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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups Week 15

By Matt Schauf 12:56pm EST 12/12/23

Waiver Wire Targets 

 

Shallow Leagues

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Rostered: 41%

Clyde Edwards-Helaire beat McKinnon in opportunities (15-7) with Isiah Pacheco out for Sunday’s loss to the Bills. But the playing time split basically evenly (CEH’s 48% snap rate to McKinnon’s 45%), and McKinnon got the only carry between them inside the 10-yard line. (He scored.)

We’ll see about Pacheco’s shoulder heading into Week 15. But CEH (rostered in 50% of Yahoo leagues) and McKinnon are both worth rostering in pretty much any league of 12+ teams.

Remaining matchups with the Patriots, Raiders, and Bengals all look fine for RB upside.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Baltimore Ravens

Rostered: 42%

Beckham remained well behind Zay Flowers in playing time Sunday against the Rams. But his participation rebounded coming out of the bye and two games removed from a fourth-quarter shoulder injury.

Beckham’s 10 targets against L.A. tied Flowers for the team lead and accounted for 23% of Lamar Jackson’s total attempts. Week 14 also marked the third straight game in which Beckham beat Flowers in targets per route.

Beckham’s mere 54.4% catch rate for the season doesn’t help his fantasy floor. But he has scored in three of his past five games and gone for 116 yards in another within that span. He’s averaging a career-high 16.3 yards per catch.

There’s WR3 upside for what could be three high-scoring matchups: 

  • at Jacksonville
  • at San Francisco
  • vs. Miami

TIP

Want to know exactly who makes sense for YOUR team in YOUR league? The Free Agent Finder syncs directly with your league to give you the best waiver wire guidance in the industry.

 

12-Team Leagues

Ty Chandler, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Rostered: 22%

Chandler can help you out if Alexander Mattison misses further time with his ankle injury.

The second-year back has been productive in spurts, averaging 66.6 scrimmage yards across the three games in which he has seen 10+ touches. He's delivered double-digit PPR points in two of those.

Week 15 presents a nice matchup vs. the Bengals (27th in run-defense DVOA), giving Chandler RB2 upside. We’ll track Mattison’s status throughout the practice week (and potentially beyond).

Zamir White, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

Rostered: 2%

White looks like a good bet to lead the Raiders in carries this week.

Josh Jacobs left in the fourth quarter of Week 14 with a knee injury and now gets a short week before the Thursday night game against the Chargers.

If Jacobs can’t go, White would face the 23rd-ranked defense in rush DVOA and 12th-best RB-scoring matchup.

Keep in mind, though, that White’s unlikely to take over a true lead position. Ameer Abdullah actually played more snaps (15 to 5) against Minnesota, though the Raiders ran only six offensive plays after Jacobs left.

Abdullah figures to lead third-down and passing-situation work, limiting the upside for both Raiders reserves.

Chase Brown, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Rostered: 7%

Brown has only played 19 offensive snaps over the past two games, but the rookie has displayed some explosiveness as a runner (three carries of 10+ yards) and as a pass catcher (3 catches, 80 receiving yards vs. the Colts in Week 14).

The Bengals’ remaining matchups are rough (fourth-toughest RB schedule per our adjusted fantasy points allowed). But Brown would really only be fantasy-viable if Joe Mixon goes down anyway.

Jordan Mason, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Rostered: 2%

The RB2 behind Christian McCaffrey hasn’t been particularly helpful this season.

Elijah Mitchell, the Niners’ primary backup, has averaged just 5.3 touches per game across nine healthy contests. So Mason’s merely a handcuff option.

Mitchell missed last week’s game – and all three practices – with a knee injury. If he remains out (or aggravates the issue), Mason would be a McCaffrey injury from intriguing upside.

The 49ers’ remaining schedule features two matchups against defenses (Cardinals, Commanders) that rank among the five most favorable for RB scoring.

Zay Jones, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Rostered: 29%

Christian Kirk went down on the first play of Week 13. Jones has taken advantage, with a team-high 22 targets and 10 receptions (second) since then.

Jones managed five receptions each of the past two weeks. That doesn’t make him attractive for a Week 15 date with Baltimore, but there’s an upside visit to Tampa Bay in Week 16 that could make Jones a PPR flex option.

He’s far from a must-add, though.

About Last Week:

What about last week's recommended pickups? Let's see if they still make sense for your roster.

Of course, you should check your Free Agent Finder to get the best answer for your specific situation.

Player Pos Keep?
Demario Douglas WR Yes
Zay Jones WR Yes
Minnesota Vikings DST No
  • We're guessing Demario Douglas will be ready to return from his concussion this week. And the lead WR job remains open. Douglas has seen 7+ targets in four straight games and caught 5+ passes in each of them.
  • It's only been a couple of weeks since the Vikings DST's matchup with the Bengals this Sunday looked like a great spot. Those coulple of weeks, however, have each seen Jake Browning lead Cincinnati to 34 points. You can probably do better.

  

Deep Leagues

Joe Flacco, QB, Cleveland Browns

Rostered: 7%

A street free agent just a few weeks ago, Flacco has proceeded to finish as the QB12 and QB4 the past two weeks.

Wild.

With Amari Cooper back healthy, Flacco deserves deep-league consideration for upcoming matchups vs. Chicago (home) and Houston (road). His fantasy season ends with an unfriendly passing matchup vs. the Jets.

Jake Browning, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

Rostered: 27%

After an ugly debut vs. Pittsburgh, Browning has rebounded with excellent outings of 30 and 28.5 fantasy points.

He scored rushing TDs in both, but Browning’s also playing efficient ball (79.3% completion rate) alongside a healthy cast.

Next up is a Vikings squad that cut him three times. While their blitz-heavy scheme could bring out Browning’s downside, there will also be big-play potential. In 11 completions under pressure, Browning has posted the second-highest yards per attempt (8.7).

We’ll evaluate Browning’s prospects after Sunday ahead of tough matchups at Pittsburgh and at Kansas City.

Demarcus Robinson, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Rostered: 0%

Tutu Atwell lasted 9 snaps before suffering a concussion in Week 14. Robinson stepped in to tie for the team lead in targets (10) and routes run (42).

This followed a Week 13 with 4 catches, 55 yards, and 1 score vs. Cleveland.

If Atwell misses Sunday’s game vs. a terrible Washington secondary, Robinson will step into some deep-league WR3/FLEX value.

About Last Week:

Player Pos Keep?
Jonathan Mingo WR Yes
Robert Woods WR No
  • Jonathan Mingo caught just two passes in Sunday's loss at New Orleans. But he drew a team-high 9 targets, his second-largest total of the season. That trailed only his previous game.
  • Robert Woods actually led the Texans in routes (28) against the Jets. But he managed just 3 targets and watched C.J. Stroud leave with a concussion. It's possible his role makes him usable in deep leagues at Tennessee this week. But missing Stroud would make Woods a "break glass in case of WR emergency" option as opposed to a waiver target.

  

Streaming Options

New Orleans Saints DST

Tommy DeVito’s Giants have now scored 24+ points in two of the past four games. But they also managed just 10 points against the Patriots in between and still turned the ball over twice in the win over the Packers.

Even with his first sack-free outing, DeVito still sports the league’s worst sack rate. And the Giants open Week 15 with the league’s fourth-lowest implied team total (15.75 points).

Los Angeles Rams DST

Yeah, this D just finished allowing 37 points (31 to the offense). But no one should have been picking them up to face Baltimore.

The remaining schedule, however, goes:

  • Washington
  • New Orleans
  • N.Y. Giants

The Commanders and Giants stand third-best and best, respectively, as scoring matchups for team defenses right now by our adjusted fantasy points allowed.

The Saints sit neutral and scored 28 points each of the past two weeks. But they’ve also turned the ball over seven times over their past four games and managed only 207 total yards Sunday against Carolina. Derek Carr’s dealing with multiple injuries and has as many INTs as TD passes over his past three outings.

The Rams’ D is a Week 15 streamer with potential to be more.

Atlanta Falcons DST

Atlanta gets the Panthers, the sixth-best DST scoring matchup in the league. And whereas almost any D heads into a week with boom/bust potential, Carolina presents arguably the league’s highest-floor matchup.

The Panthers haven’t reached 20 points in a game since Week 6 and have reached 300 total yards just three times in 13 contests. They also rank fifth-worst in adjusted sack rate.

  

Drop Candidates

These aren’t necessarily players you need to drop, but rather non-obvious candidates who can be dumped for better options.

Derek Carr, QB, New Orleans Saints

The Saints refuse to let him rest, but you can feel free to dump Carr. He managed only 119 passing yards in his latest crack at playing through multiple injuries. Carr’s now down to 31st among QBs in fantasy points per game.

Elijah Moore, WR, Cleveland Browns
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos

We’ll put Moore and Jeudy together because they’re basically the same guy – right down to having scored just 1 TD apiece this season.

They rank 62nd and 63rd, respectively, in PPR points per game on the year yet both remain on a roster in more than 50% of Yahoo leagues.

Any interest Moore generated early last week basically disappeared when Amari Cooper cleared the concussion protocol. Moore garnered 6 targets in the win over Jacksonville but managed just 3 receptions. He’s averaging 3.8 catches per game for the season and has reached 50 yards just three times.

Jeudy sits at just 3.5 receptions and 42.3 yards per game, with 3 catches or fewer in five of his past six outings.

Neither is a must-drop if you play in a league deep enough for him to be a potential starter. But each is droppable in favor of a handcuff RB or second DST where it makes sense.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Boyd’s like a handcuff version of Moore and Jeudy.

Tee Higgins has played 78% and 75% of snaps the past two weeks, after losing three games to injury. That absorbs Boyd’s potential opportunity.

And although QB Jake Browning has now delivered for two straight weeks, this situation isn’t strong enough to make Boyd worth stashing in most leagues.

Quentin Johnston and Joshua Palmer, WRs, Los Angeles Chargers

As of this writing, Johnston remains rostered in 21% of Yahoo leagues and Palmer in 30%. That level would have been fine for either guy (especially Palmer) … until QB Justin Herbert broke a finger on his throwing hand in Sunday’s loss.

Herbert will miss the rest of the season. That’s enough to make any Chargers pass catcher not named Keenan Allen forgettable.

  

Dynasty Stash of the Week

Xavier Gipson, WR, New York Jets

Gipson wasn’t on our radar in the pre-draft process. But we’re not discounting the undrafted free agent’s potential dynasty impact.

Let’s start here: According to his college HC – Colby Carthel of Stephen F. Austin – Gipson received offers from 28 NFL teams. 

Gipson chose the Jets, likely lured by a thin depth chart and the prospect of catching balls from Aaron Rodgers.

While the season hasn’t gone according to plan, we’ve already seen signs of life from the 22-year-old.

  • A punt return TD against Buffalo
  • A 5-77 line against Atlanta

And perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.

Gipson earned All-America honors as a true freshman, tallying 52 catches, 934 yards, and 7 TDs. He totaled 191-3,377-30 over his final three seasons.

Gipson wasn’t invited to the Combine, but he posted a 4.40-second 40 time at his pro day – plenty fast at 5’9, 189 pounds. That speed showed up on the field, as draft analyst Dane Brugler called Gipson a “speed demon” with “natural burst to quickly outflank pursuit.”

As for opportunity, there’s no long-term No. 2 target on the Jets, either in the WR or TE corps.

In a best-case scenario, Gipson develops into a volume-based slot, giving him more appeal in full PPR setups.

  

Season-Winning Strategy

Your waiver wire strategy needs to fit your overall plan to win your season. Matt and Jared talk more about that in this video.

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