5 must-have players on fantasy football waiver wires before week 14

by Conor O'Brien ·

There are still a handful of exciting late-season fantasy football waiver wire adds based on advanced stats, metrics, and analytics profiles. Giovanni Bernard and Peyton Barber have found themselves promoted due to injury. Meanwhile, David Njoku has found himself benefiting from the return of Josh Gordon.

Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals

Giovani Bernard is a prime example of someone who has been given an opportunity due to injury. With Jeremy Hill on injured reserve and Joe Mixon exiting Monday night’s loss to the Steelers early with a concussion, Bernard is the de facto workhorse in the Bengals backfield. Bernard responded to his mid game promotion with his best outing of the year against the Steelers. Bernard posted 96 total yards off a measly 15 touches. He forced 8 Evaded Tackles against the Steelers, the same amount that he produced in the first 11 games combined.

Giovani Bernard will see an increased workload in the Cincinnati backfield in the coming weeks if Joe Mixon is to miss extended time with a concussion injury. What should excite Bengals fans and fantasy owners is how well Bernard responded to such a sudden increase in his workload. Bernard still maintains great quickness, as noted by his 11.03 (84th-percentile) Agility Score, and can make anyone miss in the open field. He’s a great late season acquisition to your roster if he is still available in your league.

Mike Davis, RB, Seahawks

After going through a constant carousel at running back this season, the Seattle Seahawks may have finally found a guy worth sticking with in Mike Davis. After Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls consistently failed to perform all year long, the Seahawks turned to Davis in week 11 against the Falcons. Davis impressed in that game, producing 59 yards on 8 touches before leaving early with a groin injury that also caused him to miss the following week.

Against one of the toughest front sevens in the league in the Philadelphia Eagles, Mike Davis looked very impressive. He managed 84 yards on 20 touches along with four evaded tackles and 26 Yards Created. Davis isn’t a particularly gifted athlete, with his 11.18 (70th-percentile) Agility Score being his only above average metric. He has however displayed great intangibles in Seattle that will likely make him the bell cow for the rest of the season.

Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers

When Doug Martin missed this past Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, the Bucs turned to Peyton Barber to carry the load. Barber did not disappoint in his first game as a starter. He produced 143 total yards on 27 touches, and posted an impressive 6 evaded tackles.

Peyton Barber Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Peyton Barber’s athletic profile is very intriguing to say the least. Despite being a heavier back at 5-10 228-pounds, he is not totally compromised athletically. He possesses excellent size-adjusted lateral quickness, evidenced by a 11.21 (65th-percentile) Agility Score. With Martin struggling prior to his concussion (not a single game over 80 total yards all season), the Bucs could very well hand the starting job over to Barber for the remainder of their lost season. Barber is unclaimed in nearly all leagues and is in line for potentially 20 touches a week the rest of the year. Add him now.

Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions

Kenny Golladay finds himself an attractive streaming option this week. Facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their uninspiring defense puts Golladay in line for big numbers. Golladay has been very consistent as of late, catching two passes in five straight games. These are very good numbers considering he only totaled around three targets in most of his contests prior to that stretch.

Against the Bucs, Golladay will face Ryan Smith, who has a 110.3 Passer Rating Allowed when targeted. Add the promising Golladay if your team is looking to start the playoffs on the right note this week.

David Njoku, TE, Browns

David Njoku is really starting to break through in a solid rookie season on a hopeless Cleveland Browns team. Njoku has managed 4 receptions in each of the last two games and has averaged 60 receiving yards in those contests. The return of Josh Gordon to the offense is critical in opening things up for Njoku. This past week against the Chargers, Njoku scored a touchdown running a fly route down the seam of the defense, a play that was opened up by the defense focusing on Gordon running underneath.

With Gordon beginning to command more of a defense’s attention, Njoku will find himself in more favorable one on one matchups. Njoku is already the most productive weapon in the Browns arsenal with a 26.6-percent (No. 6) Dominator Rating. With more relaxed coverage from defenses, Njoku has the potential to leap into the top 10 at his position in the coming weeks.