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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Kevin Hickey

Fantasy football waiver wire: Week 13 free-agent forecast

With just a few more weeks until the playoffs arrive, it’s crunch time in the majority of fantasy football leagues. The waiver wire should be busy entering Week 13.

After no teams had a bye in Week 12, managers will get hit hard in Week 13. Six teams will be on a bye, including some major firepower. Those six teams include the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders.

We’ll be taking a look at the top available players rostered in Yahoo leagues, using the 75% rostered mark as the threshold. If you have any questions about prioritizing a certain player over another, don’t be afraid to hit me up on X, formerly Twitter, (@KevinHickey11). Your questions and comments are always welcome!

We also will be taking a look at some deeper players to stash and the top streaming options for the upcoming week.

Fantasy football waiver wire recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated.

Check back for any updates throughout Monday and Tuesday as more injury news becomes available.

Priority Free Agents

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

1. RB Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts

Initially, we had Moss in the stash section but with Jonathan Taylor (thumb) set to miss two to three weeks, Moss skyrockets to the top of the list. We’ve seen Moss produce as an RB1 option in fantasy football. He should be the top target on the waiver wire in all formats, and managers shouldn’t be afraid to spend the majority — if not all — of their FAAB in order to get him.

FAAB: 80%
Availability: 50%

2. RB Keaton Mitchell, Baltimore Ravens

The speedy rookie led the Ravens backfield in snaps, carries, routes run and targets. It will continue to be a three-headed committee, but Mitchell has the highest upside given his breakaway speed. Even through the bye week, he should be rostered. This is likely the last time Mitchell will be on this list.

FAAB: 50%
Availability: 38%

3. WR Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs

For the first time this season, Rice led the Chiefs receivers in snaps, routes run and targets. It resulted in a breakout game that included an 8-107-1 line, good for the WR3 overall in PPR scoring entering Monday night. The Chiefs need someone badly to step up in the wide receiver room, and Rice could be the leader moving forward.

FAAB: 50%
Availability: 32%

4. WR Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts

His final line in Week 12 wasn’t all that pretty, but Downs posted season-high marks in targets (13) and target share (33%). Entering Monday night, both Downs and Michael Pittman Jr. share the lead for the most targets on the week. Indy has a favorable schedule coming up, so Downs should be rostered in nearly every format.

FAAB: 40%
Availability: 42%

5. TE Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

In just his second appearance back from a five-game absence due to a hamstring injury, Freiermuth posted a career-best game with a 9-120-0 line on 11 targets. He’s the TE1 overall on the week and should be considered a starting option moving forward simply given the landscape at the position.

FAAB: 30%
Availability: 52%

6. WR Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers

Finally, the game we’ve been waiting for. Watson exploded on Thanksgiving for a season-best 5-94-1 line on seven targets. There is going to be natural volatility in his game moving forward, but Watson still appears to have some boom potential in the right matchups.

FAAB: 25%
Availability: 39%

7. TE Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens will be on a bye, but it’s clear Likely will be a part of the game plan without Mark Andrews. He led all Ravens tight ends in snaps and routes run and was the only tight end to receive a target. He posted a serviceable 4-40-0 on six targets and will be the TE1 for the Ravens down the home stretch.

FAAB: 25%
Availability: 48%

8. RB Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings

We’ll see how Monday night goes, but Chandler should be rostered as a flex option moving forward. The bye week makes things difficult, so it’s understandable if managers can’t afford to hold him through the week off, but he should be on everyone’s radar. Chandler has standalone flex value with contingent upside if Alexander Mattison gets hurt.

FAAB: 20%
Availability: 52%

9. RB Jeff Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins

With Salvon Ahmed on the Reserve/Injured list and De’Von Achane‘s knee injury flaring up, Wilson was active in Week 12. He wound up getting 11 carries for 56 rushing yards while adding three receptions for 17 yards on three targets. He’s a flex option if Achane continues to miss time.

FAAB: 15%
Availability: 83%

10. WR Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers

The rookie is on his way to a third consecutive finish as a WR2 or better. In Week 12, he posted a 27% target share, which was the second-highest of his season and his highest mark since Week 2. Though he’ll be running behind Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, Reed has been far more consistent and has fringe WR2 value due to a favorable schedule coming up.

FAAB: 15%
Availability: 46%

11. RB Royce Freeman, Los Angeles Rams

It was “The Kyren Williams Show” as the starter made his return to dominate the backfield. However, Freeman still posted more than a dozen carries, which led to a 13-77-1 rushing line. We shouldn’t expect that type of production each week from Freeman, but it seems he’ll still have a role even with Williams returning.

FAAB: 10%
Availability: 87%

12. WR Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are on fire right now thanks to a resurgent season from Dak Prescott, and Cooks has been one of the beneficiaries over the last month or so. Following his 4-72-1 outing on Thanksgiving, Cooks now has four finishes as a WR2 or better in his last six games and has averaged 14.6 PPR points per game during that span. He’s a fringe WR2 option with high volatility each week.

FAAB: 10%
Availability: 44%

13. RB AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers

Watching Dillon constantly get stuffed at the line of scrimmage is not conducive to positive mental health, but we also have to acknowledge that he’s averaged 10.1 PPR points per game over his last seven games, and he just posted an 82% running back rush share with a 10% target share in Aaron Jones‘ absence. He’s a desperation RB2 play with a low ceiling, but he’s getting volume, so running back-needy teams might have value for him.

FAAB: 5%
Availability: 32%


Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As the playoffs near, this is the time to grab the handcuffs of players both on your team and the handcuffs of players on other teams, so expect to see some of the same names moving forward. Preferably, no FAAB would be spent to acquire these players, but we’ll give a maximum suggestion.

RB Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans

Though he’s seemingly lost his standalone flex value, Spears is a high-end handcuff option behind Derrick Henry.

FAAB: 5%
Availability: 61%

RB Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears

The rookie could see an expanded role with D’Onta Foreman unlikely to play Monday night. He also seems to have the receiving role carved out right now, so he’s at least noteworthy.

FAAB: 3%
Availability: 77%

RB Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles

For teams who can afford to burn a roster spot, the backup to D’Andre Swift is a nice upside piece to have on the bench if something were to happen.

FAAB: 1%
Availability: 73%

RB Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers

For managers who can use a roster spot, Mitchell is a high-end handcuff in the event Christian McCaffrey suffers an injury.

FAAB: 1%
Availability: 84%

RB D’Ernest Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Johnson has taken the backup role from rookie Tank Bigsby, so he should be on our radar. He also ran just four fewer routes than Travis Etienne in Week 12.

FAAB: 1%
Availability: 99%

WR Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants

Hyatt is more of a player to monitor if anything. He posted a season-best 5-109-0 line on six targets in Week 12. They have the bye week, so he probably shouldn’t be rostered through that but is an intriguing stash for leagues with deep benches.

FAAB: 1%
Availability: 97%

TE Tucker Kraft, Green Bay Packers

He caught a touchdown in Week 12 and it’s possible that Luke Musgrave won’t return for the regular season. He’s a risky start right now, but keep an eye on him.

FAAB: 1%
Availability: 99%

Streamers of the Week

Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

QB Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos at Houston Texans: He ran a season-high 11 times in Week 12 and gets to take on a Texans defense allowing 20.8 fantasy points per game over their last four.

Availability: 44%

QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals: It feels gross because it is. Still, Pickett threw for a season-high 278 yards in the first week without Matt Canada. Arizona has allowed 19.0 fantasy points per game over their last four games.

Availability: 84%

TE Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers: The matchup isn’t great, but Otton has a 16% per-game target share since Week 7 and at least four receptions in all but one game during that span.

Availability: 71%

TE Tyler Conklin, New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta has allowed the fourth-most PPR points per game to tight ends this season and 13.1 PPR points per game over their last five games. It’s a rough week for tight end streamers.

Availability: 84%

Los Angeles Rams D/ST vs. Cleveland Browns: The Browns have scored a combined 25 points over the last two weeks and look incapable of moving the ball consistently. Aaron Donald should feast.

Availability: 93%

Atlanta Falcons D/ST at New York Jets: The Jets offense is a trainwreck right now, and the Falcons have been solid against bad offenses this season. The Jets D/ST also is a quality streaming option for those in need.

Availability: 90%

PK Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets: The Jets have allowed the most field-goal attempts in the NFL and the fourth-most fantasy points per game to kickers this season.

Availability: 42%

PK Matt Gay, Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans: Gay was been solid outside of a few missed kicks from over 50 yards this season. The Titans have allowed the most fantasy points per game and the fourth-most field-goal attempts to kickers this season.

Availability: 79%

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