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Weekend Waiver Wire Stashes (Week 15 Fantasy Football)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Dec 15, 2018

Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon just might be someone who can help carry you to a fantasy championship

If you’ve been here the entire season, you’re likely happy with the results of this article. If you’re new here, we’ve been looking a week ahead, predicting the players who will be the hottest waiver wire pickups, and snagging them prior to the mad FAAB (free agent acquisition by budget) rush.

There have been so many injuries that have come up this year that it’s tough to predict who will be back on the field by the time the games are played, but I’ll make sure to let you know which players may not make an impact if the starter were to return.

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This is the final waiver wire stashes article of the season and it’s when it matters most. Championship week is upon us next week. So, let’s talk about the players who may be able to bring you home a fantasy championship in Week 16 who are available in over half of Yahoo leagues, though I’ll try to give some deeper players for those who play in ultra-competitive leagues.

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen (BUF) at NE
Here’s the list of players who have more fantasy points than Allen over the last three weeks: Patrick Mahomes. End of list. Look, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Allen is a great quarterback (or even good for that matter), but fantasy points are not indicative of talent. The Patriots have allowed the eighth-most yardage on the ground to running backs, including an 81-yard, one-touchdown performance to Mitch Trubisky. In case you hadn’t heard, Allen broke Michael Vick’s record for most rushing yards over a three-game stretch last week. On top of that, the Patriots have allowed at least one passing touchdown in 12-of-13 games this year. He’s the best streamer of Week 16, who just happens to be available in nearly 80 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Marcus Mariota (TEN) vs WAS
It’s never going to inspire confidence when you slot Mariota into your starting lineup, but against a rapidly declining Redskins defense, he should be able to post decent streaming numbers. Since the start of Week 3, they have allowed 8-of-11 quarterbacks finish as top-12 options against them, including Eli Manning‘s 197-yard, three-touchdown performance against them last week without his best receiver on the field, while throwing the ball just 22 times. Over the course of his career, Mariota has been better at home, too, averaging nearly three more fantasy points per game.

Running Backs

Kenneth Dixon (BAL) at LAC
We haven’t seen Dixon take over the job just yet, which is why he’s still available in 75 percent of leagues. What we have seen is him total 123 yards and a touchdown on 18 touches the last two weeks while Gus Edwards has 149 scoreless yards on 37 touches. John Harbaugh said they’re going to give Dixon more of a role moving forward. Against the Chargers who’ve allowed 4.3 yards per carry and 11 rushing touchdowns this year, he just might be on the low-end RB2 radar next week.

Elijah McGuire (NYJ) vs GB
The Packers have allowed over 1,000 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns over their last nine games and have allowed another 364 yards and two touchdowns through the air to running backs in that time. McGuire could be auditioning for the starting job next year, as the Crowell experiment hasn’t worked out like they’d hoped. He’s more of a three-down back, so gamescript shouldn’t affect his outlook in this game. He should total at least 12 touches in this game, which is good enough to stream.

Rashaad Penny (SEA) vs KC
What happens when you get the team who runs the ball more than anyone else in the league (Seahawks) and match them up with a team who’s allowed 5.16 yards per carry and 11 rushing touchdowns over their last 12 games? The Chiefs offense is extremely banged-up right now and may struggle to throw their usual 30-plus points on the scoreboard. The best way for the Seahawks to keep their offense off the field is to run the ball. Six of the last seven teams to play the Chiefs have run the ball at least 22 times, so we should see Penny get a minimum of 8-10 carries in this game against a shoddy run-defense.

Royce Freeman (DEN) at OAK
We’re now to the point where all the running backs worthy of starting are owned, but if someone dropped Freeman, he’s a multi-purpose add. Not only is he still Phillip Lindsay‘s handcuff, but against the Raiders, he may have standalone value. Running backs have averaged 24.8 carries per game against the Raiders, which is the third-highest mark in the league. Considering Lindsay has never topped 19 carries and has topped 14 carries just once in the last four weeks, we could see Freeman approach double-digit carries against a team that allows 4.95 yards per carry.

Wide Receivers

Should be mentioned as a no-brainer, but why is Curtis Samuel just 43 percent owned? If available, grab him now.

Randall Cobb (GB) at NYJ
Something tells me that Cobb will be much higher owned after his game with the Bears in Week 15. He’s going to match-up with backup slot cornerback Shea McManis, as starter Bryce Callahan was placed on IR this week. McManis has covered just 57 snaps his entire nine-year career. So, you’re not only getting out in front of the curve there, but the Jets are the best matchup you can ask for with a slot receiver. Of the 13 slot-heavy receivers they’ve played, nine of them were able to finish with at least 12.7 PPR points. Cobb is set-up to finish the year strong.

Anthony Miller (CHI) at SF
He may have been dropped in your league after his zero last week, but in Week 16, his matchup is about as good as it gets. The 49ers have really struggled with slot receivers over the last few months, as evidenced by the chart below. They’ve really held perimeter receivers in-check during most of these games, too. If there’s one thing Miller has going for him, it’s that he’s a red zone magnet and the 49ers have allowed five of the last six slot receivers to play them a touchdown.

Player Targets Rec Yds TD PPR Pts
Week 6 Marquez Valdes-Scantling 6 3 103 0 13.3
Week 7 Robert Woods 7 5 78 0 12.8
Week 8 Larry Fitzgerald 12 8 102 1 24.2
Week 9 Seth Roberts 2 1 8 0 1.8
Week 10 Sterling Shepard 3 2 9 1 8.9
Week 12 Adam Humphries 6 6 54 1 17.4
Week 13 Doug Baldwin 4 2 22 1 10.2
Week 14 DaeSean Hamilton 9 7 47 1 17.7

 

Keke Coutee (HOU) at PHI
There’s been just four games Coutee’s played the whole game and in those games, he’s totaled 11/109/0, 6/51/1, 3/33/0, and 5/77/0. With the lack of options for Deshaun Watson to throw to and lack of time to pass, he’s going to target Coutee more than most realize. The Eagles are starting three backups in the secondary and though DeAndre Hopkins is going to get his, Coutee should provide a stable floor in this game. Over the last four weeks, the Eagles secondary has allowed the third-most points to wide receivers.

Dede Westbrook (JAX) at MIA
He’ll match-up with Bobby McCain in the slot, a matchup to target for fantasy. He’s allowed 19-of-25 passing for 247 yards and a touchdown in his coverage there, as the Dolphins moved Minkah Fitzpatrick out to the perimeter. We saw Julian Edelman light them up for 9/86/1 last week and Zay Jones tag them for 4/67/2 the prior week. Since Cody Kessler took over in the new offense, Westbrook has seen a team-high 15 targets that have led to 10/113/1. He’s far from a sure thing, but he’s played well enough to warrant consideration in this plus-matchup.

Other viable options: Zay Jones (BUF) at NE, Michael Gallup (DAL) vs TB, DaeSean Hamilton (DEN) at OAK, Tre’Quan Smith (NO) vs PIT

Tight Ends

Ian Thomas (CAR) vs ATL
Any time you see a tight end see 16 targets in a two-week span, you must take notice. He’s caught 14 of them for 123 yards while Cam Newton hasn’t looked quite right, so it’s good to see his efficiency. The Falcons haven’t been a bad defense against tight ends, but also haven’t been one to avoid. Of the nine tight ends who saw at least four targets against them, six of them were able to finish as top-12 options. We chase targets with our streamers and it appears Thomas will get them.

C.J. Uzomah (CIN) at CLE
The targets continue to be there for Uzomah, who ranks 10th in tight end targets since he took over as the starter. The last time he played the Browns, he saw 13 targets, though they netted just six catches for 39 yards. We’ve seen seven different tight ends finish as top-12 options against the Browns and knowing how many points per game the Bengals defense has been allowing (league-high 30.5 points per game), it’s likely we see them throwing the ball a lot more than they’d like. He may wind-up with five catches for 40 yards, but with the way tight ends have been this year, that’s the least of your concerns.

Nick Vannett (SEA) vs KC
We have no idea what the return of Eric Berry will mean for the Chiefs secondary, but it’d be tough for him to make a big impact considering the last time he played a full football game was 2016. The Chiefs have been a team to target with tight ends, as they’ve allowed 11 different tight ends to record at least 49 yards against them. Keep in mind they’ve played just 13 games. Vannett hasn’t been very involved lately, which comes down to lack of pass attempts. That won’t be an issue against the Chiefs, whose opponents average 40.9 pass attempts per game, the second-most in the league.

Other potential options: Dan Arnold (NO) vs PIT, Blake Jarwin (DAL) vs TB (if Geoff Swaim is out)

D/ST

Dallas Cowboys vs TB
It’s odd the Cowboys are less than 40 percent owned, but it’s likely due to their matchup with the Colts this week. They rank top-12 in sacks while averaging nearly three per game, while the Bucs offensive line has allowed their quarterback to be sacked three or more times on seven different occasions. Not just that, but the Bucs have thrown a league-high 24 interceptions. It’s unlikely they’re able to completely shut-down the Bucs offense, but we should see enough sack and turnover potential to consider them one of the top streamers.

Green Bay Packers at NYJ
They have lost so many players throughout the year, but they’ve still managed to post an 8.5 percent sack-rate, which ranks second in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Jets have allowed their quarterback to be sacked at least twice in all but three games and have allowed three-plus sacks in five of them. The return of Sam Darnold doesn’t even take away from the attraction, as he’s thrown 15 interceptions on 313 pass attempts, a mammoth 4.8 percent rate. While it would be better if the Packers were at home, it’s unlikely the Jets are able to post more than 20 points against the Packers, giving them a solid floor as a streamer.

Solid alternative: Cleveland Browns vs CIN


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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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