Week 13 Waiver Wire: Impact Players Who Will Finish the Season Strong
It's that time of year in fantasy football. You're either in the hunt for your league's title, or you've fallen behind, left to ponder what went wrong.
For those of you still in the running, the pressure has been ramped up several notches. The playoffs are almost here, and if injuries have decimated your lineups, fear not—there are multiple options for you to consider as the season winds down.
A number of teams are playing for 2013 and evaluating talent which opens up new possibilities. Several teams are ready for a playoff push and will be using every weapon at their disposals.
It's time to scan the waiver wire for the right players to fill holes in your lineups. The choices you make could go a long way towards determining if a fantasy football title is in the cards.
Bryce Brown, Eagles
Bryce Brown showed the country what he could do, and should get more opportunities as the season reaches its conclusion.
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Talk about making a statement. Bryce Brown broke onto the scene on national television in the Eagles' loss to the Panthers, carrying 19 times for 178 yards and two scores. He fumbled twice so his long-term viability might be in question if he can't solve his ball security issues. But for now, Brown is looking like a pretty good option.
Even if LeSean McCoy comes back healthy, it's a good bet that Brown will still be involved. He's a rookie, and the Eagles will no doubt want to see more of what he can do. He could be valuable for them next season. Keep tabs on this kid.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
Colin Kaepernick could be a huge asset down the stretch.
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Colin Kaepernick has seemingly found a place under center for the 49ers despite the winning ways of Alex Smith and his performance indicates that he'll probably be there a lot longer. Kaepernick hasn't exactly lit up the annals of fantasy football, but he's as good a bet as there is to do it eventually. He has too many qualities to think otherwise. His dual-threat ability should make fantasy owners drool.
He also doesn't turn the ball over, which is huge. He's a game manager with the potential to be much more. Grab him while you can, because he'll probably get loads of reps if the 49ers really are committed to him as their starter throughout the postseason.
Pierre Garcon, Redskins
If you're looking for the waiver wire's most productive wide receiver from here on out, you can't go wrong with Pierre Garcon.
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Three words: Pick up Garcon. In games where he's been healthy, he's been superb for Washington. Garcon has been injured for most of the year, but he caught five passes for 93 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys and could be primed for big numbers as the Redskins make a playoff push.
Garcon could be the one waiver-wire pickup that really pushes your team over the edge. In the only other game where he was 100 percent healthy, he caught four balls for 109 yards and a touchdown—in a single quarter. He'll put up starter-type numbers as the season ends, and you won't regret making the move to secure his services.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts
T.Y. Hilton is a receiving and returning threat and could put up big numbers as the Colts push for the playoffs.
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Few players in the NFL excite like T.Y. Hilton. The guy has been electric and is developing into a fine player for the Colts. He has two 100-yard games in his last four and returned a punt for a touchdown last week. The Colts are in the playoff hunt and Andrew Luck throws as much as any quarterback in the league, so Hilton is looking at many more chances to put up big numbers.
Honestly, Hilton shouldn't even be a no-name player at this point. His 488 yards and five scores are very respectable, and you'd do well to pick him up as soon as possible. He's a threat receiving and returning, and there aren't many guys you can find on the wire who can do both.
Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Dennis Pitta will get lots of chances to put up some pretty good numbers for fantasy owners.
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Dennis Pitta has been decent all season but he's really come out of his shell and displayed his skills over the last few weeks. He won't wow with the numbers, but he's good for 50 yards and a touchdown on any given week.
The biggest reason to pick up Pitta is because the Ravens are at home for three of their last five games—and when Joe Flacco is at home, he's impossible to stop. Flacco is terrible on the road, but his play at home is sterling, meaning that Pitta will get lots of good looks. Scoop him up.
Any Receiver or Tight End for the Jaguars
Justin Blackmon is poised to break out and make a huge impact at the end of the season.
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It feels strange to suddenly call any player on the Jaguars a fantasy threat, but the resurgence of the offense under Chad Henne has been noticeable. The shackles have been taken off the players now that Blaine Gabbert is no longer under center, and players like Justin Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis have benefited greatly.
The most important name here is Blackmon, who has burst onto the scene after getting off to a really, really slow start. He has the ability to put up numbers any week and his possession receiver/deep-threat ability makes him a solid option.
Also of note is Cecil Shorts, who should be available on most leagues' waiver wires. Shorts has been a fantasy revelation this year for the Jaguars and is a superb deep threat. He won't get you a lot of catches, but he'll get you loads of yards. Stock up on Jaguars.
Logan Paulsen, Redskins
Logan Paulsen has been very good filling in for the injured Fred Davis.
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When Fred Davis went down early in the season, it looked as though tight end would be a black hole for the Redskins. Instead, unheralded Logan Paulsen has stepped in and put up very good numbers in Davis' stead. Paulsen isn't Robert Griffin III's No. 1 option (he doesn't really have one), but he's still good for six or seven targets per game.
Paulsen can get you 50 yards and a touchdown, and if you have no production at tight end, he's arguably one of the best options out there. The Redskins face some good defenses down the stretch and RGIII will be looking to his tight ends in big spots.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons
Jacquizz Rodgers is probably one of the best dual-threat players on the waiver wire. He can give you production on the ground and by catching the ball.
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The formerly dominant Michael Turner has been a huge fantasy disappointment and Rodgers seems ready to take over. The speedy 22-year-old had 49 rushing yards last week and holds immense value in his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Along with T.Y. Hilton of the Colts, he may be one of the best dual-threat position players out there on the wire.
The Falcons won't really be resting Rodgers down the stretch since Turner is still probably their No. 1 back, so grab him while you can. He can put up good numbers for you even if he can't get going in the run game, and that's something you can never underestimate. As the season draws to a close, he should get even better.