I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed Week 14.
No, I didn’t make the playoffs in all of my leagues, but I did get to enjoy a couple of Week 14 byes, and my teams that did play meaningful Week 14 games all did well.
Sure, it all could come crashing down this week, but I’m going to spend a few extra minutes studying stats and trends and matchups to ensure that I put myself in the best possible position for victory.
And it all starts with analyzing the waiver wire to see if there are any players out there who may be able to help me out now that the fantasy pressure is racheted up to its highest levels.
Here are this week’s waiver wire pickups, and as always all of these players are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups: QB
Matt Moore, Miami (20%, at Buffalo)
Matt Moore did not have a great game in Week 14. This is surprising based on the previous several weeks, but coming into the year no one would have been surprised if the Eagles’ high-priced secondary had shut down the Dolphins’ backup QB.
Week 15 appears far more appealing for Moore owners – especially those who have him in two-QB leagues like I do. He is facing the Buffalo Bills, who are giving up big numbers to everyone. You wouldn’t want Moore starting in a single QB league, but he’ll put up sneaky good numbers this week.
Rex Grossman, Washington (13%, at New York Giants)
Did you see how many Cowboys wide receivers were running wide open in the Giants’ secondary last week? That’s been a weekly theme. Grossman proved in Week 14 that he can put up good numbers against a poor secondary, and he can and should do it again this week.
You might think I’m crazy to say this, but Grossman could very well be a top-10 QB this week. I know, I know. I’m not sure I could trust him either, but just don’t be surprised if it happens.
T.J. Yates, Houston (5%, v Carolina)
This is only for deep-leaguers and two-QB leagues, but T.J. Yates has been surprisingly serviceable in fantasy football and real life football since taking over for Matt Leinart taking over for Matt Schaub. Yates has 3 TDs and one pick in the his last two games. There is some value there, and we know that Carolina struggles to stop everyone.
Jake Locker, Tennessee (2%, at Indianapolis)
This assumes that Matt Hasselbeck is hurt and that you are terribly desperate at QB, but wouldn’t you want whoever is facing the Colts in at QB? I wouldn’t mind it. Don’t go crazy and start Locker in a one-QB league, but he could put up some numbers against the woeful Colts.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups: RB
Toby Gerhart, Minnesota (47%, v New Orleans)
If Adrian Peterson doesn’t play, which seems unlikely since he was so close to playing this week, Gerhart has some value. If Peterson does play, then obviously Gerhart needs to go to your bench.
Ryan Grant, Green Bay (43%, at Kansas City)
Ryan Grant lives!
Grant hasn’t done much this year, but he burst back onto the scene in Week 14, filling in quite admirably for James Starks and making the Packers RB slot fantasy-relevant for the first time…pretty much all year. If Grant is slated to start again, with Kansas City up next on the schedule, he could provide some value again. Don’t go crazy with your expectations, but he’s at least worthy of giving you some depth as you approach the final week.
Donald Brown, Indianapolis (21%, v Tennessee)
Brown did very little in Week 14, but in his defense he plays for the Colts who were playing Baltimore. Did anyone really expect anything? Brown did lead the Colts in carries and yards, and there is value in that for those desperate for ball carrier, and Tennessee is not nearly as imposing against the run as the Ravens are.
Keiland Williams, Detroit (3%, at Oakland)
I’m not a huge fan of Williams, but he did lead a high-powered offense in carries in Week 14. With the quickly fading Oakland Raiders on the schedule in Week 15 – the same Oakland Raiders who made Ryan Grant relevant again – any running back slated to get 10-15 touches against them has some value.
Christopher Ivory, New Orleans (1%, at Minnesota)
Few things frustrate fantasy owners more than the Saints’ backfield, and it happened this week. Ivory led Saints backs in touches with 13, followed by Sproles’ 12. All of Ivory’s touches were carries, and he churned out 53 yards on them, looking pretty explosive with fresh legs. Who knows if he’ll get 13 more carries next week, but anyone getting that many touches for the Saints warrants mention.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups: WR
JABAR GAFFNEY, WASHINGTON (49%, at NEW YORK GIANTS)
No, I did not mistakenly hit the CAPS LOCK button when typing Jabar Gaffney’s name. I just wanted to make sure you know exactly how much I love Gaffney this week. He was my start ’em WR in Week 14, and he came through big time, and he should do the same this week against the Giants’ very generous secondary.
Nate Burleson, Detroit (43%, at Oakland)
Burleson didn’t do quite as well against the Vikings as I thought he might, but he has been pretty productive over the last month. As I mentioned above, the Raiders are terrible right now, so I want plays who are going against them in my lineup or at least on my team as an option.
Damian Williams, Tennessee (25%, at Indianapolis)
I expected more out of Williams than just two catches in Week 14 (though he did pop for 62 yards), but Nate Washington ended up playing and got the bulk of the catches and yards. Still, Williams has major potential in Week 15 because of the matchup.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver (13%, at New England)
Yes, Thomas struggled with drops in Week 14, but he also caught the huge 4th quarter touchdown, which to me helps validate his 144-yard Week 13 as more than just a fluke. With New England on the schedule, and their terrible pass defense tasked with defending Tebow and Co, Thomas could have another nice day.
Titus Young, Detroit (6%, at Oakland)
Yes, a second Lions WR makes the list because, again, they are playing Oakland. And I like Young more than Burleson. Young was better in Week 14 and at this point in their respective careers he is the more explosive player. Don’t be surprised he has another 4-catch, 87-yard, 1-TD day in Week 15. That’s what he did last week.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups: TE
Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati (48%, at St. Louis)
Greshman was okay in Week 14, but he faced a very tough Houston defense. His matchup in Week 15 is not nearly as tough, and Gresham looks like a good candidate to get back into the endzone to me. At the least, he should grab 4-5 balls and get 50-60 yards.
Jake Ballard, New York (46%, v Washington)
Ballard continues to be a solid under-the-radar option at tight end. He caught four balls in Week 14 and scored a touchdown. We saw what Rob Gronkowski did to the Redskins last week, and while Ballard may only be 25% of Gronk, 25% of what Gronk did v Washington would be pretty good for your TE spot.
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville (17%, at Atlanta)
Apparently someone told Blaine Gabbert that he has a really talented tight end. After a very disappointing start to the season, Lewis is producing again. He had 77 yards on two catches in Week 14, coming on the heels of 14 catches over the previous three weeks.
Streaming Defenses of the Week
Seattle Seahawks (43%, at Chicago)
I don’t even know what Seattle will do against St. Louis on Monday Night Football, but I’m recommending them. It’s much less about my trust in Seattle and much more about my complete lack of faith in Caleb Hanie and Co. Seattle is a very safe option this week.
Tennessee Titans (27%, at Indianapolis)
All things considered, the Titans weren’t terrible against New Orleans in Week 14; and they have been a good defense at times this year. In Week 15, they may well look like a great defense going up against Indy. Again, another safe option.
Arizona Cardinals (16%, v Cleveland)
Arizona’s defense is not as bad as you might think, though they do struggle defending the pass. Well guess what? Cleveland can’t pass. And with a Patrick Peterson return TD always looming as a realistic possibility, Arizona has a shot to be a solid value this week.
If you have roster-specific questions, pose them below. Let’s all get Ws in Week 15!