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Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups - All Positions


If at least one of your fantasy teams is still in contention for a championship, congratulations. Rather than wishing you good luck in Week 15, it would be more prudent to offer sage advice on which waiver wire adds could become valuable streamers or backups for the last couple of weeks of the 2018 season.

In this weekly waiver wire series, we provide a curated list of fantasy-viable players that are typically owned in less than half of all fantasy leagues, so that you can make an educated decision about who to add or claim that might be available in your league. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all eligible players that could be picked up, nor is it ranked in priority order - that's what our Lightning Round is for! These are also not all strict recommendations to add, simply a list of options. As always, it is up to you, the fantasy owner, to see who's available in your league and make the best-educated decision possible.

Let’s look around the league at the players who may be worth adding or bidding on as we move on to Week 15 of the 2018 NFL season. Be sure to also check out our other waiver wire articles, including FAAB auction bidding recommendations, for even more in-depth analysis an all positions heading into Week 15.

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Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Eli Manning, New York Giants (21% owned)

Not long ago, a road matchup with Washington looked like a tough task. Instead, it was a laugher from the start as Manning tossed three touchdowns and 197 yards in just 22 pass attempts before being relieved by Kyle Lauletta. If Manning can be that effective without top receiver Odell Beckham, he could be solid streamer against a Titans defense that has been schizophrenic as of late.

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (19% owned)

The Raiders may not be winning games, but they at least don't look like a laughingstock anymore. Carr threw for 322 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Steelers, a week after throwing three TD and close to 300 yards versus Kansas City. Carr now gets a matchup against the league-worst Bengals defense in Week 15 and may even be worth streaming in single-QB leagues for those who aren't settled at the position.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (14% owned)

He didn't put up the kind of numbers we hoped for in a juicy matchup with the Jets, throwing for 206 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions. His legs saved the day once again, as Allen ran for 101 yards and a touchdown. That gives him 335 rushing yards the last three weeks, which would place him among the top-10 running backs. That kind of production can't be overlooked, but neither can the fact that Buffalo's Week 15 opponent, Detroit, has allowed the fewest rushing yards to quarterbacks with just 59 all season. Allen's high floor makes him a solid start nonetheless, without some of the risk that the pure passers on this list have by being at the mercy of their offensive line.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (7% owned)

The Miami Miracle overshadowed everything else that happened in the stunning victory over the Patriots in Week 14. Before that last-second upset, Tannehill had himself a fine day, throwing for 265 yards and three TD. That ranks him better than Aaron Rodgers or Jameis Winston for the week. We're not implying that he's suddenly a must-start and owners outside of deep two-QB leagues should think twice before considering him in Week 15 on the road in Minnesota. The Vikings haven't allowed more than 237 passing yards in U.S. Bank Stadium this season.

Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers (7% owned)

Mullens has proved his mettle the last couple of weeks after being on the verge of losing the starting job following Week 12. He threw for 332 yards and a pair of scores against the Broncos, giving him consecutive 300+ yard efforts and nine touchdowns in five starts. Mullens now faces Seattle a second time, the team he posted a career-high 414 yards against recently. Playing at home, this game could be closer and result in less garbage time yardage for Mullens.

Josh Johnson, Washington Redskins (0% owned)

Maybe the Skins lucked themselves into a quarterback. The top pick in the recent AAF quarterback draft (don't tell me you're not familiar with the Alliance of America Football), Johnson was brought in to be the backup to Mark Sanchez because, well it's good to have at least two quarterbacks on your roster. It turned out to be much-needed, as Sanchez showed why he was jobless heading into the season, completing six of 14 passes for 38 yards with two picks. Johnson came in and made plays, both in the air and on the ground, including an eight-yard TD run and a 79-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder. Under different circumstances, he could be a sneaky streamer except that Washington is on the road against Jacksonville next week, the worst possible matchup. Normally we'd say he could be stashed but to think he might be in starting lineups in Week 16, championship week for most leagues, is a bit scary. Consider him in DFS tournaments as a WTF contrarian pick.

 

Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons (32% owned)

To say Smith had been quiet recently is an understatement. He totaled 43 rushing yards with no touchdowns in the last four games, matching the team's offensive struggles in the point department. Week 14 proved better for both sides as Smith ran for 60 yards while the Falcons at least managed to reach 20 points for the first time since Week 9. Smith isn't a reliable flex play but a home game against the Cardinals, who rank second-worst against running backs, could put him under consideration in deeper leagues.

Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins (27% owned)

Gore's thunder was stolen by Branden Bolden in a revenge game against the Patriots, as he ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Bolden saw just two carries on the day, however, and Gore led the team in touches once again. Gore tallied 92 yards on the ground but failed to reach the end zone again, something he's yet to do on the season, at least on the ground. Gore is the standard-league version of Theo Riddick, good for a sure few points but no more.

Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (17% owned)

Operating as the No. 2 back, Williams scored in the first quarter and the fourth quarter. He received valuable red zone touches and saw the same number of pass targets as Spencer Ware. Although 30 scrimmage yards isn't exciting, 12 touches in this offense is obviously enough to make him fantasy-relevant. He'll be scooped up in many leagues and rightfully so, as his ceiling is higher than the average backup.

Stevan Ridley, Pittsburgh Steelers (16% owned)

The guarantee of seeing carries on a top offense while facing one of the worst defenses in the league led some to add Ridley in advance of Week 14. Those owners were rewarded with a touchdown on a goal-line carry and that's about it. Ridley turned five carries into four yards without a target in the passing game. This is about as touchdown-dependent as you can get. Ridley may see more time next week as it sounds like James Conner will be out another week so keep him in mind if you want a chance for another short plunge into the end zone. There's also the revenge game narrative as he faces the Patriots...

Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (8% owned)

It was disappointing that Dixon saw just one target on the day, finishing with one reception for 21 yards. He turned eight carries into 59 yards, however, and was on the field in overtime instead of Gus Edwards. This could turn into a timeshare between the two, with Dixon having more appeal in PPR leagues. If Joe Flacco is the starter next week against the Bucs, the team could shift away from its run-heavy approach which actually favors Dixon. He's worth adding based on his increased usage and the Ravens' favorable schedule to close out the season.

Elijah McGuire, New York Jets (7% owned)

McGuire posted 83 total yards against a tough Buffalo defense and could see more success in Week 15 if Isaiah Crowell misses the game. Crowell left early, presumably with the same toe injury that had kept him out of practice throughout the week. The Jets are at home against the Texans next, which isn't an ideal matchup. The promise of 20 or more touches keeps him on the radar as a possible RB3/flex in leagues of 14+ teams.

D'Onta Foreman, Houston Texans (6% owned)

Just to clarify Foreman's status, he has been activated from the PUP list and is eligible to play but was kept inactive for Week 14 as the team brings him along slowly. He's been practicing in full, so there's a decent chance he sees the field in Week 15. How much time is unclear, however, making him a very iffy speculative stash.

John Kelly, Los Angeles Rams (5% owned)

If you added Malcolm Brown as a late-season handcuff to Todd Gurley, you must now pivot to the rookie Kelly. Brown is on IR, leaving Kelly as the most valuable backup in the league despite not having a single touch all season. He was highly-touted out of Tennessee and must have the team's confidence if they haven't made an effort to add a free agent. If you're a Gurley owner heading to a championship game, you may as well keep Kelly on the bench in case of some catastrophic practice injury ahead of Week 16 (no jinx implied).

Others to consider: Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (47% owned); Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (32% owned); Cordarelle Patterson, New England Patriots (6% owned); Trenton Cannon, New York Jets (1% owned)

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (49% owned)

A letdown against the Bengals could lead to many people dropping Williams. A matchup with the Chiefs could work in his favor even more though. Back in Week 1, Williams caught five passes for 81 yards which still stands as his best output in both categories. In what should be another shootout, it seems like an appropriate time to take a chance on Williams.

Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders (46% owned)

Nelson is back on the scene as a WR4 with 16 receptions and 145 yards the last two weeks. The Raiders are suddenly competitive, and Nelson is the leading receiver once more. He's held back by the lack of red zone targets, as the team is turning to third and fourth-string tight ends instead. Nelson has a plus matchup with the Bengals in Week 15, making him a strong streaming candidate.

Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers (45% owned)

It's surprising to see that Pettis wasn't added in more leagues after the last two games. He now has a three-game scoring streak and 255 yards in that span. The return of Marquise Goodwin didn't hurt Pettis in the least as Pettis saw seven targets to Goodwin's two. The Mullens-Pettis connection is real and has a chance to repeat its Week 13 magic against the Seahawks.

Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (35% owned)

Williams hasn't scored since Week 9 and hasn't surpassed 50 yards since Week 7. He's been lightly targeted the last couple of weeks too, which is why Mike Williams is the better option. Still, a matchup with the Chiefs keeps him in the flex conversation as a deep threat in standard leagues.

Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars (34% owned)

Westbrook has asserted himself as the top receiver in Jacksonville, for whatever that's worth. He did have a nice game against the normally stingy Tennessee defense, catching seven passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. Other than two games of 10 targets, Westbrook typically sits right between four or five targets per game in a low-volume offense, making him a low-ceiling option. He does get a Washington team that just gave up 40 points to the Giants without OBJ and is in the bottom-10 defending wide receivers.

Taylor Gabriel / Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears (33% owned)

Both receivers were extremely quiet on Sunday night but get a favorable matchup in Week 15 against a Packers team allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Miller is more likely to score, as he's done six times compared to two for Gabriel and sees more red zone targets. Gabriel may have the higher floor in PPR, as he leads the team in targets and has over 20 more receptions than Miller. Depending on your needs, each could be worth a flex.

Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins (31% owned)

One of the bigger surprise performances of the week, Stills hadn't gone over 100 yards since Week 1 until went off for 135 yards on eight catches against the Patriots. In fact, you need to add his yardage from the previous seven games together to even reach 135. Just as shocking, Stills was targeted nine times, more than twice as much as any other Dolphin. It's hard to imagine him reproducing that kind of effort at Minnesota next week, but if he becomes Tannehill's go-to receiver, he could find success again.

Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (22% owned)

You can't be blamed for forgetting about Crowder and avoiding him this week with Mark Sanchez behind center. He was a non-factor until Josh Johnson took over and hit him in stride for a 79-yard TD in which Crowder really did most of the work. He only had one other catch for nine yards but was targeted a team-high seven times. If Jordan Reed (foot) is out for Week 15, Crowder could see even more work against a Jags defense that forces team to work inside thanks to its dynamic corners.

Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills (21% owned)

All the stars were aligned for Jones to have a monster game in Week 14 with the Jets on tap and Kelvin Benjamin out of the way but it just didn't happen. He was targeted nine times and proved to be Josh Allen's favorite receiver as expected, but he only pulled down three receptions for 22 yards. There's still opportunity here, so don't let a bad game lead to a rage drop.

Robby Anderson, New York Jets (21% owned)

With Sam Darnold back at QB, it was Anderson as the latest Jets receiver to randomly pop off for a big fantasy game. Anderson finished with four receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown against a Buffalo team that is statistically the best in the league against opposing WRs. The Texans aren't a much better matchup, but Anderson has the type of big-play ability that could lead him to a big day, much like T.Y. Hilton had this past weekend.

Daesean Hamilton, Denver Broncos (7% owned)

We knew some of the other rookie receivers would need to step up with Emmanuel Sanders on IR and they did. Hamilton caught seven passes for 47 yards and a touchdown, far outpacing Courtland Sutton who finished with two catches for 14 yards. Although Tim Patrick saw more targets and yards, Hamilton got the red zone looks and has out-snapped Patrick the last two weeks. He has more upside and therefore warrants the add over Patrick for the time being.

Robert Foster, Buffalo Bills (1% owned)

Foster is demanding attention with a series of big games and a golden opportunity to establish himself as an every-week starter. His seven-catch, 104-yard effort in Week 14 makes three of the last four games in which he's gotten at least 90 yards. As a speedster on a run-first offense, there will be many peaks and valleys. Those looking for a potential boom play as a WR4 might be interested in a home matchup with the Lions, who've been prone to allowing big gains to receivers at times.

Others worth consideration: Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons (45% owned); Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (33% owned); Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers (30% owned); Willie Snead, Baltimore Ravens (26% owned); David Moore, Seattle Seahawks (19% owned); Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns (17% owned); Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins (12% owned); Taywan Taylor, Tennessee Titans (1% owned)

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Chris Herndon IV, New York Jets (15% owned)

Herndon will lose some ownership this week after hauling in just one catch for 14 yards. He did face a tough matchup, however, and we should actually be encouraged that the Jets showed signs of life in their win over Buffalo. Herndon had been solid, if not spectacular, the last few weeks until this dud. He faces a Texans team in Week 14 that allows the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers (6% owned)

This looks like a much different Thomas than the one that started earlier this season in place of Greg Olsen. Thomas caught nine passes for 77 yards and was targeted a team-high 11 times in Week 14. He's already a natural add for Olsen owners, but could be the best waiver wire option at TE this week considering the matchup with New Orleans. They had been among the best at limiting TE scoring but just allowed Cameron Brate to score twice.

Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins (5% owned)

If you were wondering how long it would take for Jordan Reed to be injured, you may finally have your answer. Reed left early with a foot injury against the Giants and may leave Davis as the starter in Week 15. It's a bad matchup at Jacksonville, and we really don't know what to expect of Josh Johnson in a full game with this offense, as he had the benefit of racking up garbage time stats after the game was well out of hand. Consider Davis if you are desperate and Ian Thomas isn't available.

Jordan Thomas / Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans (2% owned)

Deshaun Watson seems to prefer the tight end in the red zone; the question is which one in which game? Griffin is second in the team with 10 RZ targets and Thomas is third with six on the season, but Thomas has cashed in four times while Griffin has somehow failed to score this year. In standard leagues, Thomas figures to be the smarter play while Griffin has the higher floor in PPR.

Anthony Firkser, Tennessee Titans (0% owned)

Jonnu Smith's promising ascent has been put to a halt as he suffered an MCL injury against the Jags on Thursday night. Firkser now takes over as the starting tight end, something that shouldn't interest fantasy owners too terribly. He has caught all 16 of his targets for 201 yards on the year and this team isn't too deep at WR, leaving room for Firkser to be a modest TE2 option.

Others worth consideration: Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (41% owned); Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams (21% owned)

 

Defenses - Waiver Wire Options

Buffalo Bills (51% owned)

The fantasy numbers were disappointing despite a nice matchup with the Jets in Week 14. Yes, they forced two turnovers, but they gave up 27 points and somehow failed to sack Sam Darnold. Buffalo stays home to face the punchless Lions and could be a safe, if unexciting DST streamer for Week 15.

New York Giants (29% owned)

Suddenly a pick-six machine, the Giants defense has been coming on strong at the right time of year (even if it doesn't matter for their non-existent playoff hopes). They don't get the luxury of facing Mark Sanchez in Week 15, but Marcus Mariota has nearly as many turnovers (10) and touchdown passes (11) on the season. Among the defenses owned under 50% at this point, they are easily the best choice based on upcoming matchups.

Cleveland Browns (10% owned)

If stuck with no better option, Cleveland at least gets to face a Denver team starting rookies all across the field that hasn't gone over 24 points since Week 7. The new-look, conservative Case Keenum isn't turning the ball over anymore, but the Browns are third in the league in INT, so there is hope. Cleveland is better served in leagues that weight points allowed more so than turnovers.

More Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!