Fantasy Football Week 14 Waiver Wire: Top Available Players for the Playoff Push

Alex KayContributor IDecember 7, 2021

Fantasy Football Week 14 Waiver Wire: Top Available Players for the Playoff Push

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    This fantasy football season has been shaped by a stream of injuries. With starters constantly going down, managers could reliably look to the waiver wire to identify at least short-term solutions to patch weak points on their rosters.

    In Week 14, there were only a handful of notable injuries to key fantasy contributors.

    The lack of promising free-agent talent this week could be concerning for managers who don't have rock-solid lineups in place for the upcoming fantasy playoffs. There are still a handful of viable players to target on waivers, but the pickings are slimmer than usual.

    If you need to plug a hole to get ready for a championship run, be sure to key in on one of the few standout talents still available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

QB Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (34 Percent Rostered)

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    DK DFS Value: $5,600

    The New Orleans Saints finally gave Taysom Hill his first start at quarterback in 2021. Although the team lost for the fifth consecutive time, the 31-year-old veteran put together a respectable fantasy outing Thursday despite throwing four interceptions.

    While his passing left a lot to be desired against a beatable Dallas Cowboys secondary (just 19-of-41 for 264 yards), he did find the end zone twice.

    Hill is now dealing with a finger injury that lowers his throwing upside. He reportedly suffered "mallet finger," the type of issue that kept Russell Wilson sidelined for roughly a month earlier this year.

    But his legs could make still make him a league-winning pickup. The dual-threat signal-caller kept Dallas' defense off balance, rushing 11 times for 101 yards.

    Hill is expected to try to play through the injury, so if he remains the starter, he'll get an enviable matchup with the New York Jets in Week 14. New York ranks in the bottom five in both passing defense (263.4 yards allowed per game) and rushing defense (133.4) while allowing an NFL-worst 30.6 points per contest.

    QB-needy managers will want to monitor Hill's status closely this week. He could be well worth a waiver-wire claim and fantasy start in Week 14.

RB Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (6 Percent Rostered)

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    Steph Chambers/Getty Images

    DK DFS Value: $4,800

    After years of injuries that have set back his career significantly, Rashaad Penny finally seems to be healthy and ready to take on a large role in the Seattle Seahawks offense.

    While Adrian Peterson—the 36-year-old veteran Seattle recently picked up off the free-agent pile—earned more totes Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, he was ineffective with them. He accumulated a meager 16 yards on 11 carries.

    Penny didn't look like a world-beater on his 10 carries, but he proved to be the team's most efficient back by taking them for 35 yards. He also added an impressive 27-yard reception on his only target.

    It was the first time since December 2019 that Penny had at least 10 touches in a contest.

    Peterson's presence will hinder Penny's scoring upside, as he seems poised to pick up much of the short-yardage and goal-line work, but there's potential for the fourth-year veteran to do some damage.

    The pillow-soft Houston Texans defense is up in Week 14. The unit has allowed more rushing yards per game (144.2) than any other team and has conceded the second-most scores on the ground (20) this season.

RB Dontrell Hilliard, Tennessee Titans (40 Percent Rostered)

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    DK DFS Value: $5,300

    You know there haven't been a lot of injuries in a given week when one of the best waiver-wire pickups didn't even play Sunday.

    The Tennessee Titans had Week 13 off, giving Dontrell Hilliard a chance to rest after he exploded for 131 yards and a score on just 12 carries against the New England Patriots in Week 12.

    The running back joined the team in late November to provide backfield depth in the wake of Derrick Henry's foot injury but has quickly emerged as the team's best option at the position.

    He saw his first action with Tennessee in Week 11, piling up 82 yards on 15 touches. Hilliard was especially valuable for the few PPR managers who took a flier on him against the Texans that week, as eight of his touches came on receptions.

    While Hilliard only caught one of his two targets against New England, he proved he could be a significant contributor as a runner in that contest.

    The Titans ultimately felt confident enough in Hilliard's abilities to release Adrian Peterson—another veteran they signed to try to replace Henry—following the Houston game.

    Although Hilliard will still have to compete with D'Onta Foreman for touches—Foreman had a productive game in Week 12 too, going off for 109 yards on 19 carries—there should be plenty of backfield work to go around against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14.

    While both Titans backs should be rostered ahead of the contest (Foreman is rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues), Hilliard has the clear edge in PPR formats and still more upside in standard leagues after he received more targets than Foreman by a 12-2 margin over the last two games.   

WR Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (34 Percent Rostered)

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    DK DFS Value: $5,700

    The Atlanta Falcons have had a tough time throwing the ball in 2021. The team is understandably struggling after trading Julio Jones in the offseason and losing Calvin Ridley to a leave of absence midway through the campaign.

    Despite those woes, Russell Gage has quietly filled Atlanta's receiving void over the last few weeks.

    The fourth-year wideout had an incredible outing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, catching 11 of 12 targets for career highs in receptions and receiving yards (130).

    It was the second straight week in which Gage scored at least 10 PPR points. He had a six-catch, 62-yard, one-touchdown showing in Week 12.

    Gage may come down to earth a bit in Week 14 against the NFC South rival Carolina Panthers—no team has allowed fewer passing yards per game this year (176.7)—but should still be considered a WR3 with upside because of sheer volume alone.

    If Gage can find success against Carolina, managers should fire him up with confidence during a fantasy playoff stretch that includes meetings with the 49ers, Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills.   

WR K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings (4 Percent Rostered)

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    Duane Burleson/Associated Press

    DK DFS Value: $3,500

    Adam Thielen went down with a left ankle injury on the Minnesota Vikings' first drive against the Lions on Sunday, opening the door for K.J. Osborn to take over as the team's No. 2 receiving option behind Justin Jefferson.

    While Osborn didn't have a monster outing, the second-year pro did find the end zone while reeling in four of his seven targets for 47 yards.

    Thielen is likely to remain sidelined in Week 14 because of the high ankle sprain, meaning Osborn should be in line for some production that could rival his early-season performances.

    The 24-year-old started the first two games of the year, generating 12 catches on 15 targets for 167 yards and a score in that span.

    The Vikings have a quick turnaround when they face the Steelers on Thursday Night Football, and the Pittsburgh defense ranks in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers.

    If you were relying on Thielen or need some help at the WR position for the playoffs, Osborn is a solid option with a decent floor while he's serving as Minnesota's No. 2 wideout.


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