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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 15

Fantasy Football: Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 15

Whether you had a great week in the first round of your fantasy football playoffs, lost but still have something to play for, are out of it but are just trying to be disruptive in your league’s waiver wire distribution, or even looking to build your roster already for next season, the Week 15 waiver wire pickups are certainly going to be important, regardless of how much they impact you and your team(s).

Based on a full-point, point-per-reception fantasy football league format, these ranks will provide you with insights into who can help win you your league championships, but bringing home the trophy starts with winning the games leading up to it.

10. Cleveland D/ST

Cleveland Browns
45.1 percent rostered

A rare defensive unit worth picking up and streaming if in a bind, even though the Cleveland Browns were just roasted by the Baltimore Ravens and have one of the worst scoring defenses in the NFL. The Browns’ next games are exactly what you need out of a streaming unit that could help you win a fantasy football title.

Fantasy football playoffs finish up with both New York squads, the Giants and the Jets, two teams that have struggled on offense to stay at least somewhat relevant.

For the Giants, their struggling offensive line has had to protect both Daniel Jones and Colt McCoy from opposing defensive line units, something that led to the Arizona Cardinals having Haason Reddick set a franchise record for sacks in one game with five and putting up 20 fantasy points.

The Jets, who just faced the Seattle Seahawks, let the sieve that is Seattle’s defense earn 12 fantasy points this week after they only put up a field goal all day on offense.

The Browns, even with Denzel Ward having missed time lately with a calf strain, are a middle-of-the-pack D/ST unit in ESPN fantasy football on the year despite the amount of points allowed, and that rank is something that could help provide you with points you would have been hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

9. Mitchell Trubisky – QB

Chicago Bears
19.2 percent rostered

Another week, another Mitchell Trubisky inclusion on our waiver wire list — but this time, there is a bit more evidence to back it up.

Yes, the Houston Texans have one of the worst defenses in the entire league, and they certainly put that on full display when they allowed the Bears to put up 36 easy points, controlling the tempo from the get-go and getting out to an early lead.

Thankfully for Bears fans, Trubisky was a massive catalyst for the blowout happening, as he threw three touchdowns, all in the first half, and regularly connected with Allen Robinson, getting his favorite target a 9/123/1 line. This marked the second game in the last three that Trubisky threw for three touchdowns, and his matchups against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings to end the fantasy football season certainly help prop him up into top-20 ranks for the remainder of the season.

8. Emmanuel Sanders – WR

New Orleans Saints
41.7 percent rostered

The curious case that is Emmanuel Sanders seems to be trending in the right direction, even with Taysom Hill calling the shots at QB with Drew Brees still without an established timeline to return.

The former SMU draftee produced his third game of five-plus targets in his past four, hauling in three passes for 48 yards and a score, his fourth of the season. Seeming to have somewhat established himself as a viable second option (after Michael Thomas) for Hill only helps open up the NO offense, and Sanders can finally fill that role for a Saints team that desperately needs a bona fide second option.

Facing the Chiefs in a big-time shootout next week followed by the Vikings and their bad secondary, Sanders has a chance to turn in a few solid performances to end the year.

7. Keke Coutee – WR

Houston Texans
33.7 percent rostered

With Will Fuller done for the year to serve a PED suspension, the onus falls on Brandin Cooks and Keke Coutee to pick up the slack for Deshaun Watson targets. With Cooks most likely picked up in your league, Coutee offers an interesting upside option to minimally store on your bench.

Coutee, who hauled in the lone score in their 36-7 drubbing by the Bears, caught three passes for 24 yards. Relatively a quiet day that was helped out by the score, Coutee came off a game in which he caught eight balls for 141 yards against the Texans.

Finishing against the Colts and Bengals, Coutee could be a volume-driven WR3 with WR2 upside, so his ceiling is worth watching.

6. Tim Patrick – WR

Denver Broncos
20.4 percent rostered

The streak of not knowing who Drew Lock’s favorite target would be struck again, as KJ Hamler converted two catches into two touchdowns. However, Patrick has received 25 targets over his past five games, showing that Lock likes to go to him often, giving him real upside, even if more as a dynasty look than anything.

But for the rest of this year, the Broncos get the Bills and Chargers, which both profile as being games where the Broncos should have to throw early and often, boosting Patrick’s stock.

5. Gabriel Davis – WR

Buffalo Bills
4.7 percent rostered

Watching for John Brown’s return has helped push some eyes to rookie Gabriel Davis for the Bills, as the UCF rookie has turned some heads stepping into the WR3 role for Buffalo.

As Stefon Diggs has taken the league by storm and Cole Beasley has seemingly recreated his career, Davis’ first year in the league has flown under the radar. Davis offers up a ton of long-term dynasty value and also presents WR3/4 value in deeper leagues.

Davis has earned at least three targets in each of his past five games, putting up at least 68 yards in three games and hauling in a touchdown in four games.

Brown’s eventual return, which seems to be on the horizon due to his return to practice, will certainly cut into snaps for Davis. But the rookie offers up fantasy football value until then, as well as long-term value in a dynasty sense. Getting Denver and New England the next two games isn’t necessarily ideal, but Buffalo’s offense has bucked all trends, so keep an eye out in deeper leagues.

4. Lynn Bowden Jr. – WR

Miami Dolphins
0.6 percent rostered

The Swiss Army knife that Lynn Bowden Jr. brought to the Kentucky offense in college, a la what Randall Cobb did for the Wildcats a few years back, is what he seems to have brought to the table for the Miami Dolphins. Those skills seem finally ready to be unleashed, especially with the uncertainty that the team’s RB core currently has.

With DeAndre Washington manning the starting role with Salvon Ahmed and incumbent starter Myles Gaskin hurt/sick, MIA’s rushing attack has been exactly that — missing in action. While Bowden is employed as a receiver, his field-stretching abilities helped take the pressure off their RBs.

While he did earn one carry, Bowden produced more in the passing game, hauling in seven balls for 82 scoreless yards (on nine targets), producing in a nice safety role for Tua Tagovailoa to hit on a consistent basis.

While the Dolphins essentially control their postseason fate, they face the Patriots and Raiders, defenses that could benefit a player like Bowden’s breakout to end the year.

3. Logan Thomas – TE

Washington Football Team
43.4 percent rostered

A former collegiate QB who made his way into an NFL-caliber tight end is exactly the story that Logan Thomas is living, and the Washington Football Team is thriving because of it.

With Alex Smith leading a resurgent campaign and this team’s defense being its backbone, Thomas has enjoyed receiving five-plus targets in four of his five past games, putting up two scores during that span, including one during a nine-catch, 98-yard affair against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

Dwayne Haskins came in for Smith due to an injury last game, and even though it sounds like Smith’s injury is nothing that should force him to miss a lot of time, if any, Thomas was still able to benefit from his involvement in the offense. Washington faces Seattle and Carolina next, two teams Thomas should have success against.

2. Jalen Hurts – QB

Philadelphia Eagles
8.9 percent rostered

A late-season savant, you need? Hope you can trust a rookie when it comes the most.

Jalen Hurts produced a highly impressive performance against a stout New Orleans front, helping bring head coach Doug Pederson’s record to 11-2 in games not including Carson Wentz, quite the impressive stat.

All Hurts did was hurt the NO defense from both sides, throwing for over 100 yards and rushing for over 100 yards, all the while managing the game and keeping the ball safe and secure. Juicy matchups against the Cardinals and Cowboys are up next for Hurts, so he could absolutely surprise.

1. Russell Gage – WR

Atlanta Falcons
12.1 percent rostered

Julio Jones is hurt, so bump up Calvin Ridley into a higher-tier WR1 than most weeks. An underrated element of that seemingly becoming a weekly statement is how that has helped boost the stock of Russell Gage.

The 2018 sixth-round selection by the Atlanta Falcons, Gage has enjoyed mild success during his ATL tenure, but his recent stretch has been heavy on volume, even if his production has not necessarily been as hot as you may want it.

No fewer than five targets over his past five games (7, 8, 5, 12, 6), Gage grabbed five passes for 82 yards from Ryan on Sunday and also got involved in the passing game as well, chucking up a TD pass to Ridley on a successful trick play.

While that kind of trickery cannot be expected to happen on a weekly basis, what can be is Gage’s safe floor as a WR3 option, getting bumped up to that low-WR2 line in every game that Jones misses.

Hosting Tampa Bay and traveling to Kansas City is a tough stretch for the Falcons, who have already begun to look forward to next season. But Gage could really benefit from Atlanta possibly being down early, setting him up for a few high-ceiling outcomes.