Waiver Wire Weekly: Welcome to Playoffs


Sam Riche/TNS

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald (89) reacts after scoring a second-half touchdown during the team’s 20-17 victory against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis.

By Adin Link, Staff Wrtier

With Week 13 in the books, most leagues are either about to start the playoffs or are already a week in. This means the players you add or drop now are crucial in your efforts to win a fantasy football championship. In order to come one step closer, pay close attention to this week’s edition of Waiver Wire Weekly and make sure you pick up any of these players if they’re available in your fantasy league.

*The %OWN statistic is based on ESPN standard leagues from Dec. 3.


Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens, *%OWN: 51.5%

Since taking full reign of the Raven’s offense, Lamar Jackson has set the league on fire. Scoring 15.9, 20.2 and 16.5 fantasy points in the last three weeks, respectively, Jackson is proving NFL defenses are not prepared to stop his game. So far, Jackson has done most of his damage with his speed, which means he will likely be a key element in the AFC heavyweight matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14. Jackson is set to have his fourth consecutive game with 15 or more fantasy points as the Chiefs defense has struggled immensely — giving up 30 points to the Oakland Raiders.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, %OWN: 3.7%

Josh Allen has quietly put together one of the best two-game fantasy football streaks this season. Allen has scored 26.3 and 28.7 points in the last two weeks, with the former coming against the mighty Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Allen has been showcasing his passing and running prowess in the two-game stretch, giving fantasy owners and Buffalo fans alike some hope. Look for Allen to continue his rapid growth against the New York Jets in Week 14.

Running Backs

Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers, %OWN: 3.2%

Jaylen Samuels’ status on this list comes after regular Steelers running back James Conner was diagnosed with a lower leg contusion during the Steelers’ Sunday Night game against the Chargers. After Conner exited the game, Samuels stepped in as the lead running back and caught a crucial game-tying touchdown. Conner may avoid missing significant time with his injury, but if he is unable to play in the Steelers’ next game, Samuels is a must-add. He would step in right away in the event Conner is unable to suit up or reinjures himself.

Wide Receivers

Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, %OWN: 41.2%

Ever since the Buccaneers gave the starting quarterback job back to Jameis Winston, Adam Humphries’ fantasy value has went way up. He’s caught a touchdown in three straight games and is proving to be one of Winston’s favorite red-zone targets. Best of all, Humphries is not limited to just the red zone — he has had six or more catches with 50 or more yards in each of the last two games as well.

Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns, %OWN: 9.4%

Even though the Browns cooled off in Week 13 against the Houston Texans, Antonio Callaway remained hot. After a stellar performance in Week 12 — in which the rookie had four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown — Callaway had another strong game in Week 13, despite some mishaps. His Week 13 performance included three catches for 84 yards, a 76-yard touchdown called back for holding and a 71-yard touchdown lined up, but he fumbled the ball inside the 10-yard line. Despite the shortcomings, Callaway is still proving his role in the Cleveland offense will only grow from here.

Tight Ends

Rhett Ellison, New York Giants, %OWN: 2.4%

With the Giants regular starting tight end Evan Engram nursing a nagging injury, Rhett Ellison was on the field for 94 percent of the Giants’ offensive snaps on Sunday against the Bears. Although Ellison is used a lot for his blocking skills, Giants quarterback Eli Manning looked to Ellison in a number of crucial situations. Though Ellison failed to reach the end zone on Sunday, when Engram is hurt and the Giants are in the red zone, Ellison becomes a favorite target.

Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers, %OWN: 54.2%

Though McDonald didn’t contribute much in the Steelers’ Sunday Night game against the Chargers, that could change very soon. McDonald has proven to be Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target at the tight end position. Standing at 6-foot-4 and 267 pounds, McDonald’s frame makes him more dynamic when it comes to receiving the ball. He draws a very favorable matchup in Week 14 as the Steelers take on the Oakland Raiders, which allowed Kansas City Chief tight end Travis Kelce to have a field day this past week. Look to McDonald to do the same.