Fantasy Football Week 14: Waiver-Wire Targets to Avoid Heading into Playoffs

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IDecember 2, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 1: Tight end Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles dives unsuccessfully to make a catch as safety Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Arizona Cardinals looses his footing in the fourth quarter during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on December 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cardinals 24-21. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

After tinkering with lineups all year, fantasy owners heading further into their playoffs or just starting the first game will be looking for fantasy gold on the waiver wire.

This late in the year, locks at any position might be hard to find on waivers. Then there are a few that look too enticing to avoid but are truly not worthy of even warming the bench after one week of glory.

Here are a few waiver-wire targets to turn the other cheek on when looking to set fantasy lineups this weekend.

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 1: Quarterback Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns passes during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Brandon Weeden, Quarterback, Cleveland Browns

This should be a no-brainer, but after a week where the former Oklahoma State quarterback threw for 370 yards and three touchdowns, some fantasy owners might be willing to stake claim to Weeden simply because of having Josh Gordon as a wideout.

To say that Weeden is inconsistent is an understatement. Playing in just eight games this season, Weeden has barely been able to get over 15 points, doing so twice. Then there's the fact that he lost his job to a slew of other backup quarterbacks including Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer.

If owners still aren't convinced, Weeden actually suffered a concussion following his game on Sunday, per John Breech of

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 28: Joique Bell #35 of the Detroit Lions celebrates late in the fourth quarter of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on November 28, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Packers 40-10.  (Photo by Leon
Leon Halip/Getty Images


Joique Bell, Running back, Detroit Lions

The Detroit backfield might just be big enough for two fantasy starters, right? Wrong. Bell has had a few revelations this season and has had two double-digit games in the last three weeks, but he is still terribly inconsistent.

The fact that Bell hasn't been consistent this season is thanks to Reggie Bush. When Bush is healthy, he's been the No. 1 back for the Lions, and Bell has been used primarily at the end of the game or when Bush needs relief. As for many of those point totals, Mike Cairns of WEWS, the ABC affiliate in Cleveland, has the answer:

If the running back situation is in dire straits for fantasy owners who are worried about the health of Le'Veon Bell or Darren McFadden this week (Rashad Jennings owners included), Bell might be a last-ditch effort. But other than that, he's far from fantasy treasure in the playoffs.

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 1: Roddy White #84 of the Atlanta Falcons is tackled after catching a pass during an NFL game by Leodis McKelvin #21 of the Buffalo Bills at Rogers Centre on December 1, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Ima
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images


Roddy White, Wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons

Call me skeptical, but I'm still not convinced White is fully healthy and ready to be a starter in fantasy lineups. Remember when that guy in the league dropped White and another guy scooped him up only to drop him later? This late in the season, fantasy owners don't need a bench warmer in the playoffs.

The Falcons are also going against a porous Green Bay secondary that has dropped to 22nd in the league in passing yards allowed per game. That said, the emergence of Tony Gonzalez as an elite tight end again or even Steven Jackson as a RB2 or flex might be the better stories here.

White's 143-yard performance might be a sign of things to come, but the likelihood of White continuing his dominance during the fantasy playoffs remains to be seen.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 01:   Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates his touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals on December 1, 2013 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.The Philadelphia Eagles de
Elsa/Getty Images


Zach Ertz, Tight End, Philadelphia Eagles

After a sensational game against the Arizona Cardinals, Zach Ertz is bound to be a hot commodity this week for owners who are frustrated with production from guys like Jordan Cameron. Though his two-touchdown performance may look enticing, it's likely just an outlier for the young player.

Look at it this way, the Cardinals are giving up the most fantasy points to tight ends this season, and Brent Celek, the man whom Ertz would have to replace as the top tight end for Nick Foles, also caught a touchdown pass in the contest.

Ertz could likely be an extra weapon for the Eagles, but fantasy owners don't want guys who are the extra weapon; they want the only weapon. Philly also takes on the Detroit Lions this week, who look to be rushing the passer at an alarming rate and might cause issues for any sort of passing game for the Eagles.