Teams on bye in Week 13: Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans
Week 13 is a crucial week. Most league playoffs start in Week 15, leaving two more weeks to stake your claim on a playoff spot. With so many players injured or on bye this week (and next), a player’s availability can be as important as their ability. Let’s take a look at some options to give you that all-important advantage for this week and beyond.
Reminder: In most leagues, we’ve got two weeks left to make the playoffs. You know your needs and the needs of the other managers you’re up against. Adjust your bids for your budget, your league standing, and your opponents. Take any bid recommendation with a grain of salt.
Percentages are based on Yahoo! leagues.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (50% rostered)
This isn’t complicated. Dalvin Cook might be looking at a multi-week absence. Alexander Mattison is an excellent stand-in for Cook. It’s Week 13. Spend it all.
Bid: all of it.
Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (40%)
The Panthers just placed Christian McCaffrey on Injured Reserve for the second time this season, ending his 2021 campaign. Chuba Hubbard has filled in for CMC a few times already, so he is the next man up for Carolina and will probably be a Top 3 optoi However, the Panthers are on a bye in Week 13, play Atlanta at home in Week 14, then face a brutal schedule to close out the season. I certainly think Hubbard needs to be added, but you have to temper your expectations. And you have to have the luxury of being able to wait a week for Hubbard to come off his bye.
Ameer Abdullah, Carolina Panthers (1%)
The McCaffrey fallout continues. Ameer Abdullah has emerged as a pass-catching option in Carolina, and his role should expand alongside Chuba Hubbard’s. The competition for snaps is another factor working against both, but Abdullah should be added until we see how these roles shake out. Again, that is if you’re able to wait and see. For managers who need to manufacture some wins to make the playoffs, neither Carolina back may be an option for you.
Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions (39%)
This pick is a little more straightforward. If D’Andre Swift is inactive for Week 13, Jamaal Williams could enter the RB2 conversation against Minnesota. After being more involved early in the season, Williams should be able to re-establish his role in a Detroit offense that leaves a lot to be desired.
Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles (19%)
Multiple backs will continue to be involved in Philadelphia, as the coaching staff has shown repeatedly that they do not believe Miles Sanders is a featured back. As long as Jordan Howard remains sidelined with an injury, I’ll plug Boston Scott in again for a flex-worthy role in the Philadelphia offense. Also, Miles Sanders appeared to be hurt in Week 12, so he may be more limited than we know.
Matt Breida, Buffalo Bills (23%)
Matt Breida has taken Zach Moss’ role in Buffalo, with Moss being a healthy scratch in Week 12. While Breida has looked good, he’s still only seeing 32% of snaps compared to 68% for Devin Singletary. I don’t envy the matchup against the Patriots in Week 13, either. While I could see Breida’s role growing, he’s only a flex option in Week 13. On the positive side, New England was just slashed on the ground by the Tennessee duo of Hilliard and Foreman.
Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman, New York Jets (41% and 18%)
I’m just going to recycle what I said in last week’s waiver wire article: “For Week 12 against Houston, I lean toward Coleman as the one who will get the first shot at the starting gig in what should be a neutral game script. With that being said, I’m not excited about this situation at all. Both Coleman and Johnson could end up more trouble than they’re worth and end up providing little to no fantasy value.”
Yup. And that was before we all realized it was Austin Walter season! Really, though, I do think Ty Johnson may have more upside, but that is in a Jets offense that seems to have less and less upside every week that Zach Wilson is under center. I’m avoiding this backfield if I can, but I think Ty Johnson’s value goes up if Joe Flacco or Mike White take over at quarterback.
Ok, but did you actually see this run from Austin Walter?!
Austin Walter with another first down, showing some burst pic.twitter.com/TYiWC3cd8x
— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) November 28, 2021
Dontrell Hilliard and D’Onta Foreman, Tennessee Titans (29% and 46%)
After featuring him in Week 11, Tennessee parted ways with Adrian Peterson, possibly signaling the end of a long and illustrious career for “All Day” Peterson. What a ride it’s been. Clearly, Tennessee liked what they saw from D’Onta Foreman and former practice squad member Dontrell Hilliard. Both backs repaid that faith in Week 12 by chipping in 100 yards on the ground in a Tennessee offense that is intent on establishing a post-Derrick Henry rushing attack.
The Titans, like the Panthers, are on bye in Week 13, so Hilliard and Foreman may not be your best options if you need to win this week. If you can afford to wait a week, both are good stashes for the playoff run. I slightly prefer Hilliard for the pass-catching potential, but we’ll have to see how their roles take shape moving forward.
Other names to consider: Consider stocking up on backups at this point in the season. Jaret Patterson (1%), Eno Benjamin (3%), Sony Michel (28%), and Samaje Perine (5%) would all be valuable adds if their starters were to miss time this late in the season. Looking for a deep play? Darius Bradwell (0%) was activated over Larry Rountree in Los Angeles, and he could get some playing time if Austin Ekeler were to get banged up.
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams (49%)
Consider this the last call for Van Jefferson. Coming out the bye, Van Jefferson saw basically the same snaps, routes, and targets as Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr., catching 3 of 9 targets for 93 yards and a score. Jefferson has a lot to improve upon, whether it’s his decision-making, route running, or catch rate, but the opportunity is going to be there in the Rams offense.
Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots (23%)
After finding the end zone twice in Week 12, Kendrick Bourne is poised to be a popular waiver wire target. I’ve been impressed by Bourne’s efficiency to this point, making the most of his opportunities. As far as Week 13 goes, however, I’m hesitant to plug Kendrick Bourne into my starting lineup. First, he’s got a tough matchup against Buffalo. Second, the Patriots go on bye in Week 14, making Bourne a one-week rental. Add to that the competition for targets in New England, and I’m shying away from Bourne this time around. I could see a scenario where he comes through for fantasy managers, but I’m not investing any of my remaining FAB for him.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (17%)
With the Atlanta Falcons, we’ve seen that the floor for the entire offense is zero. And Tampa Bay is a team that could give Matt Ryan and company problems. However, I think Russell Gage could deliver a solid performance in Week 13 when the Buccaneers scheme Kyle Pitts out of the game altogether. Gage led Atlanta in targets in Week 12 and should do so again, barring a complete implosion of the Atlanta offense (which, as we’ve established, is in the range of outcomes.) Still, I’m not spending FAB here that I could be putting in the running back picks.
Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (47%)
Kadarius Toney has been disappointing. His Week 5 breakout was a long time ago, and he can’t seem to stay healthy two weeks in a row. Not to mention the Giants’ offensive woes and the upcoming availability of Sterling Shepard to compete for targets. With all of that being said, Toney has the most upside of any receiver on this list, so it’s hard not to add him to your roster if he’s available.
Other names to consider: DeSean Jackson (5%) is the new deep threat in Las Vegas; T.Y. Hilton (28%) always seems to secure a few targets when he’s healthy; DeAndre Carter (3%) is a real part of Washington’s offensive scheme.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (1%)
While he’s still in competition with Mo Alie-Cox for snaps and routes, Jack Doyle has seemingly established himself as the pass-catching back in Indy, securing 6 of 7 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown in week 12.
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (24%)
Although Jimmy Graham pulled in a touchdown in Week 12, Cole Kmet is the Chicago tight end you want. 11 targets and 8 receptions is as healthy a workload as you can ask for.
Other names to consider: James O’Shaugnessy (0%) should slot into the recently-vacated Dan Arnold role. Evan Engram (34%) and Tyler Conklin (33%) are stalwarts of this article and remain important pieces of their respective offenses.
With Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Baker Mayfield, and Ryan Tannehill on their bye week, there are lots of roster holes to fill for Week 13. Taysom Hill (5%) is limited as a passer but boasts QB1 potential due to his rushing upside. Tua Tagovailoa (33%) and the Dolphins are on fire and face the lowly Giants. I also love the matchups for Derek Carr (68%) and Carson Wentz (58%) this week, so check to see if either is available in your league.
Four defensive matchups I like for Week 13:
Philadelphia @ New York Jets
Indianapolis @ Houston
Minnesota @ Detroit
Miami vs. New York Giants
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