League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 13

Many fantasy football managers have beads of sweat as big as country biscuits.

Between there being just one week left — in most leagues, anyway — to punch a ticket for the playoffs and trying to get playoff rosters in order, many will be studying the waiver wire to fill their needs.

So let’s grab a cold towel, wipe those over-sized sweat beads off our faces and grab a seat at the Fantasy Sports Chef’s table and have a good look at the waiver wire menu. Most items may not sound too appetizing, but all items are edible.

“Wow, Chef, what a high standard to set!”

First of all, it’s important to have some sort of standard. Even if it sets up a low floor, at least there’s a floor.

And second, it’s Week 13. There aren’t going to be a bunch of solid options on the waiver wire unless you either play in a very small league or are in a league with a bunch of absent managers. So, beggars can’t be choosers, as they say.

So let’s tackle this menu, shall we?

Replacing Gordon

Los Angels Chargers running back Melvin Gordon tried to play through some injuries in Week 12 and it ended horribly. With a grade 2 MCL sprain reported, Gordon is slated to miss at least the next couple weeks if not more. So managers who were relying on Gordon will be hitting the waiver wire to find at least a flex-worthy RB.

Eagles RB Josh Adams (ownership: 67% ESPN, 55% Yahoo)

Ravens RB Gus Edwards (ownership: 54% ESPN, 63% Yahoo)

  • Easily the most sought-after running backs on the waiver wire a week ago, Josh Adams and Gus Edwards are surprisingly still available in many leagues. Whether replacing Gordon or just looking for an RB2 or flex play moving forward, Adams and Edwards are high-end menu options that are must-adds if available.
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Chargers RB Austin Ekeler (ownership: 55% ESPN, 70% Yahoo)

Chargers RB Justin Jackson (ownership: 0% ESPN, 1% Yahoo)

  • These are the obvious options, as both should see plenty of opportunity with Gordon out of the lineup. Austin Ekeler is not widely available and is easily the better choice. But those dining on a budget should give Justin Jackson a try.

Receiver Platter

Panthers WR D.J. Moore (ownership: 59% ESPN, 67% Yahoo)

Buccaneers WR Adam Humphries (ownership: 28% ESPN, 30% Yahoo)

Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (ownership: 10% ESPN, 9% Yahoo)

Washington WR Trey Quinn (ownership: 1% ESPN, 1% Yahoo)

49ers WR Dante Pettis (ownership: 1% ESPN, 1% Yahoo)

Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate (ownership: 54% ESPN, 65% Yahoo)

  • Fantasy managers who are thin at the receiver position or have been burned by who were supposed solid, consistent options should be considering these players. D.J. Moore is the best choice, as he has taken over the WR1 role for the Carolina Panthers, has a decent schedule and very good quarterback. Behind Moore are some more risky choices. Adam Humphries of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been solid, and the state of the Bucs’ defense all but ensures pass-heavy game scripts the rest of the way. Quincy Enunwa of the New York Jets also is risky, but still a viable candidate. With the Jets reportedly discussing a contract extension, Enunwa could be set up to the be the WR1 for the remainder of the season for the Jets. In the nation’s capital, slot receiver Trey Quinn has performed well in recent weeks. While his role could shrink should Jamison Crowder return to action, Quinn has looked very good and should be able to push for a permanent role down the stretch at the expense of Maurice Harris. And then there’s San Francisco 49ers rookie Dante Pettis, who is more of the “Dollar Menu” item on this list. With the 49ers out of contention, Pettis could continue to see a fair amount of usage as the team evaluates his role going forward rather than giving reps to 32-year-old Pierre Garcon, who has missed time with injuries. At the tight end position, Buccaneers big man Cameron Brate is a must-add. He has a great rapport with quarterback Jameis Winston and is a favored red zone target.
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Protection Plans

There’s a lesson to be learned from Gordon’s unfortunate Week 12 injury. That lesson is protecting high-end production or at least high-end volume. These players should be owned in almost all leagues.

Rams RB Malcolm Brown (ownership: 8% ESPN, 8% Yahoo)

Chiefs RB Spencer Ware (ownership: 7% ESPN, 8% Yahoo)

Cowboys RB Rod Smith (ownership: 1% ESPN, 1% Yahoo)

  • No, the Chef is not making the argument that these options would be as productive as the lead backs on their respective teams. However, all three of these would see enough volume in good enough situations that they would be solid RB2s, at least. Whether you own Los Angeles Rams star Todd Gurley, Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt or Dallas Cowboys backfield stud Ezekiel Elliott makes no difference. If you can afford the roster spot now that bye weeks are finished, fill it with one of these runners: Malcolm Brown, Spencer Ware or Rod Smith.

Budget Bites

Taking a gamble with a fantasy Hail Mary in an effort to make the playoffs? Getting ready for a first-round playoff matchup against a stacked team? Riding into the postseason with an injury-riddled or weak roster that has simply over-performed or benefited from a favorable schedule? If any of these describes your team’s situation, give these players some consideration.

Rams WR Josh Reynolds (ownership: 34% ESPN, 51% Yahoo)

Jets TE Chris Herndon (ownership: 10% ESPN, 8% Yahoo)

49ers RB Jeff Wilson (ownership: 0% ESPN, 0% Yahoo)

Colts RB Nyheim Hines (ownership: 30% ESPN, 22% Yahoo)

Seahawks WR David Moore (ownership: 7% ESPN, 10% Yahoo)

Giants TE Rhett Ellison (ownership: 0% ESPN, 1% Yahoo)

  • There are solid cases to be made for the upside of each of these. But with these being the “best” of the bottom-of-the-barrel options, let’s tackle it quickly. Josh Reynolds plays in an explosive offense. Chris Herndon has at least three catches or a touchdown in each of his last six games. Jeff Wilson looked good as the 49ers backup running back, and starter Matt Breida was limping, AGAIN. Nyheim Hines remains somewhat involved in the Colts’ offense each week, and starting running back Marlon Mack could miss time with a concussion. David Moore has been third in the pecking order of Seahawks receivers of late, but he has put up 19-plus PPR points in three of his last seven games. Rhett Ellison filled in for Evan Engram, who suffered a hamstring injury that went unreported until after kickoff (yeah, the Chef got burned by that one in a league, too). Hamstrings are tricky, and with the Giants out of contention, Ellison could have a decent role for the rest of the season.
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Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook

Writer Fantasy Football Desk at Sports Talk Line
Fantasy enthusiast armed with whit, sarcasm and some knowledge, too. The Fantasy Sports Chef is a fantasy writer for SportsTalkLine.com.
Joshua Cook