Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 14: Target James Cook, Cam Akers, More
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: James Cook.
With another wild football Sunday in the rearview mirror, it’s time to assess the state of our fantasy teams and add (or cut) accordingly.
Sunday of Week 13 was one of the worst days for injuries to fantasy-relevant players this year:
- QB Matthew Stafford (LAR) has a spinal cord contusion, it was announced on Saturday, and is likely to miss the remainder of the season.
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) broke his foot in Sunday’s game against the Dolphins. He will undergo surgery and his season is over. Backup Brock Purdy will take over under center.
- QB Lamar Jackson (BAL) suffered a knee injury against the Broncos. He will undergo tests on Monday, but it is believed to be a knee sprain.
- QB Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) injured his ankle against the 49ers. It is not believed to be serious and Tagovailoa is expected to start in Week 14 against the Chargers.
- RB Kenneth Walker III (SEA) suffered a jammed ankle and will undergo further tests.
- WR Jaylen Waddle (MIA) suffered a leg injury but ultimately returned to the game against the 49ers.
- WR Courtland Sutton (DEN) suffered a hamstring injury and did not return to the game.
- WR Treylon Burks (TEN) entered the concussion protocol after scoring a touchdown against the Eagles.
- TE Hayden Hurst (CIN) sustained a calf injury against the Chiefs and was ruled out to return.
As a reminder, Week 14 is Bye-Nado 2.0. The Falcons, Bears, Packers, Colts, Saints and Commanders are all off this week, meaning you will need to find replacements for Marcus Mariota, Cordarrelle Patterson, Drake London, David Montgomery, Justin Fields, Cole Kmet, Aaron Rodgers, Christian Watson, Allen Lazard, Aaron Jones, Matt Ryan, Michael Pittman Jr., Jonathan Taylor, Chris Olave, Alvin Kamara, Taylor Heinicke, Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Brian Robinson Jr. and more.
Whether you need a player to replace dead weight on your roster, or just need a streamer, make sure to check out Action Network’s top targets at each position — all of which are available in at least 50% of Yahoo! leagues — that you should prioritize come Tuesday night.
Note: Yahoo! roster percentages are reflected in parentheses as of Monday and fantasy rankings are exclusive of the Monday Night Football game.
Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups
Tyler Huntley, Ravens (1% rostered)
Huntley stepped in for an injured Jackson at the start of the second quarter to help the Ravens eke out a 10-9 victory over the Broncos. He completed 27-of-32 attempts for 187 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception, rushing 10 times for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Huntley is currently the QB14 in Week 13 with one game left to play, which is impressive since he played just three quarters of this game against a top-notch Denver defense.
Jackson’s knee injury is not believed to be season-ending and head coach John Harbaugh left the door open for him to return as soon as Week 14, though the signing of Brett Hundley on Monday would suggest evidence to the contrary.
If Jackson is not good to go, Huntley would be the Ravens’ starter in what could be a consequential AFC North showdown against the Steelers. Huntley would carry significant fantasy value given his rushing abilities and the matchup opposite Pittsburgh’s defense, which has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
Next three games: at Steelers, at Browns, vs. Falcons
Jared Goff, Lions (50%)
Goff was about as perfect as he could have been in the Lions‘ 40-14 rout over the Jaguars. He capitalized on this juicy matchup and completed 31-of-41 attempts for 340 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Goff is currently the QB4 heading into Monday night and will finish as a top-eight quarterback for the third time this season. He has a solid opportunity to repeat that success in Week 14 against the Vikings, whose defense ranks 24th in pass DVOA, according to Football Outsiders, and has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
Goff is right at the 50% mark and is likely the best one-week streaming option for any managers with a quarterback on bye.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans (17%)
Tannehill struggled, as expected, against the Eagles’ No. 2-ranked pass defense according to DVOA. He completed 14-of-22 attempts for 141 yards and one touchdown, rushing three times for 34 yards in the Eagles’ 35-10 beatdown over the Titans.
Tannehill is currently the QB20 with one game left to play. While this most recent performance hardly inspires confidence, things will get much easier over the next three games, starting with the Jaguars, who were just lit up for 40 points by a Goff-led Lions team. Jacksonville ranks 30th in pass DVOA and has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
Tannehill is a viable streaming option for Fields, Rodgers, Heinicke, Mariota and Ryan managers in need of a one-week fill-in, or for Garoppolo, Stafford or even Jackson managers that may need a longer solution for the fantasy playoffs.
Next three games: vs. Jaguars, at Chargers, vs. Texans
Brock Purdy, 49ers (1%)
Purdy stepped in for an injured Garoppolo early in the 49ers’ 33-17 win over the Dolphins. He completed 25-of-37 attempts for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and is currently the QB16 with one game left to play.
Purdy will be the 49ers’ starter until further notice with Garoppolo out for the season and is the logical replacement for any fantasy managers who have Garoppolo rostered. He will likely be a QB2 next week against the Buccaneers‘ No. 6-ranked pass defense, per DVOA.
Next three games: vs. Buccaneers, at Seahawks, vs. Commanders
Other quarterbacks to consider: Mike White, Jets (18%), Sam Darnold, Panthers (2%)
James Cook, Bills (24%)
Cook had the best game of his short career in the Bills‘ Thursday night 24-10 win over the Patriots. He rushed 14 times for 64 yards and caught 6-of-6 targets for 41 yards, while Devin Singletary saw 13 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Singletary slightly edged out Cook in snaps by a count of 33 to 32, which is a huge leap from their Week 12 split of 60 to 14 in favor of the veteran. Cook was a second-round pick in this year’s draft from Georgia, with whom he won the CFP National Championship in 2021.
Cook is currently the RB14 in half-PPR scoring with one game left to play and appears to be on the rise for fantasy purposes. The Buffalo backfield could be turning into a 1A/1B-type situation and Cook’s pass-catching abilities give him standalone value. He should be a RB3/flex next week against the Jets.
Next three games: vs. Jets, vs. Dolphins, at Bears
Cam Akers, Rams (46%)
Akers led the Rams‘ backfield in their 27-23 loss to the Seahawks in Week 13. He logged 17 carries for 60 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Kyren Williams saw just three carries for nine yards.
Akers is currently the RB7 in half-PPR in this standout performance (his best of the year) and out-snapped the rookie Williams for the first time since both have been on the field by a count of 46 to 18.
I am probably as confused as you are about this headache of a backfield. Without Darrell Henderson Jr. on the field, the Rams’ RB1 position remains very much up-for-grabs.
Akers could certainly seize the opportunity with two mouthwatering matchups on deck: The Rams face the Raiders and Packers in back-to-back weeks, both of whom rank below average in rush DVOA and bottom seven in fantasy points allowed to running backs this year. We shall see if Akers (or anyone) emerges as the alpha as the Rams continue to throw things against the wall to see what sticks.
Next three games: vs. Raiders, at Packers, vs. Cowboys
Zonovan Knight, Jets (47%)
Knight shined in his first real shot as the Jets’ workhorse back in the team’s 27-22 loss to the Vikings with Breece Hall out for the year and Michael Carter sidelined with an ankle injury. He logged 15 carries for 90 yards, caught all five of his targets for 28 yards and led the running back depth chart in snaps with 47. Next up was Ty Johnson, who rushed once for three yards and caught 6-of-7 targets for 38 yards on 28 snaps, followed by James Robinson, who rushed four times for 10 yards on nine snaps.
Knight is currently the RB13 in half-PPR scoring with one game left to play. I would be wary of starting him next week against the Bills, but the remainder of his schedule through the fantasy playoffs is enviable: In Weeks 15 through 17, the Jets face the Lions, Jaguars and Seahawks — all of which are below-average in overall defensive DVOA. And to sweeten things even further, the Jets may stay more competitive in games with Zach Wilson benched for Mike White which should manufacture more run-friendly game scripts moving forward.
Next three games: at Bills, vs. Lions, vs. Jaguars
Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs (41%)
McKinnon had his best game of the season in the Chiefs’ 27-24 loss to the Bengals in Week 13. He slightly edged out Isiah Pacheco in snaps but took a backseat in usage, recording eight carries for 51 yards to Pacheco’s 14 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown. McKinnon also hauled in two passes for nine yards and a touchdown and is currently the RB15 in half-PPR heading into Monday night.
With Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of the picture for the foreseeable future, this could end up being some kind of backfield split between McKinnon and Pacheco. I would probably still prefer Pacheco for fantasy, but McKinnon will likely carry some value to finish out the year, especially in PPR formats.
Next three games: at Broncos, at Texans, vs. Seahawks
Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas and Tony Jones Jr., Seahawks (1%, 3% and 0%)
The Seattle backfield was assembled with spit and glue after Walker suffered an ankle injury and did not return. Homer was inactive due to an illness and knee injury, leaving the team to lean on Dallas and Jones. Dallas logged 10 carries for 37 yards and Jones recorded seven carries for 14 yards and caught 2-of-4 targets for 18 yards.
Walker’s absence may not be an extended one, though it is probably safe to say that his Week 14 availability is in jeopardy. Homer could be the best option of this trio assuming he is healthy. He is coming off of a four-touch, 53-yard game against the Raiders in which he scored his first touchdown of the year. This is a developing situation and will hinge on Walker’s health. The Seahawks face the Panthers in Week 14, which should be a favorable matchup for whichever running backs Seattle fields.
Next three games: vs. Panthers, vs. 49ers, at Chiefs
Other running backs to consider: Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles (14%), Jordan Mason, 49ers (15%), Chuba Hubbard, Panthers (18%)
Alec Pierce, Colts (14%)
It should be a testament to how lean the waiver wire pickings are this week that I am starting the wide receiver section with a player about to go on bye. Pierce had a lovely game in the Colts’ 54-19 meltdown against the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. He led the team in all receiving categories (likely because he was not drawing No. 1 coverage) and caught 4-of-8 targets for 86 yards and a touchdown. Parris Campbell hauled in 4-of-5 for 43 yards and Michael Pittman Jr. caught 2-of-4 for 16 yards.
Pierce is the WR14 in half-PPR heading into Monday Night Football. The 6-foot-3, 211-pound 2022 second-round pick from Cincinnati ran a 4.41 40-yard-dash at the NFLCombine and is an impressive athletic specimen. His pedigree, combined with the Colts’ pass-happy offense, could give him just enough opportunity for a late-season breakout down the stretch.
Next three weeks: BYE, at Vikings, vs. Chargers
D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams, Lions (16% and 47%)
Williams made his NFL debut in the Lions’ Week 13 win over the Jaguars. He sat out the first 12 weeks of the year due to a torn ACL he suffered about 11 months ago in the CFP National Championship game against Georgia. He was utilized sparingly and appeared in 11% of offensive snaps. He was targeted once and did not make a catch.
Chark, on the other hand, had a fantastic game and caught 5-of-6 targets for 98 yards, though both were eclipsed by a massive Amon-Ra St. Brown game. He caught 11-of-12 targets for 114 yards and two touchdowns and is currently the WR2.
The Lions are easing Williams in slowly, so I do not expect a ton of volume. That said, if it were not for the ACL injury, Williams could have been the No. 1 receiver taken in this year’s draft. The Alabama product has 4.3-speed and is one big play away from bursting onto the fantasy scene. Both could be worth an add, especially with the Panthers and Bears on deck in Weeks 16 and 17 (a.k.a., most people’s fantasy semifinals and finals).
Next three weeks: vs. Vikings, at Jets, at Panthers
Jahan Dotson, Commanders (15%)
Dotson had a strong day for fantasy in the Commanders’ 20-20 tie with the Giants in Week 13, bouncing back from a Week 12 bagel against the Falcons. He caught 5-of-9 targets for 54 yards and a touchdown and is currently the WR18 in half-PPR. He saw more targets than Curtis Samuel (6-of-7 for 63 yards), but definitely took a backseat to Terry McLaurin. McLaurin had an absolute monster day and caught 8-of-12 for 105 yards and a touchdown and is the WR8.
Dotson has been banged up for much of this season, though in the eight games he has played in, he has scored double-digit fantasy points and finished as a top-24 receiver four times. Dotson has a bye this week, but he could be a decent stash candidate, especially in deeper leagues for those teams looking towards the playoffs.
Next three games: BYE, vs. Giants, at 49ers
Nico Collins, Texans (29%)
Collins tied a season-high 10 targets in the Texans’ 27-14 loss to the Browns with Brandin Cooks sidelined with a calf injury. He caught just 3-of-10 for 35 yards but did salvage his day with his second touchdown of the season and is currently the WR27 in half-PPR scoring.
Collins quietly has 36 targets since returning from injury in Week 10 for an average of nine targets per game. He should continue to be a volume play in deeper leagues if Cooks remains out.
Next three weeks: at Cowboys, vs Chiefs, at Titans
Robert Woods, Titans (34%)
Woods was a complete dud in the Titans’ Week 13 blowout loss to the Eagles. He caught 1-of-5 targets for six yards, which is only his second-worst game this year.
Woods has been disappointing this season, though he could end up playing a larger role if rookie Treylon Burks, who caught the team’s lone touchdown of the game, remains sidelined in Week 14 while in the concussion protocol. Burks took a helmet-to-helmet hit after his touchdown catch and did not return to the game. The Titans have a mouthwatering matchup on deck against the Jaguars, whose defense ranks 30th in pass DVOA and has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year.
Next three games: vs. Jaguars, at Chargers, vs. Texans
Trent Sherfield, Dolphins (0%)
Sherfield had his second-best game of the season in the Dolphins’ 33-17 loss to the 49ers by way of one monster play. He caught 1-of-3 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown to start the game and put the Fins up 7-0.
While a one-catch game hardly inspires confidence, Sherfield could take on a larger role if Waddle is at all limited next week. Sherfield is purely a deep-league speculative add at this time.
Next three games: at Chargers, at Bills, vs. Packers
Other wide receivers to consider: Isaiah Hodgins, Giants (0%), Corey Davis, Jets (13%), Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Chiefs (45%), Demarcus Robinson, Ravens (12%), Isaiah McKenzie, Bills (37%), Mack Hollins, Raiders (31%), Terrace Marshall Jr., Panthers (6%)
Noah Fant, Seahawks (13%)
Fant had his second-best fantasy game of the year in the Seahawks’ win over the Rams. He caught 4-of-5 targets for 42 yards and a touchdown and is currently the TE1 in half-PPR scoring with just the Monday night game left to play (the tight end position really let us down if 12.2 half-PPR fantasy points is enough to finish as the No. 1).
This was a massive game for multiple Seattle pass catchers, including Tyler Lockett (9-of-12 for 128 yards and a touchdown) and D.K. Metcalf (8-of-8 for 127 yards and a touchdown). Fant was only the third-most targeted player on the team, though he should have ample opportunities next week against the Panthers’ No. 20-ranked pass defense according to DVOA.
Next three games: vs. Panthers, vs. 49ers, at Chiefs
Greg Dulcich, Broncos (37%)
Dulcich had been quiet in the three weeks after the Broncos’ Week 9 bye, recording just seven catches for 52 yards and zero touchdowns in that span. He bounced back nicely in Week 13 in Baltimore and caught 6-of-8 targets for 85 yards.
Dulcich is currently the TE3 in half-PPR with one game left to play. He will likely be a fringe-TE1 next week with six teams on bye against the Chiefs, whose defense ranks 26th in pass DVOA.
Next three games: vs. Chiefs, vs. Cardinals, at Rams
Other tight ends to consider: Kylen Granson, Colts (1%), Jelani Woods, Colts (5%), Trey McBride, Cardinals (6%)