Waiver Wire Week 15 – It’s Time to Stash!

by Theo Gremminger · Waiver Wire

Welcome to the Waiver Wire Week 15! If you are still reading this column, then congratulations. You have made it to the fantasy playoffs. A long, wild, and at many times frustrating season has come to a close. Rehashing Weeks 1-14 is irrelevant now. The playoffs are here, and you must focus on winning the next three weeks.

For some weekly readers, especially those in high-stakes formats like FFWC, NFFC, and FFPC, waivers are locked. Now it all comes down to who to start. For players in other formats, you are most likely competing on waivers against only five other managers instead of the usual eleven. If you are in a redraft league and non-playoff teams can participate in waivers, then that is something your commissioner should immediately change.

The teams you play every week now will have stronger rosters. The decisions you make are more important in a single-elimination format. Every point counts. Your bench is also less important. If you are rostering a player you would never start, like a Mack Hollins type, you are better off cutting them for a defense with a strong weekly matchup or even a handcuff RB, preferably behind a banged-up starter. We also want to roster our own handcuff RB whenever possible. We only want to roster one defense during the season, but it is perfectly acceptable to roster multiple defenses during the playoffs. 


In this column, we have dove deep all season long, providing even managers who compete in the deepest leagues some options of players to add. Now, we do not need to go as deep in terms of options, but we need to be calculated with who is on our roster. The first position we need to square up and be comfortable with is Defense.

If you have a premium defense such as Dallas, Buffalo, New England, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Kansas City, or Baltimore, you are most likely starting them every week. The exception could be if they face off against an extremely difficult matchup. It is important to still add defenses in great matchups even if you plan to not use them. As we all saw with Cleveland’s Week 13 win over Houston, a massive defensive score can tilt the entire week. You do not want to be on the wrong side of a game like this.

The Jets could be available in many leagues. They faced Buffalo on the road this Sunday and were dropped by many. They have a playable fantasy schedule with Detroit, Jacksonville, and Seattle. These are certainly not easy games, but the Jets get enough pressure on the QB and have the potential for turnovers as many.

The Chiefs have not scored as many defensive points as the rest of the defenses. They are low-hanging fruit and for a good reason. The Chiefs had a defensive score on Sunday against Denver and have one of the juiciest playoff matchups of anyone with Houston, Seattle, and a home rematch against Denver in Week 17.

If you do not have one of these defenses have no fear. You can stream yourself to a big performance. 

Week 15 Options 

Washington vs NY Giants – Giants are reeling. Washington sacked Daniel Jones 4x in Week 13.

Green Bay vs. LA Rams – the Packers’ defense has been uninspiring and low scoring, but they have had the bye week to prepare for a Baker Mayfield-led Rams.

New Orleans vs Atlanta – Atlanta should be run-heavy, but rookie QB Desmond Ridder is making his first start in the Super Dome.

Pittsburgh at Carolina – the Steelers’ defense has been playing well. They face off vs the Sam Darnold-led Panthers.

Carolina vs Pittsburgh- Flip the matchup and stream a Carolina defense that is on fire. 

The Carolina-Pittsburgh game feels low scoring and a potential turnover fest. Washington in a must-win home game against the Giants is extremely appealing. The other three matchups are classic fades the opposing QB and the offense on the road. 

Week 16 Stashes 

Jets vs Jacksonville- Jacksonville can score but can also concede defensive points on the road in NY.

Minnesota vs NY Giants – the Giants’ Offense is reeling. 

Week 17 Stashes

Jacksonville at Houston – No context needed

Steelers at Ravens – Run back Week 13 in a low scoring game. 

If you have a first-round bye, consider rostering multiple defenses. 

Be strategic with your roster allocation. A Michael Carter will not help you win a title, but starting a defense that scores 15 points while avoiding that same defense can. 


NOTE- D.J. Chark (40-percent) should be rostered. Add him above anyone on this list. Elijah Moore had 12 targets and Corey Davis was concussed. Moore should be well targeted in Week 15. 


Mike White | New York Jets

Mike White went into Buffalo and passed for 268 yards, and he did not throw any interceptions. He had a rib injury, but it seems like something he can play through. The Jets have a juicy playoff schedule, and White has now passed for 317 yards per game in his three starts. He is the only widely available QB I would use this week if I was a streamer. 

Jordan Mason ” San Francisco  and Josh Kelley | Los Angeles Chargers 

Mason and Kelley are widely available and are two of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy. Absolutely roster on CMC/Ekeler teams, and if you have a bench spot add one. 

Other Handcuff RBs

Break ties with handcuffs. You can cut them in a week, but if there is an injury you now have a player you can start. Weeks 16 and 17 can be funny weeks. Players start breaking down this time of year, and certain veterans could simply be held out. Saquon Barkley is banged up (Note: Dontrell Hilliard is banged up Hasaan Haskins may be the next man in now in Tennessee). 

Chuba Hubbard | Carolina Panthers 

Last week, I encouraged managers to add Hubbard off of his bye week. He followed up with his best fantasy game of the season with 74 yards and a TD. The Panthers are running so much that Hubbard is producing despite D’Onta Foreman also getting a full workload. He has 31 carries in his last two games. Consider him more of an upside handcuff plus, but he could be an emergency starter with this much volume. 

Avoid The Houston Backfield

Dameon Pierce was hurt, and to what extent, I am not sure (although it seemed minor). Do not waste a roster spot with the handcuffs in Houston. Avoid this backfield without Pierce as it will be a split. 

Travis Homer | Seattle

Homer had a poor outing production-wise, but he had nine carries and saw three targets. Seattle has a must-win home game against San Francisco this week, and he could see additional targets if Ken Walker misses another game.

Wide Receivers

Jameson Williams | Detroit

Treat this one as a stash. Williams scored his first NFL TD on an exciting 41-yard catch (OK, it was busted coverage, but I was stoked anyway!). The usage increase was there as Williams went from two routes run in week 13 to six this week. If he can cut into Josh Reynolds’s snaps, he could be an exciting (but risky) start later in the playoffs. Do not start him this week, but you can consider rostering him. 

Nico Collins | Houston 

Chris Moore led the Houston receivers this week, but expect him to take a backseat to Collins when he returns from injury. Moore has a good chance to play this week against Kansas City in a game that Houston should trail from the opening whistle. Collins has seen target totals of 10, seven, nine, and 10 his last four games.


He could see even more this week against the Chiefs. The second-year Collins ending the season well could be a building block for the moribund Texans heading into the offseason. 

Jahan Dotson | Washington

Dotson is coming off of his highest target total of the season with nine in Week 13. He may or not have been cut this week in deeper leagues and is still surprisingly available in 85 percent of Yahoo leagues. He has five TD receptions on the season and can be a low-end WR3 with upside for the rest of the year. 

Tutu Atwell | Los Angeles Rams 

Atwell had a career-high nine targets and a 25-percent target share in Baker Mayfield‘s first start as a Ram. Atwell is one of the fastest WRs in the league, and he certainly needs to be as he is one of the smallest players in football, including all kickers and punters. I write this one somewhat begrudgingly, but if they want to expand his role and manufacture touches for him, it is worth seeing it for a week. We like speedy slot WRs. 

Devante Parker | New England Patriots

Parker plays tonight on Monday Night against Arizona. He should see an increased role with Jakobi Meyers set to miss time. He has some appealing matchups in the fantasy playoffs. 

Tight Ends

Tyler Conklin | New York Jets 

Conklin is rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo Leagues, so technically, he is above our roster percentage requirements, but I will jam him in any way. Time is a flat circle, and Conklin appearing in this Waiver Wire column is a fitting way to start the playoffs. I gushed over him to start the season, and at one time, he was an early season top-five TE in targets and catches. He came crashing down to earth but is squarely back on the low-end TE1/high-end TE2 list after an impressive 15 targets over his past two games. 

Chig Okonkwo | Tennessee 

Okonkwo is a baller. If you are a dynasty manager, I would aggressively try and obtain him. This week, with no Treylon Burks, Okonkwo had a career-high in catches (six) and targets (six). He caught a TD and a two-point conversion. He now has 16 targets over his last three games.

Chig Okonkwo Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

When Burks returns, Okonkwo should be viewed as a mid-level TE2 with upside. If you are a clear underdog in a championship matchup, starting a high-level athlete who runs a 4.52 40 and is capable of ripping off a big TD is a bold strategy than some low-ceiling floor play. Burks and Okonkwo being involved in the passing game as compliments to the Derrick Henry show is precisely how Tennessee could spring off an upset in the playoffs. 

Clear Minds, Full Hearts! Go and win some fantasy playoff matchups! Come back next week for the semi-finals.