Week 13 Waiver Wire: Breakout Pickups, Targets and Tips for Fantasy Football
When a player shines in a standout performance before a bye week, don't hesitate to pick him up even though he'll sit idle on the bench for your upcoming fantasy matchup.
On Sunday, an unheralded running back had a top-10 fantasy performance in standard and point-per-reception leagues. He won't take the field for Week 13 because of a bye, but managers should put in a free-agent acquisition bid or claim for him because of his potential opportunities going forward.
Don't forget about all the action from the Thanksgiving games. In those contests, two wide receivers emerged as contributors who can establish some consistency with their respective offenses.
In preparation for Week 13, we'll highlight breakout candidates and offer tips to help you make a push for the playoffs. All selections and player suggestions are rostered in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Top Breakout Candidates and Pickups for Week 13
Carson Wentz, QB, Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (58 percent rostered)
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (34 percent rostered)
Dontrell Hilliard, RB, Tennessee Titans vs. bye week (28 percent rostered)
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (49 percent rostered)
DeSean Jackson, WR, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Washington Football Team (4 percent rostered)
Josh Reynolds, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings (1 percent rostered)
Van Jefferson, WR, Los Angeles Rams vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (48 percent rostered)
Cole Kmet, TE, Chicago Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals (24 percent rostered)
Carson Wentz, QB, Indianapolis Colts
On Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Wentz had a hot start but a disappointing finish. He threw for three touchdowns during the first half and two interceptions in the second half.
Despite his uneven performance, Wentz eclipsed 272 passing yards for the first time since Week 5. With an average pass-catching group, he can still take advantage of a vulnerable defense, which elevates him to a low-end QB1 against the Houston Texans.
Going into Sunday's games, the Texans ranked 26th in pass defense and allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Wentz should have a strong outing with gaudy numbers in Week 13.
Fantasy Tip: Add RB Dontrell Hilliard During Titans' Bye Week
The Tennessee Titans will head into a Week 13 bye with Derrick Henry (foot surgery), Julio Jones (hamstring) and A.J. Brown (chest) all on injured reserve.
Jones could return in Week 14, but Henry may remain out until January, per ESPN's Dianna Russini, and Brown has to miss at least two more games. In the meantime, Dontrell Hilliard has an opportunity to fill a void in Tennessee's offense. He's a versatile playmaker who's played a role in the ground attack and the short passing game.
Over the last two weeks, Hilliard has racked up 215 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. In Week 12 against the New England Patriots, he led the Titans in rushing (131 yards) and broke off an impressive 68-yard touchdown run before halftime.
Even though D'Onta Foreman also had success on the ground against the Patriots (109 yards), Hilliard's pass-catching ability makes him a more appealing target for managers in PPR leagues. He's a solid pickup for the remainder of the fantasy football season.
Fantasy Tip: Pick Up RB Alexander Mattison
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook went down with a shoulder injury late in the third quarter of Sunday's game with the San Francisco 49ers. He left the field on a cart, and the team ruled him out immediately, which isn't a good sign for his availability going forward.
Before Cook left the game, Alexander Mattison scored on a 6-yard run in the third quarter. If the former sits out for an extended period, expect the latter to handle the majority workload out of the backfield.
When Cook missed Weeks 3 and 5 with an ankle injury, Mattison logged 25-plus carries and rushed for 112-plus yards in both contests.
In Week 13, Mattison could take the field as the lead tailback against the Detroit Lions, who allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs and the second-most rushing yards going into Sunday's games. Without Cook in the lineup, he's a must-start player.
Josh Reynolds, WR, Detroit Lions
Fantasy managers didn't see much offense in the first Thanksgiving game between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, but quarterback Jared Goff and Josh Reynolds may have rekindled some chemistry from their time with the Los Angeles Rams between the 2017 and 2020 terms.
In Week 12, Reynolds led the Lions wide receivers in targets and caught three passes for a team-leading 70 receiving yards and a touchdown. He could produce solid numbers for a wide receiver corps without a go-to playmaker. Rookie fourth-round wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has yet to break out in this offense through 11 scoreless games.
Remember, after the Tennessee Titans released Reynolds early in November, the Lions claimed him off the waiver wire, which may be an indication that the team has big plans for the fifth-year wideout.
Next week, Reynolds has a plus matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, who allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers going into Sunday's games.
Fantasy scoring and points allowed provided by FantasyPros.