Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 15
Adding and dropping players ahead of Week 15 means that you’ve done a good job surviving the tumultuous 2018 season, so congratulations on making it this far. As it stands, fantasy footballers preparing for this game are only one more victory away from the championship game next week.
Whether you’ve been using the waiver wire to stream quarterbacks, add depth, block opponents, or as injury relief, stick with what’s been working. It’s an accomplishment in itself to still be playing with your season on the line, so now isn’t the time to overthink or alter a successful formula.
Using ownership data from our friends at Yahoo, here are players to consider adding for Week 15 and suggestions on about how much of your remaining budget you should consider spending.
Friendly Reminder: In addition to the weekly Thursday night game, there are two games scheduled for Saturday, December 15: Houston at the Jets and Cleveland at Denver.
Josh Allen (BUF) 14% owned (5% FAAB)
Unless you’re in a two-QB format, streaming a signal-caller in the playoffs isn’t recommended. Then again, stick with what’s been working. Allen has proven to be very limited as a passer and has only tossed five touchdowns versus nine interceptions. But he more than makes up for that with his legs. Allen is leading all NFL quarterbacks with 490 rushing yards and five scores and all of that has come despite missing four games.
In the last three weeks, Allen trails only Patrick Mahomes in fantasy points per game at quarterback and Allen has only played two games in that stretch. He’s exceeded 100 rushing yards in both games while averaging 218 yards through the air. Allen’s rushing prowess alone is enough to warrant an add but be forewarned that the Bills host a Lions club this week that has only allowed 62 yards on the ground to quarterbacks, the fewest in the league.
Nick Mullens (SF) 7% owned (4% FAAB)
Over his past two games, Mullens has thrown for 414 and 332 yards, respectively, while tossing a pair of scores in each contest. After a poor outing in Tampa three weeks ago, there was some talk of Mullens being benched in favor of C.J. Beathard, so he’s not the most stable option, but he has played pretty well since. That 414-yard outing came in Seattle and that same defense now travels down to San Francisco in Week 15, giving Mullens a solid matchup for his fourth home start.
Elijah McGuire (NYJ) 7% owned (35% FAAB)
McGuire was already playing the Bilal Powell role for the Jets, but after Isaiah Crowell’s troublesome toe injury resurfaced, McGuire took on the lead back role against Buffalo and looked good in the process. McGuire played 76% of New York’s snaps and got 20 touches, including his first rushing score.
There’s a very good chance that Crowell’s toe injury is going to keep him out, which puts McGuire in line for similar usage in Week 15 against the Texans, who have struggled against pass-catching running backs this season. Treat McGuire as a potential RB2 for Week 15 and bid accordingly.
Damien Williams (KC) 17% owned (7% FAAB)
Williams got a pair of red zone touchdowns against Baltimore, which really pops on the box score. But Williams wasn’t particularly effective, generating just 30 yards on 12 touches while Spencer Ware touched the ball 20 times for 129 yards. Ware should remain the lead back for Kansas City, but Williams could have some weekly value IF he retains short-yardage work.
Keep in mind that Ware had a successful goal-line run against Oakland, so Williams’ two-score outing against the Ravens could have been a simple issue of in-game adjustments. That makes Williams pretty risky, but certainly worth an add, especially for Ware owners with an open roster spot for a handcuff.
Frank Gore (MIA) 27% owned (5% FAAB)
While Kenyan Drake remains a big factor as a receiver and touchdown scorer, Gore has actually led the Dolphins in carries in Miami’s past five games. Gore has yet to punch in a rushing touchdown this season and has only topped 15 carries twice, but he’s getting enough opportunities — and averaging 4.7 yards per carry — to warrant flex consideration in deeper, standard-scoring formats.
Kenneth Dixon (BAL) 8% owned (4% FAAB)
Dixon has emerged as Baltimore’s clear-cut number two running back. In the two games since Dixon was re-activated from injured reserve, Dixon has received eight carries and is averaging 6.0 yards per tote. Former second back Javorius Allen hasn’t touched the ball at all since Dixon returned and starter Gus Edwards has seen his role and effectiveness decline in each of the Ravens’ past three games.
And the Ravens love to run the ball. Since Lamar Jackson took over, Baltimore is calling the most rushing attempts in the NFL by far. Dixon got a red zone score against the Chiefs and could become a factor in that area, as John Harbaugh has been known to rotate different players.
Curtis Samuel (CAR) 30% owned (20% FAAB)
Samuel has developed into a major part of Carolina’s passing game. Even with Devin Funchess back in the lineup, Samuel has caught 10-of-19 targets for 168 yards while playing 88.2% of Carolina’s offensive snaps. Cam Newton (shoulder) is ailing, but Samuel has been one of the club’s primary red zone options.
The Panthers have dropped five straight games, but are still alive in the NFC Wild Card chase. With a pair of upcoming home games against the Saints and Falcons, Samuel has an outstanding schedule for the fantasy playoffs and Carolinas should be going all out to hold onto their faint postseason odds. Samuel has WR2/3 weekly value for the fantasy playoffs and is worth a strong bid.
DaeSean Hamilton (DEN) 7% owned (20% FAAB) and Tim Patrick (DEN) 0% owned (15% FAAB)
In Denver’s first game sans Emmanuel Sanders, Hamilton took over slot duties while Patrick started opposite of Courtland Sutton and led the club with 10 targets, seven grabs, and 85 yards. Hamilton also had a busy day, chipping in nine looks, seven catches, and scoring a short-yardage touchdown.
The Broncos host Cleveland’s generous secondary in Week 15 and with both player’s off to good starts in their respective new roles, Hamilton and Patrick are both worth a waiver add in all formats.
Robert Foster (BUF) 1% owned (10% FAAB)
Kelvin Benjamin was finally jettisoned, which led to team-leading 73 (96%) snaps for Foster against the Jets. Foster also led Buffalo in targets (eight), catches (seven), and receiving yards (104). The 104 yards was Foster’s second triple-digit outing in the past month and is the third time in four games that he’s topped 90 yards.
Foster has come out of nowhere to build a solid rapport with Josh Allen. Buffalo’s 31st-ranked passing offense doesn’t provide a ton of upside, but Foster is making the most out of opportunities and is on the WR3/4 radar this week at home against Detroit.
John Ross (CIN) 9% owned (5% FAAB)
Ross isn’t doing much in the target or catch departments, but he’s become a solid red-zone weapon. Ross has scored a touchdown in four of Cincinnati’s past five games and gets a Week 15 home date with an Oakland Raiders secondary that has allowed a league-worst 30 touchdowns in 2018. Ross is a risky boom-or-bust option, but there’s enough TD potential to warrant a look.
Jamison Crowder (WAS) 22% owned (4% FAAB)
Crowder missed about half the season with an ankle injury but is finally healthy and led Washington with seven targets in a dreadful home showing against the Giants. While Crowder’s upside is severely limited due to the club’s quarterback situation, Crowder can be a decent source of targets and receptions.
Demarcus Robinson (KC) 0% owned (2% FAAB)
Subbing in for the injured Sammy Watkins, Robinson played 65% of Kansas City’s snaps versus the Ravens and caught five-of-seven targets for 42 yards. That wasn’t a bad showing considering the quality of Baltimore’s secondary. The Chiefs should have an easier time moving the ball on the Chargers this Thursday, which makes Robinson a viable candidate to see a handful of targets.
Trent Sherfield (ARI) 0% owned (1% FAAB)
An undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt, Sherfield has been getting plenty of playing time over Arizona’s past five games but didn’t make much of an impact until Week 14, when he tied Larry Fitzgerald for a team-high five receptions and led the team with 77 receiving yards. With Christian Kirk on IR and Chad Williams being one of the least effective wideouts in football, Sherfield should continue to get plenty of snaps and gets a plus Week 15 matchup in Atlanta.
Ian Thomas (CAR) 7% owned (7% FAAB)
Thomas has stepped up in the wake of Greg Olsen’s season-ending foot injury. The fourth-round rookie led the Panthers with 11 targets and nine grabs in Cleveland and has racked up 14 receptions for 123 yards over Carolina’s past two weeks.
In Week 15, the Panthers will desperately try to keep their playoff hopes alive at home against a Saints defense that has allowed the fifth-most passing yards this season.
C.J. Uzomah (CIN) 29% owned (5% FAAB)
Jeff Driskel isn’t pressing the ball downfield but instead relying on short, innocuous passes. That’s led to a ton of targets for Uzomah, who has 14 grabs in Cincinnati’s past three games. Granted, Uzomah has yet to hit 40 yards in any of those contests, but it’s possible that breakout finally comes in Week 15 as the Bengals host an Oakland defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends.