Fantasy waiver wire becoming a zombie nightmare

col-BuddhaIf you’re a fan of the zombie apocalypse trope so often utilized in pop culture, then you likely watch The Walking Dead. I know I do, anyway.

As I watched Sunday night’s midseason finale — no spoilers, I promise — it dawned on me that most of the intriguing fantasy football adds for Week 14 could be considered “fantasy zombies” in some way, shape or form. And, also like most zombie fiction, this week’s waiver options are a ragtag bunch of survivors just trying to make it to the end.

Most of you — with the playoffs kicking off this week in ost leagues — share that same goal. Make it to the end. Whereas that end goal of a fantasy football championship may seem significantly less dire than avoiding being eaten by flesh eating zombies, it’s no less a priority for you personally.

Before I get to this week’s list, allow me to veer briefly from the theme. My most important advice today is to stick with the guys who have gotten you to the playoffs. If you’re an Adrian Peterson owner, you’re still starting “A.D.” in spite of his matchup with the Ravens, the third-best defense versus fantasy running backs in 2013. So play your studs and play the players with the best matchups alongside them. Hopefully, that equation leads to your fantasy survival and you avoid getting eaten up by the competition.

Now, here are the candidates for your zombie apocalypse waiver wire team this week:

  • Jay Cutler – Cutler is the guy who got injured early in the story, but has always aspired to be the hero and seems to almost be healthy enough to give it a shot. Most likely, you’re set at QB if you’ve made it this far, but there is a chance that you have managed to survive the past month without Aaron Rodgers by playing the best matchups and you are looking for someone to stream this week. Or you’re a Colin Kaepernick owner who doesn’t want to touch him this week against the Seahawks D. Either way, if Cutler is able to get back to practice and assume his starting role with Da Bears this week, he makes for a very sneaky add. Dallas allows the most points to fantasy quarterbacks in the NFL and Cutler will be looking to make a big splash if he returns on Monday Night Football. If not, go with his backup, Josh McCown, who has been playing the best football of his life in Cutler’s stead. Win-win.
  • Lamar Miller – Miller plays the part of the guy everyone had high hopes for but didn’t contribute to the group and was subsequently cast out. Now is the time to bring him back into the fray. The problem with Miller has never been ability. He has plenty of it. His problem has been the lack of a consistent opportunity. With Daniel Thomas now done for the year, the carries will now be there for the second-year back out of “The U.” Miller probably won’t be much more than a flex option for you, but he at least avoids any must-sit matchups in the fantasy playoffs. And that’s something that cannot be said for other players like Rashad Jennings, Zac Stacy, Pierre Thomas and Donald Brown just this week.
  • Julian Edelman – Edelman is the scrappy little overachiever of the bunch. Just when you write him off, he surprises you. Edelman was strong through the first month of the season, but went into the tank until breaking out again in Week 12. He looks to be Tom Brady’s most reliable wide receiver right now and has consecutive games with nine receptions and over 100 yards. If you are looking for a streaming WR3 play in PPR or deep leagues, Edelman could provide your team with a boost at just the right time.
  • Jared Cook – Cook is the flaky one in the group that you can never quite get a read on. Is he reliable? Can he be trusted? For the most part this season, the answer to those questions has been “No.” But this week serves the Cardinals defense up on a silver platter for Cook. If you remember all the way back to Week 1, he had 141 yards and two touchdowns versus Arizona. And they haven’t recovered against tight ends since then. Zona has allowed an astonishing 14 touchdowns to the TE position so far in 2013 and there are no signs of that trend losing steam anytime soon. If you’re looking for help at this position, add Cook and start him posthaste.
  • Chiefs D/ST – The Chiefs defense is the former leader of the group that is trying regain their status. Kansas City has been dumped left and right in leagues since the Week 10 bye and the pathetic performances they’ve posted since then. But it’s time to get them back up to 100% ownership this week with the Redskins and Raiders on tap over the next two weeks. Provided you are not the owner of the Seahawks or Panthers, the Chiefs should be a priority add for you in all leagues in which they are available.

Give me a follow on Twitter (@FantasyBuddha) and feel free to shoot me any questions you have leading up to your big matchup this weekend.

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