Published: Dec. 7, 2015 at 12:12 a.m.
Updated: Dec. 7, 2015 at 12:32 a.m.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire

With the season winding down and the fantasy playoffs starting this week or next (in most leagues), the time to find game-changing waiver wire pickups has passed. Now, more than ever, fantasy owners should look to the waiver wire to back up their studs, or find players on the cusp of exploiting great matchups. I'll focus on the former in my weekly "Deep Dive" waiver wire column (published Mondays), highlighting the top high-upside handcuffs for the playoff stretch. But from here on out, in this waiver wire piece I'll try to find low-owned players in great spots for the upcoming week who can be added and started in a pinch. I've also punted the FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) suggestion portion, as at this point you should use whatever means necessary to get the players you need on your roster (or not have much of a FAAB left). Feel free to hit me up on Twitter though for more specific questions.

12 Photos Total

  • Despite posting 20 touches and 75-plus total yards in three straight games, Draughn barely made a blip on the fantasy radar. Perhaps now that he has found the end zone more owners will start to take notice. Draughn sees a tremendous amount of touches in the San Francisco offense (18 in Week 13) with Carlos Hyde still on the shelf. Up next for Draughn is a date with the free-falling Cleveland Browns, who just made 2015 Jeremy Hill look like 2014 Jeremy Hill. They are also allowing 4.7 yards per carry on the year. For those in need of a high-upside flex play, Draughn is a great add this week. 12

    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Shaun Draughn, RB, San Francisco 49ers (10.4 percent owned)

    Despite posting 20 touches and 75-plus total yards in three straight games, Draughn barely made a blip on the fantasy radar. Perhaps now that he has found the end zone more owners will start to take notice. Draughn sees a tremendous amount of touches in the San Francisco offense (18 in Week 13) with Carlos Hyde still on the shelf. Up next for Draughn is a date with the free-falling Cleveland Browns, who just made 2015 Jeremy Hill look like 2014 Jeremy Hill. They are also allowing 4.7 yards per carry on the year. For those in need of a high-upside flex play, Draughn is a great add this week.

  • While the specter of #Belitricks still looms over the New England backfield, White has certainly done his best job to fill the giant void left by Dion Lewis after his season-ending injury. Last week, White managed just six total yards, but sandwiched around that abysmal performance are two 16.6-plus fantasy point outings. Most recently, White was the Patriots' best pass-catching option (not just out of the backfield), hauling in 10 of his 13 targets for 115 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots may turn to White again next week when they face the Texans and their ferocious pass rush. Given the injuries to the New England offensive line, Tom Brady may need to dump off the ball quickly, and plenty of those passes could head White's direction. He'll still be a risky start though, so pick him up and play him at your own peril. 11

    Steven Senne / AP

    James White, RB, New England Patriots (6.3 percent owned)

    While the specter of #Belitricks still looms over the New England backfield, White has certainly done his best job to fill the giant void left by Dion Lewis after his season-ending injury. Last week, White managed just six total yards, but sandwiched around that abysmal performance are two 16.6-plus fantasy point outings. Most recently, White was the Patriots' best pass-catching option (not just out of the backfield), hauling in 10 of his 13 targets for 115 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots may turn to White again next week when they face the Texans and their ferocious pass rush. Given the injuries to the New England offensive line, Tom Brady may need to dump off the ball quickly, and plenty of those passes could head White's direction. He'll still be a risky start though, so pick him up and play him at your own peril.

  • Riddick didn't have as good of a game as I expected last week against Green Bay, but he gets another nice matchup in Week 14 against the Rams. St. Louis has been beaten badly by speedy, pass-catching backs in recent weeks (David Johnson, Jeremy Langford, etc.) which could set up well for Riddick. He leads all running backs in receptions, and is a great flex play in PPR formats. With Joique Bell continuing to be ineffective, the Lions should continue giving more touches to the likes of Ameer Abdullah and Riddick. That uptick in touches -- plus a good matchup against the Rams in a dome -- could set Riddick up for a decent flex day in standard leagues as well. 10

    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions (5.1 percent owned)

    Riddick didn't have as good of a game as I expected last week against Green Bay, but he gets another nice matchup in Week 14 against the Rams. St. Louis has been beaten badly by speedy, pass-catching backs in recent weeks (David Johnson, Jeremy Langford, etc.) which could set up well for Riddick. He leads all running backs in receptions, and is a great flex play in PPR formats. With Joique Bell continuing to be ineffective, the Lions should continue giving more touches to the likes of Ameer Abdullah and Riddick. That uptick in touches -- plus a good matchup against the Rams in a dome -- could set Riddick up for a decent flex day in standard leagues as well.

  • Emerging from the shadows of Chris Ivory, Powell actually out-gained his leading back 108 to 69 in terms of total yards this week, and found the end zone. Part of this could have stemmed from Ivory's fumble, or it could have just been a product of the Jets needing to run the hurry-up offense, where Powel excels. Either way, this game puts Powell on the waiver wire radar as both a handcuff and sneaky Week 14 flex play. The Jets face the Titans next week, who just scored 42 points in a win over the Jaguars (and gave up 39). Their game with the Jets also has the potential to turn into a shootout with the Jets' defense regressing of late (and missing key players to injury). That would likely force the Jets into a pass-heavy game script that features a lot of Powell. 9

    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets (0.3 percent owned)

    Emerging from the shadows of Chris Ivory, Powell actually out-gained his leading back 108 to 69 in terms of total yards this week, and found the end zone. Part of this could have stemmed from Ivory's fumble, or it could have just been a product of the Jets needing to run the hurry-up offense, where Powel excels. Either way, this game puts Powell on the waiver wire radar as both a handcuff and sneaky Week 14 flex play. The Jets face the Titans next week, who just scored 42 points in a win over the Jaguars (and gave up 39). Their game with the Jets also has the potential to turn into a shootout with the Jets' defense regressing of late (and missing key players to injury). That would likely force the Jets into a pass-heavy game script that features a lot of Powell.

  • With Tyler Eifert sidelined recovering from a neck injury, there were extra passing targets to be distributed by Andy Dalton, and he bestowed five of them on Jones. Jones took those five targets and turned them into five catches, 55 yards and a touchdown. Eifert might return next week, but Jones could still see plenty of work as the Bengals will have to go toe-to-toe with the high-octane Pittsburgh offense. The last time these two teams faced off it was a defensive struggle, but the way these offenses are putting up points lately this rematch looks to be a higher scoring affair. Jones is worth scooping off of the waiver wire to ride in the right matchups in deeper leagues. 8

    David Richard/Associated Press

    Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (26.6 percent owned)

    With Tyler Eifert sidelined recovering from a neck injury, there were extra passing targets to be distributed by Andy Dalton, and he bestowed five of them on Jones. Jones took those five targets and turned them into five catches, 55 yards and a touchdown. Eifert might return next week, but Jones could still see plenty of work as the Bengals will have to go toe-to-toe with the high-octane Pittsburgh offense. The last time these two teams faced off it was a defensive struggle, but the way these offenses are putting up points lately this rematch looks to be a higher scoring affair. Jones is worth scooping off of the waiver wire to ride in the right matchups in deeper leagues.

  • Parker saw his first significant work of the season last week once Rishard Matthews went down with a rib injury, and he responded with 80 yards and a touchdown -- though most of it came in garbage time. With Matthews out again in Week 13, the rookie used his second big NFL opportunity to post 63 yards and an impressive touchdown catch. He's earned more work as the season wears on, and the Dolphins will likely give it to him since he missed much of the offseason and parts of the regular season with an injured foot. The Dolphins' passing offense will still have issues with Ryan Tannehill riding a bit of a quarterbacking rollercoaster, but their matchup with the Giants is a juicy one. Parker can be added and deployed immediately as a WR3/flex in the fantasy playoffs. 7

    Brad Penner/Associated Press

    DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins (14.7 percent owned)

    Parker saw his first significant work of the season last week once Rishard Matthews went down with a rib injury, and he responded with 80 yards and a touchdown -- though most of it came in garbage time. With Matthews out again in Week 13, the rookie used his second big NFL opportunity to post 63 yards and an impressive touchdown catch. He's earned more work as the season wears on, and the Dolphins will likely give it to him since he missed much of the offseason and parts of the regular season with an injured foot. The Dolphins' passing offense will still have issues with Ryan Tannehill riding a bit of a quarterbacking rollercoaster, but their matchup with the Giants is a juicy one. Parker can be added and deployed immediately as a WR3/flex in the fantasy playoffs.

  • Starting Lockett has been the equivalent of throwing darts blindfolded this season, but his production has headed in an upward trajectory since Russell Wilson caught fire in Week 11. Wilson has thrown 11 touchdowns over the last three weeks, with Lockett on the receiving end of three of them, second on the team behind angry Doug Baldwin (five). Among Seattle wide receivers, his 15 targets in that span are second behind Baldwin as well, and Lockett caught all seven balls thrown his way against Minnesota. Up next for Seattle is a date with the Ravens and their porous pass defense. Lockett's growing role in the offense combined with Wilson's hot streak could lead to another solid fantasy outing for the speedy rookie out of Kansas State. 6

    Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

    Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks (6.3 percent owned)

    Starting Lockett has been the equivalent of throwing darts blindfolded this season, but his production has headed in an upward trajectory since Russell Wilson caught fire in Week 11. Wilson has thrown 11 touchdowns over the last three weeks, with Lockett on the receiving end of three of them, second on the team behind angry Doug Baldwin (five). Among Seattle wide receivers, his 15 targets in that span are second behind Baldwin as well, and Lockett caught all seven balls thrown his way against Minnesota. Up next for Seattle is a date with the Ravens and their porous pass defense. Lockett's growing role in the offense combined with Wilson's hot streak could lead to another solid fantasy outing for the speedy rookie out of Kansas State.

  • Before you flame me in the comments below, take a look at Hartline's recent string of production. He has been an unheralded PPR stud, with 20 receptions in his last three games, and a 25 percent share of the targets in his last four games. With many of the Browns' wideouts either injured (Andrew Hawkins, Taylor Gabriel) or just plain ineffective (Dwayne Bowe), Hartline has gone to work. Players in standard leagues will probably want to avoid Hartline, as he hasn't scored a touchdown in three weeks, but he is playing a 49ers defense that has been pretty generous to opposing wide receivers (9.05 yards per target allowed this season). He will be worth a flex at least in PPR leagues. 5

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    Brian Hartline, WR, Cleveland Browns (0.3 percent owned)

    Before you flame me in the comments below, take a look at Hartline's recent string of production. He has been an unheralded PPR stud, with 20 receptions in his last three games, and a 25 percent share of the targets in his last four games. With many of the Browns' wideouts either injured (Andrew Hawkins, Taylor Gabriel) or just plain ineffective (Dwayne Bowe), Hartline has gone to work. Players in standard leagues will probably want to avoid Hartline, as he hasn't scored a touchdown in three weeks, but he is playing a 49ers defense that has been pretty generous to opposing wide receivers (9.05 yards per target allowed this season). He will be worth a flex at least in PPR leagues.

  • Seferian-Jenkins hasn't seen the field since Week 2, so a three-catch, 31-yard performance against the Falcons isn't exactly shocking. However, Jameis Winston sending six targets ASJ's way was encouraging for his fantasy outlook down the stretch. Up next for the talented young tight end is a matchup with the New Orleans Saints -- the worst defense in the league at defending tight ends. On the season, the Saints are the only team to allow over 1,000 receiving yards to opposing tight ends (1,016 to be exact), and they've conceded the second-most touchdowns (10). Winston has a history of heavily targeting his tight ends, dating back to his days at Florida State, and in the two games Seferian-Jenkins has started and finished alongside Winston he's received over 20 percent of the passing targets. All of this is setting up for a big day for ASJ, and owners looking to survive the Rob Gronkowski and Tyler Eifert injuries would be wise to see if ASJ is available on waivers. 4

    Perry Knotts/Associated Press

    Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7.3 percent owned)

    Seferian-Jenkins hasn't seen the field since Week 2, so a three-catch, 31-yard performance against the Falcons isn't exactly shocking. However, Jameis Winston sending six targets ASJ's way was encouraging for his fantasy outlook down the stretch. Up next for the talented young tight end is a matchup with the New Orleans Saints -- the worst defense in the league at defending tight ends. On the season, the Saints are the only team to allow over 1,000 receiving yards to opposing tight ends (1,016 to be exact), and they've conceded the second-most touchdowns (10). Winston has a history of heavily targeting his tight ends, dating back to his days at Florida State, and in the two games Seferian-Jenkins has started and finished alongside Winston he's received over 20 percent of the passing targets. All of this is setting up for a big day for ASJ, and owners looking to survive the Rob Gronkowski and Tyler Eifert injuries would be wise to see if ASJ is available on waivers.

  • Quietly, Tye has snuck into the Giants' offense and produced at a reasonable fantasy level. Over the last three weeks he's seen roughly 15 percent of the passing game targets, and posted 50-plus yards in each contest, going for 70 or more in the last two. Tye doesn't have the dream matchup that ASJ has next week, but a date with the Dolphins isn't what one would call intimidating. If you lose out on the Scott Chandler/ASJ lottery on waivers, give Tye a look. At worst, he can provide a safe yardage floor to cover the gap until your elite tight end gets back, and if he happens to get into the end zone you'll end up with an excellent fantasy outing. 3

    Evan Pinkus/Associated Press

    Will Tye, TE, New York Giants (0.1 percent owned)

    Quietly, Tye has snuck into the Giants' offense and produced at a reasonable fantasy level. Over the last three weeks he's seen roughly 15 percent of the passing game targets, and posted 50-plus yards in each contest, going for 70 or more in the last two. Tye doesn't have the dream matchup that ASJ has next week, but a date with the Dolphins isn't what one would call intimidating. If you lose out on the Scott Chandler/ASJ lottery on waivers, give Tye a look. At worst, he can provide a safe yardage floor to cover the gap until your elite tight end gets back, and if he happens to get into the end zone you'll end up with an excellent fantasy outing.

  • The Tyrod "Tygod" Taylor fantasy owners became enamored with over the first month of the season has finally returned. Taylor has healed up at a time when his offense is finally dialing up big plays for Sammy Watkins. The result? Good things are happening on the field and in fantasy (go figure). Taylor has a fantastic schedule coming up, facing off against the suspect Philadelphia and Washington secondaries in the next two weeks. Owners looking for a streaming quarterback to ride through the playoffs should target Taylor if he's still on waivers after a recent slump. He is coming off hanging 26-plus fantasy points against two of the hottest defenses in the league (Chiefs, Texans), offers a huge bonus with his rushing ability, and has a favorable schedule remaining. Put it all together and you get: Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start. 2

    Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills (28.3 percent owned)

    The Tyrod "Tygod" Taylor fantasy owners became enamored with over the first month of the season has finally returned. Taylor has healed up at a time when his offense is finally dialing up big plays for Sammy Watkins. The result? Good things are happening on the field and in fantasy (go figure). Taylor has a fantastic schedule coming up, facing off against the suspect Philadelphia and Washington secondaries in the next two weeks. Owners looking for a streaming quarterback to ride through the playoffs should target Taylor if he's still on waivers after a recent slump. He is coming off hanging 26-plus fantasy points against two of the hottest defenses in the league (Chiefs, Texans), offers a huge bonus with his rushing ability, and has a favorable schedule remaining. Put it all together and you get: Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start.

  • Regardless of how he looks at times on the football field, Fitzpatrick is a dynamite fantasy signal-caller. He's posted back-to-back 25-plus point fantasy outings in positive matchups, and gets another one next week when the Tennessee Titans come to town. The Tennessee defense has been trending in the wrong direction the last few weeks, giving up 23.7 points to Derek Carr and 32.78 points to Blake Bortles in back-to-back weeks. Fitzpatrick has been on fire in fantasy, and has a better wide receiving corps than either of those quarterbacks (apologies to Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree). Fitzpatrick will be a great streaming option again for owners who picked him up this week, or are looking for a high-upside option to kickstart their playoff run. 1

    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, New York Jets (14.8 percent owned)

    Regardless of how he looks at times on the football field, Fitzpatrick is a dynamite fantasy signal-caller. He's posted back-to-back 25-plus point fantasy outings in positive matchups, and gets another one next week when the Tennessee Titans come to town. The Tennessee defense has been trending in the wrong direction the last few weeks, giving up 23.7 points to Derek Carr and 32.78 points to Blake Bortles in back-to-back weeks. Fitzpatrick has been on fire in fantasy, and has a better wide receiving corps than either of those quarterbacks (apologies to Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree). Fitzpatrick will be a great streaming option again for owners who picked him up this week, or are looking for a high-upside option to kickstart their playoff run.