Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 14
With the playoffs here for most owners, landing the right backups is the priority. Our Jamey Eisenberg shares his top available handcuffs and other streaming options for Week 14.
This is a unique week for the waiver wire. The playoffs have started in the majority of leagues, so most rosters are solidified. And there are no significant injuries to guaranteed starters since it appears like Le'Veon Bell (concussion) is going to play in Week 14 against Miami.
Sure, there are players worth adding, and the top free agents being scouted in CBSSports.com leagues are Patriots receiver Julian Edelman (72 percent), Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline (62 percent), Browns running back Willis McGahee (20 percent), Giants tight end Brandon Myers (16 percent) and Chargers tight end Ladarius Green (11 percent). Of that group, the only must-add players are Edelman and Green, and we'll address the other free agent options below.
But for this week, we'll also remind you -- if you haven't done so already -- to drop the extra players on your roster who don't mean anything and handcuff your running backs. Or steal someone else's handcuff because it could be a lottery ticket. And based on the ownership percentage, a lot of the top handcuffs are still available.
|1.||Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots||100|
|2.||Percy Harvin, WR, Seahawks||100|
|3.||Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns||100|
|4.||Andrew Luck, QB, Colts||99|
|5.||Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants||90|
|6.||Rueben Randle, WR, Giants||90|
|7.||Trent Richardson, RB, Colts||87|
|8.||Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys||87|
|9.||Eli Manning, QB, Giants||83|
|10.||DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers||82|
|12.||Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals||69|
|12.||Timothy Wright, TE, Buccaneers||56|
Here are the Top 12 running backs in a standard league through Week 13: Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, Knowshon Moreno, LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush, Chris Johnson, Alfred Morris, Frank Gore, Fred Jackson and Eddie Lacy.
If you take out the handcuffs who are owned in the majority of leagues -- Montee Ball, Joique Bell and C.J. Spiller -- that leaves a significant group of potentially valuable free agents. Here is the handcuff list to make it easier: James Starks, Packers (49 percent), Roy Helu, Redskins (44 percent), Kendall Hunter, 49ers (32 percent), Bryce Brown, Eagles (32 percent), Michael Bush, Bears (23 percent), Shonn Greene, Titans (22 percent), Toby Gerhart, Vikings (19 percent), Knile Davis, Chiefs (17 percent) and Robert Turbin, Seahawks (10 percent).
Aside from adding someone like Edelman where still available, taking a flier on Green at tight end or streaming DST or kicker options, this could be the most important move you make. If one of those stud running backs gets hurt between now and the end of the season, you might have a key replacement already sitting there on your bench.
Editor's note: Must add is for players worth adding in all leagues. Maybe add is for players worth adding in 14-team leagues or larger. Desperation add is for players worth adding only if you're, well, desperate. The ownership percentage listed is how many leagues that player was owned in the previous week for CBSSports.com.
Must add: Jay Cutler, Bears (61
Maybe add: Joe Flacco, Ravens (58 percent), Josh McCown, Bears (58 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (43 percent), EJ Manuel, Bills (20 percent)
Desperation add: Scott Tolzien, Packers (10 percent), Matt Cassel, Vikings (2 percent), Caleb Hanie, Browns (0 percent)
The order for quarterbacks to add this week is Cutler, McCown, Manuel, Flacco and Tannehill. ... Whoever starts for the Bears in Week 14 against Dallas would be a must-start Fantasy quarterback. All signs point toward Cutler playing Monday night, but we won't know until Thursday to see how he does in practice with his injured ankle. Cutler clearly is the long-term answer this season, but don't overlook McCown if he remains the starter. The Bears close the season with great matchups against Dallas, at Cleveland, at Philadelphia and against Green Bay. ... Manuel has consecutive games with at least 20 Fantasy points, and he faces a Buccaneers defense that has allowed at least 19 Fantasy points to each opposing quarterback in their past eight games. He's a nice sleeper in two-quarterback leagues. ... Flacco has a great matchup at home against the Vikings, who have allowed all but two quarterbacks this season to score at least 20 Fantasy points, including McCown last week. Since Flacco hasn't scored 20 Fantasy points since Week 9 and has hit that mark only three times this year, he's just a boom-or-bust starter in two-quarterback leagues. ... Tannehill is on fire the past two weeks with 641 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions against the Panthers and Jets, and he's finally clicking with Mike Wallace. The problem is he faces the Steelers this week in Pittsburgh, and they have allowed just three quarterbacks to score more than 20 Fantasy points all year. He should only be considered in deep two-quarterback formats.
Must add: James Starks, Packers
(49 percent), Roy Helu, Redskins (44
percent), Kendall Hunter, 49ers (32
percent), Bryce Brown, Eagles (32
percent), Michael Bush, Bears (23
percent), Shonn Greene, Titans (22
percent), Toby Gerhart, Vikings (19
percent), Knile Davis, Chiefs (17
percent) and Robert Turbin, Seahawks
Maybe add: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals (73 percent), Mike Tolbert, Panthers (61 percent), Dennis Johnson, Texans (36 percent), LeGarrette Blount, Patriots (17 percent)
Desperation add: Brandon Bolden, Patriots (41 percent), Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (38 percent), Willis McGahee, Browns (20 percent), Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers (2 percent), Felix Jones, Steelers (2 percent), Mike Gillislee, Dolphins (2 percent), Antone Smith, Falcons (1 percent)
The order for the handcuffs as lottery tickets is as follows: Brown, Davis, Gerhart, Hunter, Turbin, Greene, Bush, Starks and Helu. ... The order for the other running backs to add this week is Blount, Tolbert, Green-Ellis and Johnson. ... The systems in Philadelphia, Kansas City and San Francisco would allow Brown, Davis and Hunter, respectively, to shine should the starters in front of them get hurt. ... Turbin is also in a great run-based offense in Seattle, but I still think the Seahawks would split touches with him and Christine Michael if Lynch went down. ... Gerhart has proven to be a serviceable backup, and he would be at least a flex option if something happened to Peterson. ... Greene and Bush would still remain touchdown dependent, even as starters, but they also could be flex worthy. ... Starks, like Lacy, needs a healthy Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) to really be effective, and Helu would likely be better in PPR leagues than standard formats even if he took over for Morris. ... Blount is worth adding this week because he did better than Bolden with Stevan Ridley benched for his fumbles. Blount had 12 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown at Houston, and Bolden was held to just three carries for 2 yards and one catch for 18 yards. We still like Shane Vereen as the best New England running back, but if Ridley is inactive again this week against Cleveland, then Blount could be a flex candidate in standard leagues. ... Tolbert was more effective than Stewart with DeAngelo Williams (quad) out against Tampa Bay with nine carries for 48 yards and three catches for 41 yards compared to 14 carries for 39 yards and two catches for 3 yards for Stewart. The Panthers will be facing a beaten up Saints defense in Week 14, and don't be surprised if Tolbert scores. ... You know what Green-Ellis is at this point, and that's a running back who needs a lead to be impactful so he can kill the clock. If the Bengals are ahead on the Colts this week late in the game, look for Green-Ellis to get plenty of work with the chance to score. ... Even though Ben Tate is solidified as the starter for the Texans with Arian Foster (back) out, I don't mind keeping Johnson on my bench since Tate is still dealing with broken ribs. And on a short week facing the Jaguars on Thursday, you might be able to flex Johnson in a deeper league. ... I have no interest in McGahee even though he scored against the Jaguars in Week 13 and has a favorable matchup this week against the Patriots. He's only scored twice this year and is still averaging just 2.8 yards per carry.
|Packers DST||vs. ATL||64|
|Steelers DST||vs. MIA||62|
|Raiders DST||at NYJ||27|
|Justin Tucker, K, BAL||vs. MIN||68|
|Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK||at NYJ||39|
|Alex Henery, K, PHI||vs. DET||32|
Must add: Julian Edelman,
Patriots (72 percent), Emmanuel Sanders,
Steelers (68 percent)
Maybe add: Brian Hartline, Dolphins (62 percent), Randall Cobb, Packers (48 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (48 percent), Nate Washington, Titans (40 percent), Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (31 percent), Ace Sanders, Jaguars (4 percent), Andre Holmes, Raiders (0 percent)
Desperation add: Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers (63 percent), Greg Jennings, Vikings (42 percent), Ted Ginn, Panthers (20 percent), Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings (20 percent), Brian Quick, Rams (1 percent), Junior Hemingway, Chiefs (0 percent), Kevin Ogletree, Lions (0 percent)
The order for wide receivers to add this week is Edelman, Emmanuel Sanders, Baldwin, Hartline, Cobb, Ace Sanders, Holmes, Washington and LaFell. ... I said it last week in this spot, and I'll say it again about Edelman: He's the most experienced receiver for Tom Brady, which can't be overlooked, especially now with Aaron Dobson (foot) and Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) both banged up. Edelman's past two games are likely a sign of things to come with 18 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns on 23 targets. ... Emmanuel Sanders could struggle this week against the Dolphins, who have allowed just one receiver to score all season, but he's playing well of late with 12 catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets the past two games. He's a solid No. 3 Fantasy receiver to close the season. ... Baldwin will benefit with Percy Harvin (hip) suffering a setback. He now has at least 12 Fantasy points in three of his past four games. ... Hartline was awesome against the Jets with his best game of the season, catching nine passes for 127 yards and a touchdown on 15 targets. He's a solid option in PPR leagues with at least five catches in seven games this year, including four in a row. The reason he's not a must-add receiver is he's scored only three times, and just once in his past nine games. He also faces the Steelers this week. ... If Rodgers is able to return this season then I would add Cobb as a playoff contender. We should find out about Rodgers' status this week, so consider adding Cobb prior to Sunday if you can wait. ... Ace Sanders has become a nice option in PPR leagues with eight catches for at least 61 yards in two of his past three games. He's emerged as the No. 2 receiver for the Jaguars behind Cecil Shorts since Justin Blackmon was suspended. ... Holmes looked great on Thanksgiving Day with seven catches for 136 yards on 11 targets, and he'll continue to benefit with Denarius Moore (shoulder) out. He's worth a flier in deeper leagues. ... The Titans might need Washington to step up if Delanie Walker (concussion) is out this week at Denver. He played well at Indianapolis in Week 13 when Walker got hurt, catching five passes for 81 yards on six targets, and this was his best game since Week 4. With the Titans likely chasing points against the Broncos, look for Washington to be useful again. ... LaFell has proven to be a matchup-based Fantasy option, and we liked him last week in a good matchup against Tampa Bay, where he finished with three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. The matchup at New Orleans this week isn't as enticing, but keep LaFell on your radar for a potential flier in Week 15 against the Jets.
Must add: Heath Miller, Steelers
(67 percent), Jared Cook, Rams (55
percent), Ladarius Green, Chargers (11
Maybe add: Brent Celek, Eagles (21 percent), Dennis Pitta, Ravens (11 percent), Brandon Myers, Giants (16 percent), Zach Miller, Seahawks (15 percent), Jacob Tamme, Broncos (6 percent), Zach Ertz, Eagles (4 percent), Anthony Fasano, Chiefs (4 percent)
Desperation add: Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (3 percent), Clay Harbor, Jaguars (0 percent), Jim Dray, Cardinals (0 percent), Logan Paulsen, Redskins (0 percent)
The order for tight ends to add this week is Heath Miller, Cook, Green, Tamme, Pitta, Myers, Zach Miller, Ertz, Celek and Fasano. ... Miller was great in Week 13 at Baltimore with eight catches for 86 yards on nine targets, and he now has eight catches in two of his past three games. He has a dream matchup this week against the Dolphins, who have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing tight ends, so add him and start him in your playoffs. ... Cook also has a great matchup this week against the Cardinals, and his best game of the season was against Arizona in Week 1 when he had seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals just allowed Ertz and Celek to score three touchdowns last week, and a tight end has scored against Arizona in three games in a row. ... Green has come on of late and is playing better than Antonio Gates. He has nine catches for 206 yards and two touchdowns in his past three games, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Giants, who have allowed a tight end to score touchdowns in back-to-back games. ... Tamme could start again in place of Julius Thomas (knee), and this would be a great matchup against the Titans this week. Tennessee has allowed seven tight ends to score at least seven Fantasy points this season, meaning Tamme would be a good injury replacement for Thomas, Jordan Reed (concussion) or Walker. ... Pitta (hip) could be activated this week, and I would consider him a sleeper against the Vikings if he plays since Minnesota has struggled with tight ends all season. ... Myers has scored in back-to-back games, and he could be coming around after a down year. The Chargers have also allowed a tight end to score in three of the past four games. ... Zach Miller scored in Week 12 against the Saints with five catches for 86 yards and now has at least six Fantasy points in consecutive games. He's an injury-replacement flier in Week 14 at San Francisco. ... Ertz and Celek took advantage of a great matchup in Week 13 against the Cardinals, but I'd be hesitant to trust either one against the Lions this week. Detroit has only allowed one tight end to score all season. ... Fasano has scored in three games in a row, but he suffered a concussion in Week 13 against Denver. If he's cleared to play in Week 14 then he's a great injury replacement option against the Redskins.
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