Here are the top fantasy football utilization stats you need to know from Week 15 of the 2022 NFL season before you make any waiver-wire claims this week.
Houston Texans: TE Jordan Akins draws six targets
Akins’ production has been too spotty to be able to reliably count on him this season, but he has now received at least five targets in three of his last four games. Akins also scored on Sunday, marking his second touchdown in a four-week stretch. We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but some fantasy managers might need to do that with the injuries we’ve seen at tight end this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars: TE Evan Engram draws 10 targets again
It’s officially a trend for Engram now. He has 32 targets over the last three weeks to go along with 254 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Engram is TE6 on the season despite only being owned in 66% of ESPN leagues. With quarterback Trevor Lawrence heating up, Engram should not be available on the waiver wire.
Dallas Cowboys: WR Noah Brown more involved than Michael Gallup
A discouraging sign for Gallup managers and an intriguing sign for Brown’s outlook. Gallup drew just two targets on Sunday while Brown hauled in six receptions on nine targets and scored twice. Brown now has 15 targets and 134 receiving yards over the last two weeks — his stock seems to be trending up.
Cleveland Browns: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones keeps rolling
Deshaun Watson’s return to football has been a positive development for Peoples-Jones. After being targeted 12 times last week, DPJ was only targeted four times on Sunday, but he caught all four passes and scored a touchdown. He is on pace to finish the season as one of Watson’s favorite targets.
Carolina Panthers: WR Terrace Marshall Jr. back on track?
Marshall had a great stretch of games from Weeks 8-11 before seeing a significant drop in targets and production from Weeks 12 and 14 when he totaled just eight and 18 receiving yards, respectively. Marshall had a more-respectable 51 receiving yards in Week 15, but he only received three targets. His four-week stretch of averaging nearly six targets a game might have been more of a fluke than a predictor of things to come.
New York Jets: RB Zonovan Knight falls back to earth
After a brilliant three-game stretch in which he totaled 298 yards from scrimmage, Knight fell back to earth with a disappointing 23-yard performance in Week 15. Knight (13 carries) was more involved than Michael Carter (four carries and one target), but the rookie was shut down by Detroit’s defense and averaged just 1.8 yards per carry. Knight will have an easier matchup against the Jaguars on Thursday.
Denver Broncos: RB Marlon Mack carving out a role
Latavius Murray remains the Broncos’ lead running back (he rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on Sunday), but Mack has seen his opportunities increase after Denver lost multiple RBs to injuries. Mack received a season-high five carries on Sunday to go along with four targets as a receiver out of the backfield. Mack has scored in each of his last two games while totaling 140 yards from scrimmage in that stretch. He will continue rotating in behind Murray to close out the season.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Warren cuts into Najee Harris' workload
Harris had a good game this week, rushing 24 times for 86 yards and one touchdown. He could have had a bigger game if Warren hadn’t received 11 carries and one target. Warren took advantage of those touches, totaling 49 yards and one touchdown in his best game of the season. If the Steelers keep giving Warren this kind of usage, he will have flex value.
Carolina Panthers: RB D'Onta Foreman’s stock is falling
Foreman looked like he was going to turn into a fantasy gem after the Christian McCaffrey trade, but his production has slipped over the last two weeks. After rushing 21 times and averaging 3.52 yards per carry in Week 14, Foreman rushed just 10 times for nine yards in Week 15. Foreman’s lack of usage in the passing game especially hurts his value when the Panthers fall behind — Chuba Hubbard caught three passes on Sunday and totaled 67 yards from scrimmage. Foreman was not targeted as a receiver and ended the day with just nine total yards. Foreman is trending in the opposite direction of Hubbard.
Houston Texans: RB Royce Freeman replaces Dameon Pierce
With Pierce (ankle) now out for the season, the Texans have an opening at running back. Freeman appears to be the next man up as he led the team with 11 carries for 51 yards on Sunday. Dare Ogunbowale wasn’t far behind with eight carries of his own, but his 1.8 YCP average was much worse than Freeman’s 4.6. Rex Burkhead will also be a candidate to contribute in passing situations, but Freeman might be the new RB1 in Houston.
Indianapolis Colts: Zack Moss, Deon Jackson fill in for RB Jonathan Taylor
With Taylor “highly unlikely” to return this season, the Colts appear poised to turn to a committee of Moss and Jackson to close out the year. Mack led the way on Sunday with 24 carries for 81 yards. Jackson was also involved, rushing 13 times for 55 yards and adding a one-yard touchdown catch to his totals. Moss might be the safer bet in the final three weeks of the season, but Jackson is an explosive player who could have flex value as well.
Kansas City Chiefs: RB Jerick McKinnon isn’t slowing down
Isiah Pacheco remains the “starter” in Kansas City, but McKinnon has been the team’s best running back over the last three weeks. McKinnon saw just five fewer carries than Pacheco, and he drew seven more targets on Sunday. His value as a receiver out of the backfield especially helps McKinnon’s value in PPR leagues. Over the last three weeks, McKinnon has piled up 316 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. Pacheco (272 yards, one TD) is obviously still very much involved, but McKinnon has made himself very fantasy-relevant late in the season.