After Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey was spotted in a walking boot, apparently as a result of an ankle injury that forced him to leave the game at one point in the first half. The good news is, he was able to return from the injury, but obviously his status moving forward is at least somewhat up in the air right now, and with the playoffs looming in Fantasy, that’s worrisome.
But his status for Week 13 is clear: He won’t be playing. Neither will Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Dontrell Hilliard, D’Onta Foreman, or McCaffrey’s backup, Chuba Hubbard. This isn’t the worst bye week of the season, but it’s not far off, and it could leave Fantasy players scrambling to fill some holes in their lineups. And there could be even more holes to fill if Dalvin Cook’s shoulder injury forces him to miss time — he was carted off the field Sunday late and was ruled out shortly thereafter, which isn’t a good sign.
The good news is, there might actually be some decent running back targets to consider on waivers ahead of Week 13 — even if Alexander Mattison (78% rostered in CBS Fantasy leagues) isn’t available on the wire in your league.
The top one might be Jamaal Williams (55%), whose backfield mate D’Andre Swift left Thursday’s game against the Bears with a sprained shoulder. The injury isn’t considered a serious one, but he could still end up missing the game, and Williams would be a very interesting starting option even in a pretty bad offense. He played 63% of the snaps in Thursday’s game with Swift leaving early, rushing for 65 yards on 15 carries and adding five catches on five targets for 18 yards. If Swift does miss time, Williams could be a top-15 RB for next week and would be the obvious top waiver-wire target where available.
And he’s not the only potentially intriguing running back we could be looking at for Week 13. In Sunday’s early look at the waiver wire, I’ll highlight a few players from other positions, but first, here are five other running backs we could be looking to add on waivers next week:
- Boston Scott (38%) — I think Scott is the top target if you need a Week 13 option, though that situation in Philadelphia is a bit murky. Jordan Howard missed Sunday’s game with a knee injury and Miles Sanders was limited in the second half after limping off with some kind of leg injury. Scott led the team with 15 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown (and had another TD called back for a holding), adding three targets as well. Sanders might be fine for Week 13, but this is clearly going to be a committee, so if he’s not 100%, there is going to be plenty of room for Scott. And, if Howard and Sanders are out, Scott could be a must-start with a great matchup against the Jets on the way.
- Tevin Coleman (17%) — Coleman probably has more clarity about his role than Scott, but the situation just isn’t as good. He led the Jets with 47% of the running back snaps Sunday, and with a rare lead to protect, he ended up rushing for 67 yards on 16 carries while adding two catches for 3 yards on three targets. That production is nothing to write home about, and he ceded work both near the goal line (to Austin Walter) and on third downs (to Ty Johnson), but he should be good for double-digit carries and will be in the RB3 conversation for Week 13.
- Phillip Lindsay (14%) — This one seems like much less of a sure thing than either of the previous two, but Lindsay did carry the ball 12 times for Miami in their 33-10 win over the Panthers Sunday. Lindsay did see plenty of work in the second half of the blowout — 11 of his 15 snaps came in the second half — but that’s not bad for his first game with his new team. The Dolphins have used multiple backs all season, and if Lindsay can show a spark, it may not take much to push Myles Gaskin for rushing work. And, with another potential easy win coming up in Week 13 against the Giants, he may be relevant once again.
- Dontrell Hilliard (45%)/D’Onta Foreman (63%) — If you’re looking for a Week 13 add, neither Hilliard nor Foreman is going to be much help, but both will be worth adding if you can afford the roster spot. Hilliard rushed 12 times for 131 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots (while adding two targets), while Foreman rushed for 109 on 19 carries with one target. The Titans offense has been a mess without Derrick Henry, but with the volume those two are getting, Week 14 against the Jaguars could be very good for both.
- Chuba Hubbard (62%) — Obviously if McCaffrey were to miss time moving forward, Hubbard would be a must-add player, even with the bye coming up. At this point, we just don’t know if McCaffrey will have to miss time, and since Hubbard’s value is dependent on that, it’s hard to suggest spending a roster spot on a total flier. On the other hand, this is a friendly reminder that, while it can feel like keeping a guy like Hubbard on your bench hamstrings you, flexibility matters less in the playoffs.
Here’s who else we could be looking at for Week 13:
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Week 13 Early Waiver Targets
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