Welcome to the 13th edition of Waiver Wired for the 2016 season. While it did not compare to last week’s bloodbath, there were plenty of injuries to go around this week, and tight end was hit especially hard. Jordan Reed was the first to go down on Thanksgiving with a Grade 3 shoulder separation that he somehow played through in the second half. Despite that herculean effort, there is a chance he is forced to miss some time, making Vernon Davis a name to know.

The tight-end troubles continued on Sunday when Rob Gronkowski, who was barely cleared in time to play because of a chest issue, was forced from the game with a back injury. Gronk has a history of back issues, and he reportedly was moving “quite gingerly” after the game. With the injuries mounting, the 9-2 Patriots could give their star extra time off to get healthy.

T.Y. Hilton (back), Lamar Miller (ankle), Tyrell Williams (shoulder), Jordan Matthews (ankle), DeVante Parker (back), Chris Ivory (hamstring), and John Brown (hamstring) all left their games as well. Hilton tried to play through his injury, but he only managed a few snaps. He was not able to practice Monday, but both he and coach Chuck Pagano expressed optimism about his outlook. Texans coach Bill O’Brien expects Miller to be “fine.” Williams was never announced with an injury after leaving late in the fourth quarter, and coach Mike McCoy said he is “good.” Matthews’ hurt himself on Monday night, so there has not been much information about the nature of the injury. Considering their histories, it would not be surprising if Parker, Ivory, and Brown sat out this week.

As always, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-owns, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worthy of a roster spot if possible, and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or less of Yahoo leagues.

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The Drop List
QB: Andy Dalton
RB: 
James White, DeAndre Washington
WR: 
Tavon Austin, John Brown
TE: 
Julius Thomas

While Dalton was able to move the offense late against the Ravens, the passing game predictably struggled to get much of anything going with A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard sidelined. The road will not get any easier against the Eagles next week. White has less upside than Dion Lewis and is basically impossible to trust with Lewis back in the lineup. Washington was a healthy scratch and now appears firmly behind Jalen Richard. Despite the touchdown, Austin is not someone to trust down the stretch. Injured again and not contributing when healthy, Brown can be cut in all formats. After missing last week’s game with a back injury, Thomas has now failed to top 30 yards for 10 consecutive weeks.

Quarterbacks
1. Colin Kaepernick
2. Alex Smith
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
4. Matt Barkley

Running Backs
1. Kenneth Dixon
2. Wendell Smallwood
3. Bilal Powell
4. Charles Sims

Wide Receivers
1. Tyreek Hill
2. Marquess Wilson
3. Quincy Enunwa
4. Will Fuller
5. Ted Ginn
6. Malcolm Mitchell
7. Brandon LaFell
8. Taylor Gabriel

Tight Ends
1. C.J. Fiedorowicz
2. Vance McDonald
3. Vernon Davis
4. Lance Kendricks
5. Hunter Henry

Defense/Special Teams
1. San Diego Chargers
2. Washington Redskins
3. Green Bay Packers
Looking Ahead: Cincinnati Bengals

Kickers
1. Brandon McManus
2. Matt Prater
3. Nick Novak
Looking Ahead: Kai Forbath

 

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QUARTERBACKS
1. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers – Owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is so obvious there is no longer any reason to make a case for Kaepernick as an add, and he has now graduated from a streaming option to a must-own after a great performance in what looked like a bad spot on the road in Miami. He will be an easy top-ten option this week against the Bears and in the next three games against the Jets, Falcons, and Rams.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

2. Alex Smith, Chiefs – Owned in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
Smith has been bad over the last month including Sunday night against the Broncos, but he is in a great spot this week against the Falcons, who have given up the most points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. More importantly, teams facing Atlanta have consistently topped their season averages in pass attempts. While the Chiefs would be happy to keep Smith below 30 attempts each week, another 40-throw game could be in the cards, making Smith a solid streaming option in most leagues.
Recommendation: Streaming option in 12-team leagues

3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets – Owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues
Coach Todd Bowles was noncommittal about his quarterback after the loss Sunday, but he named Fitzpatrick the starter on Monday afternoon. Fitz actually played well against the Patriots, and that solid play should continue against a Colts defense which has given up the second-most points per game to quarterbacks this season and has intercepted just three passes total in 11 games.
Recommendation: Streaming option in 12-team leagues

4. Matt Barkley, Bears – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Barkley shocked the world with 316 yards and three touchdowns Sunday against the Titans, but he did not play up to the numbers. He was picked twice in the red zone early in the game, and his big day was built on the back of 54 attempts and a furious fourth-quarter comeback. With the Bears losing yet another defensive starter against the Titans, however, Barkley could be faced with a similar game script a lot over the final month of the season. Kaepernick has been playing well enough to put Chicago in an early hole, and the 49ers have been one of the friendliest defenses to quarterbacks this season, meaning Barkley should find some success when he is likely forced to throw. It feels like point chasing, but the situation should be almost identical this week. He is a top-20 option.
Recommendation: Desperation streaming option

Watch List: Ryan Tannehill has multiple touchdown passes in three straight after not managing the feat in five straight before this run, but he has a tough date with the Ravens in Baltimore this week…On the other side of that contest sits Joe Flacco, who has still yet to throw for more than one touchdown against any team not named the Browns…If Carson Wentz is not going to take advantage at home against the Packers, it is not going to happen…Sam Bradford reportedly wants to push the ball downfield more, but we will need to see it first. Dallas is not a great matchup either way…Trevor Siemian has multiple touchdowns in his last three games and put 368 yards on the Chiefs Sunday night, but the Jaguars have limited opposing quarterbacks all season…Brock Osweiler is not good enough to take advantage of a great matchup against the Packers…Jared Goff started strong against the Saints before fading down the stretch, but he is not trustworthy enough to use in New England.

RUNNING BACKS
1. Kenneth Dixon, Ravens – Owned in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues
For the first time this season, Dixon played more snaps than Terrance West against the Bengals. He also touched the ball one more time, but they both had 13 carries and four targets. The playing time is promising, but there are still a couple of problems with going all in on Dixon. First of all, West is still there and looks like he will remain involved. Secondly, the Ravens have scored 17 offensive touchdowns total this season, and even if Baltimore gets in position to score, West is the favorite for the goal-line work – West had four touches inside the red zone to zero for Dixon against the Bengals. So, even though the increase in snaps is exciting, Dixon is not in a significantly different situation than last week. He remains a low-ceiling RB3, and that will likely be the case the rest of the season.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Wendell Smallwood, Eagles – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
Smallwood’s lack of involvement and performance on Monday night were both disappointing, but he still needs to be owned with Ryan Mathews dealing with a “pretty significant knee” injury which “could linger” in the words of coach Doug Pederson. Still, it will be tough to view him as anything more than a low-floor RB3 on the road against the Bengals this week.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Bilal Powell, Jets – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
It did not amount to much against the Patriots, but Powell again played almost as many snaps as Matt Forte and saw nine touches. He is averaging 9.25 touches a game over the last month and has the Colts and 49ers up next. Powell is a better play in PPR leagues, but he is a viable option in deeper standard formats as well. He could flirt with RB1 value if something happened to Forte.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Charles Sims, Bucs – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
Of the running backs slated to return from injury in the coming weeks (Ameer Abdullah, Adrian Peterson, Shane Vereen), Sims is the one with the best mix of clear-cut timetable and potential upside. Unlike the others, Sims has already returned to practice, and it would be a shock if he is not back in uniform when first eligible Week 14. Considering the Bucs get the Saints, Cowboys, and Saints in the fantasy playoffs and Sims was averaging over eight standard fantasy points before going down, there are worse ways to spend a roster spot in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Ameer Abdullah received good news in his visit with Dr. Robert Anderson last week, but he was spotted wearing a walking boot before seeing the doctor. The boot makes it seem like he is still at least a couple weeks away, and the Lions might just be hoping to see him contribute in the playoffs. Abdullah is still a better injury bet than Adrian Peterson, but he is nothing more than a stash-and-hope…The situation in Minnesota’s backfield has not changed much since last week. McKinnon did manage to pull down a long catch but that was about it, Matt Asiata vultured a short touchdown, and Adrian Peterson appears to be at best several weeks away after it was revealed he has yet to be cleared to run…Despite DeAndre Washington being a healthy scratch, Jalen Richard played just 13 snaps. This is Latavius Murray’s backfield…Ty Montgomery is just not involved enough for serious fantasy consideration…Chris Thompson still carries some value in deep PPR formats, but his standard-league relevance has dried up…Paul Perkins did close the snap-gap with Rashad Jennings, but he was still the second option in a bad running game.

Handcuffs: As we near the end of the season, it makes more and more sense for good teams to handcuff their top running backs. Depth is not as important in a one-and-done format, and losing a star player with no contingency plan could cost a good team a shot at the title. With that in mind, here is an ordered list of the highest-upside handcuffs available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues: Derrick Henry, Alfred Morris, DeAngelo Williams (if healthy), Mike Gillislee, Andre Ellington, DuJuan Harris, Charcandrick West, Jacquizz Rodgers, Matt Jones, Kapri Bibbs, Jeremy Langford, Cameron Artis-Payne, Alfred Blue (if healthy), Damien Williams, and Robert Turbin.

Deep Cuts: Yes, Denard Robinson theoretically could be the starting running back for the Jaguars this week, but that is unlikely considering T.J. Yeldon was at least able to give it a go last week, and he was not very good when given the chance last year. He is not worth trusting against the Broncos…The Giants have refused to talk about his recovery, but Shane Vereen is reportedly on track to return Week 14. He has less standard-league upside than Sims, but he is a fine stash in PPR leagues with the Giants unable to run the football…Rex Burkhead saw seven touches in extended snaps Week 12 against the Ravens. He could return deep-PPR value the rest of the way…Akeem Hunt could be in line for more work with both Lamar Miller (ankle) and Alfred Blue (calf) banged up…Dwayne Washington improved against the Vikings, but he had nowhere to go but up. His role will disappear when Abdullah returns…Shaun Draughn has played more snaps than DuJuan Harris the last couple weeks as the passing-down complement to Carlos Hyde, but Harris would likely get the bulk of the work if Hyde went down.


WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs – Owned in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues
In a week of middling options and dart throws, Hill is the one true difference maker available on the wire. Even in the worst possible matchup, Hill managed to score three total touchdowns including a rushing and receiving score while catching 9-of-10 targets for 52 yards. It was his second game in the last three with double-digit targets and his fourth in the last five with at least 50 yards. Even if Jeremy Maclin is able to come back this week, which does not seem particularly likely, Hill has earned a significant role in an offense in need of playmakers. With the Falcons, Raiders, and Titans next up on the schedule, Hill has the upside to win matchups down the stretch.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

2. Marquess Wilson, Bears – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Tis the season to take a shot, and that is exactly the way to describe Wilson, who exploded for eight catches for 125 yards and a touchdown against the Titans. Normally I would be more cautious with an out-of-basically-nowhere game like this, but there are some mitigating factors. First, the Bears have basically no one else at receiver with Cameron Meredith proving to be a dud. Second, the defense is falling apart at the seams, meaning Matt Barkley should have to throw a lot down the stretch. Third, Wilson has had stretches of solid fantasy performances in the past when healthy and given opportunities including back-to-back 80-yard games last season when Alshon Jeffery was sidelined. It is certainly not a given he stays healthy this time around, but he should get the chances in great matchups against the 49ers and Lions the next two weeks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Quincy Enunwa, Jets – Owned in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is really difficult to put Enunwa back on this list considering what he has done following other big games this season, but the upcoming matchups make him a must-add in most leagues. While it is true Enunwa caught all of two passes in the two games after going for 93 and a touchdown against the Browns, he gets the Colts and 49ers the next two weeks. Both have given up over 30 points a game to receivers over the last five weeks. He needs to be approached with caution, but Enunwa is a legit upside play in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Will Fuller, Texans – Owned in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues
Finally looking healthy, Fuller had his best game since Week 4 with four not drops for 60 yards. There is not much reason to trust the Texans’ passing game with Brock Osweiler running the show, but he does have two good matchups against the Packers and Colts the next two weeks. Fuller has already shown he has upside in this offense, and it would not be surprising if he managed to post some solid fantasy performances the next two weeks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

5. Ted Ginn, Panthers – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
Ginn has quietly been a big part of the offense the last six games, averaging just over seven targets and 4.5 catches over that span. The work had not amounted to much fantasy value the first four games of that run, but he paid off in a big way with two long touchdowns the last two weeks. That is not going to happen every week and will be especially unlikely if Earl Thomas is able to play this week for the Seahawks, but Ginn has established a solid 50-yard floor with the upside for a big play. That makes him a viable option in deep leagues even in the tough matchup.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

6. Malcolm Mitchell, Patriots – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
Brandon LaFell is a safer bet this week, but Mitchell offers more long-term upside in a better offense even if his floor is considerably lower. Even after three touchdowns in two games, the concern for Mitchell moving forward is opportunity. He played less than half of the offensive snaps with Chris Hogan back healthy against the Jets, and unless he is able to seriously eat into that gap, Mitchell is going to be very inconsistent moving forward. Even so, he is a very good receiver in a great passing offense. That upside makes him worth a stash in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

7. Brandon LaFell, Bengals – Owned in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues
LaFell has been an inefficient mess the last two weeks in a passing game that is not going much of anywhere, but he does have nine targets in each of the last two games. It looks like A.J. Green will be back in the next couple weeks, but until then LaFell should get enough volume and red-zone looks to be valuable in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

8. Taylor Gabriel, Falcons – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
Gabriel’s big game against the Cardinals was not a flash in the pan. A feature of the deep cuts section for a couple weeks, Gabriel now has 18 targets in the last four games with 13 catches for 271 yards and four touchdowns over that span. His per-catch efficiency is unlikely to continue and he will likely need a long-ish touchdown to return real value, but Gabriel looks like a deep-league upside play with a reasonable floor. With a solid schedule the rest of the way, Gabriel could be quite a find in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Marqise Lee found the end zone for the second game in a row and looks like the No. 2 receiver, but the Jags get the Broncos, Vikings, and Texans in the next three weeks. With a limited ceiling even in good matchups, it is tough to call Lee a start in any of those contests…Dontrelle Inman is a borderline must add coming off a big game against the Texans, but the news Tyrell Williams is going to be fine puts a big dent in his projection moving forward, especially with Travis Benjamin sure to become more involved as he gets healthier. Inman will likely fall back into the 5-for-55 role he has occupied most of the season…Cameron Meredith played plenty of snaps and saw nine targets against the Titans, but he was only able to bring in two of them while dropping four. Expect Marquess Wilson to take on a bigger role against the 49ers this week…Pierre Garcon came back to earth a bit against the Cowboys, and the Redskins have a very tough schedule against the pass the next two weeks…Even likely to get more targets with John Brown injured again, Michael Floyd has not been consistent enough to trust in a starting lineup. J.J. Nelson is even less trustworthy…Russell Wilson tried to hook up with Tyler Lockett several times down the field against the Bucs, but all six targets fell incomplete. Lockett is going to have a big game at some point, but predicting it is impossible…Anquan Boldin got his touchdown and now has four in the last six games, but he is going to offer nothing without a score. He has shown a solid floor in PPR formats, however…Adam Thielen and Cordarrelle Patterson should continue to see targets even with Stefon Diggs back this week, but there has not been much upside in Minnesota’s passing game…Phillip Dorsett could have an expanded role if T.Y. Hilton is out this week, but we have already heard this song. Dorsett will not be worth using even if Hilton sits…Eli Rogers should have a big game or two down the stretch, but he will provide a lot more three for 30 performances…Chris Hogan played a ton of snaps again, but he was fifth on the team with five targets. Especially with Malcolm Mitchell surging, Hogan will be tough to trust…Kenny Stills sometimes is going to score a long touchdown and sometimes is going to record 40 yards, and that is unlikely to change much even with DeVante Parker sidelined. Have fun guessing each week.

Deep Cuts:
Dorial Green-Beckham should have a bigger role if Jordan Matthews is forced to miss time, but he had a half to himself and did not manage to do much with the work before garbage time. Bryce Treggs should also see more snaps…Seth Roberts scored a random touchdown because that is what he does. He needs an injury ahead of him to return any real fantasy value…Breshad Perriman hauled in his second touchdown in three games, but that is his only catch in the last two weeks…James Wright played 50 snaps with A.J. Green out against the Ravens…Leonte Carroo scored the first touchdown of his career against the 49ers. If DeVante Parker is forced to miss time, Carroo could step into his role in the offense.

TIGHT ENDS
1. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans – Owned in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
Fiedorowicz had a bad game against the Chargers, and he still ended up with four catches for 42 yards. He also was stopped just short of the goal line. The Packers have been bad against tight ends all season, and Fiedorowicz is almost guaranteed six targets. He remains a solid TE1.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Vance McDonald, 49ers – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
After going for 60 yards on eight targets against the Dolphins, McDonald now has at least six targets in each of the last five games. He is averaging over 50 yards with two touchdowns total during that run. This week he gets a Bears defense which will be without both of their starting inside linebackers. McDonald is shaping up as a top-12 play.
Recommendation: Streaming option in 10-team leagues

3. Vernon Davis, Redskins – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
Davis will not have any value in a very tough matchup is Jordan Reed (shoulder) is able to play, but he has proven to be a solid fantasy option when given the opportunities this season. In his seven games with more than one target this year, Davis is averaging more than 60 yards with two total touchdowns. The Cardinals are great against tight ends, but Davis will be tough to pass up if Reed is not able to go.
Recommendation: Streaming option in 12-team league

4. Lance Kendricks, Rams – Owned in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues
Good for around seven targets every week, Kendricks has turned into a surprisingly reliable fantasy option, especially in PPR leagues. The yardage upside is never high, but Kendricks has at least one red-zone target in three of the last four games. With the Rams likely to be in a negative game script in New England, Kendricks should get plenty of opportunities this week.
Recommendation: Streaming option in 14-team leagues

5. Hunter Henry, Chargers – Owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues
Healthy coming out of the bye week, Henry played just seven fewer snaps than Antonio Gates and was more involved in the offense. He would have had a bigger game if not for a terrible drop in the first half, but he made up for it by digging out a low throw for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Both Henry and Gates should be more involved in a better matchup against the Bucs this week. Henry has some low-end streaming appeal.
Recommendation: Streaming option in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Jermaine Gresham entered Week 12 with just 27 targets, but Carson Palmer peppered him with 10 looks against the Falcons’ vulnerable defense. It is not crazy to think the same plan will play out against an equally struggling Redskins defense this week, but Gresham still only managed 35 yards on those heavy targets. His ceiling is not high enough for the risk, especially with several quality options…I knew better than to invest in Jared Cook, and I did it anyway. Shame…Austin Hooper is going to have streaming value down the stretch, but we saw Sunday he is not good enough to shine in a tough matchup. They do not get much tougher than the Chiefs for tight ends…A.J. Derby had the biggest game of his career, but his snaps appear to have topped out at around 50 percent. Even in a favorable offense for tight ends, it seems unlikely he returns consistent value at that usage…Ladarius Green had two big catches, but he still only played 14 snaps. Green will need to start seeing a lot more snaps before he can be trusted in fantasy lineups…Dennis Pitta has not topped 40 yards since Week 5…Dwayne Allen had the bigger game, but he played just one more snap and ran the same number of routes as Jack Doyle. This situation will be impossible to predict week to week…Will Tye busted in a great spot. He looks like a low-ceiling TE2…Dion Sims has four targets in back-to-back games, but it is tough to see him carving out fantasy value in an offense which wants to throw fewer than 30 times a game…Clive Walford caught a touchdown. Much like life, it does not matter. Enjoy Arby’s.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

1. San Diego Chargers – Owned in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Chargers have continued to force turnovers at a steady rate, and the Bucs have turned the ball over 18 times this season. It also does not hurt that Jameis Winston has taken 23 sacks.

2. Washington Redskins – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
Carson Palmer has 14 turnovers in 10 starts this season and has been taken down 32 times. The Redskins had at least one takeaway in three straight before facing the Cowboys and have multiple sacks in six of the last seven games.

3. Green Bay Packers – Owned in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is not a great week for streaming, so the Packers are worth a look despite their recent struggles. The defense has still gotten pressure while being shredded over the last month, and Brock Osweiler does not present the same issues as a Kirk Cousins or Marcus Mariota.

Looking Ahead: 
The Bengals play the Browns in Week 14. That is really all that needs to be said.

KICKERS
1. Brandon McManus, Broncos – Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Jaguars are the top weekly target for kickers, and McManus has multiple attempts in every game but one since Week 2.

2. Matt Prater, Lions – Owned in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues
Prater has multiple kicks in each of the last five games including three attempts in four of those contests. The Saints have faced the sixth-most attempts this season.

3. Nick Novak, Texans – Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
Novak has gotten multiple attempts in all but one game this season, and the Packers have given up the sixth-most points to kickers.

Looking Ahead: Kai Forbath has not seen many chances in two games with the Vikings, but the Jaguars have faced the second-most kicks in the league.

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