Week 13 serves a number of purposes every year depending on where your team currently sits in the standings, so as always, it is vital to adjust your roster moves to suit your team-specific needs. For some, the playoffs will start early as you battle just to make it into the postseason. Naturally, your focus should be on players that can help you win now and worry about the playoffs next week. On the other hand, if you are fortunate enough to have a playoff spot locked up already, you will want to prioritize roster depth, backing up your key contributors with high-end handcuffs, and picking up defenses with cushy playoff matchups against struggling offenses.
With a rare Wednesday afternoon game in Week 12, the typical waiver schedule is out of whack heading into Week 13. That said, the roster-percentages of players featured in this week’s article could change significantly depending on when your league’s waivers run (all players below are under 65%-rostered as of 12/03/20). If the priority names featured are already rostered, make sure to check the “other names to consider” sections to fill out your lineup. Regardless of where your team falls in the playoff picture, here are a few of my top RB/WR/TE streamers that I feel can power you to the finish line.
* If anyone featured below is at risk of not playing or is relegated to a bench role late in the week, I will do my best to keep you all updated on Twitter (@BrandonMillerFB). All players below are under 65%-rostered as of 12/03/20.
Benny Snell Jr. (RB, Pittsburgh Steelers)
This suggestion comes with my broken-record statement of “if the starter (James Conner, in this case) is inactive.” Conner tested COVID-positive last weekend (announced Sat 11/28) and the Steelers are scheduled to play next on Monday, making him highly questionable to suit up in Week 13. In Conner’s Week 12 absence, Snell registered 16 carries for 60 yards and three catches for 33 yards, confirming the Steelers’ propensity to use one featured back instead of a committee. Although the Washington Football Team is allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, I see this as a contest that Pittsburgh will lead throughout, leading to another outing with solid volume for Snell. Add up a high-volume rushing role, a few catches, and the ability to punch it into the endzone from short-yardage and it equates to Snell as a mid-RB2 for Week 13. This is exactly why you roster priority RB handcuffs late in the season.
Devontae Booker (RB, Las Vegas Raiders)
Starter Josh Jacobs exited Week 12 with an ankle injury and has yet to practice this week, leaving Booker in line to inherit a sizable workload if Jacobs is unable to go on Sunday against the Jets. Friday’s practice report will be a key indicator of his status heading into the weekend. Booker has made the most of his opportunities when called upon this season with a rock-solid 5.5 yards per carry (59 rushes for 326 yards) and three scores along with 11 catches for 64 yards. He is a sturdy RB capable of shouldering a three-down workload due to his abilities as a runner and receiver, so it would not surprise me to see him log 18+ touches regardless of game script. Even if Jacobs is ultimately able to play this weekend, he has frequently been banged-up throughout his young career (played 13 games last season), so Booker should be on rosters as an impact insurance policy regardless. If Booker is handed the keys to the Raiders backfield for Week 13, he is a plug-and-play RB2 with low-RB1 upside.
Frank Gore (RB, New York Jets)
I would hesitate to call Frank Gore a priority addition to your starting lineup in these twilight years of his career, but if you are simply looking for an RB who is locked-in for 15+ touches every week and just want someone to provide some safe points, Gore is an unexciting, but safe “floor” play. I did not want to leave you with two RBs who are not guaranteed to start this week (Snell and Booker), so Gore is more of a fallback option. I will not attempt to oversell Gore; he is averaging 3.7 yards per carry, has just one touchdown on the season, and plays for one of the worst offenses in the NFL. One positive to take from his recent role is that he is seeing a few targets per game, adding to his floor in PPR leagues. In the end, you take your points, hope that he is more efficient against the Raiders’ poor rush defense, and cross your fingers that he finds paydirt on one of the Jets’ few touchdown opportunities. He is a safe, but low-upside Flex play this week.
Other names to consider (in order): J.K Dobbins (61%-rostered ESPN, top add if available), Devontae Booker (if no Josh Jacobs), Zack Moss, J.D. McKissic (57%-rostered Yahoo), Jamaal Williams (low-Flex, high-end handcuff), Cam Akers (growing role, stash), Latavius Murray (low-Flex, high-end handcuff), James White, Salvon Ahmed (if no Gaskin, monitor status), Brian Hill/ Ito Smith (if no Gurley), Phillip Lindsay (monitor status, stash), Alexander Mattison (high-end handcuff), Tony Pollard (high-end handcuff), LeVeon Bell (63%-rostered Yahoo).
Corey Davis (WR, Tennessee Titans)
As part of a run-first offense with a typically low-volume passing attack, Davis has flown slightly under the radar this season. He is currently on the fringe of eligibility for this article (55%-rostered Yahoo, 68% ESPN), but if he is available, I see him as a fine Flex or depth WR for your team rest of season. Although fellow Titans WR A.J. Brown gets most of the headlines in fantasy circles these days, let’s not forget that Davis was the fifth-overall pick in the 2017 draft. Talent has never been an issue. The only concern has been getting enough targets each week to consistently post totals that move the needle for your fantasy squad. In games where Davis has seen six-or-more targets (six this season), he has logged no less than 67 receiving yards. In Week 13, I see the Browns defense selling out against the run to slow down Derrick Henry, which will open up the passing game for Ryan Tannehill and Tennessee’s lethal receiving duo. Even if the pass attempts are low, Davis has the ability to break off chunk gains, as evidenced by his Week 12 performance against a stout Colts defense (three catches on three targets for 70 yards). Cleveland is one of the most generous defenses to opposing WRs this season and I think Davis will get enough work to post high-Flex/ low-WR2 numbers.
Allen Lazard (WR, Green Bay Packers)
Consider this as more of a “variety recommendation” since I try to avoid talking about the same players every week. While there are several other WRs I would trust ahead of Lazard right now (see below), I still see him earning his way into “circle of trust” Flex territory for the stretch run. He is steadily working his way back from mid-season core surgery, so I am willing to provide some leeway as he re-establishes himself in Green Bay’s passing game. Lazard has failed to register high yardage totals since returning from injury in Week 11, but received six targets and scored a touchdown last week against a solid Bears defense. He is not a must-start right now (I would slot him between Agholor and Hilton in the group below), though he has shown good rapport with Aaron Rodgers in the past and had the look of being a reliable secondary target for the Packers before heading to IR. Although he is more of a “wait and see” bench stash for now, I would not be surprised to see him emerge as a solid WR3/ Flex rest of season if he can return to full-strength.
Other names to consider (in order): Deebo Samuel (58%-rostered Yahoo, top add if available), Michael Pittman Jr (#2 add), Sterling Shepard (52%-rostered Yahoo, #3 add if available), Curtis Samuel (63%-rostered Yahoo, bye, stash), Cole Beasley (58%-rostered Yahoo, #4 add if available), Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, T.Y. Hilton, Breshad Perriman, Jalen Reagor, Keke Coutee, Sammy Watkins, Emmanuel Sanders, Henry Ruggs III, Laviska Shenault Jr, Tim Patrick, Michael Gallup, Denzel Mims, Russell Gage, Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Trey Burton (TE, Indianapolis Colts)
The Indianapolis offense is a bit of a collective dice-roll for fantasy purposes, as they feature an unpredictable variety of players to move the chains each week. I have spoken ad nauseam this season about the weekly roulette wheel of “TD-or-bust” streaming TEs, so whenever a player in that group demonstrates a role that offers unique upside, it catches my attention. Although Burton has scored each of the last two weeks, it is not necessarily the touchdowns I’m chasing. Burton has developed a solid connection with Philip Rivers this season, particularly in goal-to-go situations, and also offers the ability to run or pass as a ball-carrier on gadget plays. With this being a potential make-or-break week for some fantasy teams, I certainly understand rolling with more traditional TE options like Robert Tonyan or Austin Hooper, but as Burton’s two rushing and three receiving touchdowns this season show, he can provide value in a number of ways.
Other names to consider (in order): Robert Tonyan (top add if available), Austin Hooper (#2 add if available), Mike Gesicki, Jordan Reed, Zach Ertz (stash), Dalton Schultz, Jimmy Graham, Logan Thomas, Kyle Rudolph.
Accountability is everything, so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Gus Edwards (RB, Baltimore Ravens): Edwards found himself in a backfield split with Justice Hill in the Ravens’ unique Week 12 Wednesday matinee game. He saved his week with a short touchdown plunge in an otherwise inefficient performance, finishing with nine carries for 10 yards, albeit against a formidable Steelers defense. Chances are J.K Dobbins and/ or Mark Ingram will return to the lineup in Week 13, so it is probably safe to drop Edwards for higher-upside alternatives if you need roster space.
James White (RB, New England Patriots): It was surprising to see White collect just six total touches in Week 12, but fantasy managers were surely okay with the final result since two of those touches ended up in the endzone. It appears that he will be involved near the goal line in a dual-threat rushing/ receiving role, similar to that of Rex Burkhead before his injury, but his weekly touches and yardage totals will be unpredictable. Until he demonstrates more reliability, White is more of a depth piece for your roster who could be used in case of emergency.
Darius Slayton/ Sterling Shepard (WR, New York Giants): Week 12 nearly played out as expected, with Slayton serving as the Giants’ deep-threat while Shepard operated underneath. Unfortunately for fantasy managers that started him, Slayton was unable to haul in a 70+ yard bomb that was narrowly-missed off his fingertips. Since he saw just two targets on the day, he ended up with a goose egg. Shepard did what he typically does, providing a solid floor with seven catches on eight targets for 64 yards. Moving forward, Slayton is a boom-bust WR3/4 while Shepard is a solid WR3/ Flex with added value in PPR leagues.
Nelson Agholor (WR, Las Vegas Raiders): Agholor turned in a decent five catches on six targets for 54 yards in a game where the Raiders scored just six points. He should continue to be Las Vegas’ most consistent WR this season, with a WR3/ low-Flex floor most weeks and mid-WR2 ceiling on weeks he finds the endzone.
Jordan Reed (TE, San Francisco 49ers): In a matchup against the stout Rams defense with a struggling QB throwing him the ball, Reed’s final line of two catches for 18 yards should not be looked upon too critically. Although it was a letdown performance in terms of the box score, better days are ahead as Reed still received six targets and has a lighter schedule the next few weeks. Unless you roster a TE that you trust each week, a rare commodity these days, I would not hesitate to go right back to Reed.
Good luck in Week 13!
(Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire)