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Early Week 14 Yahoo waiver wire pickups for the first round of fantasy playoffs

Whether you’re sitting pretty in your Week 13 matchup or trying to overcome a deficit, Liz Loza and Matt Harmon have you covered with some waiver wire suggestions who could strengthen your team going forward.

Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers (4 percent rostered)

Ah, the never-ending who-is-the-Packers-second-wide-receiver carousel continues. But did we arrive at an answer on Sunday? Lazard was behind Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, and Jamaal Williams in the target-pecking order, but the receiver still corraled all three of his targets for 103 yards and a touchdown, including a beautiful 43-yard catch as his first reception. It’s hard to trust any Packers receiver outside of Adams, but Lazard has been quietly producing since Week 6. The same can’t be said for better-known Packer receivers like Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Consider Lazard and his big-play ability ahead of a juicy matchup with Washington in the first round of the fantasy playoffs.

Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams (10 percent)

At the time of this writing, Tyler Higbee was busy destroying the Arizona Cardinals, as expected — what tight end doesn’t crush the Cards? (He would finish with 7-107-TD). Yet, his fantasy intrigue goes beyond just this smash spot. With Gerald Everett (knee) out until further notice, Higbee will be expected to resume starting tight end duties for the Rams, and there are some plus matchups on the calendar. In must-win fantasy weeks, 14-15, Higbee and the Rams will take on the Seahawks and the Cowboys, respectively — two teams who have struggled to defend the tight end position this season.

Patrick Laird, RB, Miami Dolphins (1%)

Scott Pianowski has touted Patrick Laird for some time, and the runner finally delivered against the Eagles on Sunday. Laird led the Dolphins backfield with 14 total touches — including one touchdown and a two-point conversion — after Kalen Ballage left with a knee injury that looked potentially serious. The Dolphins have nothing to lose this season and Laird looks set to receive an extended look with Ballage out. It’s not every day a potential starting running back is on the waiver wire, especially this late in the season.

BONUS PICKUP: Darwin Thompson, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (5%)

With Damien Williams (ribs) already ruled out, Darrel Williams leaving Week 13 with injury, and LeSean McCoy getting another limited workload, Darwin Thompson shined late for the Chiefs. He would finish with 11 carries, 44 yards, and a rushing touchdown. You already know the deal here: Any running back receiving extended work in this Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs offense is worth rostering in fantasy. Monitor the situation in the backfield closely, but Thompson is pretty much free on waivers right now.