Waiver Wire Watch: Week 13
Editor’s Note: We’re happy that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 13. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
Potential buyers might have been scared off after Taylor laid an egg against the Patriots in Week 11 and banged up his shoulder in the process, but he bounced back to throw for 291 yards and three TDs Sunday against a good Chiefs defense in what may have been his best passing performance of the season. He also ran for 46 yards. Taylor has usually put up pretty good fantasy numbers in weeks when the passing volume has been sufficient, but he’s had fewer than 20 passing attempts in three of his nine starts, and it’s hard to make hay on volume that skimpy. If you can stomach the risk of a conservative Buffalo game script, Taylor is an attractive waiver wire option, since none of his next three matchups are difficult.
OK, streamers, time to plan ahead. The Buccaneers have a Week 14 date with the Saints, who have given up 30 TD passes this season and are yielding 284.7 passing yards per game. Winston has thrown for more than 200 yards in 10 of his 11 starts. He has 16 TD passes and has added four TD runs. Winston isn’t an ideal play against the Falcons this week, but his fantasy prospects against the Saints are terrific in a critical week for fantasy owners. If it looks as if you’ll be playing a wild-card game or a critical regular-season finale in Week 14 and you’ve been ham-and-egging it at quarterback all season, you should make an aggressive play for Winston this week.
This isn’t the same old mistake-prone Jay Cutler we’re used to seeing. Despite having many of his pass catchers injured at various times this year, Cutler has been having perhaps the finest season of his career. As an example, Cutler has been a train wreck against the Packers for most of his tenure with the Bears, but he played error-free football in Green Bay on Thanksgiving night despite wet, windy conditions, completing 19-of-30 passes for 200 yards, with one TD and no INTs. Stud WR Alshon Jeffery is (close to) healthy again, and Cutler has favorable matchups over the next two weeks.