Best Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups Week 15: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chase Brown take advantage of opportunities

The fantasy football playoffs are here, and that means the top Week 15 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds take on extra importance. It’s all about matchups and opportunities this time of year, and getting late-season breakouts like Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chase BrownD’Onta ForemanTy ChandlerIsaiah Likely, and Odell Beckham Jr. could go a long way toward securing a fantasy championship.

Our full waivers list has more intriguing stashes at RB (Antonio Gibson, Jerick McKinnon, Ameer Abdullah, Zamir White) and WR (Zay JonesJuJu Smith-SchusterCurtis SamuelK.J. OsbornJosh Palmer), as well as a host of potential Week 15 streamers at QB, TE, and D/ST. While it’s unlikely teams in the fantasy playoffs will need to stream someone like Joe Flacco or Jake Browning at QB, it’s entirely possible that Logan Thomas or Tyler Conklin is in a better situation than your TE. Even more likely is that the Colts or Falcons are better than your D/STs. Check out the end of this list for all of our streamer suggestions.

Now that we’re officially in the fantasy playoffs for most leagues, there’s little point in “saving” your waiver claims. Sure, if your team is set at every position with healthy studs, you might opt to hold back your high waiver claim in case you need it in Weeks 16 or 17, but if there’s any question about whether you’ll get an important player, put in a claim and secure his services. Most weeks, we’d advise using your high claim on a potential starting RB, but if you need a TE more, then go ahead and use your claim on Likely. It still makes sense to claim RBs like Chandler or Edwards-Helaire, if for no other reason than to block your opponents from getting them, but prioritize your starting lineup before you “play defense.” 

Even though most key players will be claimed on waivers this week, you should plan on being active in free agency, too. Injuries will pop up during the week, which could change the outlooks of potential streamers, and planning for Weeks 16 and 17 is also smart. Get who you need for Week 15 during waivers and look to add some FAs for the future once waivers clear. 

Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 15

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues are considered.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire & Jerick McKinnon, RBs, Chiefs. With Isiah Pacheco (shoulder) on the shelf for likely one or two more games, McKinnon and Edwards-Helaire will split touches in Kansas City’s backfield. They both contributed in Week 14, with Edwards-Helaire leading the team in carries (11) and rushing yards (39) while adding 29 yards through the air. McKinnon chipped in with seven touches, 37 total yards, and a TD. Ultimately, we’d favor CEH given his enhanced role, but both can have flex value in any given week, including next week at New England.

D’Onta Foreman, RB, Bears. Foreman returned from an ankle injury and reclaimed his spot atop the Bears’ depth chart, rushing 11 times for 50 yards and catching two passes for 22 yards. Roschon Johnson and Khalil Herbert combined for four touches, so we can reasonably expect Foreman to continue to lead this backfield. He’ll be a low-end flex next week against Cleveland.

WEEK 15 STANDARD RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Chase Brown, RB, Bengals. Brown announced his presence on Monday night in Week 13 with several impressive runs, and he followed that up with a true breakout in Week 14, turning 11 touches into 105 total yards and a TD. Brown did most of his damage on an early 54-yard TD catch, but he had several more nice plays. Perhaps even more important, he received several snaps and a couple of touches inside the 10-yard line. The speedy rookie is still clearly behind Joe Mixon for touches, but he’s shown he can put up flex-worthy numbers in his current role. He’ll be on the start ’em, sit ’em bubble next week against Minnesota.

Ty Chandler, RB, Vikings. Alexander Mattison was having a great game before exiting in the third quarter due to an ankle injury. Chandler took over and finished with 41 total yards on 15 touches, but we’ve seen him play better when given the chance earlier this season. If Mattison is out next week against the Bengals, Chandler will be a solid RB2/flex. 

WEEK 15 PPR RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

Antonio Gibson & Chris Rodriguez Jr., RBs, Commanders. Brian Robinson Jr. exited at halftime in Week 13 because of a hamstring injury, and Rodriguez shared backfield duties with Gibson the rest of the way. Gibson (14 touches, 72 total yards) is owned in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues, so if he’s available, he should be the priority pickup, but Rodriguez (seven carries, 29 yards) would also have some deep standard league value if Robinson remains out against the Rams.

Zamir White & Ameer Abdullah, RBs, Raiders. Josh Jacobs limped to the locker room in the fourth quarter due to a knee injury, and with the Raiders playing on Thursday night in Week 15, he will be hard-pressed to heal in time. Similar to the situation in Kansas City, White is more of the “lead runner” and Abdullah is more of the “change-of-pace/receiving” back, but both will be on the field a lot and can have value in favorable matchups. We’d prioritize White in standard leagues and Abdullah in PPR leagues and consider both flexes against the Chargers’ wilting run defense.

Isaiah Likely, Ravens (@ Jaguars). Likely broke out in a big way in Week 14, catching five-of-seven targets for 83 yards and a TD in a favorable matchup against the Rams. Another good situation is on deck against a Jaguars’ defense that entered last week allowing the 10th-most fantasy points per game to tight ends before getting roasted for 91 yards and two TDs by David Njoku. Whether you view him as a stream or a stash, Likely is a must-add.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Ravens. OBJ continued his hot play down the stretch, catching four-of-10 targets for 97 yards and a TD against the Rams. It’s clear he’s going to be a big part of Baltimore’s offense going forward, making him a flex in most matchups. You can bump him up to a WR3 in a favorable spot against the Jags in Week 15.

Curtis Samuel, WR, Commanders. Samuel has looked like the Commanders’ WR1 over the past two games, catching 13-of-15 targets for a team-high 165 yards. Whether it’s early in the game or in garbage time, Samuel is producing, making him a viable WR3/flex in Week 15 against the Rams.

Zay Jones, WR, Jaguars. Jones caught five-of-eight targets for 78 yards after Christian Kirk (core) exited in Week 13, and he followed that up with five catches and 29 yards on 14 targets in Week 14. He’s clearly going to be a big part of the offense with Kirk out, making him a potential flex in all matchups, including against Baltimore next week.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Patriots. With both Demario Douglas (concussion) and DeVante Parker (knee) out in Week 14, Smith-Schuster stepped up, catching four-of-six targets for a team-high 90 yards. If even one is out again in Week 15 against the Chiefs, JuJu has a chance to post flex-worthy numbers in his second-straight revenge game.

Noah Brown & John Metchie III, WRs, Texans. Brown and combined for one catch and six yards against the Jets, but with Tank Dell (ankle) out for the year and Nico Collins (calf) also banged up, they figure to lead the Texans in targets in a favorable matchup against the Titans in Week 15. If C.J. Stroud (concussion) is out, it will be tough to trust either, but after they both received five targets in Week 14, you can bet they’ll be even busier.

Jalin Hyatt, WR, Giants. Hyatt came up big in his last game, catching a team-high five-of-six targets for 109 yards. He’s the definition of a “boom-or-bust” receiver, but he’s still worth stashing ahead of the fantasy playoffs. He’ll have flex value against the Saints in Week 15.

Josh Palmer, WR, Chargers. Palmer (knee) had his 21-day practice window opened last week, so he could return on Thursday against the Raiders. If he’s not back in Week 15, he should be back in Week 16. Either way, he’s worth stashing ahead of matchups against the Bills and Broncos.

K.J. Osborn, WR, Vikings. The Vikings’ offense is stuck in neutral right now, so Osborn’s ceiling is relatively low. Still, with Justin Jefferson (chest) hurt again, he’ll resume an integral role in the receiving game. He led all WRs with seven targets in Week 14, and he can have PPR flex value with that many looks in Week 15 against Cincinnati.

Jonathan Mingo, WR, Panthers. Mingo had a quiet Week 14, catching just two passes for 22, but he had a team-high nine targets, marking the fifth-straight game in which he’s had at least six targets. He’s getting the opportunities, and it’s only a matter of time before the talented rookie comes through with a big game. He’s worth using as a PPR flex next week against Atlanta.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Jets. It sounded like Rodgers (Achilles) was set on returning this year when the Jets opened his practice window two weeks ago, but new reports suggest he’s a long shot to play again this season. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to pick him up and throw him on your IR just in case he does come back and shock the world.

Top fantasy QB streamers for Week 15

Joe Flacco, Browns (vs. Bears). Flacco has been decent in both of his starts, including a 311-yard, three-TD outing in a favorable matchup against the Jaguars last week. The Bears’ pass defense has been improving, but they’re still below average against fantasy QBs. Give Flacco a look if you’re in a bind.

Jake Browning, Bengals (vs. Vikings). Browning has impressed in his past two games, throwing for 629 yards and posting four total TDs. The Vikings’ defense has been playing better lately, so Browning likely won’t have a mistake-free game, but he can come through with something like 250 yards and two TDs if you’re hurting at QB. 

Aidan O’Connell, Raiders (vs. Chargers). It’s a tough week for QB streamers, but O’Connell has the best matchup of the possible candidates. The Chargers entered last week allowing the second-most passing yards and fourth-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to QBs, and O’Connell had some success against them in his first career start earlier this year (238 yards, rushing TD). If you’re truly desperate, AOC could be your best option.

Top fantasy TE streamers for Week 15

Logan Thomas, Commanders (@ Rams). Thomas struggled in his last games, failing to catch a pass other than a two-point conversion. We think he’ll fold back into the offense in a big way against a Rams’ defense that entered Week 14 allowing the fourth-most FPPG to TEs.

Tyler Conklin, Jets (@ Dolphins). The Dolphins have been below average against TEs all season, and Conklin followed up a nine-target Week 13 with a five-catch, 57-yard game on six targets in Week 14. His PPR floor is higher than you think.

Cade Otton, Buccaneers (@ Packers). Otton seems to have a favorable matchup every week, and he comes through about half the time (including last week with a TD against Atlanta). If you’re hurting at TE, you can consider him against a Packers’ defense that entered last week allowing the 11th-most FPPG to TEs.

Gerald Everett, Chargers (@ Raiders). Everett has been up and down all season, but he sees enough targets to think he’ll have value against a below-average Vegas TE defense. It’s possible that if Easton Stick starts in place of Justin Herbert (finger), he’ll lean even more on his big TE. 

Chig Okonwko, Titans (vs. Texans). Okonkwo is still yet to score this year, but if you believe in the “Law of Averages,” then there’s no better time for him to come through than in Week 15 against Houston’s bottom-five TE defense.

Top fantasy defense streamers for Week 15

Indianapolis Colts (vs. Steelers). The Steelers were shut down by the Patriots last Thursday night, and regardless of who’s under center this week, we think it will be more of the same against an opportunistic Colts’ bunch that has posted 21 sacks, 10 takeaways, and four D/ST TDs in the past five games. 

Atlanta Falcons (vs. Panthers). Carolina has been among the five most-generous offenses to fantasy D/STs all year and they really hemorrhaged points last week against the Saints. The Falcons can exploit them even on the road.

Los Angeles Rams (vs. Commanders). No team allows more sacks than Washington, and it’s also allowed a D/ST TD in three straight games. The Rams are a no-brainer at home. 

Minnesota Vikings (@ Bengals). Jake Browning has been solid over the past couple of weeks, but the Vikings have also stepped up their game. They racked up 12 takeaways in Weeks 6-12 before their bye, and with an improved pass rush and a bunch of playmakers all over the field, Minnesota can have a solid day in Cincinnati just like the Colts did last week thanks to a pick-six.

Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Chargers). The Raiders just limited the Vikings to three points and now likely get to face Easton Stick on a short week. Take advantage.

Chicago Bears (@ Browns). The Browns offense is a work in progress with its odd collection of QBs, and the Bears’ D/ST has actually been playing better lately, racking up seven sacks and eight takeaways in Weeks 10-12 and following that up with four sacks and three takeaways against the Lions in Week 14. In potentially ugly conditions, the Bears are a real sleeper.

Los Angeles Chargers (@ Raiders). If you can’t get any of the D/STs above, settling for a team against a rookie QB on a short week isn’t a bad idea. The Chargers will give up yards and points, but they have enough big-play potential for a high-ceiling performance.

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