If you’re still interested in Waiver Wire pickups, you need to remember the importance of your bench come playoff time. Forget picking up a sixth receiver. Ignore players that would never sniff your starting lineup. The playoffs are about maximizing your bench, and you do that by ensuring you own all of your running back handcuffs (and others’ too), a second quarterback and tight end for insurance and an extra 1-2 DSTs to plan for matchups. That is how you beat your competition to the punch and gain the extra edge.
As a reminder, these waiver wire players aim for the 50 percent or less ownership on average across the major sites and have Yahoo! ownership listed. They’re also good for DFS too, as they will often have a lower cost and present values.
Week 14 Waiver Wire Pickups QBs (Streaming Quarterbacks)
Tyrod Taylor, BUF (63%) – Reaching a bit higher at quarterback yields Taylor. At this time of year, some owners may have dropped Taylor (evidenced by his ownership) for handcuffs, etc. If you were riding Colin Kaepernick (more on him shortly), Taylor faces the Steelers at home. It’s not the best matchup, but the Steelers are extremely weak against the run, which could afford Taylor the opportunity for 40-50 rushing yards. Additionally, Taylor gets to face the Browns in Week 15, making him a nice holdover.
Colin Kaepernick, SF (50%) – Assuming Kaepernick returns to his starting duties, he’s a high-upside play despite last week’s miserable performance. To be fair, five pass attempts isn’t exactly enough to warrant a benching, and there is some talk it was off-field related. Either way, Kaepernick still has 30-point upside, faces the Jets at home this week, the Falcons in the dome next week and the Rams in Week 16. He doesn’t have to worry about snow at all anymore… just keeping his job the entire game.
Week 14 Waiver Wire Pickups RBs
Kenneth Dixon, BAL (46%) – At running back, there are two things to look for at this point: upside and handcuffs. Dixon fits both categories, as he’s looked more explosive and better in his opportunities than Terrance West, despite West still leading the way. If West suffered an injury, Dixon would be in the Top 15 running back conversation, and even if not, Dixon still has deeper PPR league flex value with a high weekly ceiling.
Derrick Henry, TEN (45%) – It’s simple with Henry. If Murray were to get hurt, his value would skyrocket and Henry would be a Top 10 option. Henry is more explosive than any player should be at his size, and the Titans will look to run more exiting the bye given their schedule.
Mike Gillislee, BUF (23%) – Gillislee narrowly edges out DeAngelo Williams only because Williams’ health is still a question. Gillislee showed he could handle the lead role earlier this year with LeSean McCoy out, and he scored twice in Week 13.
DeAngelo Williams, PIT (21%) – We saw Williams become a Top 5 running back last year in place of Le’Veon Bell, and we saw him carry that RB1 potential over into the begging of this season with Bell on suspension. No Bell equals RB1 value for Williams.
Charles Sims, TB (13%) – Sims is set to return this week, and we already saw Sims provide RB2 value in PPR leagues and flex value in standard last year. Deep PPR leagues could find some value with Sims down the stretch, and we know the potential he has if Doug Martin missed time due to the back injury or some other mishap.
Adrian Peterson (47%) – This year’s Peterson was not the AP we used to know, but Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon have done little to nothing in his absence. If Peterson can return by Week 15, it’s hard not to use him even after his weak start to the season.
Shane Vereen, NYG (3%) – Vereen could return this week, and the Giants need his explosiveness. Vereen is clearly the best option out of the backfield for the Giants, and he was seeing the most snaps and touches before his injury. Don’t forget about Vereen in PPR leagues, even though it appears most everyone has.
Justin Forsett, DEN (6%) – Kapri Bibbs is done for the year (ankle) and Devontae Booker is struggling to the tune of 2.8 yards per carry. Forsett hasn’t done much better this year with just 3.1 YPC and is on his third team, but he’s familiar with Gary Kubiak’s offense and could push for time immediately.
Handcuffs that need to be owned: Alfred Morris, Jeremy Langford, Andre Ellington, Bilal Powell, DuJuan Harris, Damien Williams, Cameron Artis-Payne, Zach Zenner, Chris Thompson, Kenneth Farrow
Week 14 Waiver Wire Pickups WRs
Malcolm Mitchell, NE (29%) – Mitchell is heads and shoulders ahead of the rest of the receivers. As I previously mentioned, Mitchell’s stop-and-go ability makes him a matchup nightmare for secondaries trying to keep him from going over the top. In an offense led by Tom Brady, the scoring opportunities will be plentiful, and the only concern was Mitchell’s snap count. Well, I said “was” for a reason, as Mitchell saw over 80 percent last week, as the Patriots are moving to more three receiver sets. I prefer Mitchell to Allen Robinson the rest of the way… no, that’s not a joke.
Corey Coleman, CLE (46%) – Now we’re into receivers that are purely options for their upside. Coleman had a terrific game before his injury early this year and has 19 targets in the last two games. However, the quarterback situation is up in the air again. Whoever is at quarterback will affect Coleman’s consistency, but he does have the upside for WR3 numbers if any of the Browns quarterbacks can utilize him.
Tyler Lockett, SEA (24%) – Lockett’s main issues were the lack of snaps and a sprained knee ligament. Week 13 showed the potential he has, and if the Seahawks are committed to using him more as their No. 2 receiver down the stretch, Lockett can have WR4 value with weekly upside for more given his explosiveness.
Dontrelle Inman, SD (20%) – Even with Tyrell Williams playing, Inman was still able to score against the Buccaneers. Inman has been the better option than Travis Benjamin even with Williams active, and his upside is quite good given the Chargers schedule, especially if Williams were to miss time to his shoulder injury.
Brandon LaFell, CIN (17%) – Andy Dalton needs a second red zone option after Tyler Eifert, and it’s clear that LaFell fills that role. Dalton only has three games with more than one touchdown pass this year, so it’s tough to count on LaFell each week, but the Bengals do get the Browns in Week 14.
Taylor Gabriel, ATL (38%) – As mentioned last week, Gabriel was tough to trust given a snap count under 40 percent. However, things are a bit different now with Mohamed Sanu hurt and Julio Jones nursing a turf toe. Even if Jones is fine for Week 14, Gabriel and his big-play ability will have more opportunities with Sanu ailing.
Week 14 Waiver Wire Pickups TEs
Ladarius Green, PIT (23%) – It was never a question of talent or situation for Green, just his ability to get on the field and see a high percentage of snaps. Green still hasn’t topped 50 percent of the snaps, but when he’s on the field, Green is almost always running routes. With Ben Roethlisberger’s history of utilizing his tight end and a void in the passing game behind Antonio Brown and Bell, Green is a must-own in all leagues… and must-start in most.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU (40%) – Fiedorowicz has been listed the past few weeks, so this will be the last time. Fiedorowicz is the eighth best tight end since Week 4, and that’s all we need to say about his consistency and the state of the tight end position.
Vernon Davis, WSH (37%) – Davis is completely contingent on Jordan Reed’s availability. If Reed were out again in Week 14, Davis would be in the TE1 discussion. The only reason Davis wasn’t last week is because the Cardinals shut down tight ends this year.