Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 15
We march toward the semifinals in the fantasy football playoffs and Dan Malin has you covered with this week's waiver wire targets to help you to get the championship!
Jared Goff (LAR) It worked out the last time I recommended Jared Goff so let’s give it another shot. In four-point per passing touchdown leagues, opposing quarterbacks are averaging 26.7 points per game against the Jets. They’ve allowed a dozen touchdown passes in their last four games and it shapes up easily for the Rams aerial attack on Sunday. Goff hasn’t thrown for multiple touchdowns since Week 11. In fact he has just two in his last three games, but he also has a pair of rushing touchdowns in back-to-back games. This is a safe matchup where you can feel good about Goff posting 24+ points. FAAB Bid: 8-12%
Jalen Hurts (PHI) Well this is an obvious one. After an impressive game against the Saints, Hurts has already been named the starter for next week’s game against the Cardinals. The passing numbers likely won’t impress you too much, but he possesses value through his legs. Don’t expect 100+ rushing yards each week, pluys the Cardinals defense is quietly playing much better. Believe it or not, they’ve only allowed one passing touchdown in their last three games and just 580 total passing yards in that span. You still have to feel good about Hurts since Arizona doesn’t have a ton of tape on how to properly scheme for him, but you can also expect the Cardinals defense to be included as a streamer this week. FAAB Bid: 8%
Baker Mayfield (CLE) Since emerging from three straight games in awful weather, Mayfield’s performed much better and surprisingly he’s still available in a good amount of leagues. If you’ve made it this far and are still alive, it’s likely you have a quarterback you feel better about. But give Mayfield some consideration. He has back-to-back games with 300+ passing yards and seven total touchdowns in his last two games. The Browns visit the Meadowlands the next two weeks as they’ll play the Giants and Jets. The Giants have a decent defense, but these are still a pair of matchups that need to be looked at if you’re desperate for a streamer. FAAB Bid: 6-7%
Cam Akers (LAR) I’ll make this quick; he’s only available in shallow leagues on ESPN. But he’s easily the running back to grab as he’s available in 45% of leagues as of Tuesday morning. He’s the guy to own in this backfield. They’ll still mix in Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson, but if he’s available in your league you need to roster him. He’s scored in three of his last four games and is coming off a monstrous game last Thursday night. This is a no-brainer. FAAB Bid: At least 35% but realistically you can sell the farm for him.
The Miami Dolphins Backfield – There’s a lot of ground to cover here so we’ll just encumber them all in one section because nobody’s a sure thing. The Dolphins were without Myles Gaskin, Matt Breida , and Salvon Ahmed on Sunday. I tried to steer people away from DeAndre Washington , but some situations called on starting him given the guaranteed workload. Two weeks ago against the Jets he had 15 touches for a total of 60 yards. So how good could you possibly feel about him against the Chiefs? He had 15 touches once again, but only 52 yards. Miami plays New England this week and they were torched by 186 rushing yards against the Rams. It really depends which defense shows up for New England. In three of their last six games they’ve allowed at least 115 rushing yards. But in the other three games they allowed 70 or fewer. I’m not optimistic about Washington, but if you’re in a bind, I understand the need to start him. Lynn Bowden came in to have a huge game, but that was almost by necessity. Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker both left the game with injuries, as did Mike Gesicki after two touchdowns. Bowden’s experience as a wide receiver helped push him to seven receptions for 82 yards. Do not assume that will become the norm. The Dolphins were down 30-10 heading into the fourth quarter so they abandoned the run and had to make use of every potential pass catcher they had. But if you need a home run, he’s probably the play over Washington. And Patrick Laird still has a pulse so if we see more injuries to a depleted backfield he could get more rub. FAAB Bid: 12-13% but you really need to examine the need here. It’s Week 15 so if someone here can help you, then great, go ahead and pay up. If not, then pass them by.
Philip Lindsay (DEN) You have to like the opportunity, but Lindsay’s knee is really dogging him lately. He has 34 rushing attempts in his last three games for a total of 70 yards. His value depends on Melvin Gordon ’s availability as he left with a shoulder injury on Sunday. The Broncos have a short-ish turn around since they play Buffalo on Saturday night. The Bills have allowed a rushing touchdown to opposing running back in nine games this season. Lately they’ve been a little better stuffing the run so even if the opportunity is there for Lindsay, this isn’t a lock by any means. FAAB Bid: 10%
Gus Edwards (BAL) One thing is pretty clear, Gus the Bus isn’t going anywhere. Is he getting a workload you can feel confident in? No. But he’s in that range of seven-to-ten touches each week and he has six touchdowns in his last eight games with two coming last night against the Browns. The risk is still there, but in deep-league formats he might have an okay floor given his ability and opportunity to find the end zone. Baltimore hosts Jacksonville next week and it’s certainly realistic enough that Lamar Jackson , J.K. Dobbins, and Edwards each find the end zone, similar to Monday night. FAAB Bid: 7%
Trayveon Williams (CIN) Let’s hope it doesn’t come to this, but Edwards is worth mentioning. Worth grabbing? I highly doubt it, but he had 15 touches last week after the Bengals benched Giovani Bernard for his first fumble of the season. It didn’t make a ton of sense, but at this point in 2020, I’m tired of looking for explanations. You can easily see the Bengals going back to Giovani Bernard . In fact, they may have to this week against Pittsburgh. If Cincinnati falls behind (which they likely will against a Steelers team coming off two straight losses) then Bernard may get more action in the passing game over Edwards and Samaje Perine . FAAB Bid: 2-3%
Russell Gage (ATL) I’m a little undecided on which wide receiver I like most this week, but I think I’m settling on Russell Gage . He has double-digit points in PPR formats in three of his last four games with 32 targets in that span. He’s only found the end zone once in that span, but if I’m projecting pass attempts for Matt Ryan and the Dirty Birds over the next couple weeks, there could be plenty to go around especially if Julio Jones misses time. The Falcons finish the season against the Bucs, Chiefs, and then the Bucs again. If Julio’s out then it helps Gage. The bad news is that we can’t really tell if Julio’s out until Sunday. If he’s not practicing, sure it’s a bad sign. But he’s routinely beat up so he could just be getting a “veteran’s” day off. But if he’s out again on Sunday, get some Gage in your life. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Nelson Agholor (LV) Nelson Agholor is good for a dropped pass every week. But he’s also getting peppered with targets. He has 35 in his last four games and found the end zone against the Colts for the seventh time this season. The Raiders have a short turn around with a game Thursday night against the Chargers. Ultimately, I’m a little nervous about Derek Carr and his turnover surge lately. However, I still like the targets getting thrown Agholor’s way and he’s available in a lot of formats. FAAB Bid: 10%
Rashard Higgins (CLE) I’m not the biggest fan of Higgins, but the production over the last two games has been there. Over the last couple weeks he has a dozen catches on 19 targets and he’s scored in each of the last two games. I was convinced they were going to fade him early in last night’s game. On one of his first catches he fumbled the ball, but recovered it. And then on the very next play he made a catch, but fumbled the ball out of bounds. Two fumbles on back-to-back plays and then he dropped the next target thrown his way. Yet the Browns didn’t pull him. Why? Because they really can’t afford to. So with that said, there’s a solid argument for Higgins over Agholor especially considering Agholor’s propensity to drop passes. FAAB Bid: 10%
Tim Patrick (DEN) Oh would you look at that? Tim Patrick found the end zone again. The targets will always fluctuate, but he’s a big target that Drew Lock loves to look at in the end zone. If you take away the game where Denver didn’t have an actual quarterback under center, Patrick now has double-digit fantasy points in PPR formats in eight of his last nine games. That’s a pretty decent floor. Denver will host Buffalo Saturday night and the Bills are somewhat ho-hum against opposing wide receivers. But assuming Buffalo has a comfortable lead, Denver may have to throw the ball because I’m not confident they’ll generate much offense on the ground if Melvin Gordon misses time. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Keke Coutee (HOU) Coutee only saw three targets last week but he caught them all and found the end zone. Coutee has played in three games against the Colts and is averaging roughly seven catches on nine targets for 90 yards or so. Just two weeks ago he had eight catches for 141 yards so we can go back to utilizing Coutee in another good spot. If Brandin Cooks can return that may help Coutee even more. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Keelan Cole (JAX) It’s a revolving door at WR1 in Jacksonville depending on who is at quarterback. Based on last season you’d think it would be D.J. Chark . But Collin Johnson has looked good of late and even Laviska Shenault flashed upside on Sunday. But I’m going to recommend Keelan Cole now that Gardner Minshew is going to start next week. When Minshew took over under center, Cole led the team with seven targets. Chark saw five, Shenault had four, and Johnson had two. It’s a tough matchup next week on the road in Baltimore and you’re likely only playing him at the flex in deep leagues, but with Minshew under center we have enough of a sample size to know he’ll look Cole’s way. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Chad Hansen (HOU) So Hansen was reverted back to the practice squad, but this could easily be a formality. They’re still thin at wide receiver and it’s possible they promote him back to the active roster. That being said, don’t go bananas with the FAAB bid either way. But something should be said for a player with 12 catches on 14 targets for 157 yards in just two games. Keke Coutee is probably the preferred target, but Hansen made the most of his opportunity the last two weeks and could be promoted to the active roster again this week. FAAB Bid: 2%
Logan Thomas (WFT) Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Another week, another strong performance from Logan Thomas . Is it the stigma of playing a Washington tight end that has his ownership so low? He’s top eight at the position in PPR formats and he has 16 targets in his last two games. The matchup is tough next week against Seattle. Over their last two games they’ve only allowed six catches for a total of 44 yards to opposing tight ends. But from Weeks 8-12 they allowed opposing tight ends to score five times. Thomas is a must-add at this point. FAAB Bid: 15%
Irv Smith (MIN) Irv Smith won’t offer the safe floor that Thomas does, but there’s a good ceiling as we saw last week. He caught all four of his targets for 63 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings host the Chicago Bears in Week 15 and the Bears are awful against opposing tight ends. Chicago has allowed an opposing tight end to score in eight games this season so this is a great streaming option in Week 15 if Kyle Rudolph is inactive again. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
Gerald Everett (LAR) Here’s a bit of an off-the-board recommendation. Everett’s matchup this week against the Jets is phenomenal. They rank dead last against tight ends with a dozen touchdowns allowed to this particular position. Of course this means good things for Tyler Higbee as well, but maybe Everett can get five or six targets and find the end zone for you on Sunday. Not sexy, but it’s got teeth. FAAB Bid: 3-4%
Cleveland Browns – This could be your D/ST over the final two games of the season. The Brownies get the Giants and the Jets, two of the best matchups available to D/ST’s. Daniel Jones is good for almost a turnover each week and they just allowed the Cardinals to collect eight sacks. If you have FAAB left and you’re in the semifinals, you can throw some money here and not have to worry about a D/ST over the final two weeks. This is the best option out there with double-digit point upside for each matchup.
New England Patriots – Remember how the narrative used to be that the Dolphins would always show up to face the Patriots because it was a divisional game? Well now the script is flipped. The Dolphins are trending in the right direction for the playoffs and it’s New England on the outside looking in. But this is still a good opportunity to stream a D/ST. Remember what Bill Belichick did to Justin Herbert a couple weeks ago? New England shut them out and forced four turnovers. It was a clinic by the defense and special teams. Herbert’s easily been more impressive than Tagovailoa so I’m expecting another impressive defensive performance from New England against a rookie quarterback.
Arizona Cardinals – I alluded to the Cardinals earlier in the article and I certainly do think they’re a D/ST worth streaming. But you should definitely target the Browns or Patriots over them. Arizona turned in a strong performance against the Giants on Sunday and now have six forced turnovers over their last three games. Jalen Hurts has shown he can run the ball so this is a test for Arizona with minimal tape on Hurts at the NFL level. Tread carefully. If you don’t like the Cardinals this week and you don’t land the Browns or Patriots then consider the Minnesota Vikings, but I will not be playing them in my leagues. They shut down the Bears a couple weeks ago, but the Bears offense has found new life with Mitchell Trubisky and David Montgomery has been turning it up as well. The Vikings are in the discussion as a streamer, but I’d much rather pay up for Cleveland or New England.