by Will Overton
The fantasy playoffs are underway, whether they are just beginning in Week 15 or if you’re lucky enough to have reached the next round. That means, unless you’re in a keeper or dynasty league, your competition for the waiver wire is starting to thin out, which is a good thing for those who need to use it.
A lot of owners are hesitant to use the wire when so much is at stake, but if you can upgrade your team you shouldn’t hesitate. Let’s look at some of the guys I think could be worth a look for Week 15:
Brock Osweiler – QB, Denver Broncos: If someone like Alex Smith, who goes against the Ravens this week, is available in your league he may be a better option at QB, but he’s owned in a decent amount of leagues. So if he’s not there Brock Osweiler really isn’t a bad option to consider.
Osweiler gets the Steelers, who are good against the run but really bad against the pass. This should bode well for Osweiler, who has mostly been a game manager since taking over at QB but he is coming off his first ever 300 yard game. There are some fringe QB’s this week with tough matchups, such as Eli Manning against the Panthers, and Osweiler makes a decent enough fill in.
DuJuan Harris – RB, Seattle Seahawks: The Seattle Seahawks have lost yet another running back for the season. There is some speculation as to who will take over the starting role, but I am leaning towards Harris. The Seahawks have Fred Jackson, but we’ve already been told he’ll remain a third down back. They also signed Bryce Brown, but Harris has a few weeks longer on the team to help edge Brown (who is returning to the team after being cut earlier in the season). It’s hard to guess how Harris will do in the role, but we know Seattle has a system setup that is conducive to runners. We also know that they are playing the Browns, who are one of the worst run defenses in the league. If you lost Thomas Rawls or you’re worried about the back you do have, then this could be a high risk/high reward play.
Denard Robinson – RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: This is a situation to keep an eye on. T.J. Yeldon suffered a sprained knee on Sunday and couldn’t return to the game, leading to Robinson coming in and running the ball 14 times for 75 yards and a TD. This was the first time this season Robinson has really been given much of a chance to do anything, but he posted some nice fantasy games last season when he was given an opportunity. The Jaguars get the Falcons, who have given up some pretty nice fantasy games to running backs recently, and if Yeldon can’t go and Robinson starts I like his chances to produce and make a really nice flex play.
Tim Hightower – RB, New Orleans Saints: In the first game without Mark Ingram the New Orleans Saints turned heavy towards Hightower, who dominated the snap count over C.J. Spiller and carried the ball 25 times. Hightower wasn’t super effective, but he turned the 25 carries into 85 yards and a TD, which for fantasy purposes is a pretty nice haul. We saw from Ingram all year that volume can equate to fantasy value, even if the efficiency isn’t that great. Hightower has a decent matchup against the Lions and I would honestly rather be playing him than either of the other two guys mentioned before him.
Tyler Lockett – WR, Seattle Seahawks: Let me preface this by saying that if Doug Baldwin is a free agent in your league he’s the guy to grab, not Lockett. Now that I’ve said that, I really like what I have seen from Lockett the last two weeks. He had six grabs for 104 yards and a pair of TD this past week, following up a week in which he had seven catches for 90 yards. The Seahawks run game is depleted, but Russell Wilson is on another level than the rest of the league right now and the passing game is the Seahawks focal point. Where in the past the Seahawks haven’t had even one guy you could count on for fantasy purposes, I now think they may have two.
Javontee Herndon – WR, San Diego Chargers: The San Diego Chargers wide receivers are incredibly depleted right now and so by the process of elimination Herndon may make a nice pickup. He got seven targets this last Sunday and caught five balls. This coming week should be an even better game as the Chargers take on the weak Miami Dolphins secondary. Phillip Rivers is still a really competent QB and he needs more than just Antonio Gates to throw to, so Herndon may just be that guy. I’d rather have the Seahawks guys, but Herndon is a nice deeper option.