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Fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 15

Here are this week’s waiver wire suggestions...

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of fantasy playoffs has concluded, and if you’re reading this that means you’ve advanced to the semi-finals. Congrats.

But that’s no reason to let your foot off the gas. You should always be looking to get better. Whether you need help or not, it’s important to keep skimming off the top of the waiver wire pool to keep good players out of the hands of your opponent. To help increase your chances to get the win, we have some low-rostered players who could make nice adds to your team in this week’s waiver wire suggestions.

QUARTERBACK

Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (41% owned)

The veteran quarterback has been very consistent recently as he’s posted 285+ yards passing and at least two touchdowns in each of his last four games. One of those games came on the road against a Houston defense that allows the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and he’ll now return home to face that same Texans team. Houston is coming off a game where they just made Mitchell Trubisky look like a star. If you’re needing help at quarterback this week, Rivers is a viable option.

Speaking of...

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (11% owned)

It’s hard to put your fantasy fate in the erratic hands of the Bears quarterback, but in Trubisky’s defense, he’s had a couple good games since returning as the team’s starter back in Week 12. He’s thrown for three touchdowns in two of the last three games, which helped him finish in the top six of quarterbacks each time. This week, he’ll face a Vikings defense that has allowed some big games to quarterbacks this year, but they have tightened up over the last few games.

RUNNING BACK

Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers (19% owned)

The 49ers usually field two start-worthy running back plays, but who those two are has been a weekly guessing game for fantasy owners this year. At the moment, Wilson appears to have the number two role carved out, and should see enough volume to be fantasy relevant. His 12 total touches for just 44 yards on Sunday is nothing to get excited about, but he did find the end zone. This week he’ll go up against a Cowboys defense that has allowed over 200 yards rushing three times this year, including a 307-yard performance against the Cleveland Browns.

Lynn Bowden Jr., Miami Dolphins (1% owned)

Technically, Bowden is a wide receiver; however, in most league’s he’s also eligible as a running back. If you’re in any type of PPR league, then Bowden could have some sneaky appeal this week. With the Dolphins without Myles Gaskin (COVID) and DeVante Parker (injured on Sunday), the team is scrambling for players to give the ball to; Bowden is coming off a game where he saw nine targets and caught seven of them for 82 yards. With a periodic rushing attempt here and there, he might be able to produce a reasonable amount of volume, and if you’re hurting at running back, his eligibility will allow you to get away with playing an extra receiver.

WIDE RECEIVER

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (11% owned)

The Falcons number three wide receiver was a hot waiver wire commodity earlier in the year when his target share helped him start the season with two straight top 22 finishes. But since then, Gage has disappeared and would go on to finish outside the top 38 WR’s for the next nine weeks. The injury to Julio Jones has once again made him fantasy relevant as his targets are up and he’s scored a touchdown in two straight games, including his best fantasy game of the year on Sunday. This week, he’ll face a Buc’s defense that has allowed the eight-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in a game that could end up being a shootout.

Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders (36% owned)

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the Raiders have a top 10 scoring offense this year. What’s even more forgettable is that Agholor leads their wide receiving group in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. After his 100-yard game on Sunday, including catching a touchdown pass, he’s now had three top 10 finishes this season. You may want to look for something with a little more consistency, but he has seven touchdown catches this year, and it never hurts to error on the side of an offense that finds the end zone.

TIGHT END

Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings (6% owned)

With Kyle Rudolph out with a foot injury, Smith Jr. was able to step in and deliver the number three tight end finish for the week. The increase in volume is enough to get our attention, but this week he’ll face a Bears defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, including nine receiver touchdowns.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (6% owned)

Sticking with the same game this weekend, we’re going with another backup tight end, only with this one, the starter (Jimmy Graham) isn’t out with an injury. It just so happens Kmet is starting to get more work and is out-targeting Graham as of late. Kmet has two straight games with seven targets, included a TE7 finish the week before last.

DEFENSE

Arizona Cardinals (24% owned)

If you played the Saints defense against the Jalen Hurts-led Eagles, then things were not at rewarding as you hoped. The Eagles rookie had a good game, and it’s very possible Hurts keeps rolling again on Sunday. It’s also very possible that this Eagles offense that allows the third-most points to opposing defenses comes back down to reality. The Cardinals are coming off a game where they held the Giants to seven points, 159 total yards, and created three turnovers. It was good enough for the third-best fantasy defense performance this past week. In fact, they’ve had three weeks this year where their defense has finished eighth or better, and they’ve all came against NFC East teams. Can they make it a clean sweep?