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Working the Wire: Week 13

By Josh Tinelli | 11/27/23 |

Each week I’ll provide you with a rundown by position of key waiver wire adds. We’ll evaluate not just breakouts based on past performance, but also who could deliver this week based on a soft matchup. Stats will be provided based on a 12-team PPR league, with players less than 75% (preferably less than 50%) ownership being considered.

Note: This column will be updated tomorrow at the conclusion of Week 12.

Week 13 Byes: Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minnesota, New York Giants


Derek Carr, NO vs DET

Carr went 304-0-1 against the Falcons in Week 12, failing to find the endzone against a Falcons team that had allowed the 5th-most passing TDs. In Week 13, he looks to rebound against another bottom-10 defense against QBs when he faces the Lions at home.

Russell Wilson, DEN @ HOU

Wilson saved his fantasy day with his legs, going 11-34-1 on the ground to pair with 134-1-0 passing in a victory over the faltering Browns. The Broncos have now won 5 in a row, during which Wilson has thrown 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He looks to keep the winning streak alive in a potential shootout against the Texans.

Other QBs to consider: Kenny Pickett PIT (vs ARI)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Derek Carr, NO @ ATL: See above

Jordan Love, GB vs LAC: Love had a great game in the win over the Lions on Thanksgiving, going 268-3-0 and adding 3-39-0 rushing. Up next is a much tougher test against the Chiefs on Sunday night.

Running Backs

Chuba Hubbard, CAR @ TB

Hubbard had a nice day against the Titans, despite Bryce Young’s continued struggles. He managed 14-45-1 rushing and 5-5-47-0 receiving as the Panthers fell to 1-10. Up next is a tough rush defense, but with the Panthers trying to limit Young’s exposure, Hubbard figures to get a heavy workload.

Antonio Gibson, WAS vs MIA

Gibson put together a 6-21-0 rushing line to go with his 4-3-16-0 receiving against the Cowboys in a blowout on Thanksgiving, matching starter Brian Robinson Jr. with a 45% snap share. With 20 targets over the last four weeks, Gibson figures to be busy again in Week 13 as the Commanders will be playing catch-up with the explosive Dolphins.

Other RBs to consider: Tyjae Spears TEN (vs IND)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Zach Charbonnet, SEA vs SF: With Kenneth Walker out, Charbonnet got the start and managed 14-47-0 rushing and 4-4-11-0 receiving against a tough 49ers team on Thanksgiving. If Walker can’t get cleared in another short week (Seahawks vs Cowboys on Thursday night), Charbonnet will see a bunch of snaps against another stingy defense.

AJ Dillon, GB @ DET: With Aaron Jones out, Dillon plodded his way to a respectable game against the Lions, going 14-43-0 rushing to go with 3-3-38-0 receiving. His volume will most likely crater if Jones comes back for their next game against the Chiefs.

Keaton Mitchell, BAL @ LAC: Mitchell continues to grow his role, starting the game and leading the Ravens backfield in touches. He went 9-64-0 on the ground and 2-2-25-0 through the air, and gets a week off before a tough four-game stretch to close out the season. He’ll be a sneaky add if anyone drops him this week due to six teams on bye.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks, DAL vs WAS

Cooks had a nice stat line against the Commanders as Dak Precott threw for 4 TDs, going 5-4-72-1 in a blowout win on Thanksgiving. Cooks has scored a TD in four of his last six games as Dak has been on fire. Up next is another positive matchup against the Seahawks where Cooks looks to keep the good times rolling.

Josh Downs, IND vs TB

Downs had a respectable game against the Bucs, catching 5 for 43 yards. He could’ve had a big day, as his 13 targets tied Michael Pittman Jr. for the team lead, but his inefficiency didn’t help. Hopefully he can bounce back against the Titans, who he went 6-6-97-0 against in Week 4 and who have allowed the 5th-most receptions to WRs.

Demario Douglas, NE vs LAC

Douglas had a nice 9-6-49-0 day against the Giants, leading the team in targets. With Mac Jones struggling to push the ball downfield, Douglas has been a nice security blanket. He suffered what appears to be a concussion, so his Week 13 status is up in the air pending the results on his concussion protocol. If he can go, he’ll be another streaming option against a Chargers team that is 3rd-worst against WRs.

Greg Dortch, ARI @ PIT

Dortch spiked a TD against the Rams to go 9-3-27-1 in Week 12. That’s a healthy 17 targets in the last two games, both without Michael Wilson. If Wilson can’t go again this week, Dortch could be a streamer candidate with six teams on bye. Kyler Murray looks to recreate the 2022 magic with Dortch when they face the Steelers and their 9th-worst defense against WRs.

Josh Palmer, LAC @ NE

Palmer has been on IR but is slated to return this week from a knee injury. Keep an eye on the practice reports because if he does, he should see a decent volume beside Keenan Allen since Quentin Johnston and Jalen Guyton haven’t been getting it done in his absence. The Patriots defense is slightly worse than average against WRs, so he could be a sneaky add from the waiver wire if he was dropped in your league.

Pat Freiermuth, PIT vs ARI

Freiermuth had a monster game in his 2nd game back from injury and first without fired OC Matt Canada. He went 11-9-120-0 against the Bengals, who have been very soft against tight ends. Up next he gets a Cardinals defense that has been stingy against the postion on the year, but just gave up 2 TDs to Tyler Higbee in a blowout loss to the Rams.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Rashid Shaheed NO (vs DET), Curtis Samuel WAS (vs MIA), Jonathan Mingo CAR (@ TB), Hunter Henry NE (vs LAC)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Brandin Cooks, DAL vs WAS: See above.

Josh Downs, IND vs TB: See above.

Demario Douglas, NE @ NYG: See above

Odell Beckham Jr., BAL @ LAC: OBJ finished tied for 3rd on the team in targets, but only managed 5-3-34-0 against a forgiving Chargers secondary. He’s on bye this week before a couple of middling matchups afterwards.

Isaiah Likely, BAL @ LAC: With Mark Andrews out for the rest of the regular season (at least), Likely has stepped into the starter’s role and delivered. He finished the game against the Chargers 2nd on the team in targets, going 6-4-40-0. Up next is a bye week, where he can use the time to build his trust with Lamar Jackson.

Logan Thomas, WAS @ DAL: Thomas had a disappointing effort in the blowout loss to the Cowboys, only seeing 4-2-15-0 despite Sam Howell throwing 44 times. He has another positive matchup on paper against the Dolphins, where Howell will be expected to have to come from behind again.

Defense/ Special Teams

Buccaneers vs CAR

Tampa Bay has been struggling of late, but despite going 1-6 in their last seven games they’re one game out of the division lead. In Week 13, they face a Panthers team that has allowed the 4th-most sacks, scored the 4th-fewest points, and is tied for the league lead in defensive TDs allowed, so the Bucs look to get back into the win column against their division rival doormats.

Jaguars vs CIN

The Bengals have been a tough team for opposing defenses, but that was with Joe Burrow at the helm. Now with Jake Browning starting, Cincinnati looks vulnerable. Last week they only scored 10 points and gave up 4 sacks and a turnover to the Steelers. The Jags look to keep their hot streak going as they seek their 8th win from their last nine games.

Falcons @ NYJ

Atlanta’s defense had a great day against the Saints, creating 2 turnovers and a defensive TD as they powered the team to victory in Week 12. Up next they get a Jets team that is starting 3rd stringer Tim Boyle, who coughed up their first defensive TD of the season against the Dolphins. The Jets have scored the 3rd-fewest points and allowed the 3rd-most sacks, so the Falcons should have another good day.

Last week’s waiver adds:

Broncos vs CLE: The Broncos had a monster day against the Browns, creating 4 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries and allowing only 12 points. They have much tougher tests on deck (Texans, Chargers, Lions), so despite being on a five-game winning streak, they won’t be a recommended fantasy play this week.

Patriots @ NYG: The Patriots benefitted from a poor Giants offense to get a whopping 6 sacks and a fumble recovery. Despite holding the Giants to 10 points, they still ended up losing as their own offense only managed 7. They are droppable for a Week 13 tilt against the Chargers.

Titans vs CAR: Tennessee benefitted from playing the NFL’s worst team, holding the Panthers to only 10 points while getting 4 sacks and a turnover. Up next is a Colts team they struggled against in Week 5, so they won’t be a recommended D/ST this week.