Whether you’re climbing your Fantasy Football leagues’ playoff ladder or finding consolation, the Week 15 Waiver Wire options could have something—or rather, somebody—for you. Even when my Fantasy team’s get down and out, I work toward a victorious week. Otherwise, why play at all?
With that said, the Week 15 waiver wire has a bunch of fresh names that could give you an edge in deep-league playoffs, or irritate your opponents who were eyeballing the same player(s). Of course, those fresh names make an appearance largely due to injuries. A handful of big names went down in Week 14: Andy Dalton, Thomas Rawls, Greg Olsen and T.J. Yeldon exited their respective Week 14 games with injuries.
Mark Ingram’s season ended on Thursday when he had surgery on his left shoulder. New Orleans Saints’ RB Tim Hightower became so popular, he’s already 41 percent owned. C.J. Spiller will see an increased role and split time with Hightower. Yippie, another running back by committee!
There were plenty more, too. So as usual, the Week 15 waiver wire report covers players who might fill in for injured teammates. Unfortunately, a bulk of last week’s injuries were mild and several players’ statuses remain unclear this early in the week. It’s your onus to read the So Called Fantasy Expert Injury Report.
As always, for players to qualify for this list, they must be owned in less than 30 percent of ESPN leagues. Remember, you can see how you might fare against your opponent by using the Fantasy Football: Strength of Schedule Comparison Tool. It’s playoff time, so take advantage of every tool you can. Take a look at the Week 15 waiver wire options to see if you can shore up your lineup.
Week 15 Waiver Wire Targets
Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos (16 percent owned)
In Week 14, Osweiler struggled in the red zone, completing three-of-nine passes for no TDs. He finished the day without a TD, but he completed 35-0f-51 passes for 308 yards as the Broncos lost to the Raiders. His opponents aren’t easy the rest of the season, but he has the offensive tools around him to be successful. As a second QB, Osweiler slots in nicely. In more favorable matchups, he has low-end QB1 upside.
Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns (8 percent owned)
Manziel’s on-field performance has been mediocre in limited playing time this year: 97-of-159 for 1,203 yards, six TDs and three INTs. He carries a disturbing sack percentage of 9.1. His matchups the rest of the year are tough: at Seattle Seahawks (fourth fewest Fantasy points allowed to QBs), at Kansas City Chiefs (sixth fewest Fantasy points allowed to QBs) and vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (fifth in sacks, sixth in INTs). For this reason, he’s over-owned at 8 percent.
Johnny Manziel has been named the #Browns starting quarterback for the third time this year. That about says it all.
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) December 8, 2015
A.J. McCarron, Cincinnati Bengals (0 percent owned)
Dalton’s backup shouldn’t thrill you, but if you’re in a deep two-QB league where the wire is depleted and you lost Dalton, McCarron is an option. When he replaced Dalton in Week 14, McCarron completed 22-of-32 passes for 280 yards, two TDs and two INTs. Dalton’s throwing-hand thumb injury gives me little hope that he’ll return in the regular season. This week, McCarron and the Bengals go to San Francisco to play the 49ers, a team that’s allowed nine more TDs than INTs and sacked QBs just 22 times this year.
T.J. Yates, Houston Texans (0 percent owned)
Brian Hoyer is banged up. His health is a major concern as he left Week 10 against the Bengals (November 16) with a concussion and left Sunday’s game to enter the concussion protocol, too. That’s two major blows to the head in a month. Yates was OK when he filled in for Hoyer in Week 11 when he threw two TDs and no picks, but just 229 yards and only 16 completions on 34 attempts. He’s a low-end QB2, but if he starts the rest of the season, he’ll face defenses that are among the worst nine against QBs (18 Fantasy points per game allowed or worse).
Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (10 percent owned)
Last Sunday, the Patriots’ RB LeGarrette Blount left the game with a hip injury. The Patriots are sure to be hush-hush about Blount’s injury, but if you have the roster space to take a chance on Bolden, go for it. Keep in mind his value his heavily TD-dependent and he has only two TDs this year. That could change if Blount misses time. Keep up with Patriots’ practice news!
Brandon Bolden averaged just 3.2 yards per carry last night, but according to @PFF he forced six missed tackles on 16 carries. Ran hard.
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) December 14, 2015
Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (3 percent owned)
This is the add of the week, even in light of the Jaguars not updating Yeldon’s health status until Wednesday. If Yeldon misses time and Robinson plays like he did on Sunday (14 carries for 75 yards and a TD), he has low-end RB1 upside. On several carries, he cut well and exploded for a 31-yard gain at one point.
Bryce Brown and/or DuJuan Harris, Seattle Seahawks (0 percent owned)
Desperate for an RB? This handcuff might do you some good, although Fred Jackson will remain the passing-down back for the Seahawks. Brown and Harris could end up splitting time, or one of them could win the starting job in the wake of Rawls’ season-ending ankle fracture. Either way, they’re both available so let your desperation run wild. Off the Week 15 waiver wire, one of these two guys could return FLEX RB value the rest of the way.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (22 percent owned)
Against a depleted Baltimore Ravens team, Lockett and Doug Baldwin caught all of the Seahawks’ touchdowns. Lockett is a bit TD-dependent outside of leagues that count return stats, but he’s facing the Cleveland Browns this Sunday. The Browns have allowed WRs to score 26 Fantasy points per game. In two straight games, Lockett has seven targets. He’s not caught only one of them and he had two TDs last Sunday.
After Amari Cooper at 4, a lot of teams with WRs who look like they might regret passing on Tyler Lockett. pic.twitter.com/1CCT1vXmr1
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) December 14, 2015
Zach Miller, Chicago Bears (19 percent owned)
The Bears put Martellus Bennett on the IR, so his season is done. Miller is another great add that has TE1 upside and an average floor. In two-TE leagues, Miller is great snag off the Week 15 waiver wire. Jay Cutler went to him six time last week. Miller hauled in five of those targets for 85 yards and a TD. His matchups through the season’s end aren’t awful, especially in Week 17 against the Detroit Lions, against whom TEs have scored 10 TDs this year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19 percent owned)
The Bucs play the St. Louis Rams, who feature mostly Todd Gurley as their offense. In 2015, the Buccaneers have allowed the eighth fewest rushing yards (1,223) and just six rushing TDs. If the Buccaneers shut down Gurley, the Rams will be forced to use QB Nick Foles and that can get ugly.
That does it for the Week 15 waiver wire report. Make sure to keep up with injury news starting Wednesday and keep in mind there is the usual Thursday game and a Saturday game this week. Don’t get lazy about setting your lineups!
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