It is the playoff crunch, and any fantasy football pickup or waiver claim should be about moving your squad forward to the next game, in my opinion. Stashes are a thing of the past unless you have a crazy stacked team. Has Washington Commanders WR Curtis Samuel done enough to pick up off the waiver wire this week?
Should Curtis Samuel Be a Fantasy Waiver Wire Add in Week 14
In the last two weeks, Samuel has unexpectedly emerged as the No. 1 option for Sam Howell over Jahan Dotson, Terry McLaurin, and Logan Thomas. During the last two games, the Commanders have been throwing often while facing large deficits, and Samuel has been the lead target with a 25.8% share.
Samuel has averaged 6.5 catches for 82.5 yards in those two contests. I would compute a three-game average like I usually do, but Samuel was ejected for fighting in Week 11 after just one catch for five yards. Many fantasy managers likely forgot or overlooked Samuel as he has been injured for most of the season, returning with a two-catch performance in Week 10.
I believe there has been a fundamental offensive gameplan shift to keep Howell away from breaking David Carr’s record for being sacked the most in a season. Samuel has been his safety valve and is doing most of his damage after short air-yard catches.
The Commanders finally figured out that they hadn’t been giving Howell enough time to let Dotson and McLaurin work their way downfield, so they simply stopped trying to get them the ball, much to the chagrin of some fantasy managers.
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At this point in the season, we have to stay fluid and keep analyzing offensive usage. We can’t just assume teams will do what they have done all season with so much at stake for them and our fantasy squads.
Those of us who watched the Commanders on Thanksgiving undoubtedly were impressed with Samuel’s burst and opportunities in the offense. Samuel followed up that nine-catch, 100-yard performance with a respectable four-catch, 65-yard game last week. The recent losing streak for the Commanders has been a fantasy boon for Samuel.
Unfortunately for fantasy managers, Samuel and the Commanders have a bye in Week 14. Many may not even realize there are still two teams on bye this week. I don’t understand why they have to wait until Week 14, but these choices are well above my pay grade.
Week 15 provides Samuel with the second-easiest matchup for fantasy wide receivers against the Rams, followed by two brutal matchups for the most crucial fantasy playoff games in the Jets and 49ers in weeks 16 and 17, respectively.
My colleague Jason Katz correctly pegged Samuel as the better option than Dotson the rest of the way. I see the rest-of-season schedule and upcoming bye as huge issues for rostering Samuel, though.
I firmly believe he is a WR2/3 in the right matchup, but I only see Week 15 as a scenario that fits that bill for the rest of the season. If you need a start in your week 15 playoff matchup, you can likely find Samuel still on the waiver wire.
If he is picked up this week while on bye, let that fantasy manager carry him this week, and you will be able to grab a similar wide receiver off the wire. I would rather pick up a running back handcuff or someone I can start this week.
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