Waiver Wire Madness: Week 14
December 1, 2014 | Jeff
The quarterback position saw huge performances from under-owned options in Week 13, with Mr. Ryan Fitzpatrick (Owned: 8% Yahoo, 4% ESPN) and his half-dozen touchdown passes leading the way. From a waiver wire prospective, the QB position right now boils down to quarterback streaming. At this point in the year, your team is smashing full speed into the playoffs, so you likely have a weekly starter at the quarterback spot. If that is not the case, and you are a zany QB streamer, I think Fitzpatrick could be a decent option at Jacksonville in Week 14. If he ends up getting the start, Johnny Manziel (Owned: 12% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) would also be worth a shot at home against Indianapolis next week. Colt McCoy (Owned: 6% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) and Mark Sanchez (Owned: 53% Yahoo, 46% ESPN) also had nice Week 13 performances, but both face more stiff defenses in Week 14.
The running back department is slowly drying up, but there are still a few options available in most leagues that can help down the stretch. The top two backs this week are Latavius Murray (Owned: 49% Yahoo, 38% ESPN) and Daniel “Boom” Herron (Owned: 47% Yahoo, 41% ESPN). Murray sat out Week 13 due to a concussion, but if he takes the field for the remainder of the season, we could have a difference maker for fantasy purposes. You may remember Murray’s impressive performance in Week 12 when he took four carries and turned them into 112 yards and two touchdowns, which hopefully cemented his spot atop the Raiders backfield depth chart. As long as he is healthy, he is an easy RB2 candidate.
Herron has had two straight productive weeks including a 96 yard, one score afternoon in Week 13. Herron received 10 touches compared to backfield mate Trent Richardson’s eight, and they played almost the exact same number of snaps (Herron 25, Richardson 27). Boom Herron is the back to own in Indy and he is also handling all the receiving work, which is a nice boost in PPR leagues. Trent Richardson is still Trent Richardson, so go get Herron…if you’re picking up what I’m layin’ down.
Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams may have suffered a broken hand on Sunday, which could give Jonathan Stewart (Owned: 27% Yahoo, 31% ESPN) extra chances in Carolina’s backfield. J-Stew ran for 85 yards on 12 carries in Week 13 and has been decent when given work so far this season. Williams’ status is still pending, but Stewart could be useful in the fantasy playoffs with nice matchups in Weeks 14 and 15.
In a blast from the past, Doug Martin (Owned: 45% Yahoo, 43% ESPN) was spotted in his native habitat in Week 13, as he led the Tampa Bay backfield with 58 rushing yards and a score. Martin received 18 carries to rookie Charles Sims’ five, and although he wasn’t terribly efficient with his touches (3.2 ypc), he appears to be the lead Bucs back at the moment. Running back needy teams should make the move to snag Martin if they need a fill-in, but the Week 14 matchup for Tampa Bay is brutal (@DET).
Theo Riddick (Owned: 8% Yahoo, 6% ESPN) and Roy Helu (Owned: 12% Yahoo, 12% ESPN) are a couple options for PPR leaguers. I would prioritize Riddick, especially if Bush misses more time, but Helu is worth a look as well. The Washington third down back has averaged four catches per game over the last month, and he should continue to see opportunities with Washington likely trailing frequently down the stretch.
Both Marion Grice (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) and Michael Bush (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) are on the radar now with Andre Ellington hurting, but I wouldn’t waste much time on either of them just yet. Keep an eye on how things work out in Arizona this week, and stay up on Ellington’s status throughout the week/weekend.
Donte Moncrief (Owned: 5% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) played 28 snaps in Week 13 compared to just 17 for Hakeem Nicks, which is good news for the rookie. Moncrief’s huge day came on only four targets, so he may be a bit streaky but is worth a pickup at this point with Andrew Luck playing so well.
Kenny Stills (Owned: 41% Yahoo, 18% ESPN) had another big day on Sunday, with five grabs on six targets for 162 yards and a touchdown. Brandin Cooks isn’t coming back anytime soon, so Stills will be useful for the remainder of the year. The New Orleans fantasy playoff schedule is cushy as well. Snag him.
Marqise Lee (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) was the most productive Jacksonville receiver in Week 13, but he was targeted eight times, the same number as Allen Hurns and Cecil Shorts. This will be a crapshoot week to week, and I’d still rather have Shorts at the moment. It’s best to avoid this situation unless you’re in a desperate spot. Things will be much better for the Jaguars in 2015 when Allen Robinson returns.
Davante Adams (Owned: 11% Yahoo, 7% ESPN) was targeted 11 times in his solid Week 13 performance of six catches and 121 yards. The issue here is that Adams only received eight targets over the previous three weeks combined. The rookie will have his moments, but won’t be trustworthy on a weekly basis this season.
Harry Douglas (Owned: 4% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) blew up for 116 yards on nine catches in Week 13, but isn’t worth a pickup as Roddy White is expected to return soon. Just leave Douglas in the glass case with a “Break glass in case of Julio or Roddy injury” warning label.
Stedman Bailey (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 4% ESPN) went crazy again in Week 13, hauling in five passes for 100 yards. This gives Bailey 12 catches for 189 yards and a score over the last two weeks and he is worth a pickup for teams looking for a Week 14 spot start. The Rams draw Washington this week, so Bailey will be in the Week 14 WR3 conversation.
Jordan Reed (Owned: 49% Yahoo, 25% ESPN) was the leading receiver for Washington in Week 13 by a HUGE margin, catching nine of 11 targets for 123 yards. Reed is unowned in far too many leagues, considering the volatility of fantasy tight ends lately and should be picked up immediately by teams with a tight end need.
Mychal Rivera (Owned: 28% Yahoo, 32% ESPN) hasn’t been great recently but his target totals have remained respectable over the last six weeks, making him a decent “dart throw” if your team needs a plug-in tight end over the next few weeks. He will likely be a high end TE2 in the playoffs, which is useful in some circles.