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Through The Wire - Week 15

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 12/14/21 |

Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league. I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Tua Tagovailoa, MIA – Tua (40% rostered) has struggled in 2021 but faces the Jets in Week 15, when he should be able to muster 20 or more fantasy points against a team that’s banged up and shouldn’t offer much resistance. Coming off his team’s Week 14 bye, he’s an excellent option who could be available in more than a few leagues.

Justin Fields, CHI – The rookie QB had the best fantasy performance of his career with 224-2-2 and 74 rushing yards (plus a lost fumble) in Sunday night’s 45-30 loss to Green Bay. Fields (15-20% owned) is definitely in play for Week 15, as the Vikings have been one of the worst passing defenses this season.

Taysom Hill, NO – Hill (now about 55-60% rostered) completed 15 of 21 passes for 175 yards while rushing 11 times for 73 yards and two TDs in Sunday’s 30-9 drubbing of the Jets. Hill's upside as a passer is limited, but he should be able to use his legs to be a low-end QB1 or decent QB2 in a Week 15 matchup against the Bucs.

Baker Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield (25% owned) completed 22 of 32 passes for 190-2-1 in the win over the Ravens. He may have to throw even more in weeks 15 and 16 (LV, @GB) and makes sense as a high-end QB2.

Other QBs to consider: Ryan Tannehill (60%), Mac Jones (15-20%)


Ben Roethlisberger, PIT – Big Ben ended up with a solid fantasy line (308-3-1) after a slow start and faces the Titans defense in Week 14 – a unit coming off a good week against Jacksonville but often lacking against the pass.

Jimmy Garoppolo, SF – Garoppolo had 296-2-0 in Sunday's 26-23 overtime win over the Bengals, who came back to make it a game in the second half. The veteran QB led his team on a TD drive capped by a 12-yard score to Brandon Aiyuk, and that momentum should help him in Week 15 against a bad Falcons D.

Zach Wilson, NYJ – Wilson completed just 19 of 42 passes for 202 yards, adding 33 rushing yards on four attempts in the loss to the Saints. He didn't have a score or a turnover, and devoid any real offensive weapons, doesn’t make much sense as a streaming option in Week 15 against the hot Dolphins defense.

Running Backs

Rashaad Penny, SEA – Penny started the week out around 1-2% and was highlighted in my RBs to consider for Week 14 before we knew the depth chart. He vaulted to the top of the food chain (and 5-6% ownership) over the course of the week and ended up having a monster day with 137 yards and two TDs on 16 carries, adding a 1-yard catch in Sunday’s 33-13 win over the Texans. He should be the Seahawks’ No. 1 RB moving forward and the team can finally move on from the injuries an ineffectiveness they’ve suffered from Chris Carson, Alex Collins and the other backs. He’s the top fantasy addition of the week at any position.

Craig Reynolds, DET – With D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams unavailable and Jermar Jefferson missing practice much of the week due to a non-COVID illness, the Lions scrambled to establish a running game with Godwin Igwebuike and Reynolds, who was promoted from the practice squad Saturday and carried the ball 11 times for 83 yards (2-16-0 receiving) in the loss to the Broncos. If Swift and Williams miss more time, Reynolds could be relevant for Week 15 and beyond.

Corey Clement, DAL – UPDATE: Clement could be worth a look in deep leagues since it’s obvious that Ezekiel Elliott is still hurting and there’s no guarantee that Tony Pollard (foot) can play vs. the Giants. The former Eagles RB (who also played for the Giants) ran for 44 yards on 13 carries, adding one catch for 2 yards in Week 13.

Royce Freeman, HOU – David Johnson was out this week (COVID protocols) and Rex Burkhead was forced from the game with a groin injury, leaving Freeman to handle most of the RB duties. Freeman rushed 11 times for 15 yards and caught six of eight targets for 51 yards in the loss to the Seahawks but could have some PPR value if both Johnson and Burkhead miss Week 15.

Other RBs to consider: Ty Johnson (25-30%), Devontae Booker (25%), Latavius Murray (20%), Ameer Abdullah (5-10%), Malcolm Brown (3-5%), Jonathan Williams (0%)


D’Onta Foreman, TEN – Foreman had 13 carries for 47 yards and a TD on Sunday, adding two receptions on two targets for 15 yards. He’s still available in about 40% of ESPN leagues.

Kenneth Gainwell, PHI – The Eagles were on a bye in Week 13, and I’m not touching their RB situation.

Samaje Perine, CIN – Though Joe Mixon was active on Sunday, Perine finished with four carries for 11 rushing yards and 4-22-0 receiving in the OT loss to the 49ers.

Jeff Wilson/JaMycal Hasty, SF – Wilson carried the ball 13 times for 56 yards in Sunday's 26-23 overtime win over the Bengals, while Hasty had just 3-10-0 receiving and no carries. Elijah Mitchell (concussion) could be back for Week 15, but still has some protocol hurdles to clear.

Travis Homer/Adrian Peterson SEA – Lead back duties in Seattle are now in the capable hands of Penny. Neither Homer (calf, hamstring) or Peterson (nursing a lower back injury and on the practice squad) were active for Week 14 vs. Houston.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Allen Lazard, GB – The Packers fell behind early then kicked into high gear with the passing offense, and Lazard was a big part of it, hauling in 6-75-1 on seven targets and adding a 14-yard carry in his best fantasy performance of 2021. The Packers WR is only about 5% rostered and heads into Week 15’s matchup against Baltimore with oodles of confidence.

Gabriel Davis, BUF – Davis was in my “WRs to consider” and he paid off handsomely, hauling in 5-43-1 on a season-high eight targets in the exciting OT game vs. the Bucs. He’s fewer than 3% owned to start out the week and hopefully some of you took advantage of the matchup in Week 14. If not, Week 15 could yield similar results as he becomes more involved in the Bills offense.

UPDATE: Emmanuel Sanders will miss Week 15, so that means more offensive snaps for Davis.

Jalen Guyton, LAC – Another WR to consider from this past week, Guyton had his second consecutive solid game with 3-87-1, catching all three balls thrown to him by Justin Herbert. Although Keenan Allen should be back for Thursday against the Chiefs, Guyton is a risky boom-or-bust option for deeper formats and he’s still under 15% ownership in ESPN leagues.

UPDATE: The Chargers are a little banged up after Sunday, so Guyton could remain heavily involved even when Allen returns.

K.J. Osborn, MIN – That makes three WRs who had excellent fantasy games last week that were listed in WRs to consider. With Adam Thielen on the shelf, Osborn (25-30% owned) went for 3-83-1 on nine targets and could be busy again facing the Bears in Week 15.

TE Austin Hooper, CLE – Hooper (35-40% rostered) caught five of seven targets for 30 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 24-22 win over the Ravens, and could haver another opportunity for a big game against the Raiders in Week 15.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Robby Anderson (45%), Kendrick Bourne (30-35%), Rashod Bateman (25%), TE Jared Cook (10-15%), TE Gerald Everett (10-15%), Donovan Peoples-Jones (10%), TE Albert Okwuegbunam (0-1%), Cam Sims (0%)


Elijah Moore, NYJ – Moore developed a mid-week quad injury that saw him miss practice and then end up on IR by Saturday. The Jets offense is a mess.

Josh Reynolds, DET – Reynolds caught three of five targets for 52 yards in Sunday's 38-10 loss to the Broncos.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET – St. Brown caught eight of 12 targets for 73 yards in the loss to the Broncos and now has an 18-159-1 line on 24 targets over the last two games. The talented WR could be busy again in Week 15 against the Cardinals in a negative game script.

TE Tyler Conklin, MIN – Conklin was quiet on Thursday night (2-20-0 on two targets), which may have been because the offense centered around Dalvin Cook – something we didn’t expect at the outset of the short week.

Jakeem Grant, CHI – Grant had a wild game on Sunday night, catching just one of three targets for 46 yards (a score) and returning three punts for 131 yards (one of which was another TD) in Sunday’s 45-30 loss to the Packers. It’ll be hard to repeat, but I told you to play him this week!!

Laquon Treadwell, JAC – Treadwell finished Sunday’s 20-0 loss to the Titans with 4-68-0 on six targets. He’s still worth a look in 12-team leagues as a low-end WR3/4.

Deonte Harris, NO – He’s suspended and cannot return until Week 17 vs. CAR.