Waiver wire gems

Last week, I told you about a way you could still improve your team as you head into the final two weeks of the fantasy football regular season – the waiver wire. If you’re 6-6, or better, there’s still a chance to make the playoffs. But you’re going to have to work the waiver wire and take some chances.

I’m going to give you the names of ten players who are rostered in less than half of the Yahoo and ESPN leagues I play in. But first, stop reading this column and see if by some chance Alexander Mattison is available to claim. He’s 50 percent rostered in Yahoo leagues and 33 percent in ESPN.  

If you claim players in your league with FAB bids, make a large bid on Mattison (at least $25). If you play in a league where claims are filled based on waiver order, good luck. I put in a claim in one of the waiver-order leagues, and I have the 8th priority in a 10-team league. In other words, it’s unlikely I’ll get him.

As Dalvin Cook’s direct backup, Mattison shouldn’t be on the waiver wire. The Cook manager should have drafted him and kept him on the bench. Mattison, who is averaging 7.0 PPR points per game, has more than 20 FP in two weeks where Cook was ruled out. But what is Mattison’s fantasy outlook for Week 13 and beyond?

It was announced Monday that Cook suffered a torn labrum and dislocation of his left shoulder during Sunday’s loss. The injury isn’t believed to season-ending. Cook sustained a labrum tear in his other shoulder in 2019, tried to play through it for two games and then was out for two games before returning in dominant fashion.

In other words, it’s likely that Cook will miss the next two weeks and possibly additional time. I project Mattison to be a top-five fantasy back for the next two weeks. If you need a couple of wins to make the playoffs, Mattison is sheer gold. After that, the outlook for Mattison is unclear. If Cook misses time, Mattison is an RB1.  

If you are unable to claim Mattison, there are some other decent running back targets to consider on waivers ahead of Week 13. Chubba Hubbard, Jamaal Williams, Boston Scott, D’Onta Foreman and/or Dontrell Hillard. If you’re looking for Week 13 help, Hubbard, Foreman and Hilliard aren’t the answer since they have byes.  

CHUBA HUBBARD, RB, CAROLINA (39%/33.4%)

Hubbard finds himself in line to have a heavy workload after Christian McCaffrey injured his ankle on Sunday. That is his second IR designation of the season, which means his season is over. The rookie also filled in for CMC when he missed five games due to a hamstring injury earlier in the season and averaged 13 PPG.  

JAMAAL WILLIAMS, RB, DETROIT (39%/46%)

Williams’ backfield mate, D’Andre Swift, left Thursday’s game against the Bears with a sprained shoulder. The injury isn’t considered a serious one, but he could still end up missing at least one game. Williams played 63% of the snaps in Thursday’s game with Swift leaving early and would be a top-15 RB this week if Swift is ruled out.  

BOSTON SCOTT, RB, PHILADELPHIA (19%/17%)

Scott is another waiver wire option, though that situation in Philadelphia is murky. Jordan Howard missed Sunday’s game with a knee injury and Miles Sanders was limited in the second half after limping off with an ankle/foot injury. Scott led the team with 15 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown, adding three targets as well.

D’ONTA FOREMAN, RB, TENNESSEE (46%/41%)

Foreman had 19 carries for 109 yards and one reception Sunday and wasn’t even the leading rusher for the Titans. He was in one of my starting lineups, and his 10.2 FP didn’t make my day. But if he has managed to get into the end zone once or twice, it would have been a different story. He’s a good add in spite of having a bye in Week 13.

DONTRELL HILLIARD, RB, TENNESSEE (29%/27.9%)

Hilliard rushed 12 times for 131 yards and a touchdown and put up 22.5 FP Sunday in the Titans’ blowout loss. In spite of the game script, Hilliard and Foreman had 31 rushing attempts. Tennessee has been a mess without Derrick Henry, but with the volume those two are getting, Week 14 against the Jaguars could be good for both.

VAN JEFFERSON JR., WR, LA RAMS (49%/42.8)

Jefferson saw nine targets in Week 12, behind only Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham, who each saw 10. Jefferson caught three of those targets for 93 yards and a touchdown, while playing 98 percent of the snaps. He’s seen at least seven targets in three straight and four of the past five games. He’s a field stretcher, meaning his upside each week is high.

LAVISKA SHENAULT, JR., JACKSONVILLE (41%/46%)

Shenault saw a team-high nine targets in Week 12, including three in the red zone. This marked his third straight game with at least five targets. The Jags are using him in the slot more after losing Jamal Agnew for the season. Jacksonville has a favorable schedule coming up and Shenault has upside if the offense around him can get going.

MARQUEZ VALDES-SCANTLING, WR, GREEN BAY (25%/12%)

Valdes-Scantling saw nine targets in Week 12, tied for the most on the team with Davante Davis. That is a week after he saw a team-high 10 targets. This week he caught four of them for 50 yards. A week ago, he caught four for 123 yards and a touchdown. He possesses great down-field ability, and he is clearly the second option in this passing game.

KENDRICK BOURNE, WR, NEW ENGLAND (23%/15.2%)

Did you know that Bourne was WR26 heading into Week 12? He’s moved up into WR2 territory after scoring two touchdowns and 23.1 FP Sunday in the Patriots’ 36-13 win over the Titans. Unlike Jason, this Bourne seems to know his identity after putting up his second 20-plus game in the last three. He’s another boom-or-bust option.    

JOSH REYNOLDS, WR, DETROIT (1%/1%)

The Lions have been desperate for a spark in the passing game, and Reynolds gave them one Thursday. Reynolds led the team with 70 receiving yards and a touchdown on three catches and five targets, and while the volume isn’t especially impressive, it did come out to a 20% target share. The ball has to go somewhere in this offense.

Thomas L. Seltzer, AKA Doubting Thomas, also has a weekly column at CreativeSports. You can follow Thomas on Twitter @ThomasLSeltzer1.

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