James White leads the Week 14 waiver wire
This is what we worked so hard for during the offseason, on draft day, and over the past 13 weeks — the playoffs. For nearly every fantasy football league, the postseason is here, or Week 14 is the last pivotal week before it kicks in.
Taking advantage of the waiver wire has hopefully been a key contributor to your playoff run. While it’s still important to proactively utilize waivers where you can, playoffs mean a different approach altogether.
Now it’s time for redraft owners to cut bait on injured players and future prospects you’ve been hoping would break out. Those valuable roster spots should be used to hand-cuff starting running backs and for matchup-based depth.
Keeper and dynasty owners should take a different approach. Where possible, roster under-performing rookies, as well as injured and suspended players that have produced in the past and could again. Think value for now, but also for next August.
All fantasy owners should pay attention to matchup advantages for the next two weeks. Think ahead. Don’t waste roster spots on backup quarterbacks, defenses, or kickers unless absolutely required. Also, blocking your playoff opponent by snagging a streaming quarterback or player they desperately need to insert into their lineup is fair game.
Whatever category you fit into, using any and all available free agency budget dollars for the postseason is integral to keeping the positive momentum going. After all, there are no prizes for holding onto the fake money, so let’s see who we can spend it on.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (ESPN 36% owned; 13% FAAB) – While Winston’s passing numbers are more solid than spectacular, he has supplemented his fantasy production nicely with five rushing touchdowns — which is second in the league among quarterbacks. In Week 13, Winston led Tampa to another win and finished as PFF’s number four signal-caller with a +6.8 overall grade. As for this week, Winston is a streamer’s dream, as the Bucs host a New Orleans secondary that is historically bad and looked hopeless in a futile Week 13 performance. Through 13 games, the Saints have allowed 37 total touchdowns to quarterbacks and will set the all-time record for that number before 2015 is over. For fantasy owners who have successfully streamed quarterbacks all year, or are looking at the fantastic matchup, Winston should be the priority-add this week.
Jody Smith is a 25-year fantasy football veteran, author of “Welcome to the Machine,” and was named FantasyPro’s Most Accurate Expert in 2012. He can be reached on Twitter @JodySmithNFL.