The trading deadline has come and gone in many leagues, meaning owners looking for a playoff push have no choice but to turn to the waiver wire to help their teams. I will list this week’s must adds, and the players to keep an eye on in deeper formats.
All players appearing in my waiver wire article are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo fantasy football leagues
Benny Cunningham – Running Back – St. Louis Rams (0% owned)
Zac Stacy owner’s will want to make this pickup their top priority heading into week 13, as Stacy has been diagnosed with a concussion and will now need to go through the NFL’s concussion protocol before being cleared for action. Cunningham filled in admirably as he ran the rock 13 times for 109 yards and a TD in week 12 against the Chicago Bears week run D. Consider Benny a low flex play as the Rams have the 49ers coming up in week 13.
Bilal Powell – Running Back – New York Jets (39% owned)
Chris Ivory sustained a pretty major ankle sprain in week 12 (MRI results pending), and I expect him to be sidelined for at least week 13, putting Powell right back on the fantasy radar as the lead back for the Jets run heavy approach. Keep in mind his playoff schedule isn’t the best, but week 13 against the Miami Dolphins should make him a high end RB2 for owners looking to get in
Nate Burleson – Wide Receiver – Detroit Lions (21% owned)
Make no mistake, Megatron is still top dawg in the Lions passing attack, but Burleson is a nice #2 option and a clear improvement over K. Durham. Fantasy owners in 12 team leagues can consider him a solid WR3 heading into week 13 as Detroit features one of the more pass happy offenses in the NFL, leaving plenty of fantasy production to go around.
Montee Ball – Running Back – Denver Broncos (49% owned)
Lost in Knowshon Moreno’s monster 220+ yard rushing evening, was an overtime ankle injury that saw him hobbling on crutches after the game. If Moreno misses any time, it is likely that Ball would take over as the lead back for the Broncos. Do a cursory inspection to make sure Montee isn’t available in your league
Delanie Walker – Tight End – Tennessee Titans (48% owned)
Another week with Fitzpatrick, another decent showing from Delanie Walker. Not spectacular, but he was targeted 9 times on the day, hauling in 5 passes for 46 yards. Over his last 3 weeks, Walker has 19 receptions for 199 yards and 2 scores. Continue to view him as a low TE1 heading into week 13, and if you are holding on to a guy like Heath Miller, make the move to Delanie if he is available.
Michael Crabtree – Wide Receiver – San Francisco 49ers (29% owned)
In a week that will see very few must adds off waivers, Crabtree is a guy to target for owners that already have a playoff spot locked up. He should be activated this week, but is unlikely to contribute much to the 49ers offense until week 14. I’m personally keeping an eye on weeks 15 and 16 as Crabtree and the Niners will draw TB and then ATL – back to back juicy matchups for playoff weeks. If you have the room to spare on your bench, grab Crabtree now and stash… if you still need to win out to make it in, then you will want to look elsewhere.
Brandon Bolden – Running Back – New England Patriots (6% owned)
Bolden is very nearly a must own back, but due to the speculative nature of his current usage… I will leave him in the sleeper section. Stevan Ridley fumbled yet again in Sunday’s game against the Broncos, and didn’t sniff the field after the first quarter. Next up was Blount, who promptly fumbled as well, so Belichick turned to Bolden, and found a guy who could finally hold on to the football. Shane Vereen will remain the passing down back, but it looks like there is a healthy chance that Bolden could see work as the early down RB of the Patriots in week 13. Obviously the situation will be updated throughout the week, but if you can afford the spot on your bench, Bolden may be a nice sleeper heading into a week 13 matchup with Houston.
Dennis Johnson – Running Back – Houston Texans (10% owned)
What is going on in Houston? Ben Tate was widely considered the new feature back for the Texans, yet it was backup Dennis Johnson who led the backfield in touches against the Jaguars in week 12, rushing for 74 yards on 13 carries. This appears to be a rapidly developing RBBC, which is about the worst possible news for fantasy owners. Consider Tate the starter heading into week 13, but if you need a solid backup who is emerging as one of the top handcuffs to own, pick up Johnson.
Rod Streater – Wide Receiver – Oakland Raiders (13% owned)
With Denarius Moore sidelined for Oakland in week 12, it was Rod Streater once again leading the way as he went for 93 yards on 5 receptions. Keep an eye on his injury status heading into week 13 as he came out of the game a little banged up, but if he is able to start Streater draws a favorable matchup with the Cowboys and could be a guy to consider in deeper 12 team leagues.
Cordarrelle Patterson – Wide Receiver – Minnesota Vikings (18% owned)
Patterson’s role in the Vikings offense continues to evolve, and he was the most targeted player in Sunday’s game with the Packers. He finished with 11 targets (8 receptions) and 54 yards on the day. Obviously, this was a better PPR effort than standard, but owners in 14-16 team leagues will want to start considering him a low end WR3. He remains a waiver wire stash in 10-12 team formats, as the Vikings QB play limits his upside.
Tiquan Underwood – Wide Receiver – Tampa Bay Bucs (1% owned)
Tiquan is the new WR2 of the Tampa Bay Bucs that I have been quietly calling attention to over the past few weeks. He finally had his breakout game in week 12, going for 108 yards on 3 receptions and a score. Still only worth a look in 14 team leagues and deeper, Underwood is an intriguing sleeper to keep an eye on going forward.
Ace Sanders – Wide Receiver – Jacksonville Jaguars (0% owned)
With Mike Brown sidelined in week 12 it was Sanders stepping in as the new WR2 of the Jaguars. He went ahead and reproduced his week 11 total exactly as he has now totaled 61 yards in back to back weeks. Thanks to the obvious limitations in the Jaguars passing game, Sanders remains a desperation flex play in 12 team leagues and deeper.
Ladarius Green – Tight End – San Diego Chargers (1% owned)
Ladarius had another solid effort in week 12 as he caught 3 passes for 80 yards and a score against the formerly daunting KC Defense, giving him 2 consecutive weeks of 80+ yards receiving. He remains buried behind Antonio Gates on the TE depth chart in San Diego giving him limited upside, but if he sees his playing time increase he will be a guy to watch out for heading into the fantasy playoffs. Owners in 12 team leagues who have struggled at TE all season can make the speculative add here, but we need to see the snap count rise before the 6’6″ tight end out of Louisiana-Lafayette is any better than a TE2 for fantasy purposes.
Justin Hunter – Wide Receiver – Tennessee Titans (1% owned)
Aaaaaand now we get to the fluky performance section of my waiver wire article. Justin Hunter experienced a mini-breakout against the Raiders in week 12 as he caught 6 passes for 109 yards and a TD. He remains buried behind Nate Washington and Kendall Wright on the depth chart, and once Damian Williams heals up Hunter will drop to the 4th option in the Titans passing game. Keep in mind, this is a guy who had just 116 yards all season until his strong week 12. Keep an eye out, but avoid outside of 16 team leagues.
Dennis Pitta – Tight End – Baltimore Ravens (3% owned)
Pitta isn’t expected back until at least week 14 making him a TE stash only for those owners who have been floundering with a guy like Tim Wright over the past month or so.
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