Another week in the books, and we are now one week away from the fantasy football playoffs. Hopefully for you, you’ve already clinched a playoff berth. If not, chances are you’re in the thick of things in the playoff race and desperate for a win in week 13. You likely need a boost to your lineup so fret no more as week 13’s ‘waiver wire gems’ list boasts some guys who can be valuable assets during your playoff run.
Leading the pack this week is Colin Kaepernick who is still available in over 75% of ESPN leagues – he led all players this past week in fantasy points. Kenneth Dixon is the premier RB to add this week, especially for PPR leagues. Chances are you saw Tyreek Hill put on a clinic this past Sunday Night against a strong Denver defense. A handful of other WRs appear on this week’s list as well.
*Percentages based on ESPN leagues
QB Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco 49ers) – 22.6% owned
What a turnaround it’s been for the 49ers signal caller. From preseason dunce to late season stud, Kaepernick has seen arguably the biggest improvement of any player in the NFL. Since taking over as the signal caller in week 6, Kaepernick has averaged over 20 fantasy points per game – over the past 4 weeks he’s eclipsed that mark 3 times.
It’s apparent that the old Kaepernick we saw in 2012 and 2013 is back – back then he was a fantasy stud. With the playoffs forthcoming, he is a must add if you need help at the QB position. Even though the 49ers remain one of the worst teams in the league, Kaepernick is the centerpiece of that offense. He could be the guy to lead you to a fantasy football championship.
RB Rex Burkhead (Cincinnati Bengals) – 4.7% owned
Just a week after losing Giovani Bernard for the year, the Bengals suffered another injury in the backfield as Jeremy Hill was forced out of the week 12 matchup against Baltimore after a scary hit – his status for this week is still uncertain, this makes Rex Burkhead even more valuable on the waiver wire.
The former Cornhusker isn’t an ideal fantasy RB, but any ball carrier with a chance to assume starting duties is at the very least a viable FLEX option based on volume. While I don’t expect much from Burkhead, he could notch a solid 8-10 point performance this week if Hill is unable to suit up. Regardless, he’s a decent addition even as Cincinnati’s spell back.
RB Kenneth Dixon (Baltimore Ravens) – 25.1% owned
Since Baltimore’s bye in week 8, Dixon has been more heavily utilized in the offense – he’s coming off his biggest workload of the year where he was given 13 carries and caught 4 passes for a total of 80 yards. While he has yet to break off the big play this season, he’s flashed the ability. With Terrance West cooling down a lot since the bye, Dixon will only get more and more opportunities to shine.
Dixon is a must add in PPR leagues and serves as a viable FLEX from here on out with an expected increased workload. I would expect double-digit carries and 5 catches per week the rest of the season.
WR Taylor Gabriel (Atlanta Falcons) – 3.4% owned
If you want to talk about unsung fantasy heroes, Taylor Gabriel tops the list. Since week 8, Gabriel has posted at least 12 fantasy points in every game – while also scoring a TD in each game as well. While Gabriel doesn’t get a high volume of targets, he makes the most of his opportunities and is deadly in space.
While a guy like Mohamed Sanu may get more catches and targets, Gabriel is just simply more effective and the fantasy play with more weekly upside as he has the ability to score on any given week. I’ve been hyping him up for weeks now – I think this is the week he finally sees a skyrocket in owned percentage, get him while you still can.
WR Ted Ginn Jr. (Carolina Panthers) – 10.1% owned
Over the offseason, the hype was real for Devin Funchess, but instead it’s been a different Carolina receiver who’s been making the big plays as of late. Ted Ginn has put together consecutive weeks of double-digit fantasy points – including an 18 point performance this past week against Oakland where he hauled in 115 yards and a TD.
The seasoned vet isn’t an ideal play this upcoming week against Seattle. However, he has a decent matchup in the opening week of fantasy playoffs as he goes against San Diego – a game in which should see a lot of points. Not a priority guy to add this week with the other WRs on the list, but if he continues to build off his recent success, he should get that label.
WR Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs) – 26.5% owned
If you tuned into Sunday Night Football this past week, you had the pleasure of watching the show put on by Chiefs’ rookie Tyreek Hill. The rookie WR had a hat trick of TDs – all of which came in a different way (rushing, receiving, return). He did so against a strong Denver defense. With Maclin dealing with nagging injuries the past few weeks, Hill has emerged as the biggest playmaker on that Kansas City offense.
Hill has been way more than advertised as a 5th round pick out of West Alabama. He very well could be the fastest player in the league – mix that in with a strong catch percentage, you have yourself a great WR. Over the past 6 weeks, Hill has averaged 11 fantasy points per game. He’s the priority add of the week – get him on your team as he has a favorable ROS.
WR Marqise Lee (Jacksonville Jaguars) – 6.5% owned
As bad as the Jaguars have been this season, in large part due to the regression of Blake Bortles under center – a guy like Marqise Lee could be a valuable asset down the final stretch. Allen Hurns just hasn’t produced this season, and Lee has taken full advantage and has emerged as the #2 option for Bortles behind Allen Robinson. Lee has turned it up in the past couple weeks with consecutive games with TD catches.
With a guy like Hurns underperforming and potentially missing time with injury, Lee becomes a tempting waiver wire target. While he has a tough ROS, the Jaguars will be playing from behind most weeks which will force more passing attempts.
WR Malcolm Mitchell (New England Patriots) – 2.6% owned
The 4th round pick out of Georgia has come out of nowhere in recent weeks with consecutive performances of at least 15 fantasy points. Mitchell was a guy I really liked coming out of college, and a WR who reminded me a bit of Sterling Shepard. Mitchell has proven in the past couple weeks to be a tremendous fit in New England.
Mitchell has emerged as a reliable option for Tom Brady in the passing game. He has 3 TD catches in the past 2 weeks with a favorable ROS. This week he goes against a Rams defense which just got shredded by New Orleans.