Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 14
We've officially made it to the fantasy football playoffs and Dan Malin has you covered with the players you need to target to push your team to a championship!
We’ve finally made it to the fantasy playoffs so congratulations if you didn’t get burned by poor quarterback play, a goose egg from Clyde Edwards-Helaire, unfortunate injuries to Frank Gore and Antonio Gibson, and if you didn’t play against Darren Waller this week! You may notice that this week’s waiver wire may not feature as many names. The reasoning is because we’re past the point of stashing players. We only have a few weeks left in the season and it is do or die at this point in time. So I’m not going to waste my time, or your time, with players that aren’t worth playing.
We have another weird waiver week with a Tuesday night game so this may push waivers back a day in most leagues. With that said I’ll pop into the NFL Season Long chat around 8:00pm ET tonight just to see if there are many questions or if people want to crap on the bad advice I may have given them this week. As always feel free to reach out via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll field your questions throughout the day. Best of luck in Week 14!
Kirk Cousins (MIN) I’m less optimistic about Cousins this week than I was last week, but you can’t deny the production right now. In his last five games he’s thrown 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions. And he’s been pretty consistent with three touchdowns in four of those games as well, and four straight games with at least 290 passing yards. The Vikings will visit Tampa Bay for an afternoon game against the Bucs who will be fresh off their bye week. This poses a great matchup for Tampa’s offense so even if the Vikings have to play catch-up there should be volume for Cousins this week to provide another good performance. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Baker Mayfield (CLE) Coming off a monstrous first half against the Titans last week, Baker is stepping up his game at the right time heading into the fantasy playoffs. The matchup is a little difficult next week against Baltimore. However, this will have been Baltimore’s third game in 13 days by the time they kick off for this one. So in terms of pure fatigue this could be a good matchup for Mayfield, but do remember the personnel on Baltimore’s defense is still top notch. They may not be well rested but they could always present a difficult matchup. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Philip Rivers (IND) Rivers has multiple touchdown passes in three straight games and eight straight games with at least 33 pass attempts. The Colts visit the Raiders in Week 14 and the Raiders are in the bottom ten against quarterbacks. They’ve allowed three straight quarterbacks to throw multiple touchdowns on them and they just aren’t a very good defense in general. They don’t boast a great pass rush either so this is a great spot for Rivers to maybe throw for 275 yards and multiple touchdowns. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Matthew Stafford (DET) I am fairly excited about Stafford going forward. However, I know he’s no guarantee. There is obviously plenty of risk associated with this guy, but he threw for 400+ yards against Chicago without Kenny Golladay . Golladay is trending in the right direction, but it’s not official he plays against Green Bay this week. The schedule shapes up nicely for Stafford and Co. in the playoffs with Green Bay, Tennessee, and Tampa Bay on tap. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
Cam Akers (LAR) Akers is easily the running back to target this week. Three weeks ago in my Hot Takes article I wrote that he wouldn’t find the end zone. And what has he done? Scored in three straight games. Egg, meet my face. He assumed most of the carries on Sunday with Darrell Henderson basically missing two quarters of action due to an injury that he came back and played through. I’ll give Henderson credit because he has been the guy I’ve campaigned for, and he found the end zone despite playing hurt. However, Akers has simply looked like the better runner in this backfield. Akers played 52 snaps on Sunday compared to 31 combined for Henderson and Malcolm Brown and he saw 20+ touches for the first time this season. He isn’t really involved in the passing game and the Patriots run defense has started to re-emerge over their last few games. Additionally, Akers was listed as a non-participant in practice on Monday so that’s not a great sign for a team that has to play Thursday night, but I’m operating as if he’s playing this week. Regardless, Akers is potentially a home run. FAAB Bid: 20-22%
Adrian Peterson (DET) You can’t really argue with the volume and four touchdowns in his last two games. He doesn’t carry any involvement in the passing game and you’re settling for maybe 3.8 yards per carry, but he has 31 carries in his last two games and he’s getting the goal-line work with D’Andre Swift sidelined. AP commented that Swift’s concussion doesn’t have him looking right so while there’s still an opportunity for him to return in Week 14, we shouldn’t be incredibly optimistic about that. The Packers run defense isn’t very good and there’s certainly a fair chance Peterson finds the end zone again in Week 14. Additionally, Kerryon Johnson injured his knee against the Bears on Sunday so this could lead to Peterson being a good flex play this week. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Ty Johnson (NYJ) Go figure on the one week I’m actually okay using Frank Gore as a flex option he gets concussed early on and is forced out. In lieu of Gore, Johnson came in and crushed it with 22 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown while adding a pair of receptions as well. If you miss out on Johnson you could also roll the dice with his teammate, Josh Adams , who racked up 74 yards on eight carries. I’d expect a similar 65/35 split in terms of workload from these two next week, but the matchup is not a pretty one as the Jets visit Seattle in Week 14. Hopefully you have more reliable options at running back, but Johnson will be a hot commodity even if he does play for the Jets. FAAB Bid: 7-9%
Peyton Barber (WFT) You almost have to mention Barber by default assuming Antonio Gibson misses time with a toe injury that forced him from Monday’s game after just two carries. Barber wasn’t great by any means, but he found the end zone but left a lot to be desired in terms of efficiency. The preferred target is J.D. McKissic but there’s a very good chance he’s unavailable in your league. The volume is what you’re targeting with Barber as he had 14 carries yesterday once Gibson left. But a pair of difficult matchups against the 49ers and Seahawks make him a risky streamer as we head to the fantasy playoffs. Again, go get J.D. McKissic if he’s still floating around on waivers as he’s the preferred running back to get in this offense. FAAB Bid: 5%
T.Y. Hilton (IND) For the record, this isn’t a waiver grab that really moves the needle for me. Sure, he’s found the end zone in back-to-back weeks but let’s not completely forget about Weeks 1-11 where he went scoreless and had one double-digit point performance in PPR formats. Indianapolis draws the Raiders this week so if you’re looking for a flex play to replace Will Fuller still then at least the matchup reads well for Hilton. Do keep in mind this is an offense that can spread the ball around to nine-to-eleven different players. If you choose to ride the wave with Hilton just understand we could be in line for a more mediocre stat line if he isn’t finding the end zone. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Tim Patrick (DEN) Patrick might be my personal favorite wide receiver to grab this week, even over T.Y. Hilton . In seven of his last nine games he’s returned double-digit points in PPR formats and the Broncos will be visiting Carolina in Week 14. Jerry Jeudy is open on every play but for whatever reason, he just isn’t connecting with Drew Lock . Patrick’s targets will fluctuate, but he’s a big 6’4” target that Lock isn’t afraid to look at in the end zone. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Keke Coutee (HOU) With Will Fuller suspended there was clearly an opportunity for somebody to emerge in this offense. I was personally pulling for Jordan Akins , but it wasn’t meant to be. Coutee stepped up with nine targets, but he also benefitted from the fact that Brandin Cooks was being evaluated for a concussion. Still, Coutee caught eight-of-nine targets for over 140 yards. He typically shows up against the Colts, similar to how T.Y. Hilton tends to have big games against the Texans. Luckily these two teams meet again in Week 15, but in Week 14 the Texans draw the Bears. It’s not a great matchup, but Coutee’s in a good spot to be fed some targets once again from Deshaun Watson . FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Collin Johnson (JAX) In yesterday’s Hot Takes article I declared Johnson the WR1 in Jacksonville’s offense. And I don’t think this is a real stretch either. Small sample size? Sure, but he’s a massive target at 6’6” for whoever is throwing the ball and he’s made some nice plays over the last two games. I think you shouldn’t go too crazy with the FAAB because they draw the Ravens and Bears in Weeks 15 and 16. However, next week the Jaguars host the Titans and that defense is straight up atrocious. So you can possibly jump on one good week from him here. FAAB Bid: 5%
Cam Sims (WFT) Sims is a longshot add off waivers. The Steelers did a great job shutting down Terry McLaurin on Monday and Sims stepped up with five catches on nine targets for 92 yards. That will not always be the case. Depending on game flow, Sims may not even be a top three pass-catching option in this offense behind McLaurin, Logan Thomas , and J.D. McKissic . However, I’ve preached size plenty in this waiver wire section and Sims is a big 6’5” target that maybe pays off in deeper leagues. FAAB Bid: 4-5%
Logan Thomas (WFT) If I could get away with only mentioning one tight end this week, it would be Logan Thomas . In Monday’s upset win over the Steelers, Thomas caught all nine targets for 98 yards and a touchdown. He’s had at least four targets in every game this season and while that may not sound like much, that’s a pretty good floor for a position where we’ve struggled to find consistency. He has double-digit points in PPR formats in five of his last seven games and Washington is right in the mix to win the NFC East. FAAB Bid: 12-13%
Jordan Reed (SF) REVENGE GAAAAAAAAAME!!!! If you’re into that kind of stuff. Logan Thomas is the preferred add off waivers this week, but Reed’s schedule is pretty nice the rest of the way. The 49ers face off against Washington, Dallas, and Arizona the next three weeks and maybe Reed finds the end zone against his former team. He scored Monday night and can get about four-to-six targets in a given week. It certainly feels like a matchup where the 49ers try to put Reed in the end zone in Week 14. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Anthony Firkser (TEN) With Jonnu Smith sidelined for the first time this season, Firkser stepped up with five catches for 51 yards on seven targets. Firkser played 30 snaps on Sunday but he lined up at slot or out wide on 29 of them. That’s great. What’s a little worrisome is that most of his targets came in garbage time late in the game. Let the rest of your league clamor over MyCole Pruitt ’s two touchdowns. He only had two targets and his second touchdown came off recovering a fumble from A.J. Brown. Assuming Jonnu Smith doesn’t practice again this week, Firkser could be in for another five-to-six target game. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
New England Patriots (at LAR) This isn’t a great matchup by any means, but the Patriots defense has been stepping up lately and they have the benefit of a short week, which could lead to some lighter scoring on Thursday. Additionally, this isn’t really considered a ton of travel since the Patriots stayed in Los Angeles following Sunday’s dominant win over the Chargers. There was also a time when the Patriots defense was awful against the run, but that’s changed a little bit over their last three games as they’ve allowed a total of 263 rushing yards to the Chargers, Cardinals, and Texans. There’s a little risk involved against the Rams, but with so few options available this week, you may need to gamble.
Cleveland Browns (vs. BAL) I noted up above when discussing Baker Mayfield that when this game kicks off it’ll mark the third game in 13 days for the Baltimore Ravens. Once again, the Ravens will be playing on a short week with fewer days to prepare than Cleveland who gets an extra day to prepare for this Monday night tilt. The Ravens may be at full staff, but the offensive line has struggled at times so I’m pretty confident in the Cleveland pass rush. Plus, it’s December in Cleveland and this stadium is right on Lake Erie. That invites wind and it’s going to be in the low 30’s. Plus it’s going to snow that morning and maybe that carries over throughout the day. So I’d be more than happy to stream the Brownies against a worn down Ravens team in the elements.
New York Giants (vs. ARI) The Giants defense has certainly been a pleasant surprise lately. They have multiple sacks in every game this year, they’ve forced ten turnovers in their last four games, and the defense has allowed just 46 total points in their last three games. They’ll be hosting the Cardinals in a 1:00pm ET game this week, so if you’re a “West coast team traveling East” truther then this D/ST is for you. The Giants also give up the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game and they’ve held their last three opponents to under 270 passing yards in each contest. We’ve seen Kyler Murray struggle lately. He isn’t running too much and the passing yards haven’t been there. This game is shaping up nicely for the Giants defense, which have played a huge role in the team’s four-game winning streak.