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Waiver Wire Week 14: Baker Mayfield could be your playoff savior

After an eventful Week 13 in fantasy football filled with breakout players, disappointments, and injuries, it’s time to look ahead to the first week of the fantasy playoffs. With no more bye weeks remaining, fantasy owners will now have their entire rosters at their disposals. So who are some of the waiver wire pickups to target in Week 14 for your fantasy lineups? Let’s take a look at which players deserve those priority claims, including the likes of Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Baker Mayfield, and Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia.

Week 14 Waiver Wire: Quarterback pickups to target for your fantasy team

Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns)

After going three straight games without a passing touchdown, Baker Mayfield has rebounded in a big way. He has two straight games with 250+ passing yards and two or more passing touchdowns with no interceptions.

Related | NFL Week 13 Recap: Cleveland Browns & Jalen Hurts highlight NFL action

Despite being on a run-heavy offense with limited pass-catching talent, Baker Mayfield has led his team to three straight wins. Even with a matchup against the Baltimore Ravens on tap, Baker Mayfield has emerged as a top-15 quarterback option. For those needing a quarterback heading into the playoffs, few have the momentum that Baker Mayfield has going for him.

Philip Rivers (Indianapolis Colts)

With the Colts fighting for a playoff spot, they have relied more on their veteran quarterback as of late. He has at least 280 yards passing in each of his last four games. Rivers also has at least two passing touchdowns in three straight games and only two interceptions over that time. Rivers now faces two easy opponents in the Las Vegas Raiders and Houston Texans. He has the chance to continue producing as a low-end QB1 and is a must-own, if not a reliable starting option, for the next week or two.

Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles)

After being teased last week, we finally saw Hurts in action this weekend. He stepped in for Carson Wentz, who was rightfully benched after another dreadful performance. While Hurts didn’t lead the Eagles to victory, he managed to throw 109 yards and a touchdown with 29 yards on the ground, all in the second half. It’s hard to believe, but the Eagles are still in the playoff race, and it’s clear that Hurts is the better option under center right now. His rushing gives him a Taysom Hill-like upside for a team that will be playing from behind a fair bit. He’ll be a low-end QB1/high-end QB2 should he get the start in Week 14.

Running back waiver wire pickups to target in Week 14

Ty Johnson (New York Jets)

Frank Gore suffered a concussion on his first carry of the game. Johnson stepped up in his absence with 104 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders. He was the clear number one option as he had 22 carries compared to Josh Adams’ eight. While any running back on the Jets is subject to a negative game script, he does face a Seahawks team that just lost to the New York Giants. Assuming Gore can’t suit up in Week 14, Johnson is in line for the start and needs to be owned going forward.

Cam Akers (Los Angeles Rams)

The week after an 84-yard performance with a touchdown on only nine carries, Akers saw 75% of all running back carries (21-of-28) for the Rams. He turned that into 72 yards and a touchdown with a 22-yard reception.

Related | NFL Playoff Picture Week 14: Updated playoff race and scenarios

Akers is the hot hand as of right now, and the Rams will look to ride him going into a hotly-contested NFC West division race. Even against a suddenly tough Patriots’ defense, Akers will see enough volume in a creative offense to be startable. He should be viewed as a low-end RB2 in Week 14 before a cupcake matchup against the Jets in Week 15. Because of that, Akers is one of this week’s top waiver wire targets.

Wide receiver fantasy football pickups in Week 14

Keke Coutee (Houston Texans)

After the sudden news of Will Fuller’s season-ending suspension, Coutee was thrust into a starting role for the Texans. In his first game without Fuller, Coutee paced the Texans’ wide receivers with a team-high nine targets and eight receptions for 141 yards. He made his mark early on with a 64-yard catch-and-run and nearly helped his team to an upset victory over the Colts.

While he has a tough schedule with the Chicago Bears and then Colts (again) on tap over the next two weeks, Coutee is still very much a solid WR3/FLEX option. Coutee needs to be owned in all leagues and has a higher ceiling than most in his range. He’s one of this week’s top waiver wire pickups.

T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts)

After failing to eclipse either the 70-or-more receiving yard mark or haul in a touchdown through the first 12 games, Hilton has done that in each of his last two games. He has caught 12 of his 16 targets for 191 yards and two touchdowns during that time. Hilton appears to be turning back the clock and playing like he was in his prime. On a team that has been passing more efficiently of late, Hilton suddenly is a weekly high-end WR3/FLEX. He’s another top waiver wire target this week.

Rashard Higgins (Cleveland Browns)

While he had failed to see more than four targets in each of his last four games entering Week 13, Higgins turned in an excellent performance this past weekend. As a top-two wide receiver alongside Jarvis Landry, Higgins has fantasy football appeal on a team that has been passing the ball better as of late. With a playoff spot up for grabs, the Browns will have to pull out all the stops. Higgins is a high-ceiling/low-floor type player, but one to be owned through the playoffs as a potential WR3/FLEX option.

Week 14 tight end waiver wire pickups

Anthony Firsker (Tennessee Titans)

With Jonnu Smith inactive, Firsker stepped up as the primary receiving option at the Titans’ tight end position. While he saw a lot of his production in garbage time, he still managed to see seven targets. Firsker would turn it into five receptions and 51 yards.

The Titans’ passing offense mostly rolls through AJ Brown and Corey Davis. However, there is room for a third passing option to succeed. Firsker could continue to see a solid workload in the passing game as the Titans fight for a playoff spot. The Titans have a major rebound spot against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14. If Smith misses another game, Firsker is a potential streaming option.

Drew Sample (Cincinnati Bengals)

Sample has cleared four receptions and 40 yards in each of his last two games in a struggling Bengals offense. That may not seem like much, but consistency is key at the tight end position in fantasy. With Joe Burrow lost for the season, the Bengals struggled to get anything going outside of a long Tyler Boyd touchdown. Quarterback Brandon Allen would depart the game after being pressured all day and eventually injured behind a paper-thin offensive line. Ryan Finley would step in and do no better, if not worse. Regardless of who is quarterback, they’ll need to get the ball out quickly, and that benefits Sample.

Want more fantasy football analysis and news?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.

Doug Moore is a fantasy football writer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter at @DMooreNFL.

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