NFL News & Analysis

Early waiver wire targets and biggest risers/fallers in fantasy football following NFL Week 13

Paradise, Nevada, USA; Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) carries the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders in the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Only Monday Night Football remains on the 2021 NFL Week 13 slate, so most fantasy football managers will now be turning their gaze to Week 14 to try to gain an advantage in their fantasy leagues.

It’s important not to overreact to individual stat lines. For example, some players scored two touchdowns this week yet probably won’t do that again this season, while other players saw the field for most of their team's snaps but couldn't quite make it to the end zone.

Remember: chase the usage, not the box score.

Here are some early waiver wire targets, as well as the biggest risers and fallers from NFL Week 13. For a more detailed 32-team view of the week, including snap counts, check out the Complete Week 13 Fantasy Football Recap.

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Waiver Wire Targets

WR K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings: Adam Thielen suffered a high-ankle sprain early in the first quarter and was later ruled out of the game. Second-year receiver Osborn took over as the starter after playing as the Vikings' third receiver all season. Dede Westbrook went from rarely playing to seeing snaps in three-receiver sets. Osborn caught four of his seven targets for 47 yards and a touchdown.

The Vikings play again on Thursday Night Football, so Osborn will likely remain a starter for one week. He should have a high target share in that game, giving him a good floor.

WR Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buccaneers have been without Antonio Brown since Week 6, and he will be out at least two more games due to suspension. Second-year wideout Tyler Johnson had taken over as the third wide receiver but was held to one catch for single-digit yards in each of the previous two games.

Veteran Perriman handled the No. 3 wide receiver duties for yesterday’s game. He caught only one pass for five yards. He is worth a waiver target in deeper leagues, as he could see significant targets if there is an injury. He could also see more targets just by earning Tom Brady’s trust.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Snaps Routes Run Targets
Mike Evans 65 49 10
Chris Godwin 64 47 17
Breshad Perriman 59 46 3
Tyler Johnson 9 7 1
Scotty Miller 4 2 0
Total 70 51 51

RB Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles didn’t have Jordan Howard on Sunday due to injury, and Boston Scott was restricted to two offensive snaps after not practicing all week with an illness. This left Philadelphia with Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell.

Philadelphia relied so much on their backs that both found success. Sanders had a career-high 24 carries for 120 yards, while Kenneth Gainwell had 11 touches and a touchdown.

Sanders suffered an ankle injury late in the game, which only increased Gainwell’s usage. All four Eagles backs should be on rosters. All four have a chance to be at least flex options depending on who is and isn’t healthy next week. Gainwell is the running back that is healthiest, giving him a decent chance to have a role next week as well as the rest of the season.

RB Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars: James Robinson was questionable coming into the game with a heel and knee injury. He started the game, fumbled on the first drive and was held out for 22 minutes. He and Hyde split time the rest of the way, and both backs finished with 24 yards on the ground.

Robinson will be hard to start until he gets healthier. And with the Jaguars out of playoff contention, Jacksonville could consider shutting down Robinson for the rest of the season. Hyde is worth a waiver-wire target just in case Jacksonville goes that route.

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Biggest Risers

RB Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team: J.D. McKissic missed Sunday’s game with a concussion, and Wendall Smallwood was elevated from the practice squad to take McKissic’s spot. He and Antonio Gibson split snaps on third-and-long while Gibson received all of the third-and-short work. He ended up playing eight of a possible 14 third-and-short snaps. Ideally, McKissic is able to play again next week, but this could be big news for 2022. McKissic is a free agent, and this game showed that Gibson could be a backfield's third-down back by himself. He could be a high first-round fantasy pick next year if McKissic leaves in free agency and isn’t replaced.

Washington Football Team Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
Antonio Gibson 55 22 6 23
Wendell Smallwood 5 3 2 1
Jaret Patterson 4 2 0 1
Total 67 33 30 28

WR DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins: Parker had an OK first month of the season but has played in just one game since Week 4. He was activated off injured reserve Saturday and returned to the Dolphins' starting lineup. He didn’t see as much playing time as usual but still played the second-most snaps among the Miami wide receivers. He put together a solid game of five catches for 62 yards. He will likely see even more playing time in Week 15 after Miami’s bye week, leaving less time for the backups.

TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons: The rookie tight end had an okay day in terms of his box score stats, tallying 48 yards on four catches. His playing time was the big reason to be excited about his future. Prior to Week 13, he was consistently playing around 80% of offensive snaps, or around 42-48 snaps each game. He far surpassed those marks against the Buccaneers, playing 67 of a possible 71 snaps. He finally started seeing playing time similar to the elite fantasy tight ends. Assuming the increased role persists, he will be even more reliable going forward.

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Biggest Fallers

RB Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons: Patterson enjoyed an excellent start to the season, but his playing time declined due to injury. He no longer showed up on the injury report with an ankle injury, but he stayed under 50% of the Falcons' offensive snaps for the third straight game. Atlanta still relies on him as its primary rusher, but he hasn’t been as involved in the passing game. He ran the ball 13 times for 78 yards but only caught three passes for 18 yards. He should remain in fantasy starting lineups, but it will be difficult for him to be a top-five back with this role.

WR Odell Beckham, Los Angeles Rams: Beckham had a small role in his first game with the Rams in Week 10 and then he played all but one offensive snap in Week 12. His role was so large that week because Bennett Skowronek missed the game with an injury. The rookie was back this week, so Beckham only played 56%  of the team's pass routes. The former Cleveland Brown scored a touchdown but only caught two passes. It will be a little harder to trust Beckham knowing he’s a clear third on the depth chart.

WR Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens rookie didn’t catch his only target in this game. He was playing over 60% of playing time once he joined the Ravens lineup in Week 6, but his playing time decreased once Sammy Watkins returned from injury in Week 10. This was the second straight week he played in less than half of Baltimore's offensive snaps. There is a chance he has a big game at some point over the last five weeks of the season, but it’s unlikely he has multiple strong performances. He can bt cut in most league formats.

Baltimore Ravens Snaps Routes Run Targets
WR
Marquise Brown 64 43 7
Devin Duvernay 44 29 3
Sammy Watkins 34 26 6
Rashod Bateman 33 18 1
James Proche 6 5 0
Tylan Wallace 1 0 0
Total 74 47 36
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