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Fantasy Football Week 13 Waiver Wire Pickups - Best Free Agent Adds Include Jordan Love, Roschon Johnson, Joshua Palmer, more

Roschon Johnson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

Welcome everyone to the fantasy football Week 13 waiver wire! I’m here as always to help you make the best fantasy waiver pickups for Week 13. There are a lot of other quality players to look at adding this week on the waiver wire. This article is challenging to make relevant to all the different kinds of leagues out there. There are different league sizes, scoring settings, and roster requirements, which can make things difficult. As a general rule of thumb, I'll only be looking at players with a rostership percentage of 50% or lower, according to Yahoo! rostership percentages.

One thing I'll be adding this year is a category distinction for all players. This should help you figure out which players to add based on what your waiver wire goals are. Keep in mind that players can qualify for multiple distinctions. Those distinctions will be as follows:

  • BC: Breakout Candidate – This is a player who may not be startable yet, but has a good chance of breaking out and becoming a weekly starter at some point in the season. If you're not in need of a starter this week, these are the players you should be targeting off the waiver wire.
  • WS: Weekly Streamer – This is a player who is not a weekly starter or even someone you cannot drop, but rather they are someone you can target if the matchup is right or if you're desperate for a one-time starter. This is likely to be a quarterback or tight end.
  • DP: Depth Player – This is a player who reminds me of a quote from Bad Santa, "They can't all be winners, now can they?" Obviously, we'd all love to have breakout players, but it's also important to have quality depth players who can be started during bye weeks and be decent injury-replacement players.
  • DL: Deep League Add – This is for competitive 12-team leagues or larger.
  • IF: Injury Fill-In – This is a player who will be a weekly spot starter during the starter's absence due to injuries.
  • MA: Must Add – This is a player who due to any number of circumstances, now finds himself as a weekly fantasy starter and is someone fantasy managers should be adding to their teams.
  • UH: Upside Handcuff – This is reserved for our running backs who could become prominent players if the primary starter gets hurt.

All of these players are listed in the order I would advise prioritizing them by position. This includes the "others to consider" sections. If you have any specific waiver wire questions, give me a follow on X @RobFFSlayer, and don’t be afraid to reach out. I’ll be completing the waiver wire column all year here at RotoBaller and I hope to help as many of you as possible win your fantasy football league.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers – 52% Rostered

Love has been absolutely balling out the last few weeks and fantasy managers need to take notice. He's thrown multiple touchdowns in three straight games and has two 20-point performances in back-to-back weeks. He was lights out against the Chargers in Week 11 and the Lions in Week 12.

In those two games, he collectively completed 49 of 73 passes for 590 yards and five touchdowns. He scored 20.9 and 26.6 fantasy points in those two contests, respectively. His fantasy performances in Weeks 9 and 10 weren't as good as the last two weeks, but fantasy managers shouldn't make the mistake of thinking Love wasn't playing well. In those games, he completed 41 of 66 passes for 517 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions.

The Packers play the Chiefs in Week 13 and while the Chiefs' defense has been very tough against opposing quarterbacks this season, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense could put the Green Bay offense into a situation where they need to chase points. After the Chiefs game, the Packers close out their fantasy season against the Giants, Buccaneers, Panthers, and Vikings. These four teams rank 15th, fifth, 30th, and 17th in points to opposing quarterbacks this season, respectively.

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos – 56% Rostered (WS, DP)

Wilson has played really well this season. He's been incredibly consistent with 14 or more points in nine out of 11 games. He only has two games with more than 19 points, but that hasn't stopped him from being an attractive QB2 or streaming quarterback in the right matchup. He scored just 6.9 points against Kansas City in Week 6, but outside of that game, Wilson has scored between 13.9-25.9 points this season.

Wilson may not be a weekly starter, but he's a really good QB2 and one of the better streamers you can find week-to-week. He has an elite schedule coming up against the Texans, Chargers, and Lions. They have allowed the 14th, third, and second-most points to opposing quarterbacks, respectively. If you need a starter for any of the next three weeks, Wilson makes a fantastic addition. He gets the Chargers again in Week 17, one of the best matchups in Championship week.

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 52% Rostered (WS, DP)

Mayfield has had two tough games in back-to-back weeks against the 49ers and the Colts. They've allowed the fifth and 10th- fewest points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Not surprisingly, Mayfield struggled, finishing with just 10.3 points against San Francisco and just 13.4 points this past weekend against Indianapolis.

Prior to these two weeks, Mayfield had three consecutive games of scoring more than 18 points. This shouldn't be a turn-off. Mayfield is, after all, a streamer. He shouldn't be started in those really tough matchups and we shouldn't be surprised when he struggles. This upcoming week, Tampa will play Carolina, who has also been really tough against quarterbacks. They've allowed the third-fewest points to quarterbacks, but a lot of that is due to just how bad their rushing defense has been. Teams have intelligently opted to attack the Carolina defense on the ground.

Carolina's poor offense also never puts any pressure on the opposing team to have to score more points. However, Tampa's rushing offense has been just as bad as Carolina's rushing defense. Don't be surprised if Tampa still leans on the passing game to move the ball. In a pinch, Mayfield is a decent streamer in Week 13.

In Weeks 14 and 16, Tampa plays against Atlanta and Jacksonville. Those two teams allow the sixth and 11th-most points to opposing quarterbacks this season, respectively. Mayfield should be a quality start in both of those weeks. In Weeks 15 and 17, they'll face off against the Packers and the Saints. Neither opponent has been a friendly matchup for quarterbacks. Still, Mayfield's remaining schedule allows for fantasy managers to confidently use him in three out of five weeks. Mayfield has scored 16 or more points in seven out of 11 games and has scored over 20 twice.

Others to consider: Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams – 48% Rosterd (WS, DP), Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints – 44% Rostered (WS, DP), Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts – 16% Rostered (WS, DP), Will Levis, Tennessee Titans – 25% Rostered (WS, DL), Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons – 7% Rostered, Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers – 16% Rostered

 

Running Backs - Waiver Wire Option

Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts – 49% Rostered (MA, UH, DP)

Moss is one of the better handcuffs available to fantasy managers. While his role had been trending down in recent weeks as the team ramped up Jonathan Taylor's workload, Moss' value may have received a real boost. He should now be added in any and all leagues. There are reports that Taylor could be headed to IR with a wrist injury. At this time, there is very little information available as to what kind of injury Taylor suffered. He played a full game last week and there did not seem to be any sign of trouble. With the possibility that Moss might be walking back into a workhorse role, he becomes a must add player.

From Weeks 2-8, Moss had five double-digit point performances out of seven games. This included performances of 21.5 half-PPR points, 32.5 and 18.7. During this seven-week stretch, Moss averaged 16.7 half-PPR points per game. He also averaged over 20 touches per game. If Taylor is not available this weekend, Moss would become a top-12 play. Even if Taylor is active, his injury status could mean that Moss can still provide flex value to fantasy managers.

Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers – 17% Rostered (UH, DP)
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles – 27% Rostered (UH, DP)

Both of these running backs are some of the very best handcuffs in fantasy football. Both lack any weekly value. They're strictly handcuffs, but the upside in the event of an injury to one of their respective starters is that of a top-15 running back. I'd prioritize Mitchell first and then Gainwell.

We can't predict injuries, but Mitchell would become a bell-cow in one of the best offenses in the league. Gainwell's ceiling would be lower than Mitchell. His situation is the most likely for another running back to creep into his workload, even though he'd be the primary back. We're running out of weeks to bet on an injury, but if you're looking for a lottery ticket, these two are it.

Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings – 48% Rostered (UH, WS, DP)

Starting running back Alexander Mattison left their Week 10 game early due to a concussion. This put Chandler in the driver's seat of Minnesota's backfield. He finished with 32 of the team's 73 snaps. The No. 3 running back, Kene Nwangwu, played just three snaps. Chandler was a workhorse following Mattison's exit. He finished with 15 carries, 45 yards, and one touchdown. He also ran 13 routes but did not receive a target.

Chandler was really effective in Week 11. He was given 10 carries and ran for 73 yards. He also chipped in with four receptions and 37 yards. He's a different player than Mattison and the injured Cam Akers. Chandler is incredibly fast and he can rip off big plays with his speed. The Vikings made an effort to get him the ball and his effectiveness could very well earn him more touches. Mattison has struggled with efficiency the entire season.

While Mattison is likely to continue operating as the team's goal-line runner, Chandler has likely earned a role where he'll continue to see 8-12 touches most weeks. That'll put him on the RB3 radar and if Mattison were to miss time, Chandler would become a must-start RB2. If you need a startable running back, I'd add Chandler over the three handcuff running backs listed ahead of him. If you're looking for pure upside, the three above are probably more of what you're looking for.

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears – 22% Rostered (UH, DP)

Khalil Herbert just returned from his high ankle sprain in Week 11 which had forced him to IR. During his absence, D'Onta Foreman held down the fort and has been a fantastic running back for fantasy managers. In Week 11, however, Foreman left the contest and did not return with his own ankle injury. At this time, Foreman is not expected to suit up in Week 12 for their game against Minnesota. That means Johnson should enter the game as the 1B behind Herbert.

After Foreman left the game last week, Herbert played 20 snaps to Johnson's 16. Johnson played on 10 of the team's 12 third-down plays. He largely operated as the team's preferred pass-catching back and he should continue to operate in that role for the remainder of the season. If he had that role with all three running backs active, there's no reason to think it'll change if Foreman misses time. If Foreman were to miss time though, his absence could lead to a bigger early-down role for Johnson. Foreman received the one goal-line opportunity but with him potentially being out, that role likely shifts to Herbert. If you have an open roster spot and can add Johnson, I'd recommend doing so.

Tank Bigsby (8% Rostered) and D'Ernest Johnson (1% Rostered), Jacksonville Jaguars (UH, DP)

In recent weeks, Bigsby's hold on the primary backup job became less secure. However, it was hard to know if that was actionable. That's because the Jaguars cruised to an easy 20-point win last week against the Titans and were destroyed by the 49ers the week prior by 31. Was Johnson more involved due to the blowout nature of the games? We couldn't really say for sure.

We got our answer this week in a 24-21 win over the Texans. Travis Etienne Jr. left the game briefly, which helped answer the question of which Jacksonville running back would be the biggest beneficiary if Etienne were to miss time. Johnson played 30 of the team's 76 snaps. Bigsby played just two. Johnson had seven carries to Bigsby's one. Johnson also was far more involved in the passing game. He ran 17 routes. Bigsby had zero and Etienne had 21.

Based on the utilization from Week 12, fantasy managers should prioritize Johnson over Bigsby. However, I would still anticipate this backfield being somewhat of a committee if Etienne were to go down. At this time, Johnson should be viewed as the 1A and Bigsby the 1B.

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans – 39% Rostered (UH, DP)

Spears holds almost zero week-to-week value, but he'd become a workhorse back in the event of a Derrick Henry injury. Spears is here because of his handcuff value. If Henry were to go down, he'd be a high-volume play and would be considered a weekly RB2. However, the Tennessee offense is not very good. That has even affected the great Derrick Henry, so fantasy managers should anticipate the same up-and-down play from Spears even if Henry was to get hurt.

Jeff Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins – 17% Rostered (UH, DP)

De'Von Achane missed the team's Week 12 contest after re-injuring his knee in his first game back in Week 11. He had previously been on IR. Salvon Ahmed is currently on IR. Due to these injuries, Wilson was back in the No. 2 role for the Dolphins. He played 23 of the team's 70 snaps. He finished with 11 carries for 56 yards. He also caught all three of his targets for 17 yards. It's unknown how long Achane will be out, but considering he reinjured his knee so quickly, it's fair to expect the team to bring him along slowly. With Ahmed on IR, Wilson is one injury away from getting 12-15 touches per game. That makes him one of the more enticing handcuffs.

Others to consider: Michael Carter, Arizona Cardinals – 3% Rostered, Jaleel McLaughlin, Denver Broncos – 17% Rostered (DP, UH),  Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints – 5% Rostered (UH, DP), Jamaal Williams, New Orleans Saints – 19% Rostered (UH, DL), Ezekiel Elliott, New England Patriots – 40% Rostered (DL), Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs – 27% Rostered (UH, DP, DL), Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers – 15% Rostered (UH, DL), Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs – 5% Rostered (DL), Rico Dowdle, Dallas Cowboys – 12% Rostered (DL), Chase Edmonds, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 3% Rostered

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers – 47% Rostered (MA, WS, DP)

Reed has earned must-add status. He's a legit WR3 and honestly, he's creeping up on WR2 status. Reed has been a steady performer, both for the Packers and fantasy managers. He has scored 7.5 half-PPR points or more in eight out of 11 games. That includes three games where he's scored over 15. He has just one game under five half-PPR points.

He's coming off eight targets against Detroit, which ties for his season high. He has also now been given two carries in back-to-back plays. He had eight targets, four receptions, 34 yards, and one touchdown on Thanksgiving. He also had 16 rushing yards. Over the past six weeks, since the team's Week 6 bye, he is averaging 12.1 half-PPR points per game. He has three straight games with more than 13 points and needs to be rostered in all leagues.

Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens – 49% Rostered (DP)

Prior to Sunday Night Football, Beckham had back-to-back-to-back good games. He had seven targets, five receptions, 56 yards, and a touchdown in Week 9 en route to 12.1 half-PPR points. In Week 10, he had just two targets and one reception, but it was a 40-yard touchdown catch. He finished with 10.5 half-PPR points. The WR had seven targets, four receptions, and 116 yards in Week 11. He finished with 13.6 half-PPR points.

Beckham's been more effective than Rashod Bateman. In their first game without Mark Andrews, Zay Flowers led the way with eight targets. Beckham had five, which was the same number as Rashod Bateman. Isaiah Likely had six. This is going to be a receiver-by-committee approach moving forward. Flowers will be the 1A most weeks, but who fills in as Lamar Jackson's 1B could very well change from week to week. Beckham has been more productive than Bateman on the season, so he seems to have a leg up in that regard.

Demario Douglas, New England Patriots – 36% Rostered (WS, DP)

Since Week 7, Douglas has operated as the Patriots' best receiver. Since that time, he has had five straight games with six targets or more and four or more receptions. During this stretch, he's averaging 8.42 half-PPR PPG. He has back-to-back games of nine targets and has become a good asset in any full-PPR scoring league. Douglas is still a solid option in half-PPR, but he comes with a limited ceiling.

Since Week 7, Douglas has had just one game over 55 yards receiving and he has yet to find the end zone. Due to his average depth of target, which is low, Douglas is unlikely to have high yardage outputs and due to New England's limitations on offense and at the quarterback position, he's unlikely to find the end zone with any sort of regularity. Douglas won't be a league winner, but if you're looking for a decent WR3 who will score 7-12 points most weeks, he is your guy.

He's a solid player to have on your bench because he can be a decent fill-in starter in a pinch, whether it's for bye weeks of which there are a few left, or for any future injuries. Douglas did leave the game with a head injury, however. After the game, he stated he didn't have a concussion. It's something to monitor, but as of right now, it seems he'll be ready to go for Week 13.

Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers – 27% Rostered (WS, DP)

Mike Williams tore his ACL in Week 3. In Weeks 3-7, until Palmer suffered his own knee injury in Week 8, he had seven or more targets in all four contests. From Weeks 3-7, Palmer averaged just over seven targets, four receptions, and 84 yards per game. He's currently on IR with a knee sprain but is eligible to return in Week 13.

With the poor performance from Quentin Johnston, Palmer will certainly slot right back in as the team's No. 2 receiver behind star Keenan Allen. In that role, Palmer averaged 11.4 half-PPR PPG. With the Chargers' electric offense, Palmer should be viewed as a weekly WR3 with WR2 upside. It's unknown if he'll return in Week 13, but he'll be eligible to and if he comes back, he'll immediately slot back in as a WR3 with WR2 upside.

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders – 28% (WS, DP)

Samuel's rostership has dropped quite a bit after a five-week stretch between Weeks 7-11 which included one week where he was inactive and a couple of other weeks where he was injured and left early. In Weeks 1-6, Samuel played between 62% and 74% of the team's snaps in every game. From Weeks 7-11, due to injuries, Samuel played between 16% and 55%. That explains why his scoring dropped significantly. His playing time picked up this past weekend and so did his fantasy production. He had 12 targets, nine receptions, and 100 yards en route to 14.5 half-PPR points.

If we eliminate this stretch of injury-shortened contests and only look at Weeks 1-6 and Week 12, Samuel is averaging 10.9 half-PPR points per game. Of those seven games, he has three with seven or more targets and four with five or more catches. When he's been healthy, he's been more productive than Jahan Dotson and should be viewed as a decent WR3. Washington is the most pass-heavy offense in the NFL and their defense is one of the worst. This combination will ensure that there will always be good weekly passing volume.

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens – 18% Rostered (DP)

Snap shares were not yet available for the Sunday night game in Week 12, but in prior weeks, Bateman had moved solidly ahead of both Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor in Week 10. Bateman played 40 of the team's 54 snaps. This was his highest snap share of the season. Beckham and Agholor played 18 and 23 snaps, respectively. Bateman played more than double the number of snaps that Beckham did. Bateman's utilization was actually closer to Zay Flowers than Beckham was to Bateman. Bateman ran 23 routes on 30 dropbacks. Agholor had 16 routes and Beckham had just 12. Again, while Beckham did find the end zone, it was on his only target of the game. Bateman finished with four targets, which was second on the team behind Flowers.

Bateman's snap share and route participation have been on the climb in recent weeks. He appears healthier, faster, and more like the receiver we saw in the past two years. Weeks 9 and 10 were the most targets Bateman has received in any games this season. The playing time surge continued in Week 11. He played 50 of the team's 65 snaps. OBJ and Agholor played on just 23 and 25 snaps, respectively. Bateman ran 25 routes on the team's 33 dropbacks. OBJ and Agholor ran 17 and 15 routes, respectively.

Bateman is now the team's clear No. 2 receiver. He only earned two targets, but the one he caught happened to be in the end zone. The playing time and route participation is a major step in the right direction. With Mark Andrews now done for the year, there's a clear path for Bateman to earn more volume. He had five targets against the Ravens, which was tied for third with Beckham behind Flowers and Likely.

Khalil Shakir, Buffalo Bills – 18% Rostered (WS, DP) 

Starting tight end Dawson Knox being on IR with a wrist injury had a butterfly effect on the rest of the Bills' offense in Week 8. This shifted rookie Dalton Kincaid from the slot position where he had typically been playing to a full-time, traditional in-line tight end role. That meant Shakir shifted into the starting lineup as the slot receiver and he gave the coaching staff something to think about.

Since that time, Shakir has been consistently on the field and has been a primary option in the team's passing attack. He's shifted into being the Bills' primary slot receiver. His production has been decent enough for a bench option. He's scored 12.2, 7.7, 2.9, 19.0, and 6.2 half-PPR points since his promotion. He has four or more targets in four out of those five games, but never more than six. What makes him a viable streamer is Josh Allen's excellence, the high pass volume in the Buffalo offense, and the dreadful Bills defense. He should be viewed as a WR4/5.

Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions – 22% Rostered (DP)

From Weeks 8-10, Williams saw his snap share and route participation rate increase each week. It seemed as though Williams was finally working his way into being a full-time player. In Week 11, he played on 65% of the snaps and ran a route on 66% of the team's dropbacks. Unfortunately, it seems as though his role has been solidified to some extent. He played 63% of the snaps against the Packers on Thanksgiving and ran a route on 62% of the dropbacks, so it seems as though his increased role seems to have reached its ceiling.

Over the last four games, Williams has registered three targets and two receptions in each contest. While in the past two weeks, he's been one of the team's top three receivers in terms of snaps and routes run, it hasn't translated to any consistent volume or fantasy production. He shouldn't be viewed as anything more than a boom-or-bust WR5.

Michael Wilson, Arizona Cardinals – 10% Rostered (DP)

Wilson is going to be a bit of a boom-or-bust receiver for the rest of the season. That's because Marquise Brown and Trey McBride all seem to be ahead of him on Kyler Murray's target hierarchy. Wilson's average depth of target is further down the field, which are more difficult passes to complete. Wilson has been effective this year, despite it being his rookie season. In nine games this year, he has five games with seven or more half-PPR points. That includes one game where he scored 23.1 points. However, he also has two games with less than three points and another two with less than five.

He's a full-time player for the Cardinals and the offense should be more effective over the second half of the season. Murray will also be more likely to throw the ball downfield as opposed to Joshua Dobbs. In his first game with Murray, he finished with five targets, three receptions, and 34 yards. Wilson should be viewed as a boom-or-bust WR5. He missed Weeks 11 and 12 but should be a full-time player upon his return.

Murray is averaging just under 36 pass attempts per game and the Cardinals' defense hasn't been very good. This should give Wilson plenty of opportunities on a weekly basis. However, as already mentioned, he'll be No. 3 or 4 in the passing game. He's more of a deep league add with some weekly upside, but also high volatility.

Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns – 42% Rostered (DP)

Moore's fantasy appeal took a big hit with Deshaun Watson's injury. It wasn't very high even with Watson and it'll be worse with Dorian Thompson-Robinson. However, he's still worth an add in any PPR-scoring league. He has seven or more targets in eight out of 11 games. He also has racked up four or more receptions in five games this season. He's only gone over 50 yards on two occasions, but one of those weeks came with the rookie under center. In two games with Dorian Thompson-Robinson at quarterback, Moore has seven and nine targets. The production has been up and down, finishing with 9.0 and 3.9 half-PPR points. This past weekend, he caught just three of his nine targets for 44 yards.

Others to consider: Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars – 21% Rostered (DL), Dontayvion Wicks, Green Bay Packers – 1% Packers (DL), Justin Watson, Kansas City Chiefs – 4% Rostered, Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers — 28% Rostered (DP), DeVante Parker, New England Patriots – 1% Rostered (DL), Jalen Guyton, Los Angeles Chargers – 4% Rostered, Greg Dortch, Arizona Cardinals – 2% Rostered, Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals – 16% Rostered (DP), Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers – 5% Rostered (DP), Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans – 13% Rostered (DL), Jalen Tolbert, Dallas Cowboys — 1% Rostered, Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears – 13% Rostered (DL), Robert Woods, Houston Texans – 7% Rostered (DL), Marvin Mims Jr., Denver Broncos – 10% Rostered (DL), Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants – 3% Rostered, Nelson Agholor, Baltimore Ravens – 1% Rostered

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens – 52% Rostered

From 2022-2023, Mark Andrews has missed three regular season games. In those three contests, Likely has been the starting tight end. He's averaged 6.3 targets, 3.3 receptions, 43.6 yards, and 0.33 touchdowns per game. He averaged 8.0 half-PPR PPG. That would rank as the TE10 this season, tied with Dallas Goedert. His per-game averages in those three games would result in 108 targets, 57 receptions, 742 yards, and six touchdowns over 17 games. In his first game since the injury to Mark Andrews, Likely finished second on the team with six targets. He caught four of them for 40 yards. He should be considered a weekly starter moving forward and will often find himself ranked between TE8-14 for the rest of the season.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers – 48% Rostered (WS, DP)

Freiermuth has struggled with injuries this season and due to injury-shortened contests, there are limited games to look at from this season. Needless to say, most of his per-game averages from this year are not the most accurate representation of who Freiermuth is. I’d argue it’s more predictive to look at a larger sample. Such as in 2022 when Kenny Pickett was also under center for most of the year.

Route Participation Routes Run Per Game Target Share Target Per Game Receptions Per Game Yards Per Game Half-PPR PPG
72.8% 24.6 19.0% 6.1 3.9 45.8 7.3

Freiermuth had a good, but not great route participation rate. However, 73% is good enough to be considered a weekly starter. His 19% target share is elite. There are only five tight ends with a higher target share this season. Using his per-game averages from 2022, his 17-game pace would be 104 targets, 66 receptions, and 779 yards. That’s a darn good tight end. That wasn’t a fluke either. He returned in Week 11 but played just 53% of the team's snaps. Considering his injury issues this season, that should have been the expectation.

While his snap share only increased to 59%, his route participation shot up to 67.5%. That is a great sign, but the better sign was his target share. He registered 11 targets, which clearly paced the team and he finished with a 29.7% target share. He finished with nine receptions and 120 yards. If you lost Mark Andrews last week and were unable to land Likely, Freiermuth should be a priority add this week.

Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos – 8% Rostered

Dulcich has barely seen the field this season. He injured his hamstring in the very first game of the season and was subsequently placed on IR. After being out for four games, he returned in Week 6 and immediately reinjured the same hamstring. Once again, Dulcich was put on IR. He’s now eligible to return in Week 13.

This isn’t the first time he’s struggled with this same hamstring injury. He was on IR last year to start the season before first appearing in Week 6 after having missed the first five games. His rookie season ended early to you guessed it, a hamstring injury. All of that certainly makes him a gamble, but how he performed in 10 games last year as a rookie makes him worth the gamble. This is true primarily for teams who are streaming tight ends and are looking for a consistent starter. Dulcich, theoretically, has that level of upside.

Route Participation Routes Run Per Game Target Share Target Per Game Receptions Per Game Yards Per Game Half-PPR PPG
84.1% 28.5 17.2% 5.5 3.3 41.1 7.0

As you can see from the numbers above, Dulcich was very good as a rookie. An 84% route participation rate is elite. A 17% target share is very good as well. His per-game averages, over 17 games, equals 94 targets, 56 receptions, and 699 yards. He did that as a rookie while Russell Wilson was doing his best Zach Wilson impersonation, first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett was doing his Urban Meyer impersonation, and the Broncos were one of the very worst offenses in the NFL. Pretty impressive stuff!

With Dulcich’s rookie performance and the bleak play Denver has received from their tight ends so far this year, he could walk into a sizable role upon return. Jerry Jeudy has struggled mightily this season and it’s certainly possible that Dulcich could find himself as Wilson’s No. 2 target behind Courtland Sutton. There’s an upside here and because of that, he’s worth a speculative add.

Tucker Kraft, Green Bay Packers – 1% Rostered (DP)

Fellow rookie tight end and former starter Luke Musgrave ended up on IR this past week with a lacerated kidney. He'll for sure be out for the next four games. In the meantime, Kraft will get an extended opportunity to start for the Packers. Kraft played almost the entire game against the Lions. He played 54 of the team's 56 snaps and ran a route on 88% of the dropbacks. That's some elite opportunity.

That is the good news. The bad news is that he earned just two targets and finished with a seven percent target share. Luckily, one of those targets ended with Kraft finding the end zone. As mentioned above, Jordan Love is finding his groove and the Packers' passing offense is showing signs of life. If you're looking for an upside swing, Kraft is a decent shot. He's one of the few tight ends on the waiver wire who is a full-time player with an elite route participation rate.

Others to consider: Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 29% Rostered (DL), Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders – 11% Rostered (DL), Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers – 21% Rostered (DL), Hunter Henry, New England Patriots – 29% Rostered (DL), Donald Parham Jr., Los Angeles Chargers – 5% Rostered (DL), Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans – 26% Rostered, Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons – 29% Rostered (DL), Tyler Conklin, New York Jets – 16% Rostered (DL), Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants – 1% Rostered (DL),



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