Top Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 14

Top waiver wire pickups for Week 14

12/3/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

For many fantasy leagues, the playoffs are finally here. Generally, teams with a shot at the championship aren't sending players straight from the waiver wire into their starting lineups, but there are still some productive moves that can be made for contending fantasy squads. There are three things you may want to look into - matchup plays, high-upside stashes, and handcuffs. Here are some players you should consider on the waiver wire this week:

Note: This list includes only players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues.

Quarterbacks

Carson Palmer (ARI): 
Not all fantasy playoff teams have elite quarterbacks, and many of the top-tier signal callers are faced with very difficult matchups this week. If this is the case for you, Palmer is worth consideration as a spot starter for Week 14. He's on an absolute tear right now, shredding defenses for 300+ yards in three straight games while posting 2+ touchdowns in five straight. He'll take on a Rams defense that has allowed Josh McCown and Colin Kaepernick to average 313.5 passing yards with three combined touchdowns to one interception over the past two weeks. You won't want to play Palmer in Week 15 at Tennessee, but he's a good bet to keep his hot streak going this weekend.

Jay Cutler (CHI): It is unclear just when Cutler will return to action, but owners who have been riding Josh McCown's hot streak should secure Cutler as soon as possible. Whoever starts will be playing in a quarterback-friendly system, and the Bears will take on the Cowboys' 31st ranked pass defense this weekend, and then the Eagles' 32nd ranked pass defense in fantasy championship week. Snagging Cutler as a potential plug-and-play for this weekend is also a worthwhile idea if you need help at quarterback.

Running Backs

Aug 24, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown (31) runs with the ball against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsDonald Brown (IND): 
After waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Trent Richardson to show some signs of life, the Colts finally went to Brown as their new starting running back. Formerly thought of as a draft bust, Brown has enjoyed some nice play this year, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He manages to find the holes that Richardson can not, and he hits them hard. Brown had 14 carries to Richardson's five in Week 13, and that distribution will likely continue for the rest of the season. Though he'll take on a tough run defense (CIN) this week, Brown will be worth flex consideration moving forward.

Jonathan Dwyer (PIT): We could see Le'Veon Bell (concussion) miss Week 14, which would make Dwyer the lead back. With the exception of having a stacked running back core, Bell owners should jump on Dwyer as a handcuff. As Jordan Reed showed us this week, you can never be sure that a player recovering from a concussion will play until he actually takes the field. The Steelers will play the Dolphins, who have been shockingly poor against the run this season, ranking 25th in yards allowed on the ground.

Montee Ball (DEN): Despite his 13 carries for 117 yards on Sunday afternoon, I wouldn't want to play Ball in my starting lineup just yet. That being said, he is still worth an add, particularly for Moreno owners. Moreno will continue to be the lead back, but could eventually get a heavy dose of rest to get fully healthy for the playoffs. Ball would be a stud if given a healthy workload. You could play him at the flex this week if you're desperate, but I like Ball as a stash for now.

LeGarrette Blount (NE): Fumble-prone Stevan Ridley has found himself in the doghouse multiple times this season, and this stint should be longer than the previous one. Blount is the primary beneficiary of Ridley's struggles, becoming the lead between-the-tackles runner when Ridley is on the sidelines. Blount should get a nice handful of carries as well as goal-line work this week, making him worth consideration in deep leagues and for Ridley owners. It's worth noting, however, that he'll face a ferocious Browns front seven in Week 14.
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