By now if you are reading this article, more than likely you have survived the first wave of the fantasy football season and are into the playoffs, so congratulations! Now that the playoffs are here, the hard part begins. Remember that the key to winning a championship is not your current playoff position, because anything can happen. The key to winning the championship is first making it to the playoffs, and you’ve got that part covered, so right now is the time when strategy really comes into play. Be wise with your use of your waiver claims, and be sure look at upcoming matchups. Pick up WRs and DEFs who have great matchups in the following weeks to out-manage your opponents. I will continue to be recommending waiver defenses that are nice streamer choices based off the matchup for the week. With that said, let’s get to it.
Week 14 (Playoffs) Waiver Wire Pickups - Wide Receivers (WR)
Michael Crabtree, WR, SF - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately (10+ teams PPR, Standard)
ANALYSIS: I'm going to break my rules because it's the playoffs and it's time to break them. Crabtree returned this week after being out for most of the season due to injury. In his first game back, he only had two catches, BUT he had 68 yards. I expect that Crabtree will get more targets as his season finally begins... and that will help your fantasy team. If he's available on waivers, he's worth the pickup.
Ace Sanders, WR, JAX - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately (12+ teams PPR)
ANALYSIS: When Justin Blackmon was suspended, the Jaguars instantly needed WR help. They didn't have to look very far, as Ace Sanders has become the player they needed. Over the past three weeks, he's caught 20 balls on 26 targets for 189 yards (~7 catches and 63 yards/game). While these aren't great statistics in standard leagues, this is golden in PPR leagues. One downfall with Sanders is that he hasn't had a TD yet, So I'm down on recommending him as a waiver pickup for standard leagues. If you are looking for a PPR WR, though, Sanders is a nice choice.
Andre Holmes, WR, OAK - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues only (12+ teams PPR)
ANALYSIS: Andre Holmes had a career-best game last week with 7 catches on 11 targets and 136 yards. The week before, Holmes started to get more looks with 5 targets with the Raiders WR corps banged up. So the question is why am I recommending this guy? Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen stated that Holmes is a guy they "are very comfortable with" and Denarius Moore (whom Holmes has been filling in for) has been out with a shoulder injury. As I've said all season, QB chemistry is the key with WRs. Matt McGloin and Holmes have a rapport, probably largely because they've had a lot of practice reps together. If Moore is out another week, Holmes is a nice 'plug and play' WR option, though probably not much more than that.
Players I recommend beyond rules (above 25% ownership or previously recommended). Add these WR players immediately if they are somehow still available in your leagues (in priority order):
- Josh Gordon, WR, CLE - Gordon is on FIRE. If this guy is somehow still available, you are not playing in a fantasy football league… you are dreaming.
- Keenan Allen, WR, SD - Great week with 8 catches and 106 yards.
- Harry Douglas, WR, ATL - Decent week with 6 catches for 73 yards.
- Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT - had a huge game with 6 catches on 11 targets after a disappointing last week.
- TY Hilton, WR, IND - Mediocre game with 5 catches for 46 yards. I'm not sure what's going on with the Colts offense right now. The past two weeks haven horrible.
- Michael Crabtree, WR, SF - Nice game for his first one of the season-- had 68 yards on two catches. He can go only up from here!
- Golden Tate, WR, SEA - game not complete as of this writing
- Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA - game not complete as of this writing
- Jarret Boykin, WR, GB - Big goose egg this week. Flynn is awful and Rodgers may not be back soon.
- Percy Harvin, WR, SEA - It’s safe to say it’s time to say goodbye to Harvin for fantasy purposes... his value has diminished to nothing
Week 14 (Playoffs) Waiver Wire Pickups - Defenses (DEF)
No-brainer Defense Options: KC (vs WAS)
OAK, DEF - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add in Standard Leagues (12+ teams)
ANALYSIS: Have you seen a trend this year for my defense picks? Any team defense that plays the Jets is a solid waiver choice. Here's how opposing defenses have been the last three weeks 19, 16, and 17 in standard leagues. With Geno Smith starting again (and I have no idea why... other than that they must think Sims won't improve), expect the Raiders defense to pile on points.
BAL, DEF - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add in Standard Leagues (12+ teams)
ANALYSIS: I am going on a limb here, but I see this as an opportunity for the Ravens to make a statement. Currently the Ravens defense is the sixth-best versus the run, while the Vikings are the sixth-best running offense. If the Ravens contain Peterson, it will mean that the Vikings must throw the ball. If that happens, it will give the advantage to the Ravens to force turnovers. Additionally, the Ravens are playing for a playoff spot, as they are currently bubble. The defending champions will come to this game hungry to make a statement.
Eric Weddle, IDP - FS, SD - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add in Standard Leagues (12+ teams IDP Leagues)
ANALYSIS: Eric Weddle is coming off another solid week of football with his first interception of the season, along with six solo tackles and one assist. In the last five weeks, Weddle's worst week was with five solo tackles. If you are in a league looking for an IDP player, Weddle is very consistent, which of course is key in this position.
1. I will not repeat waiver selections. All mentioned players prior to week 4 will apply to the current waiver options and going forward.
2. I will only recommend players that are lower than 25% ownership in Yahoo! or ESPN leagues.