Each week we discuss the best waiver moves to make on teams that need a leg up, positional depth or just to pick up that guy that fell through the cracks for no apparent reason. Moving into the playoffs now (in most fantasy leagues), it's important to balance consistency and upside on your roster as well as looking ahead to the match-ups over the next few weeks. Listen up for some big tips on players that are not owned by the majority of teams out there (50% owned or less).
Johnny Manziel (vs. IND, 13% owned)
First, understand that you should not be switching up your QB in most situations: this is only really a viable strategy if you have been streaming QBs in a deep league, or some catastrophic injury has occured to your #1 guy. Second, there is not yet a guarantee that Manziel starts over Hoyer or that - even if he does - he plays the whole game. Yes, you should be starting at least 15 or 16 guys over Manziel including such stunners as Cam Newton, Eli Manning and Andy Dalton. All of that said, Manziel is the type of player that can score multiple touchdowns while still racking up the rushing and passing yardage. Like him or not, that means fantasy points.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (@JAX, 8% owned)
Fitzpatrick could be the smartest guy in football, but I don't believe that he has suddenly figured it all out. His success last week (358yds, 6TDs) had a lot to do with momentum and timing but you can't discount such a good performance with out wondering what happens next. Personally, I feel like Fitzpatrick can make some good throws but his team has never really clicked on all levels before like Houston is starting to. We all know about J.J. Watt's sudden emergence as a pass-catcher and have seen Hopkins break out this year the way he was supposed to in 2013. Not to mention such targets as Arian Foster and Andre Johnson are still very much Houston Texans. I don't think Fitz will be able to keep up the numbers, but I do think he'll throw for 200+ and at least 2 TDs against the Jaguars this week.
Charles Johnson (vs. NYJ, 18% owned)
We've been patiently waiting for someone on the Vikings to develop as the #1 WR and supplant Greg Jennings. It looked for a little while that Jarius Wright would be the guy and while he did perform well for a time, he never really developed a great sense of chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater and was too undersized (5'10") to succeed in some match-ups. The 6'2" Johnson runs a 4.39 40 and his other measurables are up to par as one of the new prototypical WRs in the NFL. He has played almost every snap over the last two weeks and has led the Vikings in targets. He hasn't had a true breakout game yet (best was 6 receptions for 87 yards in Week 11 @CHI), but I can see one coming with week against the Jets. Stick him in your lineup as a WR3! This is probably a one-game production, though, since the Vikings next two games are against Detroit and Miami.
Stedman Bailey (@WAS, 2% owned)
Another player trending up toward the end of the season is Stedman Bailey. Here is a deep sleeper that has woken up over the past three games with 15 receptions for over 200 yards and a TD when he had only caught the football 5 times prior to that in the season. With fellow Rams Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin only catching 2 or 3 balls per game, Bailey has no signs of slowing down against a Redskins' defense that gives up almost 24 points per game to WRs. Keep in mind that the #1 WR on the Rams this year has switched as many times as their QBs, but obviously this pick does not come without risk. In a standard scoring league this week I would rank Johnson over Bailey in Week 14, but Bailey higher over the rest of the season.
Daniel Herron (@CLE, 48% owned)
Trent Richardson has been treading water since late last year - this season he has scored a few TDs but has never rushed for more than 79 yards, despite enjoying two games with upwards of 20 carries. With Ahmad Bradshaw out for the season, Daniel "Boom" Herron moved in and has already outshined Richardson in his performances over the past two weeks. Look for Herron to continue starting at RB with a good chance to score each week. The Trent Richardson situation is an unfortunate one, but now is the time to jump on Herron for the rest of the year - as we have learned from Denver, a decent RB in a great offense will produce fantasy points, more often than not.
Johnathan Stewart (@NO, 27% owned)
The latest news is that DeAngelo Williams may not play this week with a fratured finger, and if so Johnathan Stewart should get the majority of the carries for the Panthers against the Saints. With the Saints giving up over 21 points per game to opposing RBs, this match-up looks pretty attractive on paper. Stewart has been almost flexworthy in the past 3 games, averaging almost 10 points per game in standard scoring leagues. If ever was the time to roll the dice on Stewart, it would be this week. As long as Williams doesn't play this week, Stewart is looking at between 12 and 15 carries, several receptions and a high possibility of a TD.
Jordan Reed (vs. STL, 50% owned)
At the upper end of our spectrum, Reed is owned by 50% of Yahoo leagues mostly because of the people that help onto him after drafting him high at the beginning of the season. A physically gifted TE, Reed has shown last season that he is great when healthy and being targeted by his QB. Finally, he showed up again in Week 13 @IND, putting up 9 receptions for 123 yards. Reed hasn't hit paydirt yet, but the situation is likely with McCoy targeting him heavily and the Redkins going up against a Rams' defense that can stick it to the QB. Look for at least 7 or 8 receptions again in this one.
Tim Wright (@SD, 34% owned)
This one is a special mention - it's undeniably difficult to predict when some of the talented offensive players on the Patriots will have big games. The Patriots play the Chargers in Week 14, who are one of the best teams against TEs in the entire league.. but because I think most of the coverage will be centered around Gronkowski, I'm betting that Wright has several receptions and a sneaky TD. This is a dicey play though, make no mistake - Wright either scores more than 10, or less than 2.
Defense / Special Teams:
MIN (vs. NYJ), STL (@WAS), NO (vs. CAR)