FANTASY WEEK 13 WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
FIRST CHECK: WR Josh Downs (58%), WR Brandin Cooks (56%)
I’m a little surprised that Pat Freiermuth has a sub-50% ownership, but it seems he’ll be featured in the new-look Steelers’ offense. The Steelers are finally showing life offensively in the post-Matt Canada era, putting up over 400 yards of offense against the Bengals. Freiermuth was a significant factor in the middle of the field and led all pass-catchers in yards during this week, catching nine balls for 120 yards on 11 targets. Expect him to keep up a big chunk of the target share moving forward.
Make it double-digit scoring games in five of his last six for rookie receiver Jayden Reed. As we touched on in Love’s piece above, Reed and the passing offense are starting to click as he has seen his playing time increase for four straight weeks. He’s still behind Watson and Doubs usage-wise, but Reed is still getting a handful of targets while even being worked into the run game. Luke Musgrave’s extended absence will help Reed here.
Isaiah Likely was given TE1 usage numbers for the second straight week, with 73% of snaps and 83% routes run. This week, though, he put up a respectable line with four catches for 40 yards on six targets. The Ravens’ offense continues to produce and Likely will be locked into a weekly high-usage guy. Results will vary, but you know he’ll be out there.
Demario Douglas has been a staple of this article over the past few weeks, as he ranks atop the Patriots’ target totem pole. He continued to be a target hog, snatching six of nine targets for 49 yards in that disturbing football game on Sunday against the Giants. However, he did leave the game with a head injury and may miss Week 13, making him drop on this list. Still, he’s a stash at worst and should be rostered.
On Tuesday morning, Ian Rapoport reported Jonathan Taylor suffered a thumb injury requiring further evaluation, which could put his rest-of-season status in doubt. If Taylor were to miss time, Zack Moss would turn into the No. 1 waiver wire start for this week. In place (and alongside) of Taylor, Moss had four top-10 finishes and five double-digit finishes. He would be a rest-of-season starter if Taylor’s thumb injury caused the team to shut him down.
He had a quiet month or so, but Curtis Samuel saved his best for the holiday, exploding with nine catches for 100 yards on 12 targets. The Commanders’ offense has been extremely pass-heavy, and Samuel is seeing his usage climb back up to its level from earlier in the year. As Washington’s defense continues to stink, it’ll force the offense to put up many points and spread the ball around.
In the two games he’s played with Kyler Murray, Greg Dortch has had great individual success for a team with very little. Dortch has seen good usage, with a 75% snap share and 80% route participation. Marquise Brown sort of woke up last week, but Dortch is still getting a significant target share. Dortch showed chemistry with Kyler last year, so there’s a chance these two form some kind of late-season run out of nowhere.
Another Cardinal here, Michael Carter, was acquired from the Jets recently and worked as Arizona’s No. 2 back this week behind James Conner. He worked above Emari Demercado, which was a bit of a surprise and it seems like he could be used more often in the passing game. A low-end handcuff with some intrigue behind him.
It’s been three weeks with an increased snap share for the Jags’ newest RB2. Move over, Tank Bigsby. D’Ernest Johnson is the handcuff now. Bigsby plays barely any snaps, and Travis Etienne did have a minor injury scare this past week in Houston. Johnson offers handcuff potential similar to Carter but offers a higher long-term ceiling as opposed to Carter’s higher floor now.
The 2022 first-round pick is starting to fill a role in the Lions’ offense after catching four balls on six targets for 95 yards (24 ypc) and a touchdown over the last two weeks. Those numbers won’t wow anyone, but if you need a wide receiver streamer as the fantasy playoffs inch closer, Jameson Williams could be your guy. While the target share shouldn’t make you break the FAAB bank, Williams’ 64% and 63% snap share should give fantasy owners some optimism.
With Luke Musgrave landing on the IR, Tyler Kraft is filling in for now. Kraft made the most of his opportunity, catching a red zone target for a touchdown against the Lions.
Amari Cooper left the game this week with a rib injury, leaving Cedric Tillman as the guy to replace him on the outside. Granted, the Browns’ QB play has been abysmal, but if Cooper were to miss time, that’s a huge target share chunk that could head Tillman’s way.