Welcome to the 2023 season. We all begin the season with optimism for our players and a (mostly) healthy roster. But to win, you have to make moves that keep you ahead of the game. That’s what this weekly post is all about. Here, I’ll be looking at lightly rostered players who could benefit you this season. Here are some players to look for in Week 13. All roster percentages are courtesy of the NFL.
Bailey Zappe, New England Patriots
Roster Percentage: 0
About: Do I think Zappe is the answer to all New England’s problems? No, I don’t. I’m not even sure he’s a great starting option. But it’s clear Mac Jones isn’t the answer and shouldn’t start. So, that likely means Zappe getting a chance this week. With six teams on a bye and coming down to the wire, all starting quarterbacks need to be rostered. So, Zappe, come on down.
Tim Boyle, New York Jets
Roster Percentage: .1
About: And you thought Zach Wilson was a dangerous option. Boyle didn’t look good and likely won’t produce a lot. But the Jets seem committed to keeping him as the starter, and as mentioned above, there are six teams on a bye. Starting quarterbacks are at a premium, and Boyle is one for the time being.
Samaje Perine, Denver Broncos
Roster Percentage: 28.3
About: Perine was probably 100 percent rostered at the start of the season. Then Jaleel McLaughlin made an appearance, and the long season led to some cuts. Well, during this win streak, the Broncos have leaned on Perine more. He’s a good blocker and pass catcher out of the backfield. Perine has also been running hard. That gives him some good flex appeal. He should be rostered.
Royce Freeman, Los Angeles Rams
Roster Percentage: 3.2
About: Yes, Kyren Williams is the lead back. And, yes, he is getting plenty of work. But Freeman appears to have locked down the No. 2 role, and he’s also getting work. In Week 12, Freeman saw 13 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown. He’s worth a roster spot for the stretch run, particularly in deep leagues.
Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams
Roster Percentage: 22.3
About: With Van Jefferson gone and Cooper Kupp ailing, Atwell is seeing an increase in opportunities. Puka Nacua is still the top option, but Atwell caught three passes for 76 yards. He’s got a low ceiling and probably a low floor, but he’s got a role in a decent pass offense. That makes him worth a deep league add if he’s not rostered.
Demario Douglas, New England Patriots
Roster Percentage: 22.5
About: The Patriots’ pass offense isn’t great. The receivers haven’t been incredible, either, but Douglas is clearly emerging as the best option. While you might not want to play him a lot down the stretch, I like the future potential as well.
Cedric Tillman, Cleveland Browns
Roster Percentage: .1
About: Tillman was an interesting draft pick back in the Spring. He hasn’t had much of a role this season, but the Browns’ pass offense hasn’t been particularly robust, either. When the team traded Donovan Peoples-Jones, it created an opening. On Sunday, we saw Tillman slide into that opening with five targets, catching four passes for 55 yards. If he was let go in your league, he’s a prospect I think should be rostered.
Justin Watson, Kansas City Chiefs
Roster Percentage: 1.1
About: The Chiefs receiver group is a work in progress. While Rashee Rice seems to have found a solid role, the other receiver consistently getting involved is Watson. The journeyman saw a team-high 11 targets in Week 11 and caught a touchdown again in Week 12. The Chiefs’ offense can produce fantasy points, and Watson seems to have chemistry with Patrick Mahomes. He’s worth a deep league add.
Adam Trautman, Denver Broncos
Roster Percentage: .5
About: I’ve mentioned Trautman before. He is the starting tight end and probably the best pass-catching option at the position for the Broncos. He’s also a decent Red Zone threat, as we saw again Sunday with his touchdown grab late in the game. He’s a player that’s worth a roster spot.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.