Breakdowns

Week 14 Waiver Wire Pickups: Digging Deep for Running Back Value

Week 14 Waiver Wire Pickups

For most leagues, Week 14 is the final week of the regular season. Your waiver strategy here depends largely on where you’re at in the standings. If you have a playoff spot locked up, you should be looking a week (or two) ahead, to put yourself in the best position for those games. However, if you’ve vying to get in, points now are all that matters. We’ll take a look at some options for either scenario here.

As always, all rostership levels are based on Yahoo leagues. Your mileage may vary depending on your provider and league settings.

D’onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard, RB Tennessee Titans (41% Rostered)

For clarity, both players are sitting at 41% in Yahoo! rostership at the time of writing. Running backs are extremely thin this week, as most of the better options are taken. However, Foreman and Hilliard were both sent back to waivers in a solid chunk of leagues thanks to their Week 13 bye. Neither is an especially strong long-term option, but they’re taking on the 30th ranked Jaguars defense in Week 14. The Titans are desperately trying to hold on to the divisional lead as they await the return of Julio Jones, AJ Brown, and potentially Derrick Henry. They’ll try to do so through the run game against Jacksonville, giving both backs a shot at a reasonable game.

JaMycal Hasty, RB San Francisco 49ers (1% Rostered)

With Elijah Mitchell in the concussion protocol, Trey Sermon on IR, and Jeff Wilson Jr. suffering a “flare-up” in his knee, Hasty has a shot at being the 49ers only healthy back in Week 14. There’s a shot that either Mitchell or Wilson make it back, but if they don’t Hasty steps into an extremely valuable role. The 49ers run the ball at the league’s third-highest rate, so even if Deebo Samuel is healthy and absorbs some carries, Hasty could see 20+ against the Bengals. It’s unlikely he has much value beyond this week, as the injuries to the players in front of him are relatively short-term. However, if you need this week, Hasty makes sense.

Cam Newton, QB Carolina Panthers (29% Rostered)

As the Panthers starter, Newton has one great game and one terrible game. Week 14 should fall closer to the “Great” side of the spectrum, as he matches up with Atlanta. The Falcons are allowing the 2nd-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season. Newton has some value down the stretch too. While he faces the Bills in Week 15, in Week 16 he draws the Bucs. They’ve faced the highest pass rate in the league. I have my concerns about the Panthers’ offense as a whole with Christian McCaffrey missing, but they have enough firepower to do reasonably well against Atlanta at a minimum.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, WR Tennesse Titans (14% Rostered)

Westbrook-Ikhine has 14 targets in his last two games for the Titans. He also either scored a touchdown or recorded over 100 yards in both contests. He could perform reasonably well against the Jaguars’ 32nd ranked pass defense this week, even if Julio Jones is back for Week 14. I actually think Jones’ return helps Westbrook-Ikhine, as much of the defensive attention would shift to Jones. If and when AJ Brown returns, Westbrook-Ikhine can be ignored. Until then though, he deserves a look.

Foster Moreau, TE Las Vegas Raiders (22% Rostered)

It’s early but appears that Darren Waller will miss Week 14 as well. Moreau disappointed in Week 13 but still played on 85% of the team’s offensive snaps. His prior game (Week 6) without Waller produced a 6/60/1 line, which he has a shot at replicating this week. The Raiders are facing the Cheifs, who allow the eighth-most points to tight ends. Waller should be back by the fantasy playoffs, making Moreau the ideal target for teams who need a Week 14 win.

Ricky Seals-Jones, TE Washington Football Team (5% Rostered)

This one is a bit uncertain but could pay big rewards if it works out. Starter Logan Thomas appears unlikely to return this season but hasn’t been officially ruled out. Seals-Jones was also inactive last week, so he’s not a lock to play even if Thomas misses. However, he did practice leading up to Week 13, making his activation this week appear fairly likely, particularly if Waller is out. Seals-Jones performed well as the Football Team’s lead tight end earlier in the season. He has value down the stretch if Thomas is indeed ruled out for the year.

If both RSJ and Thomas end up missing Week 14, John Bates (0% rostered) is the next man up. He saw four targets after Thomas went down last week. I wouldn’t rely on him for a big score but is a solid fill-in if you’re desperate.