Slim pickin's on the wire as we enter the last full week of the season. Week 14 is all Thanksgiving and rivalries. Barring a few major injuries, the names here represent some deeper reaches for short-term fantasy success, or long-term keepers. This is also the last Waiver Wire column for the season as there are only eight games next week followed by the annual Army-Navy clash Week 16.
Mose Frazier, WR, Memphis
Foster entered November with 208 yards and a touchdown on 22 catches. Over his last three games, however, he's amassed 16 catches and 251 yards while scoring twice. He's emerged as the team's top receiver in light of his recent run, and there is no reason Frazier can't continue his hot play Saturday against Connecticut.
Steven Dunbar, WR, Houston
After having only three catches in his first eight career games, Dunbar has awoken to the tune of 13 grabs and 214 yards over the last two weeks. It's been an unpredictable year for Houston receivers, but with SMU on the schedule for Saturday, there should be more than enough balls to go around.
Khalek Shepherd, RB, Virginia
Shepherd shouldered the load last Saturday against Miami after Kevin Parks went down with a concussion, seeing 22 of the team's 43 rushing attempts and amassing 95 yards and touchdown. The Cavaliers face a shorter week as the travel to Blacksburg to face the rival Virginia Tech Hokies on Friday, giving parks one less day to recover. As of Monday afternoon, the Cavaliers were optimistic regarding Parks' availability, but should Parks sit, Shepherd appears to be a lock for 20-plus touches.
Chris James, RB, Pittsburgh
James is another name to be familiar with, and while he's not an immediate waiver claim, he would become so should James Conner's hip injury force him to miss Saturday's game at Miami. Conner owners need to handcuff their scoring machine, while others can take a wait and see approach. Both of these suggestions come as we try not to duplicate names in this column. If T.J. Logan remains unowned, that needs to change.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The Cowboys somewhat surprisingly pulled the red shirt off of Rudolph in a near unwinnable game Saturday against Baylor, as Daxx Garman sat out due to a concussion. While Garman was able to practice last week, making his absence a little peculiar, and with Oklahoma State off in Week 14 before facing Oklahoma next Saturday, it seems likely that Garman will be able to play. That doesn't mean he will however, after Rudolph had a respectable 281 yards and two touchdowns against Baylor, and could improve on those numbers against a Sooners secondary that ranks 114th nationally against the pass.
Skyler Howard, QB, West Virginia
Howard relieved an ineffective and concussed Clint Tricket Thursday night, and accounted for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Tricket's second half of the season had been spiraling downhill before the injury, and the concussion gives head coach Dana Holgorson a reason to stick with Howard in Week 13 against Iowa State. Assuming he starts, Howard will be a tremendous bargain for daily leagues.
Donnell Kirkwood, RB, Minnesota
At this point, all that is really known is that Gopher head coach Jerry Kill has expressed reasonable concern on starting running back David Cobb's availability for Saturday's game against Wisconsin due to a hamstring injury. The Gopher's second and third leading rushers are both quarterbacks, so there is no clear pecking order in the race to replace Cobb should he sit. Kirkwood ran seven times last Saturday against Nebraska, and has some experience being the team's bell cow, and would seemingly be a safer choice than Rodrick Williams.
Zack Oliver, QB, Northwestern
Oliver will start Saturday against Illinois following the season ending knee injury to Trevor Siemian. While he's expected to share some snaps with Matt Alviti, the 6-foot-4, 235 pound Oliver is a better bet to take some rushing opportunities, making him a reasonable plug and play if you're desperate.
Willie McNeal, WR, Western Kentucky
McNeal is the current hot hand for the Hilltoppers passing attack, having tallied 15 catches, 203 yards and three touchdowns over the last three weeks. He'll need to be active in order for their game with Marshall to remain close Friday, which gives McNeal a chance to stretch his scoring streak to four games.
Reggie Pegram, RB, North Texas
Pegram will be a hard player to peg in advance of a Week 14 contest against UTSA. He's had 24 and 26 carries in two of the Mean Green's games this month, but only had five carries in the other contest. He's coming off of his first 100 yard game, and as such, and seemingly is deserving of a consistent workload on Saturday.
Tyreese Russell, TE, Eastern Michigan
The Eagles have suddenly unleashed quarterback Reggie Bell, Jr's arm, as he's thrown for 692 yards in the last two games after having never topped 150 yards previously. Russell has been the most consistent benefactor, as he's caught 12 passes for 211 yards and a score over the last two weeks, bringing his season total to 506 yards and three scores. With tight end eligibility, he's a great pick for the season's final contest.
Zach D'Orazio, WR, Akron
After a steady first seven weeks of the year, where D'Orazio caught at least four passes in six contests, D'Orazio managed only eight grabs and 46 yards in the next three games. He broke out of that slump last week with a 10 catch, 121 yard outburst. It will require a bit of faith, and given that D'Orazio has only one touchdown, the upside is low. But D'Orazio remains the teams leading receiver, and the Zips cannot run the ball, ranking 110th nationally. He'll have ample chances in the season finale against Kent State, a game Akron needs to become bowl eligible.
JoJo Natson, WR, Utah State
Natson is making a mark with his legs rather than his hands over the last three weeks, as he's rushed 15 times for 293 yards and three touchdowns over the past three games. He's added a meager seven catches in that span, but through 11 games, Natson has 46 catches and 41 rushes. The team continues to find ways to get him the ball, and he has a shot at another big play Saturday against Boise State.
Josh Quezada, RB, Fresno State
It appears as though the volume of carries the Bulldogs gave Marteze Waller have forced him to break down. Waller entered Saturday's game as a game-time decision due to a shoulder injury, and while he played, he did not make it through the first half, opening up the backfield for Quezada. Quezada responded with his second straight game with 24 carries, this time totaling 119 yards while adding seven catches for 58 yards. Quezada should find plenty of room to run against Hawaii, and even if Waller returns, a more even split of carries makes sense.
Jesse Scroggins, QB, Arizona
Scroggins will be in line to start Friday's showdown with rival Arizona State should Anu Solomon be unable to go due to an ankle injury. As of Monday, Solomon was considered questionable to play after missing the second half of last week's game against Utah while wearing a walking boot on the sideline. Scroggins didn't have a chance to show his skill set in the contest due to the lopsided score, but would offer a value pick at quarterback in a solid offense should he draw the start.
Jaydon Mickens, WR, Washington
Mickens has nearly three times as many receptions as his next closest teammate, but isn't exactly lighting up fantasy box scores, having 48 catches for 484 yards and three touchdowns. Call this a gut feel, but with the Huskies traveling to face Washington State late Saturday night, Mickens could reach the end zone if the game turns into the shootout the Cougars are likely hoping for. Washington quarterback Cyler Miles has only topped 250 yards twice this season, but the thought is he'll need at least that to put up points Saturday.
Brandon Wilds, RB, South Carolina
The South Carolina backfield has developed a bit more into a timeshare as opposed to the Ole Ball Coach watching Mike Davis run play after play. Wilds has 28 carries over the last two games compared to Davis' 16, and while some of that is an attempt to keep Davis fresh for Saturday's game against Clemson, the fact remains that Davis has just one touchdown in his last four games, and has not topped 100 yards in that span. Wilds could flirt with flex position value in deeper leagues in Week 14.
Joe Morrow, WR, Mississippi State
Morrow is coming off of the best game of his career, catching five passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns Saturday against Vanderbilt. He's failed to record a catch in six games this season, so he'll come with risk, but did haul in a 55 yard score two weeks ago. The return of De'Runnya Wilson for Saturday's Egg Bowl will cut in to Morrow's opportunities, but the Bulldogs can utilize the 6-foot-4 Morrow's size as they approach the end zone.
C.J. Best, WR, Texas State
Best is coming off a career-high 103 yards and a touchdown on five catches Saturday, and he also added 40 yards rushing on six carries. Texas State is set to face Georgia State on Saturday, a team that ranks 127th in the country in points allowed, surrendering 42.4 per game. Best looks like a great bet to repeat his Week 13 breakout performance.
Kenzee Jackson, WR, Louisiana-Monroe
Jackson has been consistent for much of the season, but has done little to wow weekly, likely leaving him available in most formats. He's coming off of his best outing of the season, a 13 catch, 108 yard game against New Mexico State, and Jackon had 11 catches, 156 yards and two scores in the previous two weeks. The Warhawk offense ranks 30th in the country in passing, and North Carolina State transfer Pete Thomas has 822 yards in his last two games, putting Jackson in a great position to close the year strong.