Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 13
Colin Kaepernick (SF): Kaepernick got the start on Sunday over a healthy Alex Smith, and though head coach Jim Harbaugh has not yet committed to a starting quarterback for Week 13, Kaepernick has done nothing to warrant Smith retaking the starting role. Kaepernick put up 231 yards with a touchdown and an interception (that occurred after a bad snap) on Sunday, finishing the game with a 90.6 quarterback rating - better than his opposing quarterback, Drew Brees. Kaepernick's big arm and ability to extend and create plays with his legs has him as the favorite to start the rest of the 49ers' games, and he'll be a borderline QB1 option as long as he gets that chance.
Bryce Brown (PHI): Brown was on this list last week, but is still owned in only 40% of Yahoo leagues. After Monday night's performance, he'll probably be the top guy off your waiver wire. The rookie put up 178 yards and two touchdowns on an absurd average of 9.4 yards per carry. With LeSean McCoy still in Phase 1 of his concussion recovery, Brown should be in for at least one more game as the Eagles' feature back. Character issues, not talent, are what dropped Brown to the seventh round of the draft, and he's proven that he's got what it takes to make a difference on the field in the NFL.
Knowshon Moreno (DEN): Moreno was a healthy scratch for several weeks before Willis McGahee got hurt, and the Broncos' high praise of rookie Ronnie Hillman made it seem obvious that Moreno wouldn't factor much into the Broncos' backfield going forward. However, the coaching staff obviously does not trust Hillman between the tackles or as a pass protector, so Moreno was activated and featured on Sunday against the Chiefs. Rushing for 85 yards and catching four passes, Moreno is an every down back who could greatly help running back-needy fantasy owners through the playoffs.
Michael Bush (CHI): As of now, all we know about Matt Forte's ankle injury is that it is not severe enough to threaten him long-term. That makes it sound like he's unlikely to play against the Seahawks this week, and with a starting-caliber backup in Michael Bush, the Bears have no need to rush Forte back. Bush could be in for a big workload for a week or two.
Beanie Wells (ARI): Making his first appearance since Week 3, Wells put together a solid fantasy performance with 48 yards and two touchdowns. He admitted after the game that he didn't yet have his "football legs," so he could end up being more effective as he gets more practice and playing time. Every Cardinals running back is limited by their putrid offensive line, but Wells should get 15-18 carries per game going forward and is the obvious goal line back, making him a low-upside RB2/flex option.
DeAngelo Williams (CAR): Jonathan Stewart had pretty much earned a featured role in the Panthers' backfield, but has now injured the same ankle that he had issues with in the preseason. Williams is next in line to get the bulk of the carries, and the Panthers will likely sprinkle some Mike Tolbert into the backfield mix. Given a nice opportunity without Stewart on Monday night, however, Williams could only muster 21 yards on 11 carries. If Stewart misses time, Williams' value is strictly based on how much work he gets, as he's been extremely unproductive for almost the entire season.
Pierre Garcon (WAS): Garcon's Week 11 return from injury was a disappointment, but he seemed to have gotten back in rhythm on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys, posting five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. The Redskins have an incredibly weak receiving core, and Garcon is by far the best weapon Robert Griffin III has to throw to. Garcon's No. 1 status with the Redskins and his big play making ability have him as a potential WR3 option through the fantasy playoffs.
Ryan Broyles (DET): Broyles got a shot at the Lions' No. 2 receiver role thanks to the suspension of Titus Young, and he responded in a big way with six catches for 126 yards. Young has been a head-case for the Lions ever since coming into the league - complaining about not getting the ball, committing dumb personal fouls, sucker-punching teammates, and lining up incorrectly on the field. Calvin Johnson hinted that Young may be gone for a while, and head coach Jim Schwartz would not give an update on Young's status with the team. As long as Young is gone, Broyles will have every opportunity to replicate his nice numbers from Thanksgiving.
Dustin Keller (NYJ): Keller is definitely not the greatest tight end option, but there really isn't much talent at his position left on the waiver wire. Keller caught five balls for 64 yards and a touchdown on Thanksgiving, and he's had 5+ catches in three of his past five games. He's the best aerial weapon that the Jets have, and can be plugged into lineups for those who are struggling severely at tight end.
New York Jets: The Jets have been extremely up and down all season, but one thing about them is consistent - they're generally up against the bad teams, and down against the good teams. They're definitely facing a bad team this week when they host the Cardinals, who just threw two pick-sixes to the Rams' Janoris Jenkins. The Cardinals have an abysmal offensive line, are starting a quarterback no one's ever heard of, and their lone offensive weapon, Larry Fitzgerald, can be contained by Antonio Cromartie.