Waiver Wire Watch: Week 15 Targets
With the playoffs in full swing and this being the 16th Waiver Wire Watch of the year, I’m going to take up a bit less of your time than usual. If you’ve made it this far, you know the score on who is available and why. You know whether you need upside in a matchup or a high floor. If you’ve been reading WWW, you know you should be stocking your bench with high-end handcuffs and extra defenses. There is little reason for me to coddle you (I am open to cuddles though), so let’s dispense with the fluff and get down to the nitty-gritty.
OK, just a little fluff… Because so many fantasy teams are done for the year, ownership percentage isn’t as accurate as it was a month or two ago. Because the owners still alive are more likely to be waiver wire savvy and the smaller overall number of teams adding players doesn’t have as much of an impact on ownership percentage, the players I am listing, especially at running back and wide receiver, may not be available in as many leagues as the percentages indicate. All this is to say you may have to dig a little deeper to fill a hole than you would have pre-playoffs.
Throughout (what is left of) this series, we will be using PPR scoring, a $100 FAAB budget and a 50% threshold for player ownership. The intro to Week 1’s edition of WWW goes into far more detail about that. Please also use the linked sources to take a moment to familiarize yourself with Josh Hermsmeyer’s air yards and our own Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) metrics. As always, John Paulsen will edit this piece and reorder/adjust the prices as necessary.
- Lamar Jackson, 45% owned ($1)
- Josh Allen, 14% owned ($1)
- Derek Carr, 19% owned ($1)
- Nick Mullens, 7% owned ($1)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
We are still waiting for Jackson to have a breakout game, but those of you who have been starting him as a streaming option in what has been a fantastic run of matchups should be reasonably happy with his high-floor output. Perhaps this week’s game against the Buccaneers and their abysmal defense will give the rookie a chance to win a playoff game or two for his owners.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Last week I put Allen out there as a better-than-you-think streaming option for Week 14. The 18.3 points he provided is 10.4 fewer than he scored Week 13 and eight behind Week 12’s game, but still enough output to outpace the likes of Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Deshaun Watson and Philip Rivers among others. I started him over Matt Stafford in the semi-finals of a two-quarterback league and will likely do so again in the finals next week when the Bills play the Lions. Editor's Note: One concern for Week 15 is that the Lions have allowed a league-low 64 rushing yards (total) to quarterbacks through 14 weeks.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders play a scuffling Bengals team Week 15, which may be enough to help Carr to a third straight respectable fantasy showing after he averaged 21.5 points the last two weeks. It should be noted the Bengals haven’t been as generous as you may think to quarterbacks. Looking back over the last four weeks, we see Baker Mayfield drubbed them for four scores, but they held Lamar Jackson, Case Keenum and Philip Rivers to 174 yards per game and only two total touchdowns in the other three. It isn’t that their pass defense is good, it’s more that they have allowed 4.8 yards per carry, seven scores, 172 yards and 28 fantasy points per game to running backs over that same four-week span. Basically, teams haven’t needed to pass. Lucky for Carr, the Raiders defense is terrible so they always need to throw to keep up.
Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers
Don’t scoff! Mullens has been solid in three of his five games, throwing for seven touchdowns and two interceptions while averaging 336 yards and 21.1 fantasy points. Sure, the other two games were awful (two touchdowns, four picks, 9.4 PPG), but don’t let that discourage you. Or do, actually. Mullens is a deep-league option only, albeit one with some upside. Up next is a home date with Seattle.
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