If you’ve either clinched a berth in your fantasy football playoffs or have a good shot at qualifying after this week, congratulations! Revel in your glory for a few minutes and then take some time to do something that many fantasy owners start doing in earnest at this point in the year: Look ahead. With just a few weeks left in the fantasy season, picking up players that can produce in Weeks 14, 15, and 16 is paramount to earning an advantage in the playoffs. Streamers, sleepers, and injury replacements are massively important this year, so grabbing the next hot free-agent pickup without using waiver wire claims or FAAB money on them is crucial.
The process of adding streamers is always risky. Sometimes, you add the wrong guy and they flop. Other times, the player you release to get a streamer will go off and becomes the top waiver-wire option. There’s nothing more frustrating than that for fantasy owners, but when you time an addition properly and add the next big pickup before he becomes a hot commodity, it is a massive difference-maker.
In Week 14, all 32 NFL teams are in action, and there will be plenty of favorable matchups to exploit. Based on the players available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the best streaming positions are QB and WR, per usual. Those spots are deep almost every year at this time, so if you need help there, finding replacements is relatively easy. It’s also doable at TE and D/ST, though there are fewer options there.
The RB position is looking pretty thin at the moment in terms of waiver-wire candidates. That’s not a surprise, as many of the top injury replacements and handcuffs have already been scooped up. Still, there are a few decent options who could be high-risk flex plays or turn into RB2 if injuries occur. But in reality, there are only a few backs that look like they may have a chance to make an impact in the fantasy playoffs.
You don’t have to add a potential streaming target or make a preemptive move on the waiver wire this week, but if you have a spot available, it doesn’t hurt to shuffle in some new players with good matchups — if for no other reason than to keep these top streamers off your opponent’s team.
NOTE: With Yahoo and ESPN leagues running their Week 13 waivers on Friday morning this week, the ownership percentages for players listed below could change dramatically. Cam Akers, Benny Snell, and Devontae Booker, for instance, figure to see big jumps in ownership and might not be available in your league once free agency opens ahead of Week 13.
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Watchlist
Reminder: This list was put together in the lead-in to Week 13, looking forward to the players that could be waiver-wire targets to scoop before the season starts to use in future weeks. If you have a roster spot to play with, these are options you could pick up early to beat the waiver buzz.
All these players are below 50-percent ownership on Yahoo unless otherwise specified.
Week 14 Waiver Wire Watchlist: Quarterback
Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers vs. Broncos (39)
Bridgewater has averaged 237.7 passing yards and 2.3 total TDs per game in his past three outings. He has posted multiple passing TDs in five of his past eight games and has been consistently solid in that span. The Broncos are just middle-of-the-pack against QBs, so Bridgewater should have another fine day and can be used as a high-floor streamer.
Philip Rivers, Colts @ Raiders (33)
So far this season, the Raiders have given up 20 fantasy points per game (FPPG) to QBs. This includes three multi-TD games to quarterbacks in their past four games. The lone exception in that range was a game against the Browns in which neither team could throw much during a terrible windstorm. The Raiders simply have trouble containing passing attacks, and Philip Rivers should take advantage of that. Rivers has been up and down this season, but he is averaging 291.8 passing yards and two TDs per game in his past six outings. He should feast in a good-looking matchup.
Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins vs. Chiefs (21, 25)
It’s unclear whether Tagovailoa (thumb) will be able to start for the Dolphins by Week 14 or if during his absence Fitzpatrick will regain control of the starting job. Either way, the Dolphins’ starter will be one of the better plays of the week, as the Chiefs have allowed QBs to notch at least three TDs in three consecutive games. The Dolphins will also have to throw a lot to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes, so starting either Fitzpatrick or Tua in the fantasy playoffs could actually work out just fine.
Week 14 Waiver Wire Watch List: RB
Brian Hill, Falcons (45) | Ito Smith, Falcons (1)
Todd Gurley (knee) is still dealing with an injury, and his status for Week 13 and beyond is uncertain. If Gurley is absent, Hill and Smith will be the leaders of the Falcons’ backfield, so they are worth having around even if they are relegated to handcuff status if Gurley returns in Week 13. The Falcons play the Chargers in Week 14, a team that has given up 18.8 FPPG to RBs, tied for the 12th most, so either Hill or Smith would be a good start if Gurley continues to miss time.
Carlos Hyde, Seahawks (38)
Hyde is an intriguing pickup considering that he out-touched Chris Carson 17-10 against the Eagles in Carson’s first game back from a foot injury. Carson out-produced Hyde, and the team may have just been trying to ease him back into action, but the carry differential is certainly notable and if a relatively even split continues, Hyde could end up being a solid flex play each week. The Seahawks are playing the Jets in Week 14, so Hyde would have RB2 potential depending on how the carry split is going. Either way, he’s an intriguing potential flex play/top handcuff to keep around.
Benny Snell Jr., Steelers (36)
James Conner is currently on the COVID list, and his status moving forward is uncertain. If he can’t return to action or is held out as a result of the injury, Snell will get another chance for an increased workload. He led the Steelers with 16 carries compared to Anthony McFarland’s three in Week 13. In Week 14, the Steelers play the Bills, who have allowed 19.6 FPPG to RBs on the year, good for the eighth most in the NFL.
Cam Akers, Rams (30)
Akers has scored in back-to-back games and it looks like his role in the Rams’ offense will continue to grow. He saw just one fewer carry than Darrell Henderson last time he was on the field and out-rushed him 84-19 on the day. The Rams are playing against the Patriots on a short week, and the Patriots are just decent against the run (18.4 FPPG ranks tied for 15th in the league). If Akers is getting more volume by then, he will be a high-end flex play, bare minimum.
Devonta Freeman, Giants (27)
Freeman should be eligible to return from IR ahead of Week 14. Even if he’s not the lead back anymore after the emergence of Wayne Gallman, he could still see some action, especially as a receiver. The Cardinals are solid against RBs, but Freeman could end up being a worthy PPR flex if he’s activated from IR. If not, he’s a good stash for a great Week 15 matchup against the Browns.
Tony Pollard, Cowboys (19)
With Ezekiel Elliott struggling and the Cowboys fading from contention, Pollard could get more action down the stretch as he looks to prove himself. The Cowboys face the Bengals and their lowly run defense in Week 14, so Pollard could have flex appeal depending on what his carry split with Elliott looks like at that point.
Devontae Booker, Raiders (10)
With Josh Jacobs nursing an ankle injury, now is the time to jump on the Booker bandwagon. Booker had a game with 16 carries, 81 yards, and two TDs earlier in the season against the Broncos, so if he gets a larger workload, he’s worth having around. He has to play the Colts in Week 14, but if he’s getting volume, he’ll be a flex at the very least.
As we said last week, at this point in the year, handcuffing your top RBs is never a bad move. Nor is grabbing handcuffs that have great matchups upcoming in case the starter in front of them gets hurt. Guys like Alexander Mattison (Vikings) and Boston Scott (Eagles) stand out as the best of the bunch, but really, any backup will do, as they’re just one injury away from being a quality RB2/flex option.
Week 14 Waiver Wire Watch List: WR
A.J. Green, Bengals (47)
Green has been held without a reception twice in his past three outings which explains his depressed ownership. That said, he still has a lot of talent and a top-tier matchup in Week 14 against a Cowboys defense that has allowed the second-most FPPG to WRs this year (29.7). Green will have WR3/flex appeal in that contest, so grab him now if you need receiver help.
Michael Gallup, Cowboys (42)
Gallup has had a bit of a disappointing season, but he is averaging eight targets per game in his past four outings and will be taking on a Bengals defense that allows 25.1 FPPG to WRs, good for the 11th most in the NFL. He’s always one big play away from being a top play at the position, so he can be trusted as a boom-or-bust play.
Allen Lazard, Packers (39)
The Lions, Lazard’s Week 14 opponent, have given up 2,128 receiving yards to wideouts so far this year, good for fifth most in the NFL. Lazard should be able to take advantage of that playing alongside a red-hot Aaron Rodgers and coming off a six-target game in which he scored a TD. He has just 41 receiving yards in two games since returning from a core muscle injury, but the opportunity to score and make deep plays is still there for him.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts (38)
Hilton had his best game of the season against the Titans, catching four passes for 81 yards and his first TD of the season. He should have a chance to continue that hot streak with Philip Rivers playing well and with the Colts taking on the Raiders in Week 14. Las Vegas has allowed the 13th-most FPPG to WRs this year (24.6), and Hilton is best-positioned among Colts WRs to take advantage of that.
Keelan Cole, Jaguars (27)
The Titans are one of eight NFL teams that have given up WRs to total 2,000-plus receiving yards, and they allowed Cole to catch six passes for 58 yards and a TD when these two squads met in Week 2. Cole is averaging 5.5 targets per game and should continue to be a scoring threat (five total TDs on the year).
Breshad Perriman, Jets (12) | Denzel Mims, Jets (7)
In his past three games, Perriman has logged 11 catches for 234 yards and three TDs while seeing 19 targets. Meanwhile, in that same span, Mims has been targeted 20 times and caught 11 balls for 200 yards. These two are very good receivers and are hard to guard because of their combination of size, speed, and strength. They should continue to be solid producers down the stretch, and their Week 14 matchup with a Seahawks defense that allows a league-high 31 FPPG to WRs is as good as it gets. Grab one or both of these Jets receivers, especially since Sam Darnold will have to throw a lot to keep his team in the game.
Anthony Miller, Bears (18) | Darnell Mooney, Bears (7)
Miller and Mooney have 63 and 65 targets on the season, respectively. They haven’t been able to pop off because of poor QB play, but the opportunities are there for them to break big plays. They are taking on the Texans in Week 14, and the Texans have allowed 25.8 FPPG to WRs this year, tied for the sixth most in the NFL. That was before they lost their top cornerback, Bradley Roby, to a suspension, so Miller and Mooney could have a chance to post strong numbers in that contest.
David Moore, Seahawks (4)
Look, Moore isn’t exactly and exciting pickup — he had negative-six receiving yards against the Eagles, after all — but the Seahawks are playing the Jets in Week 14 and could score a lot in that contest. Moore has three TD receptions in his past five games and saw two red-zone targets against the Eagles. He may have a chance to find the end zone so if you’re really desperate for WR help, or if you’re in a deep league, Moore could be a very nice pickup.
Week 14 Waiver Wire Watch List: TE
Jordan Reed, 49ers (24)
There’s a lot to like about Reed ahead of Week 14. First, he has seen six targets in back-to-back games and appears to be trending toward being a top-three target in San Francisco. Second, Washington allows 8.2 FPPG to TEs which is tied for 12th most in the NFL, so Reed’s matchup is solid. Finally, Reed is taking on his former team in Washington, so he’ll want to show well against them. That will make Reed one of the best streamers of the week.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys (22)
Entering Week 13, no team has allowed more receiving yardage to TEs than the Bengals (718). Schultz is averaging six targets per game this season, which is tied for the sixth most among TEs in the NFL, so he should get enough volume to take advantage of this weakness for the Bengals. Dallas’ recent struggles are cause for a little concern, but he should have enough volume to do damage in this spot.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (15)
The Buccaneers have surprisingly allowed 8.2 FPPG to TEs this year after being extremely tough on the position in recent years. That will benefit Rudolph, who has played well as Minnesota’s starting tight end in place of Irv Smith Jr. (groin). Rudolph is averaging 5.3 targets and 53 yards per game in his past three outings, so he should have a chance to catch some more passes against the Buccaneers. He has just one TD on the ceiling, but his yardage floor is solid enough to trust.
Jordan Akins, Texans (4)
The Texans have lost three of their top four receivers in the past week, as Will Fuller was suspended, Kenny Stills was released, and Randall Cobb (toe) was placed on IR. The Texans will have to have some players step up and fill those roles and some additional targets may be going the way of Akins as a result. Akins had two TD opportunities against the Lions on Thanksgiving but couldn’t reel them in. Perhaps against a Bears defense that has allowed 10 FPPG to TEs, tied for third most in the league, Akins will be able to catch an open score.
Jacob Hollister, Seahawks (2)
The Seahawks are playing the Jets in Week 14, and the Jets are allowed 10 FPPG to TEs and have allowed nine TDs to the position, tied for the most in the NFL. With Greg Olsen (foot) on IR and Will Dissly serving more as a blocker, Hollister is the top receiving TE for the Seahawks, and he saw five targets against the Eagles. If he can keep seeing consistent targets, he will have a chance to put up solid numbers in great matchups like this one, especially in PPR formats.
Week 14 defense streamers and sleepers
San Francisco 49ers (38) | Week 14 opponent: vs. Washington
Tennessee Titans (26) | Week 14 opponent: @ Jaguars
Houston Texans (13) | Week 14 opponent: @ Bears
The streaming options are a bit thin for defenses in Week 14. The Jets are playing the Seahawks, a team that has been added to quite a few fantasy teams in recent weeks, while the Cowboys and Bengals are facing each other and aren’t recommended starts. Luckily, there still are a few worthwhile options.
The one that stands out above all else is the 49ers. San Francisco is getting healthier on defense and just limited the Rams to 20 points. With Richard Sherman in the fold, they should be able to contain a lackluster Washington offense and force Alex Smith into some tricky throws. At the very least, that should end up being a low-scoring game.
Meanwhile, the Titans get to take on the Jaguars, who have had some good games recently but are still lacking consistent quarterback play. The Titans will need to force turnovers against the Jaguars to be relevant, but they should have a good chance to do that depending on who plays quarterback. If it’s Mike Glennon, Tennessee’s defense will have serious upside.
Finally, the Texans are taking on one of the worst offenses in the NFL. The Bears have the second-fewest total yards in the NFL ahead of Week 13. They also are averaging under 20 points per game and have been prone to turnovers. The Texans defense has been below-average this year, but J.J. Watt still plays there and will be able to get some serious pressure on Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles. That will create turnovers and the Texans should have as good a chance as any to log a defensive TD.