In the second-to-last week before the fantasy playoffs begin, it was a rough time to lose your quarterback. Managers of Matthew Stafford already knew he was out, but now they know they aren’t getting him back this season. Jimmy Garoppolo, who was just starting to get back into possible QB1 territory, is now out for the season with a broken ankle. Lamar Jackson is going to be out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury. Those players are going to be tough to replace, but hopefully the waiver wire has something that can help you out.
There also are a bunch of teams on bye, so some managers may need to raid the waiver wire just to fill out their lineups for this critical week.
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Washington
Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers (1 percent rostered)
With Jimmy Garoppolo out for the season, the 49ers need someone who can hand the ball off to Christian McCaffrey. Or throw the ball as well. In relief of Garoppolo in Week 13, Purdy threw for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Purdy isn’t a great option to fill in at quarterback, especially with a matchup against the Buccaneers in Week 14, but he is likely available in your league.
Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens (1 percent rostered)
With Lamar Jackson out for at least Week 14, his replacement will be Huntley. He came in during Week 13 and threw for 187 yards and an interception. However, his fantasy day was saved by his rushing yards. He added 41 yards on the ground and the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. His rushing ability is what gives him more fantasy value than some other quarterback that may be on the waiver wire.
Zonovan Knight, New York Jets (47 percent rostered)
After barely being rostered ahead of Week 13, Knight is now only available in about half of Yahoo leagues. He is someone that should be picked up wherever possible, as he has proven that he is a solid running back for the Jets. They do face the Bills in Week 14, which is going to be tougher. In Week 13, Knight had 90 rushing yards and added five receptions for 28 yards. Knight was given work at the goal line, but did not score. If that can change, he’ll end up as an RB1.
Tony Jones, Seattle Seahawks (0 percent rostered)
For those in super-deep leagues, Jones will likely be available. This is a player that is desperation-only as Travis Homer will likely return in Week 14 and handle most of the running back duties (Kenneth Walker III and DeeJay Dallas are both injured). Jones, in Week 13, had seven carries for 14 yards. He added two receptions for 18 yards. The Seahawks face the Carolina Panthers, and it’s hard to see Jones ranked as anything higher than an RB3.
James Cook, Buffalo Bills (24 percent rostered)
Cook has a tough matchup in Week 14 against the Jets, but he should end up with more work than Devin Singletary. Cook only rushed for 64 yards but caught all six of his targets for 41 yards. On the whole, this was a better day than Singletary (51 rushing yards and a touchdown). Cook didn’t get in the end zone, but the points he got from the receiving game countered that and then some in PPR formats. The pair will still split carries but Cook may be edging ahead in this timeshare.
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams (29 percent rostered)
Jefferson and the Rams face the terrible Las Vegas Raiders defense to kick off Week 14 on Thursday night. It is hard to trust Jefferson, but he has consistently been providing fantasy managers with two or three receptions for about 30 yards. If you’re ok with six points with the possibility of a touchdown, Jefferson is your guy. While it is certainly possible he may have a better game in the future, if it doesn’t happen in Week 14, it’s just not going to.
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills (37 percent rostered)
In the first four weeks of the season, McKenzie looked like he could be on his way to solid WR2 territory. He had three touchdowns in those four weeks… and then he had three weeks with less than 20 receiving yards. Fast forward to Week 12, where McKenzie had a 6/96/1 stat line plus seven rushing yards. In Week 13, he had five receptions for 44 yards. It does seem that the Bills are including him in their offense more, but he will be hard to trust. But with six teams on a bye, McKenzie is worth adding as a WR4.
DJ Chark, Detroit Lions (16 percent rostered)
Coming off a six-target, 98-yard performance, Chark had the most yards he’s had all season. While he didn’t find the end zone, it was a promising performance. He will continue to share targets with Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams, and Josh Reynolds. However, he should be above Reynolds and Williams in the pecking order, which bodes well in a Week 14 game where there should be plenty of passes. The Minnesota Vikings' defense can easily be thrown on, and you can expect that is what Detroit will do.
Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos (37 percent rostered)
Dulcich may have been dropped ahead of Week 13, as he was struggling. However, with Courtland Sutton now injured, Dulcich should see more targets in Week 14. Without Sutton in Week 13, he had six receptions for 85 yards. He was the leading receiver for the team and had twice as many targets as any other pass catcher on the team. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come as the Broncos face the Chiefs in Week 14.
Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants (2 percent rostered)
Bellinger has been out with a serious eye injury, but he returned in Week 13. He had five targets and he caught all of them for 24 yards. The yardage is low, but the targets should be encouraging. Five targets are the most he’s seen all season. His highest yardage total is only 40 yards, so don’t expect an amazing performance from the tight end. The tight end landscape is rough, however, so he is worth a shot.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Pittsburgh Steelers (28 percent rostered)
The Steelers face the Ravens without Lamar Jackson. The Steelers DST has been solid since the Week 9 bye. Pittsburgh has recorded at least one sack in each game, and aside from the loss to Cincinnati, has not allowed more than 17 points. The Ravens are not quite as good as the Bengals, especially without their star quarterback. The Steelers are a solid streaming DST for Week 14.
— 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.