The past few days have felt like an entire season with constant news about players missing and games being postponed.
We are still not even done with Week 12 at this point as the Ravens-Steelers contest is tentatively scheduled to play tomorrow, Wednesday the 2nd, in the afternoon — but we have to step back and focus on the ever-important Week 13.
Week 13 is THE WEEK for most fantasy football players: This is the final week to get important wins and improve playoff seeding. Next week, Week 14, we’re talking playoffs.
For some leagues, such as the FFPC and NFFC, there will be no waivers after this week. For those players, make sure you are rostering two defenses, two quarterbacks and two tight ends. Two kickers would be ideal, but that can be determined by how much risk tolerance you are willing to take. This is also the week to make sure you handcuff your backs in those formats.
For home league players, this is the week to assess your needs and fill them. If you have already clinched a playoff bye, use this week to add high-value handcuff runners and defenses for future weeks. Consider hoarding FAB (if you still have a considerable amount) so that you can block a potential add from a team with less assuming there is an injury or COVID-related situation in Weeks 14 through 16. If you are in a bind and need help for this week, the pickings are slim, so use FAB accordingly.
When you assess depth in the fantasy playoffs, it is not about being able to roster WR41 or RB38. Your starting lineup matters, so have depth that matters. Having your handcuff back is more important in most situations than being able to have a Travis Fulgham or Anthony Miller deep on your bench. You are never going to use them anyway, so why roster them?
This week will have no Thursday Night game. We will have a loaded Sunday and then an unprecedented Monday triple-header with Pittsburgh-Washington, Dallas-Baltimore and Buffalo-San Francisco, all deciding fantasy playoff fortunes.
As always, our threshold is players rostered in 20 percent or less of Yahoo! leagues.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Miami (20%)
Tua Tagliavola is still nursing a thumb injury. Last week, Fitzpatrick was his usual self with 2 touchdown passes and 250+ yards passing. If Tagovailoa misses, expect more of the same. Fitzpatrick is always in the streaming discussion when active for teams with QB issues, and an auto-start in superflex leagues.
RB Devontae Booker Las Vegas (10%)
If you are in need of a win THIS WEEK, then consider blowing a huge FAB bid on Devontae Booker.
There is risk here as Josh Jacobs could play, but if you are the Raiders, would you risk Jacobs’ ankle on a game against the win-less Jets? I would not.
Booker has been a guy we have discussed for many weeks. He is a high-value handcuff. I have him stashed in a lot of places and if Jacobs misses time, I would consider Booker to be a top-15 RB. This is the sort of player we want to stash for the fantasy playoffs.
Note: Monitor practice. We want to see Jacobs sit out. If you have Wednesday night waivers, monitor Wednesday practice.
RB DeAndre Washington Miami (1%)
Washington was Miami’s most productive back last week in his first game being active. Myles Gaskin should return soon as should Salvon Ahmed, but Washington would be an interesting FLEX-play this week if they both missed.
RB Ito Smith Atlanta (1%)
Smith outperformed Brian Hill last week with 12 carries for 65 yards and 1 score. Todd Gurley may miss again, and Smith would still share time with Hill; use only if in a desperate spot. Smith had done almost nothing for the entire season before last weekend.
RB Tony Pollard Dallas (19%)
Every week we write up Tony Pollard, and every week he hovers on the waiver wire. This is the sort of handcuff to roster. Pollard has talent and would see a massive workload if Ezekiel Elliot missed.
If you have room, add him.
RB Kerryon Johnson Detroit (15%)
Johnson had 46-yards on the ground and caught 4 passes. D’Andre Swift should be back this week, but if he misses, Johnson would have some appeal against a reeling Bears’ defense.
If you have Swift, consider rostering Johnson as a handcuff. Adrian Peterson will always have the potential to steal fantasy points (especially on the goal line) but Johnson sees valuable looks as a receiver.
TE Trey Burton Indianapolis (19%)
Burton has scored in back-to-back games. He is an option for tight end-streamers this week against Houston’s soft defense.
TE Kyle Rudolph Minnesota (15%)
Rudolph has been written-up on Waiver Grabs and also was a successful hit for our Dumpster Dive this past Sunday. With Adam Thielen and Irv Smith out, Rudolph had a season highs with 8 targets, 7 catches and 68 yards receiving. Thielen should be back, but Rudolph should still be considered a high-end TE2 play.
WR Breshad Perriman NY Jets (12%)
Perriman has now had three straight usable fantasy games. Last week he had 4 catches for 79 yards. This week, consider him to be in the WR3-range against the Raiders’ leaky secondary. Perriman always has high-upside with his ability to get deep.
WR Hunter Renfrow Las Vegas (17%)
Renfrow is an option for teams in leagues with extremely deep benches. Last week he had 7 catches on 9 targets in the Raiders blowout loss to Atlanta.
WR Denzel Mims NY Jets (7%)
Mims has now had at least 7 targets in three straight games. Despite the return of Jamison Crowder, his volume has remained the same. This is a very talented rookie who has athletic gifts. He could very well have a blow up game this week against Las Vegas.
Expect him to be in the WR3/4 mix for the rest of the season.
WR Keke Coutee Houston (2%)
Will Fuller’s amazing season ended as he was suspended six games for banned substances. This creates an opportunity for Coutee in a suddenly decimated Houston receiving corps.
Fuller cannot be replaced, but snap-wise, Coutee should see a massive spike. He is a capable receiver who could provide some usable floor-play-type weeks moving forward.
WR Josh Reynolds LA Rams (9%)
Reynolds has come back to earth with 6 targets in back-to-back games. He has appeal as a FLEX or WR3 this week in a very difficult NFC West match-up at Arizona. If you need a wideout for this week, consider Reynolds.
WR Gabriel Davis Buffalo (3%)
Davis was in the Waiver Grabs last week as well as our Dumpster Dive. He did not disappoint with 3 catches for 79 yards, and scored on a trick play pass from fellow receiver Cole Beasley. With John Brown out, Davis is looking like a WR4 that can be flexed. He gives you a piece of one of the better NFL offenses.
DYNASTY LEAGUE SPECIAL: Isaiah Coulter Houston (0%)
Coulter is an intriguing fifth-round draft pick who now could see immediate playing time with Fuller’s suspension. He is 6-3, 198 and was highly-productive at Rhode Island. He could finish the year in a strong fashion; dynasty managers should consider a speculative add.
Best of luck in Week 13! We’re almost there!