Now that the fantasy playoffs are here, owners should be using the waiver wire differently than they did during the regular season. Over the first 13 weeks of the season, fantasy owners should look for both long- and short-term value on the waiver wire. In the playoffs, however, it’s all about what a waiver wire target can do for you the very next week. With that in mind, our early look at the Week 15 Waiver Wire focuses on three players who can help you get a win in the fantasy semifinals.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers
Goodwin delivered again in Week 14, catching six passes on 12 targets for 106 yards in the 49ers’ 26–16 win over the Texans. In five games since Pierre Garcon went on IR, Goodwin has turned into a legitimate WR1 in the 49ers offense. He leads the team with 36 targets in that timeframe, hauling in 21 of those for 434 yards and one touchdown. Prorated over 16 games, Goodwin’s per-game averages over the last five weeks come out to a 67-catch, 1,388-yard, three-touchdown season, all rounded down to the nearest whole number. Put another way, Goodwin has played like the No. 13 receiver in standard-scoring leagues and No. 20 receiver in PPR formats since ascending to the top of the 49ers depth chart. With Jimmy Garoppolo already looking the part of, at worst, a league-average quarterback, Goodwin should continue to thrive. The 49ers in Week 15 host the Titans, a defense ranked in the middle of the league against the pass. You may not want to play Goodwin against the Jaguars in Week 16 if you make it to your league’s championship, but he should help you get there next week.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars
Bortles is in a great spot to lift quarterback streamers who are on the doorstep of their league’s championship game. Bortles gets a matchup in Week 15 against the Texans, a defense ranked 30th against quarterbacks in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric (aFPA). Bortles didn’t have a great game against them the first time the teams met, throwing for 125 yards, 5.95 yards per attempt and one touchdown, but that was back in Week 1. J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus were on the field for the Texans in that game, but they won’t be out there in Week 15. The Jaguars also took a 19-0 lead into halftime in that contest, which effectively ended the game and led to them packing in the passing attack in the second half. Bortles didn’t have Dede Westbrook’s services in that game either, and the rookie out of Oklahoma has been one of his favorite receivers since he made his debut last month. All of it adds up to Bortles bringing a legitimate weekly QB1 ceiling into the fantasy playoff semifinals.
Buffalo Bills Defense
The Bills will be one the best streaming defenses in Week 15, when they host the Dolphins. The Bills have struggled against the run since trading Marcell Dareus to the Jaguars, but, even as effective as Kenyan Drake has been, the Dolphins aren’t equipped to take advantage of that deficiency as are some of their recent opponents. The Bills should be favorites and will be playing at home, both of which are factors that generally work in favor of a defense from a fantasy perspective. Jay Cutler remains one of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in the league, helping make this one of the better matchups on the board for any widely available defense.