Welcome to the latest entry in our new weekly series, where we have some of our fantasy analysts take turns picking who you should target on the waiver wire, this time for Week 13. This mock draft format allows for some quick commentary and is just a fun way for us to deliver this generally boring content in a new and exciting way.
As you’ll see below, Benny Snell is the number one pick in the draft this week. But is he the real deal and worth adding as a waiver wire target in Week 13? Take a look below and see if your team could use a boost at running back or if you’re hurting elsewhere.
Week 13 Fantasy Waiver Wire Mock Draft
We’re officially through the byes for the 2019 season! Whew! We made it! It also means that we’re right at the end of the regular season for most leagues, meaning it’s now or never for most of the important waiver adds. That means this will be the last installment of this series for the year, as well. Lastly, this is for a 12-team, 1QB, half-PPR, two-flex league, and players picked must be owned in fewer than 40% of leagues on ESPN. On to the picks!
Round 1, Pick 1 – Benny Snell, PIT RB (3% owned)
“This pickup is more for insurance purposes than anything, but Benny Snell has proven to be the go-to backup behind James Conner. He hit 21 carries for 98 yards and 1 catch for 5 yards this past week. With Conner’s recent injury history, this handcuff is more likely to be relevant than others, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have games against Cleveland and Arizona in the next two weeks.
(I made a mistake when rushing for this pick. Do NOT pick Snell before some of these following picks.)” – Corey Ashburn, PFN Fantasy Analyst
Round 1, Pick 2 – Jonathan Williams, IND RB (29% owned)
“By the time we hit Monday morning, that Thursday night game seems forever ago. Jonathan Williams received 26 totes for over 100 yards and a score in Week 12 and asserted himself as the primary ball carrier in Indianapolis while doing so. Still under 30% rostered in leagues, he has the makings of a guy that will help many fringe squads make the playoffs.” – Andrew Jordan, PFN Fantasy Analyst
Round 1, Pick 3 – Rashaad Penny, SEA RB (29% owned)
“Well, it finally happened. Concerns over Chris Carson’s consistent fumbling issues finally came to haunt his fantasy owners as Rashaad Penny was given the nod in Sunday’s matchup against Philadelphia, and he delivered.”
“Penny finished the game with 14 carries for 129 yards and a score on the back of his 58-yard run up the middle in the fourth quarter that would prove to be the game-winner. It’s not for certain that Penny is now the favorable back in Seattle, quite unlikely to be honest. However, this showing proves that he deserves more touches, and if Carson cannot get his fumbling issues under control, Penny could take the reigns of the backfield and become a league-winner for a number of fantasy owners.” – Eric Frosbutter, PFN Fantasy Analyst
Round 1, Pick 4 – A.J. Brown, TEN WR (15% owned)
“A.J. Brown led the team in targets, receptions, and yards in his third explosive performance of the season. Since the switch to Ryan Tannehill, Brown has looked much closer to one of the top prospects we saw coming into the draft. While he is prone to volatile scoring, he is absolutely worth the add for the playoff push.” – Tommy Garrett, PFN Fantasy Analyst
Analysis – I love the first three picks being RBs this week, but as Corey mentioned, I don’t think I can take Snell ahead of Penny if he’s still available. It’s not that I don’t trust Snell himself; it’s his offense and competition in his own backfield that scares me. Conner could come back next week, and the Steelers appear to be switching quarterbacks. No thanks, even if it means they lean on the running game. Just too risky at this time of year for my tastes.
Round 2, Pick 1 – Sam Darnold, NYJ QB (19% owned)
“He’s NBA Jams ‘heating up’ with two weeks in a row of at least 31 fantasy points and his next two weeks are against two of the worst teams in the league in Cincinnati and Miami. Fire Darnold up and watch him switch to ‘on fire.'” – Corey Ashburn
Round 2, Pick 2 – N’Keal Harry, NE WR (11% owned)
“If you’re like me, and if you’re looking towards the waiver wire, you want high ceiling guys capable of becoming weekly starters. N’Keal Harry fits the bill as New England’s first-round selection in the 2019 draft scored his first touchdown on Sunday – the only touchdown scored in the game. There is inherently a gamble taking a first-year WR with Tom Brady, known for his emphasis on timing. Still, I believe if afforded more opportunities, Harry could come away as a weekly flex play down the stretch.” – Andrew Jordan
Round 2, Pick 3 – Ryan Tannehill, TEN QB (15% owned)
“Since taking over as the Tennessee Titans’ starting QB, only one quarterback has averaged more fantasy points than Ryan Tannehill and that’s Lamar Jackson.
“It’s clear, however, that fantasy owners are still viewing Tannehill as he was in Miami. That is not the case, though, seeing as he is doing everything in his power to help the Titans reach the playoffs. Tannehill is even the top-rated QB on PFN in terms of OSM. For anyone struggling at the QB position, they could greatly benefit from the consistency of Tannehill.” – Eric Frosbutter
Round 2, Pick 4 – Darrel Williams, KC RB (5% owned)
“The running back position for the Kansas City Chiefs is a coveted role for fantasy football. The Week 11 rib injury gave Darrel Williams the chance to see an increased role that could continue moving forward, depending on Damien Williams’ health. Coming off a bye, it’s hard to know just yet if he will be healthy and what the plan is moving forward. This uncertainty makes Williams an intriguing sleeper as he carries the chance for more touches in a high scoring offense.” – Tommy Garrett
Analysis – Two QBs make the list here in round 2 and I completely agree. Teams with QBs like Kyle Allen or Tom Brady might be looking for some help with the playoffs right around the corner and these two are terrific sleeper options that you can start based on the matchups. I’ve written about Darnold before and think that he could finish the season as a top-12 QB, so he should be rostered in every league already.
Round 3, Pick 1 – Darius Slayton, NYG WR (23% owned)
“Slayton has been solid for the New York Giants as a rookie. He seems to be a better playmaker than Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate may be out with a concussion next week. Slayton will be going against Philadelphia, Miami, and Washington in the fantasy playoffs.” – Corey Ashburn
Round 3, Pick 2 – JJ Arcega-Whiteside, PHI WR (<1% owned)
“There are a few other rookie wide receivers I could have mentioned here, including Kelvin Harmon and Hunter Renfrow (Deebo Samuel just misses our cutoff at 42.7% owned). Yet it’s JJAW that gets my pick in part because he’s working with the best QB out of that group. Some rookie mistakes threw off the timing of some routes and connections with Carson Wentz, but in a WR room that’s greatly performing under expectations, there’s a chance Arcega-Whiteside is given extra reps, so the coaching staff has more film on him in order to best identify a role going forward. As something of a Hail Mary on the wire, JJAW is a classic high ceiling/low floor option.” – Andrew Jordan
Round 3, Pick 3 – David Njoku, CLE TE (20% owned)
“I made mention of David Njoku two weeks ago in our mock draft as a stash option, and now it appears that the Cleveland Browns are ready to activate him off of IR.”
“Good timing too as the Browns’ offense is starting to gel in hopes of a playoff berth. They get a tough defense this week with Pittsburgh on the schedule, but in the following weeks, they get Cincinnati and Arizona, respectively, two of the worst teams against tight ends this season.” – Eric Frosbutter
Round 3, Pick 4 – Auden Tate, CIN WR (17% owned)
“If you saw the news on Monday, you would have read that the Cincinnati Bengals are going to move back to Andy Dalton at QB. What do they have to lose?”
“In the six games where Auden Tate saw over 89% of the snaps and with Dalton at QB, he averaged 11.41 fantasy points per game in PPR scoring. Compare that to the 6.06 points per game with Ryan Finley at QB, and the numbers point to Tate being the biggest beneficiary of the swap at QB.” – Tommy Garrett
Analysis – Slayton is one of “my guys” for the second half of the season, so getting him in the third round here seems like a steal. The fact that Shepard returned this week might have caused some to hesitate, but they were still without Evan Engram, and as Corey said, it looks like Tate might be injured now. All of this points to Slayton staying relevant as his rapport with Daniel Jones continues to build. He’s definitely worth a look in every league.
Corey: Benny Snell, PIT RB – Sam Darnold, NYJ QB – Darius Slayton, NYG WR
Andrew: Jonathan Williams, IND RB – N’Keal Harry, NE QB – JJ Arcega-Whiteside, PHI WR
Eric: Rashaad Penny, SEA RB – Ryan Tannehill, TEN QB – David Njoku, CLE TE
Tommy: AJ Brown, TEN WR – Darrel Williams, KC RB – Auden Tate, CIN WR
Hit us up on Twitter @PFNFantasy with who you think got the best group this week. Also, continue to visit the Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis like the #PFNOSM data while also visiting our Fantasy Football section for more coverage.
Andrew Hall is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him @AndrewHallFF on Twitter.