RotoViz provides advice on players to target and fade on your fantasy football waiver wire.
Week 14 Waiver Wire Advice
I’ll present players by positional tiers, from most desirable to acquire (1) to least (3). Availability in ESPN leagues is shown in parentheses. On the brink of the playoffs, we’ll focus only on high upside players.
Quarterbacks – Ride ’em to the end
Check out Giana Pacinelli’s weekly Streaming QB column for more advice.
Baker Mayfield (53%), Dak Prescott (47%), and Jameis Winston (37%) –
See if you can find Mayfield, Prescott, and Winston in this table of adjusted yards per attempt (AYA) and fantasy points over expectation per attempt leaders since Week 11.
- Mayfield has the fourth-best rest of season schedule according to the Fantasy Streaming App. He’s also getting a decent amount of expected points.
- Prescott has the 13th-best rest of season schedule, including vs. Tampa Bay in Week 16.
- Winston’s 9.9 AYA over the past three weeks is impressive; it bests Drew Brees’ 9.4 for example. But from a schedule perspective, I’d prefer Mayfield or Prescott and would bid more to get either of them than Winston. Looking at just the fantasy playoffs for Weeks 15 and 16,1 you’ll see why.
Tight Ends – Tier Oh My Gawd What Happened
Check out Neil Dutton’s weekly tight end column for more advice.
Here are three names that seem worth small bids, if you want to acquire depth at the position for the playoffs. All three have very low floors, so I sincerely hope you don’t need to rely on them. But each also has something appealing.
- C.J. Uzomah (69%) – Has a top-10 fantasy schedule for the rest of the season and the third-best for the fantasy championship weeks. He’s seventh among TEs in receiving expected points over the last four games.
- Vance McDonald (46%) – Eighth in receiving expected points over the past four games. If you need help in Week 14 specifically, he’s arguably the best available tight end that you’d actually consider playing.
- Cameron Brate (36%) – His 36 yards in Week 13 were his season high, so this is definitely a long shot. But consider that prior to 2018, Winston averaged 9.43 AYA when targeting Brate.2 This season, Winston is only averaging 5.1 AYA when targeting Brate. That could be just the way it is, or just maybe there’s some positive regression coming.
Running Backs – One-Week Winners?
For those who are looking for a one-week high-upside play, you might consider Jeff Wilson or Jaylen Samuels. It’s a tricky bid to calculate because both could have a lot of value this week, but both are also likely useless once their respective starters return. Obviously, Matt Breida and James Conner owners (and those who want to block them) should be interested, but I’d consider bidding aggressively if your Week 14 matchup isn’t a slam dunk. Barring an in-game injury, it’s hard to find players stepping into the potential workloads that are available to them.
You should be prepared to accept the consequences of winning — and starting — these guys. They could get all the work their battery mate vacated. Or, the corpse of Stevan Ridley could lead the Steelers in attempts. You’re hoping for the ceiling but the floor may be just, if not more, likely to occur. So I’d only target these guys if that ceiling is something you must have (and can’t get elsewhere) to win this week.
Here’s how the two have fared so far in their rookie seasons.
Samuels is younger, has better draft equity, and has been in more games. He’s been efficient as a receiver on very few targets, and the workload that he could get is one of the biggest in the league. Go big.
Wilson is the discount version, both in term of profile and potential workload. But he’s still shown well on the work he’s gotten, and the work he could get is quite valuable. I’d consider making a big bid, but not as much as for Samuels.
Running Backs – Tier Meh
Not a lot of great options, just some names for depth. Here they are, over the past three games.
I wouldn’t spend much on any of these RBs, but I’d prioritize accordingly:
- Giovani Bernard (74%) – Has the third-best rest of season schedule according to the Buy Low Machine. His opportunity volume has been light, but there’s a chance for a spike now that A.J. Green is done for the season. A nice schedule helps too.
- Jalen Richard (51%) and Doug Martin (43%) – Each had over 12 PPR points in their last game, and both have top-eight schedules the rest of the way.
- Theo Riddick (60%) – Has a terrible schedule but has had seven or more targets in four of his past five games.
- Nyhiem Hines (70%) – More interesting if Marlon Mack remains limited. Hines has four games this season with nine or more targets.
Wide Receivers – Nice Options
Wide Receiver has a few nice names that could be expected to fill a flex spot in a pinch. Since Week 10:
Again, no single one warrants a huge bid. I’d spend the most on the names at the top of this list:
- Courtland Sutton (47%) – Look who Case Keenum likes throwing to.
Sutton also has a top-10 fantasy schedule for the next two weeks.
- Adam Humphries (59%) and Chris Godwin (53%) – Both have earned similar lines this season…
…Humphries has seen a usage bump playing with Winston…
…but Godwin is a better bet for a higher ceiling. Take your pick.
- Taylor Gabriel (53%) and Anthony Miller (59%) – The Chicago duo has the second-best rest of season WR schedule according to the Buy Low Machine. Miller looks like the better bet for a higher ceiling…
…But Gabriel is getting slightly more volume…
…Take your pick.