 on two targets from Mitch Trubisky. Even Jordan Howard has been a dubious option with the Bears offense completely in the tank.

Chris Ivory/T.J. Yeldon, JAC – Leonard Fournette played as expected, and Ivory was a less-than-non-factor, finishing with negative points after losing a fumble. Yeldon, however, posted a 5-42-0 receiving line along with 10 rushing yards on three carries, so he was at least a minor help in deeper leagues as a flex.

Devontae Booker, DEN – The Broncos offense under Lynch was an unmitigated disaster, holding Booker to just six rushes and 11 yards. He added 2-22 receiving but this was a big letdown spot in a game the Broncos should have been more competitive. As a whole, the Broncos running game isn’t a good fantasy investment moving forward.

Damien Williams, MIA – Williams got off to a good start (38 yards on 8 carries and 3-14-0 receiving) but was forced from Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury and is not expected to play in Week 13. Drake took over as Miami's feature back after Williams left and will be worth RB3/flex consideration even in a tough matchup against the Broncos.

UPDATE: As mentioned above, the shoulder dislocation likely means a multi-week absence, so fantasy owners can safely move on from Williams.

Corey Clement, PHI – Clement had 27 rushing yards on four carries and 1-12-0 on his lone target. The rookie took a back seat to LeGarrette Blount on Sunday as the veteran ran for 97 yards on 15 carries.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Cooper Kupp, LAR – I’ve mentioned Kupp in this column several times, and neglected to include him in last week’s column because I assumed his ownership was well above 90 percent in competitive leagues, but after Sunday’s big performance (8-116-0 on 11 targets), I gave it a look. He’s still only 60 percent owned in ESPN leagues and just under 85 percent owned in more competitive formats. If he’s somehow available in yours, he’s a must-play with Robert Woods on the shelf, even though he was started in just 35-50 percent of fantasy leagues in Week 12.

Martavis Bryant, PIT – Bryant isn’t nearly as highly owned as JuJu Smith-Schuster, and was active in about 30 percent of fantasy leagues in Week 12 – despite being a popular add a couple weeks back. He’s currently at about 65-70 percent ownership in competitive leagues and remains a high-upside play with some risk. Still, he turned in an adequate 4-40-1 on six targets and will be a solid play @CIN if Smith-Schuster remains out in Week 13.

UPDATE: JSS (hamstring) is still uncertain for the matchup with the Bengals, and the Steelers don’t expect to know where he’s at until later in the week. That makes making a bid for Bryant a bit of a leap of faith that JSS won’t play.

Randall Cobb, GB – With Hundley’s emergence in Week 13 came impressive numbers from Cobb (4-58-1), who scored for the first time since Week 4. As with Hundley, it’s a good plan to jump on board the Green Bay passing game as it picks up steam facing a struggling secondary in Tampa Bay. Cobb is available in about a third of fantasy leagues and represents a decent 6-8 point baseline in PPR formats.

Jermaine Kearse, NYJ – The Jets aren’t running the ball well right now, which has put quite a bit of pressure on their receivers to carry the offensive load. Kearse saw 11 targets on Sunday and converted them into 7-105-1, his best output since Week 2. Kearse now has 66 targets on the season, trailing only Robby Anderson.

Zay Jones, BUF – The rookie’s 3-33-1 line should have been a little more robust considering the 10 targets he saw, but this up-and-down performance shouldn’t be viewed with too much scrutiny, since he’s one of the only talented receivers on the roster and Taylor seems to look his way more often now. Jones (20-25 percent owned) should continue to see frequent targets each week, making him a viable streaming option in favorable matchups – like the tilt with New England next week.

UPDATE: Kelvin Benjamin does indeed have a torn meniscus (knee) and is expected to miss Week 13, which means that Jones is still the top target for Taylor.

Dede Westbrook, JAC – UPDATE: Westbrook caught 6-41-0 on a team-high 10 targets from Bortles in the Jags’ Week 12 loss to the Cards, but some of that volume was a result of their No.1 WR – Marqise Lee – being blanketed by Patrick Peterson. Regardless, the rookie fourth-round WR has now seen 16 targets in the two games he’s been active since coming off IR, and the Week 13 matchup is a favorable one against a generous Colts secondary. Westbrook could easily ramp his activity into WR3 territory and he makes a great dynasty/keeper stash as the Jags entire team outlook improves.

Seth Roberts, OAK – UPDATE: With Michael Crabtree facing a two-game suspension (he’ll likely appeal and serve at least one game for his scuffle with Aqib Talib), Roberts is his most likely replacement. Roberts started in place of Crabtree in Week 4 when the veteran sat out with a bruised lung. He’s not a high-upside play but he did see nine targets from Derek Carr in Week 11 against the Pats.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Josh Reynolds (LAR), Cody Latimer (DEN), Tyrell Williams (LAC), TE Nick Vannett (SEA) Kenny Golladay (DET), Marquise Goodwin (SF), TE Charles Clay (BUF), TE Julius Thomas (MIA)


Kenny Stills, MIA – Stills finished with 3-47-0 on six targets as the Patriots defense did an excellent job limiting the Dolphins offense – even in garbage time.

Jamison Crowder, WAS – Crowder broke out on Thanksgiving with 7-141-1 on 10 targets – his biggest fantasy performance of the season.

UPDATE: Crowder is a no-brainer plug-n-play for Thursday night against the Cowboys, who are struggling to contain opposing offenses. Of course, they haven’t seen an opposing offensive lineman get called for holding in 33 quarters, but who’s counting?

Josh Doctson, WAS – Doctson hit paydirt on one of his two catches (2-28-1 on four targets) but failed to see the level of involvement many had predicted heading into Thursday’s game.

UPDATE: See above regarding Crowder and his matchup with Dallas. This could be the last viable spot to play Doctson, since he’ll face a couple of shutdown corners in weeks 14 and 15.

Corey Coleman, CLE – Coleman finished with 3-64-0 on eight targets in an inefficient performance. The talented young receiver dropped a would-be 29-yard TD in the end zone during the third quarter, which came on a nice toss from DeShone Kizer. He’s 65-75 percent owned and should be on the radar in a nice spot Week 13 @LAC.

TE O.J. Howard, TB – Howard had 3-52-0 on four targets Sunday and remains a TD-dependent option. He’s showing us a lot of good things in his rookie season and makes sense as a dynasty stash with oodles of upside.

TE Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI – Seals-Jones proved his Week 11 performance was not a fluke, hauling in 4-72-1 on six targets from Blaine Gabbert. The Cards seem to have found an undrafted gem in RSJ – who’s worth owning in a growing number of formats, including keeper leagues.

Mike Wallace, BAL – UPDATE: Wallace caught just 5-48-0 despite 11 targets from Joe Flacco in the Ravens’ Week 12 win over the Texans. It’s nice to see Flacco looking the veteran’s way, but it appears Wallace isn’t quite the explosive receiver he once was. He’s still a threat to get loose and log the occasional big score, but the Ravens offense is more committed to grinding out yardage, relying on their defense, and controlling the clock.