Waiver Wire Watch: Week 15
Editor's Note: We're happy to have Brandon Niles on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He'll work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile the weekly list of pickups and generate recommended prices for FAAB leagues.
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 (FAAB). 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.
The pickings are slim on waivers this week at the QB position, so Bradford gets a little extra love from me. He had a very adequate 292 yards and a touchdown on Sunday in a win over the Jaguars, and he faces the Colts and Packers the next two weeks. Great matchups and a now-healthy receiving corps should make Bradford a viable streaming option to close out the season, especially in larger league formats.
Kaepernick didn’t do much against the Jets on Sunday, but 133 yards and a touchdown was better than getting benched. He won’t cost much and he might be worth picking up in a week where the QB options are pretty thin. Kaepernick will face a vulnerable Falcons pass defense this week and he should continue to use his legs as well as his arm to move the ball and pick up fantasy points. Kaepernick is risky because of his recent benching, but at this point in the season, with the 49ers 1-12, he’d have to play really badly to lose his job.
In his last four games, Siemian has racked up an average of 311 passing yards and 2.0 touchdowns. He's coming off a great matchup with the Titans, but the Patriots' pass defense hasn't played too well this year. The Broncos are having all sorts of problems running the ball, which is why they've taken to the air to try to move the chains.
Smith is averaging 254 yards and a touchdown over the last four games. While those aren't elite numbers, his juicy Week 15 matchup with the Titans makes him a viable streaming option. Tennessee has yielded an average of 304 passing yards and 2.0 touchdowns to Trevor Siemian, Matt Barkley and Andrew Luck in the last three games.
After 381 yards and four touchdowns against the Dolphins in Week 13, Flacco put up 324 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Patriots on Monday night. Flacco now has two solid fantasy games in a row, which is something he hasn’t done all season, so he may be a reasonable streaming option down the stretch. The Eagles haven’t looked as dominant on defense over the second half of the season, and the Ravens are healthier than they’ve been in two years. If you need a streaming option, Flacco could be worth some guaranteed points in the final weeks.
Barkley hasn’t been great the past two weeks, hovering around 200 yards passing each game, but he’s definitely the starter with Jay Cutler on IR and he has a nice couple of matchups at home the next two weeks against Green Bay and Washington, though the Packers are looking better as their secondary gets healthy. Getting Alshon Jeffery back will help him out, and fantasy owners looking for an upside option in a depleted pool of waiver QBs could do worse than grab Barkley.
Wentz doesn’t have a great schedule to close out the season, but Wentz has two straight games with over 300 yards passing, including 318 yards and a touchdown against Washington on Sunday. Wentz is a work in progress for the Eagles, but he looks like he has the ability to be a franchise QB for the team. He has some limited streaming potential in redraft leagues, but he should definitely be picked up in all keeper and dynasty formats.
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