Fantasy Football: NFL Week 13 Must-Haves Off the Waiver Wire

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst INovember 29, 2010

Fantasy Football: NFL Week 13 Must-Haves Off the Waiver Wire

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    Week 12 proved to be another wild one in the world of fantasy football. 

    Does anyone else realize that kickers Nate Kaeding, Dan Carpenter and David Akers outscored the coveted quarterback entity Drew Brees in Week 12?

    Week 10 recommendation Jacoby Ford embarrassed the Miami Dolphins special teams and defense en route to a 32-point effort, although the Raiders lost.

    But who actually had the guts to start him on their virtual team?

    If he is still available, Ford is easily the hottest commodity on the waiver wire this week.

    He has flourished with both Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski under center, and a looks a lot more like the teams number one receiver than Louis Murphy does.

    In a similar scenario, how many owners benched running back Mike Goodson when they heard Jonathan Stewart was off the injury report?

    This proved to be a huge mistake, as Goodson had 14 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown, and actually was the teams leading receiver with 8 catches for 81 yards.

    Goodson’s 32-yard catch and run late in the fourth quarter was something special; unfortunately for the Panthers kicker John Kasay missed a field goal as time expired to edge out a narrow victory.

    Stewart owners were not completely left in the dust though, as he had an impressive 98 yards on just 12 carries. 

    The Panthers rush attack finally produced the way fans had expected in the preseason…it only took until Week 12; better late than never right?

    Finally, who thought Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe would be two of the hottest commodities in fantasy football with the playoffs right on the virtual horizon?

    Cassel has been terrific for teams who took a chance on him. The former Trojan’s 22:4 touchdown to interception ratio is second in the league to only Tom Brady (23:4), and has also proved to be the fourth-most efficient QB in the league with a 99.7 QB rating.

    Furthermore, who honestly expected Dwayne Bowe to be this good in 2010?  Bowe leads the league with 14 touchdowns; keeping in mind he only crossed the paint once between Weeks 1-5.

    Since then, Bowe has scored 13 times in seven weeks and has simply been impossible to defend in any defensive scheme.

    In those seven games, Bowe has gone over 100 yards receiving five times and has also scored multiple touchdowns five times.

    Bowe will easily finish the season with over 1,000 receiving yards (currently at 885) and could easily end the year with 20 touchdowns at this pace.

    He has been the surest receiver to find the end zone at this point, and will certainly lead a lot of fantasy owners to league titles in December.

    Of course, not every fantasy owner is fortunate enough to have these aforementioned players, so let us take a look at some respectable options just sitting on the waiver wire ripe for the picking.

Maurice Morris, RB Detroit Lions

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    Jahvid Best owners had to be disappointed with the goose egg they got from the first round pick.

    Best was announced as active for the Thanksgiving game against the Patriots, but did not see one touch the whole game.

    Owners have to be getting frustrated with Best’s turf toe injury, as he is now only averaging a paltry three yards per carry and has not found the end zone since Week 2.

    No need to despair Best owners, as Maurice Morris could prove to be your savior.

    Morris had 70 yards from scrimmage on just 14 touches and found pay dirt twice on Turkey Day, for a very useful 19 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues.

    While Morris is in a committee situation with Aaron Brown (17 touches for 65 yards in Week 12), Morris is clearly the more effective back and the preferred goal line option.

    Best owners, and those who just need some running back depth, should absolutely give Morris a look.

Kevin Boss, TE New York Giants

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    Many expected Derek Hagan to get a lot of looks from Eli Manning in Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the reality was that Kevin Boss looked more like the Giants' No. 2 receiver than Hagan did.

    The Bossman has become a reliable option in the middle of the field with 2009 Pro Bowler Steve Smith out, and should continue to see a ton of looks until Smith or Hakeem Nicks returns.

    Boss has grabbed 10 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns in the past three games.

    While he laid an egg in Week 11 against the Eagles (2 catches for 22 yards), and does not have the greatest hands, he is a good option to start for at least two more weeks with all the injuries at the tight end position.  

Toby Gerhart, RB Minnesota Vikings

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    Fantasy owners had to be horrified to see stud Vikings running back Adrian Peterson leave the game with an ankle injury.

    He did provide a halfway decent stat line before leaving, 70 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, but one could only imagine the numbers he could have produced had he played the whole game. 

    The rookie out of Stanford, Toby Gerhart, had no problem filling in during Peterson’s absence.  Gerhart piled up 76 yards on 22 carries and found the end zone in the third quarter.

    Fans realize that Peterson is as tough as they come, but recognize that he referred to the pain after the game as “unbearable” and is therefore a real questionable play in Week 13 against the Bills.

    Therefore, Gerhart is an intriguing add this week, as the Bills are the league’s worst run defense. 

    Long story short, Gerhart is a necessity for Peterson owners and could prove to be a nice sleeper even with Peterson on the field due to Buffalo’s inefficiencies against the run.

Danario Alexander, WR St Louis Rams

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    If the Denver Broncos weren’t already feeling down and out about their season heading into Week 12, they must feel pretty bad now that Rams rookie quarterback Sam Bradford torched them for 308 yards and three touchdowns.

    While he did not find the end zone, Danario Alexander caught four catches for 95 yards in this high scoring affair.

    Fantasy aficionados had high hopes for Alexander after grabbing four catches for 72 yards and a score in Week 6, but the youngster then succumbed to a knee injury early on in Week 7 against the Bucs.

    There is little question about Alexander’s ability, the big question mark is his durability. 

    If he can stay healthy the rest of the year, he should be a useful fantasy option as the Rams do not face an elite passing offense along the way (although Week 14 against the Saints at the Superdome will not be a cake walk).

    Alexander makes for a quality add in deeper leagues looking for help at the receiver position.

Jordy Nelson, WR Green Bay Packers

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    Nelson has really been an after thought in this Packers passing attack, but showed some life in Week 12 with five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.

    The Packers are clearly a passing team with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, but have been even more so this season with Brandon Jackson being inconsistent at the running back position.

    Additionally, veteran wide receiver Donald Driver has been a shell of himself this season. The 35-year-old receiver should consider hanging up the cleats after this season, as he only has three touchdowns this year and would be lucky to break 600 yards receiving (currently at 364 receiving yards).

    James Jones has shown a lot of promise for the future of the Pack passing attack, but still remains an inconsistent option.

    Conversely, Greg Jennings has been exploiting defenses with ease since tight end Jermichael Finely went on injured reserve.

    So what does this mean for Nelson?  In all likelihood, he’ll probably see hot and cold performances for the rest of the season with James Jones, as there is little chance of both guys going off in the same game.

    Still, this could allow Nelson to be a useful option down the stretch, so it couldn’t hurt to stash him on your bench now if your roster has some space available.