Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 13 Waiver Wire Targets

Each week throughout the season PDW will be posting a list of those players worth targeting on your weekly waiver wire. These lists will be made up from PDW contributors as well as fantasy partner content. Please check back weekly for the hot pickups. 

This week’s picks are courtesy of our friends at numberFire.

Here’s a look at players to target on the Week 13 waiver wire…

Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

ESPN Ownership: 22.7%
Yahoo Ownership: 24%

Colin Kaepernick has been a viable fantasy option for nearly as long as he has been a starter this season, and yet he continues to fly way under the radar.

He finished as the eighth-highest scoring fantasy quarterback in Week 9, the fifth-highest in Week 10, the ninth-highest in Week 11, and the top scoring quarterback in Week 12 through Sunday. He is averaging 24.7 fantasy points per game over his last four starts, which is a higher mark than any quarterback has averaged over the course of this season.

The thing driving his fantasy value is his outstanding rushing production, with an average of 62.2 rushing yards per game since taking over as a starter. This goes a long way towards making him “matchup-proof,” as even against a strong passing defense, his ability to run the ball can contribute something in the neighborhood of 50 passing yards and 1 passing touchdown’s worth of fantasy points.

For Week 13 we don’t need to worry about matchup-proof though, as he will be up against a Chicago Bears defense that ranked 21st in our Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric through Week 11, and while our Week 12 numbers aren’t finalized yet, the Bears’ ranking isn’t likely to improve after allowing three touchdowns with no interceptions against Eli Manning on Sunday.

Rex Burkhead, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

ESPN Ownership: 4.6%
Yahoo Ownership: 4%

With Giovani Bernard losing his season to an ACL injury, the expectation was that Jeremy Hill would step up and play a big role in the Cincinnati Bengals‘ backfield.

That’s not quite how things played out in Week 12 though, and per Nathan Jahnke of ProFootballFocus, Rex Burkhead actually out-snapped Hill 38 to 37, as Hill missed some time with an ankle injury.

Hill did out-carry Burkhead 12 to 5, but Burkhead was by far the more efficient of the two, per our numbers from numberFire Live.

Player Rushes Yards Rush NEP
Rex Burkhead 5 29 0.37
Jeremy Hill 12 21 -4.04

Burkhead has also been the more efficient receiver over the small receiving samples in their respective careers, with a 0.36 Reception NEP per target compared to only a 0.25 for Hill.

He’s not going to take over the backfield or anything, but that edge in efficiency is a good sign that Burkhead will continue to see a healthy number of snaps, which is very promising heading into a Week 13 matchup against a Philadelphia Eagles team that ranks 23rd in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play as well as a Week 14 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, who rank 31st in that category.

Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens

ESPN Ownership: 25.1%
Yahoo Ownership: 29%

Kenneth Dixon has seen his playing time increase in four consecutive games (snap numbers again courtesy of Nathan Jahnke), culminating in his playing 44.9% of the Baltimore Ravens offensive snaps in Week 12.

He was the most efficient Ravens running back this week, with a -0.15 Rushing NEP on 13 carries compared to a -2.61 on 13 carries for Terrance West. Dixon also has had the more efficient season, with a 0.04 Rushing NEP per carry going into Week 12 compared to West’s -0.07.

With the edge in efficiency, Dixon should continue to see his role in the offense grow, and that lines up with a great matchup in Week 13 as he takes on a Miami Dolphins defense that ranked 27 in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play going into Week 12 and allowed 193 yards on 25 carries to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Malcolm Mitchell, WR, New England Patriots

ESPN Ownership: 2.6%
Yahoo Ownership: 3%

Predictably, the New England Patriots passing offense has been absolutely rolling since Tom Brady made his season debut in Week 5, and they ranked third in Adjusted Passing NEP per play heading into Week 12. Brady has also averaged 36.6 pass attempts per game, and with that combination of volume and efficiency, the Patriots’ offense is a great place to find fantasy production.

Rookie Malcolm Mitchell stepped up and played a big role in Week 11, being on the field for 86% of the team’s offensive snaps (second among Patriots wideouts only to Julian Edelman‘s 87%) and continued with that role in Week 12, recording seven targets.

He has been very productive with his volume, recording 9 receptions, 140 yards and 3 touchdowns over his last two games, and even though those touchdown numbers aren’t likely to be sustainable, his production shows a lot of fantasy promise in this offense.

Continue reading at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)


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