Fantasy Football Week 13 Waiver Wire: Two New York Jets Headline Top Free-Agent Adds

Alex KayContributor INovember 29, 2022

Fantasy Football Week 13 Waiver Wire: Two New York Jets Headline Top Free-Agent Adds

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    New York Jets running back Zonovan Knight (27) carries the ball against the Chicago Bears during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
    AP Photo/Seth Wenig

    The 2022 fantasy football regular season is rapidly barreling toward a close, but many managers still have plenty of work to do to secure their playoff spots.

    This is a pivotal time of year to shrewdly work the waiver wire. With injuries continuing to mount, accumulating depth can be the difference between an early exit—or missing the postseason entirely—and a championship run.

    Even managers at the top of the standings who have already cinched a playoff berth shouldn’t rest on their laurels. Overturning the bottom of the roster could provide a player you need in a pinch during the postseason while also denying your potential opponents talent they may desperately need.

    With that in mind, here are five players to target with your waiver-wire claims in Week 13. All suggestions are rostered in 50 percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

Mike White, QB, New York Jets (4 Percent Rostered)

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 27: Mike White #5 of the New York Jets throws a pass during the first quarter of a game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: $5,400

    In one of the more intriguing developments of the 2022 campaign, Mike White assumed the New York Jets' starting quarterback role in Week 12 after the benching of 2021 first-round pick Zach Wilson.

    Head coach Robert Saleh's decision to hand the keys over to the backup paid off in a big way after White sparked an offense that had looked abysmal with Wilson under center, and the Jets claimed a 31-10 blowout victory over the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium.

    The Jets hadn’t scored more than 20 points since Week 6 and mustered a mere field goal in a heartbreaking 10-3 defeat to the AFC East rival New England Patriots last week.

    It’s unlikely Wilson will return to the field anytime soon following White's sterling performance. The 27-year-old completed 22 of 28 passing attempts for 315 yards and three touchdowns while avoiding turnovers, scoring the sixth-most fantasy points at the quarterback position in Week 12 heading into Monday Night Football.

    Prior to his benching, Wilson was completing a concerning 55.6 percent of his passes and had just four touchdowns against five interceptions.

    White will now try to keep the Gang Green offense rolling on the road against the Minnesota Vikings. New York's upcoming opponent has been vulnerable in recent weeks, allowing an average of 32 points over its last three games.

    Fantasy managers who want to jump-start their offenses should consider adding White, as he could be the shot in the arm their squads need to get into the playoffs.

Kyren Williams, RB, Los Angeles Rams (36 Percent Rostered)

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    Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams plays against the New Orleans Saints in an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
    AP Photo/Butch Dill

    DraftKings DFS Value: $5,200

    It appears it is only a matter of time before Kyren Williams becomes a bell-cow back for the struggling Los Angeles Rams.

    The fifth-round rookie started the year buried behind both Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr. on the depth chart, but he now has a chance to seize a feature role due to the former's struggles and the latter being waived last week.

    After going down with an ankle injury on the opening kickoff of his first career game, Williams finally returned to the lineup in Week 10. He’s since seen his workload increase each week, culminating in a career-high 38 offensive snaps in Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

    While Williams didn't show anything too special in the contest—he rushed 11 times for 35 yards and caught all three of his targets for 25 yards—his playing time indicated he's moving ahead of Akers, who started but had just 16 offensive snaps.

    It’s hard to fault Williams for struggling in a game in which the team was missing starting quarterback Matthew Stafford (concussion/neck) and a slew of its best offensive linemen and wideouts, including Cooper Kupp (ankle), but things should get easier in Week 13 with the Seattle Seahawks coming to town.

    Seattle's defense has conceded 153.8 rushing yards per game, the fourth-most in the league. It has also allowed 14 touchdowns on the ground, more than all but five teams. This matchup presents a great chance for Williams to break out and notch his first NFL touchdown.

    With the 22-year-old poised to turn his volume into impressive production, fantasy managers will want to get ahead of a potentially massive performance by claiming Williams on waivers soon.

Zonovan Knight, RB, New York Jets (1 Percent Rostered)

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 27: Zonovan Knight #27 of the New York Jets looks to stiff arm Elijah Hicks #37 of the Chicago Bears in the second half of a game at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: $4,600

    The New York Jets backfield suffered another blow in Week 12 when starting running back Michael Carter went down with a low-ankle sprain. The team already lost top option Breece Hall after a torn ACL cut the rookie's breakout campaign short in Week 7.

    Since Carter has been deemed day-to-day while he recovers from his injury, the second-year talent could end up missing Sunday's matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

    If Carter does end up sidelined, rookie back Zonovan Knight immediately becomes one of the more intriguing waiver-wire pickups of Week 13.

    Knight saw his first career action in Week 12 following New York's shocking decision to make James Robinson—the back the team acquired via trade after Hall's injury—a healthy scratch.

    With Carter exiting in the second half of Gang Green’s eventual 33-10 victory over the Bears, the Jets split most of the backfield touches between Knight and Ty Johnson.

    While Johnson was the only one of the pair to score in the contest, Knight was clearly the coaching staff’s preferred back. The 21-year-old finished with 69 yards on 14 totes and reeled in all three of his targets for 34 yards. Johnson rushed just five times but gained an impressive 62 yards and caught one of his two targets for 16 yards.

    Knight greatly out-snapped Johnson as well, seeing the field for 30 offensive plays compared to his counterpart’s 15.

    Fantasy managers will want to keep an ear out for further updates regarding this backfield's status. If Carter is ultimately ruled out, both Knight and Johnson could play big roles this coming week.

    Even if Carter can go, managers will want to at least have Knight on their bench. He seems to have usurped Robinson on the depth chart and could continue to get more touches after a strong debut.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Cleveland Browns (50 Percent Rostered)

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    Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (11) runs with the ball before an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
    AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

    DraftKings DFS Value: $4,900

    The Cleveland Browns' receiving corps hasn't been a major source of fantasy production this year, but that could change with Deshaun Watson gearing up for a Week 13 return against the Houston Texans, his former team.

    Watson was reinstated by the league Monday. He was serving an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy after 25 women filed civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault or sexual misconduct during massages. One lawsuit was dropped after the woman declined to have her name added to the petition, while 23 of the remaining 24 have been settled out of court. A 26th lawsuit filed in October is pending.

    Few players are likely to see as big of a bump in performance stemming from a change under center as Donovan Peoples-Jones.

    Peoples-Jones, now in his third year after being drafted by the Browns in the sixth round in 2020, has risen up the depth chart to become the No. 2 wideout across from Amari Cooper.

    The 23-year-old is having a career-best campaign, catching 42 of his 65 targets for 593 yards and a touchdown across 11 games, and he could truly break out over the final month of the season with a Pro Bowl signal-caller set to take over.

    While Peoples-Jones is coming off one of his more disappointing outings of 2022—he mustered 16 yards on two catches in Week 12—the Browns remain in playoff contention after a stunning upset of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Expect Cleveland's offense to fire on all cylinders in Watson's return as the team tries to make a late surge into the postseason. Fantasy managers will want to ensure they have Peoples-Jones on their rosters heading into Week 13, as he's primed for a big day and likely won’t remain available for long.

Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots (30 Percent Rostered)

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 24: New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry (85) runs with the ball during warmups before a game between the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots on November 24, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: $3,300

    The New England Patriots offense may lack a star pass-catcher, but it's a situation that tight end Hunter Henry can benefit from.

    The seventh-year veteran is coming off one of his best performances of 2022, reeling in three of his five targets for 63 yards and a score against the Vikings on Thanksgiving. He could have had a second touchdown in that contest, but the play was controversially overturned as an incomplete pass after a review.

    Despite the disappointing reversal, which eventually cost New England dearly in a 33-26 defeat, Henry could build upon that showing as he continues to improve his chemistry with quarterback Mac Jones.

    After both he and Jonnu Smith signed with the club in March 2021 to overhaul what was one of the team’s most ineffective positions, the 27-year-old Henry has emerged as the more consistent option and the clear-cut No. 1 tight end in 2022.

    He has logged 220 more offensive snaps than Smith this season and has outproduced his veteran counterpart by hauling in 23 of his 34 targets for 323 yards and two scores compared to Smith’s 20 catches on 27 targets for 194 yards and zero touchdowns.

    With New England's receiving corps failing to produce any consistent high-end performers and Jakobi Meyers—the closest thing to one on the roster—now dealing with a shoulder injury, Henry may see more looks down the stretch.

    Given the dearth of reliable tight ends available on the waiver wire right now, Henry is likely to be the best option for tight end-needy managers in Week 13.

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