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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


Through The Wire - Week 14
12/4/17; Updated: 12/5/17

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Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.



Quarterbacks

Case Keenum, MIN Its bizarre I must keep harping on this, but Case Keenum is still available in about 15-20 percent of competitive fantasy leagues, which means there are likely a bunch of 10-team leagues where hes on the waiver wire. Hes had at least two passing TDs in four out of his last five games and had passed for 280+ yards in four straight heading into Week 13, when he went 227-2-0 on 25-for-30 passing in a road win over Atlanta.

Joe Flacco, BAL Flacco may not be elite, but hes got a great sense of humor and did an excellent job clowning Jameis Winston, eating the W at the podium after the vistory over Detroit. Flacco had his best game of 2017 with 269-2-0, and his stock goes up the next three games against beatable opponents (@PIT, @CLE, IND) who usually yield big games to opposing QBs. Flacco may not be an exciting option or have huge upside, but hes a steady contributor who probably wont give you a goose egg.

Tom Savage, HOU Like Flacco, Savage had his best game of the season in Week 13, throwing for 365-1-1 against the Titans. Hes got a little more upside than Flacco but a much lower floor, as hes capable of throwing multiple INTs. Thankfully, hes facing a suspect 49ers-D in Week 14 and could be worth a look in deeper formats. Savage is owned in less than 10 percent of competitive leagues.

Aaron Rodgers, GB – UPDATE: While Rodgers has not been medically cleared for a return and will not be until we’re into Week 15, it’s obvious that he’s looking at a possible return for the last couple weeks of the fantasy playoffs. He’s yet to receive a scan that lets him (and fantasy owners) know if his clavicle is fully healed, and the matchups are not favorable for a rusty QB with a damaged wing. But based on the reports of his arm strength in recent workouts, there’s some reason to be optimistic. Stay tuned, because Rodgers is available in about 30-40 percent of leagues.

Other QBs to consider: Eli Manning (NYG), Jay Cutler (MIA), Blaine Gabbert (ARI), DeShone Kizer (CLE), Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)

UPDATES:

Brett Hundley, GB Even in a favorable matchup, Hundley went right back into the fantasy toilet in Week 13, going just 13-for-22 for 84-0-1 and adding 66 rushing yards. Still, his team eked out a win in OT and he did flash his usual mobility in what became a true game manager performance. Hes got another favorable matchup in Week 14 but since its the first round of the fantasy playoffs for most teams this week, hes going to be hard to trust.

Jameis Winston, TB Winston finished with 270-2-0 and a lost fumble (18 rushing yards) in the loss to Green Bay. He looked decent in his first game back from the shoulder injury. Winston was clicking with the offense (especially TE Cameron Brate) though Mike Evans tallied just 2-33-0 on six targets.

Josh McCown, NYJ McCown had another big statistical day in the win over the Chiefs, throwing for 331-1-0 but adding two rushing TDs. Hes now eclipsed 300 passing yards in back to back weeks, though the matchup with Denver in Week 14 is a difficult one, as the Broncos will have Aqib Talib back from suspension.

Blake Bortles, JAC Bortles and the Jaguars were sharp against the hapless Colts on Sunday, as the oft-maligned QB threw for 309-2-0 adding 27 rushing yards and a 2XP pass. His matchup for fantasy playoff Week 1 (SEA) isnt quite as favorable, but it gets better in Week 15 (HOU) and in Week 16 @SF.

Peyton Barber

Peyton Barber's 102 rushing yards was the first time a Bucs RB has cracked the century mark in 2017.

Running Backs

Giovani Bernard, CIN - UPDATE: Joe Mixon was diagnosed with a concussion on Monday night, which was a brutal game from an injury perspective. Let's all send some positive vibes to Steelers LB Ryan Shazier and hope he recovers from that spine contusion. As for Bernard, he was excellent in relief of Mixon (77 rushing yards, 2-19-0) and would be a high-upside RB2 against the Bears in Week 14 should Mixon not be available.

Matt Forte, NYJ Forte finished with 58 rushing yards and 3-33-1 Sunday even though he was out-touched by Bilal Powell. Still, Forte is part of the Jets offense and should continue to see 12-18 touches per game if he stays healthy enough to play through the knee issue. Hes owned in about 50-75 percent of leagues.

Theo Riddick, DET Even though Ameer Abdullah is expected back next week, Riddicks Week 13 performance should serve as a gateway to more touches and involvement in the Lions offense. The passing-down back had 5-41-0 receiving and added 21 rushing yards and a TD on nine carries against a tough Ravens defense. Hes also owned in about 50-75 percent of leagues.

UPDATE: If Abdullah misses Week 14, both Riddick and Tion Green will be options against a weak Tampa Bay run defense.

Kerwynn Williams, ARI Williams filled in a starting role for Adrian Peterson (neck) and rushed for 97 yards on 16 carries. Hed likely get the start at Tennessee in Week 14 and moving forward should Peterson miss any more time.

Other RBs to consider: Jonathan Stewart (CAR), Aaron Jones (GB), Byron Marshall (WAS), Marlon Mack (IND) Rod Smith (DAL), Tion Green (DET)

UPDATES:

Kenyan Drake, MIA Drake busted out for 120 yards and a TD on 20 carries and added 3-21-0 in the decisive Week 13 win over Denver. The former Alabama RB benefited from a makeshift Broncos defensive line that got worn down all day by the Dolphins offense. Drake appears to be a solid RB2 moving forward, especially with Damien Williams (shoulder) on the shelf for a while.

UPDATE: While Drake is still the best option in the Miami backfield, there’s a chance that Williams suits up for Week 14, which hurts his overall value.

Rex Burkhead, NE Burkhead has his best game as a Patriot thus far, running for 78 yards and two TDs on 12 carries and adding 3-25-0 on four targets from Tom Brady. Hes a high-upside RB3/flex play given how potent this offense can be, but always a risk given Bill Belichicks game planning.

Peyton Barber/Jacquizz Rodgers, TB Barber didnt score on Sunday but had 102 rushing yards on 23 carries and added 4-41-0 receiving, while Rodgers was relegated to a change of pace role, finishing with 25 yards on three carries. Charles Sims wasnt much of a factor wither, with 2-35-0 receiving and 16 rushing yards on three carries.

UPDATE: It’s highly unlikely that the Bucs go right back to Doug Martin (concussion) with a full workload even if he suits up, so Barber is viable this week against the Lions.

Mike Davis, SEA Davis looked the best of all the Seattle backs, rushing for 64 yards on 16 carries and adding 4-37-0 on four targets from Russell Wilson. Hes the clear No.1 back for the Seahawks and should be a popular pickup again this week as hes owned in just 15-20 percent of competitive leagues.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Marqise Lee, JAC Lee had 7-86-1 on 10 targets in a decisive win over the Colts. Regardless of matchup, Lee (70-85 percent owned) is the Jags best receiver and should see a high volume of targets moving forward.

TE Cameron Brate, TB Brate hauled in only two catches for 39 yards, but both were TDs. Hes 70-75 percent owned but having Winston back greatly increases his fantasy value as a popular red zone target.

Josh Gordon, CLE Hes not going to be available in any leagues after this week (I told you to pick him up a couple weeks ago), but Gordon had a nice debut for the Browns, going for 4-85-0 on 11 (!) targets from Kizer, who overthrew him a few times. Hes going to be even more involved in Week 14 against the Packers.

Marquise Goodwin, SF Goodwin (50-55 percent owned) caught all eight of his targets for 99 yards in Week 13 a type of perfection he hadnt accomplished since a pair of one- and two-catch games as a fledgling NFL WR in 2014 and 2015. Its worth noting that he has a new QB in Jimmy Garoppolo, and is healthy heading into a Week 14 matchup with Houston.

Ryan Grant, WAS Grant is coming off his best game of 2017 (5-76-1 on nine targets) in the Thursday loss to Dallas. Hes been a bit of a lightning rod for controversy, as many coaches and players believe hes not as talented as Jay Gruden thinks he is. Still, Grant (5-10 percent owned) is likely to see 4-6 targets in Week 14 and could be worth a flex play in deeper formats.

TE Stephen Anderson, HOU Anderson had been pretty quiet heading into Week 13, when he exploded for 5-79-1 on 12 targets from Savage. Hes on the TE2 radar heading into a favorable matchup with the 49ers, who are arguably the worst in the league against opposing TEs.

UPDATE: His upside could suffer if any of the Texans’ injured receivers are good to go this week, but Anderson could be a sneaky TE1 facing the 49ers.

Cordarrelle Patterson, OAK Patterson had 4-97-0 in the win over the Giants and could see some more targets in Week 14 should Amari Cooper miss any more time. Patterson also gets the occasional carry because of his explosiveness and is an unreliable option with capped upside. But hes available in over 85 percent of leagues and has been getting some opportunities and making the most of them in a Raiders season thats somehow not yet beyond salvation.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Mike Wallace (BAL), TE Trey Burton (PHI), TE David Njoku (CLE), Keelan Cole (JAC), Trent Taylor (SF), Braxton Miller (HOU), Donte Moncrief (IND), TE Ben Watson (BAL) Dontrelle Inman (CHI)

UPDATES:

Cooper Kupp, LAR Kupp is still without a TD since Week 7, but he did catch 5-68-0 on six targets in Week 13. Hes got a great future as a reliable PPR guy.

Martavis Bryant, PIT UPDATE: Antonio Brown was active on Monday and had a signature game, putting a dent in the number of targets Bryant would have seen. The embattled WR still hauled in 4-40-0 on six targets and makes for a high-upside, high-risk WR3/4 heading into Week 14 against the Ravens.

Randall Cobb, GB Cobb wasnt targeted in Week 13 which is somewhat inexplicable considering his effectiveness and efficiency the previous week @PIT. Hes an unreliable option given the current state of the offense.

UPDATE: I’ve yet to see an explanation why Cobb wasn’t targeted last week despite being on the field for 41 of the Packers 55 snaps, and that’s not helpful because the matchup with Cleveland isn’t that terrible. I’ll update in the comments if anything more emerges about this situation.

Jermaine Kearse, NYJ Kearse had a monster day, going for 9-157-0 on 10 targets from McCown. Hes a solid WR3 with some upside given the target volume hes seen the past three games (29 targets, 20-297-1 receiving).

Zay Jones, BUF Jones had just 2-22-0 despite seven targets form the Buffalo QBs (Tyrod Taylor left with a knee injury). His stock falls further with Nathan Peterman likely to start Week 14.

Dede Westbrook, JAC Westbrook had his best game thus far with 6-78-0 on nine targets from Bortles. Hes worth considering as a WR3/flex play in deeper formats and DFS.

UPDATE: An Allen Hurns return could throw a monkey wrench into his target volume, but there’s no word of that happening anytime soon. Westbrook was in on a season-high 82 percent of the snaps in Week 13 and should be viewed as a WR4/flex option with some upside.

Seth Roberts, OAK Filling in as a starter for Michael Crabtree (one-game suspension) Roberts had 5-46-0 on six targets. He’s not much of an option moving forward save for super-deep leagues and DFS GPPs.