I am not going to lie to you. Unless Pat Freiermuth is available in your league, Week 13 is by far the worst waivers week of the season. That said, there are still several interesting situations to discuss, including the emergence of a new RB2 in Jacksonville and a breakout rookie performance in New York. In Week 13, it is now time to position our teams for the fantasy playoffs with some savvy, under-the-radar additions. Let’s dive in.
As a reminder, here are explanations for each section of the article. Read the descriptions below to determine whether “Home-League Waiver Targets” or “Deeper-League Targets” is more relevant for your particular league:
- Home-League Waiver Targets: This section focuses on the typical “home league” with friends, family members, and co-workers. These leagues typically include starting lineups of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2-3 WRs, 1 TE, 1-2 FLEX, 1 K, 1 D/ST, and 5-7 BENCH spots. I will use ESPN & Yahoo rostership percentages to gauge which players are available in a typical league. To qualify as a waiver target, the player must be rostered in <30% of Yahoo or ESPN leagues.
- Deeper-League Targets: This section will be focused on deeper leagues, which typically have additional starting lineup slots and deeper benches compared to the typical home league. Drafters who play in tournament contests on FFPC, NFFC, or similar should find this section helpful. To qualify as a deeper-league target, the player must be rostered in <50% of FFPC Main Event leagues.
Additionally, FAAB recommended bid percentages are given. These should generally be interpreted as a % of your original FAAB budget, not your current FAAB budget, though obviously keep in mind team- and league-specific considerations when making your bids.
For each list, I will rank the players in order based on how I would prioritize adding them to your teams. I will also include a “Drop List” of commonly rostered players that I would be comfortable parting ways with in order to add these targets to your team.
Top 10 Home-League Waiver Targets
Rostership: 48% Yahoo, 41% ESPN
FAAB Recommendation: 20-40%
After playing 44 games under offensive coordinator Matt Canada and never eclipsing 400 yards, the Steelers immediately surpassed the 400-yard mark in their first game without Canada. The Steelers’ talented third-year TE Pat Freiermuth was the main beneficiary of this newfound offensive competence, catching nine passes for 120 yards on 11 targets (35% share). Likely due to schematic changes, Kenny Pickett thrived on passes over the middle, which lines up well with Freiermuth’s skill set. For fantasy managers still searching for upside at the TE position, Freiermuth is very likely to be the best option available on waivers for the rest of the season.
Rostership: 23% Yahoo, 22% ESPN
FAAB Recommendation: 5-10%
After serving as the Bears’ RB3 in Week 11 behind Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman, Roschon Johnson unexpectedly stepped into a clear starting RB role in Week 12. The rookie fourth-round pick handled 75% of snaps and 65% of RB opportunities (carries and targets), while Khalil Herbert was relegated to a change-of-pace role. Johnson’s promotion was somewhat surprising: He has been less efficient than Herbert on a per-touch basis and has graded out worse than Herbert in PFF’s rushing, receiving, and pass-blocking grades. Regardless, the Bears clearly preferred Johnson over Herbert in Week 12, which is more relevant than the aforementioned advanced statistics.
Despite the promising usage, the bear case on Johnson is twofold. First, the Bears are on bye in Week 13, meaning fantasy managers in need of a starter won’t immediately benefit from adding Johnson to their rosters. Additionally, D’Onta Foreman, who played clearly ahead of Johnson in Weeks 9 and 10, has a decent chance to return in Week 14. As a result, Roschon Johnson could easily be relegated to RB2 duties the next time the Bears play football.
In conclusion, I still think fantasy managers in need of RB help should prioritize Johnson due to the Bears’ willingness to commit to him in Week 12. There is a chance that the Bears, who are out of playoff contention, want to see their young players play as much as possible down the stretch. As a result, Johnson is my top RB waiver add of the week due to his chance of providing fantasy RB2 production as the Bears’ starting RB in the fantasy playoffs.
Rico Dowdle, Elijah Mitchell, D’Ernest Johnson, Latavius Murray, and Joshua Kelley
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