Waiver Wire Madness: Week 15
December 8, 2014 | Jeff
The fantasy playoffs change how we look at waivers at this point in the season, limiting “upside” pickups while we focus on adding players who will help us in the final weeks of the 2014 fake football season. This essentially leaves fantasy owners with strictly streaming options at the quarterback position. Johnny Manziel (Owned: 22% Yahoo, 10% ESPN) will be a tempting add for some, as will Teddy Bridgewater (Owned: 9% Yahoo, 8% ESPN), but neither rookie has a very enticing Week 15 matchup. If I were in a spot where I needed a Week 15 streamer, I would look at an option like Josh McCown (Owned: 22% Yahoo, 6% ESPN), who has had a few decent efforts since regaining the starting gig in Tampa Bay and has a fair matchup in Week 15 at Carolina. Remember, don’t just add a quarterback because you need a backup. At this point in the season, that roster spot would be far more useful if you added an extra defense or made a pickup to block a leaguemate.
Latavius Murray (Owned: 48% Yahoo, 31% ESPN) is the top waiver add this week if he is hanging out on your local waiver wire. Murray is the unquestioned top dog in Oakland now that he has finally passed the decaying bodies of Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden on the Raiders depth chart. Murray handled 23 carries in Week 14 and backs with those type of workloads are mighty valuable this time of year.
The Fake Football preseason favorite Jonathan Stewart (Owned: 40% Yahoo, 47% ESPN) had a fantastic game on Sunday as his health and the Carolina depth chart finally aligned in Week 14. J-Stew ran for 155 yards and a score on 20 carries and will be startable as long as DeAngelo Williams remains sidelined. Grab Stewart and stay tuned to news out of Carolina this week to see if your newly acquired running back will get a chance at an encore.
Andre Williams (Owned: 55% Yahoo, 33% ESPN) racked up 147 total yards in Week 14 while Rashad Jennings was limited with an ankle injury. Williams is worth a grab this week, especially for Jennings owners. Like Stewart above, Williams’ Week 15 “playability” depends on the health of his fellow backfield mates, but running back needy teams should pounce on these situations.
Marcel Reece (Owned: 1% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) is worth a look for desperate owners in PPR leagues, as he has snagged 13 passes over the last two weeks and seems to be a nice compliment to Latavius Murray.
Week 14’s unknown star of the week was Arizona’s Kerwynn Williams (Owned: 3% Yahoo, 0% ESPN), who ran for 100 yards on 19 carries and helped exactly zero fantasy teams. Bruce Arians claims to be ready to use a “committee” in Week 15, but Williams is the favorite to take the lead role for the Cardinals. Arizona’s remaining schedule is brutal however, so don’t break the bank for this addition.
Charles Johnson (Owned: 20% Yahoo, 10% ESPN) continued his hot streak in Week 14 as he caught four passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Johnson is Minnesota’s WR1 and should be owned in all formats at this point.
Doug Baldwin (Owned: 34% Yahoo, 48% ESPN) had himself a nice Week 14 as the Seahawks topped the Eagles, but with a stiff remaining schedule and Seattle’s run-first offense, I wouldn’t trust Baldwin in a playoff matchup.
Jacksonville’s Marqise Lee (Owned: 4% Yahoo, 2% ESPN) has seen 16 targets over the last two weeks and has played well since Allen Robinson was lost for the season. Lee seems to be the most reliable of the slew of Jaguars receivers right now, but it would be difficult to trust him for the remainder of the year.
Jared Cook (Owned: 28% Yahoo, 41% ESPN) had a big Week 14 performance, but has been largely unreliable over the last month. The top tight end pickup this week is Oakland’s Mychal Rivera (Owned: 24% Yahoo, 20% ESPN), who had a solid Week 14 performance with 109 yards and a score. Rivera is averaging 7.4 targets per game over the last seven weeks and is a nice bet for fantasy footballers looking to stream tight ends in the fake football playoffs.