If you’re fortunate enough to advance to your fantasy football playoffs, but have banged-up players heading into NFL Week 14, then consider Alexander Mattison (Minnesota Vikings), James Washington (Pittsburgh Steelers), Allen Lazard (Green Bay Packers), or Ryan Tannenhill (Tennessee Titans) as a potential waiver wire pickups.
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota’s stud running back and the NFL’s top rusher, left Monday Night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks early with a shoulder injury. Cook’s backup, Alexander Mattison, stepped up with 73 combined yards in 1.5 quarters of action.
Tannenhill and the Titans are on the AFC playoff bubble with a big game on deck against the Oakland Raiders. The Titans are 5-1 since Tannenhill replaced Marcus Mariota at quarterback.
Waiver Wire Pickups Week 14
James Washington (WR, Steelers)
Alexander Mattison (RB, Vikings)
Ryan Tannenhill (QB, Titans)
Allen Lazard (WR, Packers)
With starting WR Juju Smith-Schuster dinged up, James Washington benefited the most from the recent quarterback change in Pittsburgh, with Duck Hodges now under center.
Rookie wideout, Allen Lazard, finally gained the trust of Aaron Rodgers, and recently recorded the best game of his career playing in the snow against the New York Giants. Lazard is just one of a number of rookies who could put you over the edge in your fantasy football playoffs.
If Dalvin Cook is out for more than a week and you don’t already have Mattison on your fantasy football team as Cook’s handcuff, you’re in trouble. If you can snatch up Mattison, then he should at least contribute in Week 14. Cook said he wants to play this week, but the Vikings might keep him out to give him a breather and let his shoulder heal.
Mattison, a rookie from Boise State, joined the Vikings as a third-round draft pick. In limited action as a backup, Mattison averages 4.8 yards per carry, and scored only one touchdown this season.
Mattison replaced Cook midway through the third quarter on Monday night. He only rushed for 22 yards on four attempts against the Seahawks, but he caught four passes for 51 yards. His versatility and ability to play all three downs is what makes Mattison a valuable pick up.
Washington played his collegiate ball at Oklahoma State with Mason Rudolph. It’s rare when a QB/WR tandem from college is drafted by the same pro team. In this instance, the Steelers drafted Oklahoma State’s battery by selecting Washington late in the second round with the #60 overall pick, and added Rudolph in the third round with the #76 selection.
Head coach Mike Tomlin benched Rudolph in favor of Duck Hodges in Week 13. Hodges and Washington hooked up four times for 111 yards and a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns. Washington tallied 90-plus yards in three out of his last four games. In that same span, Washington scored three touchdowns.
Apparently, it only took one duck hunting trip with Duck Hodges to quickly develop a rapport with Washington.
— Devlin Hodges (@DevlinHodges10) November 26, 2019
The Steelers play the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14. The Cards have the worst pass defense in the NFL, allowing 307.5 yards per game. The Cards porous defense allows 29.3 points per game, which is ranked #2 in the NFL.
The Titans are 5-1 since Mike Vrabel benched Marcus Mariota in favor of Tannenhill. In the six games that followed, Tannenhill threw 12 touchdowns and rushed for three more. He’s only thrown four interceptions this season, with zero picks in his last three games.
The Titans are averaging 26.3 points per game over their last six games. In their four previous losses, the anemic offense generated only 7.75 points per game, with one shutout against the Denver Broncos.
The Titans face the Raiders in Oakland this week. The pass defense constitutes the weakest part of the Raiders defense. They’re the ninth-worst pass D in the NFL, allowing 258.2 air yards per game.
Seven different receivers caught passes for Green Bay this season under new head coach Matt LeFleur. Lazard, an undrafted free agent from Iowa State, has gradually gained the trust of Aaron Rodgers throughout the seaon. He’s seen more balls coming his way while filling in for an injured Davante Adams.
In Week 13, Lazard caught three passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. He’s caught three or more passes in seven out of the eight games he played in this season.
Heading into the home stretch, Lazard jumped Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling on the depth chart to emerge as a capable #2 behind Rodger’s favorite target, Davante Adams.
“Some guys that weren’t even expected to play at all this year stepped up and made some big plays,” said Adams about the rookie standout. “Allen (Lazard) has stepped up and done more than I know anybody, especially the outside world, expected him to do. So, that’s how you build chemistry with Rodgers.”
The Packers face the Washington Redskins (3-9) in Week 14. The Skins are +14 dogs coming into Lambeau Field.