NFL

Fantasy football Week 13 waiver wire: Can Rashaad Penny cash in?

Fantasy football Week 13 waiver wire: Can Rashaad Penny cash in?

The NFL's bye weeks are behind us, which means one thing: no more excuses.

Fantasy football owners now can roll out their best possible lineups as they jockey for playoff position. But make no mistake: The waiver wire still is a useful tool.

Several free agents are projected to be legitimate fantasy contributors this week and could be inserted directly into your lineup. So, do yourself a favor and start the lineup-building process from the bottom up.

Here are our fantasy football waiver wire adds at each position for Week 13.

QUARTERBACK

Sam Darnold, New York Jets (owned in 40 percent of Yahoo! leagues): Darnold has come a long way since "seeing ghosts." The young gunslinger has over 600 passing yards and six touchdowns in his last two games and has two great matchups ahead in the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins.

Other quarterbacks to target: Ryan Tannehill (TEN), Jacoby Brissett (IND), Daniel Jones (NYG)

RUNNING BACK

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (20 percent owned): Chris Carson's loss (two fumbles) was Penny's gain Sunday, as the 23-year-old racked up 129 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. The Seahawks still trust Carson as their lead back, but Penny is nipping at his heels. Considering the volume in this Seattle offense, Penny should be added in all formats just in case.

Other running backs to target: Bo Scarbrough (DET), Benny Snell (PIT), Qadree Ollison (ATL)

WIDE RECEIVER

Chris Conley, Jacksonville Jaguars (15 percent owned): Conley has firmly established himself in Jacksonville with seven or more targets in five consecutive games. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. This is a no-brainer add for fantasy owners in need of a spot play.

Other wide receivers to target: Randall Cobb (DAL), James Washington (PIT), Mecole Hardman (KC)

TIGHT END

Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (33 percent owned): Eric Ebron's season-ending injury means Doyle is the clear No. 1 tight end in Indy. He's been steady if unspectacular all season -- three or more catches in eight straight games -- and his floor should rise in Ebron's absence.

Other tight ends to target: David Njoku (CLE), Mike Gesicki (MIA)

DEFENSE

New York Jets (25 percent owned): How 'bout them Jets?? New York's defense has tallied double-digit fantasy points in three consecutive weeks and faces a hapless Bengals offense that hasn't put up more than 10 points since Week 7. The Jets are a great sneaky streaming option.

Other defenses to target: Jacksonville (vs. TB), Green Bay (at NYG)

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Fantasy Football Week 12 starts, sits: James White could feast vs. Cowboys

Fantasy Football Week 12 starts, sits: James White could feast vs. Cowboys

The fantasy football playoffs are drawing closer, and the stakes are getting higher. So, it's up to you to raise your game.

Should you stick with your workhorse running back despite a subpar matchup? Should you take a chance on a boom-or-bust wide receiver with tantalizing upside?

There are a lot of tough calls this week, but you don't have to make them alone. Here are five players to start and five players to sit for Week 12 of NFL action.

START

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons: Ryan hasn't topped 20 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues since Week 6. So, why should you start him Sunday? Because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' atrocious defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing QBs, that's why.

James White, RB, New England Patriots: Patriots wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett both are dealing with injuries, which could mean more targets for White, who ranks second on the team in targets. Oh, and the Dallas Cowboys have allowed the fifth most receiving yards to opposing running backs this season. All signs point to a "James White Game."

Tevin Coleman, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Coleman has struggled to get anything going over the last three weeks, but that was in part due to some tough matchups. The Green Bay Packers are allowing 4.8 yards per carry this season and Coleman has still been involved in the passing game, so expect a bounce-back game here.

Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets: Guess who likes catching passes from Sam Darnold? Crowder, who's had four or more receptions in all but one game since Darnold returned in Week 6. Crowder also has scored a touchdown in three consecutive games, so he's a strong PPR play versus the Oakland Raiders.

DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Metcalf has amassed at least nine targets in three of his last four games, making him a strong high-floor play against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that's been generous to opposing wideouts this season.

SIT

Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams: Maybe Goff will step up his game on "Monday Night Football." But you just can't trust a QB with zero touchdowns and three interceptions in his last two games against the Baltimore Ravens' elite defense.

Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears: Cohen has generated some fantasy buzz with nine catches over the last two weeks. His increased use was in part due to David Montgomery's injury, though, and we'd expect Montgomery to cut into Cohen's touches this week against the New York Giants.

Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills: Singletary fumbled twice last week, and the Bills have a trusted veteran option in Frank Gore. Singletary still should get touches, but don't expect the exciting rookie to be a bell cow this Sunday.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams: If you can't trust Goff, you can't trust a wideout who's third on Goff's pecking order behind Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Cooks is a touchdown-dependent boom-or-bust play.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: It's saying something about the Bengals' offense that their top wide receiver isn't even start-worthy. Boyd has just one touchdown this season and doesn't produce enough volume to warrant a PPR play.

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Fantasy football Week 12 waiver wire: Ex-Patriot Jacob Hollister a must-add

Fantasy football Week 12 waiver wire: Ex-Patriot Jacob Hollister a must-add

It's been quite the year for former New England Patriots players.

We all know ex-Tom Brady backups Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett have put up solid numbers while guiding their teams to a combined 15-5 record.

But signal-callers aren't the only players finding new homes outside Foxboro, as former Patriots tight end Jacob Hollister has caught on with the Seattle Seahawks.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed a breakout two-game stretch that includes three touchdown catches following an injury to Will Dissly. That immediately puts him on the map for fantasy football owners who need a tight end for the stretch run.

Hollister highlights our fantasy football waiver wire adds at each position for Week 12.

QUARTERBACK

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (owned in 55 percent of Yahoo! leagues): The Browns stink, but you can still have belief in Baker this week. The young QB has accounted for five touchdowns and zero turnovers in his last two games and gets a home date with the Miami Dolphins, who got shredded by Josh Allen last weekend. Mayfield is the top streaming option for Week 12.

Other quarterbacks to target: Ryan Tannehill (TEN), Jacoby Brissett (IND), Sam Darnold (NYJ)

RUNNING BACK

Jonathan Williams, Indianapolis Colts (6 percent owned): Williams made the most of Marlon Mack's exit last Sunday, racking up 116 yards on just 13 carries. The 25-year-old may have to split time with Jordan Wilkins on Thursday night, but if he runs any bit like he did against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he should be Indianapolis' RB1, making him an immediate fantasy asset.

Other running backs to target: Bo Scarbrough (DET), Chris Thompson (WAS), Jordan Wilkins (IND)

WIDE RECEIVER

Darius Slayton, New York Giants (25 percent owned): Slayton's stock obviously takes a hit if Sterling Shepard (concussion) returns in Week 12. But considering the rookie amassed 10 catches for 141 yards in the Giants' last game, we'd imagine he'll still have a legitimate role in this offense. If you're thin on wideouts, scoop Slayton up for your stretch run.

Other wide receivers to target: Russell Gage (ATL), Danny Amendola (DET), James Washington (PIT)

TIGHT END

Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks (33 percent owned): The former Patriots tight end has exploded over the last two weeks, racking up 12 catches for 99 yards and three touchdowns following Dissly's injury. You can't expect that every week, but Hollister has earned enough of Russell Wilson's trust to make him a must-add in all fantasy formats.

Other tight ends to target: Ryan Griffin (NYJ), Mike Gesicki (MIA)

DEFENSE

Atlanta Falcons (5 percent owned): Apparently the Falcons' defense only shows up against the NFC South, judging by its double-digit efforts against the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers in back-to-back week. Guess who's next on the docket? Turnover machine Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Other defenses to target: Tennessee (vs. JAX), Seattle (at PHI)

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.