Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire options that are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. I’ll list any players at the top who are above the 50% threshold (or are household names) but are still somewhat widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.
Higher-Owned Options: Ryan Tannehill (Ten, 47%), Derek Carr (Oak, 45%), Philip Rivers (LAC, 57%)
None of note. Hopefully, you have a top-18 option at this point in the season. If not, check out below…
Mitchell Trubisky (Chi, 19%) — Don’t look now but Trubisky has hung 19+ fantasy points in four of his last five games, including a season-best 33 FP against the Cowboys on TNF in Week 14. He completed 23/31 passes for 244 yards, three TDs, and one INT while adding 10/63/1 rushing to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Allen Robinson has been dominant all season but Trubisky’s recent improved play has coincided with Anthony Miller’s second-half emergence. Trubisky has also improved in the second half of the year because HC Matt Nagy stopped trying to hide him and he started playcalling to Trubisky’s strengths by getting him on the move and letting him run. Trubisky obviously isn’t easy to trust but he’s back on the radar as a QB2 down the stretch (@GB, vs. KC).
Kyle Allen (Car, 17%) — Allen had a brutal stretch between Weeks 8-11, throwing nine INTs to just three TDs in a four-game span. At least for fantasy, he’s rebounded with 23+ fantasy points in three consecutive games after posting 293 yards, one TD, and two INTs while adding 6/24/1 rushing against the Falcons. It doesn’t hurt that D.J. Moore has emerged as a WR1 and, of course, he has Christian McCaffrey making plays in the passing game, as well. Allen has a solid playoff schedule (vs. Sea, @Ind) so he’s back on the streaming radar. However, it should be noted that they could give Will Grier a look at some point down the stretch
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Mia, 10%) — Fitz is going to be a low-end streaming option this week in a good matchup against the Giants but he could be without his top two wide receivers DeVante Parker (concussion) and Albert Wilson (concussion). Fitz topped 25+ fantasy points in two consecutive games in Weeks 12-13 and he led the Dolphins on six scoring drives against the Jets in Week 14. Unfortunately, all six scoring drives resulted in field goals as Fitz completed 21/37 passes for 245 yards and one INT but he did add 7/65 rushing. You know the risks when using Fitz on this bad Dolphins team but his schedule is pretty cushy the next two weeks (@NYG, vs. Cin) and the Dolphins are slinging it right now because they have absolutely no running game.
Jacoby Brissett (Ind, 37%) — Brissett threw for multiple TD passes in each of his first four games this season but he’s cooled off recently with multiple passing scores in just two of his last seven completed games. Brissett has been handcuffed recently with T.Y. Hilton (calf) and Eric Ebron (ankle, IR) missing time and Chester Rogers left Week 13 early with a knee injury. Playing with a shell of a receiving corps, Brissett completed 19/36 passes for 251 yards and two TDs while adding 26 rushing yards in a loss to the Buccaneers in Week 14. Brissett gets tougher matchups the next two weeks (@NO, vs. Car) and he’s hard to completely trust if Hilton can’t return to the lineup this week.
Drew Lock (Den, 2%) — Lock, a second-round pick this spring, has been a pleasant surprise with a 2-0 start to his career as a starter. He stunned the Texans in Week 14 by completing 22/27 passes for 309 yards, three TDs, and one INT while adding 15 rushing yards. Lock has a pretty favorable playoff schedule (@KC, vs. Det) if you’re digging deep in two-QB leagues and he could throw it a lot this week to keep pace with the Chiefs.
Higher-Owned Options: Raheem Mostert (SF, 51%), Alexander Mattison (Min, 55%), Matt Breida (SF, 61%), LeSean McCoy (KC, 63%), Duke Johnson (Hou, 55%), Benny Snell (Pit, 56%)
DeAndre Washington (Oak, 4%) and Jalen Richard (Oak, 5%) — Josh Jacobs missed Week 14 because of his fractured shoulder and it wouldn’t be shocking if the Raiders shut him down for the rest of the season. The Raiders are out of contention for the playoffs and they shouldn’t jeopardize Jacobs’ bright future before they head to Las Vegas. As we predicted on last Friday’s podcast, Washington jumped ahead of Richard to be the lead runner in Week 14 against the Titans. He posted 14/53/1 rushing and 6/43 receiving while playing 63% of the snaps. Richard stuck in his passing-back role, finishing with 7/28 rushing and 2/18 receiving on 38% of the snaps. Washington is a must-add for any Jacobs owner because he could have a huge game against a Jaguars defense that quit on their head coach Doug Marrone six weeks ago. Richard should also be a little more involved going forward but he’s just a flex option as the team’s passing back, no matter who is in the lineup. The Raiders get a good matchup against the Chargers in Week 16, as well, so Washington could be on some fantasy championship teams.
Patrick Laird (Mia, 20%) — Laird’s snaps have risen every week since Mark Walton left the lineup — he’s up to 82% of the snaps in Week 14 — and he’s now in a position to be the top back in Miami after Kalen Ballage landed on the IR last week. Laird brought more competence to the backfield in Week 14, posting 15/48 rushing and 4/38 receiving on five targets against the Jets as the team’s lead back. It's best to avoid this Miami backfield if you can but Laird will have a bigger role down the stretch against a juicy playoff schedule (@NYG, vs. Cin). He’s also been a competent receiver with 4+ catches and 35+ receiving yards in three of his last four games to give him some extra juice as a high-end PPR flex option. It should also be noted that both DeVante Parker (concussion) and Albert Wilson (concussion) could miss this week, which means Laird could see even more work than usual.
Adrian Peterson (Was, 39%) and Chris Thompson (Was, 11%) — Unfortunately, second-year RB Derrius Guice left Week 14 early with yet another knee injury, leaving Peterson and Thompson to do the heavy lifting the rest of the way. Peterson led the way with 20/76/1 rushing against the Packers on 43% of the snaps while Thompson posted 7/43 receiving on eight targets on 40% of the snaps. Guice will miss at least one week with an MCL sprain so Peterson could see 15+ carries in a tough matchup against the Eagles. Thompson could also be heavily involved as a receiver since they could have a tough time running as underdogs against Philadelphia. They’d both be high-end flex options this week if Guice is out, with Peterson being a better option for non-PPR formats and Thompson being a better option for PPR formats.
Darwin Thompson (KC, 19%) — The rookie Thompson is finally getting his chance to play with Damien Williams week-to-week with a rib injury and with Darrel Williams (hamstring) landing on the IR. Thompson worked primarily as the team’s passing back in Week 14 with LeSean McCoy (11/39 rushing) and Spencer Ware (5/11) working as the lead runners, and the rookie posted 4/36 receiving on five targets and 4/7 rushing against the Patriots. Of course, Andy Reid used Ware the most out of these backs in his first game of the season. If Damien Williams misses again this week against the Broncos, Thompson would be a low-end flex option for PPR formats.
Boston Scott (Phi, 0%) — Scott sparked the Eagles to a critical Week 15 win on Monday Night Football but he could have a tough time maintaining his role. With Jordan Howard (shoulder) out and Miles Sanders cramping up in the second half, Scott posted 10/59/1 rushing and 6/69 receiving against the Giants. Scott may have earned a slightly bigger role going forward but Sanders should stay ahead of him against the Redskins and Howard could potentially return so Scott could be a one-week wonder.
Bilal Powell (NYJ, 20%) and Ty Montgomery (NYJ, 2%) — Le’Veon Bell surprisingly missed Week 14 with an illness, leaving Powell to dominate the touches against the Dolphins. Powell finished with 19/74 rushing and 2/14 receiving on three targets on 79% of the snaps while Montgomery added 9/31 rushing and 3/30 receiving on 32% of the snaps. Bell may be able to return this week but the fact that the Jets play against the Ravens on Thursday Night Football makes his return a little iffier. Powell also needed to get an X-ray on his foot after Sunday’s game, which means Montgomery could be the guy if both Bell and Powell can’t play. This is a messy situation in this backfield and they have a brutal matchup to boot so stay tuned to any news about this backfield coming out of New York this week. Gase did say Monday that Bell was close to 100% so it looks like he should be back for TNF.
Kerryon Johnson (Det, 34%) — Johnson is eligible to return off the injured reserve in Week 16 off his knee injury, and the Lions could need him after Bo Scarbrough left Week 14 early with a rib injury. He started practicing last week but he could be on a snap count when he does return against the Broncos in Week 16. He’s only worth a speculative add for those truly desperate for running back help this late in the season.
Wayne Gallman (NYG, 4%) — Gallman is the top back behind Saquon Barkley and he’s already had a chance to lead this backfield when Barkley missed some time earlier this season. Saquon hasn’t looked quite right since he returned from his ankle so there’s an outside shot the Giants could shut him down with nothing to play for.
Gus Edwards (Bal, 12%) — Edwards is the top option behind Mark Ingram, ahead of Justice Hill, and he’d be the team’s lead runner if Ingram was forced to miss time down the stretch.
Tony Pollard (Dal, 14%) — Pollard’s complementary role has evaporated a bit with Zeke back to dominating the work in this backfield. Elliott owners would be wise to scoop up Pollard if he’s thrown to the scrapheap if you want to handcuff your top-five pick but Pollard is dealing with an ankle injury, which forced him to miss Week 14.
Ryquell Armstead (Jax, 1%) — It might be wise to scoop up Armstead if you’re a Leonard Fournette owner as he’s the clear #2 RB on this depth chart. Fournette doesn’t have the best history of staying healthy for too long.
Giovani Bernard (Cin, 3%) — Gio is a must-own in any week that Mixon is out of the lineup. Bernard is a capable runner and receiver who can take on a big role as we’ve seen in the past when Mixon has missed time.
Rex Burkhead (NE, 6%) — Burkhead is worth a stash if you’re rostering either James White and/or Sony Michel. Burkhead does a little bit of everything as a runner and receiver, which makes him a viable handcuff for both players since his role would be elevated if one of these guys misses a game down the stretch.
Higher-Owned Options: Sterling Shepard (NYG, 63%)
A.J. Brown (Ten, 24%) — Ryan Tannehill is playing at an extremely high level but this offense still revolves around RB Derrick Henry and Tannehill is spreading the ball all around the field when he does throw it — he hasn’t attempted more than 27 passes in each of his last four games. However, Brown has emerged a bit from the pack here with 23+ FP in two of his last three games. He exploded for 5/153/2 receiving on seven targets against the Raiders in Week 14, scoring on a 91-yard play that highlighted his physicality and speed. Brown has distanced himself a bit from Corey Davis as the top option in this passing attack but Brown still has the potential to post sporadic production because of the lack of passing volume in this offense. Still, we’re at the point where you have to accept the bad with the good with Brown because he’s capable of blowing up at any point as a low-end WR3, including the next two weeks (vs. Hou, vs. NO).
Darius Slayton (NYG, 27%) — Slayton has been the top perimeter receiver for the Giants and he proved it again in Week 14 with backup QB Eli Manning. The rookie WR torched the Eagles secondary for 5/154/2 receiving on eight targets, scoring TDs from 36 and 54 yards away. He now has 10+ fantasy points in five of his last six games. Slayton has a lot of similarities to another breakout youngster in D.J. Chark with his speed. Slayton has juicy matchups in the fantasy playoffs against the Dolphins in Week 15 and against the Redskins in Week 16 so there’s a chance this rookie could be on some league-winning teams. It also doesn’t hurt that Evan Engram continues to miss time with his foot injury, which helps to keep Slayton involved.
Anthony Miller (Chi, 20%) — Miller was a popular second-year breakout candidate this summer and he’s on fire in the second half of the year after a disappointing start to the season. He’s now caught 24 passes over his last four games for 313 yards and a touchdown on a healthy 37 targets — he’s topped 11+ FP in all four games. He posted 3/42/1 receiving on four targets against the Cowboys in Week 14 and he could’ve had a better game but he had a big run after the catch called back and he dropped his other target. It doesn’t hurt that Mitchell Trubisky is playing his best football over the last couple of weeks, which is obviously correlated with Miller’s improved play. His fantasy playoff schedule isn’t too bad either against the Packers, and Chiefs, making him a high-end WR4.
Zach Pascal (Ind, 35%) — The Colts are a dumpster fire at receiver right now with T.Y. Hilton (calf), Eric Ebron (ankle, IR), and Chester Rogers (knee, IR) all out of the lineup. Pascal has stepped up the last two weeks with 12/183/1 receiving on 19 targets against the Titans and Buccaneers in Weeks 13-14. Pascal has been a bit hit-or-miss but he’s going to see heavy targets for as long as Hilston is out of the lineup. He does get a tough matchup against Marshon Lattimore this week and his schedule is a little tougher down the stretch (@NO, vs. Car), but he should be considered as a low-end WR3 while Hilton is out.
Cole Beasley (Buf, 32%) — Josh Allen is going to chuck it deep to John Brown or he’s going throw it underneath to his safety-valve Beasley. He’s never been a prolific scorer in the past but he’s remarkably run off TDs in six of his last eight games, including in Week 14. Beasley led the Bills with 4/29/1 receiving on seven targets against the Ravens. Beasley has scored 9+ FP in 11 of his 13 games this season if you’re looking for a PPR option with a solid floor, and his unexpected TD production is giving him a much higher ceiling. He does have a tough playoff schedule (@Pit, @NE) but he was able to come through in a tough matchup against the Ravens last week.
Breshad Perriman (TB, 0%) and Justin Watson (TB, 0%) — Stud perimeter WR Mike Evans suffered a potential season-ending hamstring injury in Week 14, leaving Watson and Perriman to fill his role. Evans leaves behind a massive 23% target share and he ends his season leading the league in air yards (1814) through Week 14. Watson stepped into his place and posted 5/59/1 receiving on eight targets on 55% of the snaps against the Colts while Perriman added 3/70/1 receiving on five targets on 83% of the snaps. We do need to monitor Jameis Winston’s status after he suffered a small fracture in his throwing hand, although he did return to action in Week 14 after a brief absence. We also have to monitor Scotty Miller’s status with his hamstring injury as he could throw a major wrench into this receiving corps if he’s able to return this week. If Winston plays this week and Miller is out again, both Watson and Perriman would be boom-or-bust WR4s against the Lions.
Allen Hurns (Mia, 1%) and Isaiah Ford (Mia, 0%) — Both DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson left Week 14 early with concussions, which left Hurns and Ford to be the top remaining receivers for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Ford, who had just two catches before Week 14, led the Dolphins with 6/92 receiving on nine targets on 76% of the snaps. Hurns contributed 5/68 receiving on eight targets on 79% of the snaps. It’s going to be tough for both Parker and Wilson to return to the lineup this week so both Hurns and Ford could be low-end, plug-and-play options in a juicy matchup against the Giants. I prefer Hurns over Ford since he actually has a track record of success in the league but Fitzpatrick won’t be afraid to pepper both guys because the Dolphins have a non-existent running game.
Chris Conley (Jax, 20%) — D.J. Chark was spotted with a boot on his left foot after Week 14’s contest with the Chargers, and HC Doug Marrone said his second-year WR is week-to-week with his injury. Dede Westbrook and Conley will carry the water for this passing game if Chark can’t play and this Raiders secondary has been prone to giving up some big plays in the passing game. He’ll be a boom-or-bust WR4 this week in this struggling offense with Gardner Minshew.
James Washington (Pit, 39%) and Diontae Johnson (Pit, 12%) — Washington is easily playing the best football of his young career over the last six weeks and Johnson re-emerged with a big performance in Week 14. Washington finished with 4/33 receiving against the Cardinals on 72% of the snaps while also drawing two DPIs for 39 yards. Johnson posted 6/60/1 receiving and he added a punt-return TD on 72% of the snaps. We need to see about JuJu Smith-Schuster’s status next week as he continues to heal his bad knee — he’s reportedly looking to play this week. If he can’t play again, Washington and Johnson would be risky WR4s in a tough matchup against the Bills.
Marcus Johnson (Ind, 0%) — Johnson is shockingly on the radar after exploding for 7/160/1 receiving on 13 targets the last two weeks. Johnson has had a higher profile in this offense with T.Y. Hilton (calf), Eric Ebron (ankles, IR), and Chester Rogers (knee, IR) out of the lineup recently — he played 89% of the snaps in Week 14. If Hilton is out again this week, he’s an all-or-nothing option against the Saints this week with Zach Pascal likely seeing a lot of Marshon Lattimore in coverage.
Russell Gage (Atl, 9%) — Gage is the Falcons primary slot WR with Mohamed Sanu out of the picture and Gage should stay a little more involved down the stretch with Calvin Ridley (abdomen) done for the season. Gage managed just 2/17 receiving on four targets on 51% of the snaps against the Panthers in Week 14 with both Julio Jones and Austin Hooper returning to the lineup. Gage should only be considered in deeper PPR formats the next two weeks (@SF, vs. Jax) with Ridley out of the lineup.
Randall Cobb (Dal, 34%) — After running off 12+ FP in three straight games in Weeks 10-12, Cobb has come crashing back to earth the last two weeks with just 5/96 receiving on eight targets against the Bills and Bears. Cobb is in the low-end WR4 conversation in PPR formats and he doesn’t have an easy schedule in the fantasy playoffs. (vs. LAR, @Phi).
Higher-Owned Options: Dallas Goedert (Phi, 61%), Kyle Rudolph (Min, 66%) Jacob Hollister (Sea, 61%), Jason Witten (Dal, 51%)
Tyler Higbee (LAR, 20%) — Gerald Everett (knee) has missed the last two weeks, which has opened the door for Higbee to post 18+ fantasy points in consecutive games. He’s racked 14/223/1 receiving on 19 targets the last two weeks against the Cardinals and Seahawks. Higbee has also been crushing it as a run blocker for Todd Gurley and he’s making a case for a huge role even if Everett is able to return soon. Higbee gets two fantasy-friendly TE matchups the next two weeks against the Cowboys and then against the 49ers, which have been gashed by TEs since Kwon Alexander (pec, IR) left the lineup. Higbee is a middle-of-the-pack TE1 if Everett continues to miss and he’s more of a high-end TE2 if Everett is able to return since the Rams have been going TE-heavy with their formations recently.
O.J. Howard (TB, 32%) — Howard has had a miserable first season under HC Bruce Arians but he had his best game of the year in Week 13 (5/61 receiving). He followed it up with 4/73 receiving on five targets in Week 14 against the Colts as he stepped up after Mike Evans went down with a nasty hamstring injury. Evans could be done for the rest of the season so Arians may have no choice but to feature Howard more in the final three weeks of the season. Evans leaves behind a massive 23% target share and he ends his season leading the league in air yards (1814) through Week 14. We do need to monitor Jameis Winston’s status after he suffered a small fracture in his throwing hand, although he did return to action in Week 14 after a brief absence. If Evans misses the next two weeks and Winston can play, Howard has some low-end TE1 appeal in some good matchups (@Det, vs. Hou).
David Njoku (Cle, 37%) — The Browns activated Njoku off the injured reserve with his wrist injury before Week 14, but he had a dud in his first game back. He finished with just a four-yard catch on three targets against the Bengals and he dropped a pass that resulted in an interception. Njoku is an intriguing option off the waiver wire since he has TE1 upside and he has the best TE matchup in the league this week (@Ari, vs. Bal). Hopefully, he knocked off the rust last week and he’s ready to contribute more this week.
Ian Thomas (Car, 1%) — Greg Olsen missed Week 14 with a concussion and the talented second-year TE Thomas stepped into the lineup and came through as a streamer. He finished with 5/57/1 receiving on 10 targets against the Falcons, scoring on a goal-line target. If Olsen is looking at an extended absence, Thomas does have a solid schedule for the next two weeks (vs. Sea, @Ind) and he would be a high-end TE2.
Hayden Hurst (Bal, 1%) — Mark Andrews left Week 16 early with a knee injury and he never returned, which opened the door for Hurst to have a big game. Hurst finished with 3/73/1 receiving on three targets against the Bills, scoring on a 61-yard catch-and-run TD from Lamar Jackson. The Ravens play the Jets on Thursday Night Football this week so it could be tough for Andrews to play, making Hurst a low-end streaming option since Jackson does love targeting his TEs. Andrews’ injury isn’t considered serious so there’s a chance he might not miss any more additional time.
Mike Gesicki (Mia, 30%) — Gesicki has been emerging a bit since their Week 5 bye but he’s been a little too inconsistent to be a guy you can trust in your lineups. He finished with just a six-yard catch on a healthy five targets against the Jets in Week 14, even with DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson leaving early with concussions. Both Parker and Wilson could be unavailable this week so Ryan Fitzpatrick could target Gesicki a little more than usual. He also gets two solid matchups over the next two weeks (@NYG, vs. Cin) to keep him in the low-end streaming conversation.
Seattle Seahawks (@Car, 41%), Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Den, 31%), Buffalo Bills (@Pit, 65%), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Det, 4%), Detroit Lions (vs. TB, 14%)
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