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Payne's Perspective: Waiver Wire Offers Playoff Help

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Week 14 in most leagues either started fantasy playoffs or was the final game to determine the seedings for playoffs starting in Week 15. Some fantasy performers - Kyle Rudolph, Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green, Chris Johnson - let down their owners with disappointing performances. It was hard to register a win if you went up against the Seattle defense who in some formats scored up to 40 fantasy points. David Wilson set a team record with 327 all-purpose yards and will likely be at the top of everyone's waiver list for the week if he's available. I'll also discuss a few young wide receivers that have put themselves on the fantasy radar with their recent play. With the Dez Bryant injury, Dwayne Harris (discussed here two weeks ago) is the Dallas wide receiver with the most upside if he starts along with Miles Austin.


David Wilson, NYG -
Wilson had himself a game Sunday that could have actually been even better. He got stuffed at the goal line on a short-yardage situation and had a 20-yard completion called back because of a penalty. Ahmad Bradshaw had an MRI on his knee Monday and has dealt with a variety of injuries. Wilson's performance Sunday coupled with Bradshaw being less than 100 percent should give Wilson at least double-digit touches. The schedule for the Giants is favorable with Atlanta, Baltimore and then Philadelphia on tap.

LaMichael James, SF -
James made his long-awaited debut Sunday, turning in a David Wilson-lite performance with 124 all-purpose yards. James had eight carries for 30 yards and a catch for 15 and provides more value in leagues that count return yards. Brandon Jacobs' suspension for the rest of the season almost assures James 8-12 touches per game. If anything were to happen to Frank Gore or if the 49ers lock up their seed early, James would be in for an even bigger role.

DuJuan Harris, GB -
Harris was a castaway from Jacksonville and was signed by the Packers on the first of this month as running back depth. With the injury to James Starks, Alex Green has taken over as the primary ball carrier, but Harris vultured away seven carries and found the end zone. Typically, the Packers throw the ball at the goal line, and John Kuhn has gotten work at the goal line as well. That said, Harris is an Alex Green injury away from getting the lion's share of carries in Green Bay.


Rod Streater, OAK -
Streater was a trendy sleeper in deep leagues to start the season but until lately has been buried behind Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey. While it seems like the game against Denver was a long time ago, it marked the second straight good effort from Streater who has 196 receiving yards and a touchdown over those two games. Denarius Moore seems to have fallen out of favor the last few games so Streater could see an expended role in the offense. In addition, the Raiders have a terrible defense meaning they'll be behind and have to throw a lot.

Kris Durham, DET -
Titus Young, Ryan Broyles, Mike Thomas - now Durham is getting his chance at wide receiver for the Lions. A surprise starter opposite Calvin Johnson this week, Durham finished with four catches for 54 yards on nine targets. Durham played with Stafford at Georgia for three years and was a fourth-round pick of the Seahawks in the 2011 draft. Just last Tuesday Durham, who's 6-foot-6, 215, was signed off the practice squad and should be the second target in the Lions' passing attack.

Alshon Jeffery, CHI -
For the second straight week Jeffery's teammate Brandon Marshall had 10 catches for 160 or more yards and was targeted a whopping 19 times. Jeffery, on the other hand, had six targets but was able to turn one of those into a 23-yard touchdown. Perhaps more important, Jeffery looked like he was over his knee injury that sidelined him before Sunday. Jeffery has the speed to get behind opposing defenses as evidenced by three touchdowns in seven games and should emerge as the second receiving option behind Marshall.

Marvin Jones, CIN -
Jones got the start across from A.J. Green and finished with 82 yards from scrimmage. Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins has a bigger role in the Bengals' offense and is a better add if he's available in your league. Jones is a recommendation for deeper formats and could have value considering Mohamed Sanu had a couple of nice games before he got hurt. Jones, a fifth-round pick this season out of California, should see easier coverage than his fellow receivers and could be a sneaky play this week in Philadelphia.

Jon Baldwin, KC -
Looking for a long shot this week to play at wide receiver? Look no further than Baldwin. Dwayne Bowe is likely done for the season with a rib injury, which means Baldwin should be the top target in the passing game. Brady Quinn isn't a great quarterback, but he did connect on a quick slant for a touchdown with Baldwin against the Panthers. The matchup is good for the Chiefs going up against Oakland, which has given up more than 30 points seven times this season.


Craig Stevens, TEN -
It was tough for Jared Cook's owners to see him go down after a brilliant catch on a seam route for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Colts. Since the offensive coordinator was fired, Cook has been used more in recent weeks with 20 targets the previous two games heading into Sunday's contest. With Cook now out for the season with a torn rotator cuff, the Titans will look to Stevens to pick up the slack. Stevens has primarily been used as a run-blocker but should run a lot more patterns in the upcoming weeks. He doesn't have a ton of upside given his skill set but will be in a good situation playing over the middle with three speedy wide receivers on the outside. Stevens is worth a look if you're in a league that starts two tight ends.

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