Alexander Mattison and Brandon Aiyuk should already be rostered in every league
With Week 13 fantasy football waiver wires hitting for most managers soon, there’s not much time left to improve our teams before the fantasy playoffs — or to even make the fantasy playoffs. Which mostly un-rostered players should be added off the waiver wire ahead of Week 13?
If you need fantasy help (as most of us do), here are some undervalued players, many of whom should be available in your leagues. Roster share is based on Fleaflicker fantasy league data.
Taysom Hill, QB, New Orleans Saints (76% available)
While it was a long and circuitous route, the Taysom Hill era has finally returned. Jameis Winston’s season-ending injury and Trevor Siemian’s inability to generate enough offense have forced the Saints’ hand. In fairness, it’s been hard to move the ball without Alvin Kamara. But the reality is that this offense is in trouble, and this team is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Hill has been sidelined with a plantar fascia injury, but he was an emergency backup on Thanksgiving. Heading into Week 13, he’s expected to start barring a setback. He finished as a QB1 in three of four starts last year while averaging 10 rushing attempts.
Of course, his top targets were Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who accounted for 65% of his completions and 67% of his passing yards. So don’t assume Hill will return to QB1 form. Instead, he could be a situational streamer if things break right. For some of you, that will be enough to get you through bye weeks or injury woes.
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings (37% available)
This one is obvious but needs to be reinforced, especially when looking ahead to future seasons. RB handcuffs have the potential to become fantasy gold. A dozen or more are RB1/2s in at least one game nearly every season.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Dalvin Cook is expected to miss at least the next two games. Even if you don’t need another RB, at least pick up Alexander Mattison so your upcoming opponents can’t use him to beat you.
Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (65% available)
Miles Sanders still hasn’t earned a bell-cow role in 2021. My PFN colleague Jason Katz refers to him as a “replacement-level” RB. I like Sanders more than that, but still, it’s hard to argue with what we’re seeing on the field.
Boston Scott played a season-high 51% offensive snaps last week in a tight loss to the Giants while racking up a team-high 17 touches and a touchdown. His fumble won’t help. But his production sends a loud message that he should be taken seriously in fantasy circles.
In last week’s column, I recommended Van Jefferson and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Both scored. Here are more WR recommendations, as well as a TE suggestion, as we head into Week 13.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers (17% available)
While Brandon Aiyuk is rostered in most leagues, he should be rostered closer to 100% of them, especially with Deebo Samuel sidelined. Aiyuk was one of my favorite buy-low WRs in mid-October, and now he’s staring at potential WR1 production. Snag him if he’s somehow available.
Josh Reynolds, WR, Detroit Lions (89% available)
I was kicking myself last Thursday for overlooking Josh Reynolds. “Of course,” I thought. “Chemistry.” Yes, chemistry. He caught more than 100 passes thrown by Jared Goff in his first four NFL seasons in a Rams uniform before both shipped off to new terrains — Goff to Detroit and Reynolds to Tennessee.
Now, Reynolds is back with Goff in Detroit. The Lions have been desperate for playmakers, making Reynolds a terrific dart throw for desperate managers.
Tyler Conklin, TE, Minnesota Vikings (55% available)
One of my favorite under-the-radar fantasy tight ends, Tyler Conklin is the TE13. He’s parlayed a healthy 72.7% catch rate into a 40-413-3 receiving line. Nothing flashy, but nothing to sneeze at. With someone like Conklin, production is situational. Sometimes, he sees red-zone looks (6-44-3 receiving line).
He also tends to get more work as the game proceeds, with his biggest workloads coming in the fourth quarter when the Vikings are playing catch-up, or when they’re playing possession football and milking the clock. Conklin has become a valuable member of an otherwise top-heavy receiving corps. His sustained usage and snap counts suggest he’ll remain a useful fantasy streamer.