By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston)- Well folks, we have reached the end of the road.
It’s been an interesting season for the NFL, as just like everything else in 2020, COVID has caused the league and its teams to adjust on the fly. However, despite some road bumps along the way, we have arrived at Week 13, meaning we have reached the regular season finale for fantasy football.
If you’re still reading this article, that means you are either in or still fighting for a spot in your league’s postseason. In a year like this one, that itself is an accomplishment. But just making the playoffs isn’t enough- we want to get you to a fantasy championship.
While it isn’t the greatest week on the waiver wire, there are still some players likely available that could provide your team with a big boost, both in Week 13 and the weeks after. For leagues that use the FAAB budget system, feel free to start emptying the bank on free agents, as you only have a few more chances to spend it.
With that said, let’s take a look at the top waiver wire adds for Week 13.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins– Fitz Magic is back! At least for the time being. Tua Tagovailoa missed Sunday’s game with a thumb injury and could be facing a multi-week absence. If Tua is unable to go in Week 13, Fitzpatrick will likely be the top streaming option at quarterback. Going up against the Jets this past Sunday, Fitzpatrick completed 24 of 39 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns, adding 10 rushing yards. The Dolphins get another plus matchup in Week 13 when they welcome the Bengals to Miami. If Fitzpatrick gets the start, he will be firmly in the QB1 conversation.
QB Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts– Rivers has put together a solid stretch of games for the Colts in recent weeks. Over the last three games, the veteran quarterback is averaging 297 passing yards and two touchdowns per game. Rivers is never going to blow up for 30+ points at this point in his career, but he has shown more than enough for you to feel confident about him putting up solid numbers each week. Over the next three weeks, Rivers will face the Texans, Raiders, and Texans again. These matchups are far from worrisome, which puts Rivers on the streaming radar for anyone in need of help at quarterback.
RB Devontae Booker, Las Vegas Raiders- This one is all about opportunity. Booker hasn’t done much this season, recording just one game with more than eight rush attempts. In Week 12, he carried the ball just five times for six yards in the Raiders’ blowout loss to the Falcons. But with Josh Jacobs suffering an ankle injury, Booker could be thrust into the starting role. Jon Gruden’s squad has played pretty well this season, making me believe Sunday’s game was more of an outlier rather than the norm for Las Vegas. If Booker is serving as the lead back in the Raiders offense, he is a must add, especially with a Week 13 matchup against the winless Jets. Reports indicate Jacobs suffered an ankle sprain, but that it looked worse than it actually is. Either way, go get Booker in case he’s looking at a huge role this Sunday.
RB Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams- Akers has slowly been seeing more and more playing time in the Rams backfield as the season has progressed. The rookie running back recorded nine rush attempts in Week 12, marking the third time he’s gotten 9 or more carries in the last four weeks. Against the 49ers on Sunday, Akers took his nine rush attempts for a whopping 84 yards, good for an average of 9.3 yards per carry, and a touchdown. Sean McVay has hinted at a larger role for Akers throughout the season, and we may be finally seeing that happen now. If Akers were to take hold of the reins in the Rams backfield heading into the fantasy postseason, he could end up being a league-winner. It may be tough to trust him in your lineup in Week 13, but if you’ve already sealed your spot in the playoffs, then grab and stash Akers while you still can.
RB Frank Gore, New York Jets- A Jet on the waiver wire list?? I know, I know, but hear me out. In the first game since Lamichal Perine was placed on injured reserve, Gore received 18 rush attempts, his second-highest total of the season. The never-aging back gained 74 yards with those carries (4.1 avg.) and added three receptions for 12 yards. You’re never going to feel great about starting someone on the Jets. However, his upcoming schedule is quite appealing. The Jets face the Raiders and their awful rush defense this Sunday before a Week 14 matchup with Seattle’s struggling run D. Fantasy is all about opportunity, and Gore seems to be looking at a big opportunity for at least the next two games. Gore could have some FLEX appeal over the next two weeks.
WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers– If he was somehow dropped after getting hurt in the Week 7 win over the Patriots, RUN, don’t walk, to pick up Samuel on the waiver wire. The second-year receiver returned to the lineup for the first time in over a month in Week 12 and picked up right where he left off. Samuel was targeted a team-high 13 times, seven more than any other pass-catcher, and finished with 133 yards. No other receiver finished with more than 34 receiving yards. While he hadn’t played since Week 7, it was the third consecutive game in which he scored double digit fantasy points in PPR leagues. Granted, all of this production came with Brandon Aiyuk sidelined, but still you have to feel good about Samuel following this strong performance. As the 49ers get healthier, a late-season surge is always possible. If that happens, Samuel could be quite the valuable fantasy asset for the playoffs. Go get Samuel if he’s still available.
WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills- It isn’t the greatest week for wide receivers on the waiver wire, which is why Davis lands here after seeing just four targets in Week 12. However, the rookie wideout was able to turn those four targets into 79 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs is clearly the top dog in the Bills’ passing attack. But with John Brown now on injured reserve, the role of Josh Allen’s second option is up for grabs between Davis and Cole Beasley. Beasley will still get his targets, but Davis seems to be Allen’s preferred deep option among the two. Buffalo gets the 49ers and Steelers over the next two weeks, hardly the easiest opponents, but Allen and Davis could connect on a big play or two to boost the latter’s fantasy day. Davis could be worth an add and stash.
WR Breshad Perriman, New York Jets- I meant it when I said it wasn’t the best week for receivers on the wire. So much so that a second Jet landed on this list… Over the last three weeks, Perriman has put up better than expected numbers. He has been targeted 19 times over that stretch, catching 11 of them for 234 yards and three touchdowns. The eight targets were promising in what was Sam Darnold’s return, and could be a sign for how the target share could be divvied up for the remainder of the season. With upcoming matchups against the Raiders and Seahawks, Perriman might actually be a great bench pickup as his deep ball capabilities make him a solid upside play. Perriman is worth an add if you have a roster spot to spare.
TE Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts- Since Week 6, Burton has quietly been one of the league’s more
productive tight ends. The veteran tight end has scored a touchdown in four of the Colts’ last six games, including scores in each of the last two weeks. This past Sunday in a blowout loss to the Titans, Burton caught three of six targets for 42 yards and a touchdown. Burton now has 22 total targets over the last five games, which makes him a decent fantasy play given the lack of depth at the tight end position this year. Burton gets a great matchup in Week 13 against the Texans, making him a low-end TE1 for the fantasy regular season finale.
TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings- With Irv Smith sidelined with various injuries in Week 12, along with Adam Thielen missing the game after being placed on the COVID list, Rudolph received a lot more attention in the Vikings’ passing game. The 10th-year tight end saw eight targets in Sunday’s win over the Panthers, the second-most on the team behind only Justin Jefferson’s 13 targets. Rudolph turned those targets into seven receptions for 68 yards, and could be in for another big game this Sunday. The Vikings will welcome the Jaguars to Minnesota this weekend, and it’s hard to ask for a better matchup than that. If Thielen and/or Smith misses Week 13, Rudolph will be a strong TE play. Keep an eye on the injury report throughout the week, but for those teams in need of a tight end, go snag Rudolph while you can.
DST Las Vegas Raiders- Let’s make this easy- the Raiders are the lucky team to get the winless Jets in Week 13. Sam Darnold threw for under 200 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions against the Dolphins this past Sunday in his return to the field, and does not appear to be much more of a threat to opposing defenses than Joe Flacco. The Jets are the most fantasy-friendly DST team to target, as they have given up the most fantasy points to DSTs on the season. Even after getting blown out by the Falcons, the Raiders’ DST will be a top play this week as the Jets appear to be well on their way to an 0-16 season.
DST Seattle Seahawks- The Seahawks haven’t been the greatest fantasy defense this season, but taking an early look at their Week 13 matchup, Seattle could easily be a top 3 play this week. Pete Carroll’s squad will welcome the New York Giants out west this Sunday. More importantly, the Giants could be traveling to the other side of the country without starting quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones tweaked his hamstring in Sunday’s win over the Bengals, and the Giants could decide to err on the side of caution with their second-year quarterback this week. If he is unable to go, Colt McCoy will start just his fourth game since the start of the 2015 season. The veteran went six of 10 for 31 yards after stepping in for the injured Jones in the second half of the Week 12 win. The Seahawks also get the Jets in Week 14 and Washington in Week 15, making them a valuable fantasy add for the next three weeks.