Waiver Wire

Waiver Wire Pickups Week 15

Antonio Gibson

Waiver Wire Pickups Week 15

If you’re reading this, that probably means you’re either in the playoffs or fighting for a spot. So, congratulations! Now, we had another week of brutal injuries to some key players in fantasy football and they couldn’t have come at a worse time. A couple of star quarterbacks went down and some skill position players left games early as well. Let’s try to put out some fires as we enter the final week of the regular season for some and the first week of fantasy playoffs for others.

 

Quarterback

 

Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals (30% ESPN, 28% Yahoo)

It was another tough week for quarterback injuries. Both Justin Herbert and CJ Stroud went down in Week 14 and Herbert could be out for an extended period of time with a fractured finger. This leads me to Jake Browning as a potential streaming QB following his second week of looking serviceable as a fantasy option. It’s not necessarily the player that I’m excited about, but more so the players around him that intrigue me. The Ja’Marr Chase-Tee Higgins receiving tandem is among the best in the league and could make almost any quarterback viable. With their help, Browning has totaled 629 passing yards and three touchdowns with just one interception over the last two weeks. He’s also been a threat with his legs adding 29 yards and two touchdowns on the ground during that stretch. He’s not setting the league on fire, but with a strong supporting cast of weapons and a nice two-game run as the full-time starter, Jake Browing has shown enough flashes to be considered a desperate replacement option for fantasy managers that lost their studs last week.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Gardner Minshew II, Indianapolis Colts

Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns

 

Running Back

 

Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders (44% ESPN, 54% Yahoo)

Since writing about Antonio Gibson as a potential pickup last week, there hasn’t been an update on the severity of Brian Robinson Jr.’s injury. So, until we get any more information, I’m going to keep pushing the Gibson agenda. He was heavily involved after Robinson went down in Week 13, finishing the game with season highs in carries and rushing yards while keeping his large workload in the passing game. Antonio Gibson is talented and should be considered a low-end RB2/FLEX in all formats if Robinson is ruled out in Week 15.

 

Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders (1% ESPN, 2% Yahoo)

Josh Jacobs went down and Zamir White is next in line. That’s really the only reason why White is featured, but it’s enough. He wasn’t particularly involved or effective after Jacobs left in the fourth quarter last week, but I’m chalking that up to the game script. Both teams struggled to move the ball down the field and just looked like a mess. Because of this, White managed to gain just eight yards on two carries. However, this week could be different for the second-year running back as the Raiders face a bad Chargers defense in a game that could be in Las Vegas’ favor early on considering Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert will likely be out. If Jacobs can’t go, White should be in line for the early-down work with Ameer Abdullah handling the passing downs. Starting Zamir White wouldn’t be the most inspiring thing in the world, but he could be serviceable as a FLEX option in Week 15 if he’s indeed given a heavy workload in the absence of Jacobs.

 

Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings (24% ESPN, 22% Yahoo)

Similar to Zamir White, Ty Chandler could be in for a healthy amount of touches following the injury to Alexander Mattison. Unsimilar to White, Chandler was already involved in his offense even when Mattison was healthy and now he could be in line for a bigger workload. The 2022 fifth-round pick rushed for 35 yards on 12 carries last week while hauling in all three of his targets for just seven yards. He wasn’t as efficient as he has been, but as I mentioned before, this game was an absolute dumpster fire. This week, he faces a Cincinnati defense that ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs. I’m anticipating a competitive game and Chandler should remain a threat in the passing game. If Mattison is ruled out, Chandler could be a low-end RB2/FLEX with the uptick in volume.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Chase Brown, Cincinnati Bengals

Rico Dowdle, Dallas Cowboys

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

 

Wide Reciever

 

Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens (51% ESPN, 42% Yahoo)

While he’s not the Odell Beckham Jr. of old, he’s starting to find his groove in the Ravens’ offense. Last week, the three-time Pro Bowler caught four of his season-high 10 targets for 97 yards and a touchdown. It was the fourth time since Week 9 in which Beckham Jr. eclipsed 11 fantasy points in PPR leagues, ranking as the WR24 in fantasy points per game during that stretch. The increase in targets is encouraging following the injury to Mark Andrews and should be a sign of things to come. I’ve always been an advocate of having key players on high-powered offenses and this is a rare opportunity to add one this far into the season. Beckham Jr. is still a talented receiver, he’s getting more involved in the offense and he has an MVP candidate in Lamar Jackson throwing him the football. It’s a no-brainer, go add Odell Beckham Jr. while you still can.

 

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars (27% ESPN, 29% Yahoo)

Christian Kirk is on the IR and Calvin Ridley is about as volatile as they come. This could mean that there might be a window of opportunity for Zay Jones to break out as the season winds down. Since Kirk’s injury early in Week 13, Jones has caught 10 of his 22 targets for 107 yards. No, he hasn’t been very impressive with the ball in his hands but with as many opportunities as he’s getting, Jones is bound to break free for a touchdown or two sooner rather than later. In a game against Dallas last season he caught three touchdown passes to go along with 109 yards. He has it in him to deliver huge performances. With an increase in volume and having a semi-healthy Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, I like Jones as a sneaky pickup ahead of the playoffs.

 

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders (45% ESPN, 38% Yahoo)

I wrote about Curtis Samuel last week and I can’t help but include him this week as well. Samuel has been the guy for Sam Howell and the Commanders over the last few weeks and I like having productive, go-to receivers on teams that often trail in games. In the two-game stretch before the bye week, Samuel hauled in 13 of his 17 targets for 165 scoreless yards. Nothing too crazy, but the volume is there. Through 14 weeks, Washington leads the NFL in passing attempts per game and ranks 11th in passing yards. This is a very receiver-friendly offense and Samuel has been the WR1 in that offense. This is a trend worth chasing and I think he should be added in PPR leagues as an injury-insurance pickup with weekly low-end WR3/FLEX potential depending on matchups.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Demario Douglas, New England Patriots

Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns

K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings

 

Tight End

 

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots (16% ESPN, 24% Yahoo)

I think we’re running out of tight ends to pick up on the waiver wire this season. I mean, Sam LaPorta, Trey McBride, Isaiah Likely and Jake Ferguson were all players who weren’t drafted in very many leagues but have become fantasy mainstays as the year has progressed. Now, we turn to Hunter Henry who’s had his moments this season but could possibly join the long list of productive tight ends that weren’t drafted before the season. Full disclosure, Henry is very touchdown-dependent as he’s only seen seven targets over the last three weeks. However, trips to the endzone are hard to ignore and he did that twice last week to go along with 40 yards off three catches. He has matchups with Kansas City, Denver and Buffalo over the next three weeks and the Patriots should be throwing the ball quite a bit in each of those games. I like Hunter Henry as a nice streaming option at tight end in the fantasy playoffs if you’ve missed out on the other waiver-wire wonders.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders

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