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Welcome to the Week 14 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2021 season. With one last week to either win and sneak in or prep the end of your rosters for a successful postseason run (or both), we’ll set our sights on viable stashes while sifting through ongoing injury situations to ensure all our ducks are in a row ahead of the most important stretch of the year. Feel free to assess your roster and splurge however much remaining FAAB you hold in your back pocket accordingly — after all, it’s now or never.
As a refresher, The Drop List consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended additions are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the Watch List contains in-depth notes on fringe waiver adds, and Deep Cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.
The Drop List
The fantasy playoffs are prime for parting ways with basically any player who won’t cut it in your starting lineup this week or, more reasonably, those who have to jump multiple hoops for direct opportunity. You should look to prioritize winning in Week 14 — even if that means cutting a tried and true FLEX play for a stronger streaming option — then avert your focus to stashing any and all high-upside league winners. Courtland Sutton, for example, is an easy candidate to part with since he's been useless for fantasy with 3.6 targets per game since Jerry Jeudy returned in Week 8. This is also the time of the year when stashing multiple defenses isn't a crime since the primary goal is to win every matchup over the next 3-4 weeks.
Overall Top 5
High-Stakes Top 5
For those looking to roster the best available player(s) regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus players’ actual positions for both recreational and high-stakes (FFPC, NFFC, 20-player rosters, etc.) formats, the latter which have far fewer viable players available with every passing week. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in those leagues ahead of Week 14. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster — touches, high-upside bench stashes, targets, one-week spot-starters, etc.
Contingency Top 10
For those looking to stash the best available backup(s) with minimum standalone value, the rankings above were designed to help prioritize direct backups in the event a player in front of them were absent. These are listed in the precise order I would stash them ahead of Week 14. Presumed targets, touches, environment, remaining schedule, etc. are included in the process.
Miami Dolphins rostered in 63 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 D/ST add for the fantasy playoffs if available.
1. Los Angeles Chargers
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Cleveland Browns
4. Seattle Seahawks
5. Tennessee Titans
Robbie Gould rostered in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 K add for the fantasy playoffs if available.
1. Taysom Hill, Saints — Rostered in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues
Even in committing four turnovers against Dallas, Hill finished as the overall QB6 in Week 13 with two touchdowns and 365 total yards (including 100 on the ground) from scrimmage. Having scrambled on 50-of-188 dropbacks in his last five starts dating back to last year, Hill's rushing floor keeps him entrenched inside the top-12 at his position no matter New Orleans' opponent. If you don't believe so, have another option ready for Week 15 against Tampa Bay (while still enjoying the elite fruits of his labor against the Jets).
2. Cam Newton, Panthers — Rostered in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues
It's unfair to evaluate Cam strictly for his performance against the Dolphins since their defense has led the league in sacks (19) with the second-most interceptions (8) as an elite coverage unit since all returned to full health in Week 9. With 55.6% of Newton's fantasy production with the Panthers derived from his legs, we know exactly what to expect from him as long as he logs every snap against the Falcons.
3. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers — Rostered in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
Garoppolo's 30 attempts on Sunday (including 13 from neutral game script) were his most since Week 9, passing slightly more in a competitive contest without Deebo Samuel. His voluminous outlook is similar this week since San Francisco, whose spread has swung from three-point road favorites to 1.5-point dogs since initially opening, could be without literally every running back on the team except for third-down option JaMycal Hasty. Garoppolo has also fortuitously chucked multiple touchdowns in four of his last five starts.
4. Taylor Heinicke, Washington — Rostered in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues
Although Dallas' defense has allowed just 18.8 points per game over the last month, their secondary has been a sieve for an average of 257 passing yards in that span. Heinicke also offers a rushing floor in one of the week's highest totals (49), averaging four carries in every game since Washington's bye. His floor for fantasy is arguably safer than Garoppolo's if you're thin at their position.
Watch List: Every play in the Steelers' second-half comeback over the Ravens was either from shotgun or pistol formation, allowing Ben Roethlisberger more time to drop back and deliver the ball in slants and short routes in place of empty carries up the gut. If that approach continues into Thursday night, Roethlisberger would garner low-end QB2 value with 40-plus attempts.
1. JaMycal Hasty, 49ers — Rostered in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
Jeff Wilson had a "flare-up" on his surgically repaired knee, Elijah Mitchell was forced to re-enter the league's concussion protocol, and Trey Sermon sprained his ankle on special teams. That leaves Hasty as the team's only available running back ahead of Sunday. We'll see how the team's final injury report shakes out, but Hasty would cement himself as the best short-term option for Week 14 over Ameer Abdullah or any of Tennessee's runners if the rest of San Francisco's backfield is ruled out. I would drop Jeff Wilson outright for Hasty just to be sure you're holding the correct cards when the time comes.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues if Elijah Mitchell (concussion) and Jeff Wilson (knee) are ruled out
2. Ameer Abdullah, Panthers — Rostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
Both Chuba Hubbard and Abdullah were available in a majority of Yahoo leagues prior to Carolina’s bye, but it seems like most flocked to the lowest hanging fruit in Hubbard. While that makes sense for Week 14 against the Falcons, Abdullah, having run 37 more routes and seen 13 more targets than the former since he was first implemented into the Panthers' offense in Week 8, is arguably the stronger option against the Bills, Bucs, and Saints beyond Sunday. Neither Hubbard or Abdullah should be viewed as a weekly RB2s for shallower leagues given their shared roles. Prioritize Abdullah over Hasty if planning strictly for the fantasy postseason.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team league
2. D’Onta Foreman, Titans — Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
3. Dontrell Hilliard, Titans – Rostered in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
4. Jeremy McNichols, Titans – Rostered in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
Hilliard out-snapped Foreman 32-31 in the duo's last game before their bye but it was Foreman who actually out-touched Hilliard 20-13 as the more valuable option between the two; Hilliard just happened to gash New England's defense for a 68-yard run to out-score Foreman 18.3 to 10.2. Hilliard also ran 15 routes to Foreman's nine but did so without McNichols (concussion) available. With all three expected back against the Jaguars, we'll have a better idea of how the Titans plan to use the trio in their first game together sans Adrian Peterson (waived) for the home stretch. Educated guess is that Foreman leads all in touches over Hilliard with McNichols returning to his usual receiving role on third downs and in negative game script.
Recommendation: All should be rostered in 14-team leagues
5. Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles – Rostered in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
Note that Gainwell was out-touched 27 to 9 by Miles Sanders until the latter sprained his ankle in the fourth quarter Sunday, allowing Gainwell to churn out eight more carries to close the game. There was also no need to bring Sanders back in at that time since the Eagles were padding a 30-18 lead. With 14 days to heal, it’s possible both Jordan Howard (knee) and Sanders are healthy and available once Philadelphia returns in Week 15 against Washington. If all are back after the bye, I rank them Sanders > Howard > Scott > Gainwell for the rest of the season.
Recommendation: Should be stashed in 12-team leagues
Watch List: James Robinson fumbled on Jacksonville's second play from scrimmage and was promptly benched for the next three series, allowing Carlos Hyde to come in and punch into the end zone from one yard out. Robinson, clearly hobbled with heel and knee injuries, was oddly put back into the game to kill the clock, but there's a chance Hyde works alongside the former over the next few weeks until Robinson is back at full strength...Rashaad Penny out-snapped (29-18) and out-touched (12-11) Adrian Peterson on Sunday but did so without Alex Collins active. With Collins expected back in Week 14, none of Seattle's runners are of priority.
Deep Cuts: Godwin Igwebuike shockingly ran 26 routes to Jamaal Williams' nine as Detroit's receiving back in place of D'Andre Swift. 'Godwin O' only handled three touches, so it's not as if he's any use as a FLEX option, but is worth stashing in case Williams were injured while Swift is sidelined. Igwebuike has been added to the Contingency Top 10 accordingly.
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1. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers – Rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
Even with Allen Lazard healthy before the bye, Valdes-Scantling worked as Green Bay's clear-cut No. 2 receiver with nine targets and, all of a sudden, 19 in his last two performances. With Randall Cobb’s (groin) status up in the air, Valdes-Scantling’s 19-yard depth of target coupled with a 25% target share from his last two games equates to a player that should not be abandoned on waivers in any format.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues if Randall Cobb (groin) is out
2. Russell Gage, Falcons – Rostered in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
Gage has seen at least seven targets in four of his five spot-starts for Calvin Ridley, averaging 7.6 per game (and a reception-based floor) in that span. Although his upcoming matchup against the Panthers — the same one Stephon Gilmore bottled up Kyle Pitts in a few weeks back — is not ideal, Atlanta’s schedule against the 49ers and Lions after this week is the reason to stash Gage for the fantasy playoffs. K.J. Osborn (see below) is the stronger short-term option if you’re only concerned with winning in Week 14.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team PPR leagues
3. K.J. Osborn, Vikings – Rostered in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Osborn stepped in once Adam Thielen (ankle) exited after six snaps and proceeded to play the next 70 as Minnesota’s No. 2 receiver, registering a 17% target share and matching Justin Jefferson in end zone targets (2). With Thielen eyeing a "3-5 week" absence, Osborn's interim role as a volatile WR3/4 could potentially stretch into the fantasy postseason.
Recommendation: Both should be rostered in 12-team leagues if Adam Thielen (ankle) is ruled out
4. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Titans – Rostered in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Titans opened Julio Jones’ 21-day practice window ahead of Sunday but there’s no guarantee he returns this week. In that scenario, Westbrook-Ikhine would once again lead the team in routes run sans A.J. Brown (chest, IR), Marcus Johnson (hamstring, IR), and Jones in an ideal spot against a Jaguars defense permitting the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues
5. Jalen Guyton, Chargers – Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
The lone consistency in a league without them has been players being unable to turn around for their upcoming game when testing positive for COVID early in the week. That's the ongoing situation with Keenan Allen, who was moved to Los Angeles' COVID list Monday afternoon. Although Mike Williams will likely be force-fed at the head of the table, Guyton, who ran the third-most routes among the team's receivers Sunday, is Allen's on-field fill-in to chase in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues if Keenan Allen (COVID) is ruled out
Watch List: Chase Claypool (foot) logged a full practice on Tuesday, logically putting him on the field against the Vikings despite playing through injury for only 63% of Pittsburgh's snaps on Sunday. If there are any mid-week setbacks, reminder Ray-Ray McCloud was jammed 12 targets (24%) in his only spot-start for Claypool in Week 10 this season...The WR12 in fantasy points per game since Week 3, Kendrick Bourne remains a high floor option if only for his 18.6% target share accrued over New England’s five games before Monday night's run-only gameplan soiled that trend...There's no need to roster Rashod Bateman any longer after he ran the fourth-most routes among Baltimore's receivers behind Marquise Brown, Devin Duvernay, and Sammy Watkins.
Deep Leagues: Though Amon-Ra St. Brown separated himself from Josh Reynolds with a career-high 86 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's win, the latter still proved to be the more explosive player between the two with multiple 10-plus yard gains. Picking between them weekly is an uninspiring headache worth leaving on the table for the rest of your league mates.
1. Tyler Conklin, Vikings — Rostered in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
Conklin also benefitted from Adam Thielen's (ankle) absence on Sunday, out-targeting K.J. Osborn 9-7 and running a route on a season-high 78.7% of Kirk Cousins' dropbacks. Consider Conklin a low-end TE1 for his stellar usage until Thielen returns.
2. Foster Moreau, Raiders — Rostered in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
You wouldn't know it, but Moreau was on the field for 85% of the team's snaps against Washington, hauling in a single 34-yard catch despite being the only tight end to run a route for Las Vegas. Sunday's plus matchup against the Chiefs is the same one Darren Waller (knee, day-to-day) registered a 20% target share in the last time the Raiders were in this position.
3. Ricky Seals-Jones, Washington — Rostered in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
4. John Bates, Washington — Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
Whoever is available between Seals-Jones (hip) and Bates (in that precise order) would presumably start as Washington's primary pass-catcher in place of Logan Thomas. It's a terrific spot for either since the Cowboys have permitted the sixth-most yards per attempt (8.1) to enemy tight ends.
5. Gerald Everett, Seahawks — Rostered in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues
Everett has been treated as Seattle's third receiver since their bye, stacking 27 targets to DK Metcalf's 28 and Tyler Lockett's 26 since Week 10. With three end zone targets and a shallow 3.3-yard depth of target in that span, Everett at the very least offers a high floor for those trying to avoid an egg in thin TE-Premium leagues.
6. Austin Hooper, Browns — Rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
There's increased opportunity for Hooper looming over the stretch run since Harrison Bryant (high-ankle sprain) is eyeing a multi-week absence and David Njoku was just placed on Cleveland's COVID list. Baker Mayfield's woeful 4-of-15 passing inside the 10-yard line (26.7%) still limits Hooper's ceiling in the interim.
Watch List: Cole Kmet has averaged nine targets in Chicago's last two games without Allen Robinson (hamstring) but it has not amounted to anything since Jimmy Graham has still out-targeted Kmet inside both the red zone (3-1) and end zone (1-0) in that span...James O’Shaughnessy led the Jaguars in targets (6) but only recorded 13 yards. That's the price of starting Jacksonville's tight end every week.
Deep Leagues: Juwan Johnson hauled in a 27-yard catch in place of Adam Trautman on Thanksgiving but suffered a concussion and was ruled out for the rest of the game. Nick Vannett is the pivot if Johnson can't go against New York.
1. Los Angeles Chargers – Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues
2. New Orleans Saints – Rostered in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
Zach Wilson has added value in back-to-back games with a rushing touchdown but still only completed 59.6% of his passes with two turnovers in that stint against the Texans and Eagles. The Saints, top-12 in pressure rate against a Jets o-line allowing a top-five pressure rate on the year, are on another level compared to Wilson's last foes.
3. Cleveland Browns – Rostered in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues
Lamar Jackson has quietly thrown eight interceptions and taken 16 sacks in his last four starts, gifting the Browns an extremely high floor if Jackson's poor play continues into Sunday.
4. Seattle Seahawks – Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues
5. Tennessee Titans – Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues
Trevor Lawrence has averaged 5.0 yards per attempt with two total touchdowns in six games since Jacksonville's bye. The Jaguars have also scored 12 points per game over the last month.
Week 15: Dolphins hosting the Jets...49ers against Falcons.
Week 16: 49ers at Tennessee...Eagles against the Giants...Chargers at Houston...Dolphins versus Saints.
Week 17: Dolphins against Titans...49ers hosting Houston...Seahawks versus Detroit.
Only a fool wouldn’t pass the ball to Michael Jordan in his prime, so it only makes sense that I pull each week’s kicker streamers from Denny Carter’s column and #adjust them accordingly. For in-depth analysis, you can read his entire piece here:
1. Matt Prater, Cardinals – Rostered in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
2. Brandon McManus, Broncos – Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues
3. Robbie Gould, 49ers – Rostered in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
4. Jason Myers, Seahawks – Rostered in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues