We’ve finally made it to the fantasy playoffs, so congratulations if you didn’t get burned by poor quarterback play, a goose egg from Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and unfortunate injuries to Frank Gore and Antonio Gibson last week! You may notice our Week 14 waiver wire suggestions below don’t feature as many names as usual, and that’s because we’re past the point of stashing players for the long-term. We have just a few weeks left in the season, and it’s do-or-die at this point in time. So, I’m not going to waste my time or your time with players that aren’t worth starting — just potential pickups like Cam Akers, Ty Johnson, Peyton Barber, Keke Coutee, Logan Thomas, and more who are actually worth FAAB bids.
As we do every week, let’s break down the top pickups and project how much of your FAAB budget you should bid on them. Again, if you have excess money and are in desperate need at a certain position, you should be willing to go over the projected bid amounts.
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Week 14 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire QB pickups
Baker Mayfield (CLE). Coming off a monstrous first half against the Titans last week, Mayfield is stepping up his game at the right time heading into the fantasy playoffs. The matchup is a little difficult next week against Baltimore, however, this will have been Baltimore’s third game in 13 days by the time they kick off for on Monday night. So, in terms of pure fatigue, this could be a good matchup for Mayfield, but do remember the personnel on Baltimore’s defense is still top notch. They may not be well rested, but they could always present a difficult matchup. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Philip Rivers (IND). Rivers has multiple touchdown passes in three straight games and at least 33 pass attempts in eight straight games. In Week 14, the Colts visit the Raiders, who are in the bottom 10 against quarterbacks. They’ve allowed three straight QBs to throw multiple touchdowns, and they just aren’t a very good defense in general. They don’t boast a great pass rush either, so this is a great spot for Rivers to maybe throw for 275 yards and multiple touchdowns. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Week 14 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire RB pickups
Cam Akers (LAR). Akers is easily the running back to target this week. He handled most of the Rams carries on Sunday and simply looked like the best runner in this backfield. Akers played 52 snaps compared to 31 combined for Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown and he saw 20-plus touches for the first time this season. He isn’t really involved in the passing game, which is a worry against an improving Patriots run defense on Thursday night. Additionally, Akers was listed as a non-participant in practice on Monday, so that’s not a great sign, but I’m operating as if he’s playing this week. Regardless, Akers is potentially a home run. Proj. FAAB Bid: 20-22%
Adrian Peterson (DET). You can’t really argue with the volume and four touchdowns in his past two games. He doesn’t carry any involvement in the passing game and you’re settling for maybe 3.8 yards per carry, but he has 31 carries the past two weeks and he’s getting the goal-line work with D’Andre Swift (concussion, illness) sidelined. AP commented that Swift’s concussion doesn’t have him looking right, so while there’s still an opportunity for him to return in Week 14, we shouldn’t be incredibly optimistic about that. The Packers run defense isn’t very good, and there’s certainly a fair chance Peterson finds the end zone again in Week 14. Additionally, Kerryon Johnson injured his knee against the Bears on Sunday, so this could lead to Peterson being a good flex play this week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Ty Johnson (NYJ). Go figure the one week I’m actually fine with using Frank Gore as a flex option, he gets concussed early on and is forced out. In lieu of Gore, Johnson came in and crushed it with 22 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown while adding a pair of receptions. If you miss out on Johnson, you could also roll the dice with his teammate, Josh Adams , who racked up 74 yards on eight carries. I’d expect a similar 65/35 split in terms of workload from these two next week, but the matchup is not a pretty one as the Jets visit Seattle in Week 14. Hopefully you have more reliable options at running back, but Johnson will be a hot commodity. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7-9%
Peyton Barber (WFT). You almost have to mention Barber by default assuming Antonio Gibson misses time with a toe injury that forced him from Monday’s game after just two carries. Barber wasn’t great by any means, but he found the end zone. The preferred target is J.D. McKissic, but he’s not quite as readily in available in as many leagues (especially in P PR). The volume is what you’re targeting with Barber, as he had 14 carries yesterday once Gibson left. But a pair of difficult matchups against the 49ers and Seahawks make him a risky streamer as we head to the fantasy playoffs. Again, go get McKissic if he’s still floating around on waivers, as he’s the preferred running back to get in this offense. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5%
Week 14 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire WR pickups
T.Y. Hilton (IND). For the record, this isn’t a waiver grab that really moves the needle for me. Sure, he’s found the end zone in back-to-back weeks, but let’s not completely forget about Weeks 1-11 where he went scoreless and had one double-digit point performance in PPR formats. Indianapolis draws the Raiders this week, so if you’re looking for a flex play to replace Will Fuller then at least the matchup reads well for Hilton. Do keep in mind this is an offense that can spread the ball around to about 10 different players. If you choose to ride the wave with Hilton, just understand we could be in line for a more mediocre stat line if he isn’t finding the end zone. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Tim Patrick (DEN). Patrick might be my personal favorite wide receiver to grab this week, even over Hilton . In seven of his past nine games he’s returned double-digit points in PPR formats and the Broncos will be visiting Carolina in Week 14. Jerry Jeudy is open on every play, but for whatever reason, he just isn’t connecting with Drew Lock. Patrick’s targets will fluctuate, but he’s a big 6-4 target that Lock isn’t afraid to look for near the end zone. Proj. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Keke Coutee (HOU). With Will Fuller suspended, there was clearly an opportunity for somebody to emerge in this offense. I was personally pulling for Jordan Akins, but it wasn’t meant to be. Coutee stepped up with nine targets, but he also benefitted from the fact that Brandin Cooks was being evaluated for a concussion. Still, Coutee caught eight-of-nine targets for over 140 yards. He typically shows up against the Colts, similar to how Hilton tends to have big games against the Texans. Luckily these two teams meet again in Week 15, but in Week 14 the Texans draw the Bears. It’s not a great matchup, but Coutee’s in a good spot to be fed some targets once again from Deshaun Watson. Proj. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Collin Johnson (JAX). I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Johnson is the WR1 in Jacksonville’s offense. Small sample size? Sure, but he’s a massive target at 6-6 for whoever is throwing the ball, and he’s made some nice plays over the past two games. I think you shouldn’t go too crazy with the FAAB because the Jags draw the Ravens and Bears in Weeks 15 and 16. However, next week the Jaguars host the Titans, and that defense is straight up atrocious. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5%
Cam Sims (WFT). Sims is a longshot add off waivers. The Steelers did a great job shutting down Terry McLaurin on Monday, and Sims stepped up with five catches on nine targets for 92 yards. That will not always be the case. Depending on game flow, Sims may not even be a top three pass-catching option in this offense behind McLaurin, Logan Thomas, and J.D. McKissic. However, I’ve preached size plenty in this waiver wire section, and Sims is a big 6-5 target that maybe pays off in deeper leagues. Proj. FAAB Bid: 4-5%
WEEK 14 FANTASY: Top pickups
Week 14 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire TE pickups
Logan Thomas (WFT). If I could get away with only mentioning one tight end this week, it would be Thomas. In Monday’s upset win over the Steelers, Thomas caught all nine targets for 98 yards and a touchdown. He’s had at least four targets in every game this season, and while that may not sound like much, that’s a pretty good floor for a position where we’ve struggled to find consistency. He has double-digit points in PPR formats in five of his past seven games, and Washington is right in the mix to win the NFC East. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-13%
Jordan Reed (SF). REVENGE GAME! If you’re into that kind of stuff. Thomas is the preferred TE add off waivers this week, but Reed’s schedule is pretty nice the rest of the way. The 49ers face off against Washington, Dallas, and Arizona the next three weeks, and maybe Reed finds the end zone against his former team. He scored Monday night and can get about four-to-six targets in a given week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Anthony Firkser (TEN). With Jonnu Smith (knee) sidelined for the first time this season, Firkser stepped up with five catches for 51 yards on seven targets. He played 30 snaps on Sunday, and he lined up at slot or out wide on 29 of them. That’s great. What’s a little worrisome is that most of his targets came in garbage time late in the game. Let the rest of your league clamor over MyCole Pruitt’s two touchdowns. He only had two targets and his second touchdown came after recovering a fumble near the goal line. Assuming Smith doesn’t practice again this week, Firkser could be in for another five-to-six target game. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
Week 14 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire D/ST pickups
New England Patriots (at LAR). This isn’t a great matchup by any means, but the Patriots defense has been stepping up lately and they have the benefit of a short week, which could lead to some lighter scoring on Thursday. Additionally, this isn’t really considered a ton of travel since the Patriots stayed in Los Angeles following Sunday’s dominant win over the Chargers. There was also a time when the Patriots defense was awful against the run, but that’s changed a little bit over their past three games, allowing a total of 263 rushing yards to the Chargers, Cardinals, and Texans. There’s a little risk involved against the Rams, but with so few options available this week, you may need to gamble.
Cleveland Browns (vs. BAL). I noted up above when discussing Baker Mayfield that when this game kicks off it will mark the third game in 13 days for the Ravens. Once again, the Ravens will be playing on a short week with fewer days to prepare than Cleveland, who gets an extra day to prepare for this Monday night tilt. The Ravens may be at full staff, but the offensive line has struggled at times, so I’m pretty confident in the Cleveland pass rush. Plus, it’s December in Cleveland and this stadium is right on Lake Erie. That invites wind, and it’s going to be in the low 30s. Plus it’s expected to snow that morning and maybe that carries over throughout the day. So, I’d be more than happy to stream the Browns against a worn down Ravens team in the elements.
New York Giants (vs. ARI). The Giants defense has certainly been a pleasant surprise lately. They have multiple sacks in every game this year, forced 10 turnovers in their past four games, and allowed just 46 total points in their past three games. They’ll be hosting the Cardinals in a 1 p.m. ET game this week, so if you’re a “West coast team traveling East” truther, then this D/ST is for you. The Giants also give up the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game, and they’ve held their past three opponents to under 270 passing yards in each contest. We’ve seen Kyler Murray struggle lately. He isn’t running too much, and the passing yards haven’t been there. This game is shaping up nicely for the Giants defense, which have played a huge role in the team’s four-game winning streak.
Proj. FAAB Bids: <1%