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Fantasy Football Insider: Top Waiver-Wire Pickups For Week 14

Scott Engel is in his eighth season of providing Fantasy Football coverage for Seahawks.com. An inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame, he is in his 23rd year as a Fantasy analyst and professional. You can now find more of his work and weekly rankings on RotoBaller.com and hear him every Saturday night on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

As the Seahawks look to firm up their NFC postseason positioning, the Fantasy Football playoffs are beginning in most in leagues in Week 14. You are certain to feel additional pressure over every decision you make now. One loss and your season is over other than signing up for the NFL.com Playoff Challenge in the near future.

Don't overthink things, though, and adhere to the lessons you have learned to get this far. Stick with your proven players when it matters most. In tight decisions, the matchup can break an apparent tie. But do not start a less established player over one of your more consistent, established performers based on just an opposing draw. You should know who your must-start players are now, and the Fantasy postseason is not a time to leave them on your bench. Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett are two examples of players that must be locked into your lineups every week from this point on.

Don't concern yourself with who the other team starts. You cannot control who they use or what their projections look like for the upcoming week. Start your best players possible and that is all you can do to put yourself in the best position to win. Make the most informed decisions possible, and you know will have done your best to put yourself in a position to win your playoff games. Once the games start, the execution is up to the players, and the spontaneity of the game, which makes our interactive pastime very unpredictable to a significant degree.

There are fewer immediate impact performers on the waiver wire right now, but there are still some to be acquired. Bye weeks are done and half the teams in your league are now inactive, so less players will hit free agency from other rosters. But it is very essential to maintain quality depth because of injuries and possible NFL lineup changes.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets

Running Backs

Darwin Thompson, Chiefs (1.9 percent owned in NFL.com leagues): This is one waiver add who may find his way into many Week 14 Fantasy lineups as a flex option. Thompson was a preseason darling, but was cut in many leagues when he was not utilized much at all when the regular season started. Injuries have struck hard in the Chiefs backfield, though, and Thompson may play a significant role in the Kansas City offense this upcoming week. A matchup with New England, though, could temper optimism a bit.

Derrius Guice, Redskins (41.4): We have mentioned him in this space before, but now he is going to be much more of a hot commodity after a breakout performance in Week 13 at Carolina. It was very good to see Guice show off his potential after battling multiple injury problems for most of his time in the pros so far. Guice displayed an impressive blend of power and speed to rush for 129 yards and two TDs on 10 carries. It was an admirable outing after many of the challenges he had overcome to get back onto the field. You can now consider him an upside flex option for the Fantasy playoffs.

Raheem Mostert, 49ers (3.5): He came through with a career performance at Baltimore, rushing for 146 yards and a TD on a 40-yard run. Mostert has always been a special teams standout who flashed some promise whenever he received some opportunities as a ball carrier. He is a speed demon who can score from anywhere on the field, and it may be hard for the 49ers to keep him off the field after he looked so good against a very strong opponent.

Wide Receivers

John Ross, Bengals (3.5): He will finally come back from a shoulder injury suffered in Week 4, and Ross has upside potential for the Fantasy postseason. The return of Andy Dalton to the Bengals' QB post assures Ross' best possible outlook for the upcoming weeks. Ross had 270 yards and three TDs in his first two games of the 2019 season as he appeared headed for his best year yet. He will deserve Fantasy WR3 and flex consideration during your playoffs.

Anthony Miller, Bears (4.9): He had a career-high 140 yards on Thanksgiving Day against Detroit and has totaled over 48 points in his past three games. Miller is starting to come on stronger in time for the Fantasy playoffs, and should be added as a depth player. If injuries affect your WR outlook or your flex choices, Miller may prove to be a viable plug-in.

Allen Lazard, Packers (0.5): He really opened some eyes with 103 yards and a TD in the snow at the Giants on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers has been searching all season for a legitimate WR threat other than the recently returned Davante Adams. Now that his top pass-catcher has returned, that can open up more opportunities for another wideout like Lazard, who has real field-stretching abilities. As noted in his most recent NFL.com player update, Lazard has five receptions of 20-plus yards this season.

Quarterback

Gardner Minshew. Jaguars (10.5): He will return to the starting role in Week 14 against the Chargers. Minshew was a respectable, and occasionally very productive Fantasy QB earlier this season. He does have a quality WRs, and if you are streaming QBs late in the season, you should note Minshew faces the Raiders and Falcons in Weeks 15 and 16.

Tight End

Kaden Smith, Giants (0.1): Injuries have forced Smith to quickly move into a more important role in the New York passing game and he has responded over the past two weeks. He has responded with 11 receptions over the past two games, with a TD in Week 12 and 70 yards in Week 13. At this notoriously ultra-thin position, you have to take a flier on Smith. Savvy Seahawks fans who also play Fantasy Football will recall how Jacob Hollister recently became a starter in leagues after being plucked off the waiver wire.

Seahawks Fantasy Mailbag

Scott McKinley of Lebanon, Indiana asks: I have 11 wins in my league. My QBs is Jameis Winston. RBs are Aaron Jones, Josh Jacobs, James White, Rashaad Penny. WRs are Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill, Tyler Boyd, John Brown. TE is Kelce. My team is on a downward trend the last few weeks. Should I be worried and any moves I should make?

Engel: You have a terrific roster and have only lost two games. It is hard to see where your team is on a downward trend. If anyone should be worried, it is your postseason opponents. You are being too concerned with possible negatives, and maybe creating them, where there are really aren't much at all. Your team has no glaring weaknesses. That is what happens when the playoffs approach, as many owners starting overthinking things and conjuring up worries when none or little should exist. You are at the top of your standings, you should feel very good about what you have accomplished. The only minor concern I might have in your league is the recent unreliability of Aaron Jones, but you have James White as a great alternative. Jameis Winston overcomes his interceptions with lots of volume. Now go and enjoy that first-round bye. Take a week to congratulate yourself on an 11-win campaign. That's no easy accomplishment.

Rob Hill asks: Will Miles Sanders be a good play again vs. the Giants in Week 14?

Engel: Sanders provided owners with his best output of the season at Miami (21.60 points on NFL.com) as he had 22 touches. He is a very exciting rookie who can make tacklers miss, he has open field speed and can catch passes. We may have not seen Sanders' best game yet and there is definitely upside. But the Giants are much more vulnerable to the passing game. Sanders is also not enough of a safe play yet to use him over a more proven producer just yet. He is coming off his best outing so far but cannot be considered a reliable play right now.

For more from Scott Engel, get the RotoBaller.com 2019 Fantasy Football Package, which includes his lineup rankings and regular weekly columns. Enter code "Seahawks" at checkout for a discount. The price has already been slashed for your Fantasy Football playoff push.

Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 13 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

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