Waivers are significant every week, but they weigh even heavier in Week 14. This week marks the final week of waivers in leagues like the NFFC and FFPC. If you are fortunate enough to have made the postseason, then your roster will lock, and your team will go on a three-week gauntlet to hopefully win some cash. Points will matter, and roster structure absolutely will matter.
In other leagues on formats such as Yahoo, Week 14 marks the very end of the regular season. Teams will have different priorities, and teams will have different preferences in approaching the waiver wire.
Some managers need a Week 14 win. Other managers may be on the cusp of a coveted top-two finish and a Week 15 bye.
Every fantasy player headed for the postseason has one thing in common: they all want to put together the best possible roster to help them win the title. If Week 14 was not already pressure-packed enough, the NFL sent fantasy football the fantasy football version of a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking: four teams out with bye weeks, including the fantasy football MVP Jonathan Taylor (Indianapolis, Miami, New England, and Philadelphia are on byes).
At this point in the season, carrying multiple defenses, especially in 20-man roster leagues, is the practical move. You have a chance to look ahead to the schedule and pick the offenses that we want to target as teams to stream against. The top fantasy defense in most scoring systems, New England, is also on a bye week, so team defense will be a priority for many fantasy managers on this week’s waiver wire.
Top defenses like The Pats, Bills, Cardinals, Cowboys, Buccaneers, Cardinals, and Colts are most likely rostered. The Eagles are probably rostered (they have been red hot) but could be cut this week due to the bye. The Saints could be available. I do not know who is available in your league, but hopefully, this list could help you stream an excellent matchup.
New Orleans (at NY Jets)
Green Bay (vs Chicago)
Seattle (at Houston)
Tennessee (vs Jacksonville)
Denver (vs Detroit)
LA Chargers (vs NY Giants)
Arizona (at Detroit)
Miami (vs NY Jets)
San Francisco (vs Falcons)
Green Bay (vs Cleveland)
Seattle (vs Chicago)
Kansas City (vs Pittsburgh)
LA Chargers ( at Houston )
San Francisco (vs Houston)
New Orleans (vs Carolina)
Seattle (vs Detroit)
Combining the rostered defenses plus these streaming options, OR two streaming options, is doable. We know who the bad offenses are and who the elite defenses are. You have to weigh whether starting a top defense makes sense vs a top streaming option. But having two this time of year is the optimal move not only to maximize the quality and structure of your roster, but to prevent one of your league mates from having access to an excellent streaming matchup they may not have noticed or realized. Get ahead of your leaguemates.
Kicker is a little trickier. If my league locks waivers after Week 14, I want two of them (if your format uses TEAM KICKER, you can probably get by with only one). If waivers do not lock, keep rostering one kicker, but be careful with your kicker selection. Do not get comfortable and locked into one player.
December is also when we need to pay attention to the weather, especially when dealing with kickers. Three of the top kickers in football Nick Folk (Patriots), Justin Tucker (Baltimore), and Tyler Bass (Buffalo), all could play in bad weather games. Try and avoid lousy weather games at all costs when using choosing kickers.
As a general rule, now is the time to cut dead weight off a roster.
We all wanted Bryan Edwards to happen, but he is not usable, so cut him loose in most formats. Many players like this are simply roster cloggers. We want players we can use and also consider rostering players whose trajectory is pointed up. We would have never considered rostering Josh Reynolds over Edwards in August, but Reynolds is the better player to roster right now.
Be active this week, know your team situation, and know what your opponents need. This week matters A LOT and a month from today there will be no more waivers. Do not have regrets about who you DID NOT pickup in Week 14.
Taysom Hill (Saints)
I wrote about Taysom Hill in multiple Waiver Wire Watchlists, and last week he showed why. Despite tossing four interceptions and The Saints scoring only 17 points, Hill still was able to easily finish as a QB1. He passed for 264 yards and two TDs, and added 101 yards rushing. He is a top 10-12 option moving forward.
Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins)
I have Tua Tagovailoa rostered as a backup QB on a Josh Allen team of mine. He is a high-end end QB2 with upside. I also want to roster him so my leaguemates who stream QB do not have him as an option. In Week 15, he has a plus matchup against the Jets and faces the Titans in the fantasy playoffs. A healthy DeVante Parker helps the entire offense.
It keeps happening. It’s just SO weird.
— Al Smizzle (@AlZeidenfeld) December 5, 2021
All three of these players SHOULD be rostered, but goofy choices happen during bye weeks, especially in shorter bench situations. Check your waiver wire for these three players before anyone on this list.
Kenny Gainwell (Eagles)
Just when I thought I was out….they pulled me back in. Kenny Gainwell has been in this article multiple times, but this time he could stick and actually be usable in deep formats for the fantasy playoffs. Miles Sanders injured his ankle and Gainwell stepped in to catch five passes and rush 12 times for 54 yards and a TD. This backfield is very much in flux, but I want to try and add as much Gainwell as possible with the hopes that the rookie can be a useful fantasy play after the bye.
Jordan Howard (Eagles)
Tevin Coleman (Jets)
I was forced to use Tevin Coleman in two leagues last week as a desperation flex (yes I am in a lot of leagues), and I was sadly thankful to see his 9-plus fantasy points. He dominated usage among Jets RBs, and was a part of the offensive game plan.
Without Michael Carter over the last two games, Tevin Coleman has averaged a running back rush share per game of 68.1% and a target share per game of 12.1%. Today, his RB rush share was an impressive 84.6% and his target share was over 11%.
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) December 6, 2021
Coleman can be an emergency RB/flex play if you are realistic with expectations (10 points)- until Michael Carter comes off of the IR.
Rashaad Penny (Seahawks)
Jeff Wilson (49ers)
Carlos Hyde (Jaguars)
James Robinson is banged up and could miss the game. This past weekend, Carlos Hyde found the endzone and would be a low-ceiling RB volume play if Robinson were to miss. See Coleman, Tevin above for the PPG expectation.
DeVante Parker (Dolphins)
See Tua Tagovailoa above. DeVante Parker came back from injury and caught five passes for 62 yards on eight targets. He is back in the WR3 discussion. The bye week gives him time to heal even further with a great matchup against the Jets in Week 15.
K.J. Osborn (Vikings)
Adam Thielen (ankle) left after 6 snaps Sunday. KJ Osborn:
* 70-of-76 snaps
* 47 wide, 22 slot, 1 backfield
* 44 routes on 47 Cousins dropbacks
* 7 targets for a 17% share
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) December 6, 2021
If Thielen misses more than a week, Osborn could be a helpful player in the playoffs as an every-down player on a team with a narrow target tree.
Josh Reynolds (Lions)
Josh Reynolds flashed on Thanksgiving and followed it up with four catches for 69 yards on seven targets this past weekend. He will be part of the game plan every week and will see the most downfield targets of anyone on the team. It is hard to trust the Lions, but Reynolds should see positive Game Scripts and can be a desperation flex play moving forward.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Lions)
I do not know if I am contractually obligated to not write about two Detroit Lions skill position players in one article, but here it goes. Amon-Ra St. Brown is coming off a season-high with 12 targets and caught the game-winning TD pass. ARSB could see many targets to end the season and could have some value.
Jalen Guyton (Chargers)
Keenan Allen is on the COVID 19 list this week. Jalen Guyton is coming off of four catches for 90 yards performance against Cincinnati and stands to see an increase in snaps and usage. He can be used as a deeper flex play this week.
Tyler Conklin (Vikings)
Over the last four weeks, Tyler Conklin already led the NFL in RZ TGT with 9 (Brate and Air Freier tied at 8, and yes, WRs included) and tied for 2nd in EZ TGT (5 – Diggs, Lockett, DK, Henry, JJeff with Andrews at 6) before Thielen out this week
— Jake Ciely (@allinkid) December 6, 2021
Conklin will be a top 12 option Thursday night against Pittsburgh.
Cole Kmet (Bears)
Cole Kmet has 18 targets his last two games and is one of Andy Dalton‘s preferred targets. The Bears offense is terrible, but Kmet is locked in TE2. The TE spot is dry and flat, so we cannot ignore targets.
Ricky Seals-Jones (Football Team)
Logan Thomas injured his knee and should miss some time. Ricky Seals-Jones has been dealing with injuries himself, but should be back soon. He had multiple usable weeks when he filled in for Thomas earlier in the year.