2022 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 15: Baker Mayfield, Chigoziem Okonkwo, and Jauan Jennings Headline Top Pickups
Published: Dec 13, 2022
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Can we ever have nice things? Of course, there are going to be injuries and crazy situations that pop up, we are looking at you Seattle and your backfield, but for the most part, things were not too bad on Sunday. Derrick Henry and Miles Sanders had strong games, Justin Jefferson did what we expect from him these days as he continues to raise the bar, and then we had Evan Engram who simply went nuts. Then come to Monday night as fantasy managers are looking to claim their rightful place in the playoffs and we have both Kyler Murray and Rhamondre Stevenson go down with the injuries. The hope is that you were still able to advance now just have to replace them, so let us take a look at some options on the NFL Waiver Wire to help do just that.
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups Week 15
NFL Waiver Wire Quarterbacks
Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers, FAAB Bid: 4%
We had no idea who Purdy was or what he was capable of in this space last week, and it was also possible the 49ers were going to bring in a reinforcement, but that ship has sailed. Instead, the rookie used last week as strictly an opening act before taking down Tom Brady without much of an issue. Purdy threw for two touchdowns for the second straight week while also being efficient completing 16 of 21 passes for 185 yards. At this point, there is no reason for the 49ers not to ride with Purdy for the remainder of the season as he is taking advantage of the plethora of offensive weapons at his disposal. We do have to keep an eye out for Purdy’s oblique, but at this point, he should be good to go for Thursday. If not, then Josh Johnson will emerge on our radar.
Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons, FAAB Bid 2%
The rookie is slated to make his first career start this week as he has had Atlanta’s bye week to prepare. While Ridder has yet to take the field in a regular season game, he did look good in the pre-season and has also earned his share of praise. Ultimately, it remains to be seen how that will translate into a professional game and that is especially true when taking into account the lack of weapons Atlanta has on offense. The fact that Ridder can make things happen on the ground does work to his advantage here, but I would proceed with caution; unless of course you are in a league that requires or allows you to start two quarterbacks.
Baker Mayfield, Los Angeles Rams, FAAB Bid: 5%
At this time last week, it remained to be seen where Mayfield end up, but he found himself in Los Angeles and victorious at that in Week 14. Talk about making a first impression as Mayfield led his brand-new team on a 98-yard, game winning drive on Thursday, and then he had 11 days to introduce himself to the organization. Mayfield will be starting the remainder of the season for the Rams after throwing for 230 yards and that touchdown in his debut. Weapons are lacking for Mayfield, but the change of scenery could work for him as the last four weeks of the season also serve as an audition for 2023.
Colt McCoy, Arizona Cardinals, FAAB Bid: 1-2%
McCoy did not do too much on Monday night, but thanks to Kyler Murray’s likely season ending injury, there is another quarterback fantasy owners must work on replacing. The good news, is that with the playoffs upon us, there is less competition on the waiver wire, but depending on the depth and settings of your league, McCoy cannot be ignored. He completed 27 of his 40 passes for 246 yards against New England, and while the quarterback might not jump off the page at you, he does have experience.
NFL Waiver Wire Running Backs
Travis Homer, Seattle Seahawks, FAAB Bid: 5%
With both Kenneth Walker and DeeJay Dallas sidelined on Sunday, Homer was in position to take advantage of the available reps. This continues to be a situation to monitor as the Seahawks have a quick turnaround to Thursday’s game and the initial injury report of the week listed Walker as limited while Dallas was a DNP. Homer did struggle to make an impact against Carolina, but it was also a game in which the Seahawks were trailing from the start and never really able to get going offensively. He was limited to 26 yards on nine carries while adding two catches for eight yards. This is not a situation in which to invest heavily, but Homer is worth a look in deep leagues if he finds himself atop the depth chart once again. With only five snaps on offensive, we should also note that Tony Jones does not appear to be a threat.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens, FAAB Bid: 6%
While the return of J.K. Dobbins certainly made an impact on Baltimore’s backfield, Edwards still had a large role on Sunday. It also stands to reason that the Ravens will be once again relying heavily on their running backs this week and while Dobbins picked up 120 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown, Edwards should not be ignored. With 13 carries for 66 yards, he was not minimized and this should continue to be a two-headed approach to a busy backfield.
Rex Burkhead, Houston Texans, FAAB Bid: 1%
Burkhead did not make an impact in Sunday’s game, but it is worth nothing that he was the running back who took the field when Dameon Pierce exited with an ankle injury. Pierce’s status for next week remains to be seen, but is having an MRI and I would expect Houston to be careful with their rookie. While it is speculation, Burkhead could see an increased role in Week 15, but Eno Benjamin would also become a name to be aware of.
Kevin Harris, New England Patriots, FAAB Bid: 2-3%
If Rhamondre Stevenson is ultimately good to go after leaving, coming back, and then exiting the game for good on Monday with an ankle injury then this can be ignored. However, I am not sure if we have that luxury, or much clarity for that matter, on Stevenson’s status heading into Week 15. If we knew whether or not Damien Harris would be ready to return from a thigh injury, he was out against Arizona, things also would be a little clearer, but we do not even have that benefit. Instead, Kevin Harris pops up on our radars with eight carries for 26 yards and a touchdown, so once again we are left to try and figure out New England’s backfield.
Pierre Strong, New England Patriots, FAAB Bid: 5%
Take everything we said above, and now apply it here to Strong. The one difference is that Strong had a role, albeit minimal, in the passing game as he caught each of his two targets for 20 yards. Strong also looked more explosive gaining 70 yards on five carries while picking up a touchdown. He gets the edge here simply because he was involved in the passing game, and he could still have a role alongside Damien Harris if he returns while Stevenson is out.
NFL Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
Jauan Jennings, San Francisco 49ers, FAAB Bid: 4%
Based on what we saw this past week, Jennings did not distinguish himself, but with Deebo Samuel likely out on Thursday, the former then steps into the starting lineup. Jennings was only on the field for 34% of San Francisco’s offensive snaps against Tampa Bay, but game flow was also not in the favor of receivers as the 49ers jumped ahead and never looked back. After catching one pass for five yards on Sunday, Jennings has 308 receiving yards and a touchdown this year on 27 receptions, but his role should increase this week
Chris Moore, Houston Texans, FAAB Bid: 5%
We do want to limit the overreaction to a degree here as the return of Brandon Cooks and/or Nico Collins pushes Moore back in the Houston receiver tree, but he certainly capitalized on Sunday. Moore hauled in 10 of 11 targets 124 yards and he is someone to watch closely as the Texans are going to be busy through the air this week as they try to keep up with Kansas City.
Ben Skowronek, Los Angeles Rams, FAAB Bid: 3%
Baker Mayfield throwing to Skowronek is not where the Rams thought their offense would be in December, but the duo did show chemistry this past Thursday in the quarterback’s debut. Skowronek caught seven of his eight targets for 89 yards and that type of volume will certainly draw our attention moving forward given the lack of other options in the Rams’ receiving game.
T.Y. Hilton, Dallas Cowboys, FAAB Bid: 1%
After not playing yet this season, and not really making an impact last year, Hilton signed with the Cowboys this week. The expectation, at least initially, is that Hilton will be more of a depth option but the pedigree is there and he is worth keeping an eye on.
NFL Waiver Wire Tight Ends
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennesse Titans, FAAB Bid: 5%
If you have not been paying attention to Okonkwo, then now is the time to start doing so. After being targeted five times in each of the last two weeks, Tennessee looked Okonkwo’s way six times this past week. It resulted in five receptions for 45 yards, but this time he also found the end zone for the second time this season. Okonkwo’s role has been picking up steam as of late and, more importantly, he has proven to be up to the task.
Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals, FAAB Bid: 2%
Even with the injury to Zach Ertz, it has been a slow go of it for the talented rookie, but that does not mean we should forget about him either as the Cardinals look to ease him in over the last few weeks of the season. It is also possible that McCoy looks to his tight end a little more now that he is under center. That was true on Monday as McBride was targeted a career high six times and caught three passes for 28 yards.
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