2021 NFL Fantasy Football Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups

NFL Week 15 Fantasy Football playoff, waiver wire, and injury help is here! 


RUNNING BACKS (RB): Rashaad Penny, Jeff Wilson Jr, D’onta Foreman, Ty Johnson, D’Ernest Johnson

WIDE RECEIVERS (WR): AJ Green, Amon-Ra St Brown, Donovan Peoples-Jones, KJ Osborn, Allen Lazard, Jalen Guyton, Braxton Berrios, Nico Collins

TIGHT ENDS (TE): Brevin Jordan, Tyler Conklin, Harrison Bryant

QUARTERBACKS (QB): Jimmy Garoppolo, 

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS (D/ST): Miami Dolphins (vs Jets), Cincinnati Bengals (at Broncos), 49ers (vs Falcons)

RUNNING BACKS (RB): 

Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks (currently owned in 8.6% of all ESPN leagues): 
Load management and snap count are very much in play for the injury-riddled Rashaad Penny.  However, he did maximize his 16 carries for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns against a soft Texans front that’s stone dead last defending the run.  Penny is available in over 90% of ESPN leagues thanks to lack of clarity regarding Seattle’s backfield situation and the risk of injury to the oft-injured running back.  Head coach Pete Carroll said he wanted to make Penny a big part of the offense, so at least the touches will be there if he can stay off of the injury report.  Penny is a high ceiling streaming matchup that managers can use in a pinch.  This week’s road game against a stout Rams front isn’t fantasy friendly though. Luckily things ease up with the Bears and Lions to finish the fantasy season. 

Jeff Wilson Jr, RB, San Francisco 49ers (currently owned in 44.8% of all ESPN leagues): 
Wilson saw a bump in ownership thanks to the absence of Elijah Mitchell due to a knee injury and concussion.  The 49ers remain a run-heavy team, but Deebo Samuel’s presence on the field also takes away touches.  Nevertheless, Wilson will lead the 49ers backfield this week against a below-average Falcons run defense if Mitchell is unable to suit up again this week.  Wilson logged 56 yards on 13 carries against a tough Bengals run defense.  

D’onta Foreman, RB, Tennessee Titans (currently owned in 58.4% of all ESPN leagues): 
Foreman figures to be the lead back for the Titans the rest of the season, but the backfield is turning into somewhat of a timeshare.  Although he led the team with 13 carries, he shared the load with Jeremy McNichols also had 8 carries and Tannehill who had 4 carries.  Foreman and Tannehill did find the endzone though which helped boost their stat lines.  Foreman is the biggest back so he should get most of the goal line and short yardage work as well.  He’ll take on the Steelers, 49ers and Dolphins to finish the season so there could be some upside.  

Ty Johnson, RB, New York Jets (currently owned in 26% of all ESPN leagues): 
Ty Johnson took the role as lead back with Carter still on IR and Coleman ultimately ruled out with a concussion.  Johnson carried the ball just 6 times for 17 yards, but caught 4 of his 7 targets for 40 yards to contribute in the passing game.  He’ll carry the load again this week if Coleman can’t pass concussion protocol, and he’ll face a top 10 rushing defense in Miami.  He’s a desperation dart throw for deep leagues only.  

D’Ernest Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns (currently owned in 22.4% of all ESPN leagues):
Johnson could have a role in the Browns run-heavy offense this week if head coach Stefanski chooses to use Chubb more in the passing game.  Covid and injuries have decimated the Browns’ receiving options  making Johnson a desperation dart throw in deep leagues.  He could occasionally spell Chubb and get extensive use of the game turns into a blowout.  Yes, a complimentary role and garbage time points are a possibility this week with so many offensive players sidelined in Cleveland.  

WIDE RECEIVERS (WR): 

AJ Green, WR, Arizona Cardinals (currently owned in 27.9% of all ESPN leagues):
AJ Green posted season highs in targets and catches after posting a dud in a soggy slugfest against the Bears last week.  He logged 7 catches for 102 yards on 10 targets against a tough Rams secondary and pass rush on Monday Night.  He’s been targeted 7 times or more in 3 of his last 5 outings and he’s become a critical piece of this offense.  He hasn’t found the endzone since week 6, but it’s only a matter of time with the volume he’s receiving.  He hits the road for a soft matchup against the Lions this week. 

Amon-Ra St Brown, WR, Detroit Lions (currently owned in 10.9% of all ESPN leagues): 
Amon-Ra St Brown has seen his targets skyrocket after moving back to his natural position of slot receiver 2 weeks ago.  With Josh Reynolds now the premier perimeter threat for the Lions, St Brown is free to work underneath in open space where he thrives.  He’s been targeted 24 times in his last 2 games and he’s brought in 18 of those targets for 159 yards, a touchdown, and a catch rate of 75%.  Jared Goff’s dink and dunk style of play should benefit St Brown and so should soft matchups against the Falcons and Seahawks.  He’ll have to get past the Cardinals this week first.  

Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers (currently owned in 4.1% of all ESPN leagues): 
Lazard brought in 6 of his 7 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown against a very suspect Bears secondary to post his best fantasy stat line of the season.  While it’s tough to trust any one Packer wideout, Lazard does have a history of being one of Rodgers’ go-to deep threats.  His production is inconsistent, but he’s worth stashing and waiting to see what his role in the offense is, especially in deeper leagues.

KJ Osborn, WR, Minnesota Vikings (currently owned in 26.5% of all ESPN leagues):
Osborn did a decent job filling in as the Vikings WR2 after Thielen was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain that could keep him out at least a couple more games.  He was targeted 9 times, but he brought in just 3 of those targets for 83 yards and a touchdown.  He’s been targeted 16 times in his last 2 games and he’s reeled in 7 of those targets for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns during that time.  He’ll try to build on that success when he faces a porous Bears secondary in a Monday Night showdown in Chicago. 

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Cleveland Browns (currently owned in 9.4% of all ESPN leagues):
Landry, Njoku, and Hooper have all been placed on the Covid reserve list as of Tuesday.  Rookie wideout Anthony Schwartz is still in concussion protocol and Harrison Bryant is expected to return from an ankle injury but will need to get through a week of practice first.  Kareem Hunt is also sidelined with an ankle injury.  This covers just about all of the Browns receiving options, leaving Donovan Peoples-Jones and Rashard Higgins as the only viable receiving options.  

Jalen Guyton, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (currently owned in 15.1% of all ESPN leagues): 
Guyton might be one of the ultimate boom or bust plays.  He’s not fantasy relevant when Keenan Allen is on the field, but he manages to make big plays when Keenan Allen is not on the field, like last week. Guyton’s speed pairs well with Herbert’s big arm which means Guyton can make the most of his targets.  He pulled in 3 targets for 87 yards and a touchdown for an average of 29 yards per catch.  Unfortunately his low target volume means he’s a low floor high ceiling target while Allen is out.  

Braxton Berrios, WR, New York Jets (currently owned in 0.3% of all ESPN leagues): 
Berrios was targeted 10 times against the Saints which was his second highest target total this year. He brought in 6 of those targets for 52 yards and was used primarily as a chain mover against a tough Saints secondary.  He could reprise that role again against leaky Dolphins secondary.  He’s worth more in ppr leagues than in standard because of his lack of red zone targets.  This makes him a high floor, low ceiling play, as long Davis and Moore both remain out. 

Nico Collins, WR, Houston Texans (currently owned in 1.2% of all ESPN leagues): 
Collins has been one of the more promising prospects for a tanking Texans team.  This size-speed combo runs a limited route tree, but he’s fast, physical, and can win most jump balls.  He was targeted a season high 10 times last week against Seattle, but he only brought in 5 of those passes for 69 yards.  He’s struggled thanks to poor quarterback play as a result of poor pass protection, but his volume could boost his upside if he’s consistently targeted near 10 times a game.  He has some tough matchups against the Jaguars, 49ers and Chargers these coming weeks.  

TIGHT ENDS (TE): 

Brevin Jordan, TE, Houston Texans (currently owned in 0.4% of all ESPN leagues): 
The young Texans tight end will continue to develop with his rookie signal caller.  Jordan brought in a season high 7 targets for 26 yards and a touchdown against a soft Jets coverage unit.  He’s found the endzone in 2 of his last 3 games and could get more targets thanks to game flow and a lack of consistent pass catchers.  He’ll travel to Jacksonville next to face the division rival Jaguars.  

Tyler Conklin, TE, Minnesota Vikings (currently owned in 46.1% of all ESPN leagues): 
Conklin is once again in play with Adam Thielen’s questionable availability.  He saw a season low 2 targets last week but he could get a boost as a red zone target against a suspect Bears secondary in what could turn into a shocking shootout on Monday Night.  

Harrison Bryant, TE, Cleveland Browns (currently owned in 0.1% of all ESPN leagues):
The Browns are down to their last few receiving options due to a Covid outbreak on the team.  Bryant is expected to return to practice this week after he was sidelined with an ankle injury.  He's available in virtually every ESPN league and could have a big role in the offense this week depending on the availability of the Browns' offensive weapons.  

QUARTERBACKS (QB): 

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers (currently owned in 14% of all ESPN leagues): 
Although he’s known more as a game manager who doesn’t throw the ball much, Jimmy G has been letting it fly the last couple of games.  He completed 27 of his 41 attempts for 296 yards and a pair of scores and took care of the ball against an underrated Bengals coverage unit.  He has a couple of tasty matchups coming up against the Falcons and Texans, but he’ll take on the Titans in Tennessee in between.  It’s anyone’s guess how Shanahan will call the game, but at least the matchups present upside.

Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears (currently owned in 15.9% of all ESPN leagues):
Yes, Fields is an add at this point in the season.  Although the Bears offense has struggled all season, the rookie signal caller posted a respectable box score.  He completed just 18 of his 33 attempts for 224 yards, 2 scores and 2 picks, but he also picked up 74 yards on 9 carries against a respectable Packers defense.  Wideout Allen Robinson returns and Fields’ remaining fantasy schedule consists of opponents who are below average at best defending the pass, and bottom 7 in total defense.  Fields’ value is in his toughness and ability to use his legs to move the chains.  He’s a sneaky add who can help fantasy managers get through the playoffs. 

STREAMING OPTION:

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins (currently owned in 38% of all ESPN leagues):
Tua has had his struggles this year, but this week presents a tasty matchup against the Jets who rank at or near the bottom of the league in nearly all defensive categories.  If Gaskin, Lindsay and Ahmed are all out on Sunday, it would leave the Dolphins no choice but to hand the ball off to Duke Johnson or attack through the air.  They have a full compliment of receiving options starting with Parker, Waddle and Gesicki ready to go.  These factors raise Tua’s ceiling significantly and make him a viable streaming option this week.  

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS (D/ST): 

Kansas City Chiefs (currently owned in 24.7% of all ESPN leagues):
The availability of the Chiefs defense is shocking.  This unit has held 4 of its last 5 opponents to 9 points or less.  They’ve averaged 3 turnovers per game and they have defensive touchdowns 2 games in a row now.  Buyer beware: they did allow 30 points and sacked Justin Herbert just once in their week 3 matchup.  However, this healthy defensive unit is different from the one in week 3.  They’ll finish the fantasy season against the Steelers and Bengals.

STREAMING OPTIONS

Miami Dolphins (currently owned in 43.9% of all ESPN leagues:
Yes, the Dolphins are fifth worst in the league against the pass, but Zach Wilson has thrown 11 picks in just 9 games.  The Jets are also without their 3 best playmakers in Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and Michael Carter, making this Xavien Howard-led unit a viable streaming option.  

Cleveland Browns (currently owned in 41.2% of all ESPN leagues):
The Raiders are limping after a blowout loss against the Chiefs at Arrowhead.  They still have not found viable receiving options after losing Henry Ruggs and Darren Waller.  This week doesn’t get any easier when they travel to Cleveland to take on a Browns defense featuring Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Malik Jackson and Denzel Ward.  Managers can start the Browns defense with confidence this week.

Philadelphia Eagles (currently owned in 46.7% of all ESPN leagues):
The Eagles could be a streaming option of and only if Taylor Heinicke can’t start this week.  

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