Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 13

Every year around this time, a handful of players emerge and wind up being key contributors in the fantasy football playoffs. It might be a little too early to say if any of those players will come from the top Week 13 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds, but there are certainly a few candidates. Running back injury replacements like Alexander Mattison, Jamaal Williams, Dontrell Hilliard, Boston Scott, and Tevin Coleman are all worth grabbing, and undervalued WRs like Kendrick Bourne also need to be monitored. Names don’t matter at this point — just opportunities and production.

Whether you’re looking for a “long-term solution” or just someone who can fill in this coming week, our full free agent list has you covered. In addition to intriguing bench stashes like Tony Jones Jr., Matt Breida, D’Onta Foreman, Russell Gage, Van Jefferson, and the guys mentioned above, we have plenty of Week 13-specific streamer suggestions at QB, WR, TE, and D/ST, which can be found at the end of this list. Next week’s byes aren’t too debilitating for fantasy purposes (Packers, Titans, Browns, Panthers), but injuries are a constant worry and you should always be striving for the best possible players in all your lineup spots.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Deciding whether to use a top waiver claim this week really comes down to what you need and what you’re trying to block your opponents from getting. Mattison is an easy call for the top pickup of the week if he’s available, but if you don’t need a running back, you can probably hold back your top claim on other players. In general, Williams is worth a high claim if we get some negative reports on D’Andre Swift (shoulder), but it doesn’t sound like Swift will be out long, if at all. You can make a similar case for Jones Jr. if Alvin Kamara (knee) and Mark Ingram (knee) are expected to be out Thursday night.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Hilliard, Foreman, Scott, Coleman, and Breida are all potential waiver claims, too, but you’re probably better off saving your high claims, as it’s likely at least some of those guys will make it to the free agent period. In fact, if you’re in a shallow league, all of those guys (plus David Johnson and Rex Burkhead) could very well be on the free agent wire come Wednesday. The same goes for most WRs, though Bourne and Jefferson stand out a little more. 

Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 13

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.

  • Mattison scored in Week 12, but the main reason he’s the top pickup of the week is the Dalvin Cook injury that required the Vikings star to be carted off. Until we hear otherwise, it’s safe to pencil Mattison in as Minnesota’sstarter, and that will mean big value the rest of the way. Mattison has excelled in Cook’s absence before, including earlier in Week 5 against Detroit when he had 113 rushing yards, 40 receiving yards, and a TD. It just so happens Mattison is set to face off with the Lions in Week 13, so he’ll be an easy RB1 in that matchup. — Matt Lutovsky

  • D’Andre Swift (shoulder) was injured against Chicago and exited the game in the second quarter, allowing Williams to put up 83 yards on 20 touches. Five of those touches were receptions, so it seems he’ll be a recipient of those Jared Goff dump downs if Swift misses any time. Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson will also be involved if Swift misses time, but Williams would be the lead back heading into a favorable matchup with Minnesota. Given Detroit’s record, it will be in no hurry to rush Swift back if he’s legitimately injured. — Jackson Sparks

  • With Adrian Peterson gone andJeremy McNichols (concussion) still out, Hilliard took advantage. He turned 12 carriesinto 131 yards and a TD against the Patriots’ tough run defense in Week 12. The bulk of his production came on a 68-yard TD run just before halftime, but he was still heavily involved and received another goal-line carry. D’Onta Foreman handled more touches (20 to 13), but Hilliard has shown enough the past two weeks to continue operating as Tennessee’s”1B” optioneven when McNichols is healthy. He’s worth grabbing for the stretch run, as more favorable matchups await after Tennessee’s Week 13 bye (vs. Jaguars, @ Steelers). — ML

  • Foreman totaled 20 touches and 113 yards against the Patriots in Week 12, so we obviously have to keep him on our radar. He and Dontrell Hillard both eclipsed 100 yards, so it may be tough to know which one is more attractive to roster, but both are worth stashing moving forward. Derrick Henry (foot) isn’t coming back until after the fantasy regular season, so Foreman could be that lotto ticket stash that pays off huge late in the season. Tennessee goes on a bye in Week 13, but it still has matchups with Houston and Jacksonville on its schedule. –JS

  • Scott put up 72 yards and a touchdown on 17 total touches against the Giants in Week 12, so he’s a guy you can plug and play and soon as Week 13 against the lowly Jets since Jordan Howard (knee) is likely to miss another week ahead of Philadelphia’s bye. –JS

  • Jones carried 16 times against the Bills in the absence of Alvin Kamara (knee) and Mark Ingram (knee), but he produced just 27 yards. Still, he makes our waiver adds list because he’s obviously the lead back in the offense when Kamara and Ingram are out, and we’re not overreacting to his stat line given the matchup against one of the best run defenses in football. The Saints will play on Thursday in Week 13 against Dallas, but we should note the Cowboys’ defense is also a top-five unit against fantasy RBs. –JS

  • In the first game of Michael Carter’s IR stint, Coleman was the de facto leader in the Jets’ backfield. He ran 16 times for 67 yards and caught another two passes for just three yards. Coleman owners (or prospective owners) will be annoyed by Austin Walter’s nine carries and goal-line touchdown, but it’s clear Coleman heads this committee. Next week’s matchup against Philadelphia isn’t particularly intimidating, so Coleman has some potential flex value in that one. –ML

  • Breida simply looks like the best RB on the Bills’ roster after totaling 11 touches for 55 yards and a touchdown against New Orleans. Zack Moss was a healthy scratch, so that brightens Breida’s outlook even more. Breida is explosive and possesses a ton of sneaky late-season upside in one of the best offenses in the NFL. He’ll have a tough road to success against New England in Week 13, but we’re thinking long-term with him. –JS

  • Bourne has quietly been the Patriots’ most productive wide receiver this season, and he continued his breakout campaign with five catches (sixtargets) for 61yards and two TDs against the Titans. Bourne isn’t exactly a high-ceiling player, but with at least four catches in five of the past six games, he’s shown he has a fairly solid floor in PPR leagues. He gets a tough statisticalmatchup against Buffalo next week, but with Tre’Davious White (knee) out, Bourne is still in play. — ML

  • Jefferson caught just three-of-nine targets in Week 12, but he put up 93 yards and scored on a deep touchdown. He’s just behind Cooper Kupp in this explosive offense, so he has to be considered as at least a streaming option against the Jaguars in Week 13. –JS

  • Christian McCaffrey (ankle) is back to his old antics of exiting stadiums in a walking boot, so we’ll see how he’s doing later in the week. If he misses any time, Hubbard will be the RB1 in Carolina, so he’s worth grabbing. Even if CMC is completely fine, Hubbard should be stashed for later in the season with McCaffrey’s injury concerns. Carolina is on a bye in Week 13, though, so this might not amount to much in the short term –JS

  • Johnson had one of his better fantasy days with 12 touches for 55 yards, so we’ll continue to at least monitor him. That said, he’s best suited for the bench against the Colts in Week 13, who were the No. 1 defense against fantasy RBs before being shredded by Leonard Fournette in Week 12. –JS

  • Like Johnson, Burkhead is merely on here because of his recent volume. He totaled 54 yards on 15 touches in Week 12, although that was in the best matchup possible against the Jets. It’s tough to ever trust a Houston RB, but we know many people are in a tough spot at this position. That said, we still view Indianapolis as a top unit against RBs despite Leonard Fournette going off on them, so we don’t advise starting Burkhead in Week 13. –JS

  • Gage caught six-of-seven targets for 62 and a touchdown against the Jags in Week 12, so we’re willing to play him against the Buccaneers in Week 13. Of course, he could disappoint, but he’s the No. 1 WR going against a defense that was just shredded by Carson Wentz and co. –JS

  • Westbrook-Ikhine only caught two-of-five targets for 25 yards in Week 12, but he scored a touchdown, and A.J. Brown (chest) has been placed on IR. Julio Jones (hamstring) can return from IR after the Titans’ Week 13 bye, but it’s clear NWI will be the No. 2 WR, at worst. –JS

  • Now that DJ Chark (ankle) and Jamal Agnew (hip) are lost for the season, the Jags almost have no choice but to feature Shenult more in the offense. Against Atlanta, Shenault caught five-of-nine targets for 33 yards, so it looks like he’ll be more of a PPR play with his low target depth. He’ll take on the Rams in Week 13, but he’s playable in favorable matchups moving forward. –JS

  • MVS followed up his Week 11 breakout with a solid four-catch, 50-yard outing on nine targets against the Rams. With Randall Cobb suffering an injury in the game, Valdes-Scantling is in position to continue paying off as a potential WR3 after Green Bay’s Week 13 bye. — ML

  • If Justin Fields (ribs) misses more time, Kmet is an attractive option at tight end. With Andy Dalton in the lineup, Kmet caught eight-of-11 targets for 65 yards in Week 12. Any tight end who can command double-digit targets in any game should be watched closely. However, the Bears face a top-10 unit against fantasy TEs in Week 13 (Arizona), so we’re not banging the table for him to be in starting lineups right away. That said, he could produce given the lack of target competition and obvious chemistry with Dalton. –JS

  • Howard (knee) was out in Week 12, but the Eagles haven’t placed him on IR. That said, he’ll likely remain out in Week 13 before the Eagles’ Week 14 bye, so this is more of a late-season playoff value pickup. He should return as a pivotal part of the rushing attack when he’s back. –JS

  • In allgames in which Tua has started and finished (before Week 12), he’s scored at least 16.2 fantasy points with a high of 28.5 fantasy points. The Giants give up the 13th-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to QBs, so we’re comfortable with Tagovailoa as a streaming option. We expectedstruggles against Carolina but he actually played well. Perhaps Will Fuller (finger) and DeVante Parker (hamstring) will be back for this one, too. –JS

  • There’s no way to sugarcoat it; Daniel Jones has looked awful in recent weeks. However, Miami is a bottom-eight defense against fantasy QBs, and the Giants’ skill players are finally getting healthier. This game has sneaky shootout potential, so Jones is also in play for Week 13. He had a decent fantasy day with 30-plus rushing yards and a passing touchdown against the Eagles, so we’re comfortable with him in this matchup. –JS

  • Tampa Bay had been improvingin terms of fantasy points allowed, but prior to getting lit up by Carson Wentz, the previous four quarterbacks on the schedule were Justin Fields, Trevor Siemian, Taylor Heinicke, and Daniel Jones.In the first meeting between Atlanta and Tampa Bay, Ryan put up nearly 20 fantasy points despite a three-INT day. There’s a chance the Bucs’ pass rush dominates the game, but Ryan has to be somewhat of a consideration in Week 13 even after an underwhelming showing against theJags in Week 12. –JS

  • The Texans’ offense is one of the worst in the league, so Taylor carries risk, but the Colts are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to QBs heading into Week 12. He demonstrated his rushing upside with two touchdowns on the ground against Tennessee in Week 11, so he presumably has a decent floor. In Week 12, he also produced a solid day in another favorable matchup against the Jets.Again, he’s risky, but he can get you through the week if you’re in trouble at quarterback. –JS

  • Kansas City’s defense is another unit that is looking better in recent weeks, but they’re still ranked as the fourth-worst defense against fantasy QBs. Bridgewater has been a popular streaming option when the matchup looks right like this, especially after he had a decent day despite an early injury andtough matchup against the Chargers.–JS

  • Through 11 Weeks, Heinicke is the QB15, so he’s having a betterfantasy season than many would think. The Raiders are a middle-of-the-pack defense in FFPG allowed to QBs, but Heinicke has played well enough to warrant some consideration in neutral matchup. –JS

  • Hill is banged up, but we think he’s going to eventually take over for Trevor Siemian and lead the New Orleans offense. He’s an obvious stash candidate, as his rushing upside will likely make him a QB1 as soon as he’s promoted into the starting role. He’s available in the majority of leagues, so whether you need a QB or not, he’s worth grabbing to keep him from someone else. If he starts against Dallas in Week 13, he’ll be on the “must-start” bubble. –JS

  • Wilson did next to nothing in Week 12, but Deebo Samuel (groin) leaving the game early means there could be carries up for grabs in this offense. It’s weird, but Samuel has operated as the RB2 alongside his WR duties, so Wilson will get at least some valuable touches if Samuel misses any time. The Seahawks are the second-worst team against fantasy RBs, so in a way, Wilson would be viewed as a low-ceiling streaming option. He’s also good to have around if Elijah Mitchell misses games for the third time this year. –JS

  • Reynolds looked solid in his second game as a Lion, catching three-of-five targets for 70 yards and a touchdown. He played with Jared Goff for four seasons, so the chemistry is there. We’re not sold on Reynolds as a season-long contribution, but we view him as a streaming option against Minnesota, who is the third-worst defense against fantasy WRs. –JS

  • DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) should be back by Week 13, but Green has been productive even when D-Hop was in the lineup. In Week 13, he faces a Chicago team that allows the fourth-most FPPG to WRs, so he can be viewed as a streaming option. –JS

  • Hilton is coming off a productive Week 12, and should keep it going in Week 13 against a Texans’ defense he reeled off 80 yards against in his first game of the season earlier in the year.–JS

  • Shepard (quad) should be back by Week 13, and a matchup with Miami could prove fruitful for fantasy owners. He hasn’tbeen on the field often, but when he has, the production is tough to ignore in a matchup with a bottom-three defense against fantasy WRs. –JS

  • Parker (hamstring) remained out in Week 12, but if he can return for Week 13 against the Giants, he’ll warrant starting consideration right away, especially since Tua Tagovailoa has been playing well lately. –JS

  • Fuller (finger) has to come back eventually, right? If it’s Week 13 against the Giants, count him as a boom-or-bust option in a Dolphins’ offense that has looked pretty good as of late. –JS

  • Darren Waller (knee) avoided serious injury, but there’s a good chance he’ll miss at least one game. The last time Waller was inactive, Moreau caught all six of his targets for 60 yards and a touchdown, so we like him as a streaming option this week against Washington. If Waller is out for an extended period of time, Moreau could be a solid piece at the position moving forward in an offense that loves to feature tight ends. –JS

  • Doyle is far from a “safe” option, but in deep leagues, he can be considered against the third-worst unit in limiting fantasy TEs (Texans). Doyle did flash in Week 12 with six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown, so maybe this will be the beginning of a decent run for him. –JS

  • We can’t be surprised Uzomah had a quiet day against the Steelers, but his next opponent (Chargers) was the fourth-worst defense against fantasy TEs entering Week 12 and surrounded four touchdowns to the position across Week 10 and 11. Uzomah has two TE1 weeks this season, so the upside is clearly there in a TE-friendly matchup. –JS

  • The Dolphins give up the 10th-most FFPG to tight ends, so we consider Engram in play this week. The Giants’ skill players are finally getting healthy, so that could either open things up for Engram or cause him to be a non-factor. We’ll see how it plays out, but the matchup catches our attention, even after an underwhelming game against the Eagles.–JS

  • We figured Conklin wouldn’t have much success against the 49ers, but we like his outlook this week for streamer-needy fantasy teams. The Lions are statistically solid against tight ends (11th-best entering Week 12), but Kirk Cousins is on fire right now, so we’re considering Conklin a fine streaming option against a defense with very little depth and talent. –JS

  • Danny Dimes just can’t seem to consistently get this offense moving, and the Miami defense may be finally looking close to what we thought it could be in the preseason. The Giants’ offensive line figures to be outmatched here, so we’re confident in the Dolphins’ D as our top streaming D/ST option. –JS

  • Put simply, Detroit’s offense isbad. That’s the simple process we’ve used all year, and we’ll continue to use it for Minnesota’s defense in Week 13. –JS

  • It might be shocking, but the Chiefs’ defense limited the Raiders and Cowboys to 14 points or less and are playing really good football on that side of the ball. Patrick Mahomes has stopped turning the ball over recklessly, so the defense isn’t put in such bad situations. Denver’s offense is up and down, so this is a high-risk, high-reward option in Week 13. –JS

  • This is another boom-or-bust option, as Washington’s offense has been explosive at times. We’ve seen the good and the bad for both units, but Washington does allow the 12th-most FPPG to D/STs, so the Raiders have to be considered. The silver and black are among the league leaders in pressures, so we could see a poorgame from a fluster Taylor Heinicke –JS

  • This is the last resort when it comes to D/ST streamers, but the Dolphins surrender the seventh-most fantasy points to D/STs, so the Giants could take advantage here. Tua Tagoviloa hasn’t been shy about throwing interceptions, and we know turnovers equal fantasy points. –JS

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