Week 12 of the NFL season was full of fantasy football excitement, disappointment, and everything in between. There were also plenty of injuries, and fantasy teams are certainly looking to either find replacements or just upside bench depth. Here are 5 players on the fantasy radar as waiver wire pickups for Week 13 (percentages according to ESPN):
RB Zonovan Knight (NYJ) – 0.1% Rostered
Jets starting RB Michael Carter left the game early with an ankle injury in their 31-10 win against the Bears. With a healthy James Robinson scratched, Knight made the most of his touches and looked good doing it. Knight led the way with 69 yards on 14 carries, in addition to three receptions for 34 yards. The severity of Carter’s injury is unknown, and he could very well play in Week 13. Even if Carter does miss time, the Jets will likely activate Robinson. These are murky waters to navigate, but the fact that Knight had the nod over Robinson indicates he is the next man up. The Mike White-led Jets offense is more appealing than with Zach Wilson at the helm, so that bodes well for Knight. The undrafted rookie RB is available is pretty much all of leagues and is the most appealing option this week in an overall barren week of waivers.
RB Benny Snell Jr. (PIT) – 0.2% Rostered
Najee Harris was ruled out of the second half of Monday night’s game versus the Colts with an abdomen injury. It is still unclear how severely it will impact him heading into Week 13. Pittsburgh’s regular RB2, Jaylen Warren, was already ruled out for Monday with a hamstring injury. If both Harris and Warren are out, Snell would be the option to pick up. He led the team in rushing with 12 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. He doubled the carries of teammate Anthony McFarland Jr. (6). Consider Snell touchdown-dependent and matchup-based for fantasy if he does get the start. However, will be facing a bad Falcons defense in Week 13 that has allowed the ninth most fantasy points to RBs this season. If Warren returns, then Snell is irrelevant for fantasy. Fantasy managers and Najee owners should still prepare and monitor the situation just in case and perhaps pickup Snell as an insurance policy.
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones – 42% Rostered
DPJ had his worst game in two months last Sunday. He managed two catches for 16 yards in their OT win against Tampa Bay. He has finished with 11+ PPR fantasy points in each of the last five games prior, so he has been producing. QB Deshaun Watson will make his 2022 debut this Sunday against his former Texans squad. While Watson will not be tasked to do too much in this game, potentially hurting DPJ’s upside, Peoples-Jones is still a nice add with that QB upgrade. Outside of the reoccurring names on these waiver wire pickups lists (Burks, Pickens, J. Williams), Peoples-Jones is a name to throw into that conversation as well. Watson’s debut will give managers a better indication of what this Browns offense will look like. Keep an eye on that.
WR Chase Claypool (CHI) – 59% Rostered
I am not that excited to throw Claypool’s name into this list. However, Darnell Mooney underwent season-ending surgery for his ankle injury. Out of pure opportunity, Claypool needs to be mentioned as the next man up. Since being traded from Pittsburgh to Chicago, Claypool has only caught seven passes for a total of 83 yards. Ironically, with Justin Fields inactive against the Jets with a nagging shoulder injury, Claypool had his best game statistically with the Bears: two receptions for 51 yards. The Bears have a dreadful WR group, which makes Claypool stand out. He is talented, don’t get me wrong. He is just not appealing because of the team he is on. We can expect Claypool to be the Bears new WR1, and he will have WR2-3 upside in fantasy. Go get him if you want to bank on that opportunity and an assumed increase in targets.
QB Trevor Lawrence (JAX) – 59% Rostered
Has Trevor Lawrence finally turned the corner? He easily had the best game of his career in their gutsy 28-27 victory against the Ravens. The sophomore QB threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns (25 fantasy points). He finished as the fantasy QB5 in Week 12. By this point in the season, you should already have your QB situation situated. However, if you are still playing the streaming game, Lawrence is becoming another reliable option. His upcoming matchups are favorable (@ DET, @ TEN, vs. DAL). This Jags offense is starting to hit their stride a little bit, as they have won two of their last three games. Lawrence is settling in and maturing as the 2021 first overall pick. For fantasy purposes, consider him an upside streamer in these next few games.
Honorable Waiver Wire Pickups: RB Gus Edwards (BAL), WR Jameson Williams (DET), WR Zay Jones (JAX), RB Kyren Williams (LAR), QB Mike White (NYJ)
Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports