Week 14 waiver wire deep dive: Breaking down Steelers RBs

The Week 14 waiver wire column is live and filled with nine players to consider adding ahead of the fantasy playoff push. If you are in need of a deeper dive, let's go scour the waiver wire.

Note: As the season winds down, I'm going to maintain a running tab of players to stash in dynasty (or keeper) leagues at the bottom of this page. All of the adds will look towards 2019 for the forward-thinking fantasy degenerates.

Steelers RB Situation for Week 14

After the Steelers down-played James Conner's (ankle) injury on Sunday and Monday, the team came back and announced on Tuesday the injury is "worse than expected" and immediately ruled him out of Week 14. Getting ruled out this early in the week is never a good sign and it puts Conner's Week 15 status in jeopardy, too.

Obviously, Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley shoot up the waiver wire priority list in Conner's absence. However, we should not just expect the rookie Samuels or Ridley to be a facsimile for Conner if he does indeed miss time. Samuels never saw more than 78 carries in a single-season at NC State while Ridley has 30 receptions across 71 career games. Samuels converted 11 of his 28 red-zone carries into touchdowns in his final season at NC State, but there is no guarantee the Steelers' view him as a goal-line scorer.

Unfortunately, we just don't have a lot of information to settle the Steelers' backfield before Week 14. Mike Tomlin hinted at a committee approach at his Tuesday press conference, which appears to be somewhat backed up by the team's recent usage. Over the last six weeks, Jaylen Samuels has played 54 snaps to Ridley's 16 -- but the two backup backs split carries 12 to 8 in Weeks 8-13. The differentiator comes through in Pittsburgh's aerial attack, where Samuels has seen nine targets to Ridley's two in this span. Still, the Steelers are the most pass-heavy team in the league (67 percent) and Samuels' swiss-army knife skill set likely fits their offensive approach better than Ridley. On a chaos-filled waiver week, I'd prioritize the top-four waiver adds as 1. Jaylen Samuels, 2. Jeff Wilson, 3. Justin Jackson, and 4. Stevan Ridley.

Players to add:

Ty Montgomery and Kenneth Dixon, RBs, Baltimore Ravens

While Gus Edwards dominated carries (21) and snaps (51 percent) in Week 13, Ty Montgomery and Kenneth Dixon both mixed in fairly heavily in Baltimore's run-heavy attack. Montgomery has run a pass route on 53 percent of Lamar Jackson's dropbacks over the last two weeks, drawing ten targets. In his first appearance since Week 1, Kenneth Dixon saw nine touches on his 17 snaps against Atlanta last week. If anything happens to Edwards, both Montgomery and Dixon would have instantaneous RB2/FLEX value in PPR leagues attached to the most run-oriented offense in the league. Baltimore has run the ball 66 percent of the time over the last three weeks with Lamar Jackson under center, easily the highest rate in the NFL.

Ian Thomas, TE, Carolina Panthers

Once again, Greg Olsen's season is in danger after he injured his foot in the Panthers Week 13 loss against the Buccaneers. Olsen had been playing through a re-fracture to his 2017 foot injury, but this one is apparently new. Without Olsen, Ian Thomas will close out the year as Carolina's primary tight end. Olsen exited after just 13 snaps last week, allowing Thomas to play on 76 percent of snaps and haul in 5-of-5 targets for 46 yards. Thomas saw a modest 13 percent of Panthers' targets while starting in place of Olsen in Weeks 2-5.

Thomas is also worth stashing in long-term dynasty leagues since Greg Olsen will be 34-years-old in 2019 and is likely eying his future in the broadcast booth...

Deep Dynasty Stashes for 2019:

Deon Cain, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Unfortunately, Cain tore his ACL back in August after a promising training camp. Per numerous beat reports, Cain was pushing for starter snaps in three-receiver sets in July and was a beast in the red-zone. Cain fell to the sixth-round in the NFL Draft after a quiet final season at Clemson, but he offers 4.4-speed at 6-2, 202lbs. The Colts' receiver corps behind T.Y. Hilton is obviously unsettled, to say the least.

Robert Foster, WR, Buffalo Bills

Foster couldn't stay healthy in college at Alabama and went undrafted, but he's 6-2, 196lbs, and has 4.4-forty jets. In his first real opportunity all season, Foster collected 3/105 and 2/94/1 in Week 10 and Week 12, ripping off gains of 75, 47, and 43 yards. Josh Allen is certainly a willing deep thrower and leads the NFL in throws of 20 or more yards (18 percent). Make no mistake: Buffalo will revamp their receiver corps in 2019, but Foster could quickly earn a role in their plans.

DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Denver Broncos

Without Demaryius Thomas in the fold, the Broncos' pass catcher corps is wide open behind Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton. Hamilton was heralded as the most underrated receiver prospect in the 2018 draft class, per Matt Harmon's Reception Perception metrics.

Corey Grant, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Grant broke his foot in early-October 2018, ending his season. The Jags' were pining to feature Grant more and they loved him so much, they kept him for the 2018 season on a second-round tender worth nearly $3 million. Grant will enter free agency in 2019, along with T.J. Yeldon.

Mark Walton, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

This stash is fairly obvious. The Bengals can save over $3 million against the cap if they let go of Gio Bernard in 2019.

John Kelly, RB, Los Angeles Rams

This is another obvious stash. John Kelly has been a healthy scratch all year for the Rams, but he showed out in my annual Yards Created study. What's more, Kelly was fantastic in the 2018 preseason, dropping 46/197/3 on the ground (4.3 yards after contact; seventh-best). Current No. 2 back, Malcolm Brown, is a restricted free agent in 2019.

Jacob Hollister, TE, New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski is battling back issues once again and rumors are already swirling he may retire after the 2018 season ends. We'll see. At any rate, the Pats' added Jacob Hollister on a UFA deal in 2017 and have him under contract through 2019. Hollister scored seven TDs in his final season at Wyoming with Josh Allen under center in 2016, averaging a strong 16.1 YPR to boot.

Justin Watson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While both DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries are slated to hit free agency in 2019, the Bucs' have not only one but two freak athletes waiting in the wings at receiver. Everyone is obviously waiting for Chris Godwin to officially become a full-time starter, but rookie Justin Watson warrants a stash in all dynasty formats. Watson is a 91st percentile SPARQ athlete who accounted for a mammoth 60 percent of Penn's passing output (yardage and TDs) in his final season. Watson left the Ivy League No. 2 in all-time receiving yards (3,777).

-- Graham Barfield is the managing editor of fantasy football content at NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @GrahamBarfield.

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