Waiver Wire Watch: Players to Pick Up Week 13
It's championship week and a lot of studs had less than stellar performances in Week 12. If you want to make a change, here's some guys who could make all the difference for your team in the season finale. As a friendly reminder, make sure to keep up with injury news as this article is posted early in the week. As always, Iíll get to any questions or comments you have in the comments section below.
Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis: Since recommending Henderson a few weeks back, heís rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games and has four total touchdowns over that span. Memphis is one of the highest scoring teams in the nation and plays a horrible East Carolina defense this week. After QB Riley Ferguson and WR Anthony Miller rack up their plethora of scores, there will still be plenty of production for Henderson whoís available in 76 percent of leagues.
Xavier Jones, RB, SMU: I've mentioned QB Ben Hicks and the Mustangs' multiple standout receivers a ton of times this year, but Jones has been really good over the last month. He has a touchdown in five straight games and because SMUís passing game is so daunting, he receives plenty of opportunities to produce. Most of the conference's best players have been snagged up, so go after Jones if you want double-digit touches this week.
*South Florida vs. UCF, UConn vs. Cincinnati and Temple vs. Tulsa are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College: I'm not sure how, but Dillon is still available in 64 percent of leagues. As noted in the past, he receives a heavy workload and has rushed for at least 149 yards and a touchdown in three straight games. Syracuse does not have a defense that can stop the freshman from having another monster performance.
Tarbari Hines, WR, Wake Forest: In the absence of Greg Dortch, Hines has been a playmaker with 17 catches for 263 yards in two games. His three touchdowns versus NC State were a big reason Wake Forest pulled the upset of the Wolfpack on Saturday. Heís available in nearly every league and could be an unsung hero for a championship run as the Demon Deacons take on Duke in Week 13.
*Miami at Pittsburgh and Louisville vs. Kentucky are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas: Ehlinger made perhaps one of the dumbest throws of the week when he floated a ball to a West Virginia defender which was returned for a touchdown, but he also helped Texas upset West Virginia on the road. Despite splitting some of the reps with Shane Buechele, he should be given a chance to end the regular season with a strong performance against a Texas Tech squad which looks like it has given up. Ehlinger has tremendous upside because he loves to run with the ball.
Kyle Hicks, RB, TCU: Still available in a lot of leagues, I have a good feeling that some teams will give up on Hicks due to his average performance of only 81 yards versus Texas Tech. If heís not owned, go get him because his 22 carries shows that the Horned Frogs will lean heavily on him this upcoming week against Baylor.
*Oklahoma State (vs. Kansas) and Oklahoma (vs. West Virginia) are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
Anthony Mahoungou, WR, Purdue: The Big Ten has been the toughest conference to recommend players for all season. Iíll try again by going with Mahoungou who was crucial in the Boilermakers upset of Iowa with seven catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Prior to that breakout performance, the senior had 25 catches for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Iím banking on the senior having extra motivation to help Purdue try to get bowl-eligible versus Indiana this week.
LJ Scott, RB, Michigan State: Scott has been frustrating this season as heís been great in some games and absent in others. He was great in Week 12 with 29 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown in a win over Maryland. Letís hope he keeps the momentum going against a Rutgers team who allowed Indiana to rack up over 500 yards of offense this past week.
*Iowa vs. Nebraska, Wisconsin (at Minnesota), Penn State (at Maryland) and Northwestern (at Illinois) are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky: If youíre looking for a QB fill-in for this week, look no further than White who has accounted for pretty much all of the Hilltoppersí offense over the last month. White has thrown for over 300 yards in six straight games and has 22 scores in those games. He can have another one of those multi-score games versus a FIU defense which has regressed as of late.
Kalib Woods, WR, Florida Atlantic: Suspended to start the season, Woods has returned and has turned it on in the last two weeks with 10 catches for 290 yards and three touchdowns. The Owls are arguably the best team in the conference and will play an extremely soft Charlotte defense in Week 13. QB Jason Driskel should also be considered as RB Devin Singletary is already owned everywhere.
*UAB (vs. UTEP), North Texas (at Rice) and Old Dominion vs. Middle Tennessee are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
Kato Nelson, QB, Akron: The Zips would be smart to let the freshman make his third consecutive start in place of Tommy Woodson as heís been sensational with six total scores compared to no interceptions. Plus, he gets to play a bad Kent State team which means that Akron should reach seven wins on the season.
Jordan Huff, RB, Northern Illinois: Huff entered 2017 as a highly regarded back after rushing for over 700 yards in 2016; however, he dealt with some injuries which derailed his season. He looked to be back at full strength in Week 12 with 185 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in a 35-31 win over Western Michigan. Pick him up now as he should be ready to run hard versus Central Michigan.
*Miami (OH) vs. Ball State, Bowling Green vs. Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan vs. Toledo and Ohio vs. Buffalo are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
Nick Smith, QB, Wyoming: Smith made the start for an injured Josh Allen and was ok while completing 20 of 32 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Fresno State. If he makes another start, he should be able to do whatever he wants versus a bad San Jose State team. Moreover, Wyoming has an excellent defense, so the Cowboys should have good field position for most of the day.
Ty Gangi, QB, Nevada: The matchup between UNLV and Nevada should be one of the highest scoring games of the weekend, so go ahead and start Gangi, RB Kelton Moore, WR Brendan OíLeary-Orange or WR McLane Mannix if you donít have any better options. The Rebelsí playmakers in QB Armani Rogers and RB Lexington Thomas are likely already owned in most leagues.
*San Diego State (vs. New Mexico) and Utah State vs. Air Force are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA: Lasley was recommended last week and he came through in a big way with 10 catches for 204 yards and three touchdowns. He's still available in over half of fantasy leagues and this could be QB Josh Rosen's last chance to showcase his skills for the NFL Scouts. That could mean yet another monster game for Lasley.
Demario Richard, RB, Arizona State: Both of my PAC-12 recommendations are repeats as Richard was also awesome in Week 12 with 119 rushing yards and three touchdowns. No reason not to expect a repeat performance against Arizona as Oregon racked up 353 rushing yards versus the Wildcats on Saturday. Richard has a touchdown in three straight games and is owned in just 10 percent of leagues.
*Oregon State vs. Oregon and Colorado vs. Utah are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri: The Tigers pulled off an impressive win at Vanderbilt on Saturday and Okwuegbunam was the leading receiver with five catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns. The tight end now has nine touchdowns on the season. Missouri should put up all kinds of points against Arkansas this week, so expect Okwuegbunam to get involved once again.
Kyle Shurmur, QB, Vanderbilt: Itís hard to recommend Shurmur after he threw three interceptions in the 45-17 loss at home on Saturday, but Tennessee is a team trending in the opposite direction of Missouri. The Vols have given up a combined 80 points over the last two weeks, so Iíll take Shurmur, who has attempted at least 43 passes in each of his last two games. He should be able to finish the season on a positive note.
*Mississippi State (vs. Ole Miss), Louisville at Kentucky and Texas A&M vs. LSU are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
Trey Ragas, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette: Ragas has been great this season with at least one touchdown in most of his games. He did serve a one-game suspension when the team was beat up by Ole Miss in Week 11, but he came back on Saturday and rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns versus New Mexico State. Heís available in most leagues and should have a big week versus Georgia Southern.
Warren Wand, RB, Arkansas State: Wand appeared to be back and healthy versus Texas State with 29 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown. Heíll have all kinds of room to run versus the Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe as they like to play in games with a lot of points. Wand is available in 87 percent of leagues and is a strong play during championship week.
*Troy (vs. Texas State), App State vs. Georgia State and Idaho vs. New Mexico State are soft matchups so if any of their starters are available, they should be considered for this week.
DEFENSES to Stream for Week 13
Northwestern (at Illinois) Ė The Wildcats have reached their stride as they were masterful in a 39-0 shutout of Minnesota in Week 12. Illinois shouldnít be able to score many versus this squad.
Oklahoma State (vs. Kansas) Ė The Cowboys havenít been known to limit opposing defenses as they usually just outscore their opponents. That wonít be necessary against Kansas.
Florida State (at Florida) Ė If you used the Seminoles against Delaware State, just keep them in there against Florida.
Troy (vs. Texas State) Ė The Trojans are the class of the Sun Belt, so the Bobcats should have no chance to score.
Wyoming (at San Jose State) Ė Always go against the Spartans.