Scott Engel is in his ninth season of Fantasy Football coverage on Seahawks.com. Scott is a 20-plus year veteran of the Fantasy industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. You can find more of his Fantasy analysis at RotoBaller.com and SportsLine.com. You can listen to Scott on weekend mornings and on demand on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Scott has also won his highly competitive Fantasy Football league with other experts and top players in each of the past three years.
The Seahawks strengthened their postseason positioning with their win at Philadelphia on Monday night, moving into the No. 2 spot in the NFC with five games remaining. In most Fantasy Football leagues, the playoffs are now even closer. This will be the final week of the regular season for most Fantasy Football players, and it is essential to now review and formalize your roster for the Fantasy playoffs.
You certainly know who your core superstars and top players are as you attempt to nail down a playoff berth or strengthen your seeding in Week 13. If you have Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf or Chris Carson you will lean heavily on them to pave the path to your postseason destiny. After 12 weeks, Wilson is the No. 3 overall quarterback in Fantasy Football and Metcalf is third at wide receiver. Carson is back in Fantasy RB1 territory now that he has returned, and Tyler Lockett, who is seventh at WR, is a strong Fantasy WR2 for your championship drive. You can show your appreciation for these Fantasy standouts by casting your votes for them now in the 2021 Pro Bowl Balloting. Wilson led all NFC QBs in the most recent update, and social media voting is now open on Twitter and on Madden 21.
Working around the standout foundation of your must-start players will be a major key to postseason success. There should be a different approach to working the waiver wire in Week 13, as the bye weeks are about to end and you will no longer be looking for one-week plug ins. The top streamers on your roster have been established, and your free agency focus is now mainly on injury insurance players and late-season breakout types.
Rostering the top NFL backups to your starters at running back is more important than ever at this point of the season. The ability to acquire players is now more limited because trade deadlines have passed and there are less players being added and dropped in many leagues as some non-playoff rosters get frozen and other players are more reluctant to add and start a lesser established performer at this very important time of the season.
You do not want to be put in a position of seeing your top running back miss time and have to jostle for his projected replacement on the waiver wire during the Fantasy postseason. The safe and savvy approach is to roster those type of "insurance" players now, so if an injury becomes an issue, the "next man up" will already be on your roster. Seven of the Top 12 running backs drafted in 2020 have suffered sort of significant injury this season, so you must prepare accordingly for your playoffs.
There are also some players who are on the verge of becoming impactful performers as the postseason quickly approaches. This week's waiver rundown includes both requisite running back pickups for important depth and some targets who may surge just in time for your championship drive.
A reminder that because of rescheduling that moved the Steelers-Ravens game back to Wednesday in Week 12 and eliminated any Thursday games, waiver runs on many Fantasy platforms have been pushed back. On NFL.com, waivers will process two days later than usual.
Essential Running Back Waiver Targets for the Fantasy Playoffs
Carlos Hyde, RB, Seahawks (26.7 percent rostered on NFL.com): Hyde has already proven he can step forward and deliver for Fantasy players when he is either needed to play an expanded role or if you get in a situation where you need a streamer. Hyde has been a key acquisition for the Seahawks and was one of the most added Fantasy players of Week 11, when he scored 17.5 Fantasy Points. Hyde carried 15 times on Monday and will continue to play a significant role in the Seahawks offense.
Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings (14.6): Minnesota has the second-best rushing attack in the NFC, and Mattison has already shown he can play well when needed to step forward. He rushed for 112 yards in a relief role in Week 5. Mattison could be a key player in a Fantasy championship push if he is needed to start for the Vikings at any time.
D'Onta Foreman, RB, Titans (0): The Titans average 158.2 rushing yards per game, which is third best in the NFL. Foreman is healthy and showing signs of how effective he can be if the Titans have to turn to him for more carries at any time. He gained 28 yards on just four carries in Week 12. Foreman should definitely be rostered by Fantasy players who have been depending on the Tennessee running game.
Devine Ozigbo, RB, Jaguars (0): Jacksonville has featured strong production from the running back position this season. Undrafted rookie James Robinson has easily earned the title of Sleeper of the Season by becoming the No. 4 RB in Fantasy Football through 12 weeks. If one of your running back spots has become a "set at and forget it" lineup position because of the Jaguars' RB success, be aware that Ozigbo is regarded as the next one to likely get meaningful reps.
Devontae Booker, RB, Raiders (2.4): Las Vegas has the fifth-best rushing attack in the AFC, averaging 125.6 yards per game. Booker has played well when given opportunities, as he has averaged 5.5 yards per carry while scoring three times. Booker scored 21.3 points in Week 10, showing he is very capable of contributing effectively when the Raiders need or choose to give him an increased workload.
Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys (6.5): The Cowboys still lean heavily on their running backs, as Ezekiel Elliott is the No. 8 RB in Fantasy Football as we head into Week 13. Pollard has looked explosive at times, as he has averaged five yards per carry, with long runs of 42 and 20 yards in his second and third games of November. He has continually been a late-round favorite in Fantasy drafts because of his potential to be a quality performer if and when his time comes.
Late-Season Risers to Target
Cam Akers, RB, Rams (25.7): Add him now before he possibly claims the lead RB role for the Rams during the Fantasy playoff schedule. Akers was taken with Los Angeles' first available pick in the 2020 NFL Draft with an eye on him emerging as the featured back. Now that he is healthy and is getting more acclimated to the NFL, Akers may become the clear Fantasy favorite among the Rams' RBs very soon. He had a 61-yard run in Week 12.
James White, RB, Patriots (40.7): With Rex Burkhead out, this longtime pass-catching maven will play a larger part in the New England offense as a versatile performer. White has two rushing TDs in Week 12 and you should see him carry more often now, putting him in Fantasy flex territory.
Denzel Mims, WR, New York Jets (0.7): The rookie is projected to be one of New York's top wideouts for the future, and he is already getting worked into the offensive flow more recently. Mims has scored 10-plus Fantasy points in each of his past two games.
Keke Coutee, WR, Texans (0.1): Houston now has a need for Coutee to take over as the No. 2 WR. Coutee began his career with 17 catches for 160 yards and a TD in two games in 2018, so an increase in playing time could certainly lead to more production in a passing game that currently ranks third in the NFL.
Jordan Akins, TE Texans (1.3): Akins is another potentially more frequent contributor for Houston going forward. He has three double figure Fantasy outings this season and has to be a preferred waiver add if you have been streaming at the very thin tight end position.
Seahawks Defense (54.8): Since Week 7, the Seahawks defense has registered 19 sacks. They have allowed just over 20 points per game in the last three weeks. The return of Jamal Adams has been one big reason for the unit's recent play, as he has picked up 4.5 sacks in his past four games. In the next two weeks, the Seahawks face the Giants, who rank 26th in Fantasy points generated by opposing defenses, and the Jets, who are 32nd. A matchup with Washington, which ranks 26th in giveaways, follows in Week Week 15. Adams and the Seahawk defenders will also be wearing special cleats to illustrate causes they support this week as part of the annual "My Cause My Cleats" campaign that the entire team will embrace. Follow the campaign on Seahawks.com and get a chance to own the cleats of your favorite Fantasy players from the roster.
Week 13 Fantasy Lineup Considerations
David Montgomery should build on a good Week 12 outing vs. the Lions, who allow the most Fantasy Points Per Game to RBs. … Miles Sanders should deliver a rebound performance vs. Green Bay. … James White faces the Chargers, 23rd vs. RBs. … Raheem Mostert is an upside performer vs. Buffalo. … Nelson Agholor is a good bet for some big gainers vs. the Jets. … Jarvis Landry will deliver another strong outing vs. Tennessee (28th vs. WRs). … Corey Davis has come on strong recently and is a good WR3 start vs. the Browns. … Cooper Kupp should bounce back vs. the Cardinals. … Jonnu Smith should find the end zone vs. Cleveland. … Jordan Reed should perform respectably vs. Buffalo. … Taysom Hill could be good for three to four combined scores vs. the Falcons. … Philip Rivers has been producing well recently and is a good streaming option vs. the Texans.
For more analysis and updated weekly lineup rankings from Scott Engel, plus comprehensive Fantasy Football coverage and tools, get the RotoBaller Season Pass. Enter promo code "Seahawks" at checkout for an additional discount. Weekly options are now available for your Fantasy playoff push.
Fantasy Insider Scott Engel identifies players to try to grab on the waiver wire in the lead up to Week 13. Read more: https://shwks.com/t4qp4