Each week I’ll list the best widely available free agents for fantasy football — I define “widely available” as being owned in around half of all ESPN or Yahoo leagues — and some guys who are probably better off in the free agent pool than collecting dust on your roster.
Follow me on Twitter @UTEddieBrown if you have questions throughout the week.
Here’s my best bets off the waiver wire for Week 13:
RB Alexander Mattison, Vikings (ESPN: 34; Yahoo: 52%): Dalvin Cook dislocated his shoulder in Sunday’s loss at San Francisco and will likely miss at least the next two games against the Lions and Steelers.
WR Kendrick Bourne, Patriots (ESPN: 15%; Yahoo: 23%): Bourne is the WR20 in standard formats (WR23 in PPR) this season. He’s actually a top-10 option (WR9) in standard since Week 3.
QB Carson Wentz, Colts (ESPN: 44%; Yahoo: 58%): Wentz is the QB11 overall this season. He’s QB7 since Week 8. Sometimes, it takes longer for us to shake off a negative narrative. We need to let last season go because there’s no logical reason for Wentz to be available in this many leagues. In 12 games last season, he had 16 touchdown passes against 15 interceptions and was sacked 50 times. Through 12 games this season, he has 21 touchdowns against five interceptions and has only been sacked 21 times. The change of scenery has made a difference.
RB Jamaal Williams, Lions (ESPN: 46%; Yahoo: 40%): D’Andre Swift will almost certainly miss this week’s game against the Vikings with a sprained shoulder. Williams usually produces when given the opportunity — he had 83 total yards on 20 touches (five receptions) against the Bears on Sunday.
QB Taysom Hill, Saints (ESPN: 2%; Yahoo: 5%): It looks like Hill will start at quarterback against the Cowboys on Thursday night. The well paid Swiss Army knife has top-10 upside.
BONUS: RB Sony Michel, Rams (ESPN: 24%; Yahoo: 27%): Darrell Henderson hurt his quad against the Packers and isn’t exactly a quick healer. He’ll be limited in practice this week and it wouldn’t surprise me if Michel gets the lion’s share of work against the Jaguars this week.
BONUS: WR Josh Reynolds, Lions (ESPN: <1%; Yahoo: 1%): Reynolds was Jared Goff’s most-targeted receiver in his second game with the team — the two clearly have leftover chemistry from their four years together in Los Angeles. Anyone who can actually coax Goff to throw the ball downfield is worth a look. Reynold’s Thanksgiving touchdown traveled 39 yards, which must have felt like a million miles to Goff.
BONUS: TE Foster Moreau, Raiders (ESPN: 1%; Yahoo: 1%): Moreau had 60 yards and a touchdown on six receptions (six targets) in Week 7 against the Eagles when Darren Waller was sidelined with an ankle injury. Waller is currently week-to-week with a knee injury.
BONUS: RB Matt Breida, Bills (ESPN: 6%; Yahoo: 23%): Zack Moss was a healthy scratch on Thanksgiving. Buffalo’s backfield has been a nightmare this season, but Breida has always been a gamebreaker and it appears he still has some juice left — he has three total touchdowns the last three games.
BONUS: WR Russell Gage, Falcons (ESPN:19%; Yahoo: 17%): Gage has received 32 targets in his last five games with 22 receptions — this includes zero catches against the Cowboys in Week 10. He’s a solid flex option with WR3 upside.
BONUS: TE Jack Doyle, Colts (ESPN: 1%; Yahoo: 1%): I know the proximity of Mo Alie-Cox makes some hesitant to trust Doyle, but the veteran has at least five targets in three straight games and three touchdowns in his last five games. Alie-Cox has only received five targets once this season (Week 4 against the Dolphins).
BONUS: WR DeSean Jackson, Raiders (ESPN: 3%; Yahoo: 5%): Jackson remains the quintessential boom-or-bust option in fantasy, but at least it’s good to know the boom still applies.
BONUS: RB Dontrell Hilliard, Titans (ESPN: 28%; Yahoo: 29%): Hilliard has thrived with an average of 14 touches the last two games. He’s produced 215 total yards and a touchdown with nine receptions. Both he and D’Onta Foreman (ESPN: 41%; Yahoo: 46%) deserve to be rostered — Foreman finished with 109 rushing yards against the Patriots — but are on a bye this week.
BONUS: RB Chuba Hubbard, Panthers (ESPN: 33%; Yahoo: 40%): Hubbard was RB18 in standard formats during the five games Christian McCaffrey missed earlier this season.
Ameer Abdullah (ESPN: <1%; Yahoo: 1%) likely deserves consideration in deeper PPR formats — he has 13 receptions the last five games and could see a usage increase. However, the upside is limited for both with Cam Newton likely bogarting goal-line carries when they return from a bye.
BONUS: D/ST Colts (ESPN: 52%; Yahoo: 60%): Indianapolis has been the fifth-best option in fantasy this season and could have been dropped in your league last week with a difficult matchup against the Buccaneers. It next faces a Houston offensive line that has allowed five sacks in three of the last four games.
BONUS: D/ST Vikings (ESPN: 15%; Yahoo: 18%): Minnesota has been a borderline starting option (13th ranked overall) this season, and especially struggled with containing wide receivers, but it faces the Lions this week and will likely be focused after getting bullied against the 49ers on Sunday.
RB Christian McCaffrey, Panthers: McCaffrey will miss the remainder of the season with a left ankle injury suffered in the first half against the Dolphins on Sunday.
RB Darrel Williams, Chiefs: Williams went from averaging 20 touches in his last three games to only six in Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s return.
WR Emmanuel Sanders, Bills: I’m hesitant to suggest this because of how explosive Buffalo’s offense is capable of being, and my respect for Sanders, but his usage has waned significantly in the last five games. He averaged 6.5 targets before the Bills’ Week 7 bye. He’s averaged 4.4 since and has surpassed 28 yards once in that span.
RB Mike Davis, Falcons: Davis is rostered in over half of ESPN and Yahoo leagues while only surpassing double-digit touches twice since Week 5.
RB D’Ernest Johnson, Browns: Johnson only played six snaps and didn’t touch the football with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt both healthy.