Pickups of the Week: Mike Davis breaks out, just in time for the fantasy playoffs

Each week throughout the NFL season, we identify six players to target on waiver wires, plus a lightly owned D/ST. All are available in a majority of Yahoo leagues and approved for immediate use.

Mike Davis, RB, Seattle Seahawks, 8%

If you weren’t sold on Davis entering Week 13, this ridiculous run right here presumably got you on the bandwagon. Davis was outstanding on Sunday night, facing the NFL’s No. 1 run defense. He finished with 101 scrimmage yards on 20 touches, averaging 4.0 YPC. He carried the ball 16 times and hauled in all four of his targets. Meanwhile, Eddie Lacy, J.D. McKissic and Thomas Rawls saw only one carry each. Seattle’s backfield now has a clear top option, and he’s available in over 90 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues.

This isn’t the first time we’ve recommended Davis around here, so hopefully a few of you already made the move. This week, he’s likely to be the game’s most aggressively added fantasy asset. Davis won’t face a daunting matchup for the remainder of the fantasy season. Over the next three weeks, he’ll feast on defenses that all rank in the bottom-third of the league in terms of yards per carry allowed (4.5, 4.7 and 4.3). Go get him.

Schedule, next three weeks: at Jac, LAR, at Dal

FAAB bid: All of it. Hey, it’s Week 14. What are you saving for, if not a featured running back?

Tampa Bay has finally discovered its ground game. Peyton Barber has emerged as a must-add RB. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Peyton Barber, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4%

Barber dominated the backfield touches for Tampa Bay in Sunday’s overtime loss, carrying 23 times for 102 yards and catching four passes for 41. He led the Bucs in both rushing and receiving, delivering yardage totals that Doug Martin hasn’t approached this season. Check the highlights here. Martin was sidelined with a concussion in Week 13, and, following Barber’s binge, there’s no reason to expect him to return to anything more than a rotational role. Martin has averaged just 3.2 YPC on the season and 2.7 YPC over his last six games. That’s, um … not good.

Next week, Tampa Bay hosts a Detroit defense that’s given up 4.2 YPC to opposing runners and the second-most rushing TDs (16). Barber has a clear shot to produce another useful fantasy line. He’s built to handle substantial workloads (5-foot-11, 225), and he demonstrated an every-down skill set on Sunday. He’s a priority add.

Schedule, next three weeks: Det, Atl, at Car

FAAB bid: $15+.

Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets, 36%

As a consolation prize for those who miss on Davis or Barber, Forte ain’t so bad. The 10-year vet carried 15 times for 58 yards against the Chiefs in Week 13, plus he caught three balls for 33 yards and one score. Forte has handled double-digit carries in each of this last three games, and he’s averaging four targets per week. He faces a tough assignment at Denver next Sunday, but he then gets two of the league’s softest run defenses in Weeks 15-16. New Orleans allows 4.6 YPC to opposing rushers, while the Chargers allow 4.8. Forte will rank as a flex-worthy fantasy option in the money weeks.

Schedule, next three weeks: at Den, at NO, LAC

FAAB bid: $11

Jermaine Kearse has produced back-to-back 100-yard performances, yet he’s still widely available. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Jermaine Kearse, WR, New York Jets, 45%

OK, this will serve as the last call on Kearse, another player we’ve promoted in prior weeks. He’s coming off a 10-target, 9-catch, 157-yard performance against Kansas City, the second straight game in which he’s delivered triple-digit receiving yardage. He’s now on pace to top 900 yards for the season, and his quarterback has been lights-out for fantasy purposes over the past eight games. The Jets are about to face a Denver defense that’s already allowed 26 passing scores, the highest total in the league. (Last year, the Broncos allowed half as many passing TDs for the full season.) Simply put, Kearse needs to be almost universally owned.

Schedule, next three weeks: at Den, at NO, LAC

FAAB bid: $14

Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers, 32%

If you’re any sort of believer in Jimmy Garoppolo’s talent, then you’ve probably added a few Goodwin shares to your fantasy portfolio. Goodwin caught all eight of his targets at Chicago on Sunday, finishing with 99 yards. He’s seen 24 targets over his last four games, topping 60 receiving yards each week. He’s easily the most dangerous receiving weapon on this team. Goodwin, as most of you know, is a former Olympian in the long jump, and he has sub-4.3 speed in the 40. The Niners have a matchup on deck with Houston, a defense that’s allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. The Texans have been roasted by smallish speed receivers all year, giving up 100-yard weeks to Brandin Cooks, Tyler Lockett and T.Y. Hilton. Don’t be surprised if Goodwin erupts in Week 14.

Schedule, next three weeks: at Hou, Ten, Jac

FAAB bid: $9

David Njoku made another house call in Week 13, his fourth of the year. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns, 5%

At the risk of angering the Josh Gordon zealots, we’d like to point out the fact that Njoku might actually be the best athlete on Cleveland’s roster. (No disrespect intended to Gordon, who was terrific in his return.) Njoku was a 7-foot-1 high-jumper as a prep, a national junior champ back in 2014. He’s seen a spike in targets in recent weeks, and he just delivered his best game as a pro. Njoku snagged four passes for 74 yards and one touchdown on six targets in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers. He’s an ascending talent with an expanding role, and Gordon’s presence on the field should make life easier for every Cleveland skill player. If you have a need at tight end — perhaps you’re a Gronk owner, preparing for a possible suspension — give Njoku a long look. He gets a generous Green Bay pass D in Week 14.

Schedule, next three weeks: GB, Bal, at Chi

FAAB bid: $4

Tennessee Titans, D/ST, 24%

Tennessee produced as expected in Week 13, sacking Tom Savage four times and intercepting him once while holding the Texans to just 13 total points. Feel free to use this defense again next week, versus Blaine Gabbert and the smoldering remains of Arizona’s offense. The Titans’ D rank top-10 in both yards per carry allowed (3.5) and yards per pass attempt (6.7). This group is legit.

Schedule, next three weeks: at Ari, at SF, LAR

FAAB bid: $4

Additional recommended adds: QB Josh McCown, QB Jameis Winston, RB Jonathan Stewart, RB Theo Riddick, WR Dontrelle Inman, TE Stephen Anderson

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