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Waiver Wired

Waiver Wire: Week 14

by Raymond Summerlin
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to the 14th edition of Waiver Wired for the 2017 season. With the playoffs upon us, this column will shift its focus almost solely on the present. That does not mean stashes will be ignored completely, but they will be relegated to the watch list. Also, a section highlighting widely-available players with good matchups in Weeks 15, 16, and 17 has been added for each position.  

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-owns, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players worth keeping an eye on, and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

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The Drop List

With the playoffs upon us, the drop list can be simplified to any player, within reason, who is not going to be in the starting lineup this week. Of course, stashing players like Aaron Rodgers for the later rounds makes sense if bench space is available, but do not be afraid to cut a bench stash to pick up someone with less upside who will actually help get a win this week.

Quarterbacks
1. Jimmy Garoppolo
2. Josh McCown
3. Jameis Winston
4. DeShone Kizer

Running Backs
1. Mike Davis
2. Peyton Barber
3. Giovani Bernard
4. Kerwynn Williams
5. Theo Riddick
6. Tion Green
7. Matt Forte
8. Rod Smith
9. Andre Ellington
Bench Stashes: Aaron Jones, Marlon Mack, Austin Ekeler

Wide Receivers
1. Dede Westbrook
2. Marquise Goodwin
3. Corey Coleman
4. Jermaine Kearse
5. Mike Wallace
6. Dontrelle Inman
7. Trent Taylor
Bench Stashes: Josh Doctson, Corey Davis, Kenny Golladay

Tight Ends

1. Stephen Anderson
2. Trey Burton
3. Ricky Seals-Jones
4. Julius Thomas

Defense/Special Teams
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Cincinnati Bengals
3. Buffalo Bills
4. New York Jets

Kickers

1. Dan Bailey
2. Travis Coons
3. Mason Crosby
4. Stephen Hauschka

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QUARTERBACKS
1. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers – Owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues
It was not a good fantasy outing by Garoppolo, but he looked good against what had been a solid defense in his first start. Now he gets a date with a crumbling Texans defense which has given up at least 18 fantasy points to five of the last six quarterbacks they have faced. With the Titans up after that, Garoppolo could be a multi-week option.

2. Josh McCown, Jets – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
It might be odd to see a quarterback heading to Denver on this list, but McCown has been that good of a fantasy option since the bye including a tough matchup against the Panthers in Week 12 while the Broncos have given up multiple touchdown passes in each of their last five games including three scores in three of those contests. Even Jay Cutler managed to post a respectable fantasy line last week, as good a sign as any this is not the pass defense of old.

3. Jameis Winston, Bucs – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
Winston did not play particularly well in his first game back, but he did manage 270 yards and two touchdowns. Now he gets to face a Lions defense which allowed Joe Flacco of all people to throw for 269 yards and two scores after giving up 27 fantasy points to Case Keenum the week before.

4. DeShone Kizer, Browns – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
Playing Kizer in an elimination game seems like the definition of dumb, but he has quietly been a consistent fantasy option the last several weeks because of his contributions on the ground. Over his last five games, Kizer is averaging 36 rushing yards with three touchdowns over that span. With his passing numbers likely to be better in a good matchup with the Packers – if we like Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman, then it makes sense Kizer is going to have a solid passing day – he is an option even in an elimination game.  

Week 15: The Panthers will be a tough matchup for Aaron Rodgers, but he will be worth starting if active…Tyrod Taylor’s health is the big question, but he would get the Dolphins if active…Playing Blake Bortles in an elimination game feels like a bad idea, but he will get a date with the Texans.
Week 16:
Case Keenum will be in a good spot against the Packers…Assuming he is still starting, Siemian will once again have a good matchup against Washington, but that feels dangerous in the fantasy Super Bowl.
Week 17: Assuming he is healthy and still starting, Tyrod Taylor finishes up his great playoff run with another game against the Dolphins…Jacoby Brissett has a tough run through the playoffs, but he finishes up in a great spot at home against the Texans.

Watch List: Tyrod Taylor will be an exceptional option if he is able to play against the Colts, but his knee injury seems like it will cost him at least a week…It is tough to get on board with Eli Manning even in a good matchup considering what he had done before the benching, but he will at least have Sterling Shepard back…Blake Bortles had a good game on Sunday, but the Colts are the only team he has thrown for more than 275 yards against this season, and the Seahawks’ defense looked pretty good Sunday night despite the injuries…They are not the Jaguars, but Buffalo’s pass defense has been solid all season, and Jacoby Brissett has struggled as of late…The Patriots have not allowed multiple touchdowns to a quarterback since Week 6, and it is tough to get excited about Jay Cutler even in good matchups…Joe Flacco had his best game of the season against the Lions, but the Steelers are a different story…Despite a good matchup, there is no way to trust Brett Hundley right now…Blaine Gabbert has a good matchup, but he took a step back last week.

~RUNNING BACKS
1. Mike Davis, Seahawks – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
Davis looked well on his way to the lead job in Seattle’s backfield before suffering a groin injury against the Falcons which unfortunately cost him a game. The injury proved to be just a speed bump in his march to the top of the depth chart, however, and he dominated the backfield work against the Eagles. His matchup against the Jaguars this week is not great, but Davis deserves starting consideration in all leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Peyton Barber, Bucs – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
I expected Jacquizz Rodgers to handle the majority of the work with Doug Martin sidelined because that is what had happened in the past and what happened after Martin left against the Falcons. It turns out that thought was about as wrong as something can be. Barber dominated the carries, touches, and snaps on his way to 143 yards from scrimmage against the Packers, the best day a Bucs back has had all season. It is possible Martin returns this week, putting a slight damper on Barber’s appeal. Still, the matchup is great against the Lions, and it is highly unlikely the Bucs send Barber back to the bench even if a struggling Martin is able to return.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Giovani Bernard, Bengals – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
Like many of the names on this list, Bernard’s Week 14 value will depend on the health of the lead back. In Gio’s case, he will not any value if Joe Mixon is able to recover from his concussion in time to face the Bears. If he does not, however, Bernard will serve as the No. 1 back in a pretty good matchup. That will make him a starter in all leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

4. Kerwynn Williams, Cardinals – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
It is tough to know what to do with Williams because he was not very good when given a shot at the starting job earlier this season, does not have a great matchup against the Titans, and has an uncertain future with Adrian Peterson’s status completely up in the air. Still, it is impossible to overlook his workload and performance against the Rams, and he will be at least an RB3/FLEX option if Peterson is forced to sit again.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

5. Theo Riddick, Lions – Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues
6. Tion Green, Lions – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
This could all be rendered meaningless if Ameer Abdullah is able to return, which seems possible after he got in a limited practice Friday, but both of these guys are still worth adding to see what happens. After playing 63 percent of the snaps and seeing 14 touches against the Ravens including a touchdown run from inside the five, Riddick is the safe bet, but Green had 11 carries of his own and was stuffed on the goal-line for what would have been his second touchdown. With the Bucs’ vulnerable run defense up next, both will be playable if Abdullah sits.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

7. Matt Forte, Jets – Owned in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues
Forte could certainly end up busting, but he is averaging 15 touches a game over his last three, and the Broncos’ run defense is missing several key players including Derek Wolfe. Those absences were part of the reason Kenyan Drake was able to run for 120 yards and a touchdown against them on Sunday, and the Jets should have the game script to get Forte touches despite the backfield committee.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

8. Rod Smith, Cowboys – Owned in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues
Even with it being on the road, this could set up as another Alfred Morris game, but Smith still has 29 total touches in the last three weeks and has scored in each of the last two. Considering the matchup, there are worse dart throws in deep leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

9. Andre Ellington, Texans – Owned in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues
This has absolutely nothing to do with Ellington as a running back. The Texans are extremely thin at receiver after both Bruce Ellington and Braxton Miller left Sunday’s game with injuries, and Andre Ellington stepped in with five catches for 56 yards in his first game action with the Texans. If Bruce, Miller, and Will Fuller do not make it back this week, Ellington will be worth a look in PPR formats and deep standard leagues as well.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Week 15: If he is back from injury and still has a role with Kenyan Drake looking good, Damien Williams will get his first of two games against the Bills to close out the season…Mike Davis will get a good matchup against the Rams.
Week 16:
Denver’s backfield may be one to avoid, but C.J. Anderson will have a good matchup against Washington if he establishes himself as the starter…Whatever the Jets’ backfield looks like by then, they will have a good matchup against the Chargers. Matt Forte is the best bet
Week 17: If Aaron Jones is able to get back in the rotation, he will finish with a good matchup against the Lions in a game where Aaron Rodgers likely will play, increasing his potential scoring opportunities…Assuming he is healthy and is getting work, Damien Williams will finish with a great matchup against the Bills at home.

Watch List: Aaron Jones would be an add in the regular season, but it is tough to recommend a player who was out-snapped 48-to-2 by the starter during one-and-done situations. He is still a bench stash for teams with the room…There are not enough words to describe my disappointment with Danny Woodhead’s role to this point. That said, he, Buck Allen, and Terrance West would be interesting if Alex Collins is forced to miss some time because of migraines…Marlon Mack’s usage is pointing the correct direction again, but we need to see consistent touches before using him. That said, he does have a great matchup against the Bills...Tarik Cohen is an exciting player, but he does not get enough touches to be useful in standard fantasy leagues…I will continue to bet against Jonathan Stewart knowing that even his touchdown games result in RB3 finishes…Austin Ekeler has shown he will pop up with some big plays, but he is just a handcuff for good teams in standard-sized leagues…Devontae Booker’s time as the lead back in Denver appears to be at an end…Mike Davis taking over the backfield means J.D. McKissic is not even that interesting in PPR formats anymore. Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy should have been dropped already…The touchdowns dried up, and the opportunities just are not there for Corey Clement to return fantasy value…T.J. Yeldon saw his snap share fall dramatically against the Colts. He and Chris Ivory are just handcuffs.  

Deep Cuts: Pete Carroll continues to be highly optimistic about Chris Carson’s recovery, but even the optimistic coach conceded he will need a couple weeks of practice before he can return. That makes it unlikely we see him this fantasy season…Matt Breida showed up again with one of his high usage games. Like they have been the rest of the season, this was likely a fluke, but it is worth noting…His role shrank last week, but with the Giants in evaluation mode, it would make sense for them to see what Wayne Gallman can do…The Jets are in a similar situation with Elijah McGuire, although Matt Forte and Bilal Powell do not appear to be going anywhere…Kerwynn Williams had the big fantasy day, but D.J. Foster played just three fewer snaps…Byron Marshall finally got involved in the passing game. It is bad news for Samaje Perine, but it could be good news for owners in deep PPR formats.

~WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Dede Westbrook, Jaguars – Owned in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues
It remains possible this changes once Allen Hurns gets back, but there have not been any signs Hurns’ return is imminent, and Westbrook continues to see impressive volume. He was given another nine targets against the Colts after seeing 10 against the Cardinals, and he was in on a season-high 82 percent of the snaps. Even with their secondary dealing with injuries, Seattle is not an easy matchup for Westbrook this week, but he will be a starting option in all leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Marquise Goodwin, 49ers – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
Goodwin has been the No. 1 receiver for the 49ers since Pierre Garcon went down – he has averaged over six targets a game in his last eight with at least 68 yards in six of those contests -- and now actually has a quarterback to throw him the ball. That led to a good day against the Bears, and he could do even better in a great matchup against the Texans. A big-play threat who is also seeing reliable volume, Goodwin could be a high-floor and high-ceiling option the rest of the way if Jimmy Garoppolo continues to play well.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Corey Coleman, Browns – Owned in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues
Despite Josh Gordon being active for the first time in three years, Coleman took a clear backseat to him against the Chargers and failed to haul in any of his four targets. It is too early to give up completely, however, especially with a matchup against the Packers’ beatable secondary up next. Both Gordon and Coleman can have a good game in that spot.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Jermaine Kearse, Jets – Owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
I was not a believer after Kearse’s explosion against Carolina, but that was a mistake. He one-upped himself against the Chiefs on Sunday, catching nine passes for 157 yards. Unfortunately, he has to face a Broncos defense getting back Aqib Talib this week. While the secondary has not been as good as the glory days, they have done a decent job limiting receivers, but Kearse and this offense are too hot to pass up in deeper formats.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

5. Mike Wallace, Ravens – Owned in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
I know the wheels will fall off as soon as I get on the bandwagon, but It is impossible to ignore Wallace’s 19 targets over last two games or his two touchdowns in the two games before that. Sunday was still just the second time all season he has topped 60 yards, however, and he has a tough matchup with his former team this week. He also still plays with Joe Flacco. All of that makes him a risky option, but that kind of volume is tough to ignore.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

6. Dontrelle Inman, Bears – Owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues
Inman did not get the volume in a game the Bears did not run many plays, but he found the end zone for the first time as a Bear to save his fantasy day. The matchup against the Bengals is not good, but Inman offers a solid floor in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

7. Trent Taylor, 49ers – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
If it is not clear, I am buying in on this passing game against the Texans. In Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start, Taylor caught all six of his targets for 92 yards including an important 33-yard gain on the game-winning drive. Taylor had not flashed any yardage upside before that game and likely will not post any big scores, but he is an option in all PPR formats and deep standard leagues as well in a good matchup.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Week 15: Corey Davis has a good matchup against the 49ers, but he will need to show something before he can be trusted…Dede Westbrook has been getting a ton of volume, and he will get a great matchup against the Texans…The Chargers deserve a mention because they have such good matchups down the stretch, but it is tough to trust anyone not named Keenan Allen.
Week 16:
If someone steps up in Arizona behind Larry Fitzgerald, they will get a good matchup against the Giants to close out the fantasy season...If Martavis Bryant stays involved, he will be an enticing option against Houston…Same story as Week 15 for the Chargers, who get the Jets for the fantasy Super Bowl.
Week 17:
Kenny Golladay is living off big plays right now, but his snap share continues to grow and he finishes up the season in a great spot against the Packers…Dede Westbrook finishes up with the Titans…Josh Doctson will get to face the Giants again in the season finale…Obligatory Chargers mention. They face the Raiders to close out the season.

Watch List: Likely to draw coverage from Casey Hayward and not getting consistent targets, it is difficult to trust Josh Doctson as a starting option. He is still an upside bench stash…Corey Davis disappointed again, and it looks like Rishard Matthews will be back this week…Kenny Golladay just is not getting the targets right now to be a starting option, but he did play a season-high 76 percent of the snaps against the Ravens. He remains a high-upside stash…Will Fuller does not appear likely to return this week, and the schedule gets tough after that…If only Tyrell Williams was getting enough targets to take advantage of this schedule. Travis Benjamin did do his part against the Browns, but we have seen these island games from him before…Kelvin Benjamin is expected to return this week, and Zay Jones has reverted back to his inefficient ways the last two games…With Michael Crabtree back and Amari Cooper with a decent chance to return, Seth Roberts, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Johnny Holton can return to the wire.

Deep Cuts: Bruce Ellington and hamstring injury are not two things which are good to hear together, and it is likely he ends up missing some time. That could create opportunity for Braxton Miller, but he suffered a concussion of his own against the Titans…Damiere Byrd saw two targets in his first game back and played 40 percent of the offensive snaps. The Panthers need someone to stretch the field…Ryan Grant had a big game against the Cowboys, but he had three yards the week before. In a tough matchup against the Chargers, he is just a desperation option…Josh Reynolds did not do anything with them this time, but he saw another six targets, and Robert Woods is likely to sit again this week…Keelan Cole scored his first touchdown, but he also played fewer snaps than Dede Westbrook for the first time.

~TIGHT ENDS
1. Stephen Anderson, Texans – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
With C.J. Fiedorowicz, Bruce Ellington, and Braxton Miller all leaving with injuries which threaten their availability for Week 14, Anderson stepped up with five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 12 targets against the Titans. He gets another good matchup this week against the 49ers, who have given up six touchdowns to tight ends since Week 7. His outlook will take a hit if any of that trio or Will Fuller return, but he looks like a top-15 option right now.

2. Trey Burton, Eagles – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Burton is in a similar boat to Anderson in that he saw seven targets on Sunday night after Zach Ertz left with a concussion. Burton caught two passes for 41 yards and a touchdown in the game Ertz missed earlier this season, and he would be a good fantasy bet again even in a tough matchup against the Rams if Ertz is forced to sit.

3. Ricky Seals-Jones, Cardinals – Owned in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues
There is no way to call RSJ’s recent run a fluke after he saw another five targets against the Rams. He was only able to catch two for 44 yards, but he will be in a better spot this week against the Titans. He also has a great run through the playoffs with Washington and the Giants up in Weeks 15 and 16. While it would be good to see him play a few more snaps, he looks like he will be usable the rest of the way.

4. Julius Thomas, Dolphins – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
Thomas paid off his streamers with a touchdown against the Broncos, and he now has three in the last five games. He also went for 52 yards on six targets in Week 12 against the Patriots, who he gets to face at home this week. It is a plug-your-nose situation, but he is an option for desperate streamers.

Week 15:
Charles Clay has not been great since returning, but he does get his first of two remaining matchups with the Dolphins…Ben Watson had his best game of the season against the Browns all the way back in Week 2, and they have not gotten much better against tight ends…Marcedes Lewis remains just a touchdown-or-bust option, but Houston has given up a fair few of those to tight ends so far this season.
Week 16:
Any tight end playing the Giants deserves a mention, so Ricky Seals-Jones gets on the list…Jordan Reed’s ownership is plummeting, but if he is able to return by this point he will have a great matchup against the Broncos.
Week 17:
We will have to see where Charles Clay is by this point, but a date with the Dolphins is a good way to close out the season…As in Week 16, we will have to see if Jordan Reed is healthy by this point, but a matchup with the Giants would be a great way for him to pay off owners who waited on him.

Watch List: With Rob Gronkowski suspended, Dwayne Allen is interesting in a great matchup against the Dolphins, but he was blanked the last time Gronk sat. Jacob Hollister also could get in the mix, but the biggest beneficiaries likely will be the receivers...Charles Clay still has not been targeted more than four times since returning from injury, and now he faces the prospect of Nathan Peterman starting…David Njoku is showing signs of life, but this is not a great matchup…Tyler Kroft has not topped 30 yards since Week 9…With Jameis Winston back, it looks like the Cameron Brate show again in Tampa. That leaves O.J. Howard without much fantasy value.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

1. Green Bay Packers – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
Coming off a seven-sack outing against the Bucs, the Packers get to face the Browns.

2. Cincinnati Bengals – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
Chicago has actually done a reasonable job limiting turnovers and sacks, but the Bengals have consistently gotten pressure this season.

3. Buffalo Bills – Owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues
After a dry spell in the middle of the season, Buffalo has gotten to the quarterback the last two weeks, and the matchup with the Colts is about as good as they get.

4. New York Jets – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Jets have not forced a turnover in two games, but their matchup with a broken Broncos offense is a perfect get-right spot.  

Week 15:
New Orleans has a decent matchup at home against the Jets…The Titans have been a better option recently and will be in potentially good spot against the 49ers, although Jimmy Garoppolo looked good in his first start.
Week 16:
The Bears play the Browns…The Chargers should be too owned by this point, but they will have another good matchup against the Jets…Washington has consistently gotten sacks this season and close the fantasy playoffs with a good matchup against the Broncos.
Week 17:
The Colts have been improving on defense, and they close out the season with the Texans…With the bad offenses playing established defenses, this will be a tough week for streamers.

KICKERS
1. Dan Bailey, Cowboys – Owned in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Cowboys’ offense got back on track last week, and that should be true for Bailey as well in a great matchup against the Giants.

2. Travis Coons, Chargers – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
Coons attempted five kicks in his first game with the Chargers, and Washington has faced the most kicks in the league this year.

3. Mason Crosby, Packers – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
His fantasy fortunes have faded along with Green Bay’s offense, but he gets a great matchup with a Browns squad who has faced at least three kicks five of the last six games.

4. Stephen Hauschka, Bills – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
Hauschka has been mostly down the last several weeks, but the Colts have faced as many kicks as any team in the league. The offense is a concern if Tyrod Taylor cannot play, but he is still a good option.

Week 15:
It is the same story as Week 14 for Dan Bailey, who has an even better matchup against the Raiders…Brandon McManus heads to Indianapolis to face the Colts indoors.
Week 16:
Brandon McManus has a great matchup against Washington…Josh Lambo has been a solid option since joining the Jaguars, and he gets a great matchup against the 49ers.
Week 17:
Assuming Dustin Hopkins is back, he will be a great option against the Giants. If he is not, Nick Rose will be in play…Graham Gano finishes up the season in Atlanta, meaning he gets a nice matchup indoors. 

Raymond Summerlin
Raymond Summerlin is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter at @RMSummerlin.