Week 15 Waiver Wire: Sleepers at Each Position with Favorable Matchups

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IDecember 9, 2013

Aug 25, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) runs with the ball after making a catch against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Vikings 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

At this point in the fantasy season, sleepers and waiver-wire adds are all about getting a much needed one-week boost to help advance to the next round of the playoffs. 

In a perfect world, our teams wouldn't be in need of any of this help. Things are rarely perfect in fantasy football, however. Regular starters may face a daunting matchup or be struggling with injury. 

I'll try to help you through any problems in the next week with a few players that have favorable matchups in Week 15 and are also available in over 70 percent of leagues. 


Dec 5, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum (7) throws a pass in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Case Keenum, Houston Texans

Ownership Percentage: 14.1

Week 15 Opponent: at Indianapolis Colts

Rookie quarterback Case Keenum has had his share of struggles this season. In fact, these struggles even led to him being benched during the Texans loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. He finished the game hitting 16-of-29 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown and one interception. 

The benching was just temporary. In a press conference on Friday, team owner Bob McNair stated that Keenum will start in Week 15, per Dan Hanzus of NFL.com. This is good news for fantasy owners. 

The Colts' pass defense ranks 17th in passing yards allowed per game, but that is slightly misleading, as they are 27th in yards allowed per pass. 

On top of that, Keenum had no problem handling the Colts the first time these two met this year. In that game, he went for 350 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. 

Running Back

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 08: Daniel Thomas #33 of the Miami Dolphins looks for room to run against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second quarter at Heinz Field on December 8, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins

Ownership Percentage: 8.6

Week 15 Opponent: New England Patriots

In the Dolphins' Week 14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, running back Lamar Miller suffered a concussion, per Michael Fabiano of NFL Network: 

This opened the door for Daniel Thomas, and he burst through it. Thomas rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries against Pittsburgh on Sunday. 

Next week, the Dolphins face the weak rush defense of the Patriots. New England has allowed the 20th most points to fantasy running backs and also ranks 26th in yards allowed per rush. 

There is uncertainty with Thomas, as a healthy Miller could alter his workload. With his stellar performance on Sunday, however, I expect Thomas to at least get 10-15 touches next week, even if Miller does play. 

Wide Receiver

Dec 8, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) gets tackled by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Josh Bynes (56) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings

Ownership Percentage: 4.5

Week 15 Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

This pick isn't going to surprise that many owners, and there may be a line to add Patterson after the rookie went off on Week 15. He had five catches off of seven targets for 141 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore on Sunday.

He also had a carry for six yards, and in his last two games combined, he has three carries for 33 yards. On top of that, Patterson is a serious threat on kickoff returns. He is starting to mature into the role filled by Percy Harvin last year. 

Patterson is still in the infant stages of his development, but he is explosive and has a favorable matchup next Sunday. The Eagles have allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers than any other team. 

Tight End

Nov 14, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker (82) rushes past Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis (23) during the second half at LP Field. Indianapolis won 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans

Leagues Owned: 26.1

Week 15 Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals have a strong defense. They are second in yards allowed per rush and fifth in yards allowed per pass. Guys who are playing this defense are usually not the place to start when looking for players with a good matchup. That is, unless we are talking about tight ends. 

The Cardinals have allowed 14.8 fantasy points per game to tight ends. That is by far the most in the league. 

Next week, it will be Titans tight end Delanie Walker's turn to victimize that vulnerability—assuming he plays. Walker missed this week's game while recovering from a concussion. His status must be monitored, but if he can get on the field, he should produce. 

Walker left last week's game against the Colts early due to his injury. In the two games prior to that, he had 15 catches on 18 targets for 137 yards and a touchdown. 

Defense/Special Teams

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 1: Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals is sacked by defensive end Trent Cole #58 in the third quarter during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on December 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defe
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles

Ownership Percentage: 6.0

Week 15 Opponent: at Minnesota Vikings

At 8.6 per game, the Vikings are allowing opposing defense/special teams the seventh-most points in the NFL

In Week 15, the Eagles will be facing the Minnesota Vikings, and they may do so with the Vikings' workhorse Adrian Peterson at less than 100 percent or not available at all. The star back injured his ankle in Week 15.

The Vikings will be an interception waiting to happen without Peterson to rely on.


Kai Forbath, Washington Redskins

Ownership Percentage: 4.3

Week 15 Opponent: at Atlanta Falcons 

Finding a kicker on the waiver wire has more to do with luck than anything else. It is insanely hard to predict the production of a kicker week in and week out. 

With that in mind, Kai Forbath is a good place to start this week. There is concern over how many opportunities Forbath will have as a member of the sinking Redskins, as they take on the Falcons. 

The Falcons defense, however, has been a disaster, and no team has allowed more fantasy points to kickers than the Redskins. 

Ownnerhsip percentage stats courtesy of NFL.com. Points allowed courtesy of ESPN. Team's season stats via TeamRankings.com. All stats accurate as of Monday, Dec. 9.


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