FANTASY FOOTBALL ADD/DROPS

Week 14 working the waiver wire: Playoff time

The Texans defense has a nice matchup against the Broncos. Photo by Getty Images.

For many leagues the playoffs have already arrived. This means that it might be easier to add free agents with many teams already done for the season. Keep in mind the owner % mentioned is for 10-team standard ESPN PPR leagues. Some of these players below are good for the short-term, while others have more long-term value. You have to make the call on what your team needs. Immediate help to start this week, or a player to stash on your bench and hope he breaks out soon. Let's get started!

QB

Mike Nowak/Chargers team site

Ryan Tannehill: He plays the Raiders this week, so the matchup doesn't get much better. I like him a lot better than the other options this week. Owned in 23% of leagues.

Jared Goff is coming off a great game, but his matchup against the Seahawks concerns me. Only two teams have been tougher against QBs over the last 4 weeks. Owned in 58% of leagues.

Sam Darnold: Darnold was running for his life last week, and even a great matchup against Miami is a little scary. Owned in 33% of leagues.

Philip Rivers: Proceed with caution! Rivers could get benched during his game against the Jags, and that's the last thing you want this time of year. Owned in 43% of leagues.

RB

Photo by Getty Images.

Rahaad Penny: He's owned in just 41% of 10-team leagues and scored twice this week. He's in a time-share so it's hard to know when he'll have a big game. He plays the Rams this week, which is a below-average matchup. Owned in 41% of leagues.

Bo Scarbrough: He's had at least 14 rushing attempts for 3 straight weeks and had 21 rushing attempts against the Bears on Thanksgiving. You have to love his workload. He gets the Vikings this week who are the 8th best matchup for RBs over the last 4 weeks. Rostered in 46% of leagues.

Derius Guice: He looked great this week, but you still have to deal with Adrian Peterson getting touches. He's out there in about 50% of leagues.

Alexander Mattison: If Dalvin Cook is out with the shoulder injury, Mattison could be a league winner. Cook says he intends to play this week though.

Duke Johnson: He had a great game against the Patriots, but his usage is so inconsistent. 2 weeks ago against Indy he had only 6 touches. Owned in 58% of leagues and get the Broncos this week.

WR

Robbie Anderson: He's had 2 great games in a row and gets the Dolphins this week. Pick him up. He's rostered in 48% of leagues.

James Washington: He's been awesome in 3 of his last 4 games. He's only rostered in 23% of leagues and has a great matchup against the Cardinals.

Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard: It's hard to know which guy to start but if you're desperate, you can give one of them a shot. Shepard has the better pedigree.

TE

Kyle Rudolph: I've been saying it for weeks, add him! He has 6 TDs over his last 6 games.

Jack Doyle: He just had a huge week, so pick him up if you need a TE. He's available in 50% of leagues and plays the lowly Bucs this week.

Ryan Griffin: He gets the Dolphins this week and has been pretty decent if you're desperate. He's available in 75% of leagues.


DEF

If you need some help on defense, the Texans and Vikings have decent matchups.

Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5FM. We're on every Sunday morning from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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