Workin the Wire for Week 14

4 Dec 2018 - 2:58pm | Roto Coach | Updated: 4 Dec 2018 - 4:36pm | Likes: 20 Like 
Workin the Wire for Week 14


With the fantasy playoffs upon us, one would hope you don’t need to grab a quarterback off waivers this week. But just in case you managed to sneak in without a top tier signal caller, below are some thoughts on who might make sense going forward.

Case Keenum-Denver Broncos: With Phillip Lindsay and the Denver running game clicking, Keenum has taken a back seat of late. That was apparent in his just 21 pass attempts at Cincinnati last week. I’d expect more fight from the 49ers in Week 14, but it’s still a plus matchup for the running game and could be one of those situations where he tosses multiple touchdown passes but the passing yards leave a lot to be desired.

Josh Allen-Buffalo Bills: Allen has been doing his best Lamar Jackson impression of late, which gives him a solid floor. That said, he draws a Jets team that looks like it could get Sam Darnold back this week, and I have no faith in Darnold on the road at Buffalo after a multi-week absence. In short, Allen might not need to do much in this one, and it’s worth remembering that it was LeSean McCoy who smashed the Jets just a few weeks ago in a blowout win for the Bills.

Eli Manning-New York Giants: With Colt McCoy going down on Monday night, the Redskins will be riding and dying (and likely more the latter) with Mark Sanchez from here on out. Just two weeks ago they were in the driver’s seat in an ugly NFC East division, but this is probably where the wheels come off the bus. The question here is whether this will be a Barkley game or and Eli game because you’d have to assume Washington comes in completely demoralized.

Running Backs

There are injury situations to monitor here with both Melvin Gordon and James Conner up in the air for this week. The biggest thing to remember about the playoffs is not to get too cute.

Jaylen Samuels-Pittsburgh Steelers: It sounds like the injury to James Conner isn’t serious, but that doesn’t mean Samuels won’t have some serious short-term value, especially in Yahoo, where he qualifies at tight end. The Steelers shouldn’t need to risk Conner to beat the Raiders-even in Oakland, but this is certainly a situation to monitor this week. It’s also unlikely Samuels takes on all the backfield work, as we should expect to see some Stevan Ridley here in a limited fashion as well.

NOTE: Conner has been ruled out, making Samuels the top waiver option this week

Jeff Wilson-San Francisco 49ers: Wilson is the next man up in the San Francisco backfield, and should see the majority of the work with Matt Breida already ruled out for Sunday. It’s a Kyle Shanahan offense so we know he’ll be targeted in the passing game. His 8 receptions last week were definitely a function of game script, but with the Broncos looking better of late and trying to play their way into a Wild Card slot, San Francisco could be playing from well behind again this week.

Justin Jackson-Los Angeles Chargers: I talked about him both here and on the podcast last week, and largely in the context of the scenario we saw play out at Pittsburgh. Austin Ekeler is explosive, but Jackson can get it done between the tackles as we saw in the second half on Sunday night. He’s risky given the the low snap count, but this is a game that could set up very well if you’re willing to take the risk. The Cincinnati run defense is awful and the Chargers are more than a two touchdown favorite at home.  

Wide Receivers

This may be the ugliest position to find value heading into the playoffs. There are a ton of injuries at the position itself, and with quarterbacks dropping like flies, it has really taken a toll on the predictability of target shares. To be honest, just about everyone below comes with a fair amount of risk.

Curtis Samuel-Carolina Panthers: Carolina’s fantastic playoff schedule rolls on with a trip to Cleveland. The problem is that Cam Newton has been pretty brutal for about a month now. Samuel has been very involved for the past couple weeks, and one would hope the injury to Greg Olsen helps solidify his role. Still, if Devin Funchess is going to see a full complement of snaps going forward then it’s likely to impact Samuel before a player like D.J. Moore.

Antonio Callaway-Cleveland Browns: Trusting anyone in the Cleveland passing game, and that includes Jarvis Landry, is a risky proposition these days. That said, the Panthers are bleeding big plays of late and that’s pretty much Callaway’s jam. He had a 77 yard touchdown pass called back on a penalty last week, and then two plays later coughed up the ball right before scoring on what would have been a 71 yard pass play. The floor is terrifying, but if you’re in a desperate situation his ceiling is as high as anyone you’ll find on the wire.

Bruce Ellington-Detroit Lions: Ellington caught 7 balls last week, albeit for 35 yards. Without many receiving options in Detroit, he should continue to have moderate PPR value. He’s a deeper league play that can probably get you 10 fantasy points even if he doesn’t score.

Dante Pettis-San Francisco 49ers: He had a huge day at Seattle, but two important factors loom. First, the game script was in his favor all afternoon with the 49ers getting blow out on the road. And second, Marquise Goodwin was out last week, but is expected to return. He may be serviceable this week against Denver, but don’t overpay for last week’s prodcution.

Chris Conley-Kansas City Chiefs: The matchup against Baltimore is awful, and if Sammy Watkins is back then he has zero value. But we have to assume the Ravens sell out to try to contain Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, which could make Conley a sneaky good play at Arrowhead this week if Watkins sits.

Tight End

It’s ugly down here, with most of the viable options owned across leagues.

Jaylen Samuels-Pittsburgh Steelers: He’s the cream of the crop here on Yahoo with his TE eligibility.

Chris Herndon-New York Jets: He’s here every week, notching at least 30+ receiving yards or a touchdown in seven straight games now. He’s also seen 14 targets over the past two games, which is at least encouraging.

Jonnu Smith-Tennessee Titans: He’s another middling option that you really need to find the end zone, but he does face a Jacksonville defense that has been absolutely giving it up to tight ends here in the second half.

Mark Andrews-Baltimore Ravens: He seems to be a guy Lamar Jackson trusts in the passing game, and gets a friendly matchup with Kansas City. The Chiefs have given up the most fantasy points per game to the tight end position on the season.

As always, this list is made up of players that are 30% owned or less in Yahoo leagues, and if you happen to be looking at a guy that falls above that threshold or can’t figure out why I left a player off the list, feel free to ping me on Twitter @rotocoach with any questions.


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