Fantasy football waiver wire: Niners backups take over lead roles

The fantasy playoffs are set to begin in most leagues, but if yours included Week 14 as part of the regular season, there's still time to improve your roster for a championship run.

Week 13 takeaways:  Fantasy gods turn cruel in regular season finale

For those formats which still allow pickups in the playoffs, the stakes may be even higher. And the talent pool even shallower. If the likes of Spencer Ware, Adam Humphries and Curtis Samuel are already on someone's roster, perhaps these upstarts can help.

With FAAB (free agent acquisition budget) resources limited at this point in the season, players are listed in priority order instead of by FAAB bid recommendations. 

BEST BETS

WR Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers. With Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon out, the rookie wideout has emerged as a late-season standout. He caught five passes for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns at Seattle. That, on the heels of 77 yards and a score the week before. The Niners have an enticing schedule the rest of the way and will need to throw often in every game.

RB Jeff Wilson, San Francisco 49ers. Wilson gets the start this week with Matt Brieda already declared out with an ankle injury. The last few weeks have been brutal for starting running backs, so any new one on the market is definitely a hot commodity. Wilson ran for 61 yards and caught eight passes for 83 more in relief of Brieda. He should see even more touches Sunday vs. the Denver Broncos.

RB Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers. James Conner left Sunday's game early with an ankle injury — and his status remains up in the air. If Conner is limited or out altogether, the Steelers will go with a combination of Samuels and veteran Stevan Ridley. Both will have some fantasy value, but the rookie has more because of his pass-catching ability (he had three catches for 20 yards and a TD in Week 13). 

Bonus: On some sites, Samuels also qualifies as a tight end.

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