Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league. I’ll
also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous
PHI – It’s always nice to see a QB change pay off, and
Hurts (15-25 percent owned) is already providing dividends in the
form of wins for the Eagles. He was dynamic in Sunday’s dramatic
24-21 upset win over the Saints, rushing for 106 yards and adding
a 167-1-0 passing line – solid numbers for a rookie thrust into
a starting job. HC Doug Pederson has already committed to the rookie
for a Week 15 matchup with the Cards, and he’ll likely be an interesting
fantasy option for the Eagles’ final three games.
Trubisky, CHI – Trubisky (25-30
percent owned) was sharp on Sunday, completing 24 of his 33 passes
for 267-3-0 and adding four rushes for 23 yards in the Bears’
36-7 victory over the Texans. The beleaguered QB has now thrown
for at least 240 yards in each of his last three games while racking
up seven touchdowns during that span. His favorable schedule over
the next couple weeks boosts him into QB2 territory and a possible
spot start in deeper formats.
Goff, LAR – We didn’t include Goff
last week for the Week 14 game (137-1-1, rushing TD) against the
Patriots on Thursday night, but for what’s next: a Week 15 matchup
versus the Jets on Sunday. Giddyup.
Rivers, IND – Rivers dialed back
the clock with a 244-2-0 performance on Sunday in the 44-27 win
over the Raiders and seems to have found some excellent rapport
with T.Y. Hilton. The veteran is in another great spot against
a putrid Texans defense in Week 15.
Hill, NO – Drew Brees (ribs) still
doesn't have a clear timetable for his return, so we could see
Hill again in Week 15 in a big matchup (and possible shootout)
with the Chiefs. He completed 28 of 38 passes for 291-2-1 in the
Sunday loss to Philly, adding 33 rushing yards.
LAR – Akers has finally broken through as the lead back
in Ram town, shedding the shoulder injury on Thursday night and
rushing 29 times for 171 yards (and adding 2-23-0 receiving) in
the Rams’ 24-3 win over the Patriots. He’s still available in about
a third of ESPN leagues and could have another monster stat line
in a smash spot against the hapless Jets in Week 15.
Wilson, SF – Raheem Mostert (ankle)
is injured again and probably won’t play in Week 15, likely giving
Wilson the starting job against a bad Cowboys run defense. The
early-down pounder and occasional passing down back rushed 11
times for 31 yards and a TD this past Sunday, adding 13 more yards
on one reception in the 23-15 loss to Washington. We could also
see a few runs by the 49ers WRs and more work for Tevin Coleman
and Jerick McKinnon.
White, NE – If the Pats are going
to beat the Dolphins in Week 15, it’ll have something to do with
White – a versatile back who excels in passing downs. I expect
the playcallers to draw up more Xs and Os that include JW as the
Pats try anything to get their team out of this offensive funk.
White is owned in about 55-65 percent of leagues but could be
a huge part of the game plan against Miami.
Peterson, DET – With D’Andre Swift
back in action, Peterson rushed just four times for 7 yards and
caught one pass for 23 yards in Sunday’s 31-24 loss to Green Bay.
Although the veteran back should continue to see some playing
time, Swift's role will only increase as he further recovers from
NYJ – Johnson split carries with Frank Gore and Josh
Adams, rushing for 16 yards on eight carries. With Gore healthy
and Adam Gase professing his undying love for the warhorse back,
Johnson won’t have a huge impact in a Week 15 road matchup against
McKissic, WAS – McKissic carried
11 times for 68 yards and caught two of four targets for 18 yards
during Sunday’s 23-15 win over the 49ers. He wasn’t the PPR darling
from Week 13 who had 10 catches, but he seems to have a handle
on the RB1 role in Washington.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Gage, ATL – With Julio Jones out (hamstring)
for Week 14, Gage (15-20 percent owned) hauled in five of seven
targets for 82 yards, adding a 39-yard touchdown pass to fellow
WR Calvin Ridley during Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Chargers. He’s
a solid option against the Bucs if Jones misses another game.
Bourne, SF – Deebo Samuel (hamstring)
is injured again, elevating Bourne to WR3-4/flex status for Week
15. Bourne caught just three of seven targets for 42 yards during
the loss to Washington, but a date with Dallas for this red zone
maven is much more favorable.
Higgins, CLE – Higgins (10-20 percent
owned) has great rapport with Baker Mayfield, and he caught 6-68-1
on 10 targets from his QB during Monday night’s wild 47-42 loss
to the Ravens. With at least 65 receiving yards in three of his
last four games, Higgins is becoming a reliable fantasy option,
something he hopes to continue in Week 15 against the Giants.
Cook, NO – He disappeared for a while, but Cook (50-60
percent owned) has now scored in consecutive games (giving him
six receiving TDs in 2020) and could be a red zone factor again
in Week 15 as the Saints hosts the Chiefs in what could be a high-scoring
affair. Give him a look in 12-team leagues.
Hansen, HOU – The former practice
squad player hauled in 7-56-0 on seven targets in Week 14, which
followed up a 5-101-0 effort in Week 13. I’d say it’s time they
keep Hansen (5-10 percent owned) on the roster – and he gets a
look in DFS and deeper formats.
Davis, TEN – Davis was a bust on
Sunday with just three receptions on three targets for 34 yards
against the Jaguars. Week 15 against Detroit promises to be another
Derrick Henry game, but you never know when Davis is going to
Beasley, BUF – Beasley came back
down to earth but still caught five of 10 targets for 41 yards
in the win over Pittsburgh. The Broncos are next.
Coutee, HOU – Coutee fought through
a knee injury and hauled in all three targets for 24 yards and
a TD in the brutal loss to the Bears on Sunday. A Week 15 divisional
matchup versus the Colts offers another chance for more catches
and a possible score.
DEN – Patrick was overshadowed by Hamler’s big day but
did finish with three catches (on five targets) for 36 yards and
a touchdown during Sunday’s 32-27 win over Carolina. They could
beat up on Houston as well.
Thomas, WAS – Thomas is a solid low-end TE1 and he
had a decent Week 14 with 6-43-0 on seven targets. I love the
upcoming matchup against the Seahawks, though he’s now owned in
about 60-70 percent of leagues.
Arnold, ARI – Arnold really has a nice thing going
with Kyler Murray, and the pickup paid off for fantasy owners
in Week 14 as caught two of four targets for 27 yards and a TD
during Sunday’s road win over the Giants.