Should you add Jaret Patterson, Wendell Smallwood, or Jonathan Williams on the waiver wire in Week 18?

With Antonio Gibson's injury status, should you add Jaret Patterson, Wendell Smallwood, or Jonathan Williams from the fantasy waiver wire?

If you don’t know the story of Jaret Patterson, then you should familiarize yourself with this former MACtion hero. Patterson went undrafted out of the University of Buffalo, but he was a highly productive running back who won the third spot on the Washington Football Team’s depth chart. With injuries to Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, is Patterson, Wendell Smallwood, or Jonathan Williams worth a fantasy football waiver wire claim?

Antonio Gibson injury update

Washington did not activate Gibson off IR before their Week 17 game against the Eagles. With Washington eliminated from the playoff race, it’s safe to wonder if they have any intention of bringing him back in Week 18. My best bet would be that they don’t and instead turn their attention to getting Gibson healthy for next season.

If that happens, Washington would likely want to see what they have in Patterson, who has performed well when given the chance. With McKissic also on IR, there are plenty of opportunities to go around when Gibson doesn’t play.

Jaret Patterson is coming off a solid game

For the second time this season, Washington gave Patterson double-digit carries. He took his 12 opportunities for 57 rushing yards and a touchdown. More impressively, he saw 5 targets, catching all of them for an additional 41 yards. His lack of utilization in the passing game in college was a big knock by some entering the draft cycle. Clearly, it was a usage issue, not an ability issue.

During his 2020 campaign at Buffalo, which the COVID pandemic shortened to only six games, Patterson didn’t have a single reception. It wasn’t part of the game plan. The Bulls heavily ran him, though, as he took 141 carries for 1,072 yards and a whopping 19 touchdowns — again, in only six games. Patterson is a smaller back that runs with power and has great elusiveness.

Should you claim Patterson off waivers?

You absolutely should. I believe there’s a good chance that Gibson is done for the season, and Patterson was clearly utilized as a focal point of Washington’s offense and as the lead back. Patterson should be a high waiver wire add in Week 18. Washington will be going against the New York Giants, who are a complete dumpster fire right now. It is a game between two teams that are out of playoff contention.

Patterson is the team’s go-to option right now, with Smallwood only seeing 4 carries and Williams seeing 2. Patterson led the way last week.

New York’s defense has allowed the 14th-most fantasy points per game over the last four weeks, including a healthy 451 rushing yards and 3 TDs. Patterson should be added and started as an RB2 if Gibson doesn’t make it back to the playing field for Week 18.