It’s finally here! Bye weeks are officially over and the fantasy football playoffs are about to begin. The weak teams are officially out of contention and all that’s left are the true juggernauts. If you want your roster to match up against the best of the best, you’ll need to monitor to the waiver wire for the best weekly adds. If you need running back help, Austin Ekeler and Gus Edwards are just two of the top running back waiver claims heading into Week 13.
Fantasy Football: Austin Ekeler, Gus Edwards Highlight Week 13 Running Back Waiver Claims
Austin Ekeler (or Justin Jackson)
Injuries are always a terrible yet inevitable part of football, but they do lead to opportunities for certain players. Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon was in the midst of a fantastic season before suffering an MCL injury against the Arizona Cardinals. With Gordon gone, Austin Ekeler should be the top waiver claim of the week.
Ekeler finished Week 12 with five carries for 35 yards and a touchdown to go along with 10 receptions for 68 yards. With Gordon sidelined for the foreseeable future, Ekeler should put up even better numbers the rest of the way. Ekeler is owned in 45% of NFL.com leagues, so there’s a better-than-even chance he’s available in your league.
If, however, you play in a league where Ekeler isn’t available, take a flier on backup running back Justin Jackson. Jackson doesn’t have the same name recognition as Ekeler, but he still played well in Week 12. Splitting snaps with Ekeler, Jackson finished his night with seven carries for 57 yards. He doesn’t have Ekeler’s ceiling, but he should be a smart flex play.
It’s official: Gus Edwards is no one-week wonder. Benefitting from the absence of Alex Collins, Edwards finished his night with 118 yards on 23 carries. This is Edwards’ second-consecutive 100-yard game and the backfield should belong to him moving forward. Even if Collins is healthy enough to play in Week 13, the Ravens will ride Edwards the rest of the way.
Starting any Baltimore Ravens player is probably a good idea, as Baltimore has one of the easiest schedules the rest of the way. Over the next four weeks, the Ravens play the Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Chargers. Edwards should run all over these defenses, especially if Lamar Jackson remains the starter.
Rex Burkhead is eligible to return from the injured reserve in Week 13, and all signs point to the six-year veteran coming back for Sunday’s matchup. Burkhead has been sidelined since Week Three with a neck injury but should be fully recovered when he returns to the field.
As mentioned in a previous article, Burkhead won’t have the biggest role when he returns. Sony Michel is tearing up defenses on the ground and James White is borderline unstoppable through the air. However, Burkhead is the most versatile back in New England and brings an element of unpredictability. Additionally, the Patriots have no depth at running back. Cordarrelle Patterson is currently the third running back on the depth chart, so Burkhead will see action when he returns. He definitely has the lowest ceiling of the bunch, but he can make for a decent flex play in deeper leagues. Don’t use a priority claim on him, but grab him up on Thursday if he’s still available.
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