If you’re interested in the fantasy football waiver wire heading into Week 14, congratulations—that likely means you’ve made your league’s playoffs. The wire has thinned out and been picked over, making this a tough week to go shopping. You’re unlikely to find much help at running back, but there are a handful of wide receivers who can help along the fringes of fantasy starting lineups. That’s where we’ll start our look at the Week 14 Waiver Wire.
Jermaine Kearse, WR, Jets
Kearse posted his second straight 100-yard game, this time hauling in nine passes for 157 yards in the Jets’ 38-31 win over the Chiefs. After averaging 5.3 targets per game over the Jets first nine games, he has had 9.7 over the last three contests. Robby Anderson remains the top dog for the Jets—he caught eight of 12 targets for 107 yards on Sunday—but Josh McCown is piloting an offense capable of supporting two fantasy-relevant receivers. The Jets play the Broncos, Saints and Chargers during the fantasy playoffs, which rank third, fifth and 15th against wide receivers in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric (aFPA). The schedule may not be great, but Kearse has done enough to warrant an addition off the waiver wire.
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jaguars
Westbrook racked up nine more targets on Sunday, catching six of them for 78 yards, bringing his total in the three games he’s played this season to 25 targets, good for 8.3 targets per game. By comparison, Marqise Lee, the team leader in basically every receiving statistic, has 90 targets in 12 games, which comes out to 7.5 targets per game. Westbrook is the team leader in targets over the three weeks he has been active, getting four more looks than Lee. Westbrook is still looking for the first touchdown of his career, but he has 154 yards on his 15 receptions. The fourth-round pick was one of the stars of the preseason, and, now healthy, he’s following up on the foundation he set for himself over the summer. Westbrook should deliver WR3 value the rest of the season.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers
The 49ers have now played four games without Pierre Garcon. In those four games, Goodwin has had 68, 83, 78 and 99 yards, good for an average of 82 yards per game. That’s a 16-game pace of 1,312 yards, and while no one will be projecting Goodwin as a 1,300-yard receiver next season, it’s worth considering just how good he has been since becoming the top receiver in the 49ers offense. It’s also worth noting how efficient he was on Sunday, which happened to be Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start. Garoppolo targeted Goodwin eight times, and the fifth-year receiver out of Texas caught all eight of those passes for the aforementioned 99 yards. Goodwin has excellent matchups the next two weeks, with the 49ers facing the Texans and Titans. Those teams rank 30th and 23rd, respectively, in wide receiver aFPA.
Mike Wallace, WR, Ravens
Wallace hauled in five of his eight targets for 116 yards in the team’s 44-20 win over the Lions in Week 13. He now has 19 targets in his last two games, leading the Ravens in both contests. Both Wallace and the Ravens offense are too inconsistent to consider him anything more than a low-end WR3 for the rest of the season, but there’s still some value in a player like that. He’s not going to be an advisable play against the Steelers in Week 14, but the Ravens get the Browns in Week 15 and Colts in Week 16. Neither of those is a bad matchup, and the Ravens will be favored in both games. Wallace could factor into the starting mix in the fantasy semifinals and championship.
Josh Doctson, WR, Redskins
Doctson scored again in Week 13, his second straight game with a touchdown and fifth score of the season. He has yet to break out in a way that has felt possible since he overtook Terrelle Pryor on the depth chart, and his target numbers haven’t taken off as expected. Over Washington’s last five games, Doctson is averaging just shy of six targets per contest. He’s getting enough volume to be on the WR3 radar, but it’s hard to have much more confidence in him than that, and a dud is always possible. Had it not been for touchdowns the last two weeks, he would’ve scored a total of 5.4 points in standard leagues and 10.4 points in PPR formats. There’s still value here, but it likely won’t be until 2018 when we see Doctson command a starting spot in fantasy leagues.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Raiders
Patterson took full advantage of the absences of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree in Week 13, hauling in all four of his targets for 97 yards. In the last two weeks, which Cooper and Crabtree have missed almost entirely, Patterson has seven grabs for 169 yards. Crabtree will be back in Week 14, but there’s chance the concussion or ankle injury that held Cooper out of action in Week 13 will keep him off the field again on Sunday. If that’s the case, Patterson can expect a workload similar to what he has had the last two games. The Raiders visit the Chiefs and their 29th-ranked defense in wide receiver aFPA in what is now a huge AFC West game in Week 14. Patterson would be in the WR3 mix if Cooper cannot go.
Dontrelle Inman, WR, Bears
Inman got just two targets in the Bears 15-14 loss to the 49ers in Week 13, but he turned one of them into a touchdown. In four games with the Bears, Inman has 15 catches on 24 targets for 217 yards and a score. That comes out to 6.93 points per game in standard leagues, and 10.68 points per game in PPR formats. Those averages over the full season would have him sitting at WR34 in standard leagues, sandwiched between Marqise Lee and Cooper Kupp, and WR32 PPR formats, bookended by Michael Crabtree and Paul Richardson. Even though the Bears offense produces so little fantasy value, Inman can be thought of as a low-end WR3 for the fantasy playoffs.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals
Bernard was originally in here as a handcuff for Joe Mixon owners, but he's now worth owning totally on merit after Mixon suffered a concussion in the Bengals Week 13 loss to the Steelers. Bernard picked up the slack, running fo 77 yards on 13 carries and catching two passes for 19 yards. If Mixon is forced to miss Week 14, Bernard would likely dominate the touches. The Bengals host the Bears on Sunday in a game where they will be heavy favorites. The Bears haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season, but their defense has been thinned out by injuries in recent weeks, and Bernard won't be relying entirely on rushing production given his skills as a receiver. Of all the back listed in the column, Bernard has the brightest short-term prospects.
Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers
Barber got the start for the injured Doug Martin in Week 13, and promptly produced one of the best games by a Buccaneers running back this season. He racked up 102 yards on 23 carries and caught four passes for 41 yards in the team’s 26-20 overtime loss to the Packers. He dominated the touches and snaps out of the backfield, playing 68.4% of the plays, compared with 25% for Charles Sims and 6.6% for Jacquizz Rodgers. Sims and Rodgers combined for eight touches, so they don’t appear to be a threat to Barber’s primacy with Martin out. Should Martin return this week, Barber would be too risky to play in any formats. With the starter’s status up in the air, though, Barber is worth a speculative add in all leagues.
Mike Davis, RB, Seahawks
It took eight games after losing Chris Carson, but the Seahawks may have found an answer at running back. Davis, playing just his second game of the season, ran for 64 yards on 16 carries and caught four passes for 37 yards in the Seahawks 24-10 win over the Eagles. Davis’s 64 yards were the most by a Seahawks running back since Carson went on IR, and fourth most by any Seahawk this season. Two of the three games with more than 64 rushing yards belong to Russell Wilson, so it’s safe to say the Seahawks are desperate for some consistency in the backfield. Wilson will likely continue to dominate the offense as no other quarterback in the league does, but Davis showed enough on Sunday to be a worthy add for all playoff-bound owners, even the ones that are flush at running back.
Tion Green, RB, Lions; Theo Riddick, RB, Lions
Ameer Abdullah and Dwayne Washington were both inactive in Week 13, opening the door for Tion Green to make his NFL debut. The undrafted rookie out of Cincinnati made the most of his opportunity, running for 51 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 11 carries. Riddick, meanwhile, got nine carries and five receptions, turning those 14 touches into 62 total yards and a score. Riddick wasn’t great on the ground, running for just 21 yards on his nine totes. That could help Green settle into a weighty role as the team’s primary ball-carrier, should Abdullah miss another game because of his neck injury. At the very least, the possibility that Abdullah sit out again in Week 14, and possibly beyond, makes both Green and Riddick claim-worthy this week. The Lions visit the Buccaneers, a defense ranked 25th in running back aFPA, in Week 14.
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Cardinals
Williams was back in command of the Cardinals backfield in Week 13 with Adrian Peterson out because of a neck injury. He responded by running for 97 yards on 16 carries, by far his best output of the season. What’s more, the Cardinals fell behind 16-0 in the first quarter of their 32-16 loss to the Rams, but didn’t abandon the run game. That bodes well for Williams in Week 14, should Peterson be forced to sit again. The Cardinals host the Titans on Sunday. If Williams gets the start, he’d be on the flex radar in semi-deep leagues.
James Conner, RB, Steelers; Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers; Chris Ivory, RB, Jaguars; Aaron Jones, RB, Packers; Rod Smith, RB, Cowboys
It’s handcuff season in fantasy leagues, and these are the only sure insurance policies on the market. No one can afford to lose a starting running back heading into the playoffs, but not every team has a clear handcuff who would take over most, if not all, of the starter’s workload should he get injured. These four comprise that minority. If you’re leaning on Le’ Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon, Joe Mixon, Leonard Fournette, Jamaal Williams or Alfred Morris, you must get his backup before the playoffs begin You’d still be in trouble if the starter suffered an injury, but you can soften the blow by securing the position, regardless of who’s on the field.
Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers
Brate had his best game in nearly two months on Sunday, turning both of his catches into touchdowns and a total of 39 yards. He got six targets, as well, four more than rookie O.J. Howard. That this happened to be Jameis Winston’s first start in a month is not a coincidence. Winston has leaned on Brate in the red zone for the better part of two seasons, and that was back in full effect in Week 13. With Winston expected to start the rest of the season, assuming his shoulder holds up, Brate is back on the low-end TE1 radar.
Brate is the one tight end I'd consider adding with an eye beyond Week 14. If you're a Rob Gronkowski owner looking specifically for a Week 14 replacement, click here for options that go beyond Brate.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers
Garoppolo looked good in his first start with the 49ers, throwing for 293 yards, 7.92 yards per attempt and an interception in the team’s 15-14 win over the Bears. If you’re looking for a quarterback to stream in Week 14, he can be your answer. The 49ers on Sunday visit the Texans and their 32nd-ranked defense in quarterback aFPA. Garoppolo won’t quite project into the QB1 class, but he will carry a high enough floor to be an option for owners who need short-term help at the position.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars
If Garoppolo is on your radar because you've been streaming quarterbacks all season, you may want to plan for Week 15 now. Bortles gets the same Texans defense in Week 15 that Garoppolo gets this Sunday. After that, he'll share a field with Garoppolo in Week 16, facing a 49ers defense that is ranked 29th in quarterback aFPA. Bortles could be the semifinal and championship week answer for fantasy owners that have been playing the stream with success this year.