Week 13 Waiver Wire:
Each week, I will compile a list of the best Fantasy Football Free Agent pickups. Free Agents fluctuate between leagues, so not everyone listed here will be available in every league, and even better guys may even be available in some leagues. If you have a question about anyone not included (or anything Fantasy-related for that matter), hit me up on Twitter (@BigDKey19) and I’ll gladly answer your question. Good luck with your teams and have fun.
NOTE: Playoffs are now here for an overwhelming majority of leagues. As such, the column will now turn into a Playoffs Survival Guide. Adds will be based on who you can use this week to try and make it through to next week. Long-term strategy will be sprinkled in as needed, but by and large, this will be a week-to-week-focused column.
Add (in order of most-to-least desirable):
Brandon Weeden (CLE)
Russell Wilson (SEA)
Brandon Weeden faces the lowly Chiefs this week, and despite their emotional win over the Panthers in Week 13, they still are a team to target when it comes to picking favorable matchups for your players. In fact, the fact that the Chiefs had success Offensively in Week 13 bodes well for Weeden even more. A competitive game means more passing, so if Kansas City can have similar success this week, Weeden should be asked to throw quite a bit. Weeden also has a nice matchup (against Washington) in Week 15, so he’s a solid Add overall. Russell Wilson has been great for a while now, but the bad news is that his Playoffs schedule is about as tough as they come. He faces Arizona this week and San Francisco in Week 16 (with an improving Buffalo wedged in the middle). In his previous meetings with Arizona and San Francisco this year, Wilson’s two-game average was 137 passing yards, 0.5 TD, 1 INTs, and 0.5 fumbles. That’s the kind of stat-line that will end your season. Here’s how I would approach this: I take Weeden this week and see how Wilson does. If he shows dramatic improvement against Arizona, then I pick him up for the Buffalo game and hope he has similar improvement against San Francisco. Ideally, you have a QB in place who will prevent you from needing either of these guys, but if you have Michael Vick (or even Big Ben depending on his availability), these guys are your best bet to pull through.
DeAngelo Williams (CAR)
DeAngelo Williams is the only widely-available Back that has a prayer of a chance of helping your team this week. He draws a great matchup against Atlanta, and he even scored a Touchdown in their prior meeting this year. If you’re really desperate for a RB play, DeAngelo is your guy.
Chris Givens (STL)
Donnie Avery (IND)
Kendall Wright/Kenny Britt (TEN)
All of these guys have very favorable matchups in Week 14. Givens is actually on a two-game hot streak, so he gets the nod over Avery. Avery had a fantastic Week 13, but he followed up his previous season-best performance with a 2/24/0 day, so there is risk with him for sure. Kendall Wright has been consistently decent lately, and maybe this week’s favorable matchup pushes him a little higher. Britt seems like a huge game waiting to happen, but he’s just been so cold that it’s tough to throw him in there.
Martellus Bennett (NYG)
Dennis Pitta (BAL)
“If you need a TE this week, Bennett is your man. He has a dream matchup and will likely produce well.” – Waiver Wire, Week 12. I will literally repeat the same thing again this week. Grab Bennett as the clear-cut first choice at TE. If you throw out the two Pittsburgh-driven disasters, Pitta has actually been solid again lately, and he has a fantastic matchup this week. I think he may be a surprise producer in Week 14.
Pick up whoever has scored the most points so far if you need a Kicker.
New York Jets
I have harped on the potential huge value of the Jets Defense down the stretch for weeks now, and hopefully you picked them up and started them this past week against Arizona. Here’s there remaining schedule: Jacksonville, Tennessee, San Diego, and Buffalo (Buffalo is relevant for all two of you who play your Championship in Week 17). Pick them up, start them, and allow them to Jet you all the way to the Championship. It’s that simple. The Browns Defense is a great Week 14 plug-and-play. Beyond that, they draw Washington, Denver, and Pittsburgh. I think it’s safe to say you won’t want to use them in any of those games.
Drop (in order of most-droppable to least-droppable):
Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF)
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
Fitzpatrick’s home stretch is horrible. Drop him now. If you’re really counting on him, you’re not in the Playoffs anyway. If you’re desperate for help at another position and have another QB on your roster who is good and has favorable matchups down the stretch, I wouldn’t hesitate to drop Ben. It’s still unclear when he’ll return, and when he does, he doesn’t exactly have great matchups down the stretch. Chances are you’d bench him anyway if you are in the situation I described, so why roster him? Help other spots on your team instead.
Look at your roster. If you have a RB who stinks and/or has matchups that preclude you from being willing to start him, Drop him. Fill your roster will people who could actually start and contribute. The only exceptions to this are guys who are currently backups but would be huge weapons if they got playing time (ex: in the event of an injury). So aside from high-upside handcuffs, I’m cutting every RB that isn’t expected to play a critical role in my Playoff run. Obviously, don’t cut guys so that you can add some other crappy player. But if you have a need, cut the low-ceiling depth guys first.
Same story as above. If you have a need, but the low-ceiling depth guys first.
Unless you have two great TEs, you should not be Rostering two TEs at this point. Ride your starter and cut the backup.
If you aren’t willing to start them, cut them. Go pick up the Jets or Browns. Constantly churn Defenses to get the best matchups.