By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston)– Well folks, the time has finally arrived: the fantasy postseason is here.
After a long, hard-fought 13 weeks, the regular season is officially over. The playoffs are set, and now the only thing between you and your league championship is a few wins.
It’s been a roller coaster of a season. But regardless of everything that has happened over the last three months, all that matters now are the next couple of weeks.
Whether you’re gearing up for a first round matchup or have a bye and are preparing for next week, the waiver wire piece is here to help you bring home your fantasy championship.
With that said, here are the top waiver wire adds of the week heading into Week 14.
QB Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts- Rivers had a slow start to his tenure in Indianapolis, throwing for multiple touchdowns in only two of his first nine games with the Colts. In the last three outings, Rivers has at least two touchdown passes in every contest with seven overall, all while averaging 289.3 passing yards per game. Rivers has two strong matchups on deck; first, the Colts will travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders in Week 14. They then will welcome the Houston Texans to Indy in Week 15 before traveling to Pittsburgh in Week 16. While the Steelers matchup is one to avoid, Rivers is firmly on the streaming radar for his next two matchups.
QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles- Doug Pederson has not yet fully committed to Hurts getting the
start for the Eagles in Week 14, but it’s sure looking like that is where Philadelphia is heading. Coming into the game in relief for Carson Wentz this past Sunday, Hurts completed 5 of 12 passes for 109 yards, a touchdown and an interception, adding five carries for 29 yards. The Saints are not an appealing matchup in Week 14, but in Weeks 15 and 16, Philadelphia will take on the Cardinals and Cowboys. While you don’t want to throw Hurts into your lineup in Week 14, he could be a very valuable QB add for Weeks 15 and beyond if the Eagles commit to Hurts as their quarterback for the rest of the season. Add Hurts now and stash him for the final two weeks of the fantasy postseason.
RB Ty Johnson, New York Jets- Johnson got his first extended action of the season this past Sunday, and despite running behind the Jets offensive line, he actually looked great. The second-year running back registered a career-high 22 carries, gaining 104 yards (4.7-yard avg.) with a touchdown while catching two passes for 13 yards. The Jets travel to Seattle for a Week 14 matchup against the Seahawks. While Seattle will be looking to bounce back in a big way from their Week 13 loss to the Giants, they did allow Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris to combine for 174 yards on 24 carries (7.3-yard avg.). Starting anyone on the Jets always comes with some risk, but Johnson looks to be set up nicely for another solid performance in Week 14 if Frank Gore (concussion) is unable to suit up.
RB Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions- This one comes with a caveat. The never-aging Peterson has not necessarily looked great running the ball for the Lions the last couple of weeks. However, in each of the last two games, Peterson has topped 50 rushing yards while finding the end zone twice. But prior to the four touchdowns in the last two weeks, Peterson hadn’t scored since Week 6. If D’Andre Swift remains sidelined with his concussion (a possibility considering he’s already missed three games because of it), Peterson will remain a strong streaming option for the next two weeks. Detroit has two consecutive matchups against poor run defenses coming up, as the Lions play the Packers in Week 14 and Titans in Week 15. For as long as Swift is out, Peterson should stay in fantasy lineups.
RB Cordarrelle Patterson, Chicago Bears- David Montgomery is enjoying a bit of a breakout himself, but Patterson’s Week 13 performance cannot be ignored. For just the second time all season, Patterson recorded double digit carries. Going up against the Lions in Week 13, the veteran ran the ball 10 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Montgomery will continue to lead the Bears’ backfield in touches, but Patterson looks like he will hold some fantasy value himself. The Bears have an amazing remaining schedule for the two running backs, as each of their next three opponents rank in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing backs (Houston, Minnesota, Jacksonville). If anything were to happen to Montgomery, Patterson could potentially end up being a league-winner. If you have an extra roster spot, roll the dice and snag Patterson now.
WR Keke Coutee, Houston Texans- Will Fuller was putting together his strongest season in the NFL before a suspension last week ended his season. With Fuller done for the year, Coutee stepped into a bigger role in Week 13 and went off. The third-year receiver was targeted a team-high nine times and led the Texans with eight receptions for 141 yards. Despite some tough upcoming matchups (Bears and Colts in Weeks 14 and 15), a top receiving option for Deshaun Watson needs to be owned and in your lineup. Brandin Cooks will likely have some bigger games than Coutee, but as we’ve seen with Watson, he can certainly make two receivers startable in fantasy. Coutee also returned kicks for Houston on Sunday, meaning there is always the chance he could bust one loose for a touchdown to provide fantasy owners with a little cherry on top.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts- For over a month now, many people have talked about a possible late-season surge for Hilton. The veteran has been in the middle of the worst season of his career, and seemed unable to get it going with Philip Rivers under center. However, that narrative has changed in recent weeks, and on Sunday, Hilton had his best game of the year. Hilton caught eight passes on 11 targets, finishing with 110 yards and a touchdown. He has now topped 80 yards and a touchdown in each of the last two games, and with Indy’s upcoming schedule, he should continue his success into the fantasy postseason. Hilton gets the Raiders in Week 14 and the Texans again in Week 15, making him a near must-start for the first two rounds of the fantasy playoffs. If someone had previously given up on Hilton and cut him from their roster, make sure you claim him now and ride his late-season success for the next few weeks.
WR Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns- Higgins made this list following the season-ending injury to Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 7, but has largely been made fantasy irrelevant ever since. But in Cleveland’s big Week 13 win over the Titans, Higgins reminded fantasy owners just what he’s capable of doing when Baker Mayfield and the Browns passing game is clicking. Higgins reeled in six passes on nine targets for 95 yards and a touchdown, his first score since Week 6. There’s no doubt that the Browns would prefer to pound the ball on the ground each week, but as we saw this past Sunday, Mayfield is capable of stepping up and putting the team on his back. The Browns have a tough opponent next week as they take on the Ravens on Monday. After the division game, Cleveland will travel to East Rutherford, NJ to take on both teams that call MetLife Stadium home. While the Giants don’t look like such an easy matchup anymore, fantasy owners couldn’t ask for a better foe than the Jets in Week 16. Higgins could come up big for fantasy owners in the playoffs.
TE Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears- Let me start this off by saying there are no great tight end options on the waiver wire this week. The tight end position has been rather thin all season, and Week 13 did not see any new names go off. But Kmet has seen his playing time increase significantly in the last three games, and on Sunday, the rookie tight end was able to reel in his first touchdown since Week 6. Kmet finished the game with five catches on seven targets for 37 yards and the touchdown. The biggest thing going for Kmet is Chicago’s remaining schedule- with matchups against Houston, Minnesota and Jacksonville coming up, Kmet could fill in nicely as a TE streamer for the fantasy postseason.
TE Anthony Firkser, Tennessee Titans- This is another one where I advise you to take this recommendation with a grain of salt. Firkser put up solid numbers against the Browns in Week 13, catching five of the seven balls thrown his way for 51 yards. Jonnu Smith missed this contest with a knee injury, and it remains to be seen how long he will remain sidelined. If Smith is unable to go next week, Firkser will find himself back on the streaming radar in Week 14 as the Titans get the Jaguars in fantasy’s opening round of the playoffs. If Smith misses the game in Week 15 too, then Firkser will be the top tight end for a good matchup against the Lions. This is a situation to monitor throughout the week, but for those in desperate need of a tight end, Firkser could be a solid option if Smith is unable to suit up.
DST Tennessee Titans- Admittedly, the Titans defense has not looked great on a consistent basis throughout the season. They were just lit up by Baker Mayfield and the Browns for 41 points and looked pretty awful along the way. But Tennessee is still fighting for a playoff spot, and their next two opponents are perfect get-right candidates for Mike Vrabel’s unit. The Titans will take on the Jaguars in Week 14 and the Lions in Week 15. For those of you that have been streaming defenses all season and can’t get the 49ers, the Titans are a nice fallback option.