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Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds


You have to love fantasy football. You have to, otherwise you would have given up by now. In a week that most likely represented the first matchup of the fantasy playoffs or a must-win in some form for the vast majority of players, we were treated to the following: Alvin Kamara netting three fantasy points, Le'Veon Bell sitting out with the flu/bowling itch, Tyler Lockett disappearing for a fifth straight week, and some random streamer like Raheem Mostert or Noah Fant on your opponent's team causing you to curse like a drunk sailor for playing head-to-head leagues. Take it or leave it, that's fantasy football. Speaking of random streamers...

Each week, we will advise you which players to consider picking up on waivers that are owned in approximately 35% or fewer of Yahoo leagues so that you can make an educated decision about how to improve your fantasy football team. This list is not meant to be exclusive of all add-worthy players. For a more comprehensive list, check out our weekly Waiver Wire Lightning Round by position, ordered by priority. If higher-owned players not listed here are available in your league, feel free to treat them as higher-priority pickups.

As always, keep checking back here for updated waiver recommendations and always keep tabs on our NFL Player News feed. Be sure to also check out our weekly rankings and analysis columns, with in-depth analysis for all options heading into the coming week.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins - 23% owned

It wasn't a great performance but then again the Jets aren't a bad defense. Oddly, Fitzpatrick is bringing a high floor due to his rushing ability. Yes, 37-year-old pocket passer Ryan Fitzpatrick ran for 65 yards and has 186 yards and three rushing touchdowns in 12 games. Hell, he might wind up leading the team in rushing by the time the season ends. As far as passing, he can still do that too and should have an easy time against the Giants and their soft secondary that features two of the worst-rated cornerbacks in the league.

Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears - 19% owned

Not long ago, the mere mention of Trubisky in this column prompted comments like "Stopped reading after Trubisky" and "Can't take this seriously after I saw Trubisky listed." There's no doubt that Mitch helped some lucky teams win their first-round playoff matchup with three passing TD and a rushing score on Thursday. That makes back-to-back games with three touchdowns through the air, not to mention his two rushing touchdowns in the past three weeks. This Bears offense looks completely different than the first half of the year. It may be too late for their playoff hopes but he has to be considered as a high-end streamer despite the road matchup with Green Bay.

Drew Lock, Denver Broncos - 2% owned

Holy ****! That can be the only reasonable reaction to Lock's performance in Week 14 on the road against the #3 seed in the AFC, Houston. Last week I asked if you felt lucky enough to play Lock but I can't pretend I expected this. His value would supposedly lie in volume based on game flow, since the Texans should have been able to rack up points and make this a scorefest. Nobody expected the Texans' defense to simply not show up. The Chiefs probably won't have the same problems on offense but it's an eerily similar situation, as a top AFC team at home faces the upstart Broncos with their young offensive corps. Lock is still worth a shot in deep leagues if you feel doubly lucky that he can repeat his 309-yard, three-TD outburst.

Others to considerKyle Allen, Carolina Panthers (19% owned); Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (15% owned)

 

Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions - 34% owned

It might be overly optimistic to expect Johnson to suit up before Week 17 but it's possible. He returned to practice last week and the window to activate him is coming closer. If the Lions want to push him back to action, he is eligible to return for the Week 16 game against Denver. Worst case, he doesn't see the field until the final week of the season, where you really have no business caring in fantasy. If you play your championship in Week 17 (why?) then Johnson is definitely worth a stash but otherwise there are probably smarter ways to use a roster spot during the playoffs.

Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 21% owned

Another Barber-like performance of 34 yards on 11 carries was his latest result. If you're hoping for a touchdown with a small handful of yardage, Barber is always there waiting for you on the wire. There's some hope in Week 15, as only five teams have allowed more rushing touchdowns to running backs than Detroit and the ground game could be featured more with Mike Evans out and Jameis Winston playing with a fractured thumb.

Darwin Thompson, Kansas City Chiefs - 19% owned

It was initially surprising to see Thompson's ownership so low when he should serve as the RB1 for one of the best offenses in the league. After all, Darrel Williams is on IR, Damien Williams remains out, and LeSean McCoy is having his workload limited. It was more surprising to see that he only took four carries in Week 14 while Spencer Ware was brought back and carried it five times, while Shady led the way with 11 rushes. Thompson was the leading pass-catcher among Chiefs RBs though with four receptions for 36 yards. He has the most upside even if Andy Reid doesn't fully trust him yet.

Patrick Laird, Miami Dolphins - 20% owned

His three-yard-per-carry rushing average is about what you'd expect but it's also an upgrade from Kalen Ballage. Laird is a thumper who won't rip off any long runs but depends on red-zone touches and receiving volume to bring fantasy production. He has caught four passes in consecutive games and has seen his rush attempts steadily climb. The yardage just won't be there but there's at least some semblance of floor and always the chance he finds the end zone.

Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins - 11% owned

Remember him? Thompson comes back healthy just as Derrius Guice suffers another unfortunate injury. It appears that his workload will be enough to keep him under flex consideration in full PPR leagues. He didn't carry the ball but caught seven passes for 43 yards and will likely serve a similar role going forward.

Update: Guice is officially done for the year and has been placed on IR.

Deandre Washington, Oakland Raiders - 8% owned

When Josh Jacobs was ruled out in Week 14 with a shoulder injury, DeAndre Washington stepped in as the lead running back and carried the load. He had 14 rushing attempts for 53 yards and a touchdown, along with six receptions for 43 yards. Jalen Richard was in the mix as well, but only received nine touches. Jacobs is dealing with a fractured shoulder, and the Raiders take on a terrible Jaguars run defense in Week 15, so Washington could emerge as a late-season playoff darling. He is worth adding in all leagues where RB help is needed.

Update: Josh Jacobs is now expected to return and play in Week 15. It is a situation to monitor.

Others to considerGus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (12% owned); Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams (14% owned); Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots (5% owned)

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts - 34% owned

Pascal was a strong recommendation last week and an obvious streamer against the Bucs defense that allows the most fantasy points to WRs. He came through with five receptions, 74 yards, and a touchdown. As long as T.Y. Hilton is out, Pascal figures to be a fantasy WR3.

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans - 24% owned

It's hard to believe this is the same Titans offense but Ryan Tannehill has made all the difference, along with his rookie receiver. The team put up six touchdowns in Oakland, two of which went to Brown. Even better, he went off for 153 receiving yards. This marks the second time in three games that he's gone over 130 yards. Next up is a home game against a Texans Defense that was just lit up by Drew Lock. Needless to say, Brown is one of the top wide receiver pickups of the week.

Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears - 20% owned

What else are we waiting for? Miller didn't have his best game in Week 14 but he scored a touchdown and came away with 42 yards. That makes 313 yards on 24 catches over the past four games, with an average of 9.3 targets per game. The Packers secondary is fairly stingy on average but you have to follow the targets and Miller begs to be added and streamed as a WR3.

John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals14% owned

This is all about Week 16. Ross is being eased back into action and won't be anywhere close to the fantasy radar next week anyway as the Bengals take on the Patriots and their top-ranked secondary. In Week 16, however, they face the Dolphins. Auden Tate is set to go on IR and we aren't seeing A.J. Green any time soon, so Ross returns to relevance.

Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers - 9% owned

It wasn't a good spot for Lazard in Week 14, as the passing game just wasn't needed against the Redskins. A divisional faceoff with the Bears isn't much better but Lazard has grown into the WR2 role in Green Bay and that's worth something in any given week.

Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco 49ers - 1% owned

All he does is catch touchdowns! He's no Cris Carter but Bourne now has five TDs in the last six games after a pair of scores in the Game of the Year versus the Saints. Atlanta's secondary is just as generous as New Orleans, so Bourne can be considered in standard leagues.

Marcus Johnson, Indianapolis Colts - 0% owned

Everything that was said about Pascal (above) holds true for Johnson. Although he serves as the deep threat and has just recently come to be a part of the passing game, he flashed his ability with a team-leading 105 yards and a score in Week 14. With Hilton still out and Parris Campbell heading to IR, Johnson could be busy again the next couple of weeks.

Breshad Perriman / Justin Watson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 0% owned

Naturally, Mike Evans picks the worst possible time to injure his hamstring. It appears he's done for the 2019 season, which means we could see a lot more of backup receivers Perriman and Watson. Each scored a touchdown and went over 50 yards in the team's most recent scorefest. While Perriman had the edge in yardage (70-59), Watson had the higher target share (8-5). Watson might be the safer play while Perriman is always a dice roll. Each has promise against a Lions team that allows the ninth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers though, even with a gimpy Winston.

Update: Mike Evans is officially done for the year.

Isaiah Ford, Miami Dolphins - 0% owned

All the practice squad players are coming out of the woodwork for the Fins. With Devante Parker and Albert Wilson both leaving with concussions in Week 14 and Preston Williams already on IR, Ford became the go-to receiver. He caught six of nine targets for 92 yards. You have to consider him as a streamer with the Giants on deck next week if Parker is ruled out.

Others to consider: Randall Cobb, Dallas Cowboys (33% owned); Mecole Hardman, Kansas City (25% owned); Kenny Stills, Houston Texans (16% owned); Demaryius Thomas, New York Jets (7% owned); Allen Hurns, Miami Dolphins (1% owned)

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns - 37% owned

If Njoku is available in your league, dump all the FAAB you have left into picking him up and stop reading. He only caught one pass for four yards but you had to expect some level of rust after missing 11 weeks. He faces off against the Cardinals in Week 15, which is allowing points to the tight end at a historically bad rate. Add him everywhere and start him everywhere.

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 32% owned

Make that two productive games in a row for Howard (huzzah!). He came away with a season-high 73 yards in Week 14 and could see just as much success against the Lions next week. With Mike Evans out, Howard is more intriguing than you'd like to admit.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins - 30% owned

He let down with one catch for five yards in a loss to the Jets. The good news is that his target count remained high at five. With both Devante Parker and Albert Wilson suffering injuries, Gesicki's star is actually pointing up for next week despite the rough game. The Giants have been stingy against tight ends, if nothing else, so proceed with caution and prioritize the other players on this list first, particularly Njoku and Higbee.

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams11% owned

Playing matchups sure paid off if you streamed Higbee this week or last. The Rams continue to involve the tight end in the passing game (while completely ignoring Brandin Cooks), completing seven passes on 11 targets for a team-high 116 yards. It helped that Seattle was second-worst defending the tight end, following their matchup with Arizona last week. It's unclear whether Gerald Everett will be available for Week 15 but if not, Higbee must be considered once again. The Cowboys are not only reeling as a team but allow the 10th-most points to the tight end.

Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers - 1% owned

In his first start since Week 5 and only his second of the season, Thomas saw 10 targets and came away with five receptions for 57 yards and a TD. This begs the question: why wasn't Greg Olsen used this way all year? Thomas now looks to be a low-end TE1 and possibly the best option on the wire against a Seattle team that is second-worst against the position and was just shredded by Tyler Higbee.

Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens - 1% owned

Fantasy owners would have been wise to bench Mark Andrews as he faced a negative matchup in Buffalo. Throw in a bruised leg and you might be needing a replacement altogether for Week 15. Luckily, Hurst seems to have caught Lamar Jackson's eye. He did pretty much all his damage on one play, scoring on a 61-yard catch-and-run. That shows his athleticism though; let's not forget that he was a first-round pick two years ago, going two rounds earlier than Andrews and seven spots higher than Jackson. Hurst is an ideal fill-in for Andrews owners if he doesn't play on a short week. Although the Jets are second-toughest against tight ends, let's face it - the matchup doesn't seem to matter much with Baltimore this year. Hurst isn't the safest play but the upside is undeniable if you are looking for a boom play at TE.

Others to consider: Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5% owned); Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (6% owned)

 

Team Defense - Waiver Wire Options

Seattle Seahawks Defense - 40% owned

The Seahawks barely pressured Jared Goff on Sunday night, coming away with no sacks, but they intercepted him twice, including a pick-six that made fantasy owners happy. This unit has improved since the bye, forcing 10 turnovers over the last three games. The Panthers are looking to the future and showed it with an ugly effort this week, giving up five sacks and four turnovers.

Oakland Raiders Defense - 10% owned

It's tough to suggest that Oakland's defensive unit, which came into Week 14 as the 28th-ranked unit, would be one to start in the playoffs. A home matchup with the Jaguars makes them at least streamable in deep leagues, as the Jags seem to have thrown in the towel on the season.

Arizona Cardinals Defense - 1% owned

Yes, it's a really bad week to stream DST. The Cardinals have allowed more passing TDs than anyone and have just six INT on the year. Baker Mayfield could put up big numbers in Week 15 but he's usually good for at least one turnover. He's thrown a pick in three straight games, including two to the Bengals today. The Bengals...

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