Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 13: Expert Advice on Mike White, Elijah Moore, Jordan Mason, More
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike White.
No matter how deep your league is, Week 12 offered plenty of injuries and potential breakout performances to make sure your waiver wire has intriguing names on it.
Our fantasy football analysts break down key names you’ll be either bidding on or considering with your top waiver claim.
QB Mike White , Jets
Sean Koerner: White was able to resuscitate the Jets offense and led them to a 31-10 win over the Bears, posting a solid 315/3/0 passing line. However, his lack of rushing upside makes him a tough add in leagues that only start 1 QB.
He’s going to be a hot commodity in 2QB/Superflex leagues and I think after his Week 12 performance, he has fairly solid job security. Teams desperate at QB, fighting for a playoff berth should be the most aggressive trying to land him.
Samantha Previte: It is a sheer testament to how wonky this season has been that I am writing about Mike White as a potential Week 13 waiver wire pickup.
After watching Zach Wilson flail for the last few weeks, White was a breath of fresh air and led Gang Green to a 31-10 victory over the Bears. He completed 22-of-28 passes for 315 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. He is currently the QB6 with one game left to play.
White connected with 10 pass-catchers and demonstrated a strong rapport with rookie Garrett Wilson and disgruntled Year 2 wideout Elijah Moore. I am cautiously optimistic about the Jets offense moving forward as long as Wilson is benched.
The Jets face the Vikings in Week 13, whose defense has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and ranks 27th in pass DVOA. White will be a QB2 with QB1 potential if lightning can strike twice.
RBs Ty Johnson & Zonovan Knight, Jets
Koerner: Ty Johnson scored last week, but he should be left on the waiver wire. He will remain a change-of-pace back, at best, and probably ranks fourth within the Jets’ RBBC. You are better off taking a flier on someone like Keaontay Ingram, who is a James Conner injury away from RB2/Flex value.
Zonovan Knight is the Jets back who is worth taking a chance on. Unfortunately, he will be a hot commodity thanks to his solid Week 12 performance, but this backfield is extremely murky right now.
Michael Carter left the game early due to a low ankle sprain, but is day-to-day and has a chance at suiting up in Week 13. He is likely going to remain the starter going forward, when healthy. Meanwhile, newly acquired James Robinson was a healthy scratch last week. We don’t have too much insight into what led to that decision, but it seems like it was due to the coaching staff being more impressed with Knight.
When everyone is healthy in this backfield, I think it’s fair for us to view Knight how we viewed James Robinson heading into Week 12. He’s a RB3/Flex option who could potentially become a RB2 if he plays well enough to command a full workload and/or Michael Carter-James Robinson miss time due to injury.
I’m not a fan of investing heavily into murky 3-4 way RBBCs, but we are late enough in the season where there might not be many more options that come along.
Previte: Johnson and Knight were both featured heavily against the Bears.
Johnson recorded five rushes for 62 yards and a touchdown and caught a pass for 16 yards. Knight rushed 14 times for 69 yards and caught three passes for 34 yards.
The pair’s usage was inflated due to the loss of Carter, who could miss time with a sprained ankle. Knight out-snapped Johnson by a count of 30 to 15 and saw significantly more touches, so he would be my preferred add of the two, though I would expect Robinson (62% rostered) to also be in the mix.
The Jets have a favorable matchup next against the Vikings, whose defense has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs.
WR Elijah Moore, Jets
Koerner: Moore gets a significant boost with Mike White at quarterback.
When White was under center last year from Weeks 7-10, Moore was the WR6 in fantasy. That being said, Garrett Wilson is the clear No. 1 target in this offense. Moore is worth a flier in case he becomes the No. 2 like we expected heading into the season, but we can’t trust him in lineups until we see his playing time go up.
Last week, he posted a 2/64/1 receiving line despite only running a route on 42% of White’s dropbacks. He needs to be closer to the 70% range before we could possibly trust him as a WR3/Flex again.
Previte: Earlier in the season, it looked like Moore would be on the move after requesting a trade. He spent a few weeks doing little amid this drama, but he may be fantasy relevant once more with White taking over.
The Year 2 wideout found the end zone for the first time this season and reeled in a season-high 64 yards against Chicago.
Moore was the No. 2 behind Wilson, however, who caught 5-of-8 targets for 95 yards and two touchdowns. He is the WR21 in half-PPR scoring with one game left to play, while Wilson is the WR2.
I have hope for both now that Zach Wilson is benched for the foreseeable future (in fact, I think it would be coaching malpractice for Robert Saleh to play Wilson again this year).
Moore could flirt with WR3/4 numbers next week against the Vikings, whose defense ranks 27th in pass DVOA and has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
Triplett: I can’t get overexcited here considering Moore had just two targets during the Mike White offensive revival. His season overall has been a massive disappointment, with three total catches over his previous five games before that.
It will probably take more than a quarterback change for Moore to return to the WR1 potential he flashed as a rookie. However, it’s worth taking a flier on the upside of the 34th overall pick in last year’s draft. And it really is remarkable how openly Moore and his teammates have talked about how much Zach Wilson was holding him back.
Teammates were reportedly shouting things like “E’s free!” after Sunday’s game – and Moore’s quote about talking to a football before the game was one for the ages.
“I was talking to the ball, and I was like, ‘You already know how I feel about you.’ I was kissing her, and I was telling her, ‘It’s going to be soon, it’s going to happen soon,’” Moore cracked. “She told me she loved me, and she wanted to get back.”
RB Jordan Mason, 49ers
Koerner: Elijah Mitchell’s injury opens the door for a potential new No. 2 option in San Francisco’s backfield. As always, whenever dealing with the 49ers, we have to remember it’s very tricky to predict — if not impossible — but as their moniker would suggest, it can often times produce gold.
Jordan Mason is the favorite to be the next man up. He was active in Week 12 and replaced Mitchell. He looked good on his five carries as he produced 25 yards. However, going forward, we will likely see Tyrion Davis-Price and/or Tevin Coleman active and competing with Mason.
With Mitchell out of the lineup, I think we see Christian McCaffrey inherit much more of a workhorse role. Plus, the 49ers have a much more competitive upcoming schedule against Miami, Tampa Bay and Seattle.
None of these backs will offer fantasy value unless CMC goes down, and even then it’s not quite clear which back would become the starter. We could have more insight after this week, so I’m taking a wait-and-see approach.
RB JaMycal Hasty, Jaguars
Koerner: Hasty had a pretty similar week to Zonovan Knight. He shined once the starter went down, but there are some glaring differences between the two in terms of rest-of-season value.
First, once Travis Etienne is able to return to action (he’s day-to-day, so it seems likely he won’t miss any time), there is a 0% chance Hasty will be able to leapfrog him as the starter. Knight at least has an opportunity to become the starter, even when everyone is healthy.
Another wrinkle Hasty has to deal with is Darrell Henderson. The newly acquired back is still learning the playbook, but if Etienne does end up missing action going forward, there is a chance Henderson will have a much bigger role and could force a 50/50 committee.
We are at the point in the season where every team should have a different strategy based on their current playoff odds and positional needs. If you are desperate at RB, put in a bid for Hasty just in case Etienne is held out this week. Knight is the better option of the two since he may not even need an injury to produce RB3/Flex value.
Previte: Hasty led the Jaguars‘ rushing attack in their 28-27 upset win over the Ravens. He rushed 12 times for 28 yards, but was even more effective through the air as he caught all five of his targets for 67 yards and a touchdown. Hasty is the RB7 in half-PPR scoring with one game left to play.
Hasty’s workload was higher than usual with Travis Etienne exiting early with a foot injury. The reports on Monday state he was actually cleared to return, but was sidelined out of an abundance of caution. This suggests the injury was not as serious as initially feared, though it would not be the worst idea to roster Hasty as an insurance policy should Etienne miss time.
The Jaguars have a sweet Week 13 matchup against the Lions, whose defense ranks 26th in rush DVOA and has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs.
Triplett: I’m pretty sure this was what TLC meant by, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls.”
Kudos to Hasty for stepping up when needed after Etienne left Sunday’s game in the first quarter, but early reports suggest that Etienne is expected back in Week 13. Plus, the Jaguars just added Henderson off waivers last week to create more backfield congestion.
My advice now that most bye weeks are behind us is to use bench spots on any possible backups who could truly become RB1s in the event of an injury — like what we just saw in Week 12 with Samaje Perine and Rachaad White. Someone like Alexander Mattison, Dontrell Hilliard, Kyren Williams or possibly Jaylen Warren in hopes that he heals faster than Najee Harris.
WR Zay Jones, Jaguars
Koerner: Jones is a guy I’ve been higher on than consensus all year. Over his last six games, he has a route participation of 97%. And on the season, his 21.2% targets per route run rate is higher than Christian Kirk’s.
He’s got a plus matchup this week against the Lions and I’m projecting him for 5.0 receptions.
Previte: Jones had an absolutely monster game against the Ravens. He caught 11-of-14 targets for 145 yards in what was his best fantasy performance this season.
He saw more targets than Christian Kirk, Marvin Jones Jr. and Evan Engram combined and has a whopping 24 targets in the last two games.
Jones has been on the rise of late and clearly has developed rapport with quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He was solid before Jacksonville’s Week 11 bye, when he caught 8-of-10 targets for 68 yards and finishing as the WR30 for the week.
He will be in the WR3/flex conversation against the Lions, whose defense ranks 19th in pass DVOA and has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
Triplett: Don’t overreact to the veteran’s career-high totals of 11 catches and 145 yards Sunday – but don’t completely dismiss them either.
Jones is actually tied for 13th in the NFL with 58 catches after carving out a steady role as Jacksonvilles’ No. 2 receiving option. He has played at least 90% of the Jaguars’ offensive snaps in each of the past six games.
Jones doesn’t have the breakout potential of some younger options, but he has one of the safest floors you’ll find on the waiver wire.
RB Kyren Williams, Rams
Previte: Williams led the Rams’ backfield in usage in their 26-10 blowout loss to the Chiefs, recording 14 touches for 60 all-purpose yards.
Cam Akers was also involved and saw eight carries for 37 yards, though he was out-snapped by Williams 16 to 38. Based on Akers’ tenuous relationship with the coaching staff this season, I expect this will be some kind of time share, potentially in Williams’ favor.
The Rams have mouthwatering matchups coming up against three below-average run defenses. Week 13 will bring the Seahawks, whose defense ranks 19th in rush DVOA. Williams could be a viable RB3/flex option against three bottom-eight defenses against running backs.
Triplett: The Rams rookie should be the highest RB priority on this week’s list because of the great opportunity he has down the stretch – though he obviously has a low ceiling in such a defunct offense.
Williams has seemingly won the game of musical chairs in Los Angeles’ backfield, with 38 snaps in Week 12 compared to just 16 for Cam Akers after the team released Darrell Henderson. Williams produced only 35 rushing yards on 11 carries to go with 25 receiving yards on three catches. But his pass-catching ability boosts his fantasy value, and his opportunity should only continue to grow as the Rams look toward 2023.
Coach Sean McVay has praised Williams for his competitiveness and his development as a pass protector, traits that should keep him on the field.