NFL Waiver Wire: Week 14 Deep Dive

NFL Waiver Wire: Week 14 Deep Dive

This article is part of our NFL Waiver Wire series.

We had an injury-filled Week 13, which has created a few opportunities at running back and quarterback. Kevin Payne did a nice job covering both in his Waiver Wire column, but we have the benefit of early-week injury reports to try to identify players who could see an increased role. As usual, there will be players we can project to be valuable in both the short and (relative) long-term. 

Quarterbacks

Ryan Tannehill vs. Jaguars (11 percent ESPN)

Tannehill may not be fully healthy due to an ankle injury, but he'll get an excellent matchup versus Jacksonville. It's also possible Derrick Henry gets back on track and hogs the offensive production, though the Jags have been something of a pass-funnel defense.

Mike White at Bills (15 percent ESPN)

White showed signs of coming back to earth last weekend, and now faces a very difficult matchup against the Bills. If he can hang onto the starting job, he has a favorable schedule for the fantasy playoffs (Detroit, Jacksonville, Seattle) and could be a nice stash for teams with a roster space to play with.

Mac Jones at Cardinals (seven percent ESPN)

In contrast to White, Jones is a potential streaming option this week as Arizona ranks poorly based on DVOA and fantasy points allowed per game to opposing QBs. He's been unproductive this season having only topped 20 fantasy points once, but he's a decent option as there aren't many great streamers for this week.

Sam Darnold at Seahawks (one percent ESPN)

We had an injury-filled Week 13, which has created a few opportunities at running back and quarterback. Kevin Payne did a nice job covering both in his Waiver Wire column, but we have the benefit of early-week injury reports to try to identify players who could see an increased role. As usual, there will be players we can project to be valuable in both the short and (relative) long-term. 

Quarterbacks

Ryan Tannehill vs. Jaguars (11 percent ESPN)

Tannehill may not be fully healthy due to an ankle injury, but he'll get an excellent matchup versus Jacksonville. It's also possible Derrick Henry gets back on track and hogs the offensive production, though the Jags have been something of a pass-funnel defense.

Mike White at Bills (15 percent ESPN)

White showed signs of coming back to earth last weekend, and now faces a very difficult matchup against the Bills. If he can hang onto the starting job, he has a favorable schedule for the fantasy playoffs (Detroit, Jacksonville, Seattle) and could be a nice stash for teams with a roster space to play with.

Mac Jones at Cardinals (seven percent ESPN)

In contrast to White, Jones is a potential streaming option this week as Arizona ranks poorly based on DVOA and fantasy points allowed per game to opposing QBs. He's been unproductive this season having only topped 20 fantasy points once, but he's a decent option as there aren't many great streamers for this week.

Sam Darnold at Seahawks (one percent ESPN)

The Panthers were extremely run-heavy in Week 12, which marked Darnold's first start of the year. However, he was very efficient (8.6 YPA) and will likely have to throw much more against Seattle assuming Carolina is interested in being competitive.

Baker Mayfield vs. Raiders (three percent ESPN)

Mayfield isn't likely to start Thursday after being picked up by the Rams on Tuesday. However, he'll presumably get a chance to operate as the team's quarterback to close the season. He didn't perform well early with Carolina, and LA carries a depleted wide receiver corps. Don't get too excited.

Davis Mills at Cowboys (one percent ESPN)

Mills is back as Houston's starting QB. That's about the only case for him, but remains relevant in two-quarterback leagues.

Jordan Love - BYE (one percent ESPN)

Love also isn't someone we need to stash in most one-QB leagues. However, he could become relevant in SuperFlex or 2QB formats if Aaron Rodgers is shut down at some point once the Packers are eliminated from playoff contention. For teams reliant upon starting Rodgers, now may be the time to add Love as insurance.

Running Backs

Chuba Hubbard at Seahawks (17 percent ESPN)

Hubbard got a season-high 17 carries prior to Carolina's bye. Meanwhile, D'Onta Foreman is nursing both a foot and rib injury and didn't practice Wednesday. Even if Foreman recovers enough to play Sunday, Hubbard could once again see a more even split.

Mike Boone vs. Chiefs (six percent ESPN)

Boone was the clear backup to Latavius Murray in his return from injured reserve. He could continue to see his role increase as he puts his ankle injury further behind him, particularly if Murray remains inefficient as a rusher.  

Tony Jones vs. Panthers (zero percent ESPN)

This is more of a note to watch the Seattle backfield. As of Wednesday night, Jones was the only Seattle running back who fully practiced. There's still time for that to change, but this will be a situation to monitor for RB-needy teams.

Jordan Mason vs. Buccaneers (four percent ESPN)

Mason clearly occupies the backup running back role in San Francisco. He may not always be a major part of the gameplan given he plays behind Christian McCaffrey, but he's received at least four touches in each of his last four games.

Dwayne Washington - BYE (zero percent ESPN)
David Johnson - BYE (zero percent ESPN)
Derrick Gore - BYE (zero percent ESPN)

Mark Ingram is almost certainly out for the season, which opens up the backup role in New Orleans. Washington is the only other active RB, but Johnson and Gore are on the practice squad. The Saints' offense is poor enough that there's a strong possibility none of this trio will be particularly relevant, but this is another situation to keep an eye on in deep leagues.   

Wide Receivers

DJ Chark vs. Vikings (21 percent ESPN)

Chark remained heavily involved in Detroit's attack despite the debut of Jameson Williams. Williams will presumably start to cut into Chark's role at some point, though it's also clear the Lions are intent upon bringing the rookie wideout along slowly.  

Mack Hollins at Rams (20 percent ESPN)

Hollins hasn't posted great numbers, but he's had a consistent role in the Las Vegas offense. He saw at least six targets in four of seven outings since the bye, though he's only surpassed 50 yards in a game three times during that span.

Terrace Marshall at Seahawks (10 percent ESPN)

Marshall was disappointing in Week 12, but the Panthers were extremely run-heavy. They aren't likely to be able to follow that same type of game plan against Seattle, so Marshall should see his usage jump again.

Alec Pierce - BYE (11 percent ESPN)

Pierce is coming off the best effort of his young career, but his recent uptick in involvement within the Colts' offense is the more compelling reason to add him with at least eight targets in two of his last three while consistently running around 30 routes per game.

Greg Dortch vs. Patriots (three percent ESPN)

Rondale Moore didn't participate in Wednesday's practice due to a groin injury, even with Arizona coming off their bye. That suggests Dortch may be left to occupy the slot role this weekend. With both Marquise Brown and DeAndre Hopkins on the field, there may not be many targets left for Dortch.

Quez Watkins at Giants (one percent ESPN) 
Zach Pascal at Giants (zero percent ESPN)

Watkins hasn't had a spike in volume in the absence of Dallas Goedert, but his involvement in the offense has been much more consistent. With Goedert out at least one more week, Watkins could be worthy of a stream. Watch his health and practice participation, as he's currently on the injury report due to a shoulder injury. Watkins practiced in limited fashion Wednesday, so he should be fine. In the event he's ruled out, Pascal would likely be the beneficiary.

Tight Ends

Daniel Bellinger vs. Eagles (eight percent ESPN)

Bellinger returned from a four-game absence and immediately played 97 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 13. He was also targeted five times and could quickly become a back-end TE1.

Austin Hooper vs. Jaguars (11 percent ESPN)
Chigoziem Okonkwo vs. Jaguars (one percent ESPN)

Both Titans' tight ends could be relevant with Treylon Burks in concussion protocol. Tennessee's wide receiver corps has been a disaster, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Tannehill heavily target Hooper and Okonkwo.

Isaiah Likely at Steelers (10 percent ESPN)

Tyler Huntley likes to target his tight ends. And even with Mark Andrews on the field in Week 13, Likely saw four targets. Like Tennessee, Baltimore doesn't boast the best wide receiver corps, so Likely could be heavily targeted even while operating as Baltimore's second TE.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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