Fantasy Football Week 14: Rankings, Projections and Waiver-Wire Tips

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2021

Fantasy Football Week 14: Rankings, Projections and Waiver-Wire Tips

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    Week 14 in fantasy football provides top stars with some favorable matchups and under-the-radar players with opportunities to contribute to your team as you near the playoffs.

    For every Bears-owning Aaron Rodgers or Cardinals-splicing Cooper Kupp, there is a K.J. Osborn ready to step in and help the Vikings offense following the ankle injury star wide receiver Adam Thielen suffered Sunday or a Rashaad Penny making the most of his latest chance for playing time with Seattle.

    Ahead of the NFL's Week 14 slate, these are the 10 best players for your fantasy lineup in each of the skill positions, as well as some waiver-wire pickups who may well put you over the edge as you chase a fantasy league championship.

Quarterbacks

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    1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders
    2. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers vs. New York Giants
    3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans
    4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team
    5. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams
    6. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    7. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
    8. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
    9. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Buffalo Bills
    10. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals

                  

    Waiver-Wire Pickup: Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints

    Don't let Thursday's performance against the Dallas Cowboys scare you off from picking up New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill if you are looking for a starting QB in Week 14.

    Hill may be hampered by a middle-finger ligament injury—which was partially to blame for his four-interception night against the Cowboys—but with the league's third-worst rush defense in the New York Jets as the opposition, plus Hill's ability to run the rock, he is a worthy play.

    The Jets have given up 1,601 yards on the ground and 21 touchdowns. Even if he experiences difficulty throwing the ball, his rushing ability makes up for it and will still net you six points if (and when) he finds the goal line against the horrendous Jets defense.

    Typically with waiver-wire pickups, you want to exercise caution. However, this one feels like a sure thing given how the Jets made Gardner Minshew look like an all-world QB in his first start as a Philadelphia Eagle in Week 13.

Running Backs

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press
    1. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings
    2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants at Los Angeles Chargers
    3. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at Jets
    4. Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys
    5. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers vs. New York Giants
    6. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens
    7. Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
    8. Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
    9. Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals
    10. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions

                

    Waiver Wire Pickup: Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans

    The inconsistency in the Seattle Seahawks backfield is frustrating, for sure, but Rashaad Penny provided a glimpse of what he can do for the Seahawks run game when he stepped in for the injured Alex Collins in Week 13.

    Penny recorded 10 rushes for 35 yards and added a reception for a further 27. Those numbers will not blow anyone away, but his explosiveness proved problematic for a solid San Francisco 49ers defense and will be an event bigger problem for a much worse Houston Texans squad.

    Pick up Penny and stash him on your roster because if your running back matchup or depth is weak, give him a start and reap the rewards. As has been the case with just about anyone playing Houston this year, the opportunity for a big fantasy day will be there.

    Keep an eye on his production, though.

    If it appears the Seahawks will lean more heavily on Adrian Peterson in scoring situations, you will want to look elsewhere to help bolster your roster and bring valuable depth at the running back position.

Wide Receivers

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    1. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
    2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
    3. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
    4. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team
    5. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    6. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders
    7. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans
    8. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans
    9. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. New York Giants
    10. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings

                           

    Waiver Wire Pickup: K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

    Minnesota's losing Adam Thielen has opened up an opportunity for K.J. Osborn to rediscover an expanded role in the Vikings offense. Against the Lions, he caught four of seven targets for 47 yards and a TD.

    Facing a middle-of-the-pack Pittsburgh Steelers passing defense, he should find opportunities in Week 14, especially as Pittsburgh looks to take away second-year stud Justin Jefferson.

    Osborn is worth a third wide receiver/FLEX spot on your roster against Pittsburgh—and definitely the following week too with Chicago on the schedule.

    Pick up Osborn now because, with the uncertainty surrounding Thielen and his availability for Thursday's game against the Steelers and targets up for grabs in the Vikings' explosive passing game, he will net you points. He also will not be available too long if you drag your feet on him.

Tight Ends

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    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press
    1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Las Vegas Raiders
    2. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
    3. Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams
    4. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Buffalo Bills
    5. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    6. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals
    7. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos
    8. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
    9. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions
    10. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings

                

    Waiver Wire Pickup: Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

    There are few solid tight end pickup options on the waiver wire, so if Cole Kmet is available in your league, he is worth a look.

    The second-year player has become a safety blanket of sorts of Andy Dalton, who has no problem tossing the ball Kmet's way when he faces pressure. The tight end has been targeted 18 times over Chicago's past two games with the veteran quarterback at the helm and caught 11 of them for 106 yards.

    He has yet to score a touchdown, and his 87 yards against Pittsburgh in Week 9 represent the most he has achieved all season, so relying on him to be a starter on your team will only net you disappointment.

    In a PPR league, though, there are worse options for a one- or two-time fill-in than the former Notre Dame standout who, like everyone else on the Bears squad, has seen his numbers become a victim of bad offensive coaching and inconsistent quarterback play.

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