Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Our favorite players are broken down in Top Targets and the best secondary options are in our Going Deeper sections. We’ll also list any players at the top of each position who are above the 50% threshold — or are household names — and are still widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.
Be sure to check out our weekly Waiver Wire podcast and our Waiver Wire Livestream for more analysis. We’ll also have Streaming articles every Tuesday that will focus on the top quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses for the upcoming week(s).
Note: The initial Waiver Wire article writeup will be posted every Monday night, followed by in-depth updates Tuesday, and continued additions/updates Wednesday.
Teams on Bye in Week 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers
Kirk Cousins (Min, 40%) — Cousins always scares you because he’s game script and TD-dependent, but he ran into a perfect negative game script to post production against the Panthers in Week 12. He completed 34/45 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns in Minnesota’s comeback victory over the Panthers. Cousins has strung together 18+ FP in four straight games with rookie Justin Jefferson emerging as a star. Cousins has a beatable matchup this week before his schedule takes a turn for the worse (Jax, @TB, Chi, @NO). Cousins will be a boom-or-bust QB2 going forward, but at least he has a pair of big-time playmakers in Adam Thielen and Jefferson, plus an emerging contributor at TE in Kyle Rudolph.
Philip Rivers (Ind, 33%) — The Colts are airing it out more than they were early in the season with Rivers attempting 33+ passes in seven straight games after he failed to reach 30+ attempts in three straight games from Weeks 2-4. The Colts rushing attack has been inconsistent so this offense has been on Rivers’ shoulders a little more than anticipated. He posted 18 FP against the Titans in Week 12, but he had a miserable NFL day at the office, completing 24/42 passes for 295 yards, two TDs, and one INT in a lopsided loss. Michael Pittman has stepped up at WR in recent weeks while T.Y. Hilton actually made a few plays in Week 12 with Pittman struggling. Rivers is in the midst of a fantasy-friendly schedule (@Hou, @LV, Hou, @Pit) if you need some help in two-QB formats. Just beware that Jacoby Brissett has been vulturing some goal-line snaps and touchdowns in recent weeks.
Teddy Bridgewater (Car, 40%) — Bridgewater returned to the lineup in Week 12, but he showed plenty of rust after missing a game with a knee injury. He completed a season-low 52.8% of his passes (19/36) for 267 yards, one TD, and one INT against the Vikings. He missed D.J. Moore for two touchdowns, with Moore suffering a non-contact leg injury on the second misfire. Bridgewater doesn’t have the best fantasy playoff schedule with the Panthers going on bye this week (bye, Den, @GB, @Was), but it’s certainly not a schedule to shy away from as a mid-range QB2. Bridgewater won’t be nearly as appealing if he’s going to play without Moore in the future, but X-Rays on Moore’s ankle were negative, so he hasn’t been ruled out for Week 14 yet. Of course, that means he’s quite iffy for their next game.
Baker Mayfield (Cle, 35%) — Mayfield actually played in good conditions in Week 12 for the first time since Week 7, and he came through with 18.4 FP against the Jaguars. He completed 19/29 passes for 258 yards and two TDs in Week 12, which snapped a three-game skid without a touchdown pass. Mayfield isn’t playing well enough to consistently put up fantasy production with his limited cast, but he at least has a good slate of games in the fantasy playoffs (@Ten, Bal, @NYG, @NYJ) to give him some hope as a low-end QB2. It also helps that Jarvis Landry snapped out of a season-long slump with 8/143/1 receiving against the Jaguars so maybe his hip is finally starting to feel healthy again. We have Baker fairly high in our ranking this week. UPDATED 12/2
Andy Dalton (Dal, 12%) — Dallas picked up a big road win against the Vikings in Week 11 with Dalton throwing for three TDs, but the Cowboys returned to form in their embarrassing loss on Thanksgiving Day. Dalton completed 25/35 passes for 215 yards (6.1 YPA), one TD, and one INT against Washington with most of his production coming on his 54-yard pass to Amari Cooper. Dalton still has top-20 potential with an excellent supporting cast of receivers, and Dallas’ defense is going to have this offense playing in shootouts most weeks. His schedule is spotty in the fantasy playoffs (@Bal, @Cin, SF, Phi), but Dalton isn’t exactly an upside option behind this shoddy O-line.
Mitchell Trubisky (Chi, 4%) — The Bears season is quickly spiraling down the drain after they dropped their fifth consecutive game in Week 12 after opening the season with a 5-1 record. The team announced Wednesday that Trubisky will get another look as the starter this week against the Lions after he posted 242/3 passing in garbage time against the Packers. Trubisky certainly did his part to dig the hole with two interceptions and a fumble-six while averaging just 5.3 YPA. Trubisky, if he can keep the job, has some spots to succeed in coming up in the fantasy playoffs (Det, Hou, @Min, @Jax), but he’s hardly a reliable weekly option as a low-end QB2. He has crushed the Lions in his career and has 3 TDs passes against them in his last four games, including Week 1 this year, and Trubisky is much higher than usual in our rankings this week. UPDATED 12/2
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Mia, 20%) — Fitz’ value is in limbo until the status of Tua Tagovailoa (swelling in his throwing thumb) is known. Tua did practice on 12/2, so he might be trending toward playing. But that’s not a lock. Check our projection all week for the latest. Fitzpatrick should be the guy if they want to win a game, though. Fitz last week for the late start and completed 24/39 passes for 257 yards and two TDs for 19.3 FP against the Jets. Fitz will be a high-end QB2 for as long as he starts, and he has a pretty enticing fantasy playoff schedule (Cin, KC, NE, @LV) if he remains the starter through Week 16. Fitz has 18+ FP in six straight starts so he should be picked up this week if you’ve been dying for QB help since Tua’s future as the Dolphins’ starter is in doubt for the rest of 2020. UPDATED 12/2
Jalen Hurts (Phi, 1%) — Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense are in the wilderness right now, and the next step for this offense could be a change at quarterback to try to spark this unit. HC Doug Pederson said after Week 11 that he never considered benching Wentz for Hurts during their loss to the Browns. Pederson’s tune changed late last week and Hurst was in play in Week 12. He did get out there, but they stuck with Wentz. Still, the Eagles lost again and Wentz was bad, so we can’t rule out a switch, if only for a week to give Wentz a chance to take a step back from his struggles. Hurts is a dual-threat option at the position, and his legs would certainly make him an appealing fantasy option if he were to get a start or some starts down the stretch. Hurts could be worth a stash if you play in a competitive two-QB league just in case the Eagles make a switch at quarterback in the near future.
Mike Glennon (Jax, 1%) — Glennon had zero expectations heading into his first start with the Jaguars in Week 12, and he played well enough to earn another start. He completed 20/35 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns against the Browns. Glennon did leave some throws on the field but he performed better than anyone expected with a skeleton crew at receiver. Glennon has some beatable spots in the next two weeks (@Min, Ten) if he continues to start if you’re desperate for help in two-QB formats. It would certainly help his chances if he can get WRs DJ Chark and Chris Conley back this week.
Alex Smith (Was, 10%) — We may not get many big throws from Smith but he’s the guy for the Football Team, and they project to have some negative game scripts in their remaining matchups (@Pit, @SF, Sea, Car). Smith had thrown for 325+ yards in consecutive games in Weeks 9-10, but he’s come up small the last two weeks with fewer than 10 FP in each game with just 315/2 passing on 51 attempts. Smith doesn’t have much to work with at receiver, but Terry McLaurin is a star and he does have pass-catching RBs to work with while TE Logan Thomas has been solid if you’re desperate for low-end help in two-QB formats.
Nick Mullens (SF, 4%) — Mullens is the starting quarterback for now with Jimmy Garoppolo on the injured reserve with his high-ankle injury. He led the 49ers to an upset victory over the Rams in Week 12, completing 24/35 passes for 252 yards and one INT. Mullens has yet to reach 18+ FP in any of his four games since taking over at the position in Week 8 so he can only be considered as a desperation play in two-QB formats even with a friendly fantasy playoff schedule (BUf, Was, @Dal, @Ari).
Cam Akers (LAR, 29%) — Akers is still entrenched in an ugly three-man rotation with Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, but the rookie is finally starting to make the most plays in this backfield to potentially break out as we head down the backstretch of 2020. Akers posted a receiving TD in Week 11 before hanging a backfield-best 9/84/1 rushing against the 49ers in Week 12, with 61 of the yards coming on a long run. Darrell Henderson finished with just 10/19 rushing while Malcolm Brown had only 5/19 scrimmage against the 49ers. There’s a good chance Sean McVay sticks with the hot-hand approach in the final weeks of the season, and since Akers has at least earned more touches with his recent play, he could be that hot hand. It’s taken him a while, but the plan all summer was for him to be the guy, and we still believe in his talent.
Devontae Booker (LV, 8%) — Booker is the handcuff for the early-down work in Las Vegas if Josh Jacobs misses time, and he’s been getting more opportunities behind Jacobs for weeks, as they look to keep their second-year back fresh down the stretch. Jacobs picked up an ankle injury late in the third quarter in Week 12 and he never returned to action with the Raiders getting blown out by the Falcons. He did not practice on 12/2, the first practice of the week. There’s chance they could decide to give him the week off to rest him since they’re going against the winless Jet this week. That scenario is less likely after the Raiders got embarrassed by the Falcons in Week 12, but Booker (a decent 35% of the snaps in Week 12) could at least see an increased role. Booker is averaging a healthy 5.5 YPC in limited action behind Jacobs, and he’d be positioned as an RB2 if he was the main man in this backfield with the Raiders being big favorites over the Jets. UPDATED 12/2
Benny Snell (Pit, 35%) — Snell and Anthony McFarland led this backfield through at least Week 13 after James Conner tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Snell wasn’t bad, putting up 12+ FP with 16/60 rushing and 3/33 receiving on 4 targets. MacFarland had only 4 opportunities, including a 17-yard catch. It’s Snell and McFarland while Conner is out of the lineup, with a big edge to Snell. The Steelers don’t have the easiest matchup with the Football Team in Week 13, but Snell is the best bet to get carries and the goal-line work if they get some short-yardage scoring opportunities. UPDATED 12/2
Alexander Mattison (Min, 32%) — Mattison is the top back when Dalvin Cook misses time like he did earlier this season with his groin injury. Cook suffered an ankle injury in Week 12, which forced him to miss some time in the second half of their victory over the Jaguars — he still handled 18 of the 21 Minnesota RB carries. There’s a chance the Vikings could play it safe with their franchise running back especially since the Vikings are taking on the Jaguars in Week 13, which would elevate Mattison into the lead-runner role for Minnesota this week. We did learn in Week 6 that OC Gary Kubiak will use Ameer Abdullah in passing situations so Mattison isn’t a bell-cow back when Cook is out of the lineup. Either way, it’s a good time to add a player like Mattison just in case he gets a chance to lead this backfield down the stretch.
Carlos Hyde (Sea, 38%) — Based on Week 12, it’s clearly going to be a 1-2 punch in Seattle’s backfield with Chris Carson likely leading the way but with Hyde very involved as a runner and even as a receiver. Seattle wasn’t totally sold on Carson’s foot injury, so they limited him to only 37% of the snaps with 10 opportunities versus 61% and 18 for Hyde, who had a TD taken off the board against the Eagles. Despite the poor numbers in Week 12, Hyde’s looked really good the last two weeks and might be able to maintain solid flex value the rest of the season, even if Carson’s role increases in Week 13, which it will. Carson said he came out of the game well, but if his sore foot or another ailment keep him out of the lineup, then Hyde has legit RB1 upside as the bell-cow in this highly-productive offense. Hyde is questionable for Week 13, along with Carson. UPDATED 12/2
Frank Gore (NYJ, 10%) — The 37-year-old Gore just won’t go away and he’s locked into a big role for the next couple of weeks after La’Mical Perine landed on the injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain. Gore played 58% of the snaps finished with 18/74 rushing and 3/12 receiving against the Dolphins in Week 12 as #2 RB Ty Johnson posted just 3/4 scrimmage and new #3 guy Jamal Adams had only 1 carry. Gore will see plenty of touches for as long as Perine is out of the lineup, but he won’t offer much upside as an RB3 playing in one of the league’s worst offenses at his advanced football age.
Salvon Ahmed (MIa, 39%) and DeAndre Washington (Mia, 1%) — The Miami backfield is in complete flux heading into Week 13 with Myles Gaskin (knee, IR) nearing a return. Ahmed led the backfield in recent weeks before a shoulder injury kept him out of the lineup in Week 12, which opened the door for Washington to vault to the top of the depth chart over Matt Breida. Washington played 48% of the snaps and finished with 13/49 rushing and 2/11 receiving against the Jets while Breida managed 8/36 rushing and 2/17 receiving on 32% of the snaps. If he’s available, Gaskin is the top priority in this backfield going forward followed by Ahmed, Washington, and Breida, but there’s a chance these backs are all used in an ugly committee for the rest of the season. Ahmed and Washington are questionable in Week 13, as well. UPDATED 12/2
Jordan Wilkins (Ind, 18%) — Rookie Jonathan Taylor landed on the COVID-19 list as a high-risk contact before their Week 12 showdown with the Titans so he could return this week for their matchup with the Texans. If Taylor can’t gain clearance, Wilkins would be the #2 option again behind Nyheim Hines after posting 6/22 rushing and 3/35 receiving on four targets with 35% of the snaps against the Titans. Taylor and Hines are clearly ahead of Wilkins at this point so he’s only in play in 12-team formats if Taylor or Hines are out in front of him.
Tony Pollard (Dal, 20%) — The Cowboys are poorly managed and that includes in their backfield with Ezekiel Elliott continuing to far out-touch the more explosive Pollard. Zeke lost his league-leading sixth fumble in his 11th game against Washington, and he’s averaging career-lows in YPC (3.9) and YPR (6.6). Meanwhile, Pollard is averaging 5.0 YPC this season, and he’s clearly deserving of a bigger role with Zeke’s play declining this season. The Cowboys are paying Zeke a lot of money and they seem content to stick with him as their bell-cow back, making Pollard nothing more than a stash-and-hope option just in case Mike McCarthy finally decides to give Pollard a bigger role to spark the offense. He did play 35% of the snaps in Week 12, which isn’t hopeless.
Ito Smith (Atl, 1%) and Brian Hill (Atl, 48%) — Hill had emerged ahead of Ito Smith as the #2 RB in this backfield behind Todd Gurley, but the Falcons used a committee between the two backs with Gurley out of the lineup in Week 12 with a knee injury. Smith got the better of Hill, posting 12/65/1 rushing and 4/10 receiving against the Raiders while Hill managed just 13/55 rushing with no catches. If Gurley misses more time with his knee injury, expect these two players to split the work like they did in Week 12. They have a less than desirable matchup against a stout Saints run defense this week if Gurley is out of the lineup. That may not be the case, though, as Gurley did some work early in the week in practice, so check our projections all week. UPDATED 12/2
Best Handcuff Stashes
Boston Scott (Phi, 28%) — Scott has worked as the top back in the three games that Miles Sanders has missed this season, averaging 14.3 touches and 75.0 scrimmage yards per game. Sanders has had some issues staying healthy so Sanders owners should pick up Scott if he’s been dropped. Scott also has a speck of standalone value right now, as he’s put up between 7-9 PPR points the last three weeks as they continue to do a terrible job utilizing Sanders. UPDATED 12/1
Deebo Samuel (SF, 55%), Corey Davis (Ten, 54%), Sterling Shepard (NYG, 52%), Michael Pittman (Ind, 58%), Jakobi Meyers (NE, 53%), Cole Beasley (Buf, 58%), Emmanuel Sanders (NO, 46%), Sammy Watkins (KC, 45%)
Nelson Agholor (LV, 28%) — Agholor has revived his career in the desert, but he’s been a frustrating player to handicap as an all-or-nothing option. He’s at least hit double-digit FP in six of his last eight games after posting 5/54 receiving on six targets against the Falcons in Week 12. Darren Waller is the only receiver guaranteed to see targets in this passing attack every week, but Agholor has at least separated from the likes of Henry Ruggs and Hunter Renfrow as the #1 WR option for Derek Carr. Agholor is a safer bet to actually do something compared to Ruggs as a WR4. Also, since Week 8 he’s scored every other week, so he’s due for a TD in Week 13! However, he is questionable this week so check status. UPDATED 12/2
Breshad Perriman (NYJ, 12%) — We’ve now seen what a healthy Perriman is capable of doing by posting 11+ FP in three straight games as the team’s top wideout. With Sam Darnold returning to the lineup, Perriman still led the Jets in receiving with 4/79 on eight targets (29.6% share) against the Dolphins in Week 12. Unfortunately, this offense is in better hands when Joe Flacco is at quarterback, but the Jets have no real incentive to play the veteran over Darnold down the stretch. Perriman is tough to totally trust since he’s a walking injury report, but he’s back on the radar as a boom-or-bust WR4 while he’s in the lineup. Lately, while his booms haven’t been large, he’s been all boom and no bust. He is questionable thisi week but he played through the injury. UPDATED 12/2
Gabriel Davis (Buf, 3%) — He’s lived up to the hype our guy Adam Caplan heard from the team this summer, and now he will have a large role locked up, and he’s flashed a couple of different times in this potent Bills passing attack. The Bills placed John Brown (ankle) on the injured reserve before their Week 12 matchup with the Chargers, and the rookie stepped into a prominent role with 3/79/1 receiving on four targets and a massive 97% snap share. Brown will miss at least the next two games against the 49ers and the Steelers, meaning Davis is on the radar as a WR4 option in this pass-heavy attack for those looking for some help at WR.
Allen Lazard (GB, 39%) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, 25%) — Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, and Jamaal Williams are the only Packers weapons guaranteed to see weekly touches right now with Lazard, MVS, and Robert Tonyan battling it out for scraps in this potent offense. MVS went from posting 9/257/3 receiving on 16 targets in his last three games to going targetless on a 79% snap share in Week 12. After a quiet return to the lineup in Week 11, Lazard bounced back with 4/23/1 receiving on six targets against the Bears. MVS tends to disappear for weeks at a time and Aaron Rodgers could certainly use the much more consistent Lazard at his disposal. Lazard is the steadier WR4 option going forward while MVS will be a boom-or-bust WR4, but MVS did outsnap Lazard 79% to 46% in Week 12. Lazard is questionable this week, so check status. If he’s out, that helps MVS. UPDATED 12/2
Tim Patrick (Den, 22%) — Patrick started to emerge earlier this season with 14+ FP in three straight games from Weeks 3-6 before suffering a hamstring injury. He returned to the lineup in Week 9 and he was back to posting serviceable WR4 production before Week 12. That run came to an end with the Broncos using a practice squad WR at quarterback last week, but the Broncos will hopefully have an actual quarterback leading the offense going forward. Patrick is locked into the X receiver spot, and he’s the most-seasoned receiver for Drew Lock in his fourth season at 26 years old. He’s a good red-zone threat and he’s playing well enough to stick in the WR4 conversation. Patrick will duke it out with Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant for the most targets each week. Patrick played a solid 72% of the snaps in Week 12. It also looks like they will get all their QBs back for Week 13. UPDATED 12/1
Denzel Mims (NYJ, 7%) — The Jets have fielded a competent NFL receiving corps in recent weeks with Mims and Breshad Perriman in the lineup next to Jamison Crowder. Unfortunately, this offense is in better hands when Joe Flacco is at quarterback, but the Jets have no real incentive to play the veteran over Sam Darnold down the stretch. Mims still posted 4/67 receiving on eight targets (29.6% share, 95% snap share) against the Dolphins in Week 12 with Darnold at the helm. Mims has now posted 42+ receiving yards in each of his first five NFL games with double-digit FP in his last three games. Mims is going to be tough to completely trust in a fantasy lineup down the stretch, but he’s looked really good and his impressive size/movement is evident since he’s been in the lineup.
T.Y. Hilton (Ind, 38%) — Hilton is clearly on the downside of his career in 2020, but he’s still hanging around with 5+ targets and 3+ catches in three straight. He had his best game of the season in Week 12 with 4/81/1 receiving on five targets and 73% of the snaps in a lopsided loss to the Titans. Hilton has fallen behind Michael Pittman in the passing-game pecking order, but he’s going to see a handful of targets with Philip Rivers throwing it a little more if you need some help in deeper formats. But he can still separate fairly well, so it’s possible that he starts heating up.
Jalen Reagor (Phi, 30%) — Reagor returned to the lineup in Week 8 after a five-game absence after needing thumb surgery, and the rookie has been solid but not spectacular with Carson Wentz struggling. In Week 12, Reagor wasn’t even solid, although he did have 7 targets, second most on the team (but only 3/11 receiving). Right now, other than Dallas Goedert, there’s nothing going on with the Eagles receivers other than Reagor, so his role should only increase the rest of the way. You can’t use him right now, but things change quickly in the NFL in 2020, so Reagor could be startable in 1-2 weeks. UPDATED 12/1
Josh Reynolds (LAR, 9%) — Reynolds has emerged ahead of Van Jefferson in the #3 WR role in Los Angeles, and he’s quietly been a fantasy-relevant player with 40+ receiving yards in six of his last seven games. He finished with 5/40 receiving on six targets (19.4% share, 98% of the snaps) against the 49ers with Jared Goff finishing with just 198 passing yards. Reynolds is clearly behind Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp in this passing attack, but his role has been pretty stable as the #3 option in the Rams passing game.
K.J. Hamler (Den, 4%) — Hamler managed to string together multiple healthy games in a row and his production had started to pick up with eight 4+ catches or a touchdown in four straight games in Weeks 8-11. That run came to an end with the Broncos using a practice squad WR at quarterback last week, but the Broncos will hopefully have an actual quarterback leading the offense going forward. The Broncos will continue to roll with a combination Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, and Hamler in three-WR sets going forward. The speedy second-round pick has played both outside and more lately inside, and he’s a good stash in deeper leagues since the Broncos should continue to get him more involved.
Andy Isabella (Ari, 1%) — Isabella had an increased role in Week 12 after Larry Fitzgerald landed on the COVID-19 list prior to their matchup with the Patriots. The second-year WR finished second in receiving production with 4/33 receiving on six targets (17.6% share, a decent 55% of the snaps) with Kyler Murray struggling through his throwing shoulder injury. He’s a player to consider in deeper formats if Fitz misses again this week against the Rams, since he can make a big play at the drop of a hat.
Collin Johnson (Jax, 0%) — Johnson emerged as the top perimeter receiver in Mike Glennon’s first start with both D.J. Chark (ribs) and Chris Conley (hip) out of the lineup in Week 12. He led the Jaguars with 4/96/1 receiving on eight targets (22.9% share) against the Browns. Johnson could go back to the bench as soon as Chark and Conley are healthy again, but they may give the huge (6’6”, 220 pounds) fifth-round pick a longer look over Conley down the stretch if you’re looking for a prospect in deeper formats.
Damiere Byrd (NE, 2%) — We’re week-to-week with the Patriots passing games, but at least Byrd has had a good fantasy game as recently as Week 11. He’s is the shot-play receiver in one of the league’s weaker passing attacks so he’s capable of popping for a couple of big games, but he’s never going to be a consistent option. The passing attack has been more stable of late since Jakobi Meyers entered the lineup, but Byrd managed just 3/33 receiving on a team-high seven targets (38.9%) with Cam Newton throwing for just 84 yards. Byrd is capable of popping for a big play or two every couple of weeks, but he’s hardly a consistent option playing with an inconsistent passer like Cam.
Russell Gage (Atl, 7%) and Christian Blake (Atl, 0%) — Julio Jones has been dealing with a hamstring injury for most of the season while Calvin Ridley continues to play through ankle and foot issues. Olamide Zaccheaus also left Week 12 early with a toe injury, leaving Gage and Blake to potentially have bigger roles in the future. Gage managed just 3/34 receiving on five targets in Week 12 against the Raiders while Blake caught his only targets for 17 yards. Gage and Blake can be considered in the deepest of formats if Julio and others miss time in the future, but Gage has shown that he’s better with Julio, so he’s hard to feel good about.
None of note.
Jordan Akins (Hou, 4%) — Akins had only 2 targets and 0 catches in Week 12, but both passes were end zone targets, and Deshaun Watson blamed himself for missing Akins for 2 TDs against the Lions on Thanksgiving. We’d say Akins should have had at least 1 TD. The week before, Akins looked great and made several bigger plays, finishing with 5/83 on 6 targets. With Will Fuller out the rest of the season, Akins has a great chance to emerge as a fantasy TE1 the rest of the way.
Trey Burton (Ind, 19%) — Burton is liable to be sniped by Mo Alie-Cox and/or Jack Doyle in any given week since HC Frank Reich is using all three of his TEs, but Burton has been the safest TE2 option for those looking for fantasy help. He posted 3/42/1 receiving on six targets in a blowout loss to the Titans in Week 12, giving him 10+ FP in consecutive games. He did only play 36% of the snaps, though. Philip Rivers has been throwing it more in recent weeks, and Burton has clearly become a favorite of his in the red zone if you need some fantasy help on the low end.
Jordan Reed (SF, 25%) — San Francisco really needs Reed the rest of the season with George Kittle (foot, IR) potentially done for the year. He managed just 2/18 receiving on six targets (17.1%) against the Rams in Week 12 with Nick Mullens missing a wide-open Reed on a couple of occasions. He did run a route on 67.8% of Mullens’ dropbacks compared to 27.0% for Ross Dwelley so Reed should put up better numbers in the future with his current usage. Reed is never guaranteed to stay healthy for too long, but he’s always been productive for fantasy when he’s given a sizable role in a decent or better offense. He’s looked good in spots this year and his snaps and role should grow as long as the 49ers remain competitive going forward. Reed can be considered at a thin fantasy position, but he needs to get on the same page with Mullens if he wants to produce for fantasy.
Kyle Rudolph (Min, 14%) — Rudolph has suddenly become involved in Minnesota’s passing attack over the last month, and he’s coming off his best fantasy performance in Week 12. He posted season-highs in targets (8), catches (7), and yards (68) with the Vikings playing in a negative game script against the Panthers. It also didn’t hurt that Adam Thielen (COVID-19 list) missed last week, and Rudolph would be a player to look at this week if Thielen misses this week’s matchup with the Jaguars. Rudolph has uncharacteristically been a non-factor near the end zone this season with just one TD, but he at least has 3+ catches in four straight games if you’re looking for TE2 help. If Irv Smith misses another game in Week 13, that would obviously make Rudolph more appealing. Irv was out of practice again early in the week. UPDATED 12/2
Logan Thomas (Was, 42%) — Thomas has seen 4+ targets in every game this season, but they haven’t been upside targets with his aDOT sitting at 8.3 yards for the season. Still, he has a pulse at a dead position for fantasy, and the Football Team is even drawing up some gadget plays for the former college QB to help out Alex Smith and this limited offense. He caught all four of his targets for 20/1 receiving, he completed a 28-yard pass to Terry McLaurin, and he had a carry for the second straight game in Washington’s decisive victory over the Cowboys in Week 12. Thomas isn’t going to give you much of a fantasy ceiling, but he’s at least getting weekly opportunities to touch the ball.
Dalton Schultz (Dal, 23%) — Schultz is still hanging around as a no-frills TE2 option with an aDOT sitting at just 7.1 yards, but he’s relevant in PPR formats with 4+ catches in four straight games. He caught all five of his targets for 24 yards against the Football Team in Week 12. Schultz will be a mid-TE2 in PPR formats as long as he continues to get serviceable QB play from Andy Dalton.
Jimmy Graham (Chi, 41%) — Graham is a touchdown-or-bust TE2 option no matter who is at quarterback for Chicago, but the touchdowns haven’t been coming for Graham or the Bears offense in recent weeks. He’s scored just once in his last six games after finishing paydirt four times in his first five games with the Bears. The Bears at least have a friendly-schedule coming up (Det, Hou, @Min, @Jax) to give Graham a little more hope as a low-end option.
Jason Sanders (Mia, 73%) - Fantasy owners are catching on to Sanders in a big way. His ownership rose 5% in just the last week alone and there is good reason for this. Five other placekickers have attempted more field goals in 2020 than Sanders, but only two have converted more than him. Of his 24 field goals made, 16 of them have come from the bonus range. His last three field goals have been from 51 yards or more and his last five field goals converted have all been from 41 or more yards. He may not get a ton of chances this week, but if he does it should be from the bonus range.
Jason Myers (Sea, 47%) - Myers started the season slow and has flown under the fantasy radar. Yet, he has been very productive of late and now has a solid matchup at home. The Giants come into town without their starting QB, but with a decent defense. This is a game in which the Seahawks defense could carry the offense for a change. That could mean two or three field goal attempts by Myers who has converted around 75% of his field goals from the bonus range.
Tyler Bass (Buf, 21%) - Bass could be in for a two field goal and three extra-point outing against a 49ers team that is coming down from a huge divisional road victory against the Rams. In his last three games, Bass has only missed one field goal and it was a wide right attempt from 61 yards. Of the eight field goals converted over the last three games, three have been in the 40-49 yard range and three in three from 50 yards or more.
Stephen Gostkowski (Ten, 15%) - It is not often we recommend a place kicker that has missed two extra points and eight field goals in ten games. Yet here we are, recommending Gostkowski. Nearly 65% of his field goals made have been bonus range (40+ yards) conversions while 75% of his missed attempts have also been from the bonus range.
Matt Gay (LAR, 4%) - Gay converted on two bonus range field goals and had two extra points in a Week 11 loss. In two games, Gay has converted on four of five field goal attempts (missed wide right from 44 yards) and five of five extra points. The Rams are coming off a surprising divisional loss at home and need the game as much as the Cardinals do. It should be a hard fought, close contest that Gay could get 2-3 field goal attempts.
Vikings (Min, 52%)
Titans (Ten, 27%) — Tennessee has been the epitome of a bend-don’t-break defense this season. Although they’ve only generated 3 sacks in a game once all season and have just 2 INTs in their last five games, they’ve held down some high-powered offenses, including the Steelers (27 PA), Ravens (24 PA), and Bills (16 PA). They now face three teams that have struggled to put up points: Cle, @Jax, and Det. None of these teams average more than 22 points per game and could be trailing Derrick Henry and Co., giving this defense a chance to up those turnover and sack numbers.
Cardinals (Ari, 21%) — While the loss of Chandler Jones sure put a damper on this defense’s turnover and sack upside, it should be noted that fill-in Haason Reddick has truly delivered in his stead. Reddick - a failed off-ball LB who has been recast as a pass-rusher - has led Arizona’s unit to at least 3 sacks in 8 of their 12 games. They also have 4 INTs in their last three games, and have a few turnover-prone matchups ahead (all of which the Cardinals should be favored in): LAR, @NYG, and Phi.