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Working the Wire: Week 15

By Josh Tinelli | 12/12/23 |

Each week I’ll provide you with a rundown by position of key waiver wire adds. We’ll evaluate not just breakouts based on past performance, but also who could deliver this week based on a soft matchup. Stats will be provided based on a 12-team PPR league, with players less than 75% (preferably less than 50%) ownership being considered.

Week 15 Byes: N/A


Matthew Stafford, LAR vs WAS

Stafford has had three nice games in a row, passing for a combined 10 TDs during that span, including going 294-3-0 in an overtime shootout with the Ravens. Up next, he’ll face a Commanders defense that has given up the most points to opposing QBs, so Stafford should keep the good times rolling.

Joe Flacco, CLE vs CHI

Flacco got another start with Deshaun Watson out, and delivered a nice win against the Jaguars by going 311-3-1. Up next is a great matchup against the Bears, who have allowed the 3rd-most passing TDs.

Other QBs to consider: Drew Lock SEA (vs PHI)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Jameis Winston, NO vs CAR: Winston ended up not being needed as Derek Carr was able to suit up against Carolina.

Baker Mayfield, TB @ ATL: Mayfield ended up with a solid day by going 144-2-0 through the air and rushing for a TD on 3 carries. Up next, he gets a much tougher matchup against the Packers.

Jake Browning, CIN @ IND: Browning delivered another nice day, going 275-2-1 passing and chipping it 3-7-1 rushing. He has continued to be efficient throwing the ball in his three starts. He gets another potential playoff team when the Vikings come to town this week.

Running Backs

Ty Chandler, MIN @ CIN

Chandler went 12-35-0 on the ground and 3-3-7-0 through the air in relief of Alexander Mattison, who left early with an ankle injury. If Mattison was forced to miss the game against the Bengals, Chandler would most likely handle a three-down role, especially if the Vikings turn to 3rd string QB Nick Mullens with Joshua Dobbs struggling.

Zamir White

Zamir White, LV vs LAC

White hasn’t seen many touches, but with starter Josh Jacobs going down with a knee injury, White will see more action. He’ll get a favorable matchup versus the Chargers in Week 14, although expectations should be tempered as the passing game work would largely be dominated by Ameer Abdullah.

Other RBs to consider: With the playoffs looming (or starting for some), primary handcuffs such as Tyjae Spears, Tyler Allgeier, Jordan Mason/Elijah Mitchell, Rico Dowdle and Chase Brown should be a priority for you to protect key starters if you have an open roster spot.

Last week’s waiver adds:

Ezekiel Elliott, NE @ PIT: Elliott carried the load since Rhamondre Stevenson was out with an ankle injury, going 22-68-0 rushing and 8-7-72-1 receiving. Elliott’s three-down skill set is well known, and he still appears to have something left in the tank. He should be a solid asset for as long as Stevenson is out, and that continues this week against the Chiefs.

Update: Tyjae Spears, TEN @ MIA: Spears had a solid outing on Monday Night Football as Will Levis had 38 attempts, delivering 8-6-89-0 receiving and chipping in 7-29-0 rushing. Levis clearly trusts Spears out of the backfield and when the Titans are playing from behind, his targets are likely to spike. He may be called on again this week against the Texans.

Roschon Johnson, CHI vs DET: Johnson was largely invisible against the Lions, getting 1 carry for 6 yards. D’Onta Foreman returned from injury and led the team in touches with 13. It appears they have a three-headed RBBC between Johnson, Foreman, and Khalil Herbert, with each of them being a touch leader in the last three games. Good luck if you have to use one of them in the fantasy playoffs.

Keaton Mitchell, BAL vs LAR: Mitchell led the Ravens backfield in touches, going 9-54-0 on the ground to go with 2-1-8-0 through the air. It appears he’s taken control of this backfield, but it might be tough to use him with upcoming games against the Jaguars, 49ers, and Dolphins.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Odell Beckham Jr., BAL @ JAX

OBJ has started to heat up, as he’s scored double-digit PPR points in four of his last five games, including going 10-4-97-1 against the Rams. He should be able to put up another solid fantasy showing against the Jaguars, who have allowed the 6th-most points to opposing WRs.

Zay Jones, JAX vs BAL

Jones led the Jaguars in targets going 14-5-29-0 as Trevor Lawrence was hampered by a high ankle sprain but still ended up with 50 attempts (albeit only 28 completions). Up next is another tough matchup against the Ravens before a great matchup Week 16 against the Buccaneers.

Isaiah Likely, BAL @ JAX

Likely had another big day with Mark Andrews on the shelf, catching 7-5-83-1 in the OT win over the Rams. Likely is still available in nearly half of Yahoo leagues, but he won’t be after this week. He’s finished 2nd and 3rd in targets in his two starts this year, and figures to be a consistent performer for the rest of the year. Up next is a date against the struggling Jaguars that just allowed David Njoku to grab 2 TDs.

Logan Thomas, WAS @ LAR

Thomas was on bye Week 14 and had a dud in Week 13, but averaged 6 targets per game in Weeks 7-12. He gets a great matchup against the Rams, who haven’t allowed a lot of catches, but have given up the 4th-most yards and tied for the most TDs to tight ends on the season.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Lynn Bowden Jr. NO (vs NYG), Demarcus Robinson LAR (vs WAS), John Metchie HOU (@ TEN), Chigoziem Okonkwo TEN (vs HOU)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, SEA @ SF: JSN led the Seahawks in targets, but only managed a 7-4-25-0 against a tough 49ers defense. It was surprising he didn’t do more, considering DK Metcalf was held in check and the Seahawks were playing from behind for most of the game, but having Drew Lock under center probably contributed. He gets a cupcake matchup against the league-worst Eagles up next.

Elijah Moore, NYJ vs JAX: Moore came back to earth against the Jaguars, as Joe Flacco targeted Amari Cooper a whopping 14 times. Moore’s 6-3-42-0 receiving line was his lowest-targeted game in the last five, so look for him to rebound against the Bears this week.

Noah Brown, HOU @ NYJ: Brown didn’t earn a reception for the 2nd straight game, on a laughable 5 targets. It didn’t help that C.J. Stroud only had 10 completions against a stifling Jets defense and was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Up next is a dream matchup against the Titans, and with Nico Collins leaving the game early with a calf injury, Brown has a chance at redemption this week.

Update: Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed, GB @ NYG: Reed and Doubs finished 1st/2nd in targets on Monday Night Football, with Reed leading the way with 10-8-27-0 receiving and even getting a rushing TD on 4 carries. Doubs saw 7 targets but could only manage 4 catches for 32 yards as the Giants were keeping everything in front. Up next is a great matchup against the Buccaneers in Week 15 where both could be useful again.

Jerry Jeudy, DEN @ LAC: Jeudy led the Broncos in targets yet somehow still managed a dismal 6-2-16-0 line against a terrible Chargers secondary. He has another positive matchup against the Lions but he’s been difficult to trust with performances like this week.

Zay Jones, JAX @ CLE: See above.

Isaiah Likely, BAL vs LAR: See above.

Gerald Everett, LAC vs DEN: Everett had another solid day, going 8-5-39-0 in a loss to the Broncos. With Justin Herbert likely missing this week with a broken finger on this throwing hand, Everett may see more looks from backup Easton Stick when the Chargers travel to Las Vegas.

Darren Waller, NYG vs GB: Waller doesn’t look like he’ll play tonight on Monday Night Football, but expects to return for Week 15. Pick him up now if he’s available.

Defense/ Special Teams

LA Rams vs WAS

The Rams lost a heartbreaker in overtime versus the league-leading Ravens. They get a much easier Commanders team this week that leads the league in D/ST points against, mostly because of their league-leading 5 defensive TDs allowed. But, they’re also 2nd in sacks and 4th in interceptions allowed, so there will be opportunities for the Rams defense.

Falcons @ CAR

Atlanta had a tough day losing to the division rival Buccaneers, but a match this week against the pitiful Panthers is a cure for that (see what the Saints did to them, below). Carolina has allowed the 4th-most sacks, scored the 3rd-fewest points, and is tied for 2nd in defensive TDs allowed. The Falcons had 2 sacks, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery while holding them to 10 points in Week 1.

Colts vs PIT

The Colts saw their four-game winning streak snapped, as they didn’t get a sack against the Jake Browning-led Bengals. They saved their fantasy day with an interception returned for a TD, marking their 4th defensive TD in the last five games. Up next is a reeling Steelers team that hasn’t given up a lot of sacks or turnovers, but also doesn’t score a lot. Look for an opportunistic Colts defense to take advantage of Mitchell Trubisky.

Last week’s waiver adds:

Saints vs CAR: New Orleans had the best showing of the weekend, getting 4 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and a TD while only allowing 6 points. You can ride them again this week against the lowly Giants if you picked them up.

Colts @ CIN: See above.

Update: Packers @ NYG: The Packers defense flopped against the most forgiving offense in the league on Monday Night Football. Green Bay had been heating up, and although the Giants had allowed the most sacks, Green Bay didn’t get one. They managed 2 fumble recoveries but it wasn’t enough to get the victory. Green By still has a forgiving schedule for the fantasy playoffs.