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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 14
12/3/18; Updated: 12/4/18 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson stepped in for Matt Breida who aggravated his ankle injury during pregame warmups.


Jameis Winston, TB – With most fantasy teams into their first week of the playoffs, there’s probably not too many one-QB teams looking for capable starters, but as far as QB2s go, we’ll need to address some fringe guys – starting with Winston. The embattled QB completed 20 of his 30 passes for 249-2-0 in the Week 13 win over the Panthers, also leading the team with 48 rushing yards. He draws the Saints in Week 14, and this could be a game where he’s allowed to finish what he started, even if he struggles and the Bucs fall behind. There’s some upside in this matchup, even if there’s plenty of risk.

Baker Mayfield, CLE – A lot of folks are going to be turned off Mayfield this week after he turned in a decidedly bad game in a 29-13 loss to the Texans in Week 13. Mayfield completed just 29 of his 43 pass attempts for 397-1-3, and had a rough time dealing with the Texans defense. The Panthers, on the other hand, haven’t done all that well lately in pass defense and Mayfield and the rest of the Browns could post significantly better numbers in Week 14.

Nick Mullens, SF – Mullens threw for 414-2-1 in the loss to Seattle, showing that he can provide some useful stats even in a poor matchup that turns into a blowout. Mullens isn’t afraid of turning it over and has been dealing with a less-than-stellar group of receivers the last couple of weeks, so maybe he’ll fare even better next week at home against the Broncos. There’s plenty of risk in using him as a QB2, but he’s got some upside.

Other QBs to consider: Marcus Mariota, Lamar Jackson/Joe Flacco, Derek Carr


Dak Prescott, DAL – Prescott’s 248-1-0 (22 rushing yards, lost fumble), even in an unlikely win over the Saints, shows why he’s not a trustworthy fantasy QB. Still, he badly overthrew a wide open Michael Gallup and didn’t connect much with Amari Cooper in this one – so it’s possible he fares better against the scuffling Eagles in Week 14.

Case Keenum, DEN – Keenum had just 151-1-0 in the win over Cincinnati as the running game carried the day, and he’s more of a low-end QB2 heading into Week 14 when he faces the 49ers in San Francisco.

Josh Allen, BUF – That’s two solid fantasy performances in a row for Allen, who threw for 231-2-2 and rushed for 135 yards in a 21-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 13. Allen is a must-add in dynasty leagues and could be a sneaky add in keeper leagues, since he could be a viable fantasy starter as soon as next season if he continues to build on his game.

Running Backs

Justin Jackson, SD – Jackson electrified the Chargers rushing game in the second half on Sunday night, rushing for 63 yards and a TD on eight carries after Austin Ekeler struggled to find running room for most of the game. If Melvin Gordon can’t go next week, Jackson will likely assume more of the early-down rushing workload and relegate Ekeler to passing down/change of pace role. Stay tuned.

Jaylen Samuels, PIT – James Conner’s leg injury suffered in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game is being referred to as just a bruise, but it doesn’t hurt top pick up Samuels if you’re a Conner owner heading into a juicy Week 14 matchup with the Raiders. Samuels won’t do a lot if Conner is good to go, but nobody wants to lose an RB1 in the first round of the fantasy playoffs without the necessary handcuff.

UPDATE: Conner will not play in Week 14, making Samuels and Stevan Ridley the committee backs to watch – with Samuels being the better fantasy bet and one of the top waiver adds of the week.

Rashaad Penny, SEA – So I guess that Penny will be seeing a few touches as the Seahawks season winds down and they get a look at their future at RB. Penny scored on a 20-yard TD run and finished with 63 rushing yards in the win over San Francisco. He’s entrenched in a committee at the moment, but should be on everybody’s radar for the fantasy playoffs because of his shot at increased volume.

Jeff Wilson, SF – Breida aggravated an injury in pregame warmups and saw fewer snaps that normal, and Wilson responded with 61 rushing yards and 8-73-0 receiving (lost fumble). He’ll get more touches moving forward and fill the Raheem Mostert role in the offense, even if Breida gets healthy for Week 14.

UPDATE: Breida is listed as OUT for Week 14, turning over the reins to Wilson for the matchup with Denver.

Jalen Richard, OAK – Richard finished with 95 rushing yards and 3-31-0 receiving but lost a fumble. He, DeAndre Washington and Doug Martin are handling the backfield touches for the Raiders, so they might all both be worthy of a flex start this week against the Steelers. But Richard is probably the best PPR option since he’ll be catching some passes if they fall behind.

Other RBs to consider: Giovani Bernard, Rex Burkhead, Damien Williams, Charcandrick West, Ty Montgomery, Chase Edmonds


Austin Ekeler, SD – Ekeler was bottled up by the Steelers front seven (and by some unimaginative playcalling by the Chargers) before seeing the bulk of snaps go to Jackson in the second half. Ekeler will still be involved as a change of pace back if Gordon is healthy for Week 14, but could lose the bell cow role they envisioned for him even if Gordon sits another week out.

Carlos Hyde / T.J. Yeldon, JAC – Hyde was ineffective in this snooze-fest (36 rushing yards, fumble) and Yeldon finished with 16 rushing yards and 7-49-0 receiving in this low-scoring 6-0 (base?) ball game. Fournette’s Week 14 return spells the end of Hyde’s viability and relegates Yeldon to a desperation flex role.

Jordan Wilkins / Nyheim Hines, IND – As I mentioned above, this wasn’t a very exciting game, and the RB numbers from the Colts weren’t great, either. Marlon Mack ended up playing despite the Week 12 concussion and had just 27 rushing yards, while Hines finished with 9-50-0 receiving. Wilkins wasn’t a factor.

Frank Gore, MIA – Gore had just 21 rushing yards and one catch for 10 yards while Kenyan Drake was the more productive fantasy back, finding paydirt against the Bills.

Chris Thompson, WAS – UPDATE: Thompson rushed just thrice for 3 rushing yards and caught 3-18-0 yards in the loss to the Eagles in Week 13. He’s off my fantasy radar as long as Washington continues to deploy several backs and has Mark Sanchez at QB.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Dante Pettis, SF – We had him as a guy to consider last week, and Pettis (5-10 percent owned) responded with 5-129-2 in the los to Seattle. Mullens clearly likes him as a deep threat and if the 49ers remain undermanned at WR (both Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin missed Week 13), he’s good for 5-10 targets a game.

Michael Gallup, DAL – Prescott missed a wide open Gallup (5-20 percent owned) on what would have been a long TD pass but the rookie still finished with 5-76-0 in a stunning win over New Orleans on Thursday night. Gallup’s fantasy tock is on the rise and he’s handling himself well considering the loss of his brother and the adjustment to playing meaningful NFL games in a tight division battle. He could see more targets this week facing the Eagles.

UPDATE: Gallup keeps looking better and better, facing the Eagles this week before the Colts and Bucs in Weeks 15 and 16. He’s a great add before the fantasy playoffs begin.

Curtis Samuel, CAR – Samuel (15-30 percent owned) is a big-play machine who led the Panthers this week with 88 receiving yards on six catches (11 targets), adding 8 rushing yards. He’s a good bet to score next week against the Browns, and remains a high-upside WR3.

Taywan Taylor, TEN – Taylor (0-5 percent owned) was day-to-day earlier in the week with a foot injury but hauled in 3-104-0 in the win over the Jets. He’s a boom-or-bust fantasy WR heading into what should be a favorable matchup with Jacksonville – a team the Titans have owned recently.

TE Jonnu Smith, TEN – Smith (20-45 percent owned) disappointed with 2-29-0 in the win over the Jets, but he could play a bigger factor in next week’s tilt with Jacksonville – who give up twice as many points to opposing TEs as the average team.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Jordy Nelson, Kenny Stills, TE Ian Thomas, TE C.J. Uzomah, Chris Conley


David Moore, SEA – Moore was not targeted in Week 13 against the 49ers. He can be safely dropped in most formats.

Antonio Callaway, CLE – Callaway had 3-84-0 and a lost fumble on Sunday. He’s a risky flex option in deeper formats for Week 14.

UPDATE: Callaway remains a solid big-play threat getting consistent targets in the Cleveland offense, and he’s had some stats come back because of penalties. Give him a look.

Chris Godwin, TB – Finally! Godwin paid off for us with 5-101-1 against the Panthers and remains a solid fantasy option heading into Week 14 against the Saints.

UPDATE: Godwin’s upside is higher if DeSean Jackson misses another week of action, but he’s viable as a WR3 even if the entire Bucs WR corps is healthy.

Ryan Switzer, PIT – Switzer busted on Sunday night with 2-9-0 receiving. We knew he was a longshot!

UPDATE: He’s also in the concussion protocol, so he’s not an option for Week 14.

Mike Williams, LAC – Williams had 3-52-0 but it was Travis Benjamin who caught a rogue TD in the first half and Keenan Allen who did most of the damage against the Steelers Sunday night.

TE Rhett Ellison, NYG – Ellison finished with 4-42-0 in seven targets Sunday, and the early word is he’ll still be catching passes form Eli Manning (and not Kyle Lauletta) in Week 14.