FANTASY PLAYS: Waiver adds for fantasy playoff semifinals

FANTASY PLAYS: Waiver adds for fantasy playoff semifinals
Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon (30) scores a touchdown against Kansas City Chiefs safety Ron Parker (38) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

The majority of leagues are down to the final four teams in the postseason, so no more mad scramble to the waiver wire.

There are fewer owners vying for players, especially in leagues that only allow playoff teams to make additions.

Plus, the majority of your starting lineup is likely set by now. Still, injuries and other situations can always cause you to dip into your depth. In leagues with three wide receiver slots, your third starter may not be a sure thing. There are still existing and potential needs that will exist, so keep working the waiver wire.

KENNETH DIXON, RB, Ravens (2.7 percent owned): Just when fantasy owners were starting to get comfortable with Gus Edwards, Dixon returned from a long knee injury layoff and started cutting into Edwards’ workload in a significant way in his second game back. Dixon had 59 rushing yards on eight carries and scored the team’s only rushing touchdown. John Harbaugh said he also expects Dixon’s role to grow. So he is a prime waiver add in case he usurps Edwards as the main fantasy producer. He could at least become a potential flex option for Week 16 with another quality outing.

ELIJAH MCGUIRE, RB, Jets (11.3): A toe injury forced Isaiah Crowell out against Buffalo and the versatile sparkplug McGuire stepped in and totaled 83 yards from scrimmage and rushed for a TD. McGuire is not only speedy, he is physical and has the frame to fight for extra yardage at 5-10, 214 pounds. He could be the most talented RB on the Jets roster and has been an internal favorite for some time. If Crowell continues to miss time or is limited, McGuire has some upside.

JOHN KELLY, RB, Rams (3.7): If you won despite Todd Gurley’s disappointing Week 14 performance, you still need his direct handcuff in case he suffers an injury. Malcolm Brown is done for the season because of a clavicle injury, and now the rookie sixth-round pick is Gurley’s apparent backup. Kelly flashed nifty moves and speed during the preseason and will likely become Los Angeles’ lead runner in case of a Gurley injury.

DANTE PETTIS, WR, 49ers (19.6): He was added in 17.3 percent of leagues last week, but he is still widely available and you have to check to see if he’s on your waiver list. Pettis has scored four times in the past three games and has become the top playmaker in the 49ers passing game outside of George Kittle. This week he faces the Seahawks, who he burned for 129 yards and two scores in Week 14. Pettis had a 75-yard catch and run for a score in that matchup. You can instantly use him as a WR3.

TIM PATRICK, WR, Broncos (0.6): He was a surprise as a featured target for Case Keenum in his first game without Emmanuel Sanders. Patrick was targeted 10 times, catching seven for 85 yards. He seemed to be Keenum’s preferred target on many key passing downs. With another good outing this week, you may consider him for championship game usage against the Raiders in Week 16.

ROBERT FOSTER, WR, Bills (1.2): Most fantasy players don’t want to roster any Buffalo pass-catchers, especially during the playoffs. But dynamic rookie Josh Allen doesn’t give up on any play and is always willing to throw to make things happen. Foster has become a frequent target for Allen in important situations and has made a quick leap from the practice squad to actual fantasy relevancy. Since Week 10 he has three 90-plus yard games and two 100-yard outings. If you remain desperate for WR help you have to consider Foster as a waiver add. He’s an undrafted rookie, but the numbers are there.

IAN THOMAS, TE, Panthers (25.5): Rookie tight ends have historically been huge gambles and often disappointments, but with Greg Olsen out, Thomas has fit nicely into the Carolina passing game in the past two weeks, He has caught 14 passes during that span with nine catches for 77 yards in Week 14. At the ultra-thin TE position, he becomes an immediate add, and may be the most sought-after waiver candidate of Week 14. Cam Newton was looking for him often as the Panthers tried to stay with the Browns in an ultimate loss last week, and he will likely continue to make him part of the regular offensive flow. He was targeted 11 times against Cleveland.


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