Welcome to the post-Week 12 installment of the Waiver Wire weekly series for the 2016 fantasy football season. Please note that all ownership levels are gathered from Fleaflicker.
For many of you, next week is everything. Week 13 is commonly used as the last week of the fantasy regular season, with teams facing “win or go home” scenarios. Whether you’re in that category, fighting for seeding, looking forward with a first-round bye, or just looking to play spoiler, we’ve got you covered. Cleveland and Tennessee are on bye, the last two teams to do so.
Be sure to also check out our weekly rankings and analysis columns, with in-depth analysis for all options heading into Week 13.
Editor's Note: Once you're done here, be sure to read about even more Week 13 waiver wire recommendations, for all fantasy-relevant positions. Just click on any link: ALL - RB - WR - TE - QB - DEF - FAAB - CUTS
Week 12 Injury Updates
Here’s hoping you didn’t need Rob Gronkowski (back), Chris Ivory (hamstring), Allen Hurns (hamstring) or DeVante Parker (back) in Week 12. Tyrell Williams also left with a shoulder injury, but at least he turned in some nice numbers first.
We shall see if we can make it through Monday without any crazy news, but last week's late wave of news just goes to show you can never ease off the gas pedal. Always keep that ear to the ground.
Week 13 Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups
Wendell Smallwood (RB, PHI) - 33% Owned
Ryan Mathews is officially out for Monday night’s contest against the beleaguered Packers, and Smallwood is ready to take on a lot of the work here alongside Darren Sproles’ passing-down work. Kenjon Barner may step in for five or six snaps, but Smallwood should have a chance to establish himself here. With Philadelphia’s defense playing extremely well at home, this may be a game they look to control with their D and the running game.
*T.J. Yeldon (RB, JAC) – 66% Owned
Real quick, Chris Ivory went down so Yeldon is the add. He wasn’t 100% coming into this week and didn’t do well, but opportunity is opportunity – even in a lousy rushing offense.
DeAngelo Williams (RB, PIT) – 52% Owned
Williams may return to action in Week 13 after missing some time due to a small knee operation (he had his meniscus trimmed, eesh), and he will immediately resume his role as LeVeon Bell’s handcuff. We’ve seen what Williams can do in the past when Bell is down, now is not the time to get overconfident in anyone’s ability to stay healthy.
James White (RB, NE) - 52% Owned
White saw nine targets in the Patriots’ Week 12 victory over the Jets, but only caught four of them for a disappointing 22 yards. He did out-snap fellow pass-catching RB Dion Lewis 26 to 23, but he’s definitely the less exciting of the two. And it's entirely feasible that his snap count will continue to slide on down.
Dion Lewis (RB, NE) – 48% Owned
Lewis continued to get worked into the running and passing games, as he ran it six times for 24 yards and added four catches on seven targets for 34 yards. His versatility makes him a dynamic option for Tom Brady and the offense, but it’s unlikely that he ever garners more than 50% of the snaps in this backfield. He, James White and LeGarrette Blount pretty much divvied it up into thirds (Blount 27, White 26, Lewis 23), but his role could theoretically grow a little more as he continues to log gametime this season.
Tim Hightower (RB, NO) – 46% Owned
Hightower and fellow New Orleans RB Mark Ingram both feasted on the Rams defense in Week 12, with Hightower totaling 105 total yards (51 rushing, 54 receiving) on 17 touches. He was the recipient of a little trickeration, as the Saints ran a flea-flicker where Willie Snead hit Hightower for a 50-yard bomb. He and Ingram can both be viable starts in an offense this potent, especially when the Saints are at home.
Charles Sims (RB, TB) – 46% Owned
Sims has been practicing and is eligible to return for the Bucs first game against the Saints in Week 14. It’ll be tough for fantasy owners to trust him out of the gate in the first week of the fantasy playoffs, but those with a spot on the bench or a first-round bye should look into the matter.
James Starks (RB, GB) – 45% Owned
Starks is pretty much what Ty Montgomery provided, as he's much more wide receiver than running back. He caught five-of-six targets for 46 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's Week 11 loss to Washington, while only tallying 25 rushing yards on nine carries. The total yardage is good enough, but it'd be nicer if he was a better true runner and Green Bay was better at utilizing the run. Regardless, his receiving abilities should make him rather matchup-proof, albeit with a lower ceiling than one would like. Let's see how he fares in a rough Week 12 MNF matchup against the Eagles in Philly before taking on a weak Houston run defense.
Matt Asiata (RB, MIN) – 35% Owned
Yes, it’s still gross. But yes, he’s still turning in those TDs. He has now scored in three straight weeks, despite averaging 20, yes 20, rushing yards per game. He did catch three balls for 14 yards, as his PPR floor is certainly higher. He’ll have a tough time making it four in a row against a limiting Dallas defense in Week 13 on Thursday night, but he’s their clear option close to the end zone.
Kenneth Dixon (RB, BAL) – 29% Owned
Dixon played on 31 of the Ravens 68 offensive snaps in their Week 12 battle against the Bengals, which was the best mark out of all RBs. Terrance West only played on 23. Dixon rushed the ball 13 times for an uninspiring 49 yards, but did tack on 31 receiving yards on four catches. This isn’t all that surprising considering the state of Baltimore’s offensive line. While this hurts his ceiling, it does give him a decent shot at games like this where his versatility makes him the better option.
Paul Perkins (RB, NYG) – 21% Owned
This is strictly a cuff at this point. With bye weeks largely a thing of the past now, it is truly cuffin’ season though. He's got plenty of talent and may yield profits in 2018, with Jennings only signed through 2017.
Shaun Draughn (RB, SF) - 10% Owned
It’s no secret that Draughn is just a PPR guy, but that’s just fine when you consider how often the 49ers are playing from behind and need to pass. Draughn caught all six of his targets for 49 yards, even as Carlos Hyde had himself a solid game. One can’t rely on Draughn for much, but those in deeper PPR formats who need a flex option could probably use a guy like Draughn in plus matchups. Next week against Chicago is a solid one.
Rex Burkhead (RB, CIN) - 4% Owned
Burkhead actually beat out Jeremy Hill with 38 snaps to Hill’s 37, though there was that little bit where Hill appeared hurt after being awkwardly bent on a tackle. Hill ended up being okay of course, though his 21 rushing yards on 12 carries wouldn’t have you think so. Burkhead’s 29 rushing yards beat Hill’s total, and Rex only needed five carries to do so. Burkhead also caught both of his targets for 19 yards, a factor that may come into play next week when the Bengals watered-down offense has to find a way to beat the Eagles. After that they get to face the Browns though!
Jonathan Williams (RB, BUF) – 4% Owned
With Mike Gillislee (hamstring) ailing, Williams becomes the next RB you'd want behind LeSean McCoy. Reggie Bush did not record a touch in Week 11, and would likely remain in his change-of-pace role rather than take on anything meaningful.
Akeem Hunt (RB, HOU) - 3% Owned
Hunt only rushed it twice for 19 yards against the Chargers in Week 13, as he was given the keys to a drive in the first half before never seeing the field again. His seven snaps were third to Jonathan Grimes’ 12 and Lamar Miller’s 48. The big piece here is that Miller hobbled off the field with under a minute to go and did not return. If something is up with Miller, Hunt is a good name to have tucked away.
Kenjon Barner (RB, PHI) - 3% Owned
Barner won't do much as things stand, but if Smallwood gets hurt on Monday night against Green Bay then Barner should be the next man up with Mathews out indefinitely. A fractured-rib Darren Sproles cannot do it alone.
Jonathan Grimes (RB, HOU) – 1% Owned
As we said earlier, Grimes turned in 12 snaps to Akeem Hunt’s seven when it comes to the guys behind Lamar Miller. Grimes logged 14 yards in Houston’s Week 11 loss to San Diego, but he may be worth a deep-league stash with Lamar Miller dinged up. With Alfred Blue and Tyler Ervin both out, it’d be up to Grimes and Hunt.
Week 13 Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups
Tyler Boyd (WR, CIN) – 43% Owned
Boyd turned his nine targets into five catches for 62 yards, as that target total led all Bengal WRs. It still trailed Tyler Eifert’s 11, but that makes sense. He has the trust of Andy Dalton as a reliable set of hands, and he certainly looked better than Brandon LaFell out there. While next week’s home game against Philadelphia isn’t a good matchup, they’re going to need him. Those in PPR leagues should feel comfortable slotting him in as a WR3/4.
Tyreek Hill (WR, KC) – 33% Owned
Fresh off of a letdown game against Tampa Bay (4-53-0 isn’t bad, but hopes were high), Hill went OFF against the Broncos on Sunday Night Football. He scored a rushing, receiving and return touchdown against Denver, becoming the first to do all three in a single game since Gale Sayers back in 1965. That’s decent, I guess. The floor is pretty low with any player that relies on Alex Smith, but Hill’s versatility does a lot to help the cause. He should remain a focal point of the offense even when Jeremy Maclin returns. Games against Atlanta and Oakland in the coming weeks should only call for more electricity from the speedster.
Malcolm Mitchell (WR, NE) – 11% Owned
Mitchell saw seven targets in the Patriots Week 12 win over the Jets, catching five of them for 42 yards and two touchdowns. He beat Darrelle Revis on both scores, for the record. Mitchell has now scored three TDs in his last two games, as he appears to be gaining some real trust from Tom Brady in this offense. It always helps the fantasy outlook of other Patriots when Rob Gronkowski is out as well. He has gotten to feast on the 49ers and Jets though, as the next three weeks bring home matchups against the Rams and Ravens secondaries before traveling to Denver to do battle there. That’s not good, but if anyone can squeeze gold out of poor matchups, it’s New England.
Dontrelle Inman (WR, SD) – 10% Owned
Inman’s six targets were actually his lowest mark in his last four games, yet he turned in his best game since Week 4. “That’s what speed do”. Okay, it was a little more than speed, but the point is that the guy caught all six of said targets for 119 yards and a TD to post top-10 WR numbers for Week 12. Inman was the man for SD, and may get some more work next week if Tyrell Williams’ late-game injury affects Week 13. Inman and the Chargers will face Tampa Bay, Carolina, Oakland and Cleveland to close out the fantasy season. That means you want Inman.
Marquess Wilson (WR, CHI) – 3% Owned
Overlooking the fact that Wilson dropped two touchdowns, he still had a fantastic showing against the Titans in Week 12. He led the Bears in targets with 11, catching eight of them for 125 yards and a TD. It’s hard not to look into this quite a bit, as we don’t have any other data to bank on with Matt Barkley at the helm. Wilson is worth a pickup in most leagues with plenty of appealing matchups (SF, @DET, GB) on deck. But maybe send the guy some new gloves.
Mohamed Sanu (WR, ATL) – 52% Owned
The Sanu Canoe caught all eight of his targets for 65 yards in Atlanta’s Week 12 trouncing of the Cardinals, and even added a five-yard rush for good measure. Those in standard leagues aren’t thrilled, but that’s some nice value in PPR formats. With Julio Jones dealing with Patrick Peterson, the Falcons leaned on Sanu much more. Next week against Kansas City won’t present the same opportunity, but Sanu’s upside in a high-scoring offense does make him a solid WR4/flex type.
Pierre Garcon (WR, WAS) – 48% Owned
Garcon had his fantastic game against Green Bay (6-116-1), but came back to earth a bit against Dallas with only four targets. While he caught all four of them for 43 yards, it obviously demonstrated his floor after a ceiling game. With Weeks 13 and 14 bringing back-to-back road matchups against Arizona's and Philadelphia's secondaries, it's recommended you look elsewhere.
Anquan Boldin (WR, DET) – 45% Owned
Well if you’re going to be a touchdown-dependent receiver, you might as well be damn good at scoring them. Boldin has now turned in back-to-back games with nine targets, with Week 12’s TD being his sixth of the season. He hasn’t had any one game that really stood apart from the rest, but he’s a big red-zone target for Matt Stafford in an offense that leans heavily on its passing game. His chances of making it at least seven TDs on the season are strong, as Week 13 brings a matchup against the Saints in New Orleans.
Quincy Enunwa (WR, NYJ) – 37% Owned
Enunwa bounced back in a big way in Week 12, as he hauled in all five of his targets for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots after catching only two balls combined over his last two games. The Pats defense is not good, but then again neither are the Colts or the 49ers, also known as the Jets next two opponents. Enunwa’s floor is as low as Fitzpatrick’s arm makes it, but at least he’s back on the map with this portion of the schedule here.
Dorial Green-Beckham (WR, PHI) – 36% Owned
This is highly contingent on how Eagles HC Doug Pederson wants to handle the whole Nelson Agholor thing, but DGB did have his best game of the season last week against the Seahawks in Seattle. His size and raw talent have always led many to wonder what his potential could yield, and maybe, just maybe the Eagles will give him a chance at realizing that. It’s unlikely, but he could at least deliver some useful games here, starting with a lovely Monday night matchup against the Packers in Week 12 before taking on the Bengals in Week 13.
*UPDATE: Ian Rapaport tweeted out that PHI plans on limiting, or possible deactivating, Agholor for Monday Night Football. This is great for DGB, and even for Paul Turner to work in as the slot man while Jordan Matthews moves around more. Bryce Treggs would ideally see some more time as well, and may get behind Green Bay's defense just as Washington's WRs did in Week 11.
Brandon LaFell (WR, CIN) – 35% Owned
Well, LaFell saw nine targets with A.J. Green on the shelf, the same amount as in Week 11. He somehow managed to be less efficient than last week’s four-catch, 32-yard effort though, as he only caught three balls for 38 yards. Seven catches on 18 targets is not good. While he did lead CIN WRs with 67 snaps (Boyd had 53), it’s just really difficult to weigh his low floor with that potential we saw in Weeks 5 and 7. Week 13 yields a tough draw against Philadelphia, but at least Week 14 puts Cleveland on his plate.
Cameron Meredith (WR, CHI) – 29% Owned
Meredith somehow ended up with the worst line out of all Chicago receivers, as he caught a measly two balls out of nine targets for only 19 yards. He suffered from plenty of drops, but the bigger concern is how he looked to be Matt Barkley’s #2 option at best behind Marquess Wilson. It’ll be tough to trust even the #1 types in this offense, though a date with the 49ers defense in Week 13 gives Meredith a ray of hope at least.
Kenny Stills (WR, MIA) – 27% Owned
Still had another one of his “boom” weeks, catching three-of-six targets for 72 yards and a touchdown in the Dolphins’ Week 12 victory over the 49ers. He now has five tuddies on the season, but hasn’t ever scored in consecutive weeks. A true boom-or-bust WR through and through this season, Stills will now have to tangle with the Ravens and Cardinals in Weeks 13 and 14 before a good matchup against the Jets knocks on his door in Week 15. The Dolphins say that DeVante Parker (back) should be fine for Week 13, but Stills and perhaps even Leonte Carroo (6% owned) would gain if Parker cannot go.
Adam Thielen (WR, MIN) – 22% Owned
With target monster Stefon Diggs sidelined, Thielen saw 11 targets in Minnesota’s Thanksgiving loss to the Lions. He turned those looks into eight catches for 53 yards, and has now topped 10 points in PPR formats in each of the last four weeks. As the Vikings look to reestablish their offense as a high-volume, high-efficiency attack, look for Thielen to stay involved behind Diggs as a WR4/5. Minnesota may be able to generate enough pass attempts to float his value next week against a stifling Dallas defense. Diggs was held out of the Vikings practice on Sunday but said he “will probably be out there” for Week 13, for what it’s worth.
Eli Rogers (WR, PIT) – 19% Owned
Rogers really didn’t have to do much on Thanksgiving, as it was pretty much the Antonio Brown aerial show from start to finish. There’s no getting around that this offense is all about the Killer B’s, with everyone else getting the scraps. Pittsburgh’s scraps are still pretty solid though, as Rogers should hold up as a lower WR4 type most weeks. Week 13 brings a date against a robust Giants secondary, but that game could turn into a shootout pretty easily.
Ted Ginn Jr. (WR, CAR) – 19% Owned
All it takes is one. Ginn Jr. only caught four of his 10 targets on the day, but one of them was an 88-yard deep strike that he took the house. Remember that from last season? While last season’s TD rate wasn’t going to be replicated, this season’s total was too low. He has game-breaking speed and easily got behind Oakland’s secondary in Week 12. Week 13 brings a tough date against the Seahawks in Seattle, but he can still outrun all of them anyway. He’s a good homerun hitter to mix in on deeper rosters.
Marqise Lee (WR, JAC) – 18% Owned
Lee caught four-of-six targets for 37 yards and a touchdown against the Bills in Week 12, and added a two-yard rush just for fun. On a day where Blake Bortles’ arm failed to generate much of anything, Lee managed to have a good day. Lee has to do a bit more with Julius Thomas hurt, and if Chris Ivory’s injury is long term then the passing game will take on even more weight. Lee is a decent PPR option thanks to his 28 targets over the last four games, even with Bortles looking like a fool in the pocket.
J.J. Nelson (WR, ARI) – 17% Owned
Nelson has angered many of us, I know. The fact remains that he should be the next man up if John Brown (hamstring) misses any time. It wouldn’t be surprising at this point, those hamstrings have been battling him all season long. While Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd may still work ahead of him, Arizona is no stranger to 3WR sets.
Taylor Gabriel (WR, ATL) – 10% Owned
Gabriel benefitted from Julio Jones being stranded in Patrick Peterson’s Fun World, as Gabby took two screens to the promised land. One went 35 yards for six, with the other going 25 yards. That’s how you generate WR1 value despite only touching the ball five times. This is likely an outlier, as Julio Jones won’t be on lockdown like that in future matchups. Gabriel is a gifted athlete and can break plays wide open, but his four touchdowns on 13 catches over his last four games is not bankable moving forward against the Chiefs next week.
Deonte Thompson (WR, CHI) – 0% Owned
Thompson saw nine targets of his own on a day where Matt Barkley threw it 54 times. The largely unknown receiver caught five of them for 44 yards and a touchdown against the Titans lackluster defense, and now has some momentum for those in very deep leagues heading into those juicy matchups.
Daniel Brown (WR/TE*, CHI) – 0% Owned
Brown appears to be the tight end to own here, as he caught three balls for 23 yards and a score while Logan Paulsen didn’t record a catch. This is only for the most desperate of the desperate, but there you are.
Josh Bellamy (WR, CHI) – 0% Owned
Bellamy also saw nine targets here, but his four catches for 41 yards really didn’t amount to much since he wasn’t invited to the pay-dirt party. It’s worth noting, but Barkley isn’t going to air it out 50+ times every week (he said, with a hint of foreshadowing).
Week 13 Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups
N.B. – The top-20 QBs are owned in roughly 70% of leagues or more.
Colin Kaepernick (QB, SF) – 31% Owned
Kaepernick turned in an incredible fantasy performance in Week 12, but the 49ers still dropped their tenth straight game. We don’t really care about wins and losses though, this isn’t baseball. Kaep connected on 29 of his 46 throws for 296 yards, three touchdowns and a pick while also tacking on a whopping 113 rushing yards. He’s making it work, and should have another very serviceable game next week against the Bears in Chicago.
Ryan Tannehill (QB, MIA) – 54% Owned
Obviously it’s tough to be objective when evaluating someone who just teed off against San Francisco’s horrid defense, but we’ve got a job to do. Tannehill turned in his best fantasy performance of the season here, with the 285 yards being his highest mark since Week 3’s 319 yards. He threw three TDs even though DeVante Parker couldn’t get both feet down on a beautiful strike to the back corner of the end zone. Here’s the thing, Tannehill is still dealing with a banged up offensive line and now has to travel to Baltimore to take on a very strong Ravens defense. Even if Baltimore doesn’t get stud CB Jimmy Smith back, it would still be an ugly matchup. If Smith does return then Tannehill is a mid-range QB2 at best. He faces Arizona’s defense after that, so I’d look elsewhere.
Carson Wentz (QB, PHI) – 45% Owned
He plays on Monday night, but y’all should have him on tap. Wentz has a cupcake matchup against a broken Green Bay defense at home, and then faces a reeling Cincinnati squad in Week 13. Philadelphia may not ask Wentz to do much here, but he appears to be gaining confidence here as December nears.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, NYJ) – 37% Owned
Fitzmagic just threw for 269 yards alongside two touchdowns and zero INTs (though he did lose a fumble that handed the game away) against a Patriots defense that is honestly pretty bad. This was his first game with multiple TDs since Week 1, oy. The good news here is that Fitz played a bit more within his means, constantly checking down and utilizing his intermediate routes. The Jets get to stay at home this week, and will face off against a very beatable Colts defense in Week 13 on Monday night. He’ll be a decent QB2 in that contest.
Jared Goff (QB, LA) – 17% Owned
Goff came out of the gate scorching in Week 12 against the Saints, as he threw two touchdowns in the first half and actually had the lead over Drew Brees at one point. That lead, and his pace, quickly went by the wayside. He ended up collecting 214 yards alongside three TDs and two turnovers (one INT, one fumble). This was encouraging for sure, but he’ll be nothing more than a QB2 dart throw next week against a Patriots defense that is quietly vulnerable.
Matt Barkley (QB, CHI) – 2% Owned
In one of the more surprising efforts of Week 12, Matt Barkley picked apart the Tennessee Titans to the tune of 316 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He only completed 28-of-54 throws, but his receivers recorded a horrible 10 drops – including what could’ve been a game-winner by Marquess Wilson in the end zone. Unfortunately, that’s what you get with a C-squad level WR/TE corps. Jordan Howard is his only reliable weapon. That said, this was still impressive enough to warrant a pickup in two-QB leagues heading into a home matchup against the 49ers generous defense.
Week 13 Tight End Waiver Wire Pickups
Cameron Brate (TE, TB) – 46% Owned
Brate couldn’t get back on the touchdown train in Week 12, but did catch four-of-five targets for 49 yards against Seattle’s tough defense. These past two weeks have been rough sailing for the Buccaneers, but we know he scored in three straight games before this and that his matchups against the Saints in Weeks 14 and 16 are what you’re gunning for.
C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE, HOU) – 40% Owned
Fiedorowicz didn’t impress with his four-catch, 42-yard game against the Chargers in Week 12, but it really wasn’t his fault. One can’t separate a receiver’s stock from his QB’s, but Brock Osweiler should’ve hit him on the two targets that didn’t result in catches. Brock is just plain ugly sometimes. Still, Fiedorowicz has two strong matchups against Green Bay and Indianapolis on deck for the next two weeks, so those fishing for TE1 numbers could do a lot worse.
Jared Cook (TE, GB) – 39% Owned
Nothing's changed from last week. Cook balled out against Washington in Week 11 with six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. It was clear how advantageous his speed, strength and reliable hands could be for Aaron Rodgers. Monday night won't be easy against Philadelphia's rock-solid defense, but Green Bay's subpar rushing attack and defense means they need to squeeze every bit of production out of the talent that they have.
Hunter Henry (TE, SD) – 38% Owned
Even on a day where San Diego practically forgot about their tight ends, Henry managed to generate some value by catching a 12-yard TD. He only had two catches on three targets for 20 yards and the score overall, but he fared better than the target-less Antonio Gates at least. Both Henry and Gates should get some more usage in a Week 13 date against Tampa Bay before enjoying a gorgeous playoff schedule.
Ladarius Green (TE, PIT) – 35% Owned
Green must still be less than 100% in his conditioning, as he only played on 26% of Pittsburgh’s plays on Thursday against the Colts. While he managed not to tank his backers by catching two-of-three targets for 67 yards, this is a very tough situation to buy into. This offense has so many points to give and Green is clearly talented when he’s on the field, but we need to see better than 26%.
Vernon Davis (TE, WAS) – 22% Owned
Davis had a decent game, catching five of his seven targets for 68 yards, but the obvious piece of intel here is that Jordan Reed suffered a Grade 3 AC joint separation in his left shoulder. Somehow Reed returned to the game and may not miss any time, but it’s hard to imagine that Davis won’t need to pick up a little slack here regardless. Washington’s offense is firing on all cylinders right now. The bad news is that Week 13 brings a matchup against a very stingy TE defense in Arizona, but Davis is still a decent add moving forward with Reed less than 100%.
Vance McDonald (TE, SF) – 20% Owned
McDonald was able to notch 60 yards on four catches (eight targets) in San Francisco’s Week 12 loss to the Dolphins, and has now topped 50 yards or scored a TD in each of his last four games. With Colin Kaepernick giving this fast-paced Chip Kelly offense some viability, the athletic McDonald has shown himself to be a decent TE2. San Fran gets to take on the Bears next before a date with the Jets and the Falcons, making him a nice flier.
Lance Kendricks (TE, LA) – 15% Owned
Kendricks has now caught four balls on seven targets in back-to-back weeks after that atrocious, trust-breaking Week 10 clunker against the Jets. His 51 yards came with a score in Week 12 against the Saints, and it appears Kendricks may have some life here with Goff under center. Considering the Rams will take on a soft Patriots defense in Week 13, TE streamers could do worse.
Austin Hooper (TE, ATL) – 14% Owned
Hooper is now one third of the way through an awful slate of matchups for TEs (ARI, KC, LA), but Week 15 against the 49ers and especially Week 16 against the Panthers are desirable ones for the widely-available rookie. Atlanta also gets the Saints in Week 17, should that be relevant to your league. With Tamme done for the season, Hooper will have some deep-league potential once this terrible run is over.
Jermaine Gresham (TE, ARI) – 3% Owned
Hopefully you listened last week, as Gresham was the focal point of Arizona’s offense against an Atlanta offense that dies against the tight end. Gresham’s 10 Week 12 targets matched his target total from the first six games of the season combined. Sheesh. That’s not bankable moving forward, but it is worth noting that he’s scored in back-to-back weeks now and is bringing some healthy momentum into another plus matchup against Washington – who are in the bottom third against tight ends thus far.
Josh Hill (TE, NO) – 2% Owned
Hill dominated the snap count when it came to New Orleans’ tight ends, registering 57 snaps to Coby Fleener’s 18. John Phillips played on 30, as he helped out with the blocking. It wasn’t just that Hill played more, but that he actually looked good. He brought in all six of his targets for 74 yards, and appears to have earned the starting nod as the Saints prepare to face a Lions team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points on average to tight ends thus far.
A.J. Derby (TE, DEN) – 1% Owned
As is the case with most <10% pickups, Derby doesn’t have much of ceiling in this Denver offense, but it’s pretty clear that he has surpassed Virgil Green as the #1 tight end in the Mile High City. He caught four balls for 43 yards, including a crucial third-down conversion, but there isn’t much left to go around after Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have gotten theirs. That said, the guy is 6’5”. That can help towards the red zone.
Week 13 Defense Waiver Wire Pickups
Baltimore D/ST – 47% Owned
The Ravens didn’t have their superstar cornerback Jimmy Smith in Week 12’s game against the Bengals, but still held Cincinnati to 12 points while recording three sacks and two fumble recoveries. While the matchup was great, the results still have to be there (cough, Tennessee, cough).
San Diego D/ST – 37% Owned
The Chargers came out of their bye fresh and slammed Brock Osweiler and the Texans with one sack, three picks and a fumble recovery while allowing only 13 points. Joey Bosa looks fantastic out there, and now they’ll go home to take on the Bucs. This is risky, as Tampa Bay really looks to be coming together, but there’s no denying that their pass defense is still vulnerable and Jameis Winston is no stranger to the errant throw.
Tampa Bay D/ST – 12% Owned
On the other side of that matchup is a Bucs defensive unit that just wowed the football world with an absolute shutdown of Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. They only allowed three points! Yes, Seattle had their respective injuries on the offensive line and defense, but Tampa’s pass rush was still electric and gained some much-needed confidence after recording zero sacks in Week 11. This team has generated nine turnovers over their last three games, so hopefully they can get to Philip Rivers on the road.