Waiver Worthy: Week 14 Fallout: Eyeing Playoff Matchups

by Will Overton

Ladies and Gentleman, it is playoff time. If your playoffs haven’t started they should be starting this week. At this point the ideal situation is that you wouldn’t have to visit the waiver wire any longer, but stuff happens. Injuries happen, poor performances happen, and you have to put the best team possible out there on the field.

I’m going to take a look at the matchups for week 15 as well as prime performers for week 14 and identify some of the possible waiver wire targets for this week. 

T.J. Yates – QB, Houston Texans: Thanks to injuries the Houston Texans are on their third Quarterback of the season, but they just keep chugging along and winning games. The newest QB is T.J. Yates the rookie out of North Carolina. The Texans are a run first team, but Yates has proven his ability to get things done and put things on the board as put up 300 yards yesterday and threw a pair of TD passes. Yates is a risky play because he is just a rookie with two career starts under his belt, but in a deep league I can see him being a potential play next week. Yates is facing the Carolina Panthers and a defense which is anything but shutdown. If you have a QB situation which is unstable, Yates is a guy I’d go out on a limb with.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em 

Keiland Williams – RB, Detroit Lions: If you are looking for running back options on the waiver wire the options are not very attractive. Keiland Williams is one of those options, and while he isn’t a great one, he might be the best one you have depending on how deep/shallow your league is. Williams ended up getting 12 carries and ran for 43 yards yesterday as Kevin Smith was inactive and Maurice Morris went down early with an injury. Williams has been around all year and never taken hold of the starting job despite all the injuries. However the Lions may not have a choice next week and they are facing one of the worst run defenses in the league in the Oakland Raiders. If Williams is set to start and you need a running back it might be worth taking a shot.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em 

John Kuhn – RB, Green Bay Packers: With James Starks unable to play on Sunday John Kuhn got an unusually high amount of carries, getting the ball ten times and getting 46 yards. Kuhn has been a goal line back/TD vulture for most of the season, though he did show himself well given the chance. However Kuhn was facing a poor run defense and it was a blowout game. As well as Kuhn played, Ryan Grant really showed up and if Starks can’t go again chances are that Grant gets the majority of the carries this time around. Grant isn’t available in many leagues, but he is a good play. Kuhn on the other hand I can’t suggest playing.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

Early Doucet – WR, Arizona Cardinals: It has been an up and down season for Early Doucet, but he had another nice games yesterday catching 3 passes for 73 yards and his fifth TD of the season. It looks like the Cardinals are going to be switching back to John Skelton at QB with Kevin Kolb out with a head injury, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Skelton has had some nice games this season. The downside is that the Cardinals are going to be playing the Browns who have the second best pass defense in the NFL. Doucet has his moments, but I don’t think next Sunday will be one of them.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em 

Demaryius Thomas – WR, Denver Broncos: Only a week ago I listed Thomas here as a player to pass on. This week I am going the other way. I didn’t like that Thomas was facing a proven defense and had really only come through in one game. But yesterday Thomas had 7 catches for 78 yards and a TD. He now has 11 catches, 222 yards and 3 TD’s in the last two weeks. Tebow doesn’t complete many passes, but he seems to be really locked in on Thomas right now. Next week the Broncos are going against the New England Patrots and one of the worst pass defenses in the league. With Tebow zeroing in on Thomas recently and a nice matchup I like Thomas as a week 15 play.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Which waiver wire players are on your radar this week? Who on this list are you passing on and who are you looking to grab?

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  1. Randy says:

    Do you like Owen Daniels or Brent Celek more moving forward? I’ve gone w/ Celek the past two weeks with unfavorable results, but it seems like Daniels might be developing a nice role with Yates at QB. Also, I am tempted to pick up Demaryius Thomas based on his matchup vs. NE’s secondary, but would you start him if you had to pick between him and the following to fill 3 spots? Fitzgerald, Marshall, Lloyd, Austin, and Moss? Thanks!

    • Will Overton says:

      Moss would be the only one I would consider sitting for Thomas. Though the Redskins play the Giants and their secondary isn’t a whole lot better as Tony Romo showed last night.

      Because Thomas and Tebow seem so locked in right now I think Thomas is the higher upside play, and if you’re willing to take a risk I’d go with him. Santana Moss is the way to go if you want to play it a litle safer though.

      As for Daniels vs. Celek, I do like the way Daniels is clicking with Yates and I like the matchup with Carolina. I’d go with Daniels over Celek this week.

  2. Muddy Cleats 18 says:

    What about using Thomas(picked him up last week) over these guys(need 3)
    V. Jax
    Antonio Brown
    What Def seems to be the better play next week
    thanks for your help last week – up by 9 in the first week of a 2 week playoff against a very strong team…

    • Will Overton says:

      For me the two guys that you absolutely have to play are V Jax and Harvin, despite Jax tough matchup with Baltimore, I still go with him.

      The last spot comes down to Thomas and A Brown for me. Both are playmakers, but Thomas has a better matchup and he’s locked in right now. Like I told Randy, he isn’t the safest play, but the upside is to tempting for me not to gamble.

      All three of those defenses have good matchups, but I like the Seahawks the most because they get a lot of turnovers and Caleb Hanie is a turnover machine right now.

    • For me, I think Harvin is by far the best play of the group. V-Jax is next with Antonio Brown right behind him. Like Will said, Thomas is just a major risk right now. He has a ton of upside, but do you really trust him with your title on the line?

      As for the defense, Arizona or Seattle, it’s almost a toss up

  3. RT says:

    RP – Help please. With G Jennings out, who should i pick up James Jones or Donald Driver?


    • Will Overton says:

      I’m going to lean Donald Driver’s way here. Driver has 8 catches in the last two weeks and Jones has kind of fallen off the map recently.

    • I’ll disagree with Will. For me, I think Jones is the bigger play receiver and the way I’d go. However, I’m not sure either is going to make the impact we want to think. Jermichael Finley will probably just play a much bigger role.

  4. Jim says:

    After a first round playoff win, I have some key decisions to make for my matchup with the #2 seed who has a solid team. The scoring for my league is standard except 1.1 points per reception and points are given for kickoffs/punts returned for TD.

    My QB’s are Big Ben and Fitzpatrick (1 QB league) and I am htinking about picking up Tebow this week due to the matchup against NE but I don’t know if this is too risky even with Big Ben’s injury just cuz Ben is good no matter what it seems like. Or should I pick up Yates?

    My WR’s are Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Antonio Brown, and Santana Moss. I need to pick 2. Went with Bryant and Moss last week and if I had gone with the other 2 would have had a total of 20 more points. Which two would you pick for this week..I was almost considering starting both Bryant and Austin (even tho I hate starting WRs from same team). Second choice would be Austin and Brown. Third option would be to play Austin and go to the waiver for Doug Baldwin, Torrey Smith, or Demaryus Thomas.

    Defense: Baltimore or Tennessee. Picked up Tennessee 2 weeks ago to store for week 15 only cuz of the matchup but havent benched baltimore all season and that haven’t really regretted that choice either.

    Any help would be much appreciated. Mainly looking for QB and WR help, but I’ll yake any input at this point. Thank!

    PS…RT’s comment is also interesting, as I was condifering going with James Jones as my WR 2 and picking him up off waiver wire.

  5. Will Overton says:

    It’s tough to take big risks at this point in the season, but I would take one this week and roll Tebow out there over Big Ben. Huge discrepancy in matchup and Ben is a little banged up.

    Personally I still like Dez Bryant more than Miles Austin, despite what happened last Sunday. And I agree with you about not liking guys on the same team starting together at WR. If it was me I’d probably go Dez and A Brown. If you really don’t trust Dez than Miles isn’t a bad option, I just struggle to have Dez on the bench.

    I advised the other commenter to go with Demaryius Thomas over A Brown, but that’s tougher if you’re using Tebow. It doubles the risk/reward factor of playing Tebow cause your counting on him for another guys scoring too.

    San Diego’s offense is rolling right now, but I can’t see benching Baltimore’s defense even with the matchup.

  6. Muddy Cleats 18 says:

    Thanks for the advice. I have Tebow as a QB so probably not going to use Thomas – don’t like using a QB/WR combo unless its Brees/Rodgers ect…
    I picked Arizona so I have Sea and Ariz for defenses. probably wait and see on McCoy to help decide. BTW – Picked up Seahawk Def and played them Mon so now have a 19 point lead going into week 2 of playoff.
    My Son needs some help –
    TE – Keller/V. Davis or the miami TE Faisono(sp?). also needs a handcuff for Big Ben – Grossman/Skelton/Moore or go with Charlie Batch so he can wait until kickkoff to decide…
    Thanks again…

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