Waiver Wire Watch: Week 15 Targets
The fantasy playoffs are upon us, and as a result that changes the waiver-wire calculus a bit. You’ll notice below that the waiver-wire watch isn’t quite as robust as in recent weeks, but that’s because I tried to focus on actual plug-and-play options. Most leagues only have two more weeks left, meaning there isn’t much upside for adding and stashing players (except at D/ST). So make sure to be judicious with your waiver priorities and add players to help you secure a critical win on the march to fantasy championships.
Before we get into the meat of the article, there are a few house-keeping items to clear up. Recommendations are based on a PPR-scoring, four-point passing touchdown, 12-team league, with ownership percentages coming from Yahoo. I try to mention when a player is a better streaming play (short-term/one-week starter) versus a long-term addition. Free-agent acquisition budget (FAAB) suggestions are based on a $100 season-long budget. Lastly, the great John Paulsen will edit this article every week and adjust rankings and prices if necessary. Essentially, you’re getting two minds collaborating on this piece instead of one, so lucky you.
Now, with that out of the way, here are some players to target heading into Week 15.
4. Drew Lock
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans, 47% owned ($7)
Sunday marked Tannehill’s fourth consecutive game with multiple touchdowns as he threw three against the Raiders’ swiss-cheese secondary. All told, he completed 21-of-27 passes for an impressive 391 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Tannehill has played so well as the Titans starter that the team is working on a contract extension for him to be the team’s long-term starter. That’s a nice cherry on top of Tannehill’s remarkable comeback season. Next up for him and fantasy managers, though, is a date with a Texans defense that was taken to the woodshed by Drew Lock and the Broncos. Tannehill is a fantastic start next week and it’s amazing he isn’t owned in more leagues.
Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears, 19% owned ($5)
Trubisky has now tossed three touchdowns in back-to-back games during a fantasy hot-streak that stretches back to Week 10. Although the most encouraging footnote from Trubisky’s performance against the Cowboys last week was the return of his scrambling ability, as he rushed for a season-high 63 yards. The Bears offense is cruising right now on the strength of Trubisky’s arm, and next up for the team is a date with the exploitable Packers secondary.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins, 23% owned ($3)
Fitzpatrick was missing the magic against the Jets, completing just 21 of his 37 attempts for 245 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. The Jets defense has played well lately, so this isn’t too surprising. However, Fitzpatrick should be near the top of streaming lists as he and the Dolphins get to face a Giants secondary in Week 15 that puts up about as much resistance to the pass as a piece of paper does to water (i.e., not much). Each of the last five quarterbacks to face the Giants have finished in the top 10 in weekly scoring at the position. One note: If DeVante Parker sits out, Fitzpatrick's Week 15 outlook is not as bright.
Lock played well in his first career start last week but turned things up a notch in his surprising win over the Texans. The rookie completed 22 of 27 passes for 301 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Next up for the kid is a date with Patrick Mahomes and an improving Chiefs defense. The other streamers are more trustworthy than Lock in the fantasy playoffs, but those in a pinch could try and ride the rookie’s hot hand.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars, 15% owned ($1)
Minshew and the Jaguars ran into a buzz saw on Sunday when the Chargers completely dismantled them. However, things could turnaround next week when the Jags take on the incredibly porous Raiders defense. Seven of the last eight quarterbacks to face the Raiders have scored multiple touchdowns against them, with Tannehill being the most recent passer to shred the Silver and Black secondary. Minshew carries some risk as the Jaguars continue to implode as the season progresses, but the matchup puts him in a position to succeed and stuff the stat sheet.
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