The Waiver Wire: Week 15 Playoff Edition
Chaos theory. Do you know what Chaos theory is? Chaos theory deals with things that are effectively impossible to predict or control like turbulence, weather, the stock market, and now Fantasy Football! All the research in the world and you would have never guessed that Derrick Henry would lead all scorers in week 14, that Amari Cooper & George Kittle would both have over 200 receiving yards, and that the Miami Dolphins would win on a botched hook n ladder touchdown with no time left on the clock. Chaos Theory is a bitch and it probably eliminated someone you know from the playoffs this past week.
But guess what we are not eliminated! Nope here we are getting ready for our week 15 playoff matchups. For almost all of you, it’s the semifinals in your league and the top 2 seeds are coming off their bye week. For a small percentage of you, week 15 marks the start of your league playoffs. Either way, welcome to this all-important week 15 waiver wire column. Below I will help guide you to which players you should be targeting with your top waiver claims or FAAB dollars at each position and help get you to the next round. Whether the switch is due to an injury or a players lack of production the Waiver Wire is where championship lineups are made. Before we head into the top pickups for week 15 let’s take a peek at the key injuries from week 14;
- Corey Clement: Diagnosed as a knee sprain and is day to day
- LeSean McCoy: Hamstring Strain and is day to day
- Jordan Reed: Sprained foot and will miss the rest of the season
- Isiah Crowell: Foot Injury and is listed as week to week
Now onto the top Waiver Wire pickups for this playoff edition of week 15!
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.
Dak Prescott (ESPN 53% / Yahoo 57%)
Dak is balling right now with two multi-touchdown games over his last three and capped it with a 455 passing yard performance last week! With Indy (#28 vs the pass), Tampa Bay (#32 vs the pass), and NYG (#20th vs the pass if you play in week 17) left on the schedule Dak looks like a league winning QB if you need one.
Derek Carr (ESPN 10% / Yahoo 19%)
I know it’s an Oakland Raider but once again Carr is quietly lighting it up all be it for nothing but self-pride and a bigger FA signing. At home over the past two weeks, Carr has thrown for 607 yards, 5 TDs, and zero interceptions. Actually, Carr hasn’t thrown an interception since week 5. With Cincy on deck this week and Denver back home who just gave up 332 yards to Nick Mullens you could do worse than Carr if you are looking to the wire for help this week.
Nick Mullens (ESPN 6% /Yahoo 7%)
Speaking of Nick Mullens he deserves waiver consideration because of the volume of attempts he is having each week. Since becoming a starter Mullens has thrown the ball 174 which is an average of 34.8 pass attempts per game. That would be towards the top of all QBs for pass attempts per game in the NFL. Chase the volume, the production usually will follow.
Damien Williams (ESPN 14% / Yahoo 17%)
Not only did Williams see 50% of the RB snap share (out snapping Ware) he was able to cash in on his 12 touches with a TD. You want to attach yourself to any part of the Chiefs offense especially this late in the season and with Ware getting a little banged up Williams is the smart top RB waiver claim to make. He won’t start this week for you but if Ware goes down he could be the difference maker your team needs in your championship matchup!
Justin Jackson (ESPN 43% / Yahoo 54%)
Jackson nosedived and was a major disappointment vs a Bengals squad that is giving up 148.1 rushing yds per game. Non the less Jackson has yet again a nice matchup vs the Chiefs on TNF who are giving up 127.8 yds per game and Austin Ekeler is doubtful to play. Gordan who has missed the Chargers past two games may be able to come back. He may be on a pitch count and or he is unable to go because of the MCL sprain he suffered. Either way, Jackson deserves a FAAB bid and or a waiver claim.
Elijah McGuire (ESPN 11% / Yahoo 7%)
My favorite McGuire in the NFL, Elijah was the Jets lead RB with Crowell injured. McGuire saw 20 touches in the Jets come from behind win and maybe the Jets lead RB for the rest of the season as they have nothing to play for. Another smart pick up here as he may be a lead RB on a bad team trying to get game film of its young players.
DaeSean Hamilton (ESPN 5% / Yahoo 7%)
With Emmanuel Sanders going down late in the week with a torn Achilles, Hamilton was catapulted into the #2 WR role. Hamilton saw 97% of the snap share the highest on the team and converted that high snap share into a team-high 9 targets for 7 catches & a touchdown. Cleveland is heading to Denver and it’s bringing with them their 31st ranked pass defense with them. Hamilton could yet again lead the WR unit in snap share & targets this week.
Chris Conley (ESPN 15% / Yahoo 15%)
With the news coming out this week that Sammy Watkins is going to miss the rest of the regular season Conley is locked in as the Chiefs #2. In the first game since the news broke Conley saw 99% of the snap share but wasn’t able to turn that position high snap share into a large target share. Like Williams, you want to invest in the Chiefs offense and with Tyreek Hill banged up Conley’s usage may be at an apex on the short week vs the Chargers.
Curtis Samuel (ESPN 32% / Yahoo 31%)
Everyone is all over D.J. Moore and rightfully so but Samuel has outperformed Moore in two straight weeks and has now had three straight games with 80% or higher snap shares (92%, 83%, 93%). Carolina has as easy a schedule for pass catches left in the NFL with NO & ATL at home. Over the last two weeks, Samuel has seen 19 targets and has scored double digits in the past 4 weeks. Just like the Chiefs, I want all the Carolina pass catchers in my playoff lineups.
Ian Thomas (ESPN 25% / Yahoo 8%)
With Greg Olsen down on the IR Ian Thomas in his 2nd time as the primary TE stepped up in a big way to the tune of 11/9/77 and saw an 82% snap share. Just like Samuel above the matchups the rest of the way boost Thomas’s value and make him the top TE to target.
Blake Jarwin (ESPN 0% / Yahoo 0%)
Dallas may have finally found it’s TE for the season as they have used a TEBC almost all year long. With that being said Jarwin got 59% of the snaps while Dalton Schultz got 45% of the TE snaps. So we still may have a TEBC heading into week 15 but Jarwin who out targeted Schultz 7 to 3 looks like he could be the Boys #1 TE the rest of the way!
Vernon Davis (ESPN 4% / Yahoo 5%)
Stop me if you’ve heard me say this before, Jordan Reed is going to miss the remainder of the season. Reed was so close to making it through the season uninjured but the Redskins are cursed I tell you. That means the ageless wonder will once again be called upon to be the primary TE the rest of the way. With Josh Johnson now starting at QB for the Washington Redskins, I can understand your hesitancy to invest in this offense but this is where we are with the TE position in 2018.
That will do it for the top players to target for Week 15! Don’t forget to get those waiver claims in and thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. You can find me on Twitter @Trotta23. If you need EVEN more fantasy advice, you can follow The Gurus @TFFGurus & you can find all our season-long advice at tffgurus.com. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition of The Waiver Wire. Until then may the health gods forever be in your favor.