Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: NFL Week 15
Dan Malin brings you his top waiver wire adds heading into Week 15 of the fantasy football season.
Congratulations to those of you who avoided a WILD Week 14. Plenty of big-name players were missing in action and there were just outrageous results in general. If you survived and advanced, then well done. If you still need some help to move on to Week 16 then check out these recommendations below! Also, if you’re out of it and have nothing to play for, please be courteous to those still in contention and lay off waivers this week. It’s the classy thing to do. I’m also going to lay off FAAB suggestions at this point. It’s the playoffs and at this point you shouldn’t have any FAAB left unless you’re in a league that allows FAAB budgets to reset for the playoffs. That being said, hopefully you can identify a player you really want and not hesitate to spend up for them.
Josh Allen (QB – Buffalo Bills) Well there’s no denying it, Josh Allen ’s a great fantasy football quarterback. We currently exist in a universe where if you compare Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson , Allen is the better runner, and Jackson is the better passer. What a world. Allen has 335 rushing yards over his last three games with a pair of rushing touchdowns. He does have five turnovers over that span, but Allen faces a weak Lions defense next week. He should be able to collect some rushing yards on them and who knows, maybe he keeps the turnovers to a minimum and chucks a few touchdown passes.
Justin Jackson (RB – Los Angeles Chargers) So if you started and played Jackson in Week 14 he was a big disappointment after having a really solid game in Week 13. Jackson did look better in Week 13, but apparently that was because Austin Ekeler was dealing with some fatigue in the second half against Pittsburgh last week. But now it doesn’t look as if Ekeler will be able to play Thursday night in a big game against the Chiefs. So with Ekeler possibly out, Jackson becomes a must add if you either need a running back or own Melvin Gordon and/or Austin Ekeler . My best guess is that Gordon will be active for Thursday, but even on the slight chance he’s inactive, Jackson could be in for a big game.
Curtis Samuel (WR – Carolina Panthers) Samuel has now posted back-to-back games of 80 receiving yards. Over that span he has 19 targets, but only ten receptions. The catch rate isn’t great, but he’s averaging 16.8 yards per catch over the last two weeks and Carolina gets a matchup next week against New Orleans where they should be airing it out. The Saints secondary has been playing much better lately by allowing just one opposing wide receiver to score in their last four games. But you can’t argue against the targets as Cam Newton has been looking his way.
Ian Thomas (TE – Carolina Panthers) Thomas was a waiver wire add last week and he certainly paid off for those who played him. Tight end has been terrible in 2018 and Thomas managed to catch nine passes for 77 yards. The Panthers have a very difficult matchup coming up in Week 15 against the Saints. New Orleans typically keeps opposing tight ends at bay, but they oddly allowed Cameron Brate to score twice in Week 14 even though he finished with just 12 receiving yards.
D/ST to Stream – The Seattle Seahawks will likely be a big attractor on waivers especially after dominating the Vikings on Monday night. Sure, Nick Mullens and George Kittle embarrassed the Broncos with one phenomenal half on Sunday, but Denver’s a little banged up after losing Chris Harris Jr. for the season. The Seahawks are trying to keep their playoff push alive and are an intriguing matchup on the road in Week 15.
Lamar Jackson (QB – Baltimore Ravens) This is a bit of a tough recommendation because there is the possibility that Joe Flacco reclaims the starting job. However, Jackson is 3-1 as the starter and took the best team in the AFC to overtime on the road. Historically rookie quarterbacks don’t play well in Arrowhead Stadium yet Jackson went in there and put up 19 fantasy points. He gets a great home matchup next week against the Buccaneers and while Jackson may not be throwing it a lot he has four straight games with 70 rushing yards so he’s compensating for the lack of an aerial attack.
Elijah McGuire (RB – New York Jets) If you’ve stashed McGuire since Week 9 or earlier this is the production you’ve been waiting for. On 17 carries, McGuire churned out just 60 yards, which isn’t a great YPC average, but he found the end zone and added three receptions for 23 yards. The Jets have nothing to play for as they’re ready to turn the calendar to 2019, but they could feed McGuire down the stretch to see what they may have in their young running back. The Jets and McGuire have back-to-back home games coming up, but they’re against two difficult run defenses in the Texans and the Packers. McGuire’s a flex play if the Jets are willing to give him 20 touches like they did last week, but the matchups are enough to give you pause.
Damien Williams (RB – Kansas City Chiefs) Williams is actually a very interesting waiver wire addition this week because Spencer Ware left Sunday’s game with separate shoulder and hamstring injuries so he’s currently questionable for Thursday night’s tilt against the Chargers. If Ware’s unable to go then Williams could be worth using as a flex play after finding the end zone twice last week. The Chargers have allowed six rushing touchdowns over their last four games to opposing running backs.
Dante Pettis (WR – San Francisco 49ers) Four the third straight week, Pettis found the end zone. Now he wasn’t as dominant as George Kittle was, but nobody was really if we’re being honest. But Pettis is proving to be a reliable target for Nick Mullens after seeing seven targets in each of his last three games. He’s a big play threat that could find the end zone on any given series and he’s arguably a WR2 play at this point in the season.
Kenny Stills (WR – Miami Dolphins) It feels like Kenny Stills has been around forever, yet surprisingly he’s only 26 years old, so there’s a little fun fact for you! Stills had a monster game against the Patriots on Sunday. He caught eight of his nine targets for 135 yards and a score, giving him a touchdown in back-to-back games. With 15 targets in his last two games hopefully he’s developing strong enough chemistry with Ryan Tannehill to finish the season strong. He does have a pair of difficult matchups coming up over the next two weeks against the Vikings and Jaguars, but if you are in need of upside then Stills possesses some touchdown appeal.
Dallas Goedert (TE – Philadelphia Eagles) Goedert is widely available in most leagues so you can even use him in deeper leagues. Goedert caught four of five targets for 44 yards and a touchdown and even had a big touchdown called back. Goedert showed everyone why the Eagles traded up for him in last year’s draft. He’s still playing second fiddle to Zach Ertz , but the tight end position has been so bad and if you miss out on Ian Thomas or if he’s unavailable you don’t have many options. Would it be ideal for the Eagles to feature him more consistently? Absolutely. But the Rams have been pretty weak against opposing tight ends of late. The Rams have allowed a touchdown to opposing tight ends in four of their last seven games. Could Ertz find the end zone? Possibly, but the Rams may try to take him out of the game which could present opportunities for Goedert in Week 15.
D/ST to Stream – While the Cowboys have proven to be a better “real life” defense, they haven’t been as good of a fantasy defense. Don’t ask me why I put quotes around “real life,” I truly have no idea. If you’re looking for a defense that can safely get you six-to-eight points then Dallas is your team. They have a tough matchup on the road against the Colts, but Dallas is red hot and the defense is a big reason for their mid-to-late season push towards an NFC East crown.
Deeper League Options
Josh Johnson (QB – Washington Redskins) Assuming that you’re playing in a 16-team league or deeper and you need help at QB well take a deep breath and throw all caution to the wind with Josh Johnson this week. Prior to Sunday, the last time Johnson attempted a pass in the NFL, the concept of PPR was considered taboo amongst fantasy pundits. That’s a bit of a stretch, but the point is that it’s been a while for Johnson and he looked okay on Sunday. Now it was garbage time after all with the Redskins down 40, but in relief of Mark Sanchez he finished with 195 passing yards and a touchdown to go with 45 rushing yards and an additional touchdown with his legs. Is it a gamble? Oh yeah, especially on the road in Jacksonville next week.
Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy (RB – Buffalo Bills) LeSean McCoy is currently dealing with a hamstring strain and if we know anything about hamstrings throughout the history of NFL injuries it’s that they’re tough to gauge. McCoy could play next week against Detroit, but it’s still possible he could aggravate the injury and have to leave the game again. If that’s the case then Chris Ivory could be in line for a nice amount of work. However, Ivory left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury so currently Ivory and McCoy are both questionable for Week 15. Now it’s still early so there’s a lot that could change between now and Sunday. Ivory is the preferred pickup assuming that he plays, but both are worth adding in deeper leagues.
Darren Sproles (RB – Philadelphia Eagles) With Corey Clement battling a knee injury and Wendell Smallwood not doing much there’s reason to be optimistic that Sproles might be the number-two running back in Philly down the stretch. They’re likely not making the playoffs, but with a matchup this week against the Rams there’s potential for Sproles to be actively involved in the passing game if the Eagles need to play catch up. He’s been used scarcely since coming back from injury, but on Sunday he did catch three passes for 34 yards and a touchdown. He might be worth a flex play in deeper leagues if you’re desperate.
DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick (WR – Denver Broncos) With Courtland Sutton being a bit of a dud in Week 14, you have to imagine these two will be commodities in deeper leagues for this week. If I had to prioritize one over the other I might prefer Patrick despite the fact that Hamilton was the one to find the end zone. Hamilton finished with seven receptions for 47 yards and a score, but Patrick was peppered with seven catches on ten targets for 85 yards. Patrick is a particularly big target at 6-foot-4. With the Broncos now without Emmanuel Sanders there’s an opportunity for all the young wideouts in Denver. Both players get a matchup next week against the Browns who are pretty terrible against opposing wide receivers.
D/ST to Stream – The Falcons defense has been awful this year, but they do get a great matchup at home against the visiting Cardinals. Josh Rosen has been terrible in his rookie season, but on Sunday he did eclipse 200 passing yards for the first time in almost a month. He has just one touchdown pass in his last three games and he’s not the best runner so this is an opportunity for the Falcons defense to play well in their home field finale.