2018 NFL Fantasy Football Week 14 Waiver Wire Pickups

2018 NFL Week 14 Fantasy Football Free Agent Finds and Waiver Wire Pickups

RUNNING BACKS: Jaylen Samuels, Justin Jackson, Jeff Wilson Jr., Rashaad Penny

WIDE RECEIVERS: Josh Reynolds, Dante Pettis, Courtland Sutton, Antonio Callaway, Adam Humphries

TIGHT ENDS: Jonnu Smith, C.J. Uzomah, Ian Thomas, 

QUARTERBACKS: Dak Prescott, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS: Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants

RUNNING BACKS

Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (currently owned in 3.2% of all ESPN leagues):
The Steelers' playoff run was dealt a serious blow Sunday night.  James Connor limped into the locker room during the 4th quarter.  He was unable to put weight on the injured leg, leading fantasy owners and football fans to believe that his injury is severe.  Jaylen Samuels will be called upon to take over lead back duties in the Steelers backfield.  The rookie and fifth round draft pick out of North Carolina State University (yes, that's the same program as Bradley Chubb and Nyheim Hines) was a proven, versatile playmaker.  The 6'0", 225lb back has the ability to run, catch, line up at tight end or full back if needed, and do everything he'll be expected to do.  He carried the ball twice for 5 yards and caught 3 passes for 20 yards and a touchdown.  He'll have good matchups this week and next against the Raiders and Patriots.  For more on Samuels' college career, check out our Rookies and Redshirts post here.

Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (currently owned in 12.1% of all ESPN leagues):
It was Jackson, not Ekeler, who posted a fantasy-relevant stat line against the Steelers on Sunday night.  The Northwestern product posted 63 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries, an added 19 yards on a single reception.  Melvin Gordon's health and MCL sprain should continue to be monitored moving forward, as it will affect both Ekeler and Jackson's usage.  However, Jackson could play a key role in the Chargers' playoff run.  His abilities were on display on a night when the Bolts struggled to get anything going on the ground, and is worth a deep league add.

Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, San Francisco 49ers (currently owned in 0% of all ESPN leagues):
Breida aggravated his ankle injury during pregame warmups.  This injury has continued to resurface again and again.  This opened a door of opportunity for Jeff Wilson to pile up 134 yards from scrimmage.  The undrafted rookie out of the University of North Texas  averaged nearly 6 yards per touch in the first major outing of his career.  He'll have a tough matchup this week against a stout Broncos front, but should be able to help fantasy owners when they meet the Seahawks again at home. 

Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks (currently owned in 21.5% of all ESPN leagues):
Penny flashed some of his first round potential this week against a soft 49ers run defense.  He was taken 27th overall in this year's draft for his versatility.  Chris Carson suffered a finger injury in  sunday's game so Penny's usage will depend largely on Chris Carson's availability.  This backfield situation will continue to be fluid, but at least Penny did more with his touches than Mike Davis did with his.  Penny is a deep league lottery ticket with decent matchups for 2 of his remaining 3 games.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Josh Reynolds, WR, Los Angeles Rams (currently owned in 45.3% of all ESPN leagues):
This waiver wire piece mirrors that of last week's.  Very few offenses, if any, can support WR1 output for their top 3 wideouts.  The high-flying offense of the Los Angeles Rams is the exception.  They're supported by McVay's creative play calling, a young signal caller under center, and all 3 of their wideouts can attack all levels of any defense, even that of a championship-caliber Chicago Bears defense this week.  

Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers (currently owned in 2.2% of all ESPN leagues):
It seems like the 49ers are trying to see what they have in their rookie draft pick.  He's had 7 targets in each of his last 2 games, and has caught 9 of them for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The ability to produce is certainly there, and he's worth a flier at the very least, especially if both Goodwin and Garcon are both out.  The 6'1", 195lb wideout will try to continue building this week in a tough matchup against the Broncos.  For more on Pettis' college career, check out our Rookies and Redshirts section here.

Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (currently owned in 52.8% of all ESPN leagues):
Sutton is another up and coming rookie.  This might have been the breakout game potential owners have been looking for.  This big-bodied playmaker is the physical jump ball specialist who can go up and get the rebound.  He hauled in 4 of those "rebounds" for 85 yards and a score against the Bengals' soft coverage.  He consistently gets 4 to 7 targets per game so the opportunity might not always be there.  This was illustrated by a 1 catch, 14 yard outing against Pittsburgh.  Soft matchups against the 49ers, Browns, and Raiders are the remaining matchups, which raises his upside.  

Adam Humphries, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (currently owned in 41.2% of all ESPN leagues): 
Humphries continues to tear it up, posting touchdowns in each of his last 3 games.  The Buccaneers' possession receiver has averaged nearly 7 targets, over 5 catches, 58 yards, and a touchdown over his last 3 games and could continue to build on that production if Winston continues to dump it off to him.  Buyer beware: he finishes the season against some VERY tough matchups against the Saints, Ravens, and Cowboys.  

Antonio Callaway, WR, Cleveland Browns (currently owned in 9.4% of all ESPN leagues):
Callaway snagged 3 of his targets for 84 yards against the Texans last week.  He's big, he's fast, he gets open, and he can gash opposing secondaries for big gains.  He's looked better since Kitchens took over as offensive coordinator, and he'll try to build on his recent success against a soft Panthers secondary.  

TIGHT ENDS

Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans (currently owned in 11% of all ESPN leagues):
Smith's output certainly came back down to earth this week in a tough matchup against the Jets.  Prior to that, he posted 3 touchdowns in 4 games against the Cowboys, Pat's, Colts, and Texans.  The Jaguars have been kind to good tight ends all season, adding to his upside.  Yes, Smith is a bit boom or bust, but he's worth a flier at a position that had even less depth than it did a week ago.

C.J. Uzomah, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (currently owned in 31.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Uzomah is useless in anything but PPR leagues.  He did snag 5 of his targets for 33 yards last week.  A.J. Green is out and needs surgery, and the task of replacing him will require a committee.  Green accounted for roughly a quarter of the team's targets, which will need to get spread around.  Uzomah should be a part of that committee, which should help raise his ceiling.

Ian Thomas, TE, Carolina Panthers (currently owned in 0.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Greg Olsen's production took a big dip over the past few weeks.  Typically the Panthers go how Olsen goes.  Since Olsen had been struggling, so did the Panthers.  They hope Ian Thomas can help fill the void left by the former Pro Bowler.  He answered the call last Sunday by reeling in all 5 of his targets for 48 yards.  Thomas could continue to get plenty of looks as long as Funchess remains injured.  However, he'll need to compete for targets with McCaffrey and Moore.  Nevertheless, he stands at 6'4", 260lbs and he'll give Cam another big red zone target.

QUARTERBACKS

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (currently owned in 52.7% of all ESPN leagues):
Prescott could let it fly in a classic divisional matchup on front of the home crowd against the Eagles.  This game has playoff implications, and Philly's secondary has been banged up.  Amari Cooper has come on strong and could post some big numbers to prove that the Cowboys are playoff-worthy.  They'll try to start their playoff run on a positive note with Dak in the driver's seat.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns (currently owned in 47.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Mayfield has been on the rise in recent weeks.  It's debatable whether this week's performance was a regression or not.  He threw for 397 yards and a touchdown, but he also got picked off 3 times in the process.  Nevertheless, his development is progressing, and he'll try to bounce back in a home matchup against a soft Panthers secondary.  No, this is not a time for his owners to panic, especially if they're in keeper leagues.  

Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills (currently owned in 3.7% of all ESPN leagues):
Just when the fantasy football universe thought Josh Allen's performance against the Jaguars was a fluke, he posts another 30 point outing against a vulnerable Miami defense.  He gashes opponents with his legs and posts rushing stat lines that most running backs would be proud of.  The intreaging question is whether or not defensive coordinators will assign a spy to shadow Allen.  Even if they did, the athletic 7th overall pick in this year's draft stands at 6'5", 237lbs making him tough to bring down.  Those measurements put him on par with Super Cam and Big Ben.  He should be able to use his legs to beat his opponents for the rest of the season.  Oh, and other receiving options like Zay Jones and Robert Foster are coming online as well, further raising Allen's ceiling.  He's worth rostering, turnovers and all.  Allen finished second in fantasy scoring only to Pat Mahomes in week 13.

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS

Dallas Cowboys (currently owned in 31.9% of all ESPN leagues):
The Cowboys defense has had it's ups and downs all year.  It finally looks like everything came together last Thursday night, when they held a normally explosive Saints offense to just 10 points. Sean Lee will join fellow linebackers Vander Esch and Smith to bolster an already stout front.  This defense could help any fantasy team with their playoff run.  They'll face an Eagles offense that has struggled recently.

Buffalo Bills (currently owned in 41.3% of all ESPN leagues):
The Bills have struggled offensively, but their defense has been up to par.  This pickup and start depends on Sam Darnold.  If Darnold plays, the Bills could feast on the turnover-prone rookie play caller.  Even if McCown starts, the Bills have struggled offensively, which could make this game a low-scoring affair where punts are plenttiful and turnovers abound.  

New Orleans Saints (currently owned in 33.7% of all ESPN leagues):
The Saints defense has come on strong in recent weeks.  They've looked like a different unit after trading for Eli Apple, which allows second year defensive back Marshon Lattimore to roam the field more often.  Their pass rush has been excellent and their run stuffing is stellar.  They face a Buccaneers team that's been pretty hot, but held the Bengals, Falcons, Eagles and Cowboys to 17 points or less.  They've forced 11 total turnovers scored double-digit fantasy points in those Matchups.  They're a good pickup.

STREAMING OPTION

New York Giants (currently owned in 2.5% of all ESPN leagues):
This is more about injuries to the Redskins than the performance of the Giants.  Alec Ogletree picked off Bears backup QB Chase Daniels twice last week.  The Giants defense posted a respectable 16 points on 3 turnovers and Ogletree's pick 6.  Washington's offensive line is injured and Mark Sanchez is taking the snaps now.  This puts the Giants defense in a prime position to perform for its owners.  They're available in virtually all leagues.

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