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Waiver Wire

Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 13

by Mark Lindquist

Appalachian State QB Zac Thomas -- We like that Thomas has been slinging it hot of late, with five touchdown passes over his last two games, and we like his matchup on Saturday. That will come against the Trojans of Troy. While Troy’s defense is a minor name brand, it’s their run defense, rather than their pass defense, which is pulling the weight this season. The former ranks as S&P+’s No. 17 unit, the latter just No. 53. And wouldn’t you know it, Appalachian’s strength comes through the air (No. 36 S&P+), rather than the ground (No. 81). Thomas has six games with multiple touchdown passes this season. He’s not the flashiest of assets, but if you are looking for a high-floor waiver-wire option, he fits that bill well enough. We don’t love boom/bust prospects in the fantasy playoffs.


Memphis QB Brady White -- White will have the pleasure of starting against a Houston team which just lost its starting quarterback and is feuding over winter clothing like they are about to go over The Wall. Oh, also, they have one of the worst passing defenses in the country. That has not changed. White has fired off multiple scoring passes in each of his last four games, and while his blazing hot start to the campaign -- a pair of five-touchdown games in the first three contests -- has long since receded into the ashes of time, he could be in for a nice performance on Friday. White is currently owned in 29% of Fantrax leagues.


Temple QB Anthony Russo -- Note, Russo is coming in a little sluggish here, having failed to throw a touchdown pass in either of his last two games. But, play along with us, here. The Temple signal-caller had seven touchdown passes in back-to-back contests prior to his slowdown over the past two weeks. Up next on the schedule would be UConn and the Huskies’ terrifyingly bad defense. In nine of 11 games this season, they have surrendered at least 45 points. ECU QB Holton Ahlers just fired off four touchdown passes against UConn on Saturday. You’re taking a risk here, of course. Russo has not played noteworthy ball of late. If you want to try something bold, though, he is available in 97% of Fantrax leagues.


Baylor QB Charlie Brewer -- Chasing matchups once more, Brewer will be facing off with Texas Tech on Saturday. That seems a game destined for a 52-45 score one way or another. At least assuming that Brewer can light it up. He threw for 163 yards and no touchdowns (while being picked once) against TCU on Saturday. That was Brewer’s sixth game with one or no touchdown passes. We will bank on Texas Tech’s flaws, though, something that feels like second nature to anybody seasoned in CFB streaming plays. While we do enjoy the Red Raiders’ little resurgence this season, they still rank 127th nationally against the pass.


Maryland RB Anthony McFarland Jr. -- McFarland had himself a day on Saturday, running all over the ghost of Ohio State to the tune of 298 yards and a pair of scores. All that was missing was the victory, but alas, alas. The budding star has gone over 200 yards rushing in each of his last two games. Unless you are in a keeper or dynasty league, it’s almost certain that McFarland is available in your league right now. On Fantrax, he is out there in 97% of leagues. McFarland will have to go on the road against Penn State this week, but we stopped viewing the Nittany Lions as anything more than a kitten a while ago.


Toledo RB Bryant Koback -- Koback is owned in 3% of Fantrax leagues and just destroyed Kent State with 192 yards and two touchdowns last time out. Pounce upon him. While that was his first 100-yard game of the campaign, he has received double-digit carries each of the last four games. Even better, come Black Friday, he will be feasting on a CMU team that possesses S&P’s No. 98 rushing defense. While you don’t want to bank too much on one solitary performance, it is hard to ignore 192 yards rushing, even against Kent State.


UCF RB Adrian Killins -- Killins is available in 47% of leagues as of current. That shouldn’t be the case. If you were watching on Saturday, you saw him demonstrate both his short-distance athleticism and his game-breaking speed on a pair of touchdown catches against Cincinnati. He received just five rushes in the contest, but therein lies the rub -- even if Killins is not taking carry after carry, he remains a playable, productive option due to his ability as a pass-catcher. From scrimmage this season, Killins has totaled 940 yards and eight touchdowns. UCF will be facing a USF team which ranks 78th against the run -- 91st defending explosive runs -- come Friday.


Ohio RB A.J. Ouellette -- Ouellette has been all kinds of great over the last month, putting up at least 130 yards rushing in three of his last four games. The sharp end of that output has come over the last two contests, with Ouellete rushing for 168 yards against Miami (OH) and then following that performance up with a transcendent 196-yard, two-touchdown demolition of Buffalo in Week 12. He gets Akron on Friday and is available in over 70% of Fantrax leagues.


Boise State WR Sean Modster -- We’re crossing our fingers for shootout city in the Boise Valley on Saturday evening, when the Broncos take on Utah State. You can still potentially get in on this action, as Modster -- who went off for 9-129-3 against New Mexico on Friday -- is still widely available in most leagues (20% ownership on Fantrax). BSU has enough offensive pieces that it can sometimes be difficult to pin down who will star in a given contest, but they are dealing with injuries in the receiving corp and we trust Modster. That contest with the Lobos was his seventh game out of 11 in which he has caught at least five passes.


TCU WR Jalen Reagor -- The Horned Frogs offense is all kinds of bad at this juncture, but Reagor somehow continues to keep putting up stats even in the maw of the abyss. He has scored touchdowns in each of his last six games, with each of his four contests seeing him top 85 yards receiving. He has gone for at least 150 receiving yards in two of his last four games. Their opponent upcoming, Oklahoma State, has been involved in a high-scoring game -- 35 or more points allowed -- in each of their last four contests. Even TCU could have a fighting chance of doing something, here. And if they don’t, Reagor will probably figure out some way to score again, regardless. He’s unowned in just over half of Fantrax leagues. If you have a chance to pick him up this week, he is worth starting consideration.


Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle -- While Jerry Jeudy right receives much of the offensive spotlight in Tuscaloosa, Waddle has done fantastic work in his own right this year. Most recently, he caught a pair of touchdowns in Bama’s win over The Citadel. You are playing a little bit of receiver roulette beyond Jeudy, but Waddle is widely available and is very much capable of giving you a 100-yard game (he has two of those to his credit this season). Just a freshman, Waddle also makes for a killer stash in keeper and dynasty formats. We would prioritize Modster and Reagor ahead of him, but depending on your aims, there is intrigue, here.


ECU WR Tyler Snead -- Snead and Holton Ahlers have had an immediate psychic connection these last three games, with the walk-on freshman logging a 15-236-4 receiving line in that space. Now, three of those four touchdown grabs came against UConn on Saturday, so keep that in mind, but we’ll trust the volume. Snead will be matched up against a Cincinnati team which was just flattened by UCF on primetime over the weekend. Against a deflated opponent, we think Snead could put up some nice numbers.   

Mark Lindquist
Mark Lindquist holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa and writes baseball and college football for Rotoworld.com. He's currently working on a memoir about life, death, rock 'n' roll and his year teaching at a Chinese university. You can reach him on Twitter @markrlindquist.