Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 13
December 1, 2015 | Evan Sandel
David Johnson (26% Yahoo, 23% ESPN)
With Chris Johnson out for the season and Andre Ellington suffering a potentially multi-week turf toe issue, Johnson will take over as feature back for a powerful Arizona Cardinals offense.
A big back and combine superstar, the rookie out of Northern Iowa showed he belonged in the NFL immediately, finding the endzone four times in his first four games.
David Johnson is easily the top pickup of the week.
Duke Johnson (46% Yahoo, 56% ESPN)
After experimenting with a variety of horrendous committee compositions the Browns are beginning to realize that they should just hand the rock to their strongest back… revolutionary, right?
The only person stealing carries from Johnson the last few weeks has been Isaiah Crowell, who has two net rushing yards in the last two games, he was given 13 carries in that time. For comparison, Matt Schaub outrushed Crowell on Monday night by three yards on four fewer attempts.
Feature status is inevitably for the shifty rookie out of Miami, but Cleveland’s poor offense and tough upcoming schedule limit his upside.
Devante Parker (4% Yahoo, 5% ESPN)
A rookie out of Louisville, Devante Parker was the third receiver off the board and Miami’s first overall pick at no.14. He’s been befuddlingly unused this season, given today’s climate, in which top skill position draftees are immediately thrust into the action.
However a severe rib injury to Rishard Matthews suffered on a buddy pass from the ever-disappointing Ryan Tannehill, opened the door for Parker to run with the top unit for the remainder of the contest against the Jets. He immediately demonstrated his worth, collecting 80 yards and a touchdown in Matthew’s absence.
Although Miami’s offense, which was predicted by many to breakout, has been highly disappointing netting only 20.5 points per game, Parker should return considerable value filling in for Matthews, who surprisingly kept pace with Jarvis Landry in standard fantasy point production for much of the year.
As a no.14 overall pick, it’s highly likely he’ll return more value than the unheralded Matthews, he’s well worth an add.
Doug Baldwin (37% Yahoo, 34% ESPN)
Doug Baldwin went nuts on Sunday against the Steelers racking up 145 yards and three touchdowns for 32.50 fantasy points, for the highest non-qb total of the week.
Encouraging us that it’s not a fluke is Baldwin’s remarkable efficiency; over the last three weeks he’s catching 79% of his passes and averaging 17.8 yards per catch. Those are top-notch numbers and with Jimmy Graham now out for the year, he’ll be seeing more targets.
It’s possible the Seahawks are actually better without Jimmy Graham and Marshawn Lynch. Rookie Thomas Rawls generated the two best stat-lines of the season while performing in Lynch’s absence, and Grahams numbers over the last three are disenchanting compared to what we’ve seen from Baldwin, he’s catching 53% of his targets for an average of 15.5.
The 27 year old out of Stanford could be in for an impressive stretch run here, and is well worth picking up.
Brock Osweiler (18% Yahoo, 13% ESPN)
While the real-life Osweiler hype-train has already left the station, his fantasy value has yet to be fully determined, despite going 2-0 in his first career starts, he’s only averaging 16.3 standard fantasy points per game.
However, he’s played against two strong secondaries in New England and Chicago, and his next three games come against the porous defenses of San Diego, Oakland and Pittsburgh so his numbers should improve.
Osweiler should finish out the season as the Broncos quarterback; his arm strength and mobility allow the Broncos to actually run the ball, something that was impossible with the statuesque manning limited to the pistol formation.
Osweiler is worth an add, hopefully as your high-risk / high-reward, fantasy playoff QB insurance policy.
Scott Chandler (11% Yahoo, 3% ESPN)
First and foremost, Scott Chandler is not Rob Gronkowski. That said, the Patriots have now added their future-HOF tight end to their laundry list of injured receivers, and Scott Chandler will look to pick up the slack.
He already saw an increased workload in week 12 filling in for Julian Edelman’s fill-in, Danny Amendola. Chandler saw 11 targets, more than doubling his season high. He’s proven himself a capable pass catcher time and again this season, and with the Patriots now bereft of weapons, he should see a ton of volume against a suddenly lethargic Eagles defense next week.
He’s no Gronk, but he’s serviceable and has one of the GOATs at the QB position in the middle of an MVP-type season throwing him the ball, he should do okay.
Shaun Draughn– Managed 86 yards against a good Cards D, and has a decent upcoming schedule, Gabbert looks surprisingly serviceable, and he’s the lead back for the foreseeable future. Needs to be owned and is largely available.
Daniel Herron- Bradshaw is out for the year and Frank Gore finally looks his age with his own coach calling him, “beat to crap.” New addition to the Colts roster could get considerable work sooner than later.
Ryan Fitzpatrick- 14th in scoring despite getting knocked out of his turn to skewer the Raiders. Just dropped a 30-burger on the Dolphins, can’t get no respect, probably better than your current backup QB.
Julius Thomas- Finally figuring it out? Usage and efficiency both increasing, and plays the horrendous Saints defense in the fantasy championships. Still available in about 30% of Yahoo leagues, if you’re in contention he’s worth owning just for that week 16 @NO matchup.
Brandon Bolden- Appears to be the right guy to own in the wake of the Dion Lewis injury, most people jumped on James White who’s up to 33% owned, meanwhile Bolden still hovers around 6%. Reading Bill Belichick’s mind is a fool’s errand, but if you want to try, Bolden does have upside.
Jay Ajayi- Gamescript was awful, but Ajayi had seven touches to Miller’s eight. The Dolphins are basically out of it, and Miller is headed toward free agency. Ajayi has looked very strong since returning from IR, owning him while he auditions for the role of 2016 starter could prove fruitful.
Theo Riddick- If you simply must own a Lion’s RB take this one, especially in PPR.
Blaine Gabbert- …..Is not awful?
Austin Seferian-Jenkins- May return next week, he put up 110 yards and two scores in the first game of the year before getting hurt early week 2. If the game plan for him is the same when he comes back as it was in the beginning of the season, he’ll be in the TE1 conversation fairly soon.