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NFL Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups for Season-Long Fantasy (FREE)

Sam Smith

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Sam Smith gives out fantasy football week 15 waiver wire targets, including Tyler Higbee for your fantasy football lineups on ESPN & Yahoo

We have reached the playoffs for season-long fantasy, so the next moves you make could make or break your playoff run. With only two weeks left in the fantasy postseason, it is now more important than ever to buy low on some waiver wire flyers and get those big splashes from unexpected places. Before all of your opponents snatch them up, we have some names to set your eyes upon as you make your NFL Fantasy Football Week 15 waiver wire additions and adjustments.

Pickings are getting pretty slim since most rosterable players have long been, well, rostered. However, with a few injuries this past week, we have four guys who you could target on the waiver wire to fill in large holes in your fantasy lineups for the playoff stretch. Most notable among those are a breakout Tyler Higbee and a potential new starter in DeAndre Washington.

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Drew Lock, Denver Broncos

So maybe it was not a fluke after all. Lock’s quick start to his NFL career cooled off fairly quickly last week, as two early touchdowns ultimately turned into 134 yards on 28 attempts. Well, this week, he not only brought the touchdowns, he added overall efficiency with 309 yards on 81.5 percent completion and 11.4 yards per attempt. Granted, the Texans secondary is not good and seemed especially intent on mailing in this game. But Lock, a raw prospect who people had somewhat written off, seems like he is at least going to get a shot to prove he’s the quarterback of the future.

In most leagues, this coming week is the fantasy playoff semifinal, so if you have made it this far, chances are you’ve had a reliable quarterback. Thus, Lock probably does not apply to 90 percent of the audience here. For the rest of you, the next two games are pretty much ideal for a young quarterback, as Lock gets the Lions and Chiefs, two teams that rank in the bottom five for PFF pass rush grade, and in the bottom half in coverage grade. So if you are in a pinch and need to scrape a bit to fill in a quarterback gap, we know Lock is capable of a quality fantasy performance, and that his upcoming opponents can serve that end.

Again, like any quarterback flier this late in the season, Lock is a last-ditch effort on the waiver wire. If you have a proven quarterback, by all means start him. However, Lock could be a viable stop gap for this final stretch of the fantasy season.

DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders

The rest of Josh Jacobs‘ season is murky, as an MRI this week will reveal whether or not he ultimately finishes it out. With Oakland steadily slipping out of the playoff picture, there is always the chance they sit him and let him take care of his fractured shoulder. But there is also the chance he pushes to play since the Raiders need to win out to have a chance. Ultimately, we will not know for sure until MRI results come down. In the meantime, it is probably a good idea to claim DeAndre Washington from the waiver wire.

Prior to yesterday’s games, I said that Jalen Richard would probably be the safer pick to take on Jacob’s workload, as he was the more proven pass catcher. That did not prove true whatsoever. Washington handled the bulk of the carries with 14 to Richard’s seven, and also tied for the game high with six catches. Washington was clearly the feature and with Derek Carr’s continually passive performances of late, one would assume Raiders backs will continue to factor heavily in the passing game. So for PPR leagues at least, Washington could prove invaluable if Jacobs is out for good. His ownership should get a massive uptick this week, and he may prove to be must-start depending on league size.

Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans’ season seems over as he tweaked his hamstring on a 61-yard touchdown catch. Bruce Arians described Evans’ injury as “not good” post-game, so signs point to an increased snap share heading Perriman’s way. The last two weeks have been by far Perriman’s best in Tampa with eight total catches on 11 targets for 157 yards and a touchdown. Prior to this stretch, he had not cracked 50 yards in 2019. And since we know that Jameis Winston loves to push the ball downfield more than anyone—69 deep attempts, tops in the NFL—Perriman and his speed should be a significant part of the gameplan.

Like Lock, Perriman and the Buccaneers get a couple matchups here to close the season that should boost his fantasy stock. He gets the Lions next week and then the Texans the week following, who rank 26th and 25th, respectively against WR2s. They are also both middle of the pack defending the deep ball, per Football Outsiders, so Perriman will have some opportunity to exploit the secondary. That is important here, because Perirman’s viability is pretty much inextricably linked to his finding the end zone and/or hauling in a couple of 30-plus-yard passes. With Winston on his side, Perriman has the right quarterback to make that happen, so he is at least worth a waiver wire look this week.

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

Why is Tyler Higbee’s ownership still relatively low? Were people dismissing his seven-catch, 100-yard performance last week to “it’s the Cardinals, all tight ends light them up?” Well, for those of you who bought the hype, Higbee paid off with seven more catches and 116 more yards on 11 targets. For the rest of you, well, there is still time to cash in.

Gerald Everett was a DNP all last week, but there is a non-zero chance he returns from injury before the Rams travel to Dallas. With that, the question becomes does Higbee’s two-week pop give him enough equity to make him viable in a full two-tight end system? On the season, Higbee and Everett are pretty much dead even in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns, but Higbee needed these back-to-back big games to catch Everett. So in the box score, Everett has been TE1. However, with Higbee’s much-better blocking and the Rams offense clearly operating better without Everett, Higbee is currently first on the depth chart. As such, I do not expect Everett’s return to prove a massive hit to Higbee’s production. And it certainly will not affect his snap share.

The bigger inhibitor for Higbee’s value for the last two fantasy playoff games is the opponents. This week, he gets the Cowboys, who are somewhat favorable as the 10th-worst tight end defending team by DVOA. However, week 16, Higbee sees the 49ers, who are the best in that category. So Higbee’s startability likely only lasts for this one week. But given the way he has played of late, he should see a lot of waiver wire claims before the Dallas game.

Sam Smith is a writer and editor with Awesemo.com. He has been immersed in the world of professional sports data since 2015, while also writing extensively on the NFL for a multitude of blogs and websites. With Awesemo, Sam looks to blend his sports and editorial expertise with Awesemo's data to bring you the best fantasy information possible. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samc_smith, or contact him by emailing support@awesemo.com

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