If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve qualified for your league’s fantasy playoffs. Congratulations on the accomplishment! Of course, the fun is only beginning with the postseason looming. Whether you need reinforcements due to injuries/poor play or you’re merely looking for an insurance policy, you’ll certainly want to pursue bolstering your roster for the stretch run.
This week’s Featured Pros are here to help out with their waiver wire advice. As in previous weeks, the pros ranked a list of top targets (provided by us) based on rest-of-season value. We then combined the waiver wire picks to create consensus rankings for your viewing pleasure.
Waiver Wire Rankings (Standard Scoring)
|Player||Position||Team||Consensus Rank||Best Rank||Worst Rank|
Week 14 Waiver Wire Advice
We asked each expert to share commentary for this week’s waiver wire. Here are the experts’ suggestions on who you should target.
Q1: Give us your thoughts on the waiver wire targets you especially like as pickups this week.
Given the scarcity of quality depth at the position it is amazing to me that Donald Brown is available in so many leagues. Since late October we’ve been encouraging our subscribers to acquire Brown as he was consistently out-producing Trent Richardson despite fewer touches. Sooner or later the Colts had to realize it and now that they’ve come to their senses and installed him as their top RB, he can be relied on regularly as a RB2/3.
A favorite sleeper of mine for the last 4 weeks of the season is San Diego TE LaDarius Green. A size/speed freak for the position, Green just may be the most physically gifted TE in the league. His big problem is playing behind Antonio Gates. But we’re seeing the Chargers realize that they need to get him on the field more often of late, especially with their weak WR corps. I’ll be surprised if instead of 3 WR sets, we don’t see more 2 TE sets from the Chargers as a preferred passing set.
At this point in the year you would hope not to lean on a waiver wire pickup, but Donald Brown can be a guy you put in your lineup and expect 15-20 touches. You don’t ever find that this late in the year, and this guy has scored 12 or more fantasy points in 3 of his last 4 games. How is he not owned? Also, if you haven’t noticed how much Nick Foles likes Zach Ertz, you need to look at it if you own a lackluster TE. Over the last three games he has 12 catches for 141 yards and 3 touchdowns.
If Julian Edelman is still hanging around sipping a cold one on your waiver wire, be sure to get a claim in on him immediately. Edelman has 12 and 11 targets over the last two weeks and has looked very solid along the way. Especially in PPR leagues, Edelman will be a force throughout the fantasy playoffs as handsome Tom Brady continues to feed him the ball. CLE, MIA, BAL isn’t the most wide receiver friendly fantasy playoff schedule, but I will take Edelman’s target volume any day.
Julian Edelman was a critical part of the Patriots offense earlier in the season when the team was dealing with injuries to Gronk, Vereen and Amendola. As each player returned to the lineup, Edelman’s role consequently decreased in the offense and his snaps/targets became very limited as the fourth or fifth receiving option on the team. But in the past two weeks, the Patriots have been utilizing Edelman much more heavily, and he looks to be playing over Amendola. In Week 12, Edelman had a huge game with 11 targets, nine receptions, 110 receiving yards and two touchdowns; Edelman followed up that performance with another gem this past Sunday, racking up nine catches and 101 receiving yards on 12 targets. At this point, Edelman must be owned in all leagues, as Tom Brady and the Patriots will be feeding him the pigskin next week and throughout the playoffs. In standard leagues, he’s a WR3 with upside, and in PPR leagues, Edelman has re-emerged as a WR3/WR2 option with upside.
Q2: For anyone looking to rent a D/ST in week 14, what readily available option should they target first?
Looking for a high upside defense for week 14? The Oakland Raiders are available in over 90% of Yahoo leagues and get the turnover challenged New York Jets this week. It doesn’t matter if it’s Geno Smith or Matt Simms under center for the Jets; neither is capable of making it through a game without turnovers and sacks. The Raiders are not a special defense and rank pretty much in the bottom 3rd in defensive fantasy points scored, but when playing the waiver wire for a defense, you look for the plus matchups. There is no better plus matchup this week than Oakland’s defense facing the Jets offense.
As we hit the first week of the fantasy playoffs, I would look to stream Oakland for their Week 14 matchup with the New York Jets. Opposing defenses have been absolutely feasting on the Jets lately, and the debate between Geno Smith and Matt Simms sounds like a debate between tons of points and tons of points for D/ST streamers.
Oakland Raiders: The New York Jets offense and Geno Smith have been horrible the past few weeks, making them a goldmine for fantasy owners who are streaming defenses on a weekly basis. This past week, the Jets scored just three points while giving up four sacks, two interceptions and a fumble — good for 17 fantasy points to the opposing defense. In Week 12, the Jets gave up 16 fantasy points to the Ravens D/ST, and in Week 11 they allowed 19 points to the Bills. Make sure to add the Oakland Raiders defense this week, as they are the next team to shut down the Jets offense and rack up points for fantasy owners.
If there was a D/ST to look at to rent for week 14, I believe that there are two that are playing in the same game. Buffalo at Tampa Bay. I’d likely prefer Tampa’s D/ST simply because they stop what is the Bills biggest strength, running the ball. If they force EJ Manuel to pass, only good things can happen, right? They have also scored double digit fantasy points in 3 of their last 4 games.
Thanks to this week’s Featured Pros for sharing their advice with us! For more of the experts’ insight, be sure to follow each pundit on Twitter (click their names above) and visit their respective sites.