Fantasy football free-agent forecast: Week 15

Fantasy football free-agent forecast: Week 15

Fantasy football roster management tips, strategy and advice

Fantasy football free-agent forecast: Week 15

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Free-agent recommendations refer to 12-team leagues, unless specifically stated otherwise. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.

Bye weeks: none

Fantasy football waiver wire targets

Quarterbacks

Priority Free Agent

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

In the next two weeks, the rookie will play at Arizona and at Dallas. He acquitted himself well enough in Week 14’s starting debut, producing 21.3 fantasy points in conventional scoring. If for no other reason than his legs, Hurts is worthy of a start in leagues that allow/require two quarterbacks. He is more of a fringe consideration in traditional formats, but two strong matchups in a a row are hard to ignore if playing the rotation at quarterback has taken you this far.

Availability: 59%
FAAB:
$1-2

1-week plug & Play

Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys

Nine times a quarterback has thrown multiple TD passes in a game this year vs. Dallas, and the position has averaged 10.2 percent more fantasy points than average in the last five weeks against the ‘Boys. Since Week 9, Ben Roethlisberger and Kirk Cousins each have thrown for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns on this defense, and the numbers against Dallas would be even stronger if not for matchups with Cincinnati, Washington and Philadelphia over the past six weeks. Mullens has the potential to be a borderline starter in 14-teamers or as a secondary starter in a superflex. There is, though, concern San Fran could turn away from him after his recent struggles, so keep tabs on his news throughout the week.

Availability: 69%
FAAB:
$1-2

Running backs

Grab & Stash

Trayveon Williams, Cincinnati Bengals

This one is geared for gamers in deeper leagues with the ability to stash for Week 16 action. Williams saw a team-high 12 carries in Week 14 after Giovani Bernard fumbled away his playing time. There’s no incentive to bring back Joe Mixon (foot) in 2020. The Bengals also utilize Samaje Perine, whose 10 carries went for only 32 yards vs. 49 from Williams’ dozen. The Pittsburgh defense is their Week 15 foe, and there’s no viability for the second-year back in that matchup. Cincinnati has a poor offensive line and awful QB play, but on the plus side, the Week 16 opponent is Houston, and no team has given up more rushing yards to the position thus far. Grabbing at straws, Williams could be a sly play in the championship round, should one be in position to seriously gamble.

Availability: 91%
FAAB:
$4-5

Wide receivers

Priority Free Agent

NEW — Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys

Deebo Samuel (hamstring) is likely done for the year, and Bourne stands the best chance to see meaningful work in his absence. Quietly, Bourne has maintained modest utility regardless of the quarterback, and he has at least five targets in five straight games, including seven last week. While there has been uncertainly regarding whether Nick Mullens will indeed get another start, gamers shouldn’t fret. Heck, Bourne even caught his only TD of the year from C.J. Beathard, so there’s reason to be optimistic either way. Dallas also offers such a reason … 22 of them, in fact, as no team has surrendered more touchdowns to WRs in 2020. This is a strong matchup across the board, so even without scoring, Bourne should be useful in PPR.

Availability: 71%
FAAB:
$4-5

1-Week Plug & Play

Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens

Injuries have shuffled around the Ravens on defense enough to help make this a neutral matchup rating over the last five weeks (entering Week 14). Baltimore has given up four touchdowns in its past three outings, and the positional defense has been especially soft in that time. It ranks 29 percent easier to exploit than the league average, and nine receivers have at least 10 PPR points vs. the Ravens in the last four contests. Cole benefits from Gardner Minshew returning to the lineup and has utility as a WR3 or flex in PPR.

Availability: 42%
FAAB:
$3-4

1-Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, vs. Carolina Panthers

After three weeks of more or less abysmal results, MVS returned to the end zone and caught a season-high six passes along the way. He finished with 85 yards against Detroit and continues to benefit from the single coverage sent his way as every team scrambles to slow Davante Adams. Carolina has yielded 10 aerial scores to the position in the last five games, and three different receivers have found the end zone twice, including several from speedy guys, like Valdes-Scantling. He’s risky, no matter how one slices it, but there’s crazy-good upside to be found here.

Availability: 41%
FAAB:
$3-4

Tight ends

1-Week Plug & Play

Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears

Prior to missing a few games with various injuries, Smith had flashed a few times, going over the 10-point mark in PPR scoring in three of four appearances before the Week 10 game was missed. He returned in Week 11 only to get injured for the next two weeks and then came back with a bang vs. Tampa last week. The Buccaneers gave up four catches for 63 yards and a score in what was an exploitable matchup from the jump. The Bears are the second-weakest defense in last five games when it comes to controlling tight ends, and Smith will benefit greatly if he’s given the majority of targets. Kyle Rudolph sat out last week, which helped this be the case, but we were beginning to witness a transition in Smith’s favor prior to his first ailment. Long story short, gamers searching for a cheap TD opportunity should roll with Smith if Rudolph is once again out.

Availability: 57%
FAAB: $2-3

Kickers

1-Week Plug & Play

Dustin Hopkins, Washington Football Team vs. Seattle Seahawks

The veteran booter has made at least two field goals in six straight contests, including six total in the last two weeks. Hopkins has at least two PATs in each of those six games as well. Over the course of 2020, only eight teams have permitted more field goal attempts than Seattle, and this matchup aligns to present Hopkins with one more fine opportunity to score double-digit fantasy points for what would be the fourth straight game.

Availability: 91%
FAAB:
$0-1

Defense/specials teams

1-week plug & play

Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions

This inclusion requires a disclaimer that Tennessee is extremely risky. The Titans have not sacked a quarterback in consecutive games and have only four total sacks in the last five games. This unit does, however, have a takeaway in five of the last six games, in addition to a defensive and special teams touchdown in that time. The Lions have given up 14 sacks, permitted three fumble recoveries, and thrown five interceptions in the last five contests. One of the turnovers went the other direction. Quarterback Matthew Stafford exited late last week with a rib injury and gave way to Chase Daniel, so monitor that situation. Either quarterback offers a quality opponent, though.

Availability: 69%
FAAB:
$0-1

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