Fantasy Football Week 15 Waiver Wire: Can Dante Pettis and Elijah McGuire help you move on in the playoffs?
We don't have as many must-add running backs on the wire in Week 15, but there are still players who can help you get to the next round of the playoffs on the waiver wire.
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Last week's waiver wire was fun. You had three exciting running back situations arise due to injuries to James Conner (leg), Melvin Gordon (knee) and Matt Breida (ankle), opening the door for Fantasy owners to acquire Jaylen Samuels, Justin Jackson and Jeff Wilson.
Samuels (15 PPR points) and Wilson (10 PPR points) posted respectable stats in Week 14, while Jackson (five PPR points) remained in a reserve role behind Austin Ekeler and struggled. But Jackson could be relevant once again with Ekeler (neck) now hurt coming into Week 15 at Kansas City on Thursday night, especially with Gordon still potentially out.
This week, we don't have the same excitement level on the waiver wire, at least at running back, though there are new injuries to monitor with LeSean McCoy (hamstring), Spencer Ware (hamstring), Isaiah Crowell (foot) and Ekeler. While there are intriguing guys to add — Elijah McGuire, Ito Smith and Zach Zenner top the list — they don't have the same juice as Samuels, Jackson and Wilson did last week.
At receiver, however, it could be a different story, especially after we had mid-week injuries or downgrades to Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) and Odell Beckham (quadriceps) prior to Week 14. Tyreek Hill (foot) is also banged up heading into Thursday night, so Fantasy owners could be relying on replacement options like Chris Conley, Dante Pettis, Curtis Samuel, Dede Westbrook, Taywan Taylor, DaeSean Hamilton and Kenny Stills, among others.
And tight end brought us new injuries to monitor, including Jordan Reed (foot), Austin Hooper (knee) and Jonnu Smith (knee). That will make guys like Ian Thomas and Anthony Firkser popular in Week 15.
It might not be as crazy a waiver wire period as what we had in Week 14. But Week 15 is still extremely important since the playoffs are underway in nearly all leagues by now. And there are guys to help if you are dealing with injuries or players underperforming on your roster.
Editor's note: For this waiver wire column, we are only looking at players owned in less than 65 percent of CBS Sports leagues. Additionally, there will be no more drop candidates. At this point in the season, you know who is relevant on your roster.
- Injuries of note: Ben Roethlisberger (ribs), Lamar Jackson (ankle), Ryan Tannehill (ankle), Joe Flacco (hip), Sam Darnold (foot)
- Priority list: Josh Allen (37 percent ownership), Lamar Jackson (60 percent), Nick Mullens (18 percent), Derek Carr (31 percent)
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
|I like Jackson this week with his matchup against Tampa Bay at home, and I expect him to be fine with his ankle. But Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday that Flacco could see playing time in Week 15, which means approach Jackson with caution. While he did play well in Week 14 at Kansas City with 22 Fantasy points, and he's now 3-1 as a starter in place of Flacco, the Ravens could opt to go back to the veteran under center and put Jackson back on the bench. In four starts, Jackson has two games with 22 Fantasy points and two with 16 points or less. And Tampa Bay is allowing 24.5 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year.|
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
|The quarterbacks listed here are for two-quarterback or super-flex leagues in Week 15, including Allen, who has been solid as a Fantasy option of late. He comes into Week 15 averaging 25.7 Fantasy points in three games since returning from an elbow injury, and his rushing totals have been the main source of his production. He has at least 13 Fantasy points with his rushing totals in each of the past three games, and with at least 99 yards in each game and two total touchdowns. This week, he gets a Lions defense that is allowing 20.1 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year.|
Derek Carr Oakland Raiders QB
|Carr comes into Week 15 on a positive note based on his performance in the past two games against Kansas City and Pittsburgh. He has at least 22 Fantasy points in both games, racking up 607 passing yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. And this week he's facing a Bengals defense that allows the most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks at 25.2 points per game. Like all the quarterbacks listed here, Carr is worth trusting in deeper leagues.|
Nick Mullens San Francisco 49ers QB
|Mullens has actually been a decent Fantasy quarterback in each of the past two weeks, with at least 23 Fantasy points in games against Denver and Seattle. And he gets a rematch with the Seahawks in Week 15 after he had 26 points at Seattle in Week 13 on 414 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The Seahawks have also allowed six of the past seven opposing quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points, so Mullens is worth trusting at home.|
- Injuries of note: LeSean McCoy (hamstring), Austin Ekeler (neck), Spencer Ware (hamstring), Isaiah Crowell (foot), Jalen Richard (ribs), Chris Ivory (shoulder), Corey Clement (knee), Ezekeil Elliott (neck), James Conner (leg), Melvin Gordon (knee), Kerryon Johnson (knee), Matt Breida (ankle)
- Priority list: Elijah McGuire (30 percent ownership), Ito Smith (41 percent), Zach Zenner (0 percent), Kenneth Dixon (7 percent), Damien Williams (13 percent), Marcus Murphy (2 percent), Darren Sproles (11 percent), Rod Smith (6 percent)
Elijah McGuire New York Jets RB
|McGuire could be the lead running back for the Jets this week if Crowell is unable to play. And he played well against the Bills in Week 14 with 17 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown, as well as three catches for 23 yards on four targets. The matchup against the Texans in Week 15 is tough, although Houston has allowed a touchdown to a running back in consecutive games with Nick Chubb in Week 13 and Marlon Mack in Week 14 finding the end zone. McGuire will be at least a flex this week in all leagues if Crowell is out.|
Ito Smith Atlanta Falcons RB
|For the second week in a row, Smith had more touches than Tevin Coleman, getting 14-to-11 in Week 14 at Green Bay after out-touching Coleman 8-to-7 in Week 13 against Baltimore. Smith did well against the Packers with 11 carries for 60 yards, as well as three catches for 14 yards on four targets, and he's worth using as a sleeper in Week 15 against Arizona. While Coleman will still get work, Smith could be the best Fantasy option in Atlanta's backfield, and the Cardinals have allowed 16 rushing touchdowns to running backs this season, the most in the league.|
Zach Zenner Detroit Lions RB
|Zenner was the best running back for the Lions in Week 14 at Arizona with 12 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown, and he might replace LeGarrette Blount as the primary rusher if Kerryon Johnson remains out as expected. Blount struggled against the Cardinals with 12 carries for 33 yards, as well as two catches for 18 yards on three targets, along with a fumble. If Zenner replaces Blount then he has the chance to be a flex option in Week 15 at Buffalo. The Bills are among the league leaders with 18 total touchdowns allowed to running backs this season.|
Kenneth Dixon Baltimore Ravens RB
|Dixon has forced his way into a timeshare with Gus Edwards with his performance the past two weeks, and he's worth adding in all leagues. He's had nine total touches in each of the past two games against Atlanta and Kansas City, and he followed up 43 total yards against the Falcons with 80 total yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs. While Edwards will likely remain the starter and get the majority of carries, it appears like Dixon will get a bump in touches in Week 15 against Tampa Bay. And it's a great matchup since the Buccaneers are No. 4 in Fantasy points allowed to running backs on the season. Dixon has the chance to be a flex option this week.|
Damien Williams Kansas City Chiefs RB
|If we find out Tuesday that Ware is not healthy heading into Thursday's game against the Chargers, make Williams the No. 1 player to add on this list. He would be a must-start Fantasy option if Ware is out. So far, however, it appears like Ware will play, which would leave Williams in a backup role. As we saw in Week 14 against Baltimore, though, Williams can still be successful as the No. 2 option. He had eight carries for 14 yards and a touchdown, as well as four catches for 16 yards and a touchdown on five targets. Every Ware owner should handcuff him with Williams to be safe heading into Thursday's game against the Chargers.|
Marcus Murphy Buffalo Bills RB
|With McCoy and Ivory hurt in Week 14 against the Jets, we could see Murphy as the primary rusher for the Bills in Week 15 against the Lions. Isaiah McKenzie could also get some carries as we saw against the Jets, but Murphy would likely handle the majority of touches. He had four carries for 10 yards, along with one catch for 8 yards on one target against the Jets, but he could get close to 15 total touches in an expanded role. McCoy, for example, had at least 18 total touches in three games in a row prior to Week 14. Just keep in mind that it's a tough matchup against the Lions. And Allen will likely lead the team in rushing, which makes Murphy a flex option at best in deeper leagues. Also, there is the chance Ivory (10 percent) could be healthy this week, which would make him the priority add instead of Murphy.|
Darren Sproles Philadelphia Eagles RB
|In two games since coming back from injury, Sproles has made his presence known. He had four carries for 22 yards and a touchdown in Week 13 against Washington, and he followed that up with one carry for 2 yards, as well as three catches for 34 yards and a touchdown on three targets at Dallas in Week 14. Clement is unlikely to play in Week 15 at the Rams, so Sproles could get more touches in tandem with Josh Adams. And in a game where the Eagles are likely chasing points against the Rams, we could see a bigger role in the passing game for Sproles. He's a potential PPR flex option in Week 15.|
Rod Smith Dallas Cowboys RB
|Smith is a potential lottery ticket in case something happens to Ezekiel Elliott, and every Elliott owner should handcuff him with Smith. Elliott gave us a scare with a neck injury in Week 14 against Philadelphia, and he also could be getting worn down. In his past three games, Elliott had 31 total touches against Washington in Week 12, 29 total touches against New Orleans in Week 13 and 40 total touches against the Eagles. We hope nothing happens to Elliott, but you'll want Smith on your roster in case Elliott were to get hurt.|
- Injuries of note: Odell Beckham (quadriceps), Tyreek Hill (foot), Doug Baldwin (hip), DeSean Jackson (thumb), Sammy Watkins (foot), Keke Coutee (hamstring), Pierre Garcon (knee), Quincy Enunwa (ankle), Josh Doctson (concussion), Bruce Ellington (hamstring)
- Priority list: Dante Pettis (60 percent ownership), Chris Conley (30 percent), Curtis Samuel (24 percent), Dede Westbrook (62 percent), Taywan Taylor (2 percent), DaeSean Hamilton (10 percent), Kenny Stills (62 percent), Isaiah McKenzie (0 percent), John Ross (16 percent), Robby Anderson (22 percent), Tim Patrick (0 percent), Randall Cobb (43 percent), Robert Foster (2 percent)
Dante Pettis San Francisco 49ers WR
|Pettis has been highly productive for three games in a row, and now we don't have to worry about Pierre Garcon coming back from injury this season. In the past three games, Pettis has 12 catches for 255 yards and three touchdowns on 21 targets. He's scored at least 13 PPR points in three games in a row, with the highlight his performance at Seattle in Week 13 with five catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets. I consider Pettis a must-start Fantasy receiver in Week 15.|
Chris Conley Kansas City Chiefs WR
|Conley could take on a big role if Hill is unable to play Thursday against the Chargers since we know Watkins is still out for several weeks. In deeper leagues, you also might consider Demarcus Robinson (0 percent) just in case the Chiefs need help at receiver, and Kelvin Benjamin will likely only suit up in an emergency situation. Conley has basically played three games since Watkins first got hurt early in Week 11 at the Rams, and he has 12 catches for 112 yards and three touchdowns on 18 targets over that span. He's a No. 3 receiver in Week 15 with Hill expected to play, but he would be a must-start option in all leagues if Hill is out.|
Curtis Samuel Carolina Panthers WR
|Samuel is playing well of late, and he should be considered a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver in Week 15 against the Saints. He's scored at least 11 PPR points in four games in a row, but his best performances have come in the past two games against Tampa Bay and Cleveland. In those two outings, he has 10 catches for 168 yards on 19 targets, emerging as Carolina's most productive receiver in that span. This week, he's taking on a Saints defense that allows the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and Samuel should once again be considered a sleeper with upside.|
Dede Westbrook Jacksonville Jaguars WR
|Westbrook had a strong performance in Week 14 at Tennessee with seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets, and he's scored at least 17 PPR points in two of his past three games. He seems to have connected well with Cody Kessler, and he has a favorable matchup against Washington in Week 15 at home. Washington has allowed the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year.|
Taywan Taylor Tennessee Titans WR
|Taylor missed three games with a foot injury prior to returning in Week 13 against the Jets, and he's played well since returning. He had three catches for 104 yards on five targets against the Jets, followed by six catches for 59 yards on seven targets against the Jaguars, scoring at least 11 PPR points in each game over that span. He should continue to operate as the No. 2 receiver behind Corey Davis, and Taylor is a No. 3 Fantasy receiver heading into Week 15 at the Giants.|
DaeSean Hamilton Denver Broncos WR
|In the first game without Sanders, Hamilton and Patrick both played well in Week 14 at San Francisco. Hamilton replaced Sanders in the slot, and he had seven catches for 47 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Patrick had seven catches for 85 yards on 10 targets. Both have the chance to be useful in Week 15 against the Browns, and I like Hamilton better than Patrick, although both are No. 3 Fantasy receivers. And I would still play Courtland Sutton over either because he has more upside.|
Kenny Stills Miami Dolphins WR
|Stills complained about his role in the offense prior to Week 13 against Buffalo, and it worked. In the past two games, Stills has 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 15 targets, and he has at least 13 PPR points in each outing. He was a star in Week 14 against New England with eight catches for 135 yards and a touchdown on nine targets, and he helped set up the Miami Miracle with the initial reception before tossing it to DeVante Parker, who then got it to Kenyan Drake for the score. Most weeks, Stills would be higher on this list given his recent production, but he plays at Minnesota in Week 15, which could mean a matchup with Xavier Rhodes. As such, Stills is just a low-end option this week despite his recent success.|
Isaiah McKenzie Buffalo Bills WR
|McKenzie could end up getting more carries for the Bills if McCoy and Ivory are out in Week 15 against Detroit, after he had four carries for 22 yards and a touchdown in Week 14 against the Jets. He also added four catches for 47 yards on seven targets. In Week 13 at Miami, McKenzie also had four catches for 46 yards on four targets. He's a low-end option in most leagues if McCoy or Ivory play, but if he's expected to see time in the backfield then that greatly enhances his Fantasy value. Foster is also worth a look in deeper leagues this week against the Lions, as he just had seven catches for 104 yards on seven targets against the Jets. He's now scored at least 13 PPR points in three of his past four games, and this is a favorable matchup against Detroit. You can also consider Zay Jones a sleeper as well despite his poor outing in Week 14 with just three catches for 22 yards, as he still got nine targets to lead the team.|
John Ross Cincinnati Bengals WR
|It's completely unreliable, but in the past four games that A.J. Green (toe) has missed, Ross has scored a touchdown. The latest example was in Week 14 at the Chargers when he had two catches for 11 yards and a score on four targets. He hasn't had more than 40 yards in any of his past five games or more than three catches, but when Green has been out, he's scored touchdowns. In deeper leagues, you can take a chance on Ross as a Hail Mary play with the hope that he scores again in Week 15 against the Raiders.|
Robby Anderson New York Jets WR
|Anderson is worth a flier this week against the Texans with Enunwa banged up, and he could build off his quality performance in Week 14 at Buffalo when he had four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Anderson now has seven targets in consecutive games, and hopefully he can finish the season strong after a disappointing campaign. Anderson only has three games this season with double digits in PPR, but the Texans have allowed six receivers to either score or gain at least 80 receiving yards in their past three games.|
Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers WR
|Cobb is another receiver worth taking a flier on in deeper leagues at Chicago in Week 15. He's coming off his best game since Week 1 with five catches for 43 yards and a touchdown on six targets against Atlanta in Week 14, and he has a strong history against the Bears. In his past five meetings with Chicago, Cobb has three games with a touchdown, including Week 1 when he went off for nine catches, 142 yards and a score on 10 targets. He was a dud until facing the Falcons, but maybe he can finish the season strong, just like Anderson.|
- Injuries of note: Jordan Reed (foot), Austin Hooper (knee), Jonnu Smith (knee)
- Priority list: Ian Thomas (17 percent ownership), Anthony Firkser (4 percent), Vernon Davis (16 percent), Ryan Griffin (1 percent), Blake Jarwin (0 percent)
Ian Thomas Carolina Panthers TE
|Thomas was awesome in the first game without Greg Olsen (foot) in Week 14 at Cleveland. He had 11 targets for nine catches and 77 yards, easily the best game of his rookie campaign. He now has 14 catches for 123 yards in the past two games, after Olsen was injured early in Week 13 at Tampa Bay. The only problem for Thomas this week is a tough matchup against the Saints, although they did just allow two touchdowns to Cameron Brate in Week 14. Thomas is worth using as a low-end starter in Week 15.|
Anthony Firkser Tennessee Titans TE
|Firkser could be a sneaky play in Week 15 against the Giants with Smith not expected to play. Firkser comes into Week 15 with at least three catches in each of his past four games, including two games with at least nine PPR points over that span. And the Titans have been leaning on their tight ends in recent weeks, with Firkser and Smith combining for 23 targets, 20 catches, 274 yards and two touchdowns in the three games prior to Week 14 against Jacksonville when Smith got hurt. This week, Firkser is facing a Giants defense that is No. 17 in Fantasy points allowed to tight ends, but they could struggle to defend the position with standout safety Landon Collins (shoulder) on injured reserve.|
Vernon Davis Washington Redskins TE
|Davis will see an expanded role if Reed is unable to play in Week 15, and he just had four catches for 31 yards on four targets against the Giants in Week 14 after Reed went down. It will be hard to trust Davis in most formats with Josh Johnson starting for Washington, but Davis has done well in place of Reed when he's been out. In 2017, Reed missed 10 games due to injury, and Davis had at least eight PPR points in six of those outings, including three touchdowns. And this week he's facing a Jaguars defense that is tied for third in touchdowns allowed to tight ends with seven. Davis is a low-end starter in deeper leagues if Reed is out as expected.|
Ryan Griffin Houston Texans TE
|Griffin is hard to trust because he doesn't post consistent production. For example, he had six catches for 65 yards on nine targets in Week 5 against Dallas, but that was the last time he was above 40 yards until Week 14 against Indianapolis. But he did have five catches for 80 yards on five targets against the Colts, and maybe he can be serviceable in deeper leagues in Week 15 at the Jets. With Coutee out, the Texans have been leaning on their tight ends with Griffin, Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins seeing opportunities in recent weeks, and it was Griffin's turn against the Colts. In deeper leagues, he's worth a flier, especially if Coutee remains out, since the Jets have allowed two touchdowns to tight ends in their past three games.|
Blake Jarwin Dallas Cowboys TE
|Jarwin had a solid game in Week 14 against the Eagles with seven catches for 56 yards on seven targets, and hopefully he can build on that performance in Week 15 at the Colts. Indianapolis just allowed the Texans tight end combination of Griffin, Thomas and Akins to catch 11 passes for 151 yards on 11 targets in Week 14, and we'll see if Dak Prescott continues to lean on Jarwin this week. Keep in mind this was his best game of the season, but he could be useful in deeper formats.|
- Redskins (54 percent) at JAC
- Lions (39 percent) at BUF
- Falcons (18 percent) vs. ARI
So who should you sit and start? And what shocking quarterback could win you Week 15? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.
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