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Blog

Fanball FAAB – Week 14 Waiver Wire Advice

Words by Rob Willette, Scott Fish, and Paul Charchian. Spending recommendations by Paul Charchian.


QUARTERBACKS

Ryan Fitzpatrick  – Dolphins – 10% rostered
Over the past six weeks, the Dolphins quarterback has emerged as a top-five fantasy scorer.  Heck, Ryan Fizpatrick is QB3 in my particular scoring system. Astounding. He’s developed an awesome rapport with DeVante Parker, something nobody saw coming. Playing with a defense that yields sizable leads in nearly every game, Fitzpatrick is tasked with constantly battling back from big deficits. And, he does so without any help from his ineffective running game. Best of all, check out the remaining schedule: Jets, Giants, and Bengals.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 25%. In 2QB leagues and SuperFlex, let’s bid 75%.

Duck Hodges – Steelers – 2% rostered
Devlin “Duck” Hodges will live and die by his big arm.  The Steelers are letting him air out the ball, and when it works, they’ve got a recipe for success.  He’s the first Steelers quarterback to develop a tangible connection with James Washington, which is ironic considering that Mason Rudolph shared a field with Washington in college. Hodges has a very favorable matchup this week against Arizona and another in Week 16 against the Jets.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 10%; In 2QB leagues and SuperFlex, let’s bid 20%.

Gardner Minshew  – Jags – 8 % rostered
Minshew Mania is back after Nick Foles’ return to the lineup had him looking as helpless as Michael Scott deciding on a healthcare plan.  While Minshew failed to offer a huge ceiling as a starter, he kept a tidy floor due to his ability to pick up yardage with his legs and offered enough with his arm to maintain streamer status and a weekly spot in 2QB leagues.  Perhaps most importantly, slotting Minshew into your lineup is simple fun, and fun can be a scarce commodity after grinding through 13 weeks of injuries and disappointments. Minshew has a tough matchup with the Chargers before getting two smash spots with the Raiders and Falcons.  Forward-thinking owners can pick him up for the stretch run, as those Week 15 and Week 16 matchups are hard to beat.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%

Tyrod Taylor  – Chargers – 0% rostered
Another week, another performance in which Philip Rivers floated footballs into the atmosphere like he was releasing doves at a wedding.  While offensive line issues have not done him any favors, Rivers looks, as the kids would say, washed. His miserable stretch in 2019 has raised questions as to what the future holds at the position for the Chargers, and you certainly cannot rule out a change midseason.  Tyrod Taylor has had streaks of fantasy relevance before, and his legs combined with a quality set of weapons would make him a plug and play starter for many teams should he get the nod. At the very least, Taylor’s insertion would be a cathartic release for fans who have endured Rivers and his sidearm prayers in 2019.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%


RUNNING BACKS

Alexander Mattison – Vikings – 26% rostered
UPDATE: Dalvin Cook says that he plans to play in Sunday’s game against the Lions. Mattison’s bidding recommendation has been lowered accordingly, but he remains a must-have handcuff for Cook’s owners.

As of this writing, the extent of Dalvin Cook’s injury is unknown, but shoulder injuries can be a real problem for running backs. In any game Cook misses, Alexander Mattison vaults into the upper echelon of fantasy runners. Stylistically, Mattison is very close to Cook, and the Vikings won’t change their gameplan for Mattison. They’ll still run a lot, and they’ll still pass to Mattison. Despite only playing meaningful minutes after Cook’s injury on Monday night, Mattison led the team in receptions and was second in yardage. Like Cook, Mattison could be a top-5 runner in every remaining Viking game without Cook.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 25%

Raheem Mostert – 49ers – 13% rostered
I think we witnessed a changing of the guard last week. Tevin Coleman was already trending the wrong direction with diminishing playing time for a month. And then he got phased out almost completely in the second half in favor of Raheem Mostert who posted a monstrous effort against a terrific Ravens defense, accumulating 149 rushing yards while chipping in another couple scores. Kyle Shanahan is mercurial with his running back rotation; who knows, maybe Matt Breida is next week’s starter. But Mostert’s performance has earned him the right to much more playing time.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 15%

Darwin Thompson – KC – 5% rostered
The best running back on the field for Kansas City last week was Darwin Thompson. He shined in the preseason, and for months we’ve been begging for Andy Reid to give Thompson a shot.  He got his chance last week when Darrel Williams went down with a hamstring injury. It’s a painfully crowded backfield with plenty of unknowns. Will Damien Williams return this week? Will Darrel Williams recover in time to play? Does LeSean McCoy even matter any more? Those are big question marks.  Still, Reid’s got to understand that his running game needs a shot in the arm and Thompson has new blood.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 15%

Peyton Barber – Bucs – 21% rostered
There are over 40,000,000 fantasy players in America and Canada.  Not one of them has started-benched Peyton Barber correctly in each week. Barber’s usage is hopelessly scattershot, and Bruce Arians’ seemingly random use of his two backs is downright maddening. Barber was the clear favorite last week, outcarrying Jones 17-8 and notching two touchdowns.  Maybe it’ll be Barber again this week. Or not. Either way, it’s a tough matchup with a good Colts defense this week, followed by the Lions and Texans.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 10%

Jordan Wilkins – Colts – 3% rostered
The crusher of playoff dreams, Jonathan Williams handled 9 relatively ineffective touches on Sunday prior to ceding work to Jordan Wilkins, who took his opportunity and ran with it, totalling 47 yards on 11 carries and generally looking like the Colts’ best option.  Any enthusiasm for Wilkins should be tempered by a potential Mack return in Week 14, but if Mack is forced to miss more time, it appears Wilkins has taken the lead in this triumvirate. You may not want to trust another Indianapolis runner if you were burned by Williams, but Wilkins is at least worthy of a stash to see how these backfield shakes out.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%

Patrick Laird – Dolphins- 1% rostered
It’ll be hard to tell the difference, but it appears that Kalen Ballage will miss most/all of the rest of the season, which means that fourth-stringer Patrick Laird will see extra time. He out-touched Myles Gaskin last week, although that can (should) change going forward. Laird plunged for a  touchdown, but otherwise did nothing. Laird is a bigger, plodding runner who can catch a little. He’s playable only as an emergency in deep leagues. Miami plays the brutally tough Jets run defense next week.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%

Myles Gaskin – Dolphins- 1% rostered
After Kalen Ballage went down last week, Patrick Laird got most of the work. But Laird looked completely ineffective, so maybe Gaskin gets more of a chance this week.  Unfortunately, Miami’s next opponent is a terrific run defense, the New York Jets.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%

WIDE RECEIVERS

James Washington – Steelers –  22% rostered
With several long hookups with Duck Hodges over the past two weeks, James Washington has emerged as a deep ball specialist. Can it continue? Against this week’s opponent, Arizona, yes!  The Cardinals have allowed the most completions of over 20 yards. The most! Obviously, there’s a ton of risk that comes with any rookie quarterback, but the stars seem aligned for Washington, at least for a week. He’s also startable in Week 16’s matchup with the Jets.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 15%

John Ross – Bengals – 7% rostered
John Ross was electric before going on IR in Week 4, and he’ll likely return this week, having the good fortune of missing the failed Ryan Finley experiment. You may recall that Andy Dalton put him on two monster games to start the year.  AJ Green doesn’t appear to be coming back from the world’s longest-lasting ankle injury.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%

Auden Tate  – Bengals – 10% rostered
Many things were lost in the hellscape which was The Ryan Finley Experiment, including Auden Tate’s role.  When your passing game moves like Leroy Hoard after Thanksgiving dinner, reliable options are going to be tough to find.  But Andy Dalton breathed life back into the Bengals, and while Tyler Boyd is the biggest beneficiary, there is also plenty of room for Auden Tate to thrive.  Tate has now received 6 or more targets in 9 of the past 10 games, and while they were empty targets with FInley, they have value with the competent if uninspiring Dalton.  Finding a receiver with a consistent role is rare this time of year, and while the return of John Ross muddies the waters, Tate has earned his role in this concentrated passing attack. 
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%

Allen Lazard – Packers-  5% rostered
Earning the trust of Aaron Rodgers is not an easy thing to do.  Just ask his family. Yet here was Allen Lazard on Sunday, the rare non-Adams receiver to make a play for the Packers, as he corralled all 3 of his targets for 103 yards and a score.  Production figures to be sporadic given this is a very concentrated passing offense with Adams being a target hog, but we want receivers attached to good quarterbacks, and the Packers schedule down the stretch is very forgiving for the passing game.  Any extended opportunity for Lazard, and we could be looking at a weekly play in a pinch.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 3%

Chris Conley – Jags- 24% rostered
You’ve got to pick your spots with Chris Conley. His only strongly positive trait is his speed, so he becomes startable when he can find slower secondaries to pick apart.  The return of Gardner Minshew to the helm is probably a positive for him. He’s probably not startable this week against the Chargers, but he could be a dart throw the following two weeks against Oakland and Atlanta.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%

TIGHT ENDS

Jack Doyle – Colts – 51% rostered
If you read about Jack Doyle in this spot last week, you saw last week’s performance coming.  With Eric Ebron on IR, Doyle got 94% of the team’s snaps, and correspondingly was targeted 11 times, resulting in six catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.  That’s not going to change. Jacoby Brissett uses his tight ends copiously, and it all funnels to Doyle now. Next up for Doyle, the second-worst fantasy defense against tight ends, Tampa Bay. They rank bottom four in both yards and touchdowns allowed to tight ends.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 50%

Vance McDonald – Steelers – 50% rostered
The appeal of Vance McDonald is simple: he gets the Cardinals in Week 14.  The Cardinals play a Matador-style defense against Tight Ends, allowing an absurd 13 touchdowns to the position over 12 weeks, fresh off a 7 reception 107 yard thumping from Tyler Higbee.  If they have a tight end designation, fire them up against Arizona. It has been the easiest call in fantasy football this year.
Charch Blind Bidding Recommendation: 10%