Waiver Wire Watch: Week 14
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to announce the arrival of 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly), who will work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top waiver wire pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 13. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer ESPN leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
Owned in 47.9% of ESPN leagues, Dalton could be picked up now by playoff-bound owners and stashed away until Week 16, when the Red Rifle has a dream date vs. a hapless Minnesota pass defense that’s been disemboweled by opposing QBs all season. Dalton has cooled down since a torrid stretch in October when he strung together four consecutive 300-yard games and tossed 11 TD passes in a three-game span. Still, he’s thrown six TD passes over his last three games, and based on his history, we know that he won’t completely collapse until the postseason.
With a season-high three TD passes against the Eagles on Sunday, Palmer has now strung together five consecutive multiple-TD games. He’s also thrown for more than 300 yards in three straight games. With Michael Floyd coming into his own, Palmer has two terrific weapons at wide receiver, and opponents can’t afford to throw kitchen-sink coverage at Larry Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, Palmer’s remaining schedule is nettlesome. There’s no way you can start him in Seattle in Week 16, and the Rams and Titans haven’t been especially generous to opposing QBs in terms of fantasy points either. Still, the matchups against the Rams and Titans don’t fall into the “must-avoid” category.
Fitzgerald threw three interceptions Sunday in a loss to the Colts, but with a TD pass, a TD run, 201 passing yards and 54 rushing yards, his fantasy performance in Indy was by no means disastrous. His matchup against the Broncos this week is nice, and his matchup against the Jaguars in Week 16 is downright alluring.
Cutler is hoping to return from an ankle injury this week. McCown has been terrific in Cutler’s absence. In light of Cutler’s uncertain status, perhaps you should own both. You’ll be positioned to take advantage of highly favorable matchups against the Cowboys and Eagles. Bears head coach Marc Trestman has the passing game clicking, and WRs Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and TE Martellus Bennett give the Chicago quarterbacks a trio of outstanding weapons.