Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Football Playoffs - Week 14

by Nick Ercolano December 03, 2018

Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Football Playoffs - Week 14

Week 13 is in the novels, so we're looking at snatching the gold mines off of the waiver wire. Let's get it. This list will only be composed of players owned in 55% or less of Yahoo leagues.

For QBs, TEs and D/ST, I've put together a few charts that will help you this week and throughout the playoffs. You can download them here.

These charts have the worst and best playoff matchups for fantasy football, suggesting waiver pickups to counter the bad matchups your starting players might face.

Running Backs

1. Rashaad Penny - Seattle Seahawks

- Yahoo Ownership: 30%

Finally, the Seahawks words matched their actions. They said they wanted to get Penny involved more going forward and they did that on Sunday, using him as the RB2 ahead of Mike Davis, but still far and away behind Chris Carson, who played on 34 of their offensive snaps compared to just 12 for Penny. Penny ran really well though, going for a lite 65 yards and a tug on 7 carries.Rashaad Penny fantasy football

The big news here is that Chris Carson left the game late with a dislocated finger. Pete Carroll says that he's fine, but it could definitely be an issue for Carson, meaning Penny could be, at the very least, thrust into the leader in an RBBC here against Minnesota next week.

- Next three matchups: MIN, @SF, KC

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No (unless Carson's injury is significant)

- FAAB Spend: $10

2. Rex Burkhead - New England Patriots

- Yahoo Ownership: 24%

Absent since Week 3, Burkhead returned to his first game action on Sunday. He only played on 17-of-74 snaps, but he touched the ball on 9-of-17 of those snaps. He ran the ball seven times for 20 yards and caught two passes for another 21 yards.

I'm not ecstatic about Burkhead by any means, he'll be a complimentary player to both Michel on the ground and White through the air, but sometimes you don't need to be more than that in this Patriots offense to be a fantasy difference maker.

- Next three matchups: @MIA, @PIT, BUF

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $4-6

3. Justin Jackson - Los Angeles Chargers

- Yahoo Ownership: 22%

Boy. Did this kid look good on SNF. With Melvin Gordon week-to-week, we thought it was Ekeler who'd shine brightest in this Chargers backfield.

Jackson didn't receive a carry in the first half. Different story after the break mane. Jackson turned 8 carries into 63 yards (7.9 ypc) and a really nice 18-yard TD run, adding a catch for 19 yards too. Ekeler saw 18 touches in this one, turning them into 42 yards. He dominated snaps, but it's clear that he's not the every-down back we thought he might be with Gordon out.

Reports echo that Gordon might be back for Week 14. We'll see. It's unlikely they'll need him at home versus Cincinnati, so it would be dumb for them to push that cause.

From what I saw, it would be best if LA pushed Ekeler back into.... Ekeler role, as a 3rd down back and receiver, while Jackson takes the early down work.Justin Jackson fantasy football

- Next three matchups: CIN, @KC, BAL

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes

- FAAB Spend: $20+, Remainder

4. Ty Montgomery/Kenneth Dixon - Baltimore Ravens

- Yahoo Ownership: 13/11%

Ew. Two Baltimore running backs being touted here. Alex Collins is on the I.R. and Gus Edwards limped off the field late, after already entering the game with a less than 100% ankle. Gus has seen 17, 23 and 21 carries over the L3 games, so there is plenty of opportunities to be had. You'll want to grab Dixon if Edward's injury is a thing.

The truly remarkable part about this Edwards thing is that with ALL of those touches, he hasn't seen a single target in three games. Pretty much all of that work is going to Ty Montgomery. After taking the job last week, TyMont has 8 catches on 10 targets over the last two games. He played on 27 snaps for the Ravens on Sunday.

He's going to be a very real PPR flex play next week as they travel to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs offense averaging an NFL-high 37 PPG.

- Next three matchups: @KC, TB, LAC

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $8-10

5. Jaylen Samuels - Pittsburgh Steelers

- Yahoo Ownership: 0%

James Conner suffered what HC Mike Tomlin called a lower leg contusion. Per Rotoworld, "This has the looks of an injury the may force Conner to miss some time." Not good! Let's take a look at Jaylen Samuels, the man behind Le'Veon Bell's, the man behind James Conner:Jaylen Samuels

He's an excellent pass-catcher as you can see by the 97% college target share. There were talks that he'd play TE in PIT, but they shot that down and confirmed he's a running back. What makes this absolutely massive is that he's TE/RB eligible in Yahoo. Someone will have to confirm in the comments whether that's the case for ESPN. Do me a favor, check your leagues, if you're on a platform other than Yahoo and drop a comment letting us know what Samuels is. Whether it's ESPN, CBS, NFL, Sleeper, MFL, etc.

James Conner injury

It doesn't look good for Conner.

Now, the Steelers do still have Stevan Ridley, who saw 8 carries on that TNF game against Carolina when James Conner left with a concussion. Samuels saw five carries, but the game was out of hand so it was hard to tell what it would be like in a close situation. But, for Samuels, the big piece is his pass-catching, because that's what makes these RBs in Pittsburgh so valuable in fantasy football. And that's what Samuels will monopolize. And likely the GL, considering his size (6-0, 225). We're seeing a crazy amount of GL runs from Conner this year. A crazy stat I found:

Through 12 games this year, James Conner has 15 GL carries (inside-the-5). Le'Veon Bell, in his last three season combined (33 games) had 14 GL carries. Samuels is the top WW pickup this week imo due to his TE eligibility. Ridley is a deeper add, but I'd pick him up if there's room on your roster.

- Next three matchups: @OAK, NE, @NO

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes

- FAAB Spend: $ALL

6. Jeff Wilson Jr. - San Francisco 49ers

- Yahoo Ownership: 0%

Who's mans is this. Honestly.

I didn't have a single clue as to who tf Jeff Wilson was prior to Week 13. Maybe that makes me a bad fantasy guy. If not knowing who Jeff Wilson was before this week is bad, then I don't want to be good. I never want to be so entrenched into fantasy football that I know this guy.

Ok, so let's just take a look at who he is:Jeff Wilson 49ers fantasy football

Ok, so Jeff Wilson ran the ball 15 times on Sunday for 61 yards. He also caught 8 passes on 9 targets for 73 yards. So, 23 touches, 134 total yards. The story behind it is this.

Matt Breida's been dealing with an ankle injury, basically his entire life at this point. HC Kyle Shanahan said Breida tweaked his ankle in pregame warmups. Ya hate to see it. Breida still wound up carrying the ball five times, for just 6 yards but caught three more passes for 51 yards. This guy is literally not going to have an ankle by 2019. Anyways, Wilson actually left the game at some point but returned quickly. While he was out Breida got his touches. But guess what, he aggravated the ankle again at the end of a long catch and sat out the rest of the way.

Every time we think Breida is going to be out, though, he's not. So it's a situation to keep an eye on. Wilson should be picked up everywhere and could operate as the lead back here, in an offense that loves to throw to their RBs.

- Next three matchups: DEN, SEA, CHI

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes

- FAAB Spend: $ALL

Wide Receivers

1. Adam Humphries/Chris Godwin - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

- Yahoo Ownership: 50/46%

Alright people, is it time you finally bought into Jameis Winston? I don't know what else to say. But he's a fantasy stud. Outside of like one week over his last 20 games where he got benched. Get over it.

And you know who benefits from Winston being a fantasy stud? The guys he throws the ball too. With O.J. Howard out for the year, DeSean Jackson possibly following suit, Humphries and Godwin are going to be huge down the stretch. I'm tired of regurgitating the numbers of Godwin without DJax on the field, but they're good. With Evans constantly shadowed by opposing CB1s, Godwin is pretty much matchup-proof, if you want to put it that way. He went 5-101-1 on Sunday, Humphries 7-61-1. Both were top-12 fantasy WRs in Week 13. And they get a home game against the Saints in Week 14 at home, the over/under hasn't been posted yet, but I'd imagine it's going to be one of, if not the highest in the league. Lattimore will likely stick to Evans, as we saw in Week 1 when these two teams played.

- Next three matchups: NO, @BAL, @DAL

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: If you're desperate for a WR, yes on Godwin.

- FAAB Spend: $ALL

2. Curtis Samuel - Carolina Panthers

- Yahoo Ownership: 17%

The Panthers are quickly becoming one of the funkiest offenses in the NFL, because of their weapons group. C-Mac is already a staple, as a hybrid-workhorse/receiver. And now we're finally seeing the ultra-athletic duo of D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel as the top receiving options in this offense: Curtis Samuel fantasy football

With Greg Olsen out, Cam will have to depend on both guys even more going forward. Samuel set career-highs everywhere on Sunday. Catching 6-of-11 targets for 88 yards, adding 8 rushing yards.

curtis samuel fantasy football week 14

The Panthers will get three great matchups for Samuel. CLV (9th), NO (1st), ATL (7th) most FPs allowed to WRs this year. Also, just as a note, Samuel has been running the majority of his routes on the outside, not from the slot if you were wondering. 

- Next three matchups: @CLE, NO, ATL 

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $8-12

3. Chris Conley - Kansas City Chiefs

- Yahoo Ownership: 16%

It's not exciting, but I'm not sure I have much faith in Watkins returning this year. Or at least returning successfully, and either making an impact or staying healthy. He now has 15 targets and scored three times over their last two games without Watkins in the lineup and he's played over 90% of the team's snaps. Most interesting is that on Sunday they ran him out of the slot on nearly 50% of his snaps. Baltimore's been very good against outside WRs this year, but the slot is a place of vulnerability for this defense. Conley is on the flex/WR3 radar in Week 14 if Watkins is out again.

- Next three matchups: BAL, LAC, @SEA 

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $3-5

4. Bruce Ellington - Detroit Lions

- Yahoo Ownership: 9%

A super unexciting play here, Ellington has taken over as the Detroit slot WR and has seen 26 targets (8.7/game) over their last three and has caught at least six passes in all three. He's getting next to nothing in terms of yardage and hasn't scored though. His aDOT is a miserable 3.65 worst in the NFL over that span. Next week the Lions travel to Arizona, who've allowed the 10th most PPR FPs to slot WRs on the year.

- Next three matchups: @ARI, BUF, MIN 

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No 

- FAAB Spend: $1-3

5. Dante Pettis - San Francisco 49ers

- Yahoo Ownership: 3%

It's Pettis time boi. Garcon and Goodwin both missed Week 12 & 13, and Pettis took advantage of it. Two huge games. Barring MNF, Dante Pettis will be Week 13's WR1 in fantasy football, catching 5-of-7 targets for 129 yards and two touchdowns. This comes a week after his 4-77-1 line. Both WRs are out indefinitely, so it's likely the Pettis show going forward. Unfortunately, their next three games are super tough. Although, Denver's Chris Harris fractured his tibula on Sunday, so the matchup gets a bit easier for that passing game.

- Next three matchups: DEN, SEA, CHI

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $5-7

6. Zay Jones - Buffalo Bills

- Yahoo Ownership: 1%

Jones has a big game on Sunday, catching 4-of-9 targets for 67 yards and finding paydirt twice. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to play him, considering just last week he didn't register a single catch. But, the week prior, he had another monster game, catching 8-of-11 balls for 93 yards and a score.

Super hard to trust, but if this becomes a thing, he has great matchups over the N3 games. If he was dropped in your dynasty league, definitely go grab him. Just from a raw numbers/metrics standpoint, people probably forget, but Jones was incredible in college:Zay Jones

- Next three matchups: NYJ, DET, @NE 

- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No

- FAAB Spend: $ 1-3

D/ST

Try to look for:

1. Favorites (most important),

2. Playing at home

3. With a low over/under total.

 



Nick Ercolano
Nick Ercolano

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