Sports

NFL Waiver Wire Workout: Week 14

As you enter your fantasy playoffs, you should focus on waiver adds who can conceivably start for you. Fantasy football expert Christopher Harris has some suggestions.
December 6, 2016, 2:53pm
Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Because league formats vary, one size doesn't fit all when it comes to your waiver wire. That's why I break possible free agent adds into three categories, all of whom are available in fewer than one-third of Yahoo! leagues. Follow me on Twitter for the latest on possible additions to your fantasy roster.

Addable in All Leagues

Ladarius Green, TE, PIT (owned in 23% of Yahoo! leagues). Green still only played 34 snaps in Week 13, while Jesse James played 42. But Green ran 25 routes and James ran only 16. Those numbers paint an accurate portrayal: James is best used as a blocker, while Green is a downfield threat, as embodied by his five plays over 20 yards the past two weeks. As you enter your fantasy playoffs, you should focus on waiver adds who can conceivably start for you, and Green deserves to be rated among the other members of the tight-end middle class. He'll probably sit on the borderline of my top ten TEs this week.

Read More: Life on the Edge: NFL Playoff Picture After Week 13

Malcolm Mitchell, WR, NE (29% owned). For one week, Rob Gronkowski's absence added up to the New England Patriots playing with three wideouts, one tight end, and one running back for their base set, and that meant Mitchell and Chris Hogan were on the field for all but about ten of New England's offensive plays. Julian Edelman is the most trusted and valuable member of Tom Brady's receiving corps and Martellus Bennett will probably be heard from more once his ankle feels better, but Mitchell saw ten targets against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday. Hogan scored the red-zone touchdown this week and Bennett also got an end-zone look, but Mitchell has reached the point where the Pats will need him if the offense is going to stay hot.

The Pats are going to need Malcolm Mitchell. Will you? Photo by Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals Defense (31% owned). You say RGIII will probably start for the Cleveland Browns in Week 14 against the Bengals? Go on. If the Bengals are owned in your league and you're a streamer, you could also try the Indianapolis Colts at home against Brock Osweiler, and maybe even the Tennessee Titans at home against the Broncos, provided Paxton Lynch is still under center for Denver.

Players listed in previous weeks who are still adds: none.

Speculative Adds

Justin Forsett, RB, DEN (7% owned). The Broncos lost Kapri Bibbs to a high-ankle sprain in Jacksonville on Sunday, and signed Forsett to replace him. Let's not expect miracles: Forsett has washed out of Baltimore and Detroit already this year, and those two franchises don't exactly have Walter Paytons in their backfields. He just turned 31 and basically has one good season out of his eight-plus campaigns. But that good season did come with Gary Kubiak as his offensive coordinator in Baltimore, and the Broncos rushing game isn't exactly lighting the world on fire. At the very least, Devontae Booker (and Booker's fantasy owners) is on notice: if the production doesn't come as soon as Week 14 against Tennessee, Kubiak might make a change.

Dontrelle Inman, WR, SD (20% owned). Inman scored early against Tampa in Week 13 but only caught one other pass; still, he and Tyrell Williams have taken over Philip Rivers' top two receiving spots and they're used interchangeably. Add the fact that Williams is dealing with a labrum issue in his shoulder, and Inman makes an interesting speculative pick-up. I'll have him and Williams close in the WR ranks for Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers.

Dontrelle Inman makes an interesting pick-up here. Photo by Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Zenner, RB, DET (1% owned). Dwayne Washington reinjured his ankle against the New Orleans Saints and had to leave, and Zenner jumped back into the Lions' backfield mix. He's the grinder, Theo Riddick is the pass catcher, and against the Chicago Bears Sunday it wouldn't be a shock to see Zenner find the end zone.

Chris Hogan, WR, NE (15% owned). Before we all decide Malcolm Mitchell is the only guy who could benefit from Rob Gronkowski's absence, remember that Hogan has topped 70 receiving yards in three of six games he's started with Brady at the helm. I prefer Mitchell, but all it would take is one big week Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens to change that.

Joe Flacco, QB, BAL (23% owned). Speaking of the Ravens: Flacco threw for a season-high 381 yards and four touchdowns Sunday against Miami, and gets to face a suspect Patriots pass rush and secondary in Week 14. Flacco is usually a legitimately unexciting quarterback, but the Ravens give New England trouble. As a streaming option, Flacco intrigues.

Players listed in previous weeks who are still speculative adds: DeAngelo Williams, RB, PIT (21%); Alfred Morris, RB, DAL (12%); Mike Gillislee, RB, BUF (23%); Chris Thompson, RB, WAS (22%); Damien Williams, RB, MIA (4%); Alfred Blue, RB, HOU (2%); Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, TB (20%); Charles Sims, RB, TB (13%); Paul Perkins, RB, NYG (17%); Jeremy Langford, RB, CHI (26%); Andre Ellington, RB, ARI (3%); Ameer Abdullah, RB, DET (10%); Ka'Deem Carey, RB, CHI (1%); Brandon LaFell, WR, CIN (17%); Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS (32%); Kendall Wright, WR, TEN (8%); Breshad Perriman, WR, BAL (2%); Hunter Henry, TE, SD (21%).

Deep-League Adds

Josh Bellamy, WR, CHI (0% owned). Alshon Jeffery is still suspended, Eddie Royal can't stay healthy, and Marquess Wilson injured his groin early in Week 13, leaving stone-handed Bellamy as Matt Barkley's main weapon. He's got eight grabs for 134 yards the past two weeks combined and if he could catch, he might have a couple touchdowns, too.

Don't forget about Ted Ginn! Photo by Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Ted Ginn, WR, CAR (23% owned). Ginn was super-quiet through Week 10 but now has found the end zone in each of his past three contests while making catches of at least 40 yards in each. It's easy (really easy!) to forget that Ginn finished 2015 as a top-25 fantasy wideout thanks to ten receiving TDs.

Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL (33% owned). As is the case with Flacco, I'm mainly recommending Pitta because the Patriots defense can be had, especially by a Ravens offense that historically has known how to deal with a team that doesn't blitz and doesn't get much pressure on Flacco. Pitta's two TDs Sunday against the Dolphins were his first two scores of the year, but: baby steps.

Jonathan Grimes, RB, HOU (0% owned). Whither Lamar Miller? Miller left Sunday's snowstorm game in Green Bay with injured ribs and was able to return, but was ineffective. Alfred Blue was better, but he makes a lot of mistakes. Grimes has always been a favorite of mine in small doses, and seems to have supplanted Akeem Hunt on the Houston depth chart.

Players listed in previous weeks who are still addable in deep leagues: Matt Barkley, QB, CHI (3%); Jalen Richard, RB, OAK (14%); Denard Robinson, RB, JAC (2%); Rex Burkhead, RB, CIN (5%); Peyton Barber, RB, TB (9%); Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, CAR (2%); Fozzy Whittaker, RB, CAR (3%); Kenneth Farrow, RB, SD (0%); Troymaine Pope, RB, SEA (0%); Adam Thielen, WR, MIN (16%); Marqise Lee, WR, JAC (11%); J.J. Nelson, WR, ARI (13%); Kenny Stills, WR, MIA (14%); Eli Rogers, WR, PIT (12%); Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, MIN (6%); Vance McDonald, TE, SF (21%); Austin Hooper, TE, ATL (3%).

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