Waiver Wire Week 14: Playoff Push Pickups

Mike White, QB, New York Jets
Mike White, QB, New York Jets
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 14 - Alas! We've reached the end of the fantasy regular season. There were a couple big quarterback injuries in Week 13, with Jimmy G now out for the season and Lamar Jackson expected to miss at least a game or two. Some running backs are set for bigger roles, while we should also be locking up handcuffs for the playoffs. We've got pickups to help you make that last push and to aid your title run.

Quarterback

  • Jared Goff – DET (29.6% rostered ESPN; 50% Yahoo!)
    • If you one of the handful of quarterbacks on bye this week, or were starting Lamar Jackson or Jimmy G, Jared Goff is your guy this week. He’s only QB17 on the year but is fresh off a QB4 finish against Jacksonville. Goff finally had Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark, and Josh Reynolds all back in lineup for the first time in weeks. Jameson Williams played a limited role in his first NFL action and will see his role increase, giving Goff another weapon downfield. Goff has thrown for 580 yards over the last two weeks, with multiple touchdown passes in each game, and he hasn’t turned the ball over since a Week 9 interception against Green Bay. Now, in Week 14, Goff and the Lions take on a beatable Vikings defense, one who’s allowed the 7th most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Pick him up if you’re fighting for a playoff spot and need a quarterback this week.
  • Mike White – NYJ (13.8% rostered ESPN; 18% Yahoo!)
    • White has back-to-back top-7 finishes in his first two starts of the season. After throwing for 315 yards in Week 12, he outdid himself by throwing for 369 yards on a whopping 57 attempts in Week 13. He threw only one touchdown this week after throwing three last week, but very easily could have had a second if Braxton Berrios was able to hold on to what would have been the go-ahead score late in the game. White does have a tougher matchup this week against Buffalo, but they’ve been beatable lately as they deal with injuries. And assuming he remains the starter into the fantasy playoffs, White would face the Lions (most FP allowed to QBs) Jaguars (8th most) and Seahawks (13th most). Given the weapons around him and the six teams on bye this week, White is worth an add.

 

  • Other QB <50% rostered worth considering
    • Tyler Huntley – BAL (0.3% rostered ESPN; 2% Yahoo!)
    • Jordan Love – GB (0.3% ESPN; 1% Yahoo!)

Running Back

  • Zonovan Knight – NYJ (39.3% rostered ESPN; 47% Yahoo!)
    • Johnson and Knight split touches after Michael Carter went down with an ankle injury in Week 12, but it was a different story in Week 13. Knight dominated the backfield, handling 15 of the 20 carries and totaling 90 yards. He played on 55% of the snaps, compared to 11% for James Robinson and 33% for Ty Johnson (mostly 3rd down work). Knight added five catches for 28 yards. While Johnson outproduced him through the air, Knight ran only one less route than Ty Johnson and saw only two less targets. Knight also handled all of the red zone work: he had all four carries (three inside the 10) and caught both of his targets. He failed to get into the end zone, but with that usage, his scoring prospects are high. If Carter were to miss more time, Knight could be a star down the stretch for the championship push.
  • Jordan Mason – SF (3.2% rostered ESPN; 15% Yahoo!)
    • Similarly to the Jets backs, we weren’t sure which back would take over as Christian McCaffrey’s backup in the wake of Elijah Mitchell’s injury. Christian McCaffrey ended up seeing an increased snap share, on the field for 82% of the offense’s snaps. But it was undrafted rookie Mason who saw the other 18% (and two-thirds of the special teams snaps), totaling 51 yards on 8 carries. Meanwhile, third-round rookie Tyrion Davis-Price didn’t play a single snap. It doesn’t appear Mason will be deployed the same way Mitchell was, giving him little-to-no flex value, but he is the top backup to McCaffrey and one of the top handcuff’s heading into the fantasy playoffs.
  • James Cook – BUF (25.3% rostered ESPN; 24% Yahoo!)
    • Cook saw his biggest workload of the season, playing 43% of the snaps and seeing 51% of the backfield opportunities. He took 14 carries for 64 yards (with one goal-line carry) and caught all six of his targets for 41 yards. Cook has now seen 11 targets over the last two games, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him handle more carries again when the Bills come out of their mini-bye this week. However, it is worth noting Nyheim Hines saw his largest snap share since joining the Bills and Devin Singletary still handled 13 carries and notched a goal-line score. Cook is worth picking up in the event he’s taken over the majority of the work for good, but there’s risk involved with a potential committee approach.

 

  • Other RB <20% rostered worth considering
    • Kenneth Gainwell – PHI (8.2% ESPN; 14% Yahoo!)
    • DeeJay Dallas – SEA (0.6% ESPN; 4% Yahoo!)
    • Joshua Kelley – LAC (1.5% ESPN; 3% Yahoo!)

Wide Receiver

  • Darius Slayton – NYG (33.4% rostered ESPN; 61% Yahoo!)
    • Slayton is still available in two-thirds of ESPN leagues and nearly 40% of Yahoo! leagues. Since Week 5, he’s the only Giants receiver to play in all 8 games, leading the team in targets, catches, yards, and air yards. He has a 22.2% targets hare over that span, operating as Daniel Jones’ clear top target. He’s seen 6+ targets in three straight and five of the last six games. He has a tough matchup against the Eagles this week, but gets the Commanders and Vikings in the first two weeks of the playoffs before a matchup with the Colts in Week 17.
  • Nico Collins – HOU (21.1% rostered ESPN; 29% Yahoo!)
    • Collins continued to see the most volume among Texans receivers in Week 13 against the Browns commanding 10 targets in the loss. He’s now totaled 36 targets over the last four games, with only one game below nine targets. That’s good for a 25% target share, double Brandin Cooks’ 12.5%. Collins has corralled only 19 of those targets but for 176 yards, but he’s scored twice. He also saw four targets of 20+ yards last week, though he wasn’t able to haul in any of them. Collins should continue to see the targets with Houston likely playing from behind in all their remaining games and is a viable flex option.
  • Elijah Moore – NYJ (34.6% rostered ESPN; 31% Yahoo!)
    • Moore caught only two of his six targets for seven yards in Week 13 and was outproduced by Corey Davis (5-85 on ten targets); however, their usage was similar. Davis was on the field for 13% more snaps (81% to 68%), but ran only two more routes than Moore. Both saw multiple red zone targets (Davis – 4, Moore – 3), though neither was able to score. Garrett Wilson is the unquestioned WR1 in this offense, with a 13-257-2 line on 23 targets over Mike White’s first two starts, but more could open for Moore down the stretch as team’s do more to stop Wilson. Moore had three top-10 finishes in his last five games last season, so if the volume continues, the scoring should come.

 

  • Other WR <20% rostered worth considering
    • DJ Chark – DET (18.9% ESPN; 16% Yahoo!)
    • Trent Sherfield – MIA (0.6% ESPN; 0% Yahoo!)
    • Corey Davis – NYJ (11.3% ESPN; 13% Yahoo!)

Tight End

 

  • Greg Dulcich – DEN (38.6% rostered ESPN; 37% Yahoo!)
    • Dulcich is back in play for fantasy lineups after his Week 13 awakening. His usage returned to elite status: 81% route participation (10th among tight ends); 38% targets per route run (3rd); 42% air yards share (1st); and 38% target share (1st, 10 points higher than the next closest tight end). He turned the usage into six catches for 85 yards and a PPR TE2 finish on the week. Nathaniel Hackett said the Broncos were using Dulcich in more of a receiver role, which could continue if Courtland Sutton were to miss more time. He should continue to see the volume this week against the Chiefs and then he gets a dream matchup against the Cardinals in the first round of the fantasy playoffs. Arizona is 30th in DVOA defending passes to tight ends and allow the most yards and fantasy points to the position. He’s the top tight end pick up, if you’re in one of the nearly two-thirds of leagues he was dropped.

 

  • Other TE <40% rostered worth considering
    • Noah Fant – SEA (32.7% ESPN; 13% Yahoo!)
    • Hunter Henry – NE (26.1% ESPN; 35% Yahoo!)
       

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