Week 12 wasn’t devastating on the injury front, but it wasn’t exactly good, either. A handful of fantasy-relevant players went down, leaving managers looking for replacements. How much of a priority is DeAndre Carter for fantasy football managers to add off the waiver wire ahead of Week 13?
Keenan Allen’s Return Did Not Destroy DeAndre Carter’s Value
Carter’s name has been a relative mainstay on weekly waiver wire columns for the majority of the season. The thing is, he hasn’t been overly productive.
Carter splashed in Week 1 with 15.4 PPR fantasy points, but all he did was catch a long touchdown. After that game, Carter didn’t break double-digit fantasy points until after the Chargers’ Week 9 bye. He averaged under five targets per game.
Carter has existed in this weird fantasy purgatory. He was never good enough for shallow leaguers to care. But the Chargers’ wide receiver situation always kept him on the field enough for managers in deeper leagues to have reason to stash him.
Ironically, the Chargers were without Keenan Allen and Mike Williams for multiple weeks and Carter never saw more than seven targets. Yet, last week, with Allen finally back to full strength, Carter, operating as the clear WR3, saw a career-high 10 targets, catching a career-high seven for a career-high 73 yards and a touchdown. He sailed over his fantasy points projection on Underdog Fantasy.
Carter has now hit double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four. He’s scored in two of his last four. Carter has proven to be startable.
How Aggressively Should Fantasy Managers Pursue Carter Off the Waiver Wire?
As with many waiver wire adds this week, Carter is a tricky one. He’s still the WR3 behind Allen and Josh Palmer. Carter played fewer snaps and ran fewer routes than each of them. However, with Justin Herbert playing his best football of the season, Carter has viability for fantasy managers as the Chargers’ WR3.
The problem is how long will Carter remain the Chargers’ WR3? Mike Williams missed last week’s game after aggravating his high-ankle sprain. He doesn’t seem imminently close to a return, but he’s not done for the year. At some point, he will be back. When he is, it’s hard to envision Carter having much of a role as the team’s WR4 (certainly not a fantasy-relevant one).
So, what does that mean for Week 13 waiver claims? If you need a wide receiver for this week, Carter is viable. I don’t think Williams returns this week. The Chargers’ next three games are all potential shootouts against the Raiders, Dolphins, and Titans. If Williams doesn’t return or if Allen were to get hurt again, Carter is startable.
Given how late it is, with just two weeks remaining in the fantasy regular season, there’s no need to be frugal with your remaining FAAB (or waiver priority). If you need Carter, go get him. With that said, I wouldn’t go much more than 8-15%, depending on need.
If you play in a league that still uses the continual rolling list waiver priority system, this is probably not the spot to burn a top priority.