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Fanball FAAB – Week 14 Waiver Wire Advice

by • December 4, 2018

Welcome to Fanball FAAB, our weekly analysis of players who may be available on your league’s waiver wire.

Words by Christian Peterson. Rankings and blind bid recommendations by Paul Charchian.

QUARTERBACKS

Josh Allen, Bills

Week 13: 18-33, 231 yards and 2 passing touchdowns; 9-135 yards rushing
Ownership: 4%
Week 14: vs. Jets

Everything we told you last week about Allen, who followed a 99-yard rushing outburst in Week 12 with 135 rushing yards in Week 13. Add to that a relatively ugly passing line that still resulted in 2 touchdowns and Allen finished last week as the week’s QB2, just behind Patrick Mahomes. Rushing stats are the great equalizer for fantasy quarterbacks, and Allen has proven he can contribute more than his fair share of yardage and touchdowns (he has four rushing scores on the season). This week brings the Jets, who allowed finishes of QB9 to fellow rushing quarterback Mitch Trubisky in Week 8 and QB5 to Marcus Mariota in Week 13.  Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 20%.  In QB-heavy leagues, 50%.

RUNNING BACKS

Jaylen Samuels, Steelers

Week 13:  5 rushing yards, and 3 catches for 20 receiving yards and a score.
Ownership: 3%
Week 14: at Raiders

On Tuesday, James Conner was ruled out of the Steelers’ Week 14 game, suggesting that his ankle injury is potentially severe.  Nobody has used the term “high ankle sprain” with Conner yet, but teams aren’t always forthcoming about the nature of these sprains.  High ankle sprains typically require 2-4 weeks of rest. After Conner tweaked his ankle, Samuels entered the game and promptly scored on a nifty catch-and-run for what was at the time the tying touchdown for the Steelers. Samuels has looked explosive in small spurts this season, and is the clear backup to Conner. Samuels will likely be a top-10 ranked runner this week against the Raiders.  Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 70%.  Conner owners: 100%.

Jeff Wilson, 49ers

Week 13: 15-61 rushing, 8-73 on 9 targets receiving.
Ownership: 0%
Week 14: vs. Broncos

Listed on fantasy websites and live scoring apps as anything from “Jeffery Wilson” to “J. Wilson Jr.,” Wilson burst onto the scene in Week 13 as the 49ers lead runner after Matt Breida re-injured the same ankle that’s been bothering him nearly all season during pregame warm-ups. Wilson undoubtedly benefited from the 49ers playing catch-up in a blowout loss to the Seahawks, but he was a clear upgrade over the hobbled Breida, who has already been ruled out of this week’s game.  Wilson figures to get another chance at lead back duties in Week 14 even if Alfred Morris returns from the mysterious “healthy scratch” ailment that’s plagued him for the last two weeks.  (Can you just put ointment on a healthy scratch?) You probably have to go all-in on Wilson if you’ve been depending on Breida as a starter, but beware the Week 14 matchup with the Broncos – after giving up back-to-back 200-yard games to Isaiah Crowell and Todd Gurley in Weeks 5 and 6, the Broncos have held every back they’ve faced to 69 rushing yards or less, and have yielded just one rushing touchdown in a span of six games. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 30%.

Justin Jackson, Chargers

Week 13: 8-63, 1 rushing touchdown
Ownership: 12%
Week 14: vs. Bengals

With Melvin Gordon on the shelf, fantasy owners viewed Week 13 as a potential coming-out party for backup Austin Ekeler. Instead, Jackson stole the show – taking over as the primary ball-carrier from Austin Ekeler after halftime and leading the Chargers to an impressive come-from-behind victory. Jackson was the far superior runner to Ekeler (who still played frequently in the second half, but more as the same change-of-pace option he’s been operating as behind Gordon all season), and he earned another look for the upcoming Week 14 clash with the Bengals. Keep an eye on early-week rumors saying Gordon has a chance to play in Week 14, but the more likely scenario is Gordon rests up for the crucial Weeks 15 and 16 matchups with the Chiefs and Ravens, respectively, which would put Jackson in the crosshairs for one more week. The matchup against Cincinnati couldn’t possibly be better – the Bengals have allowed the second-most rushing yards and the most touchdowns to opposing running backs this season. In the last four weeks, Cincinnati has allowed the following stats to enemy backs; Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara (264 combined yards, 3 touchdowns), Gus Edwards and Alex Collins (133 yards, 2 touchdowns), Nick Chubb (128 combined rushing/receiving yards, 2 touchdowns), Phillip Lindsay (157 yards, 2 touchdowns). Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 20%.

Chase Edmonds, Cardinals

Week 13: 5-53, 2 touchdowns rushing, 2-13 receiving
Ownership: 1%
Week 14: vs. Lions

Edmonds saw his most extensive action of the season in Week 13, touching the ball seven times and converting two touchdown runs from inside the 10-yard line. It’s unclear why Edmonds stole David Johnson’s thunder, and he isn’t about to unseat the veteran, but as with Samuels above, those who are depending on Johnson for their fantasy stretch run should be sure to add Edmonds as a handcuff. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 5%.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Dante Pettis, 49ers

Week 13: 5-129, 2 touchdowns receiving
Ownership: 2%
Week 14: vs. Broncos

Hopefully you took our advice and added Pettis last week. Or the week before. Now, the cat’s out of the bag on the talented 2nd-round draft pick, as Pettis delivered an impressive 2-touchdown performance in Week 13. Pettis has now scored in back-to-back games and is the obvious No. 1 receiver in San Francisco with both Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon on the shelf. Pettis is extremely unlikely to benefit from any more 400-yard passing games from Nick Mullens as he did last week, but his talent is obvious and the 49ers have nothing to lose in showcasing Pettis down the stretch.  Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 15%.

Zay Jones, Bills

Week 13: 4-67, 2 touchdowns receiving
Ownership: 2%
Week 14: vs. Jets

Jones managed to haul in just 4 of he 9 targets thrown his way on Sunday, but he capitalized with two touchdowns. He has now scored in two of his last three games, but those were sandwiched around a one-target, zero-catch game in between. Which is to say… it would be unwise to depend on Jones in a fantasy playoff matchup. Unless you’re completely desperate.  Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 2%.

Chris Conley, Chiefs

Week 13: 3-25, 1 TD receiving
Ownership: 13%
Week 14: vs. Ravens

Conley scored again in Week 13 – his second straight game with a touchdown and his third in the last two games. There is still no firm timetable on Sammy Watkins (foot) return from injury, but it’s possible that Watkins gets rested through the playoffs. Regardless, Conley will continue to operate as the No. 2 wideout for as long as Watkins is out. The Week 14 tilt with Baltimore, however, is a problem. The Ravens have only let two wideouts top 69 yards against them all season, and they’ve yielded a league-low 9 wide receiver touchdowns. Conley is a desperation dart throw only this week. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%.

TIGHT ENDS

Ian Thomas, Panthers

Week 13: 5-46 receiving
Ownership: 0%
Week 14: at Browns

It’s all but official; Greg Olsen will miss the rest of the season with yet another foot injury. In his stead, Thomas stepped up with season highs in catches and yards. In a similar role as the primary tight end for Carolina earlier this year, Thomas did virtually nothing so you’ll want to be careful here. But if Week 13 is a sign of things to come Thomas could deliver in a positive matchup with the Browns in Week 14, followed by potential shootouts with the Saints and Falcons over the next three weeks. Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 2%.

Anthony Firkser, Titans

Week 13: 3-42, 1 touchdown receiving
Ownership: 10%
Week 14: vs. Jaguars

Little known facts about Anthony Firkser:

  1. He went to Harvard.
  2. He shares a birthday with Smokey Robinson and Jeff Daniels.
  3. He plays football in the NFL.
  4. He has at least 3 catches and 42 yards in three straight games.
  5. He is listed as a running back by most stat services that feed fantasy websites.
  6. No. 1 tight end Jonnu Smith hasn’t looked as good as everyone seems to think he is.
  7. He might be able to help you if you just lost Greg Olsen for the season, or if you’re unfortunate enough not to own Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, Eric Ebron, Jared Cook, or George Kittle.
  8. But probably not.

Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%.

Dan Arnold, Saints

Week 13: 2-20 receiving
Ownership: 1%
Week 14: at Buccaneers

Arnold predictably crashed back to Earth after his Thanksgiving night coming-out party, but he is a living, breathing human being who sometimes catches passes from Drew Brees. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

Charch’s Blind Bidding Recommendation: 1%.