Like the skull-cracking hangover that you know is coming as you line up one more Jagerbomb, there are brief glimpses of the offseason peppered through the hazy blur of an NFL campaign.
Your team’s bye-week is one. The Sunday night when you’re forced to go to that family thing and the 3G just won’t can’t handle RedZone’s touchdowny-y goodness (it’s always the Gamepass app lads).
Another is the week when the joy of fantasy football drifts off for another season.
For half of most leagues, that point is imminent, as the wheat is separated from the chaff over the coming weeks in your league.
But we’re ones for wringing every last drop of enjoyment from decimal scoring systems and desperate tight end plays, even if it means starting some guy called Dan Arnold.
So if you’ve lost the likes of Leonard Fournette, Melvin Gordon, or possibly Marlon Mack for your crucial week 13 game, you should be in the hunt for some of these waiver wire adds….
Austin Ekeler – RB Chargers
The Chargers backup gets top builling this week and beyond with Melvin Gordon timing an MCL sprain to torpedo your playoff hopes. He’s expected to return for the real playoffs, but until then, Ekeler figures to be a very prominent part of this offence.
He’s shown what he can do repeatedly in limited action, so may be off the board already. If so, and you’ve bench space, rookie Justin Jackson is fancied by some to be a productive back in the future, so I’d stash him in case he features more than expected or Ekeler gets hurt.
Josh Adams – RB Eagles
The Eagles have struggled all season to find a consistent rushing attck. Even when Jay Ajayi was healthy, his numbers weren’t anything spectacular.
Adams was picked up this summer after going undrafted, and looks set to be the feature back for Doug Pederson after getting 22 carries, 84 yards and a TD last week. If he’s available, nab him fast.
Carlos Hyde – RB Jaguars
Fournette gets a one-game suspension for decking a Buffalo Bill last week – Tyson Fury eat your heart out – and while he might get it rescinded on appeal, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Hyde will see most of the early down work in an offence that’s now led by Cody Kessler. TJ Yeldon is the receving option, but his partner in the backfield should be a TD threat around the goalline in Jacksonville’s divisional game agaisnt the Colts.
Jordan Wilkins – RB Colts
Another more speculative option (meaning desperation play, really) from the Jags Colts game, Wilkins could see more playing time if Marlon Mack is ruled out due to concussion. Nyheim Hines is also vying for snaps, but his limitations outside of the passing game are clear, where Wilkins has the potential to force himself into an every-down role this week after impressing with some receiving work late agaisnt the Dolphins last week.
Adam Humphries – WR Bucs
With FitzMagic having been extinguished in Tampa for now, Hmuphries should beneift from Jameis Winston’s return at QB. Desean Jackson has gobbled up targets under the previous starter, but now Famous Jameis is pitshing the ball around again, Humprhires can add to his 249 yards and four touchdowns in his last four games.
Dante Pettis -WR 49ers
The rookie’s had a rough start to his NFL career, with injuries hampering him and Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon the receiver support for tight end George Kittle’s rampaging season. Now, both of those guys are carrying knocks, and Pettis showed what he could do agains the Bucs, collecting 77 yards on four receptions and a score. If they’re hurt agains, he could be worth owning against Seattle this week.
David Moore – WR Seahawks
The Seahawks have a sneaky receiving option of their own. Moore lit up the preseason, but it took a few weeks for him to start getting the reps behind some flashier names when the real games started. He is now, and while the Seahawks passing offence isn’t a behemoth, I love having a guy like this – five touchdowns in 22 receptions – in reserve if needed.
Antonio Gates – TE Chargers
Tight end has been a disaster this season beyond a few of the biggest names. Old man Gates remains an option off the wire if you’re stuck because the Gordon injury should see more passing and more targets.
Dan Arnold – TE Saints
The Saints are another offenisve powerhouse where there’s points to be had. Ben Watson and Josh Hill haven’t puit their stamp on the tight end spot, and Arnold shared the lead for targets against the Falcons – six, with four receptions and a touchdown to boot. He’s a genuine roll of the dice, but when you look at the tight ends available, you’ll always feel better if it’s Drew Brees throwing to them.
They’ve drawn the Raiders lottery this week. Oakland have made to double-digits in their last two games, so well done to them, but there’s plenty of potential for big plays.