Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 14

Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 14

12/4/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

It's the most wonderful time of the year - the fantasy football playoffs (at least for some of us). Almost all the talent has been swept up off the waiver wire at this point in the season, but if you can find a hidden gem, he just may make the difference between a championship run and first round elimination. I have a bye for the first round of my league's playoffs (yes, I deliberately acknowledged my team's success), but I'm still willing to take a look at the available players in most leagues and see who's got the best shot at helping out your teams. Here are my top ten guys:

Quarterbacks

Nick Foles (PHI): 
So the Nick Foles experiment hasn't exactly gone as planned in Philadelphia, but the rookie is still showing signs of improvement with each start. Foles threw for 251 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys' 10th ranked pass defense, and finished the game with a 96.6 quarterback rating. He'll have a chance to continue his improvement this week against the Buccaneers' 32nd ranked pass defense.

Running Backs
Blog Photo - Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 14
DeAngelo Williams (CAR): 
Williams was on this list last week due to the fact that Jonathan Stewart would potentially miss Sunday's game. Stewart did miss that game, and is now expected to miss the next one as well - and possibly more. The potential of Panthers' running backs is always limited thanks to a coaching staff that is reluctant to have Cam Newton hand off the ball, but Williams is the lead back with Stewart out, and ran for 67 yards at 5.6 yards a pop this past Sunday. He could be a solid flex option while Stewart is sidelined.

Montell Owens (JAX): Maurice Jones-Drew is still not expected to return this week, and backup Rashad Jennings picked up a concussion on Sunday. With third-stringer Jalen Parmele on the IR, that leaves the Jaguars with Montell Owens. He's more of a special teamer and fullback, but he got seven carries after Jennings was forced from Sunday's game and carried it at 4.1 yards per tote. He also caught a pass and scored a two point conversion. He'll be a flex option if Jennings can't return, and if he plays well enough, he could potentially bump Jennings back down to second string.

James Starks (GB): Though he splits fairly evenly with Alex Green, Starks is still the main ball carrier for the Packers' offense. He led the team with 15 carries on Sunday, racking up 66 yards and a touchdown. He's a risky play, as the coaching staff uses him inconsistently, but he has 15+ carries in three of his past four games, making him worth a look in deeper leagues.

UPDATE: Starks is now a strong bet to miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. I apologize, I missed that news somehow. Alex Green is now the player to own in the Packers backfield.

Joique Bell (DET): Bell outperformed starter Mikel Leshoure on Sunday, despite seeing significantly less carries. Bell went for 81 yards on seven totes, while Leshoure only managed 57 yards on his 21 carries. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan acknowledged that Bell has earned more opportunities going forward, though Leshoure will likely remain the Lions' leader in carries for the remainder of the season.


Wide Receivers

Chris Givens (STL): 
Givens led the Rams in both targets and catches on Sunday with 14 and 11. Formerly a strict big play threat, Givens showed progress as a possession receiver against the ferocious 49er defense. He's averaging eight catches for over 100 yards over the past two weeks, and is facing a Bills team this week that gives up the fourth most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

T.Y. Hilton (IND): Unlike Donnie Avery, T.Y. Hilton is usually successful when Andrew Luck looks his way. Avery led the Colts again on Sunday with 14 targets, but Hilton wasn't too far behind with 12. Sunday was Hilton's second six catch, hundred yard performance in the past three weeks, and he's scored four all-purpose touchdowns over that span. He's also gone for six catches and 100+ yards in three of the past five weeks. He's a boom or bust play, but he's worth the risk if you're thin at receiver.
Blog Photo - Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 14
Golden Tate (SEA): Tate, better known for a catch he didn't make than the catches he does, has quietly become a scoring machine for the Seahawks. The Notre Dame alum has five total touchdowns over the past four weeks, and has topped 50 yards in four of the past five weeks. His most recent performance (five catches, 96 yards, touchdown) was his best fantasy output of the season. He's worth a look in deeper leagues.

Tight Ends

Jacob Tamme (DEN): 
Tamme was a popular tight end on fantasy draft day due to his success with Peyton Manning back in Indianapolis, but he didn't really pan out for owners, finding the end zone only once and reaching the 50 yard mark only twice in his first ten games. Over the past two weeks, however, Tamme has hauled in 13 balls for 137 yards and a touchdown. The numbers aren't spectacular by any means, but if you're out searching for a tight end, he might be your best option.

Defense

Cleveland Browns: 
Believe it or not, the Browns have only allowed opponents to reach 20 points twice since Week 6. Those opponents were the Ravens, who scored 25 in Baltimore, and the Cowboys, who scored 20 points in regulation and added a field goal in overtime. Now facing the Chiefs, who topped 16 points for the first time since September on Sunday, the Browns are up against another opponent that they can surely hold below 20 once again.
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