For most of us, the fake football regular season is in the books. With many teams eliminated and fewer teams vying for players on the waiver wire, remember to consider the depth of options available at each position before you cement your waiver claims for the week. As you will see this week, the options at running back are severely limited, whereas there are various wide receivers of similar value available. If you need a running back and a wide receiver, try to secure your rusher first because there’s a good chance one of the wideouts you want will wheel to your second waiver claim. Good hunting on the waiver wire and good luck in the fantasy postseason!
Russell Wilson, SEA – I assume Wilson was on the bench for most of his owners yesterday based on his match-up, but he defied the odds and posted 26 points against the Bears. He’s averaging 19+ points per games over the past five weeks and if you believe he can maintain that level of performance against Arizona, Buffalo, and San Francisco through the fantasy playoffs, he might be worth starting over your incumbent quarterback.
Brandon Weeden, CLE – Weeden draws Kansas City and Washington over the next two weeks, so if you’re in dire need of a plug-in for the playoffs, you could do worse.
Joe Webb, MIN – After a relatively strong start to the season, Christian Ponder has fallen off the fake football map. With only 119 passing yards in a favorable match-up against Green Bay in Week 13, Ponder is averaging a flaccid 145 yards per game over his last six tilts. I have to imagine the Vikes are nearing their annual Joe Webb audition.
Jonathan Dwyer, PIT – Despite being named the Steelers’ featured RB last week, Dwyer is still unowned in more than half of all Yahoo and ESPN fantasy leagues. His performance on Sunday against the Ravens wasn’t one for the ages, but amid the general mediocrity of running backs in Week 13, 49 yards and a TD looked pretty good in the fantasy box score.
James Starks, GB – It’s such a poor week for waiver wire running backs that I’m actually recommending one of my all-time stay-away players, Mr. James Starks! Starks ran for 66 yards and a score on 15 carries against the Vikings. Meanwhile, Alex Green had 12 carries for 58 yards. Temper your expectations for both players going forward, as they will continue to cut into each other’s work load.
Joique Bell, DET – Bell scored 10 fantasy points for the second straight week on Sunday and with a match-up against the high-scoring Packers coming up, he should be in line for plenty of work in passing situations and garbage time.
Justin Forsett, HOU – The fake football demise of Ben Tate has confirmed Justin Forsett as the running back to own for those inevitable games when Houston rests Arian Foster with their playoff seed locked up.
Montell Owens, JAC – Owens took over for an injured Rashad Jennings on Sunday, tallying 40 total yards and a two-point conversion. Owens is worth a look because he’s currently the only healthy running back on the Jacksonville roster, but don’t go crazy for him. There’s a good chance Jennings or Maurice Jones-Drew will be available for the Jaguars’ Week 14 game against the Jets.
Donnie Avery & T.Y. Hilton, IND – Andrew Luck continues to keep both of these wideouts fantasy-relevant down the stretch. After recommending them repeatedly for weeks only to watch them stagnate in the free agent pool of most leagues, I’ve decided to retire Avery and Hilton from this space for the rest of the season. Perhaps each of them receiving more targets than Reggie Wayne in Week 13 was the wake-up call fantasy owners needed to start taking these two seriously.
Chris Givens, STL – Speaking of targets, Givens hauled in 11 catches on 14 targets – each third-best among wide receivers in Week 13 – for 92 yards on Sunday. Granted, those stats were inflated by overtime, but Givens should continue his PPR bonanza as long as Danny Amendola remains sidelined.
Josh Gordon, CLE – Gordon got back on the big-play bandwagon against the Raiders, with a 44-yard TD in addition to 5 other catches for 72 yards. Brandon Weeden’s other wide receivers are basically an afterthought at this point. The bulk of his targets are aimed at Gordon and tight end Ben Watson.
Golden Tate, SEA – Tate and Sidney Rice each posted 90+ receiving yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Rice took a hard hit on the final play of the game and should be fine for Week 14, but it’s clear that these two wideouts can succeed simultaneously in the Seattle offense.
Kendall Wright, TEN – Wright gained 78 yards on 10 targets Sunday. While that’s not especially impressive, his upcoming schedule is. With match-ups against the Colts, Jets, and Packers on deck, Wright is lined up to finish the season strong.
Andrew Hawkins, CIN – Hawkins returned to action for the Bengals on Sunday and notched 5 receptions for 47 yards. With Mohamed Sanu out indefinitely, look for Hawkins to maintain his involvement in the Cincinnati offense playing opposite of A.J. Green.
Riley Cooper, PHI – While many fantasy owners were hoping for a significantly expanded role for Cooper since DeSean Jackson landed on injured reserved, he only caught two passes for 31 yards on Sunday against the Cowboys. Luckily one of those catches was in the end zone, saving an otherwise lackluster fantasy line. The targets were there for Cooper (9), but it’s clear that his upside is limited by the ineffectiveness of Nick Foles.
Mike Thomas & Titus Young, DET – Ryan Broyles tore his ACL against the Colts and has since been place on IR. This opens the door for Titus Young to return for the Lions, but considering his black sheep status with the team, Mike Thomas is the safer bet to assume WR2 duties.
Tony Moeaki, KC – Continuing his strong play over the second half, Moeaki caught 4 passes for 54 yards and his first TD of the season on Sunday. His Week 14 match-up couldn’t get much worse, as the Brown allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, but Moeaki’s outlook is much better in Week 15 against the Raiders.
Ben Watson, CLE – See Josh Gordon, above.
Tony Scheffler, DET – Scheffler is the other Lions receiver who stands to benefit from the injury to Ryan Broyles. He caught 3 passes for 55 yards on Sunday.