Fantasy Football Week 14 Waiver Wire: James Cook and More Top Free-Agent Adds

Alex KayContributor IDecember 6, 2022

Fantasy Football Week 14 Waiver Wire: James Cook and More Top Free-Agent Adds

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    Buffalo Bills running back James Cook (28) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
    AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

    The 2022 fantasy football regular season may nearly be at its end, but it’s still a critical time to be active on the waiver wire.

    Several widely available free agents could elevate your team in the playoffs. Most of these players may not be the type of talent that can win weeks regularly, but they could save your season if a starter goes down with an injury.

    It’s important to accumulate all the depth you can for a postseason push, so check out these five top waiver-wire pickups heading into Week 14 and add them to your roster if possible. All suggestions are rostered in 50 percent or less of Yahoo leagues.

Tyler Huntley, QB, Baltimore Ravens (1 Percent Rostered)

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    BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 04: Tyler Huntley #2 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: $5,500

    Lamar Jackson has been one of the best quarterbacks in fantasy this season, but his managers may have to prepare for life without the Baltimore Ravens star.

    Jackson went down with a knee injury on the final play of the first quarter during a matchup with the Denver Broncos on Sunday. While the signal-caller's ailment isn't believed to be season-ending, head coach John Harbaugh told reporters it could be "days to weeks" before Jackson can return.

    While Harbaugh said Jackson's status will have more clarity by Wednesday, fantasy managers will want to secure backup Tyler Huntley on waivers as soon as possible.

    Huntley helped guide Baltimore to a 10-9 victory and scored 15.6 fantasy points in three quarters Sunday. It was the 24-year-old's first significant action of the 2022 campaign, but he's shown he can produce decent fantasy numbers in the past.

    Huntley averaged over 17 fantasy points during the five games he filled in for an injured Jackson last year and offers strong upside as a dual-threat quarterback who should see plenty of volume as a QB1.

    The Utah product completed 27 of 32 passes for 187 yards and rushed 10 times for 41 yards and a score in Week 13. He threw at least 31 times in all five games where he saw significant playing time last season and averaged nearly nine totes in those contests.

    Jackson's managers shouldn't be the only ones who put a claim in for Huntley. Anyone unsatisfied with their production from the quarterback position could benefit from the boost Huntley can provide, at least while he's starting.

Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams (46 Percent Rostered)

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    Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers runs the ball for a first down during the first half of an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
    AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

    DraftKings DFS Value: $5,400

    Cam Akers, like most of the skill-position players on the defending champion Los Angeles Rams, has been a major fantasy disappointment in 2022.

    Although Akers came into Week 13 with a meager 35.2 fantasy points on the year—ranking No. 67 among running backs—he had a resurgent performance against the Seattle Seahawks and has an opportunity to finish the campaign on a high note.

    The 23-year-old provided a spark to a slumping L.A. offense that hadn't scored more than 20 points since Week 6. Akers rushed 17 times for 60 yards and scored two touchdowns, finishing the day with 19.0 PPR points after accounting for his single reception that went for zero yards.

    While the Rams suffered a 27-23 defeat to their NFC West rivals—Los Angeles’ sixth consecutive loss—it appears Akers is in firm control of the club’s backfield.

    Kyren Williams, the rookie who was steadily seeing more work over his first three games back from an injury, was relegated to three totes and gained just nine yards.

    Given Akers logged a season-high 46 offensive snaps and Williams saw the field for only 18, it looks like fantasy managers should rely on Akers down the stretch.

    Managers may want to temper expectations after he averaged just 3.5 yards per carry this weekend, but he should put up respectable numbers if he continues to see similar volume over the final four games of 2022.

James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills (23 Percent Rostered)

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    Buffalo Bills running back James Cook (28) breaks a tackle by New York Jets' Quincy Williams (56) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    AP Photo/John Minchillo

    DraftKings DFS Value: $4,600

    The Buffalo Bills may have one of the NFL's more explosive offenses, but the club hasn't been a great source of fantasy production at running back.

    Devin Singletary has been the most reliable back on the roster—averaging 11.7 PPR points per game—but James Cook could soon usurp the starter as Buffalo's top point producer.

    The rookie seems to have gained the coaching staff's trust, earning a career-high 32 offensive snaps against the rival New England Patriots in Week 13. Cook logged nearly the same number of offensive plays as Singletary—who saw 33 snaps—on Thursday and out-touched the veteran for just the second time.

    Cook was the most productive of Buffalo's backs, generating 64 yards on 14 carries and adding 41 yards through the air, catching all six of his targets. Singletary wasn't a factor in the passing game—he failed to reel in either of his two looks—but found the end zone on the ground while rushing 13 times for 51 yards.

    While the timeshare will make it difficult for either back to separate and become a high-end fantasy performer, Cook's increasing role makes him a must-roster for at least a bench option in all formats and a strong flex play in deeper leagues.

    With two upcoming home games and the cold December weather setting in, expect Buffalo's backfield tandem to get enough usage to make both players fantasy-relevant.

Jahan Dotson, WR, Washington Commanders (15 Percent Rostered)

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    HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 20: Jahan Dotson #1 of the Washington Commanders runs with the ball in the first quarter of a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
    Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

    DraftKings DFS Value: N/A (Bye)

    Jahan Dotson began his NFL career hot, but the rookie wideout has been quiet since the start of October.

    The Penn State product tallied nine catches on 18 targets for 109 yards and three touchdowns over his first three games but has since missed a handful of weeks with injury and struggled to get on the same page with his quarterback when he has been available.

    That changed in Week 13 when the 22-year-old saw a career-high nine targets and hauled in five of them for 54 yards and his first score since Week 4.

    It may be tough to trust the speedy playmaker after his latest performance came on the heels of a one-target, zero-catch showing, but the upside for Dotson to put up huge numbers is undeniable.

    The wideout has game-breaking talent and should showcase more of it as he establishes rapport with quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who threw a season-high 41 times in Sunday’s 20-20 tie with the New York Giants.

    If Washington continues to air it out—Heinicke hadn’t thrown more than 29 times in the four games leading up to Week 13—Dotson should benefit from the increased volume.

    While managers won't want to rely on Dotson as anything more than a high-ceiling WR4 until he displays more consistency, he's well worth grabbing even as the Commanders head into a Week 14 bye.

    If Dotson can come out of the break strong—quite likely given Washington has another matchup with the G-Men waiting on the other side—this rookie could help his managers flourish in the fantasy playoffs.

Daniel Bellinger, TE, New York Giants (2 Percent Rostered)

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    New York Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger (82) runs a route during an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
    AP Photo/Gary McCullough

    DraftKings DFS Value: $3,300

    The tight end position in fantasy remains bereft of reliable talent, but Daniel Bellinger was starting to stand out for the consistent number of catches he was securing before a four-game injury layoff.

    In the four games prior to going down with an eye injury in Week 7, the rookie averaged 3.5 receptions on four targets for 30.8 yards per game. The Giants tight end returned in Week 13 and picked up where he left off, matching his career best with five catches against the Commanders.

    While Bellinger isn't posting big yardage—he had just 24 yards Sunday—he has scored three touchdowns during his fledging career and carved out a stable role in Big Blue's offense. He tied for the third-most targets on the team Sunday, ranking only behind Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins in looks.

    Given the lack of TE talent available on waivers and his decent floor in PPR formats, Bellinger could help swing a close matchup if you have been forced to stream high-risk, low-reward free agents at the position.

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