Week 13 waiver wire: Preparing for the playoff injury rush

Take a good look at your fantasy football team and, for better or for worse, this is your squad.

Did you do a good job assembling an unstoppable roster, or did you mess up royally along the way? Regardless, the time for major changes has expired, so let’s focus on making the most of whatever core group you have in place.

Although the Week 13 waiver wire doesn’t have any league-altering additions still lingering, there are some players available that could help if your team runs into injury or COVID-19 troubles come playoff time — which is extremely likely.

RB Devontae Booker, Las Vegas Raiders (10% rostered on Yahoo)

Raiders starting running back Josh Jacobs suffered an ankle injury in Week 12 which may keep him out of this Sunday’s contest against the New York Jets. If Jacobs doesn’t suit up, Booker would likely see the majority of work in this backfield. Booker has been solid as a rusher this season, as he’s averaging 5.5 yards per attempt on 59 carries. It’s sometimes tricky, as we saw with Atlanta Falcons running back Brian Hill, for a change-of-pace back to step in and assume the lead-back role, but in a game against the Jets — who are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per-game to RBs this season — Booker will profile as a low-end RB2.

RB Frank Gore, New York Jets (25% rostered on Yahoo)

You never feel great slotting Gore into your starting lineup, you know the upside is extremely limited, but if you’re looking for a high-floor play at RB, this is your guy. Last week, in a game where the Jets were trailing the entire time, he totaled 21 touches, including 18 carries which he toted for 74 yards against a Miami Dolphins defense which is tied for allowing the ninth-fewest fantasy points per-game to RBs this season. In Week 13, the matchup is much easier as he’ll battle the Raiders, who are conceding the ninth-most fantasy points per-game to tailbacks. He’s a high-end RB3 if the Jets aren’t forced to abandon the run early in this game.

WR Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders (43% rostered on Yahoo)

Agholor has been the Raiders’ go-to receiver on the outside this season. Hunter Renfrow runs almost exclusively out of the slot, first-round pick Henry Ruggs hasn’t been a consistent threat and has served as more of a decoy, and third-round pick Bryan Edwards has had an injury-riddled campaign. Since the Raiders’ Week 6 bye week, Agholor leads the team in receiving yards, targets and touchdowns. In Week 13, a plus matchup against the Jets awaits him. New York is tied for allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. He’ll be a high-upside WR3.

WR Denzel Mims, New York Jets (7% rostered on Yahoo)

Recommending two Jets players in my waiver wire report, what could go wrong? All joking aside, I think Mims is starting to come into his own as a rookie. In each of the five games he has played, he has topped 40 receiving yards. Since making his NFL debut in Week 7, he leads the Jets in targets (32), receptions (17), receiving yards (284), red-zone targets (8) and end-zone targets (4). In Week 12, Sam Darnold took a pair of deep shots to Mims that fell incomplete, but I think it’s only a matter of time before the two connect. The Raiders aren’t a pass defense I’m going to shy away from and in a match where New York’s game script will likely be favouring the pass, Mims is an solid WR3.

WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills (3% rostered on Yahoo)

Whenever John Brown has missed time for the Bills, Davis has stepped into a starting role and has performed well. In two of the three games Brown has missed, Davis has topped 50 receiving yards. The 2020 fourth-round pick is a bigger target for Allen, and although he’s not a burner, he ran a solid 4.54-second 40-yard dash for a player who’s 6’2”, 216 lbs. In Week 13, the Bills play the 49ers, and now that Richard Sherman is back in San Francisco’s lineup, he’ll likely spend most of his time covering Stefon Diggs. Allen may rely on Davis a little bit more if Diggs has a tough day winning against one of the league’s best corners. Davis will serve as a WR3 for Week 13.

WR Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers (39% rostered on Yahoo)

In his second game back from a core injury, Lazard re-established himself as Green Bay’s No. 2 wide out. Lazard saw six targets while Equanimeous St. Brown received two, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling finished with zero. Although the final outcome wasn’t outstanding, he did record four receptions for 23 yards and a touchdown. Moving forward, Lazard will likely see higher yardage totals, and he should be viewed as a low-end WR3 against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13.

WR Keke Coutee, Houston Texans (2% rostered on Yahoo)

On Monday, Will Fuller announced on his Instagram that he’d been suspended six games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy. His absence will likely thrust Coutee into a larger role. Over the past two games, Coutee has combined for four receptions, 27 yards and a touchdown. Coutee does have chemistry with Deshaun Watson, however, as the 23-year-old has been on the team for three seasons alongside the talented QB. He profiles as a speedster that may be able to supplement some of Fuller’s ability to get open down field. He’s on the WR4 radar for Week 13.

QB Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (40% rostered on Yahoo)

Cousins is quietly having one of the best years of his career, and in turn, a really solid fantasy campaign. The veteran gunslinger is on pace for over 4,000 passing yards and a personal-best 33 passing touchdowns. Ahead of Wednesday’s Ravens-Steelers showdown, Cousins is QB12 in fantasy football despite ranking 20th in the NFL in passing attempts. His .57 fantasy points per-dropback are 10th-best in the league and rank ahead of passers like Justin Herbert and Tom Brady. His Week 13 matchup is against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are surrendering the third-most fantasy points per-game to QBs this season. Cousins will serve as a low-end QB1 in this spot.

RB Benny Snell, Pittsburgh Steelers (35% rostered on Yahoo)

Steelers running back James Conner tested positive for COVID-19. Likely taking his place as the team’s lead back in his absence is Snell. In the team’s first game of the season, Conner checked out of the game due to injury and Snell played well. He handled 19 carries for 113 rushing yards, and actually had some people believing that maybe he should be the starter. Dealing with an expanded workload on Wednesday, Snell could be able to flirt with RB2 numbers against a Ravens defense which has been dealing with COVID-19 issues. Conner’s timeline for return is uncertain, which makes it possible that Snell could also earn a start in Week 13 against the Washington Football Team.

TE Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (22% rostered on Yahoo)

Schultz is the only tight end that is top-12 in fantasy points and not rostered in more than 30% of Yahoo fantasy leagues. Even in an abysmal performance on Thanksgiving Day, Schultz stayed involved in the offense, seeing five targets. On the season, he’s tied for the sixth-most targets at the position and his 44 receptions are tied for the fourth-most. The issue with Schultz has been that he hasn’t seen a lot of the work in the red zone. Just 20.6% of his targets have come inside that portion of the field, which is 48th amongst tight ends. Regardless, tight end is a volatile position and at least he’s seeing enough work to maintain some stability. He’ll continue serving as a low-end TE1 in fantasy football.

DST Stream of the Week: Las Vegas Raiders (9% rostered on Yahoo)

The Raiders have not been a very good defensive unit in fantasy football. Currently, Las Vegas ranks 27th amongst fantasy defenses and have posted negative scores in two-straight weeks. However, in Week 13, the matchup is too good to avoid. That’s right, the Raiders draw the Jets and that’s an obvious spot to play them in. New York is averaging a miniscule 13.8 points per game and a league-low 4.6 yards per play. This recommendation is not an endorsement of the Raiders defense, but rather a play against the Jets.

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