Publish date:

Waiver Wire Week 14: Jalen Hurts, J.D. McKissic, Cole Kmet

Waiver Wire Week 14: J.D. McKissic

Waiver Wire Week 14: J.D. McKissic

Congratulations, fantasy owners, if you had made it into the playoffs. If that's the case, you should be taking a long look at your team. Look at who you have picked up and never played. Drop that player for someone that will help you now.

Back in September, it was a long season. Now, win and you get to play another week. Lose and you're done until next year. Look at the matchups for your players and upgrade your team where you can. Back up your running backs (and even your wide receivers if possible).

Quarterbacks

Sam Darnold, New York Jets (8 percent owned)

Fantasy owners may cringe inside when they look at adding any Jets player from the waiver wire. However, Darnold looked competent in Week 13, throwing for 186 yards and producing three total touchdowns (2 passing), although he also had three turnovers (2 lost fumbles). Darnold is not necessarily playing for his job, but to put good games on tape for a future team. The Jets face the Seahawks in Week 14, which typically is a good matchup for opposing quarterbacks. If you need a QB, there are worse options.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (3 percent owned)

Finally, in Week 13, the Eagles benched Carson Wentz to see what Hurts could do. Once he was in the game, the offense looked different. He moved the ball down the field (109 yards, a touchdown, an interception, 29 rushing yards) and actually energized the team. However, it's not up to fantasy owners to determine who starts for the Eagles in Week 14. The team may continue to stick with Wentz. However, if you are looking for a quarterback, Hurts may end up in the game, if not the starter, and he may end up starting before the season is done.

Running Backs

J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (48 percent owned)

If you are in a PPR league and McKissic is available, he should be your top waiver priority. In Week 13, with a negative game script, McKissic proved why: 10 receptions for 70 yards. The fact that Antonio Gibson left the game with an injury also helped McKissic's case. Without knowing the full details on Gibson's toe injury, fantasy owners should consider grabbing McKissic (or Peyton Barber, owned in 1 percent of leagues, if McKissic isn't available, as a handcuff).

Devonta Freeman, New York Giants (25 percent owned)

Freeman has been on injured reserve since mid-November, and he is eligible to return. However, he was just added to the reserve/COVID-19 list over the weekend. No word has been reported whether Freeman himself tested positive or was a close contact of someone who has. Based on the timeline, it doesn't look like Freeman will be able to play in Week 14, but fantasy owners who don't need him this week and have bench room may want to stash him for Week 15 against Cleveland.

Jeremy McNichols, Tennessee Titans (1 percent owned)

It's the time of year to make sure you own your stud running back's handcuff. In some cases, the direct handcuff is not known. However, McNichols is clearly the backup to Derrick Henry. While Henry has been fantastic, all fantasy owners know that no player is immune to injury. The Titans have a great fantasy playoff schedule for running backs, so if Henry were to miss time, you could feel good starting McNichols, who had a touchdown in Week 13 (when the game was out of hand and Henry was on the bench).

Recommended Articles

Wide Receivers

Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (21 percent owned)

Ignoring the game where the Broncos didn't have a quarterback, Patrick has either posted 50 yards or a touchdown in each of the past four games. He has five touchdowns on the year and three 100-yard games. It is clear that Drew Lock looks for him, especially in the red zone. The Broncos face the Panthers in Week 14, which may require Lock to be throwing the ball. This is a good sign for Patrick.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Chicago Bears (7 percent owned)

Patterson won't have 10 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown every week, as the Bears don't face the Lions each week. However, in the fantasy playoffs, he does get to face the Texans and the Jaguars in Weeks 14 and 16, teams that allow plenty of points to opposing running backs. Patterson is listed as a wide receiver in most formats (although he does have dual-eligibility in Yahoo!) and if you can start a running back as a wide receiver in leagues that start three or more wide receivers, Patterson may be worth a look. For those looking for a more traditional wide receiver, Darnell Mooney is available in 12 percent of leagues as well.

Quintez Cephus, Detroit Lions (0 percent owned)

Ahead of the Week 13 game, the Lions said they wanted to focus on the younger players to see what they could do. True to their word (an anomaly in football), Cephus was targeted four times, and he caught two of those, including one for a touchdown. Marvin Jones Jr. is still the clear No. 1 with Kenny Golladay (hip) sidelined, but the Lions are likely going to look to see what they have in Cephus. Fantasy owners in deep leagues should grab him as a possible WR4 for the fantasy playoffs.

Tight Ends

Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (40 percent owned)

Thomas has been in this column previously, but he is still available in 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. After his Week 13 performance, that number should leap past the 50 percent threshold. In Washington's come-from-behind win over Pittsburgh, Thomas caught all nine of his targets for 98 yards and a touchdown. In a game where Terry McLaurin was nearly invisible, Thomas and J.D. McKissic were two of Alex Smith's favorite targets (also in the mix was Cam Sims with nine targets). When Smith was looking to just dump the ball, Thomas was there for him. He should be owned in nearly all formats.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (1 percent owned)

In the past three weeks, Jimmy Graham has three receptions for 32 yards. It's clear that either Mitchell Trubisky doesn't like throwing to Graham or the team is easing him out of the offense. Instead, Kmet has been the tight end that the team is using. He had five receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown in Week 13. It seems that the Bears are going to continue to use Kmet. Fantasy owners of Graham can drop him and look at adding Kmet.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

Carolina Panthers (6 percent owned)

The Panthers produced more than 20 fantasy points (depending on league scoring) in the past two games they played (Detroit in Week 11, Minnesota in Week 12). In Week 14, the Panthers face the Broncos. While Drew Lock has looked decent at times, if the Panthers can get to Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins, they certainly can get some fantasy points against Lock and the Broncos. The Broncos typically don't score a lot of points and they will provide some turnovers to the Carolina DST.

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

(Top photo by Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team, courtesy of washingtonfootball.com)