Jerick McKinnon Waiver Wire Week 14: Can Fantasy Managers Trust Him?

Is Jerick McKinnon a Week 14 waiver wire target for fantasy managers, and how should he be prioritized compared to the other options available?

Jerick McKinnon has been a fringe waiver wire target for fantasy football managers for a few weeks now. Entering Week 14, he is once again an intriguing name after hitting double-digit touches for the second time this season. Let’s take a look at whether McKinnon is a waiver wire target fantasy managers can trust and how managers should prioritize him this week.

Should Fantasy Managers Get Jerick McKinnon on the Week 14 Waiver Wire?

The Kansas City Chiefs‘ backfield regularly frustrates fantasy managers, with the team reluctant to commit to a single back and often changing their thought process on a week-to-week basis. In some ways, McKinnon has been part of that problem in the last two years, providing enough to take away from the lead back without ever being fully fantasy-relevant himself.

McKinnon has played all 12 games this year but is averaging just 3.92 rushing attempts with 3.5 targets per game. He sits third on the team in rushing attempts, behind Isiah Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but he leads the position in targets.

For the most part, McKinnon’s usage has been reasonably consistent all season. He has only had less than five opportunities (rushing attempts + targets) on one occasion but has only gone above 10 on three occasions. Over the course of the season, McKinnon is averaging 7.42 opportunities and 6.5 touches per game.

In the past five weeks, McKinnon has seen a slight uptick in usage. In three of those games, he has had eight or more opportunities. During that stretch, McKinnon is averaging 8.6 opportunities and 7.2 touches per game. That has resulted in 42.4 yards from scrimmage and 3.6 receptions per game, with one touchdown.

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The problem with McKinnon is that, even with the opportunity uptick, he is still not a regular weekly starting option in 12 or 14-team leagues. He is averaging just 6.04 fantasy points per game in half-PPR when looking at yards and receptions alone. Last week when he found the end zone, it was the first time McKinnon had crossed the 10-fantasy-point threshold in half-PPR. Indeed, it was just the fourth time he registered above eight fantasy points this season.

The other problem is that McKinnon is not really a safe floor option either. His fantasy outputs in the last five weeks include scores of 0.9 and 4.1, alongside returns of 7.4, 8.8, and 13. If we take the season as a whole, scoring 8.8 fantasy points would see you as the RB37 on average, with 7.4 falling in as the RB48, while scores of under five would put him outside the top 50 RB.

Things are a little different in Week 14 — six teams are on a bye week. That does elevate those RB37-48 finishes on average into fringe starting consideration in 12-team leagues. However, the capped upside is also a consideration because even his best score this year would only be the RB17 on average.

This all means that McKinnon is nothing more than a desperation option on the waiver wire if you are looking for a starting option this week. Even then, his value is limited to half and full-PPR formats, where you are hoping for a handful of receptions to boost his bottom line. McKinnon could be an intriguing late-round selection in Underdog Fantasy Best Ball formats, but higher-upside options are available.

How Should Fantasy Managers Prioritize McKinnon in Week 14?

McKinnon is a tough option to balance on the waiver wire this week. There is not a lot of certainty at RB this week, and McKinnon is somewhat strangely the most likely to average five to 10 touches every week through the fantasy playoffs.

James Cook’s role is not set in Buffalo, while both Zonovan Knight and Ty Johnson would likely see their role change if Michael Carter gets healthy. Cam Akers and Kyren Williams are confusion wrapped in an enigma in that Los Angeles Rams backfield, and the Seahawks backfield is, well, quite frankly, chaos.

However, nearly all of those backs have a higher upside than McKinnon. They all have roles that could see their usage fluctuate from zero touches to 20 touches depending on the game situation and the players available that week. That upside is enticing compared to a player who has crossed 10 fantasy points once in half-PPR scoring this year.

The other thing with McKinnon is that even if Pacheco were to get hurt, it is not certain he would have a leading role. Both Ronald Jones and Melvin Gordon could be candidates for that role, with McKinnon continuing to play off them in his current role in the offense. Therefore, he does not even have “handcuff value.”

Consequently, how you prioritize McKinnon largely depends on your situation. In PPR formats, if you are playing in 14 or 16-team leagues and just want a back that can hopefully get you 5-10 fantasy points per week, he is the best option of this group. However, in 12-team leagues — or if you want to swing for the fences — he is below all of those apart from the Seahawks’ chaotic backfield.

In terms of FAAB (or waiver priority), I would limit any bids for McKinnon to around 5% unless you are desperate with the Week 14 bye situation. In that case, I may look to stretch up to 10%, but I would certainly not be going crazy for a back that has a capped ceiling and a far-from-certain floor.


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