5 December 2023 • by Bryan Oldham
Welcome to Rival Fantasy’s Week 14 Waiver Wire pickups. The fantasy playoffs start next week (for most of us) and that means this week can make or break your season. Whether you’re on the cusp of a playoff berth or trying to lock in the first round bye, we’re here to help you get across the finish line.
Let’s find some players who can help us get to the Promised Land.
We should caveat here: while these guys are often listed as viable pickups for multiple weeks, you can also view our QB recommendations as synonymous with streaming recommendations.
As of writing this article, Derek Carr is very much in the concussion protocol with his second concussion over the last month. The Saints have had Jekyll & Hyde performances when Jameis plays, but as far as fantasy goes, we all know Winston LOVES to sling the rock. This could be good news for Chris Olave and company, especially if the Saints get Rashid Shaheed back soon. If you want a gutsy upside play, and he’s confirmed to start, he gets Carolina in Week 14.
Yes, Anthony Richardson is the future for the Colts, but it is a ton of fun watching Gardner Minshew keep this team competitive. Last week saw the Colts win a thrilling divisional matchup against the Tennessee Titans, a game in which Minshew threw for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns. The connection between Minshew and Michael Pittman has only gotten stronger, and this team will likely rely on the pass more with Jonathan Taylor out due to his thumb surgery.
The remaining fantasy schedule for Minshew: Bengals, Steelers, Falcons and Raiders. Those are nice matchups, and you could do a lot worse.
Boy, did Browning look the part on Monday Night Football. Say what you will about the Bengals winning the game after Trevor Lawrence’s injury, but Jake Browning kept this team competitive for nearly 5 quarters of football. 32 completions for 354 yards and one passing touchdown, plus a rushing TD for good measure, is a heck of a stat line for a guy who’s been behind Joe Burrow all year.
He’s got a winning pedigree from both his high school and college careers, and he now has Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase, and Joe Mixon all healthy and at his disposal. Browning has a lot of upside in the streaming conversation.
Rhamondre Stevenson left Week 13 with what has now been diagnosed as a high ankle sprain, meaning he’s due to miss time. Ezekiel Elliot was originally signed to spell Stevenson, and he’s also a veteran who knows how to handle a big workload. That’s good news for Zeke now that he has the backfield to himself.
The Patriots don’t have much to play for, apart from a high draft pick, but they can’t throw the ball. Zeke should get plenty of work purely on principle of how abysmal the offense is, and his 21 touches after Stevenson’s injury are enough to warrant RB2 consideration.
Derek Henry took a MASSIVE hit in Week 13, and now we finally know what it takes to stop that man. According to coach Mike Vrabel, Henry is not in the concussion protocol, though it remains to be seen if he’ll miss any time. Luckily for the Titans, Tyjae Spears looks like he can be the guy to carry the load.
Spears came in after Henry’s exit to the tune of 20 touches (16 carries, 4 catches) and made some shifty plays in space. Spears is an excellent player with the ball in his hands, and he’s going to make an impact for this offense in the final few games of the season. Roster him now, and if Henry is ruled out, play Spears with RB1 upside.
The Week 13 byepocalypse may have seen Chandler end up on your waiver wire again. His Week 12 performance was bad, really bad, but the Vikings are coming out of the bye healthy and likely to have Justin Jefferson playing again. We don’t know for sure if Josh Dobbs or Jaren Hall will be the starter, but having Jefferson back means the running game should see some more opportunity. Chandler can handle the load and has great breakaway speed, meaning he could be one play away from fantasy impact.
Tank Dell, we hardly knew you. The rookie sensation is done for the year with a broken fibula, which means Nico Collins and Noah Brown will need to step up. Brown showed flashes of what he can do, posting back-to-back 150+ yard games in Weeks 9 and 10.
Brown is coming off an injury of his own, but he should slot in as the team’s WR 2 immediately. Anyone running full-time in this offense is worthy of consideration, and with the Texans still alive in the playoff race, they’re going to throw the ball more. Start him with confidence if you need a WR3/Flex option.
Joe Flacco is likely to be under center once again for the Browns in Week 14, and that’s good news for Elijah Moore. The former Jet lacked any efficiency, but saw 12 targets from Bro Flacco, resulting in 4 catches for 83 scoreless yards. That, combined with Amari Cooper potentially missing with a concussion, makes Moore a spot start. It could be hard to watch, but the volume appears to be there with Flacco at the helm.
This week’s deep cut is the rookie out of Ole Miss. The Carolina offense is putrid, but Bryce Young is looking for Mingo more and more each week. Week 13 was his career-best game, putting up 6 grabs for 69 yards (nice). Mingo hasn’t had less than 6 targets over the last 4 weeks, and he’s getting enough usage that he’s a viable PPR flex play, even without his first career touchdown.
Next week’s matchup against the Saints is tough, but the volume alone calls for Mingo to have your attention.
The Week 13 bye was tough to deal with, especially if you fought to grab Likely only to have to stream another tight end last week. However, Mark Andrews is out still, and Likely saw plenty of targets in Week 12. He’s a heck of an athlete, and we know Lamar loves to target his tight ends instead of the running backs. If he’s out there on your waivers, Likely is the easy tight end target for this week and beyond.
Otton put up a big ole goose egg in Week 13 against Carolina, and that doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. However, the last time Otton played Atlanta, he put up low-end TE1 numbers, and that was the start of his warm streak. He’s not a world beater, but he’s a fine PPR option if you’re streaming the position.
Don’t call it a comeback. Back-to-back weeks with 4 grabs for 40+ yards for Everett have put him in the streaming conversation. The Chargers look abysmal right now, and no one apart from Keenan Allen can seemingly catch a ball. We can give them a pass for the awful weather in Foxborough last week, but the excuses stop there. In an offense that needs a number 2 option, Everett might be the only other pass catcher Justin Herbert can rely on.
Anyone you think we missed? Who are you spending your top waiver priority on this week? Sound off on social media and let us know!
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