By Jack Thomason–
(CBS) If players like Jamaal Williams and Kenyan Drake are available in your fantasy league, they need to be the priority additions. I didn’t list them below because ownerships levels across most leagues say they’re already taken, but not by enough people. I will also point out that this is the time of year you want to have your top running backs hand-cuffed, so I’ve listed many of them in the “just missed” section below.
Here are my top 10 waiver adds for 10- and 12-member fantasy football leagues with Week 13 upon us.
1. Josh Gordon (WR, Cleveland Browns) – At this point, it’s all about upside as you’re attempting to make the playoffs or make your team better for the playoffs. We have no idea what Gordon will or won’t be, but a talent like him needs to be rostered. In an ideal scenario, you have a playoff spot wrapped up and you can see how he does next week or you throw him in at flex and pray he smashes in his first game back. All we know right now is that he’s in phenomenal shape, looks superhuman in photographs and when he’s on the field, he has superior talent to majority of his peers.
2. Rex Burkhead (RB, New England Patriots) – Burkhead is a rollercoaster ride, but on an offense of this caliber, you’ll want a player who’s getting a fair number of touches and snaps on a weekly basis. He may give you a dud, but he can also give you 15 to 20 points like he did Sunday. If nothing more, Burkhead is a player you want in your flex or kept away from your opponents as we head into the final week of the fantasy regular season and fantasy playoffs.
3. Jacquizz Rodgers (RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – If it weren’t for Peyton Barber sniping two touchdowns at the goal line, Rodgers would be higher on the list. Doug Martin left Sunday’s contest with a concussion and we know those can linger, so having the leader in snaps and touches after Martin left would be a wise move. The Buccaneers play the Packers next week, and Green Bay can be run on.
4. Austin Ekeler (RB, LA Chargers) – Ekeler has seen 40 percent of the snaps over the last month and roughly 28 percent of the touches. As his role levels out, it’s clear that he’s a playmaker and provides a great change of pace to Melvin Gordon. With the Chargers’ offense really beginning to roll, Ekeler will provide some standalone flex appeal and big-time upside if anything happens to Gordon in the next few weeks.
5. Corey Coleman (WR, Cleveland Browns) – Coleman should continue to be a WR3 with upside, even when Gordon suits up next week. Once again, he led the team in targets (eight) and receiving yards (64) while showing off his big-play ability with a nice 44-yard reception Sunday. He also would’ve had a much bigger day if it weren’t for a dropped touchdown pass that would’ve increased his stat line to four receptions, 93 yards and a touchdown. Coleman has seen 19 targets in his first two games back, and the Browns are always trailing and having to throw a lot.
6. Eddie Lacy (RB, Seattle Seahawks) – I should’ve known Lacy would make me eat my words after saying on air this he would be rendered useless this past Sunday. It’s not that he did anything spectacular but more about the fact he led the backfield in snaps with 52 percent and led the running backs in touches with 20. While J.D. McKissic played 43 percent of the snaps, he still only saw eight touches, though he drew seven targets. Lacy provides a low ceiling and has done nothing all year, but if Seattle continues to give him 15 to 20 touches per game moving forward, he’ll eventually find his way into the end zone given Seattle’s propensity to score.
7. Rod Smith (RB, Dallas Cowboys) – Smith saw the touchdown last Thursday and has played 54 percent of the snaps in the last two weeks while Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended. While Alfred Morris is playing well, Smith offers a higher ceiling due to his skills in the passing game. That being said, Morris has seen around 59 percent of the touches the last two weeks to Smith’s 41 percent. It’s a little bit of a guessing game, but Smith is a viable flex play if you’re suffering at that spot.
8. Devontae Booker (RB, Denver Broncos) – The Broncos were atrocious Sunday, but Booker led the team in snaps and touches for the second week in a row. He won’t offer a ton of upside without taking over the backfield fully, but if the Broncos begin evaluating their youth and want to give Booker the ball exclusively, then his value could change quickly. He’s worth the roster spot for now and while his stat line was a paltry eight touches for 33 yards, he did fall just shy of the end zone on one pass reception that would’ve boosted his outlook.
9. Zay Jones (WR, Buffalo Bills) – Jones has logged 13 receptions, 154 yards and two touchdowns in his last three games and seems to have found the eye of quarterback Tyrod Taylor after a slow start to the season. Kelvin Benjamin continues to deal with a knee issue and has little-to-no chemistry with Taylor at this point because he was only traded to the team a few weeks ago. Jones led the team with 10 targets Sunday, when the next-closest receiver was at four. He’s an end-of-bench player to see if this evolves into anything else down the stretch.
10. Marquise Goodwin (WR, San Francisco 49ers) – In five out of the last seven weeks, Marquise Goodwin has at least hit the 68-yard mark, and now he may end up with a competent quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo going forward. Tallying four receptions for 78 yards Sunday gave him the team lead in yards, and he was second on the team in targets with six. C.J. Beathard went down with an injury, and that may mean Garoppolo will play more down the stretch, which would give a solid boost to Goodwin’s value as a boom-or-bust flex option.
Just missed: Matt Breida, Charckandrick West, Chris Ivory, TJ Yeldon, Travaris Cadet, Giovanni Bernard, James Conner, Peyton Barber, Dede Westbrook, Dontrelle Inman, Jermaine Kearse, Ricky Seals-Jones, Charles Clay and Hunter Henry.
Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert and co-host of “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today,” which can be heard every Sunday during football season from 8-9 a.m. CT on WSCR-670 and 670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.