Fantasy Football Week 13 Waiver Wire: Finding replacements as the playoffs loom
With injuries starting to pile up and the playoffs just around the corner, Fantasy players are scrambling to fill out their lineups. Here's who you should add in Week 13.
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Monday was a rough day for Fantasy owners. And we're not just talking about going back to work following Thanksgiving weekend or missing out on any deals from Cyber Monday.
We didn't get any discounts. We just got bad news.
The biggest news was regarding Melvin Gordon (knee), who is expected to be week-to-week after suffering an MCL sprain in Week 12 against Arizona. He won't play in Week 13 at Pittsburgh, but hopefully that's the only game he'll miss. In his place, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will share touches, with Ekeler expected to get the majority of work.
Ekeler (83 percent ownership on CBS Sports) should be added where available, but Jackson (0 percent) is also worth picking up. But again, we hope Gordon will return by Week 14, in time for the start of the Fantasy playoffs in most leagues.
We had plenty of other injury news Monday, including Marvin Jones (knee), Jack Doyle (kidney), Andy Dalton (thumb) and Jeff Heuerman (ribs) being placed on injured reserve. Jones going down is great news for Kenny Golladay, while Doyle's absence is a boost for Eric Ebron. So maybe something positive did happen for a few Fantasy owners as a result of the injuries.
With Dalton out, the Bengals will turn to Jeff Driskel as the starting quarterback, which is likely a downgrade for A.J. Green (toe) whenever he returns, as well as Tyler Boyd. It also could hurt Joe Mixon, although you're starting him in every league in Week 13 against Denver, even in a tough matchup.
The Jaguars also made plenty of news Monday. Leonard Fournette was suspended for Week 13 at Indianapolis as a result of a fight with Buffalo defensive lineman Shaq Lawson in Week 12. With Fournette out, T.J. Yeldon (74 percent) and Carlos Hyde (38 percent) will share touches against the Colts; Yeldon is the preferred option.
Jacksonville also has a new quarterback after Blake Bortles was benched in favor of Cody Kessler. This is likely the end of the Bortles era in Jacksonville, and it will be hard to trust any of the Jaguars receivers in most Fantasy leagues moving forward — if you were doing so already. Along with that, Jacksonville fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on Monday, and he was replaced with quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich.
What a day. At least the bye weeks are over. But with Gordon and Fournette out, as well as the other injuries we're monitoring, it should be a busy week on the waiver wire anyway. Especially if you're fighting for a playoff spot.
We hope some of the players listed here can help you.
Editor's note: For this waiver wire column, we are only looking at players owned in less than 65 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
- Injuries of note: Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder), Andy Dalton (thumb), Joe Flacco (hip), Sam Darnold (foot)
- Priority list: Lamar Jackson (54 percent ownership), Marcus Mariota (36 percent), Case Keenum (33 percent), Josh Allen (8 percent), Chase Daniel (5 percent)
- Drop candidates: Matthew Stafford (77 percent), Andy Dalton (71 percent), Eli Manning (51 percent)
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
|Jackson didn't have the big breakout game I was hoping for in Week 12 against Oakland, but he still performed well with 22 Fantasy points. We'll see if he remains the starter in Week 13 with Flacco potentially ready to return, but we hope Jackson continues to start at Atlanta. It's a great matchup, as the Falcons allow the second-most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks at 25.8 points per game, and Jackson would be a low-end starter in all leagues if the Ravens stick with him — which they should.|
Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans QB
|Mariota showed no signs of injury in Week 12 at Houston when he scored 26 Fantasy points, the third time he's hit that number in the past four games. The only time he failed to reach that total was Week 11 at Indianapolis when he suffered a stinger in his neck. This week, he gets the Jets at home, and only three quarterbacks have failed to score at least 20 Fantasy points against New York this year. Mariota is a low-end starting option in all leagues this week.|
Case Keenum Denver Broncos QB
|Keenum just scored 19 Fantasy points at home against Pittsburgh, and this week he gets a great matchup at Cincinnati. The Bengals have allowed three touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in four of the past five games, and the lone quarterback who failed to do that was Jackson in Week 11 in his first NFL start. Keenum likely won't get to three touchdowns, but the matchup is worth trusting him as a starter in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues.|
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
|Allen had an excellent game in Week 12 against Jacksonville with 27 Fantasy points, and he did the majority of his work on the ground with 99 rushing yards and a touchdown. He has the chance for a solid encore at Miami in Week 13, as the Dolphins have allowed five of the past six opposing quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points. Allen is a great sleeper to consider in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues.|
Chase Daniel Chicago Bears QB
|Daniel may start again in Week 13 at the Giants with Trubisky still hurt, but it's a situation to monitor. Daniel played well in Week 12 on Thanksgiving against Detroit with 22 Fantasy points, but this is a tougher matchup since the Giants have held three of the past four opposing quarterbacks to 15 points or less. Still, if Daniel does start again, he's an option to consider in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues.|
- Injuries of note: Melvin Gordon (knee), Marlon Mack (concussion), Adrian Peterson (shoulder), Kerryon Johnson (knee), Kenyan Drake (shoulder), Alex Collins (foot), Chris Thompson (ribs), Ronald Jones (hamstring), Darren Sproles (hamstring), D'Onta Foreman (Achilles)
- Priority list: Doug Martin (66 percent ownership), Justin Jackson (0 percent), LeGarrette Blount (26 percent), Nyheim Hines (43 percent), Theo Riddick (52 percent), Carlos Hyde (38 percent), Jordan Wilkins (8 percent), Rex Burkhead (15 percent), Malcolm Brown (23 percent)
- Drop candidates: Isaiah Crowell (92 percent), Alex Collins (88 percent), Ito Smith (57 percent)
Doug Martin Oakland Raiders RB
|Martin is just above the threshold of the players we usually talk about here, but we'll make an exception given the way he's played since taking over for Marshawn Lynch (groin). In the past five games, he's averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and he's scored at least 12 PPR points in two of his past three outings, even with the Raiders falling apart. This week, he's facing a Chiefs defense that allows the third-most Fantasy points to opposing running backs. While Jalen Richard has been a quality option in PPR leagues all season, you can use both Oakland running backs as flex options in Week 13.|
Justin Jackson Los Angeles Chargers RB
|We hope Gordon is back in Week 14 from his knee injury, but he could be out for several weeks. And while Ekeler is the running back to own for the Chargers, they could give Jackson an extended look as the No. 2 option. He played well against the Cardinals in Week 12 after Gordon got hurt, racking up 57 yards on seven carries, and hopefully that's a sign of things to come. He's not worth using in Week 13 at Pittsburgh, but he could be a flex option in Week 14 against Cincinnati or Week 15 at Kansas City if Gordon remains out. Jackson is worth stashing in all leagues until Gordon returns.|
LeGarrette Blount Detroit Lions RB
|We don't know if Johnson will return for the Lions in Week 13 against the Rams, but Blount was impressive on Thanksgiving against the Bears with 22 PPR points with Johnson out. The Lions have now had a running back get at least 80 total yards and a touchdown in three games in a row, and Blount would be worth using as a flex option in all formats against the Rams. Riddick would also be worth using as a flex option in PPR if Johnson remains out, as Riddick has scored at least 10 PPR points in three of his past four games.|
Nyheim Hines Indianapolis Colts RB
|We'll see if Mack is out in Week 13 against Jacksonville, but Hines and Wilkins would share touches in his place. We've seen this show before when Mack missed four of the first five games with foot and ankle problems, and Hines was the better option with his work in the passing game. Hines had at least 11 PPR points in three of the four games without Mack. Wilkins, meanwhile, combined for 16 PPR points in those outings. I would use Hines as a flex option in all PPR leagues if Mack is out against the Jaguars, while Wilkins is an option in deeper formats.|
Carlos Hyde Jacksonville Jaguars RB
|While I prefer Yeldon over Hyde this week with Fournette out, it would not be a surprise to see Hyde get the majority of carries against the Colts. He could slide into Fournette's role with his work on rushing downs, which has been at least 18 carries in three games in a row. Most likely, Yeldon will get his share of carries, while also playing on passing downs, making him the better Fournette replacement against the Colts, especially in PPR. Fournette had 29 total touches for 109 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts in Week 10, with Yeldon catching five passes for 51 yards on six targets, as well as three carries for 12 yards.|
Rex Burkhead New England Patriots RB
|Burkhead was activated off injured reserve Monday after being out since Week 3 with a neck injury. He will be third on the depth chart behind Sony Michel and James White, but ESPN projects Burkhead could work in on every third series starting in Week 13 against Minnesota. He is only worth stashing in deeper leagues, but Michel gave us an injury scare in Week 12 against the Jets and has already missed three games with a knee injury. It might not be a bad idea to handcuff Michel with Burkhead as a contingency plan.|
Malcolm Brown Los Angeles Rams RB
|Todd Gurley played through an ankle injury in Week 11 against the Chiefs, and it might be a smart idea to handcuff him with Brown. Should something happen to Gurley, we could be talking about Brown as a must-start Fantasy option to close the season. He's a lottery ticket, and even if you don't own Gurley, you might want to put Brown on the end of your bench.|
- Injuries of note: A.J. Green (toe), Marvin Jones (knee), Tre'Quan Smith (foot), DeSean Jackson (thumb), Devin Funchess (back), Danny Amendola (knee), Sammy Watkins (foot), Keke Coutee (hamstring), Marquise Goodwin (personal), Randall Cobb (hamstring), Jamison Crowder (ankle), Pierre Garcon (knee), Martavis Bryant (knee)
- Priority list: Josh Reynolds (64 percent ownership), Adam Humphries (24 percent), Chris Conley (4 percent), David Moore (45 percent), Bruce Ellington (1 prcent), Christian Kirk (62 percent), Curtis Samuel (8 percent), Taylor Gabriel (25 percent), Mike Williams (60 percent), Dante Pettis (4 percent), John Ross (18 percent), Anthony Miller (54 percent), Josh Doctson (15 percent), Quincy Enunwa (22 percent), Antonio Callaway (15 percent), Trey Quinn (1 percent), Robert Foster (0 percent), Keith Kirkwood (1 percent), TommyLee Lewis (0 percent), Austin Carr (0 percent)
- Drop candidates: Golden Tate (97 percent), DeSean Jackson (95 percent), Sterling Shepard (89 percent), Marvin Jones (89 percent), Devin Funchess (77 percent)
Josh Reynolds Los Angeles Rams WR
|The last time we saw Reynolds was Week 11 against the Chiefs in the first game without Cooper Kupp (ACL) since he was lost for the season. Reynolds was awesome with six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. He now has nine catches for 122 yards and three touchdowns on 13 targets in the past two games without Kupp this year. Reynolds won't keep up that kind of pace, but he should be added in all leagues and is worth starting in Week 13 at Detroit.|
Adam Humphries Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
|Humphries is playing well of late, and Tampa Bay is quickly losing options in the passing game. O.J. Howard (ankle) is out for the season, and Desean Jackson could be out in Week 13 against Carolina. That could make Humphries even more valuable, and he comes into this game with at least 14 PPR points in four of his past five outings, including a monster game against the Panthers in Week 9. He had eight catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets in that game, and Carolina has struggled with slot receivers this season. Humphries is a strong No. 3 receiver option in PPR in Week 13.|
Chris Conley Kansas City Chiefs WR
|Conley is contingent on Watkins' health. If Watkins is expected to play in Week 13 at Oakland, ignore Conley as a waiver wire option. But if Watkins is potentially out, add Conley in all leagues. In Kansas City's last game at the Rams in Week 11, Watkins couldn't play past the first quarter because of his foot injury, and Conley went off for seven catches, 74 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets. He's unlikely to replicate that performance or anything close to it again, but getting a prime target for Patrick Mahomes right now is a plus, especially with a matchup against the Raiders in Week 13.|
David Moore Seattle Seahawks WR
|Moore has been mostly a touchdown-or-bust Fantasy receiver this season, but he has scored at least 12 PPR points in four of his past seven games. And Doug Baldwin, despite playing in Week 12 at Carolina, is now battling another injury with his groin. Moore had his best game of the season against the Panthers with four catches for 103 yards and a touchdown on five targets, and the Seahawks have a favorable schedule coming up with matchups against the 49ers in two of the next three games.|
Bruce Ellington Detroit Lions WR
|With Jones now out for the season, Ellington is locked into the No. 2 receiver role for the Lions behind Golladay, and he's worth using as a No. 3 receiver in PPR leagues heading into Week 13 against the Rams. In two games with Detroit, Ellington has 12 catches for 80 yards on 16 targets, with six catches in each game. He's proven to be a reliable, short-area target for Stafford, and the Lions should be throwing most weeks because of their defense. That should lead to plenty of catches on a weekly basis for Ellington.|
Christian Kirk Arizona Cardinals WR
|Kirk continues to be a big part of the Cardinals passing game as the No. 3 option behind Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, and he has a great matchup in Week 13 at Green Bay. He has at least 13 PPR points in four of his past seven games, and he has at least six targets in five of his past six outings. The Packers are fourth in Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, and Kirk is worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in Week 13.|
Curtis Samuel Carolina Panthers WR
|We'll see if Funchess remains out in Week 13 against Tampa Bay, but Samuel is worth adding even if Funchess is back. Samuel has played well of late with at least 11 PPR points in three of his past four games, and he has a great matchup in Week 13 at Tampa Bay. The last time he faced the Buccaneers was in Week 9, and he had two catches for 25 yards and a touchdown on four targets, as well as 33 rushing yards and a touchdown. He only has one game with more than four targets on the season, which was Week 11 at Detroit, but Samuel can be a No. 3 Fantasy receiver against the Buccaneers this week.|
Taylor Gabriel Chicago Bears WR
|Gabriel has picked things up in the past two games, and he's worth buying back into after a recent cold stretch. And it's still worth adding Miller where available as the Bears continue to use all their receivers, including Allen Robinson. Gabriel has 17 targets in the past two games against Minnesota and Detroit, and he has 14 catches for 101 yards over that span. He hasn't scored since Week 4, but his PPR points are solid as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver. Miller also has scored at least 10 PPR points in three of his past five games, and he should continue to post quality stats moving forward. Both should benefit when Trubisky is back for the Bears.|
Mike Williams Los Angeles Chargers WR
|I thought Williams had the chance to play well in Week 12 against Arizona with Tyrell Williams (quadriceps) banged up, and he had four catches for 25 yards and two touchdowns on four targets. He's clearly a touchdown-dependent Fantasy option, but the Chargers could be throwing more with Gordon hurt. And they could be in a shootout with the Steelers in Week 13, which could give Williams some more chances to score. He's a Hail Mary play with the hope he scores — he has four touchdowns in his past five games — but he could be worth using as a No. 3 receiver at Pittsburgh.|
Dante Pettis San Francisco 49ers WR
|Pettis did a nice job in Week 12 at Tampa Bay with Garcon and Goodwin out with four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown on seven targets, and hopefully he remains a favorite target for Mullens, who will remain the starter in Week 13 at Seattle. It's a favorable matchup against the Seahawks, especially with the 49ers likely chasing points, and Pettis is a No. 3 receiver in deeper leagues this week.|
John Ross Cincinnati Bengals WR
|Ross has the quarterback change to deal with now that Dalton is out for the year, and he has to see if Green will return in Week 13. It will be risky to trust him now that Driskel is starting for the Bengals, and Ross will lose targets if Green is back. But if Green remains out, you see Ross can be productive, with a touchdown in each of the past three games that Green has missed. He only has seven catches for 97 yards over that span, but he also has 20 targets. Keep an eye on Green's status, but Ross can be a Hail Mary play as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in Week 13 against Denver.|
Josh Doctson Washington Redskins WR
|Washington is still waiting to see if Jamison Crowder (ankle) will return in Week 13, but he's been out for the past seven games. And in Week 12 at Dallas, the first start for Colt McCoy, you saw him lean on Doctson and Quinn, as well as Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis. Doctson had six catches for 66 yards on 10 targets, and he's now scored at least 12 PPR points in three of his past four games. Quinn now has nine catches for 75 yards and a touchdown in his past two games on 10 targets, and he's become Washington's slot receiver. Both can be No. 3 Fantasy receivers in deeper leagues at Philadelphia this week.|
Quincy Enunwa New York Jets WR
|The Jets have a great matchup in Week 13 at the Titans, which puts Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse (6 percent) in play this week in deeper leagues. Enunwa just had four catches for 73 yards on four targets against New England, and Kearse had six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. I like Enunwa better, but if Josh McCown remains the starter for the Jets, don't be surprised if both receivers have a productive game given the matchup.|
Antonio Callaway Cleveland Browns WR
|I don't love the matchup for Callaway in Week 13 at Houston, but he could be poised for a strong finish with the way Baker Mayfield is playing of late — along with Jarvis Landry fading. Now, I don't think Landry will continue to struggle over the final five games of the year. And David Njoku, Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb will also be factors in the passing game. But Callaway just had four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown on five targets in Week 12 at Cincinnati, and hopefully that's a sign of things to come.|
Robert Foster Buffalo Bills WR
|Foster has been a star for Buffalo in the past two games against the Jets and Jaguars, and we'll see if he can keep it going in Week 13 at Miami. He had three catches for 105 yards on four targets against the Jets, and he followed that up with two catches for 94 yards and a touchdown on three targets against Jacksonville. He's a big-play threat, but he's playing with a big-play type of quarterback in Allen. In deeper leagues, Foster is a nice sleeper play against the Dolphins.|
Keith Kirkwood New Orleans Saints WR
|We'll see if Tre'Quan Smith remains out for the Saints in Week 13 at Dallas, but Drew Brees didn't exactly miss him with touchdown passes to Lewis, Kirkwood and Carr, as well as tight end Dan Arnold, in Week 12 against Atlanta. Kirkwood led the trio of receivers in targets with three, but they all had just one catch each. Ideally, Smith will return against the Cowboys, but if he's out, look for Kirkwood, Lewis or Carr as fill-in options in deeper leagues.|
- Injuries of note: Jack Doyle (kidney), Evan Engram (hamstring), Jeff Heuerman (ribs), Vance McDonald (hip)
- Priority list: Gerald Everett (8 percent ownership), Jonnu Smith (9 percent), Chris Herndon (55 percent), Tyler Higbee (3 percent), Jesse James (11 percent), Dan Arnold (0 percent), Rhett Ellison (1 percent)
- Drop candidates: Jimmy Graham (85 percent), Jack Doyle (82 percent), Evan Engram (81 percent), Jeff Heuerman (36 percent)
Gerald Everett Los Angeles Rams TE
|Not only did Reynolds play well in Week 11 against the Chiefs in the first game without Kupp, but so did Everett and Higbee. Everett had the bigger game with three catches for 49 yards and two touchdowns on four targets, but Higbee also added six catches for 63 yards on seven targets. I like Everett better given his big-play ability, but Higbee could also be useful in PPR. And in Week 13 at Detroit, both Rams tight ends are worth using as low-end starting options.|
Jonnu Smith Tennessee Titans TE
|Smith has been on a roll for the past four games, and he's emerged as the No. 2 option in Tennessee's receiving corps behind Corey Davis. Smith has at least 10 PPR points in four games in a row, and he's scored a touchdown in three of his past four outings. He's facing a Jets defense that has only allowed four touchdowns to tight ends this season, but Smith is playing at a high level of late and is worth using as a low-end starter in Week 13.|
Chris Herndon New York Jets TE
|Herndon had another solid outing in Week 12 against the Patriots with seven catches for 57 yards on eight targets, and he's now scored at least 10 PPR points in four of his past six games, with three touchdowns over that span. He doesn't have an easy matchup in Week 13 at Tennessee, but Herndon is still worth using in deeper leagues as a streaming option.|
Jesse James Pittsburgh Steelers TE
|We'll see if McDonald will play in Week 13 against the Chargers, but James would be worth using as a streaming option in deeper leagues if McDonald is out. The combination of McDonald and James have scored five touchdowns this season, and the Steelers' tight ends as a group have scored the fifth-most Fantasy points for the position in 2018. James has three games with at least five targets this year, and he's scored at least nine PPR points in two of them.|
Dan Arnold New Orleans Saints TE
|Arnold has a chest injury to monitor heading into Week 13 at Dallas, but if he plays as expected then he's a good streaming option in deeper leagues, especially if Tre'Quan Smith remains out. We saw New Orleans lean on a plethora of guys to replace Smith in Week 12 against the Falcons on Thanksgiving, with Lewis, Kirkwood, Carr and Arnold all scoring touchdowns. But Arnold had the best game among that group in terms of targets (six), catches (four) and yards (45). He might even be a better Fantasy option than Benjamin Watson at this point. Arnold has plenty of sleeper appeal on Thursday against the Cowboys.|
Rhett Ellison New York Giants TE
|We'll see if Engram is out again in Week 13 against the Bears, but Ellison is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues. He played well in Week 12 at Philadelphia with four catches for 77 yards on six targets after Engram hurt his hamstring in pre-game warmups, and he could be a reliable target for Manning this week. If Engram does play, then ignore Ellison in all formats.|
- Seahawks (49 percent) vs. SF
- Broncos (52 percent) at CIN
- Chiefs (54 percent) at OAK
- Eagles (66 percent) vs. WAS
- Saints (38 percent) at DAL
- Packers (53 percent) vs. ARI
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