Breakdowns

Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups: Fantasy Playoffs Are Here

Happy playoff time everybody! Most leagues have the playoffs beginning in Week 15 this year, and if you’re reading this article you’ve likely made it. For the most part, we can shift into “win now” mode, unless of course, you have a first-round bye. Even then, we’re looking no more than one week ahead at a time. Let’s see if there are any valuable pieces to be found on the waiver wire.

As always, all rostership levels are based on Yahoo leagues. Your mileage may vary depending on your provider and league settings.

Running Backs:

There’s very little left on waiver wires that I’d consider a strong pickup, so we’ll briefly go through some emergency options here. Nyheim Hines and JD McKissic are both rostered in just under 50% of leagues. Both players have some passing value in full-PPR scoring settings, with McKissic having the better matchup in Week 15. Hines and the Colts are favored, and he isn’t used much when playing with a lead.

Latavious Murray (29%) is the backup in Baltimore but still comes in for some goal-line work. I’d expect him to see more than the one carry he had in Week 14 moving forward, as the game script moved against Baltimore. He’s still a “pray for a touchdown” option though, which isn’t ideal. Craig Reynolds (1%) handled 11 carries for the Lions last week. I have no idea if he’ll even play in Week 15, but he’s somehow the likeliest candidate to lead the Lions in rushing. D’Ernest Johnson (13%) should see some usage if Kareem Hunt (listed as doubtful) misses Week 15. Not a ton, but some. You could do worse.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB Miami Dolphins (34% rostered)

Tagovailoa is facing a Jets team that gets consistently shredded by opposing quarterbacks. Tua has been solid since coming back from his injury, topping 17.5 points in more than half of his games. I’m not sure what would lead you to need a fill-in quarterback at this point in the season, but given the matchup, Tagovailoa is the best widely-available option. His top(maybe?) receiving option, Devante Parker (46%) makes sense for similar reasons if you need help there.

Rashod Bateman, WR Baltimore Ravens (36% Rostered)

After disappearing for a couple of weeks, Bateman was right back to seeing eight targets as the ravens played catch-up in Cleveland. They’re moderate underdogs to the Packers this week and are likely to be chasing points regardless of who is under center. Bateman should see a good chunk of those, as he’s done most of the season since being activated. It’s a neutral matchup — Green Bay ranks 17th in points allowed to receivers this year.

Josh Reynolds, WR Detroit Lions (8% Rostered)

Since reuniting with quarterback Jared Goff, Reynolds has at least five targets and 50 yards in every contest. His downfield role makes him a bit scary, as his floor is effectively 0 fantasy points on a weekly basis. However, if he turns one of those deep balls into a touchdown, he could win you your fantasy matchup. Expect Detroit to be pressing the ball downfield more than usual as 13.5-point underdogs to the Cardinals this week.

James O’Shaughnessy, TE Jacksonville Jaguars (1% Rostered)

We’d really rather not stoop this low, but such is the Week 15 tight-end landscape. O’Shaughnessy has at least five targets in every game since taking over as the starter, which is more than can be said for most of the waiver wire tight ends. The matchup with Houston is as soft as it gets, raising his (slim) chances of scoring a touchdown a bit. Given his limited production on his targets thus far, you’d need that touchdown to get a solid day out of him.