Waiver Wire Watch: Week 14

Most leagues are entering the fantasy playoffs, so I’m going to do something a little different this week and only list a few guys at each position that could help out a fantasy owner for the next week or three. I’ll even offer up a couple of “by committee” pairs to get owners by at the QB and TE position. Remember, to be eligible, a player has to be available in at least 50% of ESPN’s fantasy leagues. I’ll list the player’s percentage-owned in parenthesis.

Alex Smith (29.0)
I’ve been beating the Alex Smith drum for a while now, and he’s still available in more than 70% of ESPN leagues. Since becoming the starter, he has averaged 225 yards and 1.9 TD per game, and other than that clunker against the Bears in Week 10, he has played QB1 ball. He has Arizona this week, Philly in Week 15 and Detroit in Week 16, so aside from that tough matchup with the Eagles, he’s startable the rest of the way. Fantasy owners who have Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb or Ben Roethlisberger might want to pick up Smith to give them a good option in Week 16. All of those QBs have tough matchups that week.

Vince Young (25.2)
This looks like 2006 again. Since taking over as the starter, he has averaged 208 passing yards, 1.0 pass TD, 28 rushing yards and 0.2 rush TD per game. Young has three straight home games coming up, and his Week 15 matchup with Miami is a good one. In fact, he and Alex Smith would make a fine QBBC for the next three weeks. Just start Smith in Week 14 and Week 16 and Young in Week 15.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (1.4)
He had a pretty awful game on Thursday, but the Jets have one of the best pass defenses in the league. Things get much easier down the stretch with Kansas City in Week 14 and Atlanta in Week 16. Even Week 15’s matchup with the Patriots doesn’t look so bad given the way New England has played in recent weeks. If Smith is unavailable in your league, Fitzpatrick could be used in a QBBC with Young.

Recommended QBBC combos (along with the good matchups for each player): Smith (14, 16)/Young (15), Smith (14, 16)/Sanchez (14, 15), Smith (14, 16)/Stafford (15), Fitzpatrick (14, 16)/Young (15), Sanchez (14, 15)/Fitzpatrick (14, 16), Henne (14, 15)/Fitzpatrick (14, 16), Henne (14, 15)/Campbell (16)

Sammy Morris (33.6)
Morris touched the ball 11 times, and got a goal line carry (which failed). Laurence Maroney got 14 touches and Kevin Faulk got five, so Morris is part of a crowded backfield in a productive offense. However, it looks like he will get some work around the goal line and in the passing game, and don’t be surprised if he supplants Maroney as the lead back over the last few games. New England has a couple of nice rushing matchups over the next two weeks (CAR, BUF).

Ryan Moats (18.8)
Chris Brown got the start with Steve Slaton out, but Moats received twice as many touches and was more productive, though Brown got the goal line work. Slaton is getting another opinion on his neck injury, so Moats might have some value for the next few weeks.

Jerome Harrison (5.7)
He carried the ball 10 times for 35 yards, but did most of his damage in the passing game (7-62-2). The Browns are going to trail for the rest of the season, so Harrison is worth owning in most PPR formats.

Robert Meachem (48.4)
He has been on fire of late, catching six TD in the last five games. With tasty matchups against Atlanta, Dallas and Tampa Bay, he should continue to shine.

Pierre Garcon (42.9)
He has really come into his own over the last six weeks, averaging 4.8-78-0.3 over that span. He’s a better option than Austin Collie right now, and is pressing Reggie Wayne for targets.

Jeremy Maclin (45.7)

He should continue his fine play of recent weeks. He has caught 21 passes in the last four games, but just one TD, so he has more value in PPR leagues than in TD-heavy leagues. Over the next two weeks, his matchups with the Giants and 49ers are decent.

Kenny Britt (14.1)
Britt seems to be Vince Young’s favorite target in the passing game. He has racked up 14-216-3 over the last three weeks, and with matchups against the Rams and Dolphins over the next two weeks, he’s very startable.

Donnie Avery (49.5)
Avery squandered a nice matchup against the Bears, but has the Titans, Texans and Cardinals to close out the fantasy season. He’s not dependable, but his considerable upside makes him a worthwhile option given the tasty matchups.

Davone Bess (3.1)

Bess has 29 catches over the last five weeks, including a terrific 10-117-1 effort against the Patriots in Week 13. With matchups against Jacksonville and Tennessee coming up (two teams that are better against the rush than they are against the pass), he should be able to finish the fantasy season strong.

Mike Wallace (23.6)
Hines Ward is iffy for Thursday’s game against the Browns, so if he can’t go, Wallace would pick up a good amount of his targets. Wallace has been dreadful lately (5-82 over his last four games), but if the Steelers need him on Thursday (in a good matchup), he should have a nice night.

Josh Morgan (38.6)
Morgan is starting to make his presence felt again. He has 12 catches over the last two weeks and is benefiting by the attention being paid to Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. He’s not dependable, but with the Cardinals in town this week and the Lions in Week 16, he’s startable in a pinch.

Jermichael Finley (15.6)
Finley has 17 catches over the last three weeks, so he’s heavily involved in the Packer passing game. His matchups (CHI, PIT and SEA) aren’t bad, so he’s a decent option down the stretch.

Fred Davis (5.0)
Davis is coming on (9-96-2 over the last two weeks) though his Week 14 matchup (OAK) is a tough one. After that it gets easier with the Giants and the Cowboys.

Bo Scaife (6.9)
Scaife actually has two good matchups in Week 15 (MIA) and 16 (SD) for a tight end. He has caught 14 passes in the last three weeks and caught his first TD of the season in Week 13 against the Colts. He’d make a good TEBC with Kevin Boss.

Kevin Boss (48.5)
Boss has gone back to his usual self in the last couple of weeks, but the Eagles have given up a lot of points to opposing TEs this season, so his Week 14 matchup is pretty good.

Anthony Fasano (3.8)
I get the feeling he could disappear at any time, but his recent activity (10-141 over the last two weeks) is impressive. Over the next three weeks, he has the Jags, Titans and Texans, who are all decent matchups for a TE.



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