Waiver Wire Watch: Week 15
Editor’s Note: We’re happy that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 15. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
#FitzMagic just keeps putting up strong numbers, yet his ownership rate in Yahoo leagues remains below 50%. He threw for 263 yards and three TDs against the Titans on Sunday and has thrown multiple TD passes in five of his last six starts. He has 3,129 passing yards and 25 TD passes for the season and has added 232 rushing yards and a pair of TD runs. His matchups against the Cowboys and Patriots over the next two weeks aren’t easy, but with an established level of production and a strong supporting cast that includes WRs Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, Fitz is still one of the best of the widely available streaming options.
Smith has thrown only 15 TD passes in 13 starts this season, but he’s averaging a respectable 233.3 passing yards per game and has rushed for more than 30 yards in five of his last six games. He has good matchups the next two weeks, first against the Ravens, who’ve been bad against the pass all season and were just torched for five TD passes by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, then against the Browns in Week 16. The lack of TD production can be frustrating, but Smith’s consistent yardage production keeps his floor stable.
In his last six games, the streaky Mariota has thrown three or more TD passes on three occasions and has had zero TD passes on three occasions. A Week 15 matchup with the Patriots suggests a pass-heavy game script, but Mariota has no reliable pass catchers other than TE Delanie Walker. He’s a risky streaming option who makes more sense for an underdog than for a fantasy owner who goes into a playoff game with a strong chance to win.