Waiver Wire Pickups Week 14
Well, injuries were absolutely brutal in Week 13 and they were sure to leave a few holes in fantasy managers lineups this week and in the future. However, this does mean that there are plenty of players on the waiver wire who should see an uptick in volume. After a pretty weak list of potential candidates to pick up last week, we should see a more fruitful cast of players waiting to be added to fantasy rosters ahead of Week 14. Let’s bridge some gaps, patch some holes and get ready for the final stretch of the regular season in fantasy football.
Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts (11% ESPN, 23% Yahoo)
There is a huge list of quarterback injuries this season and some of you might find yourselves without a reliable option to replace them. Gardner Minshew could be that guy in the fantasy playoffs. After throwing for 312 yards and two touchdowns last week, Minshew now has 300-plus passing yards in three of his eight starts this season. He’s not a set-it-and-forget-it type player in fantasy football, but he could prove to be productive in forgiving matchups. Over the next four weeks, Minshew and the Colts have Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Las Vegas on the schedule. All of these games should be closely contested, leaving the door open for more high-volume passing days for the 27-year-old quarterback. If you’re in need of an injury replacement, Gardner Minshew could be your guy down the stretch.
- Joshua Dobbs, Minnesota Vikings
- Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals
Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders (45% ESPN, 56% Yahoo)
While it’s still unclear as to the severity of Brian Robinson’s hamstring injury, it’s worth talking about what this could mean for Antonio Gibson ahead of Washington’s bye week. Robinson went down in the first half against Miami, leaving an abundance of opportunities for Gibson. By the end of the game, Gibson rushed for a season-high 35 yards on a season-high 10 carries and caught four of his five targets for 37 yards. He’s always had a role in the passing game, but it’s the work on the ground that could see a significant increase should Robinson miss any time after the Week 14 bye. Considering he won’t be playable this week, it could be the perfect opportunity to go get him before any more news breaks on the extent of his teammate’s injury. Gibson and the Commanders have a road matchup with the Rams in Week 15 and the 2020 third-round pick could be in for a huge workload.
Ezekiel Elliott, New England Patriots (34% ESPN, 40% Yahoo)
Over the course of the season, Ezekiel Elliott has often been listed as an honorable mention in my waiver wire articles. Now, with the unfortunate injury to Rhamondre Stevenson, Elliott has been called up to the big stage as a real suggestion in Week 14. Similar to Brian Robinson Jr., the seriousness of Stevenson’s injury is uncertain right now but he was ruled out very quickly after going down with an ankle injury in the first half against Los Angeles last week. This opened the door for Elliott to take over as the RB1 for New England the rest of the way. The three-time Pro Bowler finished the day with 52 rushing yards on a season-high 17 carries while catching four of his five targets for a season-high 40 yards. While I might understand the hesitancy of adding a running back who plays for a team that just scored zero points, volume is king in fantasy football and I can’t ignore 21 touches no matter who you play for. He’s not the same running back as he used to be and he plays on one of the least inspiring offenses in the NFL, but if Stevenson misses any time, Elliott should be amongst the elite in terms of touches at the position. He’ll be more viable in non-PPR leagues, but I wouldn’t shy away from him in PPR leagues either.
Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (32% ESPN, 36% Yahoo)
There was fear that Derrick Henry could miss time after being rumored to be in concussion protocol, but this rumor was quickly shut down by head coach Mike Vrabel. However, it’s still not a bad idea to consider adding Tyjae Spears this week. The rookie running back handled all of the work once Henry left the game last week and remains one of the best handcuff options in the league. He gained 75 yards on 16 carries and caught four of his six targets for 13 yards. It was encouraging to see that the Titans didn’t go away from the run game and proceeded with Spears as if Henry was the one getting the touches. The rookie running back has seen a significant role in the Titans offense throughout the season and would be in line for more work if Henry were limited in any way this week.
- Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears
- Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings
- DeeJay Dallas, Seattle Seahawks
Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns (34% ESPN, 43% Yahoo)
With Joe Flacco at quarterback and Amari Cooper out with a concussion, the Cleveland Browns offense is a mess. However, Elijah Moore could possibly thrive in this mess. Last week, Moore saw a season-high 12 targets in Flacco’s first start for the Browns and hauled in four passes for a season-high 83 yards. He was clearly the 38-year-old quarterback’s favorite target once Cooper went down and was productive in that role. The targets were a great sign for Moore and he made big plays averaging over 20 yards per catch. However, the only thing that concerns me this week is the possibility of Dorian Thompson-Robinson making his return at quarterback. This will significantly impact the floor and ceiling of Moore and I would be staying away from him at that point. Nevertheless, I’m a huge advocate for Elijah Moore if Joe Flacco is the signal caller for Cleveland on Sunday against Jacksonville. He’d be on the FLEX radar in PPR leagues if Flacco is at the helm.
Noah Brown, Houston Texans (35% ESPN, 40% Yahoo)
Speaking of pass-catchers with more opportunities, Noah Brown has been impressive when given the chance this season and he could find himself with extra targets for the remainder of the season. Tank Dell suffered a season-ending injury last week and is going to leave a significant amount of targets to be divided up amongst the Texans’ receiving core. Brown made his return from a two-game absence and did not record a catch on two targets. However, I’m chalking that up to rust after he caught 16 of 19 targets for 382 yards and a touchdown across his last three games before Week 13. During that three-game stretch, he was the WR3 in fantasy football and led the league in catches of 20 yards or more. He’s a big play guy and could help fill the Tank Dell-sized void in Houston.
Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders (45% ESPN, 38% Yahoo)
It’s been really tough to figure out who Sam Howell’s favorite target is. Honestly, I don’t think he has any clue himself. However, he seems to be favoring Curtis Samuel lately so let’s go with that. He’s been the WR19 in the league over the last two weeks with 165 receiving yards and 13 catches on 17 targets. During that span, he’s been the team leader in targets, catches and receiving yards. He hasn’t found the endzone since Week 6, but I’m a believer in positive touchdown regression and Samuel is due. The amount of volume combined with the inevitably positive game script for Commander’s receivers week in and week out should give him a good chance to find pay dirt sooner rather than later. As long as he’s the WR1 for Howell, Curtis Samuel should be rostered in all PPR leagues and considered a sneaky FLEX play so long as the volume stays where it’s at.
- Demario Douglas, New England Patriots
- Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens
- Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints
Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens (23% ESPN, 35% Yahoo)
In his first start since the injury to Mark Andrews, Isaiah Likely was clearly a favorite for Lamar Jackson. He hauled in four of his six targets for a team-high 40 receiving yards against the Chargers in Week 13, showing he can handle the extra workload. The Ravens’ next four games come against the Rams, Jaguars, 49ers and Dolphins. They should be throwing the ball a lot and Likely should be in the thick of it. It’s encouraging to see his immediate involvement in the passing game in his first start and I think there’s more to come. I like the 23-year-old as a viable streaming option at tight end during the fantasy playoffs.
- Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers
Will Holtz is a fantasy football analyst and contributes to GridironExperts.com. His goal: Help you win your fantasy football championship.