The Waiver Wire “Playoff Edition” – Week 14
The Fantasy Football Playoffs have finally arrived! Now, if your league decides to play its championship in Week 17, it’s cool, this is the final week of your regular season and a playoff berth may be on the line. I hope my lethal running back pickups of Burkhead, Williams, and Drake helped you to win a playoff birth you deserved!
The waiver wire always becomes a little less important as the season moves into Thanksgiving and beyond but it can still be used as a tool to help pick up late-blooming talent that can aid in a championship run and help strategically keep players away from your opponent. Remember each playoff game is its own little season. No, need to worry about holding onto two defenses (unless they both are in plus matchups). Instead pick up a QB in a plus matchup, or the play the QB against his best WR if it’s a plus matchup (unless you have a top tier QB). Remember it’s win and move on! No one cares how you get it done, the only remember who won it all!
Congratulations to all of our loyal readers who were able to make into your league playoffs! We are excited that we could be a little part of your success. Now let’s go win that league championship!!
As a disclaimer, all players must be owned by less than 60% of ESPN or Yahoo leagues. Ownership percentages are in parenthesizes. Below I have ranked the top 3 adds at each position with a bonus player or two sprinkled in throughout.
Josh McCown (ESPN 39% / Yahoo 42%): Another week and another QB1 performance by Josh McCown. I don’t know what else to say as McCown has made more appearances on The Waiver Wire then anyone else this season. A matchup in Denver looked like a run and hide moment for the Jets at the beginning of the year and now it’s a start I would feel comfortable making. If Jay Cutler can throw two touchdowns on you, McCown will throw 4! The year of McCown continues!
Jameis Winston (ESPN 46% / Yahoo 49%): I can’t believe Winston’s ownership has fallen so far but owners felt a multi-week injury and poor play where enough reasons to drop him. Winston has a plus matchup this week vs a Detroit defense that since their bye back in week 7 is allowing opposing quarterbacks to score on average 19.81 points per game.
Blake Bortles (ESPN 21% / Yahoo 34%): BB is back and just in time to help win some lucky folks a fantasy football championship! Bortles is being asked to do more as teams are now keying to stop the run and in back to back weeks Bortles has delivered QB1 performances. Turnovers and bad passes are always the concern when starting Borles but he has shown to be deadly this year both passing and rushing for touchdowns. Seattle just gave up a QB1 performance to Carson Wentz and minus a fumble at the goalline, Wentz could have had an even higher score. I like Bortles at home vs a Seahawks defense that just gave up 425 total yards of offense.
Mike Davis (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 9%): I think we may have finally found the answer to the Seattle backfield riddle. Mike Davis ran like a man possessed Sunday night with jump cuts on top of jump cuts! All this against the NFL’s #1 run stopping unit, Davis was able to amass 64 yards on 16 carries and added another 4 catches for 37 yards. Davis was in on 78% of the snaps and unless Chris Carson can come back before week 16, it looks like Mike Davis will be the starter in Seattle for the Fantasy playoffs.
Matt Forte (ESPN 57% / Yahoo 37%): Old “spice” balls Forte just keeps on producing even when the calendar hits December and he turns 87! I know this past weekends performance was aided by the matchup but Denver looked awful last week allowing the marathon rapper Kenyon Drake to go off on them for 123 yards and a touchdown. Forte won’t see the number of carries but if McCown continues his unbelievable play, a goal-line touchdown seems to be in the cards.
Peyton Barber (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 6%): This pickup is a bit risky and I wouldn’t fault you for looking elsewhere on the wire but if Martin can’t play again in week 14 Barber is a top waiver wire grab. Barber took the opportunity to start and saw the field for 70% of the snaps producing a top 10 RB week with over 140 total yards and a touchdown. If he gets the start again the Buccaneers are facing the Detroit Lions who were just gashed by Alex Collins who had two touchdowns.
Gio Bernard (ESPN 22% / Yahoo 12%): I write the article before the completion of the Monday Night Game and the injury to Joe Mixon thrust Gio Bernard right into lead back duties and against a top 10 rush defense. Bernard delivered as the every down back with 73 yards on 13 carries and added 19 yards on 2 catches. With Mixon in concussion protocal and questionable for week 14, Bernard needs to be rostered in all formats.
Marquise Goodwin (ESPN 15% / Yahoo 32%): Jimmy G is giving the San Fransico 49ers positional players a major bump just in time for the fantasy playoffs! In his first game under center, Jimmy G and Goodwin connected 8 times for 99 yards and will face the Houston Texans who have given up the 4th most points to WR’s this season.
Jermaine Kearse (ESPN 39% / Yahoo 46%): I wrote up Kearse last week as he was facing a soft Chiefs secondary and he delivered with his second 100 yard game of the season. He also was able to produce yet another top 5 WR performance and heads into a matchup in Denver who actually could be a good matchup to keep the streak going. Denver is allowing 27.0 points per game over their past three which is 28th in the NFL right now.
Kenny Stills (ESPN 45% / Yahoo 55%): Miami blitzed the Broncos early and just kept their foot on the peddle and Stills was able to put on a WR 1 performance hauling in 5 of his 13 targets for 98 yards and a touchdown. Monday Night football vs New England is on deck but this time the game is in Miami, a venue New England has historically struggled in.
Cameron Brate (ESPN 57% / Yahoo55%): All Brate needed was famous Jameis to suit back up because in his first game back Brate had 2 touchdowns on 2 catches! That is efficiency at it’s finest!
David Njoku (ESPN 7% / Yahoo 5%): The rookie TE’s are good and Njoku like Engram is a physical miss match and now that Cleveland has all its weapons look for the middle to be a little easier to navigate. Njoku looks like a late season pick up who could pay big dividends in your playoff run.
Benjamin Watson (ESPN 12% / Yahoo 12%): Papa Watson is in a TEBBC but found the end zone last week and the Steelers who may be without Ryan Shazier which should open up the middle of the field. If Papa Witten is available I would look his way but his ownership is still hovering around 80% (why I have no idea!).
Defenses to Stream
Green Bay Packets @ Cle
Buffalo Bills vs Ind
Tennessee Titans @ Ari
New York Jets @ Den
Kickers to Stream
Dan Bailey @ NYG
Robbie Gould @ Hou
Graham Gano vs Min
Randy Bullock vs Chi
Week 1 of the playoffs is underway. Good luck and I hope this little article helps get you the W you need to move on. Do you need EVEN more fantasy advice? You can find us on Twitter @TFFGurus or feel free to email us at TrophyTime@TFFGurus.com. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition of The Waiver Wire.