Week-Ahead Stash Candidates for Week 15
This will be the last stash article for the season! Thank you to everyone who has been reading this series all season! I deeply appreciate it.
This weekly article series will attempt to help you in two ways. First, we are going to be examining players who may not be the hot waiver pickups of the week. This will save your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) or waiver priority for when you need it most. Second, we will be diving into stats and trends that point to players improving their fantasy scores next week, not this current week. The goal is to sift through the rough to find those diamonds who emerge every single year, except you won't be sweating over whether or not you claimed them on waivers, because you will already own them. At least that's the goal.
Here's the final transparency report of the season. Before Week 13, I told you to grab these guys for a Week 14 start. Here's how they did:
|Player||Positional Ranking||Half-PPR Points|
Nothing confuses me more than Tre'Quan Smith's usage, but hopefully after Week 13 you just dropped him. Jameis Winston was ultimately the reason that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chris Godwin never got going. Justin Jackson didn't have a great game, but he might be in line for sole command of that backfield this week, so hopefully you got him.
Now, on to the final week! Here are some guys who may not be startable for Week 15 but could be valuable for your championship game! So, if you have space, add them now or hope that they fall through waivers after this week. I will be selecting guys who are more "sure things" than usual going forward, since we are aiming at guys who you might start in a championship game.
Dak Prescott, QB, Ravens
Yahoo ownership: 57%
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys offense have looked stellar since the arrival of Amari Cooper. In fact, Dak has been averaging 7.88 completions, 83.07 passing yards, 0.36 touchdowns, and 5.11 more fantasy points since Week 9 -- when Cooper arrived -- as compared to his first seven games. During this time frame, Dak is the QB5 in standard scoring. He also boasts a 75.14% completion rate in his last five games. The connection between Amari and Dak has been a spark to get this offense movin' and groovin'.
In the semi-finals of your fantasy playoffs, Dak and the Cowboys will be playing against the Colts in Indianapolis. While the Colts might not be thought of as a bad matchup, there are reasons to shy away if you have a better option. They have allowed 250 or more passing yards just twice in their last seven games.
Dak is probably approaching must-start status at this point for most leagues, but the real reason to stash him is for the championship week. In Week 16, Dak will be playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. The Bucs have allowed at least one touchdown to every single team they have played this season, and multi-touchdown affairs in 9 of 13 contents. They've been better lately, but it's still a matchup worth exploiting, as the Bucs have allowed at least 200 yards passing in each of their last four games.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Falcons
Yahoo ownership: 45%
Looking at his numbers, Mohamed Sanu has been enjoying a nice, consistent, second-team-option type of season. Certainly he's a solid real-world receiver, but his value as a fantasy asset is a little less exciting. Sanu enjoyed a nice stretch earlier in the season and hasn't been posting outlandish numbers recently, due to Julio Jones' heavier involvement in the red zone of late. The stud wideout has seen eight red zone targets in the last five weeks compared to just three in the first eight weeks. But similarly, rookie Calvin Ridley has taken a back seat in this receiving corps, thanks to Sanu's consistent play.
In Week 15, the Atlanta Falcons will be up against the Arizona Cardinals. While most people consider the Cardinals' top cornerback Patrick Peterson to be a shadow corner, he really hasn't been this season. The Cardinals have been playing mostly zone coverage this season and Peterson has played a 57/43 split on the left and right sides while playing wide, so I'm not too excited about any Falcons receivers.
For the championship week, Sanu will be playing the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have been hemorrhaging points to wide receivers recently and have allowed over 100 yards receiving to wideouts in 12 out of 13 games this season, as well 200-plus yards in three out of their last five. Not to mention, this secondary has allowed 10 receiving touchdowns to wideouts in their last 6 games. With the Falcons still technically clinging to playoff life, if they get a win this week they will be playing their hearts out in Week 16 against the Panthers.
Anthony Miller, WR, Bears
Yahoo ownership: 33%
Well, Mitchell Trubisky wasn't exactly great after returning from his shoulder injury, but that was somewhat expected. That being said, Anthony Miller just hasn't been the same since Trubisky first went down with the issue. In the four weeks before Trubisky got injured, Miller compiled 22 targets, 15 receptions, 233 yards, and 3 touchdowns. They had just finally started to click, and this has the appearance of a young pair that is going to spend many years together, so their future is exciting. However, we still have fantasy playoffs! So let's focus on the matchups.
This week, the Chicago Bears draw a matchup against the Green Bay Packers at home. To be perfectly honest, the Bears could destroy the Packers on both sides of the ball. This will lead to the Bears deploying their two-headed backfield of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to burn the clock. In addition to game flow, I think we should give Trubisky's shoulder one more week to fully heal before betting on Miller.
For the last week of the fantasy season, I say that Miller is worth a flex against the 49ers in San Francisco. Niners' corner Richard Sherman has been pretty solid this season, considering his age, so I don't like Allen Robinson as much as Miller next week. The 49ers defense is currently at a 14.2% DVOA against WR2s -- ninth-worst in the league. Between Trubisky getting healthy, Miller getting more targets, and exploiting the matchups against the 49ers, I'm predicting 5 or more receptions and 60 or more yards, with a decent shot at a touchdown.
C.J. Uzomah, TE, Bengals
Yahoo ownership: 30%
Predicting tight ends has been tough this year, especially when doing so two weeks out. However, I like C.J. Uzomah for both of his remaining weeks. Uzomah has now had five straight games of four or more targets and three or more receptions. Additionally, he's had at least 33 receiving yards in each of his last 4 weeks. That might not sound like much, but in the barren tight end climate, you might have to take it if you had Jordan Reed, Greg Olsen, or one of the other injured tight ends.
In Week 15, the Cincinnati Bengals will be going against the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing the most fantasy points to the tight end position this season. They have allowed nine receiving touchdowns to the position, which is also the most in the league. Uzomah will be startable in this matchup. The reason we're going to pick him up now is because his ownership will likely go up after this week, especially if another big name tight end gets injured.
Then in Week 16, start Uzomah against the Cleveland Browns. While they might not be quite as easy as the Raiders, they have still given up the ninth-most points to tight ends this season. In their last seven games, they have also allowed five or more receptions to tight ends -- a good sign for Uzomah to bring home the bacon for you if you don't have one of the top guys like Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, or George Kittle.
Yahoo ownership: 19%
The Miami Dolphins D/ST has been kind of boom or bust this season, but they're in line for a good Week 16. They will get to play the sorry Jacksonville Jaguars at home after playing the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium this week. Not to mention, they might be without quarterback Ryan Tannehill thanks to an ankle injury. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase says that Tannehill is fine, but I'm going to avoid this matchup anyway, as the Vikings might be juiced after firing their offensive coordinator on Tuesday. In standard D/ST scoring, the Jaguars have allowed opposing D/STs to score double-digit points in three of their last four weeks. It appears that whether it's Blake Bortles or Cody Kessler under center, the Dolphins D/ST will be a great championship start.