The Waiver Wire “Playoff Edition” – Week 15
If you are reading this I believe one of three things happened to you in Week 14. You either A) Have Le’Veon Bell & won, B) You didn’t play Le’Veon Bell and you won, or C) You played Le’Veon Bell, you lost, and you now need to pick up someone so you can compete in the 6th place game or you never made the playoffs and you just like this article. Which one was it? Week 15 is here everyone and that means it is playoff time for the entire fantasy community! Congratulations to all owners who play in a week 17 championship league and who were lucky enough to have made the playoffs!! For anyone who reads this article every week, you know I am a fan of every style of fantasy leagues and think the waiver wire is an essential piece to building a championship roster. Week 14 was a major STINKER unless you owned Tom Brady, Chris Hogan, Tyler Eifert, Atalanta’s Defense or Le’Veon Bell. We lost Melvin Gordon early in the first round of the playoffs for the majority of owners and if you had him you ended up getting a big old goose egg. Matt Forte also went down early in a BEAUTIFUL matchup causing owners major point regression and depending on how strong the rest of your team was an almost guaranteed loss. If you were lucky enough to avoid the injury bug, Bell, Brady, or Atlanta Falcons defense this week then congratulations for making it on to the next round!
Some of you are only one game away from the ultimate fantasy prize and for others, your journey starts this week! Either way, let’s go get this trophy and 1st place payout!!
For the playoffs, I will give you the best choices at each position (plus bonus’s from time to time). This is ranked in order of who I would target first to third. At the end of the day you control your waiver rankings, so go get the guy you want! Without further hesitation let’s dive right into this weeks The Waiver Wire.
- Joe Flacco (ESPN 26% / Yahoo 25%) – I picked Big Joe to play well in New England and he didn’t disappoint. Flacco ended as your QB2 in standard leagues in week 14 and has now put up back to back monster performances. Philly is up next and before last week they had given up 20+ points to the QB position 3 weeks in a row. I like Flacco to start a new streak on Sunday and he is a startable option off the waiver wire.
- Trevor Siemian (ESPN 10% / Yahoo 10%) – The Broncos didn’t look great but by the time the game ended Siemian delivered a top 5 performance Sunday with 334 yards and 1 touchdown on 51 ATTEMPTS!! The Broncos can not run the ball and against New England look for the aerial attack to continue. Siemian has top 5 potential this week against a very beatable secondary at home in a game the Broncos must win.
- Tyrod Taylor (ESPN 59% / Yahoo 63%) – Taylor wasn’t anything special but this time of the year slow and steady more times than not is who wins the race. Just look at the performances Brees, Winston, and Big Ben put together last week. Taylor had a nice teenage game (15.32 standard) throwing for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns. This week he gets Cleveland at home who are the worst team in the NFL. Look for Bills players to be on this list multiple times this week!
- Colin Kaepernick (ESPN 37% / Yahoo 36%) – Kap has really cooled off and he fizzled out after a strong 1st quarter which saw the Niners go up 14-0. I am not happy with Kap either but the metrics say that this week on the fast track in ATL could see the Kaepernick that was once a weekly top 5 QB. Play him at your own risk but the upside is tremendous.
- Kenneth Dixon (ESPN 46% / Yahoo 45%) – The numbers are not going to pop off the sheet but anyone who watched the Monday Night matchup between the Ravens and the Patriots saw that Dixon was far and away their best running back and he earned every yard he got. I loved the way they also used him the passing game increasing his PPR value as the Ravens head into a must-win game against the Eagles back at home. Dixon is the clear #1 in Baltimore the rest of the way.
- Bilal Powell (ESPN 37% / Yahoo 45%) – Powell’s value will depend on the health status of Matt Forte for this week’s divisional matchup against the Dolphins in Miami. Miami has been awful against the run this season allowing opposing RB’s to average over a 130 yards a game against them. Powell’s fantasy value has been on the rise but if Forte is a full go this week in practice than his value is only as a chance of pace back.
- Ty Montgomery (ESPN 35% / Yahoo 36%) – Look who is back in the backfield in Green Bay our good friend Ty! Montgomery was a force Sunday in a massive NFC showdown at Lambeau Field. The Packers have found some very creative ways to use Montogomery and with his duel value (RB/WR) he is a fantastic option this week as Green Bay needs to win out to have a shot at winning the NFC North and making the playoffs.
- Kenneth Farrow (ESPN 0% / Yahoo 0%) – Melvin Gordon’s backup is a hot committee today after the 2nd year star from Wisconsin injured his knee and hip trying to recover a fumble on Sunday. I can’t imagine Gordon is back this week to face the Raiders, so it’s going to be up to Farrow and Ronnie Hillman to carry the load. A major reach play but the super Chargers just keep having guys get hurt and their backups step up and produce.
- Taylor Gabriel (ESPN 51% / Yahoo 48%) – Gabriel who has scored 5 touchdowns over the past 6 games was thrust into a more focal point of the offense as the Falcons destroyed the LA Rams even without Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu. I don’t think any team has a better schedule down the stretch then Atalanta as they have the 49ers, Panthers, and Saints left on their schedule. The Falcons have the best offense in the NFL and their pieces are the most valuable to own in fantasy right now. This could be a massive game for Gabriel if Jones is ruled out for another week.
- Chris Hogan (ESPN 20% / Yahoo 16%) – Chris Hogan was your WR1 for week 14. Let’s take a moment to let that sink in…..Yup, Chris Hogan your WR1! Hogan exploded Monday night catching 5 of his 7 targets for 129 yards and massive 79-yard catch and run for the game-clinching touchdown. The numbers say Denver will be a tough matchup for Hogan so be cautious with this pickup. He could be a great stash candidate if you can afford the bench add.
- Robby Anderson (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 2%) – Flying under the radar Anderson has been Petty’s number 1 guy and has peppered him with 23 targets since taking over two weeks ago at QB. Anderson fell just 1 yard short of his first 100-yard receiving game in the pros but I think this week he not only gets in the end zone but he gets his century game.
- J.J. Nelson (ESPN 6% / Yahoo 12%) – Nelson is explosive! The problem with trusting him is the lack of volume and a number of receivers they have in Arizona who want the ball. Nelson can pop off in any game the tricky part is figuring out which one it will be. If Nelson comes into the game atop the depth chart after the loss of Michael Floyd than he might be worth a shot in a deep league.
- Charles Clay (ESPN 9% / Yahoo 11%) – Clay finally scored a touchdown this year!! Look for his scoring magic to continue against the worst team in football. Clay has his safest floor in weeks and has the potential to end as a top 5 TE this week.
- Ladarius Green (ESPN 54% / Yahoo 56%) – The production dipped on the road in bad weather but the volume and snap percentage is enough to keep you excited about the potential Green provides at a position that has sucked all year. This week Green will have a much easier time producing on the targets he is seeing and I wouldn’t be shocked if he finds the end zone as well.
- Jermaine Gresham (ESPN 12% / Yahoo 4%) – Out of the nowhere category, we have a Jermaine Gresham sighting everyone! Gres has seen some very healthy volume numbers over 5 of the past 6 weeks, seeing 6 or more targets in all of those games. In an offense that loves to throw the ball, you could do much worse when you look at the trash heap that is the Tight End position in 2016.
- Nick Novak (ESPN 21% / Yahoo 28%) – Novak was your number 1 kicker last week scoring 19 points converting 5 FG’s. This week he looks to continue his hot streak as he faces the Jaguars. The Jags gave up 15 points to our #1 waiver pickup last week and the person who sits as the #2 target this week!
- Kai Forbath (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 8%) – Forbath was a stud last week for you so kudos to all who went out and picked him up. Well, don’t hit the drop button just yet because a date with the Colts is up next. Those same Colts that Novack kicked a 19 on. Start Forbath with confidence this week.
- Sebastian Janikowski (ESPN 48% / Yahoo 25%) – Seabass and the entire Raiders team is looking to bounce back in a big way this week and nothing says offensive explosion like the San Diego Chargers. I think the former FSU great finishes as a top 5 kicker this week.
- Buffalo Bills (ESPN 53% / Yahoo 62%) – The Bills defense was humiliated at home by Le’Veon Bell and nothing feels better than seeing the Cleveland Browns up next on your schedule. Look for the Bills to dominate this game as they are playing for pride and don’t want to be the team that gives the Browns their first win.
- Atlanta Falcons (ESPN 53% / Yahoo 43%) – Holy crap the Falcons defense was amazing on Sunday! Did anyone really see that level of performance coming? I know I didn’t and I am not ashamed to say it. Before Sunday the Falcons defense hadn’t scored more than 5 points since week 7! At home vs the 49ers, they might feast again.
- Houston Texans (ESPN 44% / Yahoo 45%) – The toughest play of the three based on their performances over the last 4 weeks but Jacksonville can cure all your ailments. The numbers say this is a great play but I can respect you shying away if a better option presents itself.
Well there you have it week 15 is in the books! The Waiver Wire Playoff Edition is in the books. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition! Remember to send us your lineup questions on Twitter @TFFGurus, @DaFantasyFather, @TheFantasyBoys, and @DecoyLife. Or if you want to go old school shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Facebook page called The Fantasy Football Gurus. We’re here to help you, and if you need more Guru help, be sure to listen to our weekly podcasts by checking out Trophy Time on Google Play, Stitcher Radio, and iTunes