Here we are, one week away from the fantasy playoffs for most teams! It’s a must-win week for some, and with two teams on bye, you may need to hit the waiver wire to save your season and get into the playoffs. Lucky for you, we have a Santa’s Wishlist full of waiver wire adds to help get you over the hump and into the big dance.
Remember, if you are already in the playoffs, start planning ahead and save some FAAB money to spend in the playoffs, just in case. If you need the win, though, spend everything you can to help get you a win this week. Good luck to all hoping to make it to their fantasy playoffs. I hope I’ve been of some help to your team throughout the year. Happy shopping!
*Player rostered in under 65% of ESPN leagues considered*
Week 14 players to add
Pickup of the week – Noah Brown: The Texans’ high-powered passing offense unfortunately lost a huge piece in Tank Dell last week, but this will open the door for Noah Brown to be the number 2 wideout on the Texans. Before he was sidelined with an injury for two weeks, Brown put up 150 yards receiving in back-to-back weeks, with a touchdown in one of those games to boot. With CJ Stroud as hot as he is this year, Noah Brown is a must-add off the waiver wire, and if healthy (which it seems he is), he should slot right into your WR2 or flex spot as a potential league winner.
Top pick – Jordan Love: While I’m still not sold that Jordan Love is the next great young QB like some in the national media are saying, he is someone to focus on for fantasy football. Somehow, Love is still available in about 40% of ESPN leagues. At this point he has proven to be a reliable fantasy starter, at worst should be rostered as a back up. Love doesn’t have a bad matchup the rest of the way, so if you need him to be your starter in the playoffs, he should be able to get the job done.
Next – Jake Browning: Well, that escalated quickly! Browning went from a backup afterthought to someone on fantasy radars. With some of the best weapons in the league, Browning can be a fantasy start with the right matchup. Speaking of matches, it doesn’t get much better than Indianapolis this week. If you have a starter on bye or a QB that’s recently gotten hurt, Browning can be the scary play that might be able to surprise and get you into your fantasy playoffs.
Stash – Matthew Stafford: It is a tough matchup this week vs the Ravens for Stafford, so it is not a start this week, but it is worth stashing. With a matchup against the Commanders next week, you’ll be very happy if you stashed Stafford for the fantasy playoffs.
Check to see if available – Baker Mayfield has a solid matchup this week, so could be worth a look. Gardner Minshew has a very nice matchup against the Titans this week, so a nice bye-week replacement if needed. Aaron Rodgers, you don’t have to rush to the waiver wire to grab Rodgers right now, but if you have an open IR slot, this seems like a “why not” type add as the Jets activated him, and he is targeting a Week 16 return.
Top pick – Ezekiel Elliott: With Rhamondre Stevenson going down for what looks like the rest of the fantasy football season, Zeke becomes a viable fantasy starter again. The Patriots offense has been as woeful as any in the past month, so don’t get too excited, but any starting running back at this point in the season is very tough to find. Grab Zeke and hope he can turn the clock back for at least a couple of weeks.
Next – Tyjae Spears: It’s still unclear if Derrek Henry will miss any time due to injury, but if he does, Spears becomes a start-able fantasy running back with upside. If Henry comes back, he still has value on the bottom of your bench as insurance.
Stash – Antonio Gibson: With the Commanders on bye this week, you could see Gibson dropped in your league. He is the perfect insurance back for your playoff team in case of injury. Grab him and hope that Commanders games continue to be shootouts where they are in comeback mode.
Check to see if available/others of note – Chuba Hubbard had a very nice game last week and seems to have the lead in the backfield with the new coaching staff. Rico Dowdle is another very good stash handcuff; Pollard got hurt late last year. Elijah Mitchell is the handcuff to CMC; throw him at the end of your bench. DeeJay Dallas is the third-stringer in Seattle, but with both running backs in front of him having questions about their health, he’s worth a look. D’Onta Foreman could be back for the Bears this week and could get early down work while Roschon Johnson gets the 3rd down work, both worth rostering to see how the running back snaps get divvied up.
Top pick – Rashee Rice: Rice had another very solid week and continues to look like Mahomes’ top WR option. With Travis Kelce not looking like himself, Rice should continue to ascend to the end of the year. The Chiefs also have a very favorable schedule to end the year. There is no reason he should be on the waiver wire at this point in all leagues.
Next – Odell Beckham Jr.: Coming off the bye, OBJ should be healthy and ready to go. Without Mark Andrews for the rest of the fantasy season, we should see a lot of targets in the red zone for Odell. Grab OBJ this week as a solid start in a revenge game against his former team as well.
Stash – Elijah Moore: Moore looked good getting peppered with targets from new/old QB Joe Flacco. With a proven rapport in the past, Moore is worth grabbing and stashing on your bench to see if this recent play continues. Amari Cooper’s health is also in the air, which should keep Flacco’s eyes on Moore.
Check to see if available/others of note – Jayden Reed seems to be taking a bigger role in the Packers passing game every week; it’s a nice add if you are in a pinch. Josh Downs didn’t have the game we wanted last week, but he is still a solid add in a great match-up. Jaxon Smith-Njigba continues to impress and is just a DK or Lockett injury away from becoming a top-24 WR. Romeo Doubs is still a low end flex for those that are in major bye week trouble. Demario Douglas might not know who his QB will be but whoever it is should make sure to feature him, a solid bench stash and bye week replacement if he is healthy.
Top pick – Isaiah Likely: Coming off a bye, Likely should be more involved in the offense with the extra time to get some more work with the first-team offense. Likely won’t take over for all of Mark Andrews production but he will still see most of the TE targets, which is valuable in this Ravens offense.
Next – Brevin Jordan: As I stated above, you want any and all pass catchers for the Texans. With Dalton Schultz banged up and questionable to return, Jordan is a solid backup plan. Brevin had a solid week last week without Schultz there, and now, with Tank Dell out, there should be even more targets to go around. If Schultz is out, then Jordan is a nice, sneaky play.
Stash – Darren Waller: It is still yet to be seen if or when Waller will come back, but there is no reason not to stash him to see. You can still throw him in the IR spot if you have that open, but if not, throw him at the end of your bench to see if he can come back and help your team in the playoffs.
Check to see if available/others of note –Tyler Conklin has terrible QB play but did get good targets last week for a team needing a second pass catcher. Cade Otton can be a play if you’re desperate, as he plays every snap.
Top pick – Texans D/ST: With a matchup against Tim Boyle and the Jets, this is a matchup that can get you into your fantasy playoffs. The Texans are led by one of the best defensive-minded head coaches, and I’m sure he will be able to cause lots of chaos against this lowly Jets offense.
Next – Packers D/ST: Get a Giants team this week still led by Tommy Devito. While he has picked up some wins, he is not scary for anyone in fantasy, and the Packers’ defense is on a roll. Grab this defense who just shut down Mahomes.
Stash – Saints D/ST – Get Carolina this week if you need them, then the Giants next week. If they can get healthy again, they are a great defense to play into the playoffs.
Check to see if available – Patriots D/ST get to face Mitch Trubisky on a short week; good play if desperate. Dolphins D/ST are probably rostered, but if not, they have been on a tear lately. Vikings D/ST have been a solid D lately and get Vegas this week.
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