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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Jennifer Piacenti

Week 13 Waiver Wire: Pickup These Free Agents For Your Fantasy Playoff Run

Welcome to Week 13!

With six teams on bye this week, you will probably need one last emergency trip to the waiver wire. The Ravens, Bills, Bears, Raiders, Vikings, and Giants are all not available this week.

Below, you will find some options at each position, including some obscure additions for very deep leagues.

It's the final playoff push! Let's clinch some postseason berths.

Jayden Reed, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers

Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Love has looked like the QB the Packers drafted him to be across the last three contests, even upsetting the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. In all of those games, rookie Jayden Reed was a factor. Not only has Reed caught at least four passes and scored a touchdown in each of them, but he also logged two carries in the last two. Reed is a versatile weapon that leads the Packers in receiving yards this season.

FAAB Up to 13%

Isaiah Likely, Tight End, Baltimore Ravens

Likely was one of our top targets last week, and he caught all four of his passes for 40 yards to lead all Ravens receivers Sunday night. He's still one of the top adds available at the position. With Kincaid, Hockenson and Kmet all on bye, Likely should be on your list.

FAAB Up to 11%

Pat Freiermuth, Tight End, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers fired Matt Canada, resulting in 400 yards of offense for Pittsburgh- the most since Week 16 of 2018. One hundred twenty of those yards went to Pat Freiermuth, who saw a 44% target share on Sunday vs. Cincinnati. Pickett threw for a season-high 278 yards, targeting Freiermuth 11 times. The Arizona Cardinals are on tap this week, and they just gave up a pair of touchdowns to Rams tight end Tyler Higbee.

FAAB up to 16%

Roschon Johnson, Running Back, Chicago Bears

Kim Klement Neitzel/USA TODAY Sports

Johnson led the running back room for Chicago on Monday night, with 10 attempts for 35 yards vs. a tough Minnesota run defense. He also caught all five of his targets for another 40 yards and finished second in fantasy points for the Bears behind only DJ Moore. Johnson showed promise early in the season, but injury and the emergence of D'onta Foreman limited him until this week. Even with a healthy Khalil Herbert, Johnson was more involved in this offense. As long as Foreman remains out, Johnson is a flex play in deeper leagues. The talented rookie out of UT could have the fresh legs fantasy managers need down the stretch. Stash and hold until after the bye week, if you are able.

FAAB up to 10%

Jordan Love, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers

Love is just under 50% rostered, so if you are in a shallower league, he could still be available. The Green Bay passer has come on strong as of late, finishing as a Top-12 QB in each of the last three contests.

FAAB up to 9%

Jonathan Mingo, wide receiver, Carolina Panthers

The Panthers fired Frank Reich on Monday, and Carolina will have a new play-caller for Bryce Young and his receivers this Sunday in a favorable matchup with Tampa Bay. The Bucs have allowed 46.6 PPR points per game to opposing wideouts across the last four contests, and this could be the time to speculate on Mingo, a full-time starter for Carolina, who led the team with 60 receiving yards on six targets vs. the Titans.

FAAB Up to 6%

Josh Downs, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts

Downs makes this list for the second week in a row, as he isn't quite 50% rostered. That should change after this week. Downs returned from injury to see 12 targets on Sunday. Before his injury, Downs looked like one of the top rookies in the class. It's a good matchup this week vs. the Titans, and Downs offers a decent floor with a possibility for a big game.

FAAB Up to 13%

Juwan Johnson. Tight End, New Orleans Saints

Micheal Thomas is on the IR, Chris Olave left with a concussion, and Rashid Shaheed left early with a quad injury. Johnson tallied seven targets in the game Sunday- second only to Chris Olave- and is likely the current top pass-catching option in this offense. The converted wide receiver caught seven touchdown passes in 2022, and this week, he gets a Lions' defense that has allowed the eleventh-most PPR points to the position.

FAAB Up to 6%

Joshua Palmer, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers

Palmer could be returning from the IR soon, and now is the time to stash. The Chargers are hurting at the position, and Palmer should return to being a fantasy WR3 or better as soon as he is back.


Jaylin Hyatt, Wide Receiver, New York Giants

Danielle Parhizkaran/USA Today Sports

We've been waiting for the burner to breakout, and Sunday, he flashed the upside we wanted to see, catching five of his six targets for 109 yards vs. New England. He led the team with a 24% target share and was responsible for 57% of the team's receiving yards in the victory. The Giants are on bye this week, but Hyatt could be worth a stash in deeper leagues.


A.T. Perry, Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints

In the deepest of leagues, Perry is worth an add simply because he is the next man up in a decimated Saints offense facing a generous Detroit secondary.


Keaton Mitchell, Running Back, Baltimore Ravens

Mitchell isn't an option this week as his team is on bye, but he is the running back I am still prioritizing. It's still a three-person committee in Baltimore, but Mitchell looks incredible, averaging more than 9 yards per attempt this season. He played more than 50% of the snaps on Sunday, and his role could increase in the coming weeks, as he looks like the best option at the position.

FAAB up to 11%

Michael Carter, Running Back, Arizona Cardinals

Carter had a 37% snap share on Sunday, almost equal to James Conner's, and he ran 39% of the routes- the highest rate among Arizona runners. He looks to be ahead of Demercado in the order, and he should be rostered as a high-end fantasy handcuff with some possible standalone.

FAAB: 6%

Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back, New England Patriots

Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports

Zeke continues to have enough carries to make him worth a start if you're in need at the position. With the QB position in question for the Patriots, they will continue to lean on the run game, and this week's matchup with the Chargers is good. Los Angeles has the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs across the last four contests.

FAAB up to 8%

Kenneth Gainwell, Running Back, Philadelphia Eagles

Gainwell continues to be game-script dependent, but he and Tyjae Spears are high-upside handcuffs that should be rostered for insurance as you head into the fantasy playoffs. The Eagles average 130 rushing yards per game, and the Cardinals, the Championship Week matchup, have allowed the third-most PPR points to running backs this year. At this point in the season, the Eagles should already be guaranteed the playoffs, and they may rotate their players a bit more, making Gainwell a good speculative add.

FAAB up to 6%

Gardner Minshew, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts

Minshew was our top streamer at the position last week, and he's our top streamer once again because who doesn't love some Minshew Magic? Minshew threw for 250 yards and tallied a rushing touchdown vs. the Bucs Sunday. This week, he gets a Titans secondary that has allowed the eleventh-most points to quarterbacks across the past four games. The Colts are in the playoff hunt, and with the injuries at the QB position and six teams on bye, Minshew will be worth starting this weekend.

FAAB up to 6%

Kenny Pickett, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Six teams are on bye this week, and this is only a play in the deepest of leagues, but Pickett threw for a season-high 278 yards on Sunday, and the offense looks a lot better so far without Matt Canada. Getting Pat Freiermuth back is also a boost, and this week's matchup with the Cardinals at home couldn't be much better. Arizona just allowed four touchdown passes to Matt Stafford on Sunday.


Matt Stafford, Quarterback, Los Angeles Rams

The veteran quarterback threw four touchdown passes on Sunday vs. the Cardinals, and we don't expect the seam kind of outburst this week vs. a much more formidable Cleveland defense; however, Stafford's playoff schedule is favorable if you are looking to stash some insurance. He has the weapons to put up good numbers vs. the Commanders, Saints, and Giants in Weeks 15-17.


Other Players to Add in Deeper Leagues

QB: Jake Browning

RB: Samaje Perine, Ty Chandler, Antonio Gibson, TyJae Spears, Rico Dowdle. Leonard Fournette, Zamir White

WR: Demario Douglas, Curtis Samuel, Khllill Shakir, Michael Wilson

TE: Chigoziem Okonkwo, Greg Dulcich 

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