Week 14 is upon us, and for the vast majority of owners that means the fantasy football playoffs have begun. Every move will be scrutinized, checked, and tinkered with leading up to game day with the fate of everyone’s fantasy season hanging in the balance. As you would expect, the waiver wire pickings will be extremely slim at this point in the year, but I will be sure to point out my usual assortment of must adds and players to keep an eye on in deep leagues.
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Week 14 waiver wire pickups
All players appearing in my weekly waiver wire article are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues.
Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts – RB (43% owned)
In a week that will see very few must add players, Donald Brown tops the list. Word leaked out of Colts camp just before kickoff on Sunday that Brown would be the new starter at RB for Indianapolis, with Trent Richardson taking a back seat role. Owners that started Donald in week 13 were rewarded with a late TD which saved his fantasy day, as he finished with just 54 yards rushing on 14 carries (with the vast majority of those yards coming late in the 4th quarter). Consider Brown a weak flex play heading into a week 14 showdown with the Cincinatti Bengals.
Deep league players to keep an eye on
Ladarius Green – San Diego Chargers – Tight End (8% owned)
If you are a Tim Wright, Heath Miller or equivalent owner go ahead and consider Ladarius Green a must add. He has hauled in a TD in back to back weeks for the Chargers, and his role continues to expand as he saw a season high 6 targets against the Bengals in week 13. Over his last 3 weeks Green has scored 8.1, 14.0, and 10.5 fantasy points in standard leagues which is more than adequate for owners who don’t have a stud like Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski. If you can afford the bench space, add Green for the fantasy playoffs as a high end TE2 at this juncture.
Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – RB (18% owned)
DeAngelo Williams missed practice this past week with a quad injury, and was inactive for week 13, leaving Jonathan Stewart as the “feature” back with Tolbert as the bruiser/vulture he has always been. Stewart did little with his chance, as he ran the ball 14 times for just 39 yards, adding a whopping 3 yards on 2 receptions. Deep league owners can give him a look, but with the Saints on tap, and D-Will potentially returning from injury, Stewart remains a low end stash in 12 team leagues.
Tiquan Underwood – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR (4% owned)
I keep trotting Underwood’s name out here as a guy to keep an eye on, and with a decent matchup in week 14 against the Buffalo Bills, this could be the week for owners in 12/14 team leagues who are out of options to take a shot. Tiquan continues to play second fiddle to Vincent Jackson, but he put up solid numbers last time the Bucs played an exploitable secondary (Week 12 – @DET – 3 receptions, 108 yards, 2 TD)
Rod Streater – Oakland Raiders – WR (19% owned)
With Denarius Moore targeting a week 14 return, Rod Streater should resume his WR2 duties for the Oakland Raiders. Streater’s numbers have been solid the past 2 weeks in Moore’s absence (8 receptions, 150 yards) but in an offense that has trouble moving the ball through the air, Streater will be a low end gamble for desperate owners in 14/16 team leagues.
LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots – RB (6% owned)
We knew the Patriots running game would be a mess in week 13, and sure enough it was a 3 headed monster of Blount, Vereen, and Bolden in the backfield. If you are looking for the guy carrying the ball (as Vereen remains the passing back) it appears that Blount is trending in that direction as he ran the ball 12 times to Bolden’s 4. Still not a recommended pickup in most leagues as Belichick changes his mind as often as any coach in the NFL, but in a week that is short on waiver wire options, Blount is a guy to keep tabs on.
Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens – TE (4% owned)
Every week I seem to answer multiple questions about any sleeper TE’s for deep leagues… well, that guy would be Dennis Pitta who could return for week 14. Once fully healthy, he should be an integral part of the Ravens offense, but figures to be on a snap count even if he is good to go by Sunday. Should you stash him? If you have a low performing TE1, Pitta could be a viable option by Weeks 15 or 16 if you like to gamble.
Stepfan Taylor – Arizona Cardinals – RB (0% owned)
Stepfan filled in for an injured Andre Ellington in week 13, but barely saw the field as he ran the ball just 3 times for 15 yards while adding an additional 2 receptions for 45 yards. I only bring up his name due to Mendenhall’s fragility, and it looks like Ellington’s injury could be a multi-week deal.
Andre Holmes – Oakland Raiders – WR (1% owned)
Didn’t really want to put Holmes in here, but I already received a number of questions about him. He should be the WR3 in week 14 as Denarius Moore and Rod Streater should be the starting wide receivers for Oakland, and this one week fluke shouldn’t be given any consideration.