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. I’ll
also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous
Roethlisberger, PIT – Big Ben is owned
in just 15% of ESPN leagues but could be a decent QB to own as the
season winds down and gets some favorable matchups. He’s thrown
six TD passes over the past three weeks and still has the weapons
to post respectable fantasy numbers like he did in the win over
Garoppolo, SF – Jimmy G (15% owned)
went for 299-2-2 in a Week 13 loss to the Seahawks, but in Week
14 faces a Bengals team that saw Justin Herbert post the third
best fantasy QB numbers of Week 13. He’s worth a look as a QB2
and seems to really be clicking with TE George Kittle.
Wilson, NYJ – Wilson (less than
5% owned) is a risk-reward QB2 waiver selection because of the
favorable matchups over the next few games (NO, @MIA, JAC, TB)
and managed to set new career-high marks in both pass attempts
and total touchdowns on Sunday, largely due to garbage time. He
completed 23 of his 38 pass attempts for 226-2-1 in the loss to
the Eagles, and should only be considered in deep leagues and
Carr, LV – Carr followed up a decent
effort on Thanksgiving with a 29-for-38, 249-0-0 (24 rushing yards
on two carries) performance in a what amounted to a disappointing
fantasy effort from the veteran QB. It was a prime matchup and
neither offense took full advantage.
Jones, NYG – Jones turned up on
the injury report mid-week and was ruled out of Week 13 by Friday
morning. He’s likely not playing for a few weeks.
Foreman, TEN -UPDATE:
In his last game in Week 12 against a tough Pats defense, Foreman
rushed 19 times for 109 yards but lost a fumble - a situation that
may have been sorted out during their bye week. He's owned in about
35% of leagues and could be productive in a timeshare with Dontrell
Hillard against the Jags in Week 14. He's one of the better RB options
available in the majority of leagues.
Homer, SEA – The pickings are slim
at RB this week. With Alex Collins (abdominal) nursing an injury
but technically a “healthy scratch” Sunday and the Seahawks picking
up a win, I’d expect Homer and Adrian Peterson to shoulder most
of the Week 14 workload. Homer (three carries for 80 yards and a
TD and 4-10-0 receiving in Week 13) is almost universally available
and should be added in 12-team leagues. I think the workload increases
after his effectiveness and explosiveness in limited work against
Gainwell, PHI – Let’s start by saying
that I’m not falling for it again and I probably won’t be adding
Gainwell in any of my leagues. Now that’s out of the way, we can
discuss that Gainwell carried the ball 12 times for 54 yards and
a TD in and added five catches for 33 yards in the win over the
Jets. He’s an RB3/4 or flex play and has PPR upside if he can
stay on the field, and is owned in about 10-15% of leagues.
Perine, CIN –UPDATE:
Joe Mixon has a neck injury and is listed as questionable for
Week 14, though we don’t really know the extent of the problem
or if he’ll miss a lot of practice time this week, so stay tuned.
Perine would slot in as an RB2 if Mixon were unavailable against
the Niners on Sunday.
Hasty, SF –UPDATE:
Elijah Mitchell is in the concussion protocol, and with Wilson
(15-20% owned) nursing a knee injury, we could see a lot of Hasty
(0-1% owned) if things go south for either of the other SF backs.
This will require daily monitoring, but right now it looks like
we can’t count on Mitchell for Week 14, but Wilson should be able
to practice and play at Cincinnati on Sunday.
Peterson, SEA – The Seahawks added
Peterson to their practice squad on Wednesday and elevated the
NFL legend to the active roster Saturday. It was believed that
Peterson would serve as Seattle’s lead back, but Homer had the
better fantasy day on fewer carries. Peterson finished with 16
yards and a TD on 11 carries, but his days of shaking off and
breaking away from defenders are over. He’s a flex play moving
forward given the current state of the Seattle offense.
Mattison, MIN – Mattison rushed
22 times for 90 yards and a TD while adding 3-34-0 in Sunday's
29-27 loss to the Lions. With Dalvin Cook likely to miss Thursday’s
game against the Steelers, we can probably count on another RB1
upside start from Mattison.
Hubbard, CAR – We knew he was on
a bye in Week 13, but he had to be discussed as a priority pickup.
The matchup in Week 14 is a good one (ATL).
Michel, LAR – Even though Darrell
Henderson was active, it was only in an emergency capacity, and
Michel toted the rock 24 times for the Rams in their dismantling
of the Jaguars en route to 121 rushing yards, a TD and 3-9-0 on
four targets Sunday. I’m flabbergasted that he’s rostered in only
35% of ESPN leagues considering the upside he had if Henderson
was either ruled out or facing a limited role.
Breida, BUF –UPDATE:
Breida had just one 3-yard carry and one reception (for 5 yards),
losing a fumble that helped turn the tide in favor of the Pats
in this wild wind-fest. With Zack Moss active and the Breida fumble
looming large, it’ll be tough to assess the committee moving
forward – but Devin Singletary (70-75% owned) played the
best on MNF. None would be a great play against the Bucs in Week
Williams, DET – With D’Andre Swift
out, Williams took on lead back duties and rushed 17 times for
71 yards, added a 9-yard catch during Sunday’s 29-27 win over
the Vikings. Unless Swift can suit up next week against Denver,
Williams should get another hefty workload and get more targets
and involvement in the receiving game in that matchup than against
Scott, PHI – Rookie Kenneth Gainwell
and lead back Miles Sanders carried the load for the Eagles, and
you were warned of the coaching staff’s reputation for shenanigans
last week. In Scott’s defense, he took ill late in the week and
was active but didn’t have a touch on Sunday.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Moore, NYJ – Moore kept it going with
another solid day (8-77-1 on 12 targets, 9 rushing yards), and he
should continue to get peppered with targets and opportunities of
productive games in the fantasy stretch run. He’s now over 70% owned
but could be available in some shallow leagues.
Reynolds, DET – I included Reynolds
in my WRs to consider and he caught four of seven targets for
69 yards during Sunday's 29-27 win over Minnesota.
St. Brown, DET – St. Brown (5-10%)
caught 10 of a whopping 12 targets for 86 yards and a TD during
Sunday’s 29-27 win over Minnesota, and sems to be a popular checkdown
target for Goff with Swift on the shelf. It may be a while until
he gets to 12 targets again, but 6-8 per game moving forward could
keep him fantasy relevant.
Conklin, MIN – Conklin is owned in a little over
a third of fantasy leagues and seems to be ramping up his involvement
in the Minnesota offense. He caught seven of nine targets for
56 yards in Sunday’s 29-27 loss to Detroit and faces the Steelers
in Week 14 as a high-end TE2.
Grant, CHI – Grant (nearly universally
available) caught 5-62-1 in the Bears’ 33-22 loss to the Cardinals
on Sunday and seems to have decent rapport with Andy Dalton, especially
with limited receiving options and both Marquise Godwin and Allen
Robinson on the shelf. As long as Robinson and Goodwin remain
out, Grant makes for a decent depth option in the fantasy stretch
Treadwell, JAC – Treadwell (another
WR available in just about every fantasy league) caught 4-53-0
on eight targets during Sunday's 21-14 loss to the Falcons and
scored a two-point conversion. With the Jaguars hurting for receivers
and Marvin Jones looking essentially worthless at this point,
Treadwell could play a big role in the final few weeks and be
a valuable WR4.
Harris, NO – We have to keep in
mind he’s facing a three-game suspension for violation of the
leagues’ substance abuse policy, but Harris (4% owned) is appealing
the decision and is coming off his best fantasy performance of
the season (4-96-1 on eight targets) against the Cowboys on Thursday
UPDATE: The NFL has upheld the
suspension, so Harris won’t be eligible to return until
Week 17. He can be ignored until then, and this improves the fantasy
outlook for both Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith.
Hilton, IND – Hilton (20% owned)
caught both his targets for 22 yards in Sunday’s win over the
Texans, and the Colts are on a bye in Week 14. He’s safe to drop
this week if you have more pressing concerns.
Thomas, WAS – Thomas had 3-48-1 on five targets but
likely tore his ACL and MCL during the victory over the Raiders.
A sad end to a tough season for the talented WFT tight end.
UPDATE: We're still waiting from
confirmation on Thomas' injury. Ricky Seals-Jones could be a serviceable
replacement (he’s better than John Bates), but he was still
on IR. Stay tuned.
Bourne, NE –UPDATE:
The high comedy of Monday night’s winds kept Bourne and
just about every other Pats receiver from making any catches,
but Bourne did have a 3-yard rush! He’ll resume WR3/4 status
in Week 15 after the Week 14 bye.
Jackson, LV – Jackson failed to
make a big impact this week and caught his only target for 14
yards in the 17-15 loss to Washington. Next week he could have
a few more targets vs. the Chiefs.
Gage, ATL – Gage lost a fumble but
hauled in 11 of 12 targets for 130 yards in the Falcons’ 30-17
loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. He seems to be settling into
the No. 1 receiver role in Atlanta with Calvin Ridley still away
from the team.
Jefferson, LAR – Jefferson caught
six passes for 41 yards and one touchdown on eight targets against
Jacksonville on Sunday. He now has scores in consecutive weeks
and 31 targets over his last four games, and his ownership has
gone beyond 60% in ESPN leagues, so the window to grab him is
likely closed or closing.
Doyle, IND – Doyle fought through a knee injury and
was questionable heading into the weekend, but played and hauled
in just one catch for 13 yards.
Westbrook-Ikhine, TEN – The Titans
were on a Week 13 bye, but we should keep NWI in mind for Week