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Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 13

Get ready for the final weeks of the fantasy regular season with our top Week 13 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds, which include Lamar Jackson, LeGarrette Blount, Justin Jackson, Carlos Hyde, and more.

The final week of most fantasy football regular seasons is upon us. This is the final chance to make that playoff push, and/or the final chance to get a coveted first-round bye to ensure a spot in the semifinals. Yes, different leagues have different settings, but one thing is the same across all leagues and formats: Week 13 is absolutely critical to all fantasy owners. And that makes the waiver wire the most important weapon for them in one of the most important weeks of the season.

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This week, the waiver wire is somewhat fruitful. An injury to Melvin Gordon has created an opening for a potential new lead back in the Chargers backfield. Austin Ekeler might be the main guy, but rookie Justin Jackson will have more of a role. Elsewhere, guys like LeGarrette Blount and Carlos Hyde may step into bigger roles in their respective backfields, while receivers like David Moore and Josh Reynolds have some nice matchups on deck. Rookie quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield have played themselves into the QB1 discussion going forward, too. No matter what, there are plenty of options for fantasy owners to add to improve their respective teams.

Here's a look at the best waiver wire pickups and free agent adds for Week 13. The TE and D/ST streamers are at the end of the list.

  • With Leonard Fournette ejected for throwing a punch (and then continuing to verbally spar with Bills players on his way to the locker room), it's possible he could be facing a one-game suspension. That makes Carlos Hyde a must-have pickup. Hyde is owned in only 37 percent of Yahoo leagues, and it will likely take a waiver move to get him, even if we don't know for sure whether Fournette is suspended by Tuesday night. Hyde had 10 carries in Week 12 against Buffalo, and a Week 13 matchup against the Colts isn't intimidating, especially considering what Fournette did against them in Week 10 (109 total yards, two TDs).

  • Taking over for Kerryon Johnson (knee), Blount dominated in a tough Week 12 matchup against the Bears, running 19 times for 88 yards and two scores. If Johnson is out in Week 13 -- a very real possibility -- Blount should see double-digit touches again in a better matchup against the Rams. With the Lions all but out of the playoff picture, it's unlikely they'll rush Johnson back, so Blount could have value in the fantasy playoffs.

  • Marlon Mack exited the Colts-Dolphins game with a concussion, and that left Nyheim Hines as the top back in the Colts' backfield. All told, Hines ended up with 50 yards on 11 touches (nine carries, two receptions). He will probably see more action against the Jaguars next if Mack can't play, and he will see action as a receiving option either way.

  • We've seen this act before from Williams, as he's been a mostly TD-dependent threat in the past. That said, he caught four passes for 25 yards and two scores against the Cardinals. More importantly though, Tyrell Williams didn't see a target, so it seems that there may have been a changing of the guard at the No. 2 receiver position for the Chargers, at least while Tyrell Williams gets fully healed from a quad injury. Either way, Mike Williams is a TD threat and can be used as a FLEX or better in good matchups. With Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Kansas City on the schedule over the next three weeks, you can bet the Chargers will be throwing a lot.

  • Melvin Gordon was "questionable" for Week 12 because of left knee and hamstring injuries, and he suffered a right knee injury in the third quarter of Sunday's game against Arizona. He left gingerly, and initial reports said he was "very emotional" on the sideline and being consoled by teammates and coaches. That's never a good sign. If it is a serious injury, Austin Ekeler would take over as the Chargers' lead back, but Justin Jackson would also be involved, as he was in Week 12 when he rushed seven times for 57 yards. The 6-0, 199-pound rookie was a popular preseason sleeper, but he had only carried the ball five times prior to Week 12. The Chargers won't overuse Ekeler in the running game because of how important he is as a receiver, so Jackson could see double-digit touches some games. In Weeks 14 and 15 against Cincinnati and Buffalo, respectively, that could be enough to pay off as a FLEX.

  • Reynolds is owned in a bit more than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, but some slept on him during his bye week. Reynolds is the new No. 3 receiver for the Rams in the wake of Cooper Kupp's injury. Against the Chiefs, Reynolds totaled 80 yards and a score on six catches. His eight targets were third on the team behind fellow WRs Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. Granted, Reynolds may not put up this kind of line every week, as not every game will be like the historic shootout wtih the Chiefs. Still, Reynolds gets to face the Lions, Bears, and Eagles in the next three weeks, so he has a couple of good matchups on the horizon. He's well-worth adding as a part of a good offense.

  • The Ravens offense looked different in Jackson's second start, as his rushing attempts went from 27 to 11, and his pass attempts went 19 to 25. His rushing yards (71 this week) were still solid, and his passing yards (178) improved by 28. Most important, he scored two TDs this compared to last week's goose-egg. A report surfaced Sunday that Jackson could continue starting even when Joe Flacco (hip) is healthy, and if he does, he'll have legit fantasy value. His rushing ability gives him a high floor, and the more he's allowed to throw, the higher ceiling he has in any given week. With matchups against Atlanta, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay in the next three weeks, Jackson has top-10 upside.

  • Adams is owned in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues, but that should be higher, as it's clear that he is the top running back option for the Eagles. The coaching staff has spoken of getting him extra touches in recent weeks, and that came to fruition against the Giants in Week 12 when he saw 22 carries for 84 yards and a score. If he keeps getting that type of volume, he will be an RB2 for the rest of the season, so scoop him up now if you can.

  • Two rookie QBs among the top Week 13 waiver pickups? That's rare, but it's warranted. Mayfield has come alive in the second half, producing multiple TDs in five straight games (13 total). Against Cincinnati, he posted a career-high four TDs, and he didn't turn it over for the second straight game. Over his past five contests, he's only turned it over twice. A string of favorable matchups have contributed to Mayfield's success -- and the road is about to get tougher with Houston, Carolina and Denver on the schedule -- but a Week 16 home matchup against the Bengals awaits. Savvy fantasy owners who still expect to be playing for some money should scoop Mayfield up now. Based on how well he's played recently, he could have value in some of those other matchups, particularly at home against Carolina in Week 14.

  • Samuel doesn't get a lot of touches, but he always seems to make big plays. He touched the ball three times for the Panthers against the Seahawks in Week 12, totaling 42 yards and a TD. Samuel could see more run as long as Devin Funchess (back) is out. That, coupled with the fact that the Panthers have an extremely favorable schedule down the stretch against the Bucs, Browns, Saints, and Falcons, gives Samuel a chance to emerge as a potential weapon -- especially if he can get more touches and targets.

  • Kearse paced the Jets with 12 targets last Sunday against the Patriots, and he logged six catches for 66 yards and a TD on the day. Kearse has a nice matchup on deck with the Titans, who had allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to WRs prior to Week 12. That makes him a quality streaming option or potential bench depth for the fantasy playoffs.

  • Moore had a huge game against the Panthers, catching four passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. He did most of his damage on two long receptions, but the fact that he has consistently gotten targets makes him a safe option. The Seahawks are also playing the 49ers in Weeks 13 and 15, so Moore could be an option at WR3 or FLEX in those two weeks, especially with Doug Baldwin seemingly always banged up.

  • For the third-straight week, Ross caught a short TD pass for the Bengals. As long as A.J. Green is out, Ross will continue to see targets and opportunities in the red zone. At the very least, it seems that he may earn a role in the red zone anyway, and he does have the deep speed needed to break a long TD catch at any time (even though we haven't seen him do that yet). The matchup against the Broncos in Week 13 may be a tough one, but his stretch in the fantasy playoffs (@ Chargers, vs. Raiders, @ Browns) should give him the chance to succeed.

  • Humphries stepped up in the Bucs' first game without O.J. Howard, catching all six of his targets for 54 yards and a TD, and he saw some targets near the red zone. Humphries may not be the most talented of the Tampa Bay pass catchers, but he will always see a fair amount of targets. He had 82 yards and two TDs last time he played the Panthers, his Week 13 opponent, so he may be worth starting this week and next week against New Orleans.

  • Doctson had a team-high 10 targets last week, which he turned that into six catches for 66 yards. Doctson doesn't have a high ceiling, but he remains the Redskins top wide receiver, giving him potential WR3 value in a given week, especially against Philadelphia next week and Tennessee in Week 16.

  • With 12 catches and 16 targets in his first two games with the Lions, Ellington has some potential PPR value. He's only totaled 80 yards, but if he continues to get that many opportunities, more yards -- and possibly some TDs -- are sure to come. Detroit should be passing a lot next week against the Rams, though the next three games are statistically unforable for WRs (@ ARI, @ BUF, vs. MIN).

  • Since coming off the IR for the Redskins, Quinn has caught nine-of-10 passes for 75 yards and a score in two games. He's becoming a bigger part of the team's offense and gets a great matchup in Week 13 against the Eagles' decimated secondary. Quinn should continue to see solid target share, so he could be a WR3/FLEX play in favorable matchups going forward, particularly Week 16 against Tennessee.

  • Don't let the three catches for 16 yards in Week 12 scare you away. Ateman saw 10 targets for the Raiders against the Ravens, which was double the second highest-targeted man on the squad (Jared Cook). Ateman should continue to see a high volume of targets, as it appears that he is becoming Derek Carr's favorite receiver. He may not be anything more than a speculative WR3/FLEX, but any time you can get the No. 1 in an offense, you have to do it. And next week, Ateman should get a chance for a lot of garbage-time targets against the Chiefs, who have a porous defense as it is.

  • While Hyde will be the RB to see more carries if Leonard Fournette is suspended, T.J. Yeldon could have a role, too. The Colts allow a lot of receptions to RBs, and Yeldon is the primary receiving back for the Jaguars. That will make him a quality add as a handcuff to Fournette and a potential streamer next week in what is a solid matchup for receiving backs against the Colts.

  • Here's your weekly remindered that Frank Gore should be owned in more than 25 percent of leagues. Gore has consistently out-carried Kenyan Drake for most of the season, which happened again in Week 12 when Gore had 14 carries to Drake's eight). Yes, Drake outproduced him with two TDs, but Gore should absolutely be picked up if he is still available in your league.

  • Burkhead is going to be returning from the injured reserve fairly soon, and it seems that he is targeting the team's Dec. 2 game against the Vikings as his return date. He's worth a speculative add, as he could find a role in the Patriots backfield upon his return. If not, he'll become the primary handcuff to Sony Michel as the top running back. Burkhead has upside, so scooping him up now as a stash and potential RB2 down the road is a smart manuever.

  • Prescott has a favorable schedule down the stretch. He gets a matchup with a Saints defense that has been playing well as of late in Week 13, but they can be beaten in the secondary. After that, the Cowboys play the Eagles, Colts, and Buccaneers. That will make him a potential top streaming option, so if you need to stash a backup, he's a great candidate for that.

  • Brate is the only TE game in town for the Bucs with O.J. Howard out for the year, and a Week 13 matchup against a Panthers defense allowing the most FPPG to TEs makmes him a solid streaming option. Brate also was able to reach the end zone last week, in his first game back as the primary starter at TE, so perhaps he will score again in such a great matchup.

  • Heuerman has a fantastic Week 13 matchup against the Bengals, who entered Week 12 allowing the sixth-most FPPG to TEs.

  • Yet another favorable matchup in Week 13 for Uzomah, as the Bengals take on the Broncos. Denver entered Week 12 allowing the seventh-most FPPG to TEs.

  • Thomas has had his moments for the Texans this year, and in Week 13, he has a favorable matchup against the Browns, making him a prime streaming option.

  • It doesn't get much better than a home matchup against the Cardinals, which the Packers have in Week 13.

  • The Panthers are only owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues, but you can expect that number shoot up ahead of a Week 13 matchup against turnover-prone Bucs.

  • The Dolphins get a fantastic home matchup against the Bills in Week 13, making them a top streaming option.

  • The Titans have been up and down this year, but a home Week 13 matchup against the Jets should help them have one of their best fantasy days of the season.

  • Turnover-hungry Buffalo has a solid Week 13 matchup against the inconsistent Dolphins.

  • The Colts were stymied by the Jaguars at home just a few weeks ago, but the Jags still present a favorable matchup for the Colts D/ST in Week 13.

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