Tuesday, December 2, 2014

NFL WEEK 14 WAIVER WIRE FIRE



BY Will Hoover


That’s it, it’s a wrap. The 2014 fantasy football regular season has ended. Week 14 brings us to the first round of the fantasy football playoffs and if you’re fortunate enough to have survived the regular season you will still be playing this weekend. Late season injuries and poor performances have left many fantasy owners scrambling to the waiver wire to find replacements, while others may just look to secure some bench depth for their playoff run. This week’s list of potential candidates include emerging players ready to make an impact in week 14 and beyond. Below I’ll list my top 7 waiver wire acquisitions for week 14 by name, position, percentage of ownership (in espn leagues) and their week 14 opponent.


  1. Kenny Stills: WR, 17.5% ownership, wk14 vs Panthers
The emergence of Kenny Stills is something I’ve been expecting most of the season. With Jimmy Graham struggling with injuries early and rookie Brandin Cooks on injured reserved Stills has been a frequent guest on my weekly waiver wire list. Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense came alive in week 13 after not looking very Saint like most of this season. Their 5 passing touchdowns, one of which was to Kenny Stills were the most for them this year. Kenny Stills was by far the best performing receiving option for the Saints last week going for 5 receptions, 162 yards and 1 touchdown. No other Saints player had more than 3 receptions or 20 receiving yards total for the game. Stills whose primarily been used as a deep threat is now showing he can run precise routes and create after the catch. With the Saints receiving core wearing thin I fully expect Kenny Stills to continue his big performances in the weeks to come which is good news for owners looking for a quality receiving option through the fantasy playoffs.


  1. Dan Herron: RB, 40.9% ownership, wk14 @ Browns
As predicted Dan “BOOM” Herron the little know running back from Ohio State has replaced Trent Richardson as the Colts featured back. Last week Herron ran 88 yards on 8 carries taking one carry 49 yards for a touchdown. Meanwhile Trent Richardson took his 8 carries for 12 yards. Herron has shown he can hit the hole hard and run through tackles, which is something Richardson struggles with. Herron is an effective receiver out of the backfield which is important in the Colts powerful passing attack. As long as Herron can control his fumbling issues (something he’s struggled with) I’d expect him to remain the bell cow for the Colts going forward and leaving Richardson as an afterthought. Herron’s week 14 match up versus the Browns weak run defense has him Primed for another big week. With few roster worthy running backs on the waiver wire Dan Herron could be a big addition for a playoff team in need of a second or third running back.


  1. Davante Adams: WR, 6.9% ownership, wk14 vs Falcons
Rookie wide receiver Davante Adams is becoming an integral part of the Packers offense. As the third receiver you wouldn’t expect much production, but when its Aaron Rodgers and the Packers there’s often plenty of passes to go around. Adams stepped up big last week when the Patriots defensive backs focused primarily on Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Adams made some huge plays when called upon and finished with 6 receptions for a career high 121 yards. Adams earned Aaron Rodgers trust last week and it showed with his 11 targets. The rookie from Fresno State has a nice match up this week versus the Falcons and could continue to build on last week’s performance. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers are currently the sharpest passing attack in the NFL and the Falcons poor defense stands little chance of slowing them down. Add Adams while the Packers are hot and you could be rewarded with some nice performances in the fantasy playoffs.


  1. Jordan Reed: TE, 24.6% ownership, wk14 vs Rams
With this year’s crop of tight ends being rather lackluster many fantasy owners have been riding the tight end carousel week to week. Jordan Reed came into 2014 with high expectations but with injuries and inconsistent quarterback play in Washington he’s been a relative bust. That is until last week when Reed broke out with 9 receptions for 123 yards both team highs. Colt McCoy AKA Capitan check down should continue to target Reed Heavily especially when under pressure (which is frequent). With DeSean Jackson questionable for Sunday’s game there could be even more targets for Reed this week. Although I don’t like the match up versus the Rams I still consider Jordan Reed a top tight end option going forward.


  1. Doug Martin: RB, 42.4% ownership, wk14 @ Lions
Who would have thought Doug Martin would be on this list? After all it’s not common to pick up a first round drafted running back off of waivers at any point in the season let alone in the first round of the playoffs. At one point Martin’s season looked to be a total loss with injuries and poor performances. Martin was forced to give up touches to Bobby Rainey and rookie Charles Sims. Unexpectedly in the last 2 games Martin has regained his role as the feature back receiving 31 carries over that span. While Martin isn’t at his 2012 form he is the Buccaneers running back to own. I believe the Buccaneers will continue to establish Martin in the coming weeks thus creating some balance on offense and helping out the passing game. This week in Detroit isn’t ideal for Martin but if you pick him up and stash him he could be big next week in Carolina. That’s if you make it to round two.


  1. Latavius Murray: RB, 37.4% ownership, wk14 vs 49ers
The true definition of waiver wire fire. Latavius Murray was at best a speculative add going into week 12. After his 4 carry 23 fantasy point performance he was the talk of fantasy football. Many expected him to pass the concussion protocol and play in week 13 but either the concussion was worse than thought or the 1-11 Raiders were in no hurry to rush him back in a season already lost. This week the Raiders will deploy Murray in hopes of a continued break out. Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones Drew have been epic failures this year and likely won’t be part of the Raiders future plans. The Raiders are banking on the explosive second year back from Central Florida to secure the job. Murray’s 4 carries in week 12 eclipsed anything McFadden or Jones Drew have done this entire season. This week versus the 49ers is a tough match up but with his running style I believe he will find his gaps and use his speed for some nice production.


  1. Stedman Bailey: WR, 4.2% ownership, wk14 @ Raiders
After a nice preseason Stedman Bailey was somewhat forgotten about after serving a 4 game PED suspension to start 2014. Bailey’s absence effectively buried him on the depth chart. After Mike Quick was injured and Shaun Hill regaining the starting quarterback spot it was Kenny Britt initially who performed well. That all changed in week 12 when Bailey received considerable playing time and rewarded the Rams with 7 catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. In week 13 Bailey took it to another level and caught 5 of 6 targets for 100 yards all in the first quarter. If the Raiders would’ve kept it close Bailey could have had an epic game, but since the game was sealed by halftime there wasn’t a need to throw the ball to him. Bailey’s 12 targets in the last two games led the Rams and shows he’s the main receiving threat for the team. Add Bailey and ride him and the red hot Rams into the playoffs.


3 PLAYERS TO WATCH:


QB: Johnny Manziel: Will Johnny football get to finally show us what he can do?


RB: Jonathan Stewart: Finally healthy? Leading the Panthers in carries past few weeks.


WR: Donte Moncrief: Talented big play making rookie on the top passing offense.

GOOD LUCK!
Look for me on twitter @UGsportsreport

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