Waiver Wire Week 13: Stat Projections for Top Fantasy Pickups and Sleepers

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2018

BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 25: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates with Wyatt Teller #75 after throwing a touchdown in the first quarter during NFL game action against the Jacksonville Jaguars at New Era Field on November 25, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Heading into Week 13 of the NFL season, you're likely either about to start the fantasy playoffs or entering the final weeks of your regular season. Getting your lineup right is as important as ever this week.

We're done with bye weeks, but injuries and matchups may still leave you scouring the waiver-wire for viable starters and sleeper options. Quarterback Andy Dalton, for example, has been placed on injured reserve, as has tight end Jack Doyle.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The #Bengals just placed QB Andy Dalton on Injured Reserve, ending his season with this thumb injury.

Adam Caplan @caplannfl

#Colts TE Jack Doyle (kidney) will be placed on IR, per HC Frank Reich. Huge loss. Plays typically over 90% of the snaps each game.

We're here to examine the top waiver-wire and sleeper options at each skill position—quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end—and provide statistical projections for each. We'll be focusing exclusively on players available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

*All fantasy rankings via FantasyPros.



Top Target: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (45.3 percent owned)

If you lost Dalton or have been streaming quarterbacks to this point, now is the perfect time to scoop up Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

Prescott hasn't been a consistent fantasy star, but he does offer dual-threat ability and has been more productive since Dallas traded for wideout Amari Cooper. Last week, for example, Prescott had 289 yards passing, 18 yards rushing and three total touchdowns.

This week, Prescott and the Cowboys will take on a New Orleans Saints defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Projection: 275 yards passing, 35 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 1 INT


Sleeper: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (2 percent owned)

If you're looking for a deep sleeper at quarterback, it's worth taking a chance on Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen against the Miami Dolphins. No, Allen isn't especially reliable as a passer, but he offers the kind of dual-threat fantasy upside some owners will remember getting from Colin Kaepernick.

"He did enough to get the win," Jackson Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey said of Allen after his team lost to Buffalo, per Kevin Patra of NFL.com.

Against Jacksonville, Allen racked up 160 yards passing, 99 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Allen could be in for a strong day against a Dolphins defense that allows an average of 139.8 yards per game on the ground (29th).

Projection: 175 yards passing, 110 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 2 INTs


Running Back

Top Target: Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (44 percent owned)

With Kerryon Johnson injured, the Detroit Lions relied on the backfield duo of Theo Riddick and LeGarrette Blount last week. Blount led the way as the team's primary runner, while Riddick served, unsurprisingly, as the pass-catching back.

Riddick had 12 yards rushing, seven receptions and 48 yards receiving against the Chicago Bears. He's a must-start in PPR formats this week against the Los Angeles Rams.

Given the potency of the Rams offense, we can expect Detroit to be leaning on the pass early and often in this contest. This means Riddick should see plenty of targets, as does the fact Detroit recently placed wideout Marvin Jones on injured reserve.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

#Lions coach Matt Patricia announced WR Marvin Jones is going on injured reserve.

Projection: 25 yards rushing, 8 receptions, 65 yards receiving


Sleeper: Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers (1 percent owned)

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has avoided injured reserve, but it appears he will miss some time with an MCL injury.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Chargers star RB Melvin Gordon was diagnosed with a grade 2 MCL sprain suffered in yesterday’s blowout win, sources say. He had his MRI last night. Gordon is out the next few weeks, but should be back before the end of the regular season if all goes well.

This immediately makes backup Austin Ekeler a must-start if you happen to have him. Ekeler amassed 103 combined rushing and receiving yards last week against the Arizona Cardinals and had a whopping 10 receptions.

Ekeler isn't the only Chargers back worth considering, though. Justin Jackson is a deep sleeper because he'll be sharing time with Ekeler, but he did have 57 yards rushing last week and will be in store for an expanded role as long as Gordon is out.

Projection: 85 yards rushing, 1 reception, 12 yards receiving


Wide Receivers

Top Target: Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29 percent owned)

We're back to quarterback Jameis Winston down in Tampa Bay, and that's bad news for owners of DeSean Jackson. He and Winston struggle to get on the same page, and while Jackson is a stud with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, he's a dud with Winston.

Adam Humphries, on the other hand, becomes a great starting option. Those passes that don't go to Jackson often find their way to Humphries, who had six for 54 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.

Humphries has 249 yards and four touchdowns over his last four games and has a fair matchup this week against the rival Carolina Panthers. Carolina has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts this season.

Projection: 6 receptions, 89 yards receiving


Sleeper: Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns (8 percent owned)

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been on fire ever since Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired. Naturally, Cleveland skill players have also seen their fantasy values on the rise.

Wideout Antonio Callaway has had an up-and-down rookie season, and that's why he remains a sleeper and not a must-grab. Over his last three games, though, Callaway has racked up nine receptions, 152 yards and a touchdown.

This means Callaway is averaging three receptions and 50 yards with some touchdown upside. Don't expect him to carry your team, but Callaway is a nice sleeper to hang onto moving forward.

Projection: 4 receptions, 68 yards receiving


Tight Ends

Top Target: C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals (28 percent owned)

Tight end C.J. Uzomah was thrust into the starting role after the Bengals lost both Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft to injuries. While he isn't a top-tier tight end, he has emerged as a reliable streamer and FLEX starter—especially in PPR.

Last week against the Browns, Uzomah caught six passes for 39 yards. He should be in store for an even better outing this week with Jeff Driskel in at quarterback.

A tight end can be an inexperienced quarterback's best friend, so Driskel should look to Uzomah often. While the Denver Broncos defense is very good, it also allows the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

Projection: 6 receptions, 55 yards receiving


Sleeper: Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams (8 percent owned)

The Los Angeles Rams lost a big piece of their offense when wideout Cooper Kupp suffered a torn ACL a couple of weeks ago. However, they've found other pass-catchers for Jared Goff, including tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.

Everett is widely available in most leagues, and he's emerging as a tremendous red-zone target. He's a little touchdown-dependent, but he also has caught three touchdown passes in his last two games. He's trending up and is a great sleeper if you need one at tight end.

Projection: 3 receptions, 36 yards receiving, 1 TD