Bears

Fantasy Football: 11 waiver wire targets for Week 13

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Fantasy Football: 11 waiver wire targets for Week 13

Injuries suck.

There's no way around it. You can have a fantastic draft, make all the right moves on the waiver wire and in trades and yet still wind up with a terrible team just based on injuries alone.

You can't predict who is going to get hurt or when. All you can do is curl up in a ball and cry...and of course, stay active on the waiver wire.

Lose Le'Veon Bell? That sucks, but go pick up DeAngelo Williams. Lose Andrew Luck? We're sorry, but go out and get Blake Bortles. Pick your head up and move on.

No matter the injuries you've been hit with, take solace in one fact: At least you're not a Browns fan. (And if you are a Browns fan, we're so, so sorry. Seriously. We feel bad for you.)

 

While we're at it, be grateful you're not a ref right now, either:

Alright, on to this week's top waiver targets:

1. David Johnson, RB, ARI

Finally. He's been teasing us all year with somewhat low yardage totals but showing ways to find the end zone. Now, he has the backfield all to himself. Chris Johnson is likely out for some time with a broken tibia while Andre Ellington is battling some turf toe. It's not a pretty matchup this week against the Rams defense but Johnson has shown he's a major threat in the passing game. With Johnson likely to see a lot of playing time the rest of the year, he's a must-add this week. (Paschall)

2. Scott Chandler, TE, NE

Chandler had just 23 targets in 10 games played before Sunday night's loss to the Broncos, but he is suddenly shooting up wavier claims list. Rob Gronkowski is slated to miss at least one game with a knee injury, which means Chandler is suddenly a must-start in that Patriots offense, even with a bad matchup against an Eagles team that defends TEs well. Chandler caught five of his 11 targets Sunday for 58 yards and a TD against the top pass defense in the NFL and even though he's far less talented than Gronk, he's still one of the only reliable options left for Tom Brady on a depleted offense. (Tony Andracki)

[Check out CSN's complete Fantasy Football coverage]

3. Julius Thomas, TE, JAC

Somehow, Thomas is only owned in 60 percent of ESPN leagues. Thomas has recorded 5+ catches and a TD in each of his last two games and has finally overcome his slow start to emerge as a solid option in a rising offense led by Blake Bortles. (Andracki)

4. Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA

This might be the start of a beautiful relationship between fantasy owners and Baldwin. While Jimmy Graham's injury may have some impact on guys like Luke Willson, it's now clear Baldwin is the best option in the Seahawks passing attack, and it's not really close. As much as we all love Thomas Rawls, he doesn't do much out of the backfield, leaving Fred Jackson as the best option there. Tyler Lockett and Jermaine Kearse will do some battling for targets, but neither has gone over 100 yards receiving in a game yet this year. Baldwin has 19 catches in the last three games and four touchdowns. He's a quality waiver get this week if he's still available. (John "The Professor" Paschall)

5. Spencer Ware, RB, KC

Ware posted back-to-back huge games in relief of Charcandrick West and has become a must-own. Regardless of who the starting Chiefs back is this year, they've proved to be a valuable fantasy commodity, so even the unknown Ware has become a top start option at RB each week. If West is healthy, he's the starter and Ware is not worth putting in your lineup, but hamstrings are notoriously finicky, so there's no guarantee West will be good to go this week. (Andracki)

6. Shaun Draughn, RB, SF

Like Ware, Draughn has gone from unknown to lead back and fantasy option. The journeyman back - who was in camp with the Bears last year - had never been even worth owning in fantasy until four weeks ago. But with Reggie Bush out for the year and Carlos Hyde still haunted by a foot injury, Darughn has received 60 touches over the last three games. He hasn't scored and is averaged less than 3.5 yards per carry, but Draughn is helpful in PPR leagues (he has at least four catches in each of the last three games) until Hyde gets back. (Andracki)

7. Dontrelle Inman, WR, SD

When Keenan Allen went down for the season, everybody assumed Stevie Johnson and Malcom Floyd would be the two Chargers receivers to own. While Johnson has been as good as advertised, Floyd has one catch his last three games while Inman has racked up 19 targets, 11 catches, 144 yards and a TD in that span. He's not a must-start (especially against Denver this week), but Inman's arrow is clearly pointing up and he could become a solid contributor in the fantasy playoffs on one of the most pass-happy offenses in the league. (Andracki)

[MORE: Complete Fantasy Football coverage at Rotoworld]

8. Luke Willson, TE, SEA

Jimmy Graham is done for the year, which means Luke Willson is suddenly the No. 1 tight end. He's not a great receiver and certainly not worth starting, but if you're desperate at TE, he's an option. Willson is capable of a big game (as Week 16 proved last season when he went for 3 rec, 139 yds and 2 TDs). Gamble on him at your own risk. (Andracki)

9-11. J.J. Nelson (ARI), Seth Roberts (OAK), DeVante Parker (MIA), WR

These rookie wide receivers are probably not worth starting right away, but they're perfect stash guys for this season (or next year if you're in a keeper league). All three have come on lately. Nelson has earned 15 targets over his last three games, emerging as a deep threat in the NFL's top offense. Roberts had a huge Week 12 (6 rec, 113 yds, 2 TD) and now has as many TDs as his fellow Raiders rookie Amari Cooper (4). Parker took advantage of garbage time with four catches for 80 yards and a tuddie and he figures to get a lot more snaps and looks with Rishard Matthews now injured. Pick these guys up if you have the roster space and if you don't, at least keep an eye on these rookies as the season moves on. (Andracki)

Charles Leno, Jr. on Harry Hiestand: 'He's getting us better'

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USA Today

Charles Leno, Jr. on Harry Hiestand: 'He's getting us better'

Chicago Bears left tackle Charle Leno, Jr. has outplayed expectations after joining the team as a seventh-round pick in 2014. General manager Ryan Pace rewarded Leno for his play with a four-year, $38 million extension last offseason, committing to the former Boise State product as the Bears' blindside protector for the immediate future.

Leno joined his teammates at the team's annual Bears Care Gala on Saturday and said new offensive line coach Harry Hiestand is going to make him and his linemates better.

"We love Harry, let's just get that out of the way," Leno told 670 the Score's Mark Grote. "Harry is a great coach. I saw what he did for guys that he coached in college and the guys that were before us here in Chicago. He's getting us better."

Hiestand's efforts at Notre Dame produced four first-round picks: Zack Martin, Ronnie Stanley, Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey. He brings a no-nonsense coaching style back to Chicago, where he last served under Lovie Smith from 2005-2009. 

STANKEVITZ: In Harry Hiestand, Matt Nagy hits a home run on his first swing at Bears' coaching staff

Leno enjoyed the best season of his career in 2017. His 80.4 grade from Pro Football Focus was the best of all Bears linemen and his highest overall mark over the last four years. He finished 15th among all tackles graded by PFF last season.

Regardless, Leno still has to impress his new coach just like every other offensive lineman on the roster. The Bears haven't added any competition for Leno, but his fate as the team's long-term answer at left tackle could be decided by Hiestand.

Matt Nagy is winning over his players by being himself

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USA Today Sports Images

Matt Nagy is winning over his players by being himself

Despite losing 34 of his 48 games as the Bears’ head coach, John Fox’s players generally liked him and were disappointed to see him fired on New Year’s Day. That’s not to say they were blindsided by it — losing leads to people losing their jobs, even if the culture at Halas Hall had changed for the better following the disastrous end of the Marc Trestman-Phil Emery era. 

It was with that backdrop that Matt Nagy was offered and accepted the position of Bears head coach a week after Fox’s firing. Four and a half months later, Nagy has seemingly made a strong first impression on his new team, with one reason standing out among many: He’s genuine in who he is and what he does.

“I would say Nagy can be stern, and he can be playful also,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “I think when you’re a first-year coach, you want to win (over) your guys, and you want to be firm, and he’s doing that. You can’t really tell he’s a rookie coach or whatever. I feel like he was born for this, and he’s doing a great job.”

Granted, no player is going to publicly blast their new boss — especially not before he’s even coached a game yet. But veteran players also aren’t oblivious to who can and cannot work out as a head coach, and there haven’t been any “damning with faint praise” types of comments that were more common five years ago at the beginning of the Trestman era.

Will this win Nagy any games come September? No. But consider this sort of like team chemistry: It won't win a team anything, but if a team doesn't have it, it can be costly. 

“He’s a cool coach, man,” linebacker Danny Trevathan — who played for Fox in both Denver and Chicago — said. “He’s always giving us little details and smiling but we know he’s a hard worker just like we are. He’s up there working just like we are. He’s always putting us in the right position and he takes care of us. On the back end, where I come from, you take care of coaches like that. You go out and make plays for those coaches.”

From an observational standpoint, Nagy comes across as genuinely excited not just to be a head coach, but the head coach of the Bears. Players respect that approach — he's not coming in acting like a hired gun, and he's shown through these OTAs and practices that he cares about them, even if they haven't spent much time together yet. And he's also not strutting into Halas Hall every day with an over-inflated ego based on his promotion. That resonates, too. 

“I like the way he came in,” Trevathan said. “He came in humble but he was hungry. He came anxious, moving around in the meetings. I like that. That gets me fired up. I feel like we’ve got a good leader up here in the head coach.”