The Waiver Wire “Playoff Edition” – Week 15
The name of the game right now is win and advance! This week everyone including you week 17 leagues is on the championship hunt and it all starts on your league waiver wire! Use it to gain an advantage or block your opponent from acquiring the missing piece to his or her lineup.
The year of the injury continues to strike down and this week teams around the world lost the biggest fantasy players at the worst possible time! Things got started Thursday Night when Alvin Kamara your #2 RB this season and who looked great early on was knocked out of the game on the Saints first drive. How many fantasy playoff matchups swung on that single hit? I can’t even begin to imagine! You fast forward to the weekend and Carson Wentz tore his ACL late in the game vs the Rams. Luckily Wentz owners got 4 quarters from him and he was able to finish as a top 5 QB for the week but the loss is huge and trying to replace Wentz production is going to be tough. We also lost Josh McCown your QB13 for the year after he broke his hand early in the Jets loss to Denver. Both Nathan Peterman and Tom Savage left their respected games with concussions and Savage looks to be a long shot to play Sunday @ Jacksonville. Oh, wait there’s more! Kelvin Benjamin re-aggravated his knee in the 4th quarter and did not return and Amari Cooper re-aggravated his ankle injury in the 1st half and did not return. Both are long shots to play this weekend.
The year of the injury continues to truck along leaving hopeless fantasy owners in its wake. All these injuries have a serious trickle-down effect on the fantasy assets around them and immediately impact the power rankings of the teams left in the playoffs. Kamara looks to be on track to play Sunday but all the rest are either out for the year or doubtful as I write this article.
Week 15 is going to throw another haymaker at us, I just hope it misses! Let’s buckle down and check out who I think are the top adds off the waiver wire for week 15 to help you win!
As a disclaimer, all players must be owned by less than 60% of ESPN or Yahoo leagues. Ownership percentages are in parenthesizes. Below I have ranked the top 3 adds at each position with a bonus player or two sprinkled in throughout.
Blake Bortles (ESPN 20% / Yahoo35%): BB is becoming a real thing and he might be a potential league winning streaming QB! Jacksonville’s next two games are vs Hou Wk15 (26th vs the pass), & @SF Wk16 (20th vs the pass). If you play in a week 17 championship BB gets Tennessee on the road (22nd vs the pass). Bortles has back to back multi-touchdown games and should continue that streak vs a secondary that just gave up 314 yards.
Jimmy Garoppolo (ESPN 23% / Yahoo 20%): Jimmy G is a gunslinger! That 314 mentioned above, it was done by nonother then Mr. Garoppolo. Jimmy G has been electric in his two starts throwing for 300 this past Sunday and getting oh so close the week before. The 49ers are on a 2 game winning streak and things are looking up for the Niners as they head into 2018. Garoppolo is a streaming option for week 15 at home vs the Titans.
Nick Foles (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 2%): Nick Foles is going to get his first start of 2017 this Sunday after Wentz tore his ACL in the win vs the Rams. Foles has been a starter before and holds a 9-2 record for the Eagles. Foles is being put in a great situation with a tremendous offensive system around him. A week 15 plus matchup vs the Giants and their 31st ranked passing defense is what the doctor ordered. Even on the road, I expect Foles to put up a multi-touchdown performance.
Bonus: Mitchell Trubisky (ESPN 4% / Yahoo 5%): over the past 6 games Trubisky has had 30 or more passing attempts in 5 of those 6 and this past Sunday he had his first QB1 performance of his rookie season. The Bears should find little resistance against a Lions secondary that has been giving up 269.3 yards per game through the air.
Jonathan Stewart (ESPN 57% / Yahoo 38%): JStew was steaming Sunday after a 3 touchdown performance vs the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are the 2nd best defense vs the run but have slipped over their past 3 games. The performance was still extremely impressive and Green Bay is on deck who is allowing 140.7 yards per game on the ground over their last three games.
Theo Riddick (ESPN 56% / Yahoo 41%): In two starts Riddick has become a must start with 3 touchdowns over that same time frame. A popular name in PPR leagues the loss of Abdullah has thrust Riddick into the mainstream in standard leagues. Riddick’s volume is still low but he is still a consistent presence in the passing game giving him a safe floor and RB1 ceiling potential.
Rod Smith (ESPN 27% / Yahoo 13%): With one week left on Elliott’s suspension, both Smith and Morris balled out vs the GMen. The Cowboys are still in the playoff hunt and face an Oakland defense that just gave up 165 yards on the ground and another 243 through the air. Smith like Riddick will be featured in the passing game providing him a safer floor as a flex option in a critical must win.
DeDe Westbrook (ESPN 15% / Yahoo 30%): Dede has seen 8 or more targets in the last three games and was finally able to get his first ever touchdown in the NFL Sunday. DeDe needs to be owned in over 60% leagues and I believe he will find the end zone again this week vs a bad Houston secondary. The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to win some people their league championships.
Corey Coleman (ESPN 29% / Yahoo 28%): Don’t look now but the Browns might have one the best young passing attacks in the NFL. Coleman had 6 targets Sunday vs Green Bay and was able to find the end zone. The Browns will take on a Baltimore secondary that just gave up over 500 passing yards to Big Ben. Only in 2017 are Browns and Jags Championship pieces!
Tyrell Williams (ESPN 20% / Yahoo35%): Phillip Rivers is on fire right now and attaching yourself to this aerial attack is a smart fantasy move. Williams broke out of his shell and went over 100 yards on only 4 catches and found the end zone on a beautiful 75-yard catch and run. Williams low volume makes him a deep league flyer. Chargers square off with the Chiefs Saturday Night in primetime and 1st place in the West is on the line. Williams a touchdown-dependent play until he can see a higher target share.
Bonus: Keelan Cole (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%): Similar to Williams, Cole is a touchdown-dependent play in week 15 based on target volume and low per game receptions. Cole is a hail mary play and starting him is not for the faint of heart.
Adam Shaheen (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%): Don’t chase Burton and the points! If Ertz is back Burton is back to the bench in Philly. Instead look to Adam Shaheen who has been seeing more and more playing time and on Sunday Shaheen saw a 44% snap share. The tight end position is a complete dumpster fire and Shaheen who is seeing around 4 targets per game has what looks to be on paper the best shot of getting a touchdown vs a Lions secondary which is giving up the 9th most fantasy points to TE’s this year (8.63 p/g). Oh, and did I mention he scored against them back in week 11?
Eric Ebron (ESPN 20% / Yahoo 29%): Out of nowhere Ebron lead the Lions in TE snaps and on 11 targets went 10/94. Ebron has been a major disappointment this season and is hard to trust going into a must-win playoff matchup. If the volume continues, Ebron could be a top streaming option in week 15.
O.J. Howard (ESPN 9% / Yahoo 23%): My favorite TE coming out of the draft (Evan Engram is a WR cheating as a TE & I LOVE ENGRAM!) Howard has begun to swing the snap share in his favor over Brate and because of it has become fantasy viable. Since week 9 Howard has out-snapped Brate and last week Howard, not brate was able to find the end zone. These two TB TE’s are going back and forth but Howard presents an intriguing play vs Atlanta a team he had some success against the last time these two teams met (3/52). You can risk it with
Defenses to Stream
New Orleans Saints vs NYJ
Buffalo Bills vs Mia
Washington Redskins vs Ari
San Francisco 49ers vs Ten
Kickers to Stream
Dan Bailey @ Oak
Blair Walsh vs LAR
Josh Lambo vs Hou
Robbie Gould vs Ten
That will do it for the Waiver Wire week 15. Good luck and I hope this little article helps get you the W you need to move on. Do you need EVEN more fantasy advice? You can find us on Twitter @TFFGurus or feel free to email us at TrophyTime@TFFGurus.com. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition of The Waiver Wire. Good Luck!