10 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets Heading Into Week 15
As we approach fantasy football championships, it's important you know the game has changed. While roster spots are typically among the most valuable assets in fantasy, that's just no longer the case. There just isn't much time left for players to establish themselves. In other words: if you're not starting a player now, you probably won't start them for the rest of the year. This should be reflected in your management style.
You'll want your starters (obviously), a few backups at running back and wide receiver, any streaming options you have planned out, and the rest should be players whose value can change quickly (like handcuff running backs.) Running back streaming isn't really a thing people talk about, but the occasional elevated backup running back can really keep a roster going. Last year saw a few of these types of running backs pop up (such as DeAndre Washington).
I'll stick to players rostered on 60% or fewer of Yahoo teams and also list some other viable pickups who may be available in shallower leagues or relevant in only deeper leagues.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Roster Percentage: 17%
After the Philadelphia Eagles upset the New Orleans Saints, Jalen Hurts should be here to stay, and the fantasy production should be excellent. With 18 carries, Hurts is a premiere Konami code option, and the defenses will get significantly easier than the Saints with the middle-of-the-pack Arizona Cardinals coming up in Week 15 and the cakewalk Dallas Cowboys in Week 16.
Others to Consider: Gardner Minshew (10%)
DeAndre Washington, Miami Dolphins
Roster Percentage: 24%
The safe money is on Myles Gaskin returning next week, but on the off-chance he doesn't, the Miami Dolphins don't seem to like rotating their backs. If Gaskin sits another week, Washington could be back to his playoff producing ways as he had 13 of the 17 running back carries and 4 of the 5 running back targets (this isn't including Lynn Bowden Jr., who mostly lined up at wide receiver.)
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
Roster Percentage: 21%
With the Cowboys out of contention, they could be in line to shut Ezekiel Elliott down in the near future. The team is no longer exciting, but Pollard would be the only running back in line to get significant work at that point.
Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks
Roster Percentage: 4%
As I said, players don't have much time to establish themselves, but Rashaad Penny appeared on the verge of seizing the lead role prior to his injury. It'll be interesting to see his workload, but he's also a premium handcuff, with an elite quarterback and run-heavy offense. Chris Carson hasn't been fully healthy this year.
Any Backup Running Back Where the Starter Missed a Practice
As stated, playing the handcuff lottery can sometimes yield results, and even if you don't plan on starting said running back, you don't want them started against you, either. It's in your interest to have one or two roster spots to play with. Drop your backup wide receivers, your satellite running backs, or your backup tight ends. Those players likely won't be helping you much at this point if they're not in your starting lineup.
Others to Consider: Le'Veon Bell (56%), Kalen Ballage (19%), La'Mical Perine (10%)
Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars
Roster Percentage: 16%
Laviska Shenault has always had what it takes, and with 11 targets this week, he's finally getting the work required to produce.
With wide receivers, keep in mind you should only be adding them if you need a starter. Don't add Shenault (or any receivers) who will just be sitting on your roster without the chance of playing.
Keke Coutee, Houston Texans
Roster Percentage: 45%
Keke Coutee is still the lone Houston Texans receiver with any level of experience and figures to be the top option so long as Brandin Cooks is out (and he could easily be shut down with the Texans going nowhere.) While he only saw 3 targets last week, he did find the end zone.
Lynn Bowden, Miami Dolphins
Roster Percentage: 1%
Lynn Bowden Jr. has taken the path less traveled to get here. From wide receiver to wildcat quarterback at Kentucky to running back with the Las Vegas Raiders to (primarily) a wide receiver with the Dolphins, Bowden has finally landed in a situation that makes the most of his talents.
Bowden has some utility, but he is a wide receiver, and now that he's getting a chance to show it. He was targeted 9 times and came away with 7 receptions for 82 yards.
It's also worth noting that for fantasy purposes, Bowden has dual-eligibility at wide receiver and running back.
Others to Consider: A.J. Green (37%), Jakobi Meyers (35%), Cordarrelle Patterson (11%)
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Roster Percentage: 75%
Not only is there no indication that George Kittle will be back in the next two weeks, but he's also well beyond the 60% threshold usually required for this column. Still, Kittle is sitting there in 25% of leagues and on the off-chance Kittle returns for the championship, he's an absolute game-changer. Add him and drop your deep bench players.
Jordan Akins, Houston Texans
Roster Percentage: 5%
If you need a more practical tight end solution, Jordan Akins is your answer. He's tethered to a high-end quarterback in Deshaun Watson and is in an offense suddenly deprived of targets.
Others to Consider: Will Dissly (2%)
Roster Percentage: 49%
As the person who does the defensive streaming column, I'm really not looking forward to the Week 16 streaming options. It behooves you to get ahead of the curve and add your championship streaming defense now. The Cleveland Browns look like the best choice as of now, as they take on the New York Jets and should be reasonable favorites.