Week 14 Waiver Wire: Running Back Roundup
Welcome to the Week 14 waiver wire roundup. If you are here reading this, then you are still alive for the title in your league or you are just trying your darndest to be respectable. Either way, a lot of running back options opened up in Week 13 for you to consider. With the bye weeks firmly in the rearview mirror, it is all systems go for the playoff stretch.
The basis of this weekly article is to point out key players at every position who are readily available (less than 40% owned) in Yahoo! and ESPN leagues that you may be able to add to your roster for upside. Percent owned is shown in parentheses.
Keep in mind, each fantasy team and league format is unique, as are scoring and roster formats. Think of this as a road map to your team’s success. Factor in whether or not your league uses PPR scoring, allows you to play two quarterbacks or other variables that impact your decisions to claim a player off of waiver. Let us get started.
There are some seriously tough matchups out there for some of the top quarterbacks in fantasy football. If you are an owner of Drew Brees, Kyler Murray, or even Dak Prescott, you may want to possibly consider a streamer for Week 14. The rule of thumb is you do not sit your studs, but in some cases, the thought needs to at least be pondered. Here are some options that may work for you.
Ryan Fitzpatrick-Miami Dolphins
Do not look now, but Ryan Fitzpatrick (10% Yahoo!, 5.4% ESPN) has put together solid back to back games. Up next is a tasty matchup against a New York Jets team that gives up 16.88 fantasy points to the position and is coming off a loss to the formerly winless Cincinnati Bengals. The journeyman quarterback has put up 23.1 and 26.8 points respectively over the past two weeks. This is on par with the Week 9 total of 23.7 fantasy points the Harvard grad put up against them in their prior meeting.
Fitzpatrick has always shown flashes throughout his career. This is evidenced using the player data page available at FFStatistics. The first three weeks of 2018 saw “Fitzmagic” post consecutive QB1 performances while filling in for a suspended Jameis Winston. There are certainly worse options out there for Week 14.
Notable Quarterback Fantasy Nuggets
- Ryan Tannehill (39% Yahoo!, 21.4% ESPN) had his first outing under 19 points in over five weeks. He was still able to put up 14.8 points against a tough Indianapolis Colts defense. The Oakland Raiders are up next and give up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
- Kyle Allen (19% Yahoo!, 13.8% ESPN) had his second straight 20 plus point performance. The Atlanta Falcons are on deck and give up the seventh-most points to the position.
The Week 14 waiver wire report continues with the running back position. There were injuries as well as some interesting developments in multiple backfields in Week 13 that are worth noting. Let us get into that and some other notes for the position.
Raheem Mostert-San Francisco 49ers
To say Raheem Mostert (14% Yahoo!, 14.1% ESPN) came out of nowhere would be unfair. Even before yesterday’s breakout performance against the top-10 rush defense of the Baltimore Ravens, the unheralded running back was better on a per touch basis than the rest of the backfield in the bay area.
The Purdue grad was earning almost a full point per touch and is now over that threshold, with a healthy 1.08 fantasy points every time he touches the ball. In Week 13, the electric back went for 146 yards on just 19 carries. This was good for 7.7 yards per tote. Against the Ravens. Let that sink in. This may be the performance that vaults Mostert into the Kyle Shanahan circle of trust. Take a chance on a potential league winner down the stretch.
Notable Running Back Fantasy Nuggets
- Is it finally Darwin Thompson (5% Yahoo!, 5% ESPN) season? Damien Williams was inactive with a rib injury and Darrel Williams left with what appeared to be a significant hamstring injury. Enter Darwin Thompson. Against the Raiders in limited action, the Twitter phenom went for 44 yards on 11 carries and found pay dirt. LeSean McCoy has been average at best. Give him a look in all formats.
- Patrick Laird (1% Yahoo!, 1.3% ESPN) took advantage of what looked like a serious injury to Kalen Ballage. He was not effective on the ground against a stout Philadelphia Eagles rush defense but did make hay through the air. Laird finished with 16.80 PPR points in backup duty. With coach Brian Flores coming from New England, a James White type role could be in store for Laird. There is value in that in all league formats and especially in half or full PPR leagues.
We roll on with the Week 14 waiver wire feature with the wide receiver position. James Washington was covered here for the last two weeks. It is with the hope that you were not too late in grabbing him. The Oklahoma State grad went for 21.10 points Let us dive into some others at the position.
John Ross-Cincinnati Bengals
According to head coach Zac Taylor, John Ross (7% Yahoo!, 7.3% ESPN) will return for Week 14. It is easy to forget that the speedster was the WR15 over the first four weeks of the season. Do not expect an immediate impact on his return. He will need a couple of weeks to get back into game form and has tough matchups. The main reason for this add is for the Week 16 title matchup you will be in.
The Bengals take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 16. Andy Dalton is back at quarterback. The stars are aligning for a repeat of the Week 1 and Week 2 type performance that Ross is capable of. In those weeks, the former Washington Husky went for 35.80 and 21.20 points respectively. The Dolphins allowed some serious points to quickish wideouts such as Ross as evidenced by the players against defenses app available at FFStatistics. Even Dontrelle Inman and Willie Snead put up over 12 points against Miami. Take a look.
Notable Wide Receiver Fantasy Nuggets
- Cole Beasley (32% Yahoo!, 24% ESPN) had his fifth double-digit performance over his past seven games. The former Dallas Cowboys wideout torched his old teammates to the tune of 23.00 PPR points on 6 catches for 110 yards and a score. The matchups are tough the next few weeks, however, so temper expectations. On tap are games against the Ravens, Steelers, and Patriots.
- Russell Gage (11% Yahoo!, 4.3% ESPN) had another 9 targets in Week 13 after receiving 10 in Week 12. This has translated to consecutive weeks over 15 points. Monitor Julio Jones’ status throughout the week and add Gage if it looks like Jones will miss more time.
We close the week 14 waiver wire report with the quagmire that is the Tight End position. This is a position that is as barren as it has been all year. Here are just a few nuggets to consider when scouring for a fill in if you are still in need at the spot.
Notable Tight End Fantasy Nuggets
- As expected, Tyler Higbee (11% Yahoo!, 0.6% ESPN) feasted on the Arizona Cardinals tight end friendly defense. Keep in mind that Gerald Everett was out and the Cardinals get torched by every tight end they play. Do not chase the points.
- O.J. Howard (32% Yahoo!, 39.6% ESPN) finally showed some signs of life with 11.10 PPR points. The highly touted preseason top-5 tight end caught 5 of 6 targets for 61 yards. Buyer beware on Howard as well, but at a thin position, we sometimes cannot be too selective.
- Kaden Smith (1% Yahoo!, 0.1% ESPN) has scored double-digit points in consecutive weeks in Evan Engram’s absence. Matchups loom against the Eagles, Dolphins, and Redskins.
Injuries and a breakout performance have opened up a few potential solid plays at the running back position. We still need to be active on the wire to stay relevant all season long. The hope is that this article helps make your waiver wire decisions a little bit easier. Come back every Tuesday for the latest rendition of this series to help you build your fake team into a contender if you happened to miss on some draft picks. Injuries play a vital role in fantasy and one of the biggest advantages you can have is to be active on the wire every week. Good luck on your playoff push for the next couple of weeks.