With NFL Week 12 almost in the books as I’m writing this, now is the time for fantasy football managers everywhere to start preparing for the Week 13 waiver wire and figuring out who their top targets will be. Make sure you check back here at Fake Teams on Tuesday as I drop my top five waiver priority adds after the entire NFL week is done.
With most of the games this week complete, here is an early look at 10 players—all under 50% rostered—who you should be targeting and working hard to get onto your fantasy team for Week 13 (percent rostered in Yahoo leagues).
QB Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (40% rostered)
Cousins has thrown at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in back-to-back games and gets the joy of playing the Jaguars in Week 13. Even without his top target in Adam Thielen in Week 12, Cousins got the job done against the Panthers and I’d fully expect him to put up another startable fantasy output in Week 13. If you’ve been streaming the quarterback position or just lost your QB—looking at you Daniel Jones managers—Cousins is well worth being your fix.
RB Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (29% rostered)
We might finally be on the verge of Cam Akers taking over the Rams backfield. After scoring his first touchdown of his career last week against the Buccaneers, Akers came back to led the Rams backfield in yards with 84 on nine carries and scoring a touchdown. Darrell Henderson led the backfield in carries (10) but only had 19 yards on those carries. If we see the backfield turnover to Akers, he’s a must add as adding a reliable RB2 just before the fantasy playoffs could be the boost your team needs to go the distance.
RB Frank Gore, New York Jets (25% rostered)
No one wants to roster and start a member of the Adam Gase Jets but with so few fantasy reliable running backs on the wavier wire, desperate times call for desperate measures. Gore saw a staggering 21 touches in Week 12 against the Dolphins, carrying the ball for 74 yards and adding 12 yards through the air. With rookie La’Mical Perine on IR, Gore is both the unquestioned top dog in the Jets’ backfield and the apple of Gase’s eye. Against the Raiders in Week 13, Gore yet again will have Flex value simply because of the volume of work he’s likely to see.
RB Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers (20% rostered)
Austin Ekeler made his glorious return form IR Sunday and immediately stepped right back into the bell cow role in the Chargers backfield. But Ekeler isn’t available on your waiver wire. Who is available however is Kelley who carried the ball seven times for 35 yards and a touchdown. Now Kelley isn’t going to challenge Ekeler for touches, but when Ekeler was healthy back in Weeks 1 through 3, we saw the Kelley have decent fantasy value as the RB2 behind him. Who knows if LA’s backfield will play out like that once again moving forward, but with the Chargers backfield fairly banged up, it’s not a bad idea to take a flier on Kelley.
WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (55% rostered)
It wouldn’t be a Pete Rogers waiver wire article without me breaking my one rule. I have to include Samuel on this list because he’s missed so much of the season and that’s caused people to forget about how good he is and just how much Kyle Shanahan will script him the ball. Against the Rams, Deebo caught 11 of his 13 targets for 134 yards and was Nick Mullens’ top target by a MILE. The 49ers play the Bills, Football Team, Cowboys, and Cardinals in the coming weeks, which puts Deebo in perfect position to be a difference maker for your fantasy team right in time for the playoffs.
WR Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders (43% rostered)
I have firmly attached myself to the Nelson Agholor hypemobile and am ready to be dragged along on the ride. While he wasn’t spectacular against the Falcons in Week 12, he still caught five of his six targets for 54 yards. Agholor has now either recorded 50+ yards or caught a touchdown (often both) in four of his last six games. I fully expect a pissed off Raiders team, after getting embarrassed by the Falcons, to come into Week 13 looking for blood against the lowly Jets and with a lot of points being scored, Agholor has a terrific chance to be involved.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (38% rostered)
After doing nothing all season, T.Y. Hilton finally did something this week so I guess I best mention him here. Hilton caught four of five targets for 81 yards and a touchdown, scoring his first touchdown since October 20th, 2019. The Colts remaining schedule is a fantasy dream for wide receivers so if Hilton has suddenly returned to the land of the living then he could quickly emerge as a reliable WR2. I’m putting his name here more because he did something and that should be recognized than because I actually have faith in him to keep doing things.
WR Breshad Perriman, New York Jets (13% rostered)
But I thought you never wanted to roster Jets player Pete and yet you have TWO in this article! I guess I, much like Mr. Austin Powers, like to live dangerously. That being said, you can’t argue with Perriman’s recent production has he’s scored a touchdown or gone over 70 receiving yards in each of his last three games. Against the Dolphins, Perriman went 4/8-79 and led the team in targets. Next week for the Jets? The Seahawks.
WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills (3% rostered)
Shoutout to my colleague Paddi Cooper who stacked Josh Allen and Gabriel Davis in his DFS lineup of the week for Week 12 as Davis went for 79 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers, catching three of his four targets. With John Brown on IR, Davis has stepped into his role of downfield threat, a role that’s vital to the Bills passing game. Davis might have a little boom-or-bust in him, but I expect his floor to rise with Brown out.
TE Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts (19% rostered)
We all know the tight end fantasy landscape is a hellish nightmare and that is why it’s so perplexing to me that Burton isn’t rostered in more leagues. FIX THAT PEOPLE! Burton has scored at least one touchdown in four of his last six games, including back-to-back games with a score and 25 or more yards receiving. It’s clear that once the Colts get around the goal line, Burton enters the game and Philip Rivers looks his way.