Fantasy Football: Top 5 waiver wire pickups for Week 13


For fantasy football owners looking to end their seasons on a high note, consider adding the following 5 players. They may be the difference between a disappointing season and a playoff run.

Nov 29, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) carries the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Levi’s Stadium. The Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With only 16 regular season games, most fans would agree that the NFL season flies by far too quickly. Unfortunately, the fantasy football season is even shorter.

Week 12 of the NFL season has drawn to a close. At this point, the vast majority of fantasy football leagues are nearing playoff time.

Perhaps your fantasy team is hinging on the playoff bubble nearing the final weeks. Maybe your team has dominated the regular season and could use a boost for the playoffs. Maybe a combination of poor drafting or player injuries ruined your fantasy season, but you want to maintain a competitive team until the bitter end.

Whatever your situation, if you play fantasy football, here are the top 5 waiver wire pickups you should consider making for Week 13.

Next: 5. A real catch in New England

Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots tight end Scott Chandler (88) reacts following a touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

5. Scott Chandler

Football fans who don’t remember his few moderately successful seasons in Buffalo might be wondering who Scott Chandler is or why he might suddenly be a worthwhile fantasy commodity.

Chandler is the other tight end for the New England Patriots. Of course, serving as second fiddle behind the greatest tight end in the league does little for one’s fantasy value. Through his first eleven games, Chandler failed to post a single game with even 40 receiving yards.

Then everything changed. Facing the Denver Broncos last week, Patriots’ All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski injured his knee. Chandler filled in admirably, posting 58 receiving yards and a touchdown.

The Patriots have been decimated by injuries at the wide receiver and tight end positions, but the team will remain pass-orientated as long as Tom Brady is under center. Although Gronkowski’s injury is not season ending, it’s unlikely he will suit up for Week 13.

For anyone needing to stream tight end options over the next few weeks, Chandler should serve as a solid play.

Next: 4. A match-up every defensive coordinator dreams of

Nov 15, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Brian Hartline (83) drops a pass in front of Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Antwon Blake (41) during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 30-9. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

4. Any defense that faces the Cleveland Browns

With a 2-9 record, its no secret that the Cleveland Browns are an awful football team. What may be surprising to many fans, however, is that the Browns have yet to play their worst football this season.

With promising rookie Johnny Manziel and steady veteran Josh McCown sharing reps this season, the Browns posted the fifth worst scoring offense in the league. Now that McCown is out for the season (broken collarbone) and Manziel is riding the bench (disciplinary reasons), the Browns face a serious crisis at the quarterback position.

Assuming Coach Mike Pettine maintains his firm stance with Johnny Football, the Browns will be forced to start Austin Davis. Davis has eight career starts. Barring a miracle, he will not be ready to lead the team as a regular starter.

The Browns have five games left to play (Bengals, 49ers, Seahawks, Chiefs and Steelers). Many of these defenses are probably already owned in your league. However, if you ever have an opportunity to start a defense that’s facing the Browns this season, pounce on it. For this particular week, make sure to acquire the defense of the Bengals.

Next: 3. Running backs in Kansas City are golden

Nov 22, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) runs as San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) and strong safety Jimmy Wilson (27) defend during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

3. Spencer Ware

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to lose running backs, yet it doesn’t seem to matter.

After losing superstar back Jamaal Charles to a season-ending injury, Charcandrick West developed into a capable starter. Just as he began to pick up steam, the Chiefs lost West to injury.

Enter Spencer Ware. In any other season, no one outside of his own locker room would have heard of Ware. Yet the backup’s backup has thrived, posting a combined 210 rushing yards and three touchdowns over his past two games.

West’s status for Week 13 remains uncertain. Given the tremendous success the Chiefs have had running the ball regardless of the ball carrier, both West and Ware should be owned in all fantasy leagues.

Next: 2. A bold but valuable pickup

Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden (38) runs for a touchdown after making a catch against Denver Broncos inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (59) during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

2. Brandon Bolden

After Dion Lewis went down with a season-ending knee injury, it remained to be seen who would fill his void in New England.

Running back LeGarrette Blount is a respectable power back, but he lacks the speed and pass-catching ability of Lewis. Enter Brandon Bolden. After failing to post even 40 all-purpose yards in any previous game this season, Bolden exploded against the Broncos.

Although his rushing numbers were almost nonexistent (4 carries for 11 yards), Bolden established himself as a legitimate pass catching threat (4 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown). It remains to be seen if Bolden will be able to build on his Week 12 success. However, if you’re desperate for running back production in the weeks ahead, he’s worth taking a flier on.

Next: 1. Success for this running back is in the Cards

Nov 29, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) carries the ball against San Francisco 49ers linebacker Nick Bellore (50) during the third quarter at Levi

1. David Johnson

Even though he’s still in the midst of his rookie season, David Johnson has shown considerable play making potential. The Arizona Cardinals’ running back is a versatile star in the making, having racked up rushing (4 rushing touchdowns), receiving (3 receiving touchdowns), and returning (598 kickoff return yards) production.

The only limit to Johnson’s upside has been a lack of playing time. He has spent the majority of the season stuck in third place on the team’s depth chart behind Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington.

However, a slew of recent injuries (Chris Johnson- fractured tibia, Ellington- turf toe) has paved the way for Johnson to become the Cardinals’ lead back going forward. Ellington will eventually return, but Johnson is out for the season.

Next: 5 reasons Jets should stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick

In a worst case scenario, Johnson will closely compete with Ellington for carries. More likely, Johnson will emerge as the Cardinals’ starting running back for the remainder of the season. Having the opportunity to grab a potential 100 yard+ game rusher this late in the season is truly a gift, making Johnson a must add in all fantasy leagues.