Week 14 Free Agent Focus
Here are our top waiver-wire recommendations across fantasy football formats, based on players available in more than half of ESPN leagues. Make sure you check your Free Agent Finder for the best available options in your specific league.
Jared Goff, QB, Lions
Blind-bid recommendation: 10-20%
Goff followed a 240-2-0 passing line on Thanksgiving with a 340-2-0 in Sunday’s win over the Jaguars.
Detroit’s offense is as healthy as it’s been all season, so it’s no surprise that Goff’s production has spiked. The Jacksonville game featured RB D’Andre Swift returning to his full role for the 1st time since Week 2. That included tying for 2nd on the team in targets, a week after ranking #2 by himself against Buffalo.
Detroit has also seen WR D.J. Chark return to starter status over the past 2 weeks. And Sunday marked the debut of 1st-round rookie WR Jameson Williams. He played sparingly and didn’t log a target, but the speedy youngster can only add upside to the passing game as his presence grows.
Now Goff gets a Minnesota defense that has allowed 369 yards to Mike White and 382 to Mac Jones over just the past 2 weeks. For the year, the Vikings have allowed the 6th most fantasy points to QBs.
Goff looks like 1 of the best streaming options for Week 14. We wouldn’t plan to play him in Week 15 at the Jets, though.
Zonovan Knight, RB, Jets
Blind-bid recommendation: 50-100%
As we projected, Knight operated as New York’s lead back in the narrow loss at Minnesota, carrying 15 times for 90 yards and catching all 5 of his targets for 28 yards. RBs James Robinson and Ty Johnson combined for 5 carries and 7 targets.
The big question now: What happens when Michael Carter returns?
Knight seems like he has played well enough the past 2 weeks to at least split the backfield going forward. The Jets indicated as much by playing him clearly ahead of veterans Robinson and Johnson on Sunday. But the team does like Carter.
How much? He opened the year ahead of Breece Hall. But that eventually shifted, and Carter has continued to split carries in the wake of Hall’s injury. Knight should at least split there. But he has also performed well as a receiver. Among 35 RBs who have seen 5+ targets over the past 2 weeks, Knight ranks 3rd in Pro Football Focus receiving grade. (Granted, that has come against 2 weak defenses: Bears and Vikings.)
At the least, Knight should remain a RB3 option going forward. There’s room for him to produce RB2 numbers even with Carter back, though, especially with 6 teams on bye in Week 14. And if Carter misses further time or tweaks his sprained ankle again, Knight might be tough to keep out of fantasy lineups.
The chance that Carter misses at least another week pushes Knight ahead of the next guy on this list.
James Cook, RB, Bills
Blind-bid recommendation: 50-80%
The rookie led Buffalo with 14 carries and 64 yards in Thursday night’s win over the Patriots. Cook also paced the backfield with 6 targets, 6 catches and 41 receiving yards. He trailed RB Devin Singletary by just 1 snap (33 to 32) and led the RBs with 15 pass routes.
This figures to remain a committee backfield, but Cook has a shot to lead Bills RBs in fantasy points the rest of the way. This week presents a tough Jets defense, but the matchup has been worse for QBs and WRs than for RBs.
Perhaps we see Buffalo lean on RBs a bit more than usual. Josh Allen targeted RBs on 10 of his 34 attempts in the Week 9 meeting, with Singletary (5) tying for 2nd on the team in targets and Cook (4) tying for 4th.
Cam Akers, RB, Rams
Blind-bid recommendation: 30-50%
After playing behind RB Kyren Williams last week, it was Akers’ turn as lead back against the Seahawks. He carried 17 times for 60 yards and 2 TDs, while Williams finished with just 3 carries for 9 yards.
This backfield has been difficult to project – and largely unproductive – all season, so Akers isn’t a great option moving forward. But he’s at least worth rostering if he was dropped in your league. The Rams get a bad Raiders defense this Thursday night.
Joshua Kelley, RB, Chargers
Blind-bid recommendation: 20-30%
A week after returning from injury, Kelley operated as the clear #2 RB in Sunday's loss to the Raiders. He played 32 snaps to Austin Ekeler's 45, while neither Isaiah Spiller nor Sony Michel saw the field at all. We mentioned Kelley as a pickup in this space last week. The most recent evidence only solidifies that further.
Jordan Mason, RB, 49ers
Blind-bid recommendation: 20-25%
Mason was tabbed as the Elijah Mitchell replacement vs. Miami on Sunday, carrying 8 times for 51 yards. Fellow rookie RB Tyrion Davis-Price didn’t record a touch.
Mason remains a weak fantasy play behind RB Christian McCaffrey – but he’s just 1 more injury away from a significant role.
Darius Slayton, WR, Giants
Blind-bid recommendation: 15-20%
Remember when the Giants reportedly shopped Slayton earlier this year?
Turns out, they were wise (lucky?) to keep him. The veteran has rolled up 58+ yards in 6 straight, a stretch that most recently includes 6-90 (on 8 targets) against Washington.
Week 14 turns up a tough Eagles defense. After that, though, comes a rematch with Washington’s beatable secondary.
D.J. Chark, WR, Lions
Blind-bid recommendation: 10-15%
Chark caught 5 balls for 98 yards in Sunday’s lopsided win over the Jaguars, his 3rd game back from injury. He led the team in routes, running 1 on all but 2 of QB Jared Goff’s 43 dropbacks.
Round 1 rookie Jameson Williams actually made his debut in this one, but he was eased in with only 8 snaps (11%). His role will grow going forward, but we don’t expect a major uptick in usage right away coming off the ACL tear.
Next comes a positive matchup with the Vikings. Minnesota’s allowed the most catches and yards to opposing WRs this season.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Raiders
Blind-bid recommendation: 5-10%
Renfrow is eligible to return from IR this week. Vegas plays on Thursday night, though, and we wouldn’t count on the slot man returning against the Rams.
Renfrow’s chances of returning for Week 15 look strong, however. And while he’s struggled this year prior to the oblique injury, Renfrow’s history says he could be a PPR asset down the stretch.
If your league has a deep bench, consider stashing the 26-year-old. He's only owned in 31% of ESPN leagues.
Greg Dulcich, TE, Broncos
Blind-bid recommendation: 15-20%
Dulcich broke out of a 3-game slump with 6 catches for 85 yards in Week 13. The rookie tallied 5 grabs for 55 yards at halftime.
In total, he garnered 8 targets — a team-high 36.3% share. Note that Sunday’s outburst came with Jerry Jeudy back from an ankle injury. Week 14 turns up a Chiefs matchup that could easily keep the target volume high. (As of this writing, Denver's installed as 9-point underdogs.) Plus, the Broncos might be without Courtland Sutton, who’s dealing with a hamstring injury.