Week 15 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Titans WR A.J. Brown is No Fluke

Week 15 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Titans WR A.J. Brown is No Fluke article feature image

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11).

  • We've reached the point in the season where only the best of the best are still standing in the fantasy football playoffs.
  • Mike Randle identifies the top fantasy football waiver wire pickups at QB, RB, WR and TE ahead of Week 15.

Welcome to the fantasy football playoffs!

Being alive in Week 15 is truly an accomplishment to be celebrated. That one small waiver wire pickup could be the difference between making the fantasy championship or watching your season come to an end.

Let’s take a look a which waiver wire players should be considered for the week before the Fantasy Football Championship!

Note: We’ve limited their recommendations to players owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues. All data as of Monday.

Running Back Targets

Peyton Barber, Buccaneers
Ownership: 22%

While Barber doesn’t inspire much confidence in a high-ceiling week, he does appear to be a decent plodding option in Week 15 against a very poor Lions run defense.

While slightly improved of late, the Lions should allow solid fantasy production to either Barber or teammate Ronald Jones. If you have a shallow running back roster due to injuries, Barber is a touchdown or bust shot in the dark.

Patrick Laird, Dolphins
Ownership: 20%

While the “Baby McCaffrey” comparisons are a bit exaggerated, there is no debating Laird has become a solid PPR fantasy running back. Laird produced 86 total yards with four receptions for his second consecutive Top 20 fantasy running back performance.

Miami returns to MetLife to face the Giants in Week 15 before a very advantageous Week 16 home game against the Bengals. Laird is easily the most attractive waiver wire running back this week.

Brian Hill, Falcons
Ownership:  17%

Hill had a nice fantasy game in Week 15, though it was mostly accumulated in garbage time. He generated 62 rushing yards and a touchdown, but is the clear backup to Devonta Freeman. He is only worth considering if Freeman gets injured over the next two weeks.

DeAndre Washington, Raiders
Ownership: 6%

The news that rookie running back Josh Jacobs has been dealing with a shoulder injury opened the door for Washington, who capitalized with 96 total yards and a touchdown.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33.

If Jacobs is again out for Week 15, Washington gets a fantastic matchup at home against a Jaguars team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Wide Receiver Targets

Josh Gordon, Seahawks
Ownership: 44%

Gordon had a quiet Week 14 against the Rams, only tallying two receptions and 35 yards on five targets. He has an average matchup at Carolina in Week 15, but a very advantageous matchup in Week 16 at home against Arizona.

He is a WR4/5 play over the remainder of the season.

James Washington, Steelers
Ownership: 44%

Washington took a back seat to teammate Diontae Johnson in Week 14, totaling 33 yards on four receptions. However, he still should be considered as a potential WR3 moving forward as he had produced a combined 11 catches, 199 receiving yards and two touchdowns over the past two weeks.

Pittsburgh hosts Buffalo next Sunday Night followed by a matchup against the Jets’ poor pass defense.

Cole Beasley, Bills
Ownership: 38%

Even against the tough pass defense of Baltimore, Beasley still managed four receptions, a touchdown and two-point conversion in Week 14.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley (10).

The Bills slot receiver now has 23 targets over the past three weeks and is an absolutely viable WR3 option against the Steelers in the critical Week 15.

Zach Pascal, Colts
Ownership: 35%

With T.Y. Hilton’s injury lingering, Pascal has again ascended to the top wideout role in the Colts offense. Against the Buccaneers, he tallied five receptions, 74 receiving yards, one touchdown and one two-point conversion.

Pascal is a very viable WR3 with WR2 upside at New Orleans and home against the Panthers the next two weeks, provided Hilton is still sidelined.

A.J. Brown, Titans
Ownership: 25%

This will certainly be Brown’s final appearance in the waiver wire column after a massive five receptions, 153 receiving yards, two touchdown performance in Oakland.

Fantasy owners are hoping Brown is starting to gain consistency, as he still has two receiving totals under 46 yards in the past four weeks. However, he is as trustworthy as any other wideout available on waivers.

With upcoming home games against the Texans and Saints, Brown should be the top wide receiver waiver target in Week 15.

Anthony Miller, Bears
Ownership: 20%

Miller now has double-digit fantasy points in three consecutive games, catching his first score in Chicago’s 31-24 win over Dallas.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Anthony Miller

He has 37 targets over the past four weeks, but has difficult upcoming matchups at Green Bay and home to the Chiefs. Consider Miller a WR4 moving forward rest of season.

Russell Gage, Falcons
Ownership: 9%

With the season-ending injury to Atlanta wideout Calvin Ridley, there are now more targets available for Gage. He had a minimal impact against Carolina with just two catches for 17 receiving yards, but stands to see a big increase in opportunity. There are better options in Week 15 (at San Francisco), but Gage has a plum Week 16 matchup at home against the Jaguars.

Kendrick Bourne, 49ers
Ownership: 1%

Bourne has become a viable receiving option for the Niners, even as the clear-cut WR3 behind Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Deebo Samuel.

Bourne caught two touchdown passes in the 49ers’ huge 48-46 win at New Orleans and now has five touchdowns in his past six games.

He will always have limited target volume, so he is only a potential WR4/5, even with two favorable home matchups coming against the Falcons and the Rams.

Tight End Streaming Targets

O.J. Howard, Buccaneers
Ownership:  32%

With the news that wide receiver Mike Evans is likely done for the season with a hamstring injury, Howard could be the beneficiary of the increased target volume.

In Week 14, Howard actually saw his highest receiving total of the season with 73 yards. He has a decent matchup in Week 15 at Detroit before returning home against Houston for the fantasy championship.

Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
Ownership: 30%

Despite a poor Week 14 showing (one reception, six yards), Gesicki is still a viable tight end option with upcoming games at the Giants and home to the Bengals.

Mike Gesicki
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Gesicki

With wide receiver DeVante Parker suffering a concussion in Week 14, his status for next week is uncertain. Gesicki could be a sneaky streaming TE1 play at the shallowest of fantasy positions.

Noah Fant, Broncos
Ownership: 28%

Fant exploded for 113 receiving yards and a touchdown before exiting Week 14 with a bruised foot. His status for Week 15 is unknown. If Fant can play, he has a favorable matchup agains the Chiefs who have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

Tyler Higbee, Rams
Ownership: 21%

Higbee’s efficiency is tied directly to whether teammate Gerald Everett is active. With Everett being inactive the past two games, Higbee has simply been the most productive tight end in fantasy football with over 200 yards receiving. The Rams have a solid tight end matchup at Dallas in Week 15, but this is all dependent on Everett’s health.

Jonnu Smith, Titans
Ownership:  13%

Smith took advantage of wideout Adam Humphries’ absence to grab three receptions and one touchdown in Tennessee’s 42-21 win at Oakland.

While Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been on fire, it’s too difficult to project a consistent target share for Smith moving forward. There are better options in Week 15 than at home against Houston.

Ian Thomas, Panthers
Ownership: 1%

Thomas made the most of his opportunity with starting tight end Greg Olsen (concussion) sidelined.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas (80).

Thomas totaled five receptions, 57 receiving yards, and one touchdown at Atlanta. Carolina has a tremendous home matchup against the Seahawks who allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

Much like many of the tight ends on this list, Thomas’ viability is completely dependent on the continual injury to the player in front of him.

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