Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Watchlist for Week 15: Streaming targets, free agent sleepers include Phillip Lindsay, Cam Sims, Cole Kmet
Week 14 is here, and with it, so are the fantasy football playoffs. Many owners are going to be focused on making the perfect start ’em, sit ’em decisions for the upcoming week. and while that is obviously the most important task at hand, so is looking ahead to Week 15. It’s smart to add matchup-based-streamers, potential injury replacements, and handcuffs as free agents a week in advance to avoiding worrying about owners with higher waiver wire claims or more FAAB money.
With all 32 teams in action next week, there are plenty of options for fantasy owners to consider on the waiver wire. Per usual, QB and WR are pretty deep, and there are also some solid matchup-based streamers at the TE and D/ST position. The RB crop is unfortunately weak, so if you need help in that area, you may have to rely on some unappealing options unless you hit on the right handcuff.
Making a move and looking ahead to Week 15 isn’t a necessity, but if you have a roster spot available (or multiple spots if you have players you know you won’t be playing in Weeks 15 or 16), you should be planning ahead. Even if you don’t necessarily need a top streamer, you might as well add them if you have the space, as it will prevent your potential opponents from being able to use them.
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Watchlist
Reminder: This list was put together in the lead-in to Week 14, looking forward to the players that could be waiver-wire targets to scoop before the season starts to use in future weeks. If you have a roster spot to play with, these are options you could pick up early to beat the waiver buzz.
All these players are below 50-percent ownership on Yahoo unless otherwise specified.
Week 15 Waiver Wire Watchlist: Quarterback
Philip Rivers, Colts vs. Texans (40)
Rivers just logged a 285-yard, two-TD game against the Texans in Week 13. There’s no reason to think that he won’t post similar numbers at home against the Texans in Week 15. If you need quarterback help, he’s a safe option, as he is averaging 290.9 passing yards and two TDs per game since Week 6.
Daniel Jones, Giants vs. Browns (26)
The Browns have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to QBs this year and might still be without their top cornerback Denzel Ward in this game. Jones should be back and 100 percent after dealing with a hamstring injury. He only has eight passing TDs on the year, but his rushing floor — he is averaging 45.5 rushing yards in his last six games — should make him a worthwhile play against a beatable defense.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears @ Vikings (11)
The Vikings rank middle-of-the-pack in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, and they have allowed five TDs and an average of exactly 250 passing yards to the position the past three weeks. Trubisky is averaging 254.5 passing yards and two TDs over his past two starts, so he should have a chance to do some damage here. He’s a good low-end streamer or at least a solid backup to keep around in case you need to make a last-minute switch.
Nick Mullens, 49ers @ Cowboys (5)
Mullens represents the ultimate risk-reward option for fantasy owners. On one hand, trusting the backup quarterback doesn’t sound too appealing. On the other, the Cowboys have allowed the second-most passing TDs to quarterbacks this year (26) and Mullens could take advantage of the Cowboys’ weak secondary, as it he often puts up decent passing totals. Again, it’s a risk, but if you really need a good QB streamer and are comfortable just targeting the Cowboys straight up, Mullens could be worth a pickup.
Week 15 Waiver Wire Watch List: RB
Phillip Lindsay, Broncos (44)
Lindsay has only averaged 42.7 yards per game in his past three outings, but it’s worth noting that in that span, he has dealt with a knee injury but has still been able to handle 13 touches per game. The volume is certainly there for Lindsay, and given the way the Broncos’ backfield has operated this year, it should be for the rest of the season. The Broncos are playing the Bills in Week 15, so Lindsay should be able to take advantage of their run defense, which has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to RBs this season.
Gus Edwards, Ravens (34)
JK Dobbins is the new backfield leader for the Ravens, but Edwards is the clear-cut No. 2 option and just had a 100-yard game against the Cowboys. He won’t be able to do that on seven touches often, but given his TD potential and his recent performance, he should be owned in more than 36 percent of leagues. The Ravens are playing the Jaguars next week, so Edwards could do some damage against a defense that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to RBs this season.
Ty Johnson, Jets (33)
Johnson posted a 100-yard game against the Raiders after taking over for an injured Frank Gore (concussion). Johnson has a couple of tough matchups upcoming against the Seahawks (Week 14) and Rams (Week 15), but if neither Gore nor La’Mical Perine (ankle) can get back on the field, Johnson will be a high-volume option and could at least have a chance at logging a TD. You won’t find many potential starters on the waiver wire at this point in the year, so Johnson has to be considered if only for that reason.
Jeff Wilson Jr., 49ers (9)
Wilson, now healthy, appears to be Kyle Shanahan’s preferred No. 2 option after Raheem Mostert, as Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon played a combined six snaps against the Bills in Week 13. Meanwhile, Wilson totaled 59 yards on seven touches. With a game against the Cowboys coming up in Week 15, Wilson must be stashed, as he will be a high-upside flex play in this matchup at the very least.
Aside from those committee backs listed above, the rest of the waiver wire at the RB spot is pretty barren. At this point in the season, fantasy owners should start thinking about looking for handcuffs to their top starters or handcuffs that could produce in a big way if a player in front of them goes down. Notably, Kalen Ballage/Justin Jackson (Chargers) and Sony Michel (Patriots) are probably the top options to consider adding, but any backup will do, as they’re just one injury away from climbing into the RB2/flex range.
Week 15 Waiver Wire Watch List: WR
Michael Gallup, Cowboys (42)
Gallup was able to put up one of his best games of the season against the Ravens and caught seven-of-11 targets for 86 yards and a TD. It looks like he is developing a strong rapport with Andy Dalton, so he can be trusted as a flex play, albeit one of the boom-or-bust variety. The Cowboys are playing the 49ers in Week 15, but Gallup still could do well against a tough defense. Even if he’s not starter-worthy in that game, he will be in his Week 16 matchup with the Eagles.
John Brown, Bills (41)
Brown (ankle) is eligible to return from IR starting in Week 15. If he is ready to go, the Bills will be able to activate him and he could be a solid WR3/flex for the final weeks of the fantasy season. The Bills are taking on a Denver defense that has been good against WRs this year but just lost CB A.J. Bouye to a six-game suspension. If he is out, Brown should have a chance to do well against the Broncos..
Allen Lazard, Packers (39)
Lazard hasn’t done a ton since returning from a core muscle injury in Week 11, but he is has seen 4.7 targets per game and has caught a TD. The Packers are playing the Panthers in Week 15, a team that has ranked middle-of-the-pack against WRs this year, so Aaron Rodgers should be able to take advantage of this matchup and get Lazard some downfield opportunities.
Keke Coutee, Texans (39)
Coutee just faced the Colts and put up 141 yards against them on eight catches. They play again in Week 15. Even if Coutee does half of that his second time around, he’ll still be a high-quality flex and potential WR3.
Anthony Miller, Bears (17) | Darnell Mooney, Bears (11)
The Vikings have allowed the third-most fantasy points to WRs this year. Miller has averaged 4.6 catches and 48.8 yards the past five weeks while Mooney has averaged 3.8 for 38.8 in that same span. Both should have a chance to do well in this matchup, especially if the Vikings focus on trying to stop Allen Robinson.
Josh Reynolds, Rams (7) | Van Jefferson, Rams (1)
The Rams are playing the Jets in Week 15. The Jets have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to WRs this season and might be preoccupied with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. If that happens, Reynolds and Jefferson could have a chance to become solid flex plays. Jefferson saw a career-high five targets in his last game while Reynolds has averaged 6.4 per game to go along with 47 receiving yards per outing in his past seven games. Either could step up in a great matchup.
Josh Gordon, Seahawks (4)
Once again, Josh Gordon has been reinstated by the NFL. Once again, he will draw some intrigue because many will remember the amazing season he put up back in 2013. That said, Gordon is playing Washington and their tough defense in Week 15, so using him in that contest may not be the best move. Still, if you have the roster space, picking up Gordon in deep leagues might pay off, as he could flash some downfield playmaking ability even if it’s in limited snaps.
Cam Sims, Washington (1)
Sims just saw a career-high nine targets and caught five passes for 92 yards against a strong Steelers defense. In Week 15, he gets to take on a Seahawks defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to WRs this year. He’s worth a flier if you need help in the flex spot, as that matchup should be a great one for him.
Week 15 Waiver Wire Watch List: TE
Logan Thomas, Washington (53)
Thomas is just over the 50-percent ownership threshold, but he has to be owned in all leagues after his nine-catch, 98-yard game with a TD against the Steelers. He’s becoming a matchup-proof weapon and is the clear-cut No. 2 target in the Washington passing offense. His matchup against the Seahawks is only an average one, but Thomas will have a chance to put up TE1 numbers from here on out since the targets have always been there for him.
Tyler Higbee, Rams (48) | Gerald Everett, Rams (4)
The Rams tight ends have been in a frustrating snap/target share this year, so neither has been particularly relevant. However, they are taking on the Jets in Week 15, and the Jets are tied for the fourth-most fantasy points allowed to TEs and have given up a league-high 11 TDs to the position. That should give Higbee, who scored in Week 13, a chance to find the end zone, while Everett, who saw seven targets against the Cardinals, could rack up some yardage.
Jordan Reed, 49ers (25)
The Cowboys have a terrible defense, and they have given up the 12th-most fantasy points to TEs this year. Reed has been targeted 16 times in his past three games and scored in Week 13. He should have a chance to reel in another TD against the Cowboys even with a handful of other scoring options available.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (18)
Rudolph was unable to take advantage of a favorable matchup against the Jaguars, but he won’t have that same problem against the Bears. Chicago has allowed the third-most fantasy points to TEs this year, and last time Rudolph faced them, he caught four passes for 63 yards. If Irv Smith Jr. is out again, Rudolph should have every opportunity to be a strong streamer in this matchup.
Cole Kmet, Bears (3)
The Vikings are solid against TEs in terms of TDs (4), but they have allowed the ninth-most receiving yards to the position (673). Kmet is starting to emerge as the No. 1 tight end in Chicago and has played at least 70 percent of the snaps each of the past three weeks. He should see targets from Mitchell Trubisky, who loves throwing to tight ends, so Kmet could be a sneaky-good pickup.
Week 15 defense streamers and sleepers
New England Patriots (46) | Week 15 opponent: @ Dolphins Washington Football Team (30) | Week 15 opponent: vs. Seahawks Arizona Cardinals (22) | Week 15 opponent: vs. Eagles
There are plenty of worthwhile defensive streamers that will be worth trusting in Week 15, but the best of the bunch is the Patriots. Though Tua Tagovailoa has been turnover-averse to start his NFL career, the Patriots do very well against rookie QBs. Bill Belichick has an absurd 20-5 mark against rookie passers and just had his defense shut out potential Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert and the Chargers. They should be able to slow down Tua, as well.
Washington’s defense is on this list for another reason. They simply are proving to be one of the league’s top-ranked defenses. They get a ton of pressure on quarterbacks, force turnovers, and don’t allow a lot of points or yards. It may be difficult to trust them against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but Wilson was just contained by the Giants, an inferior unit to Washington, so if Washington can pressure Wilson enough, they will be worthy of starting at D/ST. They have a high sack floor anyway (three per game), so going with them is never a bad move.
The Cardinals get to do battle with the Eagles in Week 15, and that means they’ll either face Carson Wentz, who has thrown a league-high 15 interceptions and has been sacked 50 times, or Jalen Hurts, a rookie making his first road start, in this game. Their defense isn’t great, but against either of those passers, they should do well.