Several weeks of tinkering with rosters, combing for waiver wire pickups, and concocting trades finally paid off for all of you who’ve clinched a fantasy football playoff spot. Still, there’s plenty of work left for playoff-bound team owners before taking home the title. The waiver wire can be your friend.
For those who’ve been officially eliminated, you’re not going to lose some more in the consolation rounds to your buddies, right? Take a look at some of the names below who can help you with that too.
10. Johnny Holton– Oakland Raiders WR (0.9% owned in ESPN Leagues)
Holton was expected to see increased opportunities in the Raiders’ passing attack last Sunday against the New York Giants with Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper both out. That’s exactly what Holton got.
Holton was targeted by Derek Carr seven times against the Giants, which was more than the combined targets he got in all of Oakland’s previous 11 games. Holton finished the game with just 39 yards on only three receptions, but he had a touchdown.
While Crabtree is bound to return to the lineup after a one-game suspension, Cooper might take some more time to recover from an ankle injury and a concussion, meaning there’s a chance Holton could still get looks from Carr this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
9. Peyton Barber – Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB (1.5% owned in ESPN Leagues)
The consensus heading into last Sunday’s match against the Green Bay Packers was that the Bucs will satisfy Jacquizz Rodgers with a huge volume of carries with Doug Martin out due to a concussion. Instead, it was Peyton Barber, initially thought to play as Rodgers’ backup in that game, that led the way for Tampa Bay, getting 23 carries while finishing with 102 rushing yards.
Rodgers, meanwhile, only had three rushing attempts for 25 yards. It’s uncertain whether Martin will be back in action for this Sunday’s tilt with the Detroit Lions, so if Barber is still floating around your league’s waiver wire, don’t hesitate to grab him.
8. Kerwynn Williams – Arizona Cardinals RB (5.4% owned in ESPN Leagues)
Latest reports indicate that there’s a big chance that Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson won’t suit up for Week 14’s game against the Tennessee Titans, which means that Kerwynn Williams continues to be a relevant name, at least in terms of fantasy value. Peterson’s absence against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday paved the way for Williams to accumulate 97 rushing yards on 16 carries. He’ll enjoy the same heavy workload should Peterson miss another outing.
7. Dontrelle Inman– Chicago Bears WR (6.2% owned in ESPN Leagues)
Since being shipped to Chicago by the L.A. Chargers, Inman has become one of the few good fantasy pieces on a Bears team that has now lost five games in a row. While Inman caught just two passes on two targets for a mere 21 receiving yards (though he did catch his first touchdown as a Bear) last Sunday versus the San Francisco 49ers, he remains Chicago’s No. 1 threat downfield, and a light workload in a meaningless match against the Niners won’t change his standing atop the pecking order of the Bears’ passing game.
6. Dede Westbrook – Jacksonville Jaguars WR (10.5% owned in ESPN Leagues)
It’s getting harder and harder to ignore Westbrook on the waivers. In three games since making a delayed pro debut due to an abdomen injury, the rookie wideout has managed to snag 15 catches on 25 targets for 154 yards.
That includes his performance in last Sundays’ win over the Indianapolis Colts in which he drew nine targets, caught six, and finished with 78 receiving yards. Allen Hurns’ status remains up in the air as he has yet to practice since sustaining a sprained right ankle in Week 10, so Westbrook should continue to be rostered, if not picked up from the waiver wire.
5. Green Bay Packers – D/ST (14.0% owned in ESPN Leagues)
The Packers are up against the hapless Cleveland Browns this week. There’s nothing more left to say.
4. Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers QB (14.5% owned in ESPN Leagues)
Garoppolo finally made his first start under center as a Niner last Sunday, throwing for 293 yards on 26 of 37 passes. He didn’t score a touchdown and had an interception (after getting tipped), but he’s fared enough to warrant attention, especially with San Francisco scheduled to face the Houston Texans’ secondary that is allowing the 23rd most passing yards per game this season. Garoppolo isn’t a sexy waiver pick up, but you could do much worse at QB.
3. Marquise Goodwin – San Francisco 49ers WR (15.2% owned in ESPN Leagues)
As Garoppolo makes another start in Week 14, there’s a sudden surge of excitement among the 49ers receiving corps. That includes Marquise Goodwin, who appears to already have excellent chemistry with the quarterback given that the wideout plucked down all of Garoppolo’s eight passes to him in last Sunday’s win over the Bears. Goodwin concluded the day with a game-high 99 receiving yards. He should pose trouble for Houston’s unimposing stop unit come Sunday.
2. Mike Wallace – Baltimore Ravens WR (33.8% owned in ESPN Leagues)
For the third game in a row and fifth overall this season, Mike Wallace led the Ravens in receiving yards when he caught five of eight targets and converted them to 116 yards during last Sunday’s 44-20 bludgeoning of the Detroit Lions. The Ravens will be up against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ tough defense next week, but who knows how Wallace will perform at Heinz Field, which used to be his stomping grounds.
1. Jermaine Kearse – New York Jets WR (39.35 owned in ESPN Leagues)
Before everyone went head over heels on Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse was the must-have Jets wide receiver. Kearse reminded us why he should still be owned after going off for 157 receiving yards on nine catches in last Sunday’s victory against the spiraling out of control Kansas City Chiefs. Opposing defenses appear to be focusing too much on Anderson, opening some opportunities for Kearse downfield. The 27-year-old wideout is going to be a nice addition to your bench, and depending on the matchup, could be played as a WR2 or flex.