By now if you are reading this article, more than likely you have survived the first wave of the fantasy football season and are into the playoffs, so congratulations! Now that the playoffs are here, the hard part begins. Remember that the key to winning a championship is not your current playoff position, because anything can happen. The key to winning the championship is first making it to the playoffs, and you’ve got that part covered, so right now is the time when strategy really comes into play. Be wise with your use of your waiver claims, and be sure look at upcoming matchups. Pick up WRs and DEFs who have great matchups in the following weeks to out-manage your opponents. I will continue to be recommending waiver defenses that are nice streamer choices based off the matchup for the week. With that said, let’s get to it.
Week 15 (Playoffs) Waiver Wire Pickups - Wide Receivers (WR)
Michael Crabtree, WR, SF - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add Immediately (10+ teams PPR, Standard)
ANALYSIS: This is my last shameless plug of Crabtree. He had a bad matchup this past week vs. SEA, but he's got some decent matchups both next week and in Week 16. I don't need to talk about Crabtree's track record as it's well documented that he's Colin Kaepernick's No. 1 receiving option. So far, fantasy football players haven't seen that come to fruition yet this year. Keep in mind that Crabtree is returning from a serious injury and is still shaking off some of the rust. I expect him to burst out this week or next, just when you need him to. If you are looking for a waiver option at WR, Crabtree is someone I'd target.
Da'Rick Rogers, WR, IND - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add in deeper leagues (12+ teams PPR, Standard)
ANALYSIS: This past week, Da'Rick Rodgers broke out with six catches on nine targets for 107 yards and 2 TDs. To help improve his value even further, the Colts finally got the message that Derrius Heyward-Bey needs to be benched. If you are looking for a high-risk, high-reward WR option, Rogers could be that #2 punch opposite of Hilton (with earlier recommendation LaVon Brazill in the slot). The only concern with ROgers is that there isn't much track record, so be cautious with this waiver choice. If you wait too long, you may miss out; nevertheless he could be a one-week wonder.
Randall Cobb, WR, GB - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add in Deep Leagues only with 17-week schedules (12+ teams PPR, Standard)
ANALYSIS: Call me crazy on this, but I'm going off a hunch here. Rumor has it that Randall Cobb has started practicing and is itching to play again. While Cobb has not received medical clearance I'm getting the feeling that he will play before the end of the season. This a waiver recommendation that is not for the wary. Cobb is too good of a player to miss on, and I would hate to be the guy who fails to give you the advice first. Just be mindful that he's not a lock to even play again this year. Just be wise with your waiver use... perhaps you let waivers run and then pick up Cobb immediately afterwards.
Players I recommend beyond rules (above 25% ownership or previously recommended). Add these WR players immediately if they are available in your leagues (in priority order):
- Josh Gordon, WR, CLE - He's risen to the one of the top WRs in all of the NFL, and that's with any Cleveland QB they've played this year.
- Keenan Allen, WR, SD - He's a little banged-up, but still had 2 TDs, even on just 59 yards.
- Julian Edelman, WR, NE - played every offensive snap last week. With his third solid game in a row, and with Gronk out, NE will look his way. You can call him Welker-lite.
- Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT - Three straight good weeks in a row. The chemistry with Big Ben continues to improve, right when you need him to.
- Golden Tate, WR, SEA - A decent game with six catches this past week in a tough matchup vs. San Fran. If Harvin continues miss time, Tate could be the guy who benefits most from it.
- Harry Douglas, WR, ATL - Not a great game this week with only 20 yards in a plus matchup vs. Green Bay.
- Jarrett Boykin, WR, GB - As long as Flynn is the starting QB in Green Bay, you can drop Boykin at your discretion.
Week 15 (Playoffs) Waiver Wire Pickups - Defenses (DEF)
No Brainer Defense Options: CAR (vs NYJ), KC (vs OAK), SEA (vs NYG)
IND, DEF - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add in Standard Leagues (12+ teams)
ANALYSIS: If you haven't read the news about Houston, let me break down their season for you in a word: horrible. It's so bad that they've fired their head coach during the season, and thery'll continue to run out Keenum, who is clearly not the answer at QB. Thus, for me to recommend IND defense is a fairly safe bet as a defense streaming option.
NO, DEF - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add in Standard Leagues (12+ teams)
ANALYSIS: New Orleans is a nice streaming defense option this weak versus a very bad STL offense outside of Zach Stacey. I expect New Orleans to play well and force some turnovers against backup QB Kellen Clemens. If you're looking for a nice under-the-radar streaming defense option, New Orleans could be it.
Nick Roach, IDP - LB, SD - Waiver Wire Pickup
BALLER MOVE: Add in Standard Leagues (12+ teams IDP Leagues)
ANALYSIS: Nick Roach is having a career year with highs in 73 tackles, 25 assists and 5.5 sacks. On the season, Roach has been very consistent which is very valuable in an IDP position. For the last three weeks Roach has tallied 25 tackles, 6 assists, and 3.5 sacks. If you are looking for an IDP waiver option Roach is a solid choice.