When it comes to fantasy football, injuries can be detrimental to the season-long success of your fantasy squad and can leave you scrambling for plug-in starters, especially after another action-packed, injury-riddled week of football. There are SIX teams on bye this week (BAL, BUF, NYG, CHI, LV, MIN), which is why you will need to work the fantasy football waiver wire to grab high-upside players to help fill these empty roster spots and reduce that Sunday morning pre-kickoff panic.
If you’re looking to do just that, here are the best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 13 that could help push your fantasy team in the right direction.
All players must be owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues to be included in the best fantasy football waiver wire pickups weekly column. All ownerships for waiver wire players will be provided and will reflect that of Tuesday morning.
QB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Matthew Stafford Fantasy Ownership (31.1%)
It’s Week 13 and there are slim pickings. Matthew Stafford is back and throwing the ball 30-plus times a game. His weapons in Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua are as good as it gets and he’s coming off his best performance of the season (229 yards and 4 passing TDs).
The Rams offense looked rejuvenated with Kyren Williams back in the mix and I’m willing to bet they can string together some solid offensive performances against the injury-riddled Browns, Ravens and Commanders, especially with the playoffs on the horizon. Stafford has gone under double-digit fantasy points just once this season but also has only produced one 20-plus point performance (last week), so you get what you get with him.
RB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Jeff Wilson Jr. Fantasy Ownership (27.3%)
I wouldn’t normally suggest rostering the RB3 of any team unless the two lead-backs were injury-prone. Oh, wait, that applies here. While Raheem Mostert has managed his health well this season, De’Von Achane has not and could miss next week with the same ailing knee injury. Jeff Wilson Jr. was activated off injured reserve in Week 7 and hasn’t been productive whatsoever but totaled 14 touches for 73 yards and 10.3 fantasy points last week while Achane was sidelined.
It is Week 13 and we don’t have time for stashes anymore but the Dolphins’ offense is forever explosive and as long as Wilson is splitting snaps, the fantasy production is bound to be there for the most part.
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WR Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Jayden Reed Fantasy Ownership (31.6%)
Jayden Reed made Week 12’s list of the top waiver wire pickups and here is again. Reed has totaled at least 11.1 fantasy points in five of the last six games and has proven to be the Packers’ true gadget player. He hasn’t seen fewer than three targets and has also totaled six carries in that span. With the Packers’ offense seemingly starting to figure it out offensively, Reed is by far the most enticing add of the week, especially because of the bye week.
This week’s matchup against the Chiefs could be quite challenging for Reed but his upcoming matchups as the fantasy playoffs near are enticing and enough for me to prioritize adding him in as many leagues as possible. Every season, a player emerges late in the season and is the reason for fantasy managers winning it all.
TE Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Pat Freiermuth Fantasy Ownership (42.0%)
Only because he’s been on injured reserve for multiple weeks, Pat Freiermuth has fallen under that 50 percent threshold in most fantasy leagues. The Steelers’ offense is certainly avoidable considering they don’t produce points and Kenny Pickett doesn’t throw for many yards but they fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada and it gave them a little bit of juice. Just a little, though.
Freiermuth hauled in 9-of-11 targets for 120 yards last week versus the Bengals and should be Pickett’s go-to target moving forward. Pittsburgh just can’t get the ball downfield and Freiermuth will always be across the middle of the field or in the flat waiting for Pickett to find him. Tight ends are already inconsistent enough so it’s likely a good idea to prioritize Freiermuth if you’re in dire need of tight end production.