Fantasy football last-minute pickups for NFL Week 13: Kirk Cousins, Raiders defense and more

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Each week of the NFL season, we will identify fantasy football waiver-wire pickups specifically for those of you looking for streaming options in deeper formats (including IDP leagues). These are players available in a majority of ESPN Fantasy leagues (or close) who have enticing matchups in the week ahead that make them worthy of consideration for your lineup.

While you might notice some overlap with Field Yates' pickup column that publishes on Mondays, an important distinction is that the options mentioned in this column are focused solely on this week's matchup and not the players' values for the remainder of the season.

Do you need replacement options for injured or bye-week players? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? A roundtable of fantasy analysts will join me to identify some choice names to consider each week.

Here are some of our favorites for Week 13:


Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (34.4% rostered; vs. Jaguars)

During the past three weeks, Cousins is a top-five quarterback on a per-game basis. That's not a streamer, that's a week winner. His volume is a concern if Dalvin Cook gets rolling and the Vikes control this game, but the emergence of Justin Jefferson makes this an efficient passing game with more upside than is widely thought. Minnesota is the only team in the league that has scored 28-plus points four times in the past five weeks and the league's third-worst scoring defense doesn't profile as the team to stop that trend. -- Kyle Soppe, ESPN Fantasy researcher

Cousins has gone under the radar lately, but he has tossed 11 touchdowns in his past four games and averaged more than 300 passing yards in his past three outings. Now he faces the Jaguars, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. He carries a solid floor and a high ceiling in Week 13. -- Tom Carpenter, ESPN Fantasy editor

Running back

Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks (26.2% rostered; vs. Giants)

Week 12 saw Hyde nearly secure a rushing score in a third consecutive appearance, but a holding call rescinded his trip to the end zone in Philly on Monday evening. While the coaching staff claimed Chris Carson was ready to handle a big workload in that game, it was Hyde who netted 17 touches against the Eagles' stout rush defense. The Giants, meanwhile, are right around league average in yardage allowed per carry to backs and have ceded the 12th-most fantasy points per game to backfields. It's also noteworthy that field position and time of possession could greatly benefit Hyde and the Seattle ground game this week against a Giants team likely missing its starting quarterback. -- Jim McCormick

Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints (53.7% rostered; at Falcons)

Murray has nine more touches and 19.4 more fantasy points than Alvin Kamara during Taysom Hill's two starts and it's becoming clear that his skill set is a nice fit for what the Saints want to do with Hill under center. The Dirty Birds have the fourth-worst red zone defense in the NFL this season, so even if you're not buying volume from Murray, his scoring equity is high enough to put him in the flex bucket if you're lacking a consistent option. -- K.S.

Wide receiver

Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills (2.9% rostered; at 49ers)

This rookie speedster out of UCF was on the field for all but one offensive snap in Week 12's win over the Chargers, a game that saw Davis post his fourth fantasy line of at least 10 points and his third outing with at least 20 yards per catch on the season. With field-stretcher John Brown placed on injured reserve, Davis is now a fixture on the outside of the Buffalo offense. Davis has already run more routes than Brown this season and leads the team with 13.9 air yards per target, signaling he's a trusted vertical threat for Josh Allen. Even as the 49ers present a capable pass defense, it takes only one big play -- just like with Brown -- to accrue a respectable fantasy tally for Davis. -- J.M.

Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs (36.2% rostered; vs. Broncos)

Tyreek Hill was going bonkers and Travis Kelce caught every one of his targets against the Bucs last week, and yet Watkins still managed to see seven targets. That level of volume in any offense is valuable off the wire, but Patrick Mahomes' passes are worth 36% more points than league average and that gives Watkins a floor/ceiling combination that is impossible to find at this point. Is Watkins a lock? Of course not, but two of the past three receivers to score 20-plus fantasy points against Denver were secondary options and now is not the time to bet against this offense. -- K.S.

Tight end

Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts (10.2% rostered; at Texans)

Outside of the handful of elite receiving options, tight end is naturally a touchdown-dependent position. Burton is very clearly in this dependent tier, but he also has some respectable usage metrics that suggest the floor isn't as low as some of his positional peers. The former Super Bowl standout has netted at least four targets in all but one outing this season and has scored in four of his past six appearances. This week's opponent is Houston, a defense allowing nearly 13 fantasy points per game to tight ends, aiding Burton's potential to produce another solid outing. -- J.M.

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (31.6% rostered; at Ravens)

Schultz has at least five targets in four straight games, and while the production hasn't been there, all you can really chase at the position is some sort of consistent role. The Ravens are worse than league average in terms of opponent adjusted completion percentage to TEs this season, a glaring weakness given that they are a top-five defense in that metric against all other positions. Baltimore's roster is in flux at the moment and Schultz makes for a sneaky play in a matchup that isn't as scary as you'd assume. -- K.S.

Defense/special teams (D/ST)

Kansas City Chiefs (51.4% rostered; vs. Broncos)

Facing a Denver offense that struggled badly last week without an established quarterback could prove rewarding for this defense. Even if the Broncos field a more capable option behind center, it's a choice matchup for Kansas City given the Chiefs rank second in the entire league in pressure rate, evidence this group can create a series of rewarding splash plays against a reeling offense. -- J.M.

Las Vegas Raiders (22.2% rostered; at Jets)

Let's be honest, the Raiders' defense isn't very good; they rank last in sack rate and have struggled to deliver big plays in most outings. And yet, facing the Jets is the ultimate salve to a bad defense, as opposing D/ST groups have averaged roughly 11 fantasy points facing New York's inept offense. Given the great matchup, Las Vegas is a worthy streaming option despite such lackluster pass-rush rates. -- J.M.

Individual defensive players (IDP)

Defensive line

Chase Winovich, New England Patriots (11.3% rostered; at Chargers)

A strong start to the season for this Michigan product saw Winovich tally three sacks in the first four games of the season, but then he barely saw the field for several weeks. Firmly back in the pass-rush rotation for the Patriots in recent weeks, Winovich just recorded his first sack since Week 4 and has produced at least five tackles in three of his past four outings. Facing a Chargers offensive line allowing the highest pressure rate in the league, Winovich is in a great spot for fantasy fun this weekend. -- J.M.


A.J. Klein, Buffalo Bills (7.7% rostered; at 49ers)

With Matt Milano on injured reserve, Klein has vaulted into an important role in the front seven of the Bills' aggressive defense. Afforded awesome freedom to pursue the pocket as a blitzer in recent weeks, Klein has five sacks in the past three games and has produced a whopping 25 tackles the past two games. Facing a 49ers offense that prefers to keep everything around the line of scrimmage in the passing game, Klein is due for another big line. -- J.M.

Defensive back

Rayshawn Jenkins, Los Angeles Chargers (3.5% rostered; vs. Patriots)

Patrolling the passing and rushing lanes from the back four for the Chargers has driven a strong tackle rate for Jenkins in recent weeks, as this safety has delivered at least six tackles in seven of his past eight appearances. Facing a New England offense that should afford Jenkins a series of tackle opportunities in the box this week, he makes for a savvy streaming option. -- J.M.