The Week 14 Waiver Wire report is here, and with it, too, are the Fantasy Football playoffs in most leagues. If you’re in the playoffs and you need a slight edge or you need to fill some holes in your roster, the subsequent waiver wire reports are for you. Hell, even if you’re out of the playoff picture, making smart waiver decisions frustrates contenders who don’t get sneaky adds. You may have lost the war, but you still have a few weeks of battles to win!
Although injuries—namely concussions—peppered the NFL per usual last week, few seem serious enough to impact the Week 14 waiver wire. Obviously, those who don’t clear the league’s concussion protocol need to be spelled, but those are tough calls to make on Monday. Your best bet is to check out the Injury Report before you set your lineups.
However, any player stepping in for an injury will be noted below, assuming he meets the criterion for the SCFE waiver wire: Players must be owned in less than 30 percent of ESPN leagues. Even though Matt Hasselbeck is less than 20 percent owned, his injuries last week concern me the most. Hasselbeck is 40-years-old and left the Sunday night game in the fourth quarter. If you need a replacement QB2, read on.
Make use of the Start or Sit recommendations and the Fantasy Football: Strength of Schedule Comparison Tool to figure out where you can get an edge on your first playoff opponent. Also, there’s obviously no more bye weeks for NFL teams, which is a blessing and a curse for Fantasy Football owners.
Take a look at the Week 14 waiver wire top picks based on performance and matchups.
Week 14 Waiver Wire Targets
Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans (27 percent owned)
Facing the New England Patriots doesn’t favor Hoyer this Sunday, but his next three opponents (Indianapolis, Tennessee and Jacksonville) give him chances to return low-end QB1 value. For an immediate need, you could start Hoyer this week, but ideally you bench him until Week 15. The Pats have 35 sacks, tied for second best in the league, and have allowed QBs to score 16.1 Fantasy points per game.
Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos (17 percent owned)
Yup, he’s still available off the Week 14 waiver wire. His Week 13 performance was underwhelming, but against the Oakland Raiders, Osweiler has a favorable matchup against a team that’s allowed 21 passing TDs and intercepted only 11 passes.
Blaine Gabbert, San Francisco 49ers (2 percent owned)
Gabbert and the 49ers go to Cleveland this week, and that bodes well for any offense. Don’t disregard the 49ers’ stagnant offense for most of the Week 13 game, except for Gabbert’s electric plays in the last two minutes of play. He ran 44 yards for a TD to tie the game. Then, in OT, he connected with Torrey Smith for a 71-yard pass and TD to win the game. Gabbert scored more than 25 Fantasy points last week, according to Pro-Football Reference.
Among the things that you expect, a Blaine Gabbert walk-off is not one of them. Incredible. #49ers
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 6, 2015
James White, New England Patriots (27 percent owned)
It’s a thin market of free agent RBs in the Fantasy Football universe. White is my only suggestion for RBs under 30 percent owned. White’s value spiked in Week 13 when he caught 10-of-13 targets for 115 yards and a TD. His two rushes went for four yards. It’s hard to imagine he’ll replicate that performance on a weekly basis, but when used as the Patriots’ passing-down back, he’ll be a PPR threat as a RB3 or FLEX. You can still get him off the Week 14 waiver wire, but he’ll probably be owned in more than 30 percent of leagues by next week.
DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (21 percent owned)
Even though the Dolphins love to lean on RB Lamar Miller, Parker is a nice addition off the Week 14 waiver wire. Parker can be a TD-dependent Fantasy asset, but he works in deep-league WR3 or FLEX spots. His leaping TD catch in Week 13 impressed spectators. This week the Dolphins play the New York Giants, who have allowed the most receptions (188) and receiving yards (2,390) to WRs in 2015.
I’m ready to get going, step up and make plays. https://t.co/0pxQyTbgeS
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 5, 2015
Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers (17 percent owned)
Adding Wheaton means you trust he’ll get enough targets to matter. From Week 2 through Week 10, Wheaton never had more than four targets, and had four targets only three times in that span. In Weeks 12 and 13, QB Ben Roethlisberger targeted Wheaton 13 and six times, respectively. It could be tricky for Wheaton to be more than an option in super deep leagues. Wheaton’s Week 14 opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, have allowed WRs to score 20.3 Fantasy points per game.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (14 percent owned)
Lockett was an early-season suggestion, especially in leagues that count kick return stats. Now, the Seahawks’ offense appears to be clicking again, and Lockett’s been a part of the last few. He caught two TDs in Week 11 and all seven of his targets in Week 13 for 90 yards. The Baltimore Ravens host the Seahawks this Sunday. Only two teams have allowed more receiving TDs (19) against WRs than the Ravens, who’ve also let WRs score the fourth most Fantasy points against them. Lockett’s a useful PPR FLEX with even more value in return-counting leagues.
Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers (16 percent owned)
On Monday, McDonald entered the league’s concussion protocol. His status will be updated Wednesday, but regardless, if you’re in need of a TE2 in a deep league, McDonald fills that role. He comes with low-end TE1 upside, but a below average floor. Until the 71-yard TD to Torrey Smith, Gabbert had thrown all of his TDs in 2015 to TEs.
Luke Willson, Seattle Seahawks (2 percent owned)
Given it’s Fantasy Football playoff time, I’m suggesting stashes. After all, nobody is safe from the injury bug. Willson is the fill-in for Jimmy Graham, and while he’s no Graham, the playing time alone could give him value. Stashing him where you need TE depth or upside is wise. Don’t make too big a sacrifice as he’s just 2 percent owned. But as the Seahawks make a run at the playoffs, Willson’s role in the offense could be on the rise.
Defense/special team options off the Week 14 waiver wire are not great choices. I couldn’t convince myself that any of the D/ST options owned below 30 percent in ESPN leagues were worth adding. So here’s hoping you’re content with the D/ST situations you have. If not, do let us know and we’ll offer you a direct answer.
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