Week 14 of the Fantasy Football season is fast approaching. Let's address the best waiver wire additions available in our leagues ahead of this upcoming slate of games.
1. Buffalo Bills RB James Cook - 23% rostered
We only have a one-game sample to base this on, but the Bills' backfield seems to be taking a turn after Week 13. Devin Singletary's lead is almost non-existent with how much work rookie James Cook and veteran Nyheim Hines received this past game:
Snaps: Singletary (33), Cook (32), Hines (23)
Routes run: Singletary (13), Cook (15), Hines (10)
Targets: Singletary (2), Cook (6), Hines (2)
Rushing attempts: Singletary (13), Cook (14), Hines (2)
Based on their Week 13 usage, it appears like the Bills are giving Cook — and even Hines — a massive bump in usage across the board. While Hines' usage has definitely increased, it appears Cook could slowly be taking over the No. 1 running back duties for this team. While the Bills are likely to continue using a running back by committee approach, Cook needs to be rostered and could be considered for a FLEX spot if he can continue this type of usage moving forward.
2. New York Jets RB Zonovan Knight - 47% rostered
Knight is a must-add in all formats after the performance he just put together. He played in 47-of-85 snaps with Michael Carter sidelined, while Ty Johnson mixed in just 28 snaps. Johnson was expected to be a factor as a receiver, though veteran James Robinson received just nine snaps and four rushing attempts in this game. Knight, on the other hand, ran 24 routes on 60 dropbacks, was targeted five times, and was in his own world as a rusher with 15 carries.
Even going back to last week, Knight was mixing in with Carter in a legitimate one-two-punch type of situation. If Carter ultimately misses more time, Knight is pretty much in must-start territory. If Carter returns, Knight will at least be a consideration for FLEX territory and would be an elite bench stash.
3. San Francisco 49ers RB Jordan Mason - 15% rostered
Last week we took a stab at predicting which running back between Mason, Tyrion Davis-Price, and Tevin Coleman would prove to be Christian McCaffrey's handcuff, and one week later it appears that Mason will get the first crack at the job. The rookie was the only other non-McCaffrey back to take any snaps in this game. Mason played in just 15-of-84 snaps, ran four routes on 45 dropbacks, and rushed the ball eight times.
The 49ers' running back handcuff is one of the most important fantasy positions in the league. As of right now, it appears Mason is that guy.
4. Seattle Seahawks RB's Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas - 1% and 3% rostered
The Seahawks are in a weird position having lost Kenneth Walker to an ankle injury in Week 13 and going into that same game without Homer, who is also nursing his own knee injury. That left Seattle with just Dallas and Tony Jones Jr. Dallas also happened to suffer an ankle injury though he continued playing out of necessity, while Jones was shaken up by a big hit, too.
We don't yet know the severity of Walker's injury, so this could all be moot. But with that being said, someone could be in a position for a large workload moving forward in the event that Walker does miss time. Over the past few weeks, Homer was basically the only other running back to get any work, with Dallas mixing in to the tiniest degree. Both players moonlight more as receiving backs though someone would have to play the early downs for Seattle. Homer seems like the most likely option, with Dallas and Jones following thereafter.
5. Denver Broncos RB Mike Boone - 5% rostered
Boone returned for the first time in Week 13 after missing the last few weeks on IR with a high-ankle sprain. In his first game back, Boone registered 12-of-53 snaps, four routes run, and six rushing attempts. This could be a situation to monitor or even try to get out ahead by adding Boone a week or two early. In this game, Boone began to eat into Latavius Murray's playing time and workload ever so slightly. Of course, we have yet to see Boone take enough of a workload to become relevant, though this week is an indication that it may be coming. Boone is already ahead of veteran Marlon Mack in the pecking order.
This is a perfect player to spend minimal FAAB on and stash in hopes of a larger workload percolating.
6. Kansas City Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon - 41% rostered
If McKinnon is available in your league, he's worth adding to your team. The veteran came into this game with some minor injury dings and yet still received as many snaps as Isaiah Pacheco (25 snaps) while receiving nearly equal work across the board:
Snaps: Pacheco (25), McKinnon (25), Ronald Jones (3)
Routes run: Pacheco (11), McKinnon (13), Jones (3)
Targets: Pacheco (2), McKinnon (2), Jones (0)
Rushing attempts: Pacheco (14), McKinnon (8), Jones (0)
The Chiefs are currently deploying what appears to be just a two-man backfield. Jones isn't a factor and shouldn't be and Clyde Edwards-Helaire remains on injured reserve. If McKinnon can continue to carve out a bigger role as a rusher, he'll have even more value and might eventually near standalone value in fantasy leagues. As of now, he should still be considered the passing game back, though there appears to be maybe even a bit more upside in his value.
7. Buffalo Bills RB Nyheim Hines - 38% rostered
If Cook is on this list, then Hines should be too. Much of what was mentioned above under Cook's portion on this list goes for Hines, too. He finally got some work and had an actual role for the Bills in Week 13. Hines has no standalone value right now but he's worth adding in the event that his role continues to increase or as a handcuff option.
8. New York Giants WR Darius Slayton - 61% rostered
The waiver wire doesn't present a ton of intriguing wide receiver options this week with the running back position dominating the majority of this list, but Slayton is certainly a name that should be rostered in basically all leagues. The veteran has scored double-digit fantasy points six times in his last eight games. Slayton hasn't had fewer than 58 receiving yards since Week 7. He's as safe as it gets when it comes to securing double-digit points, even if his ceiling is very capped.
9. New York Jets QB Mike White - 18% rostered
There aren't many quarterbacks available on the waiver wire, but White has separated himself as a legitimate option over the past two weeks after scoring 24.8 and 17.4 fantasy points. This may be hard to believe, but White is the QB6 in scoring since taking over as the Jets' starter. We really have no idea what to expect from him on a week-to-week basis, but he is clearly someone the team trusts and he appears to have much better chemistry with his weapons than Zach Wilson did.
10. Los Angeles Chargers RB Joshua Kelley - 3% rostered
The Chargers moved to a two-man backfield in Week 13 with Kelley playing the role of handcuff. Kelley got a solid amount of work:
- 31-of-75 snpas
- 18 routes run on 57 dropbacks
- 6 rushing attempts
He isn't the RB1 in Los Angeles and he won't overtake Austin Ekeler, that much is certain. But he does appear to be the clear handcuff right now and that is 100% worth stashing at this point in the season.