The playoffs begin for most of you in Week 14, and if you’ve made your league playoffs, chances are you don’t really need anything off the waiver wire. However, if you’ve got injury problems or amazingly have a roster spot open, then adding some depth might not be a bad idea. Just make sure you’ve got the handcuffs for your studs and a backup ready in the event someone important to your team’s success gets injured before you go adding anyone on speculation. Nobody below (except perhaps Jordan Reed) is going to supplant one of your starters, so consider them your emergency depth backup guys.
Johnny Manziel (QB, CLE) – It took a whole lot longer than anyone thought for Johnny Football to appear in a game in a meaningful way, mostly because Brian Hoyer has played pretty darn good football this season. However, turnovers have become a problem and the offense was flailing away and not getting things done, so Manziel was brought in to provide some sparks. He did just that, too, marching downfield in a little over three minutes and running the ball into the end zone himself from the 10-yard line. While we can praise him for leading the team on a nice scoring drive, we should also point out that he did nothing at all on the Browns’ next possession. He hasn’t been named the Week 14 starter yet, but if he does get the nod you won’t want him in your lineup and you’d better think long and hard about using any Browns receivers.
Colt McCoy (QB, WASH) – The Redskins are in such disarray that it’s kind of scary to even contemplate using anyone aside from RB Alfred Morris and perhaps Jordan Reed if you can stomach the injury concerns. The main reason he’s included here is because he can rack up the Fantasy points in soft matchups. One need only look at Sunday’s effort against the Colts, in which he completed 31 of 47 pass attempts for 392 yards and three TDs to see what he’s capable of. Week 14 against the Rams won’t be easy but after that the ‘Skins play the Giants and then a home game against the Eagles. The Giants have allowed the sixth-most Fantasy points to QBs while the Eagles allow the third-most, making McCoy a viable alternative play in DFS leagues and a potential injury replacement if your stud QB starter goes down in the next few weeks.
Marcel Reese (RB, OAK) – The Raiders are embarrassing; that’s evident after their 52-0 drubbing at the hands of the Rams. But even more embarrassing is that Reese stepped in to lead all Raiders in targets, receptions and yardage in that game, making it crystal clear that Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden are just terrible at this stage of their careers. We don’t know the status of Latavius Murray just yet but it looked like he was going to play in Week 13, and then he didn’t. So, I’m thinking he will make it back to the field this week. The Raiders have no choice but to use Murray and Reece as their one-two punch out of the backfield and leave MJD and Run DMc on the sidelines. Anything short of that, and they’re just stupid. If Murray plays and the Raiders put together some sort of balanced attack, Reese could end up having some value in PPR formats as a pass-catching RB. But before you go getting all excited, you should know that the men in black face the 49ers, Chiefs and Bills over the next three games, three very good defenses. Use Reese and even Murray at your own peril.
Andre Williams (RB, NYG) – Rashad Jennings injured his ankle and was forced to leave the game early in the fourth quarter. The injury isn’t considered serious but the concern is that the ankle injury combined with his preexisting knee problem could lead to a compensation injury that would cause further damage. Williams gets the lion’s share of the carries if Jennings misses time, so stash him away if you’re depending on Jennings to carry you through the playoffs.
Kenny Stills (WR, NO) – Stills was the guy who did most of the damage for the Saints in Week 13, catching five passes for 162 yards and a TD. He’s the target leader since Brandin Cooks was lost to injury with 15 over the past two games. He’s not getting red zone targets, though, so any scores will have to be on longer plays unless Drew Brees starts trusting him in close. Still, he gets pretty consistent looks now, and consistency is what you want from your WR3.
Stedman Bailey (WR, STL) – The last two weeks have been a coming out party for Bailey, as he’s been targeted a total of 15 times during that period, more targets than the rest of his season combined. He’s morphed into a go-to receiver, catching seven first down passes in those two games; but he isn’t being targeted in the red zone yet. Like Stills, Bailey is offering some steady production of late, which makes him a decent depth addition if you could use an extra WR3.
Jordan Reed (TE, WASH) – We simply cannot ignore what Reed has done when healthy enough to take the field, especially when you consider the sorry state of the tight end position. And now that Colt McCoy is the starter for at least one more week, Reed, who is his favorite target, becomes a potential TE1 in all formats. If he was left for dead on waivers after his most recent bout with injury, scoop Reed up and start him over just about any other TE not named Graham, Gronkowski or Thomas.
Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN) – Rudolph caught a TD pass from Teddy Bridgewater on Sunday and it’s clear that the two are beginning to develop a little chemistry. Rudolph has looked better in each game since returning from injury two games ago and next week’s matchup with the Jets looks like a great opportunity to get Rudolph in there for some tasty Fantasy goodness. He’s not going provide big scoring for you (what TE does these days?) but he should get you low double-digits for Week 14 at least.