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Week 15 Waiver Wire Rankings

With Week 14 in the books, it’s time for Week 15 Waiver Wire Rankings! Hello to all of you still reading, as that means you’ve most likely made it through your first week of fantasy football playoffs. It wasn’t easy, full of disappointing performances and injuries. So, welcome and congrats! Waiver diving represents more of a challenge at this point, as many players wither on the benches of your fallen league mates. I’ll do my best to assist in finding points where you might need them, but have mercy on me because I’m digging deep on some of these.

As usual, I only rank players that are under 60% owned and if it’s close, I mention the percentage. I want you to at least have a shot at these guys, so mentioning any highly owned players just doesn’t make sense. But first, some impactful news and notes from Week 14.

Many fantasy owners ended up in fantasy playoffs due to Alvin Kamara and if they didn’t snag the bye, his concussion on Sunday could be the reason many don’t advance. Kamara left the game during the very first Saints offensive drive after a helmet-to-helmet collision. He’s currently in the concussion protocol, but has 10 days to recover for Week 15. If he can’t go, Mark Ingram gets the touches against the New York Jets. It should be noted that Ingram also struggled with a toe injury and seemed to be in some pain in the second half. Barring any setbacks, I anticipate both being ready for Week 15 and both should be great fantasy plays.

Breaking hearts and fantasy hopes across the nation, Carson Wentz left Sunday’s game after a collision with two defenders in the end zone. Philadelphia reported that he tore his ACL and requires surgery, ending his season. Wentz performed like a champ before the injury, throwing for 291 yards and four TDs. Therefore, many owners still made it through the first round but are now faced with streaming for the remainder of playoffs. Nick Foles entered the game for Wentz and completed 6-for-10 for 42 yards.

Both QBs Nathan Peterman and Tom Savage entered the concussion protocol on Sunday, leading Buffalo and Texans fans to collectively throw their hands in the air and shrug emoji. Injuries decimated their teams this season. If Tyrod Taylor (knee) gets to full health, he’ll get the start in Week 15 against Miami. The game-time decision approach to his injury last week implies that he was close, so we shall see.If neither Peterman or Taylor is healthy, Joe Webb (who threw two completions for 35 yards and an INT in Week 14) starts, so let’s root for Tyrod, shall we?

Tom Savage actually continued to play a series after slamming his head against the turf versus SF in the second quarter. Luckily, medical staff stopped him afterward and he entered the concussion protocol. I guess you can’t say he doesn’t have heart. T.J. Yates took over and completed 14-of-26 passes for 175 yards and two TDs. Houston Head Coach Bill O’Brien announced that he expects Yates to start in Week 15 against the Jags. To avoid the suspense, I won’t be recommending these as top streaming options in Week 15. Surprising, I know.

Jets QB Josh McCown suffered a back injury (returned) and a broken non-throwing hand (left the game) in Week 14. He sported a cast after the game and needs surgery, so it looks like it is the Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg show for the rest of the season. Petty threw for 14 yards on two completions (out of nine) after McCown exited on Sunday, so this could be ugly. Coaches named Petty the starter for Week 15. When asked earlier this season if Christian Hackenberg might see the field, QB Coach Jeremy Bates stated, “As an organization, this is professional football. This isn’t Triple-A. We’re going to play the best players that give us the opportunity to win at all positions.” This referred to either backup QB usurping McCown’s role at the time, but, alas, the injury woes of 2017 claim another. The Jets draw New Orleans in Week 15.

Two players that returned to the field only to reaggravate their nagging injuries were Kelvin Benjamin and Amari Cooper. Cooper reaggravated the same ankle that contributed to him missing Week 13 (plus concussion). He exited without a catch and his Week 15 status is uncertain. If he misses more time, expect bumps for Michael Crabtree and Jared Cook (but they are at the mercy of Carr’s inconsistent performance).

Benjamin’s knee is “still being evaluated” but it is the same bum knee that caused him to miss two games already. The “snow bowl” and its unsure footing certainly played a role here. But, damn it was fun to watch, huh? Anyways, Benjamin caught three for 28 and a TD before he left the game. He tried to return in the 4th quarter, but limped off after one play. The Bills’ receivers Deonte Thompson and Zay Jones and TE Charles Clay get a bump in Week15 versus Miami should Benjamin remain hobbled. Hard to say what to expect from the Bills, but all should fare better if Tyrod returns.

Elijah McGuire injured his ankle on Sunday on his first carry, but his MRI came back negative. Not a huge fantasy impact here, but if he misses Week 15, fantasy owners need not worry about him stealing touches from Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. Adrian Peterson missed his second consecutive game with a neck injury (no timetable for return), putting Kerwynn Williams firmly on the waiver must-own list again this week (11% owned). Theo Riddick won me some money this weekend after the Lions declared Ameer Abdullah inactive (healthy scratch). Reports stated that Abdullah could’ve played health-wise, but the Lions benched him due to performance issues. Should that trend continue for Detroit, Riddick and Tion Green face the Chicago run defense in Week 15.

Washington’s Samaje Perine struggled with an upset stomach in Week 15 and with Byron Marshall injured (hamstring) already in the same game, LeShun Daniels Jr took over in the backfield. Washington was down by a good margin at this point, so they pulled Perine for Daniels. There isn’t news out regarding Perine’s status, but he should be good to go for Week 15.

Just a reminder: Robert Woods and Aaron Rodgers plan to return to action this week, so if they are somehow available on your waivers, put those claims in stat.

Ok, finally on to Week 15 Waiver Wire Rankings!

Week 15 Waiver Wire Rankings

Color Coding

Green = Top Waiver Option

Orange = Streaming Target

Blue = Bench Stash

Purple = Deep League Stash

 

Quarterback

Image result for jimmy garoppolo

  1. Case Keenum (66% owned) vs Cincinnati
  2. Blake Bortles vs Houston
  3. Jimmy Garoppolo vs Tennessee
  4. Jameis Winston vs Atlanta
  5. Nick Foles at NYG
  6. Tyrod Taylor vs Miami
  7. Joe Flacco at Cleveland

Blake Bortles faces Houston this week and San Francisco in Week 16. He’s thrown for two TDs and zero INT over the last two weeks. Bortles is connecting with his weapons, including both Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole. The run game also flowed better the last two weeks. Fire him up against a Houston defense who just gave up 334 passing yards and one TD to my next ranked QB streamer, Jimmy Garoppolo.

First off, does anyone else have as much trouble as I do spelling Garoppolo’s name without looking? Two Rs? Two Ps? Oh, whatever. Jimmy G, as I’ll refer to him so I don’t have to spell, performed decently versus Houston in Week 14. He threw 20-for-33 for 334 yards, one TD, and one INT. For streaming QB, you can’t really complain about that. This week, Jimmy and the 49ers face a Tennesse defense that is definitely beatable. They gave up 365 passing yards to Tom Savage in Week 13 and a monster game to Big Ben (four TDs) in Week 11. This will be the last week you’ll benefit from Garoppolo, as he gets the Jags in Week 16.

Jameis Winston disappointed in his performance against Detroit in Week 14, throwing for 285, two TDs, and two INTs. He finished as a decent streaming option, but not the level that many anticipated. He flat out just didn’t seem to play well and it looked worse than his numbers even show. Mike Evans, Winston’s top guy, caught just four passes since Jameis’ return, seeing 11 total targets over two weeks  (he usually sees at least 10 per game). Tampa Bay faces a middle-of-the-pack Atlanta defense which gives Winston a chance to bounce back in Week 15, but he’ll certainly need to protect the ball more.

Runningback

Image result for kerwynn williams

  1. Jonathan Stewart
  2. Mike Davis
  3. Kerwynn Williams
  4. Peyton Barber
  5. Theo Riddick
  6. Gio Bernard (if Mixon out)
  7. Rod Smith
  8. Wayne Gallman
  9. Austin Ekeler
  10. James Conner
  11. Marlon Mack
  12. Matt Forte
  13. Corey Clement
  14. J.D. McKissic
  15. Aaron Jones
  16. Damien Williams
  17. Charcandrick West
  18. LeShun Daniels Jr.
  19. Danny Woodhead
  20. Tion Green
  21. Devontae Booker
  22. Tarik Cohen
  23. Charles Sims
  24. Matt Breida
  25. DeAndre Washington
  26. Andre Ellington
  27. T.J. Yeldon
  28. Elijah McGuire

Look, I know it isn’t pretty. Hell, I even thought about moving him down just because I winced placing him first, but Jonathan Stewart should be more than 38% owned after his fantasy production the last month. He’s scored a touchdown or 100+ yards in his last four games. It isn’t just his production that gets him #1 RB add though. It’s his matchups. In Week 15, he draws Green Bay (10th most fantasy pts to RBs) and Tampa Bay (7th most) in Week 16. If you need a high floor, look no further.

With no timetable for Adrian Peterson’s return from a neck injury, Kerwyn Williams leads the backfield for Arizona. He rushed 20 times for 73 yards in addition to catching one pass for 15 yards in Week 14. He’s received 36 touches since AP’s absence and there’s no reason to think he won’t get that amount of work in Week 15. The Cardinals faces Washington this week who gave up three TDs to the RB position over their last two games. Side note, Arizona plays NY Giants in Week 16 so Williams is a gift that could keep on giving.

Oh, Doug Martin. Would you just leave our fantasy hopes alone?! Martin returned as the starter for Tampa Bay in Week 14, despite Peyton Barber‘s monster game in Week 13 (23 carries for 102 yards, four catches for 41 yards). It didn’t take him long to fumble the opportunity, both literally and figuratively. Barber took over from that point on and gained 58 yards on 12 carries and added a catch for five yards. Many speculate that Barber will take over as the starter for Tampa Bay against Atlanta. They’ve been decent against the run, but if he’s the starter, expect 15+ touches.

The Detroit Lions sitting Ameer Abdullah in Week 14 and their unwillingness to call him the “starter” this week, bodes well for Theo Riddick and Tion Green. Riddick ran 10 times for 29 yards and two TDs and caught six for 64 yards in Week 14. Tion Green received just five carries and ran for 15 yards. Though he traditionally is used as the pass-catching back, Riddick out-snapped Green by a large margin (77% to 21%) and led the backfield with 16 touches.

It’s hard to tell how the Lions will move forward with Abdullah and Riddick, but any RB available on the wire that could get 15+ touches is a good snag. This week they face a pretty stingy Chicago run defense, so owners should temper expectations. In Week 16, Detroit faces a Cincinnati defense that looks like it’s given up and just got run all over by Jordan Howard and Le’Veon Bell.

One to watch is Wayne Gallman, who gained 59 yards on 12 carries and added seven catches for 40 yards in Week 14. With the year down the drain, the Giants want more of a look at the rookie. His snap count share increased from 23% in Week 13 to 49% in Week 14. The matchups aren’t ideal, with the Giants facing Philly and Arizona in the next two weeks. He’ll get his chances though.

Wide Receiver

Image result for dede westbrook jaguars

  1. Marquise Goodwin (55%)
  2. Dede Westbrook
  3. Corey Coleman
  4. Mike Wallace
  5. Josh Doctson
  6. Paul Richardson
  7. Randall Cobb (if Rodgers returns)
  8. Keelan Cole
  9. Tyrell Williams
  10. Kenny Stills
  11. Zay Jones
  12. Travis Benjamin
  13. Kendall Wright
  14. Martavis Bryant
  15. Tyler Lockett
  16. Kenny Golladay
  17. Roger Lewis
  18. Albert Wilson
  19. Corey Davis
  20. Danny Amendola
  21. Will Fuller
  22. Deonte Thompson
  23. Trent Taylor
  24. Allen Hurns

I’m going to be honest with you, outside the top guys listed here, I struggled to make arguments for snagging some of these. This is just the nature of the waiver wire at this point in the game as well as the matchups in Weeks 15-16. I tried to rank those players with the highest chance/opportunity to get you some points. It should be noted that many have insanely low floors, so just be cautious before you drop someone. It’s bare bones out here.

My love affair with Dede Westbrook started in Week 9 when he returned to practice and I hoped he’d find the field. Instead, they held him out until Week 11 and we patiently waited. Each week, his role and fantasy impact increased, seeing 33 targets over the four weeks since his return. In Week 14, he finally hit pay dirt in addition to his 81 yards. This week he draws the porous Houston secondary and next week faces the SF 49ers. He’s available in 70% of leagues…that’s all I’m going to say.

Corey Coleman actually caught more passes (scored more in PPR) than Josh Gordon in Week 14. Coleman snagged five passes for 62 yards and a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers. The Browns kept him involved even with the return of Gordon, with 10 targets over the last two games. This week is a much more difficult matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, but he could have some flex appeal if you’re in need.

Though his attachment to inconsistent Joe Flacco scares many away, Mike Wallace received 28 targets over the last four weeks. In Week 14, he caught three passes for 72 yards and in Week 13, five for 116. He draws two plus matchups in the Browns (Week 15) and the Colts (Week 16), so there are worse options.

The situation with Buffalo’s offense is one that I’m steering away from if possible. However, it is looking like Kelvin Benjamin could miss more time with a re-aggravated knee. If so, that would mean a bump for both Deonte Thompson and Zay Jones. Recently, the Bills Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison announced that Jones and Thompson will “split time based on the game plan”. Well, he won’t have to worry about that if Benjamin can’t suit up. The Bills face Miami in Week 14, so if Tyrod is back, I could see one of these guys having a decent fantasy day. Which one? Well, Thompson out-snapped Jones last week 85% to 61% (Jones down from Week 13 in which he saw 100% of snaps) and the coaching staff appear to be sending a message to their rookie. Despite this, I like Jones’ talent and the 24 targets he received in Weeks 11-13, so I would take a chance on his upside out of the two.

Tight End

Image result for Adam Shaheen bears

  1. Ricky Seals-Jones at WAS
  2. Adam Shaheen vs DET
  3. Vernon Davis vs ARI
  4. Eric Ebron vs CHI 
  5. OJ Howard vs ATL
  6. Marcedes Lewis vs HOU
  7. Jason Witten at OAK 
  8. Ben Watson vs CLE
  9. Charles Clay vs Miami

The available streaming tight ends basically all have their risk factors and question marks, but at this point, you could be desperate. Most likely none of these options outweigh what you’ve got on your rosters. However, I’ll always dig to find you some options.

So, I have to mention Trey Burton and his two touchdown, 71 yard game in Week 14. He did everything we want a streamer to do and more. However, I’m not ranking him this week because Zach Ertz should return, relegating Burton back to fantasy irrelevance. If you have a bench spot and want to keep him for insurance, more power to you. Philly faces the Giants, who gave up the most fantasy points to TEs so far this season. Remember though, Nick Foles mans the ship, so bump expectations down from “Wentz” status. Regardless, Ertz (or Burton should things go sideways) is a top TE play in Week 15.

Ricky Seals-Jones train fell back to earth after his two big games in weeks 11-12, totaling just three catches for 64 yards in his last two games. But, I have good news for you. First, he received a healthy eight targets over the past two weeks. Second, Arizona faces Washington who gave up seven TDs and the 2nd most yardage (841 yards) to the tight end position so far in 2017. Though he out-snaps RSJ each week, Jermaine Gresham continues to only receive two targets a game. Want a bonus fact to chew on? RSJ and the Cards face the NY Giants in Week 16, so while you’re focusing on this week’s win…it isn’t a bad idea to take note of those TEs that might continue to pay off, should you get the opportunity.

Rolling with Adam Shaheen and the Chicago offense is a scary concept, I get it. But, Shaheen snagged four for 44 yards and a TD in Week 14 against a Cincinnati defense typically tough on the position. This week, Shaheen faces a much softer defense against TE in the Detroit Lions. The Lions gave up a touchdown to a tight end the last four weeks and Shaheen snagged four passes for 41 yards and a TD against them in Week 11. The Bears seem to be trying to get him more involved, as his snap count increased from 25% to 44% from Week 13 to 14. Oh, did I mention he also draws the Cleveland Browns in Week 16 (2nd in TDs and 9th in yards allowed to TEs this season)?

After rocking weeks 9-11 with 26 targets and 215 yards, Vernon Davis all but disappeared until Week 14. He saw seven targets for 26 yards and a TD last week. His fantasy day could’ve been so much better, as Kirk Cousins also targeted him deep downfield, but they just couldn’t connect. In Week 15, Washingon faces Arizona and it’s a tough matchup for Davis, for sure. They did give up a TD to Gerald Everett in Week 13 and two TDs to Jimmy Graham in Week 10. So, the end zone is where Davis could take advantage. In addition, Davis draws a soft TE matchup against the Denver Broncos in Week 16.

I’m not going to lie to you, Eric Ebron burnt me more than once as a fantasy owner in the past. However, I take my responsibility of providing my readers with all the waiver options seriously. So, let’s talk about Eric Ebron. Sigh. Out of left field, Matthew Stafford targeted Ebron 11 times in Week 14 against a Tampa Bay team usually solid at defending TE. Ebron caught 10 for 94 yards, which are both season highs for him. This week, Detroit faces Chicago who are ultra stingy at TE, giving up just three touchdowns to the position all season. But you can’t completely ignore a player, let alone a tight end, that received 11 targets. So, there you go. Play at your own risk (I shall pass and deal with it if he does well).

The ranking of Charles Clay in Week 15 comes 100% from the match-up versus Miami. After starting the season hot, injuries, quarterback woes, and most recently a snowstorm thwarted Clay’s fantasy production and consistency. Would I trust him enough to start him? Probably not unless I’m desperate. However, they draw a Miami defense that allowed eight TDs to the tight end position so far in 2017 (tied for 3rd most). Clay draws 3-5 targets per game and if Tyrod suits up, he’s worth a shot if you absolutely need him.

DST

  1. NO vs NYJ
  2. DET vs CHI
  3. WAS vs ARI
  4. ARI at WAS
  5. DAL at OAK
  6. IND vs DEN
  7. BUF vs MIA
  8. TEN at SF

As always, check out The Fantasy Authority for great weekly content and rankings! Follow me on Twitter @FF_Female920 for banter, football talk, and lineups questions!

 

Senior Writer, Marketing Director for TheFantasyAuthority.com . I am an avid fantasy football player that enjoys discussion, community, competition, and challenges. I view writing about fantasy football as a privilege (and fun!), so my main focuses are quality and enjoyment. I believe that if we do quality work and use our passion (or addiction lol) as fuel, TFA will succeed as a team, achieve success, and find its home within the fantasy community. Follow me @FF_female920 for fantasy help and discussion!

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