by Nick Ercolano
December 10, 2018
Week 14 is in the novels, so we're looking at snatching the gold mines off of the waiver wire. Let's get it. This list will only be composed of players owned in 55% or less of Yahoo leagues.
For the Updated (as of 12/10) Playoff Streaming chart for QBs/TEs/DSTs, head here.
We're not sure what Sir Jody Flacco's deal is, but he was inactive again on Sunday, ensuring the 1st round rookie pick Lamar Jackson (45%) got another start in Arrowhead, which your mans nailed the over on! The Ravens lost, but Jackson was good enough on the ground to finish as QB13 in fantasy, throwing for 147 yards and two scores 0 interceptions, more importantly adding 71 yards on the ground through 13 carries. Since taking over as Baltimore's QB in Week 11, L-Jax has gone over 70 rushing yards in all four games. He provides a fantastic floor and gets a home matchup versus TB in Week 15. TB has surprisingly been pretty good against QBs in recent weeks, holding Brees under 15 FPs on Sunday, Cam Newton to 15.3 in Week 13 and Nick Mullens to 8.7 in Week 12. They've allowed fewer than 15 FPs to 4 of their last 5 QBs, and fewer than 17.2 in all 5. Jackson will still be in the QB1 conversation because of his rushing ability.
Call me psychotic, but I don't think Eli Manning (21%) is the worst play ever in Week 15. He's home versus Tennessee who has been average against the pass, but in the second half of the season, Eli has been good more than he's been bad, coming off of this 3-TD game on Sunday. The Cowboys sit at 8-5, the Giants at 5-8, with a Week 17 matchup on their schedule. As far as the Giants are concerned, they're still fighting for their playoff lives, so they'll have plenty of incentives to play hard in Week 15. We'll likely get OBJ back on the field for that game (I think?). Derek Carr (19%) is riding a hot streak, throwing for 607 yards and five passing scores over his last two, and he'll get a Cincinnati team in Week 15 that, well, need I say more? There are not many QBs I'd rather have starting in my playoff game less than Derek Carr, & I definitely don't like him traveling and being on the road, but if you're desperate, he's a name, I guess.
Josh Allen (14%) will likely be the hottest pickup outside of L-Jax this week, and probably deserves more of the first place vote after another outstanding fantasy game on Sunday. Listen to this. Allen threw zero touchdowns and two interceptions lost a fumble and still finished as QB6 this week (barring MNF). This is due to his 101 rushing yards and a score. A week after a 135-yard ground game, two weeks after a 99-yard, one score rushing game. He's rushed for 335 yards and two touchdowns over the last three weeks. He might actually be a rich man's Lamar Jackson. 26.3, 28.7, 20.3 - his FP total over the L3 weeks. Next up: Detroit at home. Allen will flirt with QB1 numbers in this one.
Seattle's defense looked like it was going to be okay this year, but that has not held true over the 2H of the schedule. Nick Mullens (7%) takes on a Seahawks defense in Week 15 at home, two weeks after torching them 414 passing yards and two scores. Mullens followed that up this Sunday throwing for another 332 yards and two scores versus Denver, George Kittle accounting for nearly 62% of those yards lol. We'll see how Seattle plays on MNF, but Mullens will be streamable in Week 15, unfortunately.
The last name on this list, completely unowned in Yahoo leagues (0%) is the new starting QB for the Washington Redskins, Josh Johnson. Per Rotoworld: "Signed off the street just this last week, Johnson engineered two scoring drives after replacing Mark Sanchez in the second half with Washington down 40-0. Johnson finished 11-of-16 passing for 195 yards, a 79-yard touchdown to Jamison Crowder, one interception, and 7/45/1 rushing, including an eight-yard score on the ground." If you're desperate in a 2QB league, you can do much worse than a scrambling QB against a Jacksonville defense in shambles.
1. Doug Martin - Oakland Raiders
- Yahoo Ownership: 52%
I have no fucking idea how, but the Raiders pull off a 24-21 win over the Steelers on Sunday. Martin was mostly miserable, running for 32 yards on 16 carries, but he found the end zone for the third straight game and is averaging 17 touches over those three, over 15 over the L7. For the first time in a long time, the Raiders will get a good matchup on paper, in Week 15, as just 3.5 dogs in Cincy, who've allowed the most FPs to RBs this year.
- Playoff Matchups: @CIN, DEN
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes, if you need an RB
- FAAB Spend: $10-15
2. Ito Smith - Atlanta Falcons
- Yahoo Ownership: 28%
I want nothing to do with Ito in my lineup, but the gap between him and "starting" running back Tevin Coleman has crept interestingly close over the last couple of weeks. In Week 13, they split snaps 55/45% in favor of Coleman, but Smith out-touched Coleman 8-7. On Sunday, the snaps were 33-32 (Coleman), but this time the gap of touches was a bit wider, 14-11 in favor of Ito. Smith ran for 60 yards on 11 carries, tying a season-high, and caught 3 balls for 14 yards. It could be anyones backfield on a weekly basis, and they might ride the hot hand, but they get an appealing matchup in which they should be heavy favorites at home versus the Cardinals in Week 15.
- Playoff Matchups: ARZ, @CAR
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No
- FAAB Spend: $3-5
3. Kenneth Dixon - Baltimore Ravens
- Yahoo Ownership: 8%
The Ravens continue to ride the Gus Bus until the wheels fall off, almost to their detriment. Dixon looked like the much better back on Sunday.
Dixon ran for 59 yards on 8 carries (7.4 ypc) and a touchdown, along with 21 yards on his lone target. It's the second game in a row that Dixon has had exactly eight rushes and a catch. The more interesting part of this is that wherein Week 13 the snap split went 43-27-19 (Gus, TyM, Dixon), Week 14 was a bit different. Dixon closed the gap seeing 23 snaps, Gus 31, and TyMont just 14 from the backfield and 5 either out wide or in the slot. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw Dixon at a nearly 50% split with Gus in Week 15 against TB at home. Dixon brings a combined skill set of Gus & TyMont where he can play all three downs whereas Gus is literally a zero in the receiving game. It's super late in the fantasy season for Dixon to take over and become a starter for you, but with all the injuries at the position, you may need to use him as a flex, and I won't be mad atcha for doing so.
- Playoff Matchups: TB, @LAC
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: No
- FAAB Spend: $8-10
4. Elijah McGuire - New York Jets
- Yahoo Ownership: 7%
The Jets offense is miserable, but it also might be without Isaiah Crowell for some time, opening up the door for second-year RB, Elijah McGuire to dominate touches, like he did on Sunday. After Crowell left Sunday's game early with a foot injury, McGuire went on to run for 60 yards & a tug on 17 carries, catching 3-of-4 targets for 23 yards. He out-snapped rookie 185lb back Trenton Cannon 40-18. Depending on the severity of Crowell's injury, we'll see McGuire used heavily in the Jets offense if he misses time. They get Houston at home in Week 15, which isn't an appealing matchup, but McGuire will be a 15+ touch guy, getting the GL work and catching a few passes. At this point in the season, you'll take that at flex.
- Playoff Matchups: HOU, GB
- Use #1 Waiver Wire: Yes, if Crowell is out
- FAAB Spend: $12-15
5. Darren Sproles - Philadelphia Eagles
- Yahoo Ownership: 6%
Sproles is an interesting name to me because I thought he looked good in both their Week 13 and 14 game, and now we have Corey Clement, who was dominating passing-down work, likely to miss time with what's being diagnosed as a knee sprain. We'll have more information on Clement by the end of the day. Sproles only ran the ball once on Sunday, but he caught all three of his targets for 34 yards and a touchdown, his second score in as many games. What's more telling is that Sproles actually out-snapped Josh Adams 23-21 on Sunday. I think Sproles has a good chance to lead this backfield in snaps the rest of the way, something we've consistently seen Philly do over the last few years when Sproles is on the field and healthy.
I know the Rams looked like straight but against the Bears, but they'll be byke home in sunny California in Week 15, where the Eagles will have to travel across the country and are going to need to score, a lot to keep up. Sproles is a really sneaky play in Week 15 for those in PPR leagues.
- Playoff Matchups: @LAR, HOU
- FAAB Spend: $ALL
6. Chris Ivory/Isaiah McKenzie - Buffalo Bills
- Yahoo Ownership: 4/0%
Another unexciting AFC East RB, in a bad offense, plunged into the starting role because of an injury. LeSean McCoy tweaked his hammy on the Bills first drive and didn't return. While Josh Allen is the best running back on Buffalo's roster, Ivory is next up.
- Playoff Matchups: DET, @NE
1. Dante Pettis - San Francisco 49ers
- Yahoo Ownership: 46%
The 2nd round rookie is really out there doing his thing, scoring again on Sunday, making it his fourth trip to the tuddy zone in their last three games. He's seen seven targets in three straight games, averaging four receptions, 85 receiving yards and like I said, four touchdowns. With Garcon not even back at practice in a limited fashion, Pettis should remain the best outside option on the team.
The Niners get a rematch with the Seahawks, who Pettis burned for 129 yards and two scores in Week 13. I like his chances of another big game in Week 15.
- Playoff Matchups: SEA, CHI
- FAAB Spend: $7-10
2. Curtis Samuel - Carolina Panthers
- Yahoo Ownership: 30%
I'm really surprised Samuel is still this widely available in leagues, while Devin Funchess is owned in 70% of leagues. People wake up. Funchess is like the WR4 or 5 on their depth chart right now. This is not my opinion. This is big facts only, fam. For the second straight week, Funchess, off the injury report, was far out-snapped by both Samuel and D.J. Moore. Samuel has played on 92% of the team's snaps over the last three weeks.
Samuel is a super athlete, with blazing 4.31 speed, basically, a hybrid coming out of Ohio State, and I wish they would run the ball with him a little bit more, cause we see a lot of big plays with him when they do. Regardless, his 8 targets and 80 yards on Sunday give him 19 targets over the last two weeks which is a 23% target share, and he's topped 80 yards in both games. Clearly, he's going to be a BIG part of this offense without Greg Olsen.
- Playoff Matchups: NO, ATL
3. Zay Jones - Buffalo Bills
- Yahoo Ownership: 21%
Jones was a big disappointment this week, not surprisingly. The process was there, nine targets on Sunday, which gives him 9+ targets in three of his last four games, and he has a 26% target share on the team over the last two weeks. But, we've also seen his floor, which is never fun when you're championship is on the line.
They get a Detroit team at home in Week 15, who has been beat by athletes like Jones on numerous occasions in 2018. He'll be a desperate flex here, still.
- FAAB Spend: $5-7
4. John Ross - Cincinnati Bengals
- Yahoo Ownership: 9%
So, John Ross lol.
The good: He's scored a touchdown in 4
- Playoff Matchups: OAK, @CLV
5. DaeSean Hamilton - Denver Broncos
- Yahoo Ownership: 7%
Big fan of DaeSean Hamilton here. I own a lot of him in dynasty, and with Emmanuel Sanders out, Hamilton took over as their slot WR, but he was a full-time guy being on the field for 72-of-74 (97.2%) snaps.
He ran nearly 72% of his routes from the slot, on his way to catching 7-of-9 targets for 47 yards and a touchdown. The 5.22 YPT number isn't fun, but the volume sure is. He was second on the Broncos in targets on the day actually. It wasn't Courtland Sutton who led the team. It was a kid named Tim Patrick, who caught 7-of-10 targets for 85 yards, and also ran the ball once for 11 yards.
Patrick is a 2nd year, UDFA out of Utah. He's big, but he's old. 25 already. Patrick played on 86% of the snaps on Sunday. I'm not too hyped about this guy, he's not a bad dynasty add, but doubtful you'll be able to use him in redraft.
Hamilton, though, I do expect to continue to see targets and wouldn't suprise me to see him finish as a top-36 fantasy WR over the next two easy matchups:
- Playoff Matchups: CLE, @OAK
- FAAB Spend: $5-8
Two other guys I don't feel like really wasting my breath on are Kenny Stills & Robby Anderson. Both benefit from having their regular starter, Darnold & Tannehill back at QB. Both are owned in about 20-30% of leagues, so they're widely available. Big play guys in below average offenses. Whatever. That's my analysis.
Try to look for:
1. Favorites (most important),
2. Playing at home
3. With a low over/under total.
by Nick Ercolano
June 23, 2020
by Nick Ercolano
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