Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups: 2011 NFL Fantasy Football Roster Help

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIDecember 12, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 20:  Jake Locker #10 of the Tennessee Titans looks to pass against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 20, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


Jake Locker -

For the second time in the last month, Jake Locker stepped in to play significant time as Matt Hasselbeck fell to injury. This time, Locker almost led his team back to a victory at the last minute. Not only did Locker play a good game, he had a solid fantasy stat-line with 282 yards passing and a touchdown pass to go with 36-yards rushing and a sweet 6-yard touchdown run.

At this point, it seems likely that Locker will start for the first time in his career next week against the Colts. This should be a great opportunity for those owners who are desperate for help at the quarterback position , and Locker might be the best option to grab.

Hopefully, Locker will have his No.1 receiver Nate Washington active for the game, as he’s clearly favored him in his two active games this year.

Joe Webb -

While it didn’t look likely that Christian Ponder would play, he was active against the Lions, but it was probably a bad thing for Minnesota as he didn’t look right and gave up two defensive touchdowns. Joe Webb replaced him in the second half and led the team back to almost win the game, and it may have happened if the officials would’ve called a face mask penalty on the final fumble to close out the game.

Webb won’t make a bunch of plays through the air, but as we saw in his start against the Eagles last year, he can get things done on the ground and will take some shots down the field. If Webb should start, he is a sleeper to use this week against the Saints, but could pay off for at least 15 points.

T.J. Yates -

The Texans' rookie quarterback took a big step in his growth process as he led the Texans back for a last minute victory against the Bengals on the road. Yates helped the Texans seal their first playoff birth in franchise history, and that is the kind of special performance that will make the players around you work a little harder, and believe a little more in your abilities to lead.

Yates likely won’t lead this team to the Super Bowl, but he could be a serviceable option if you start two quarterbacks weekly or you need a desperation play down the stretch.

Running Backs

Felix Jones -

Many had high hopes for Felix Jones this year, as he appeared to finally have a feature back role with Marion Barber moving on to the Bears. While Jones had his moments early in the season, injuries knocked him out for about a month and in that time DeMarco Murray stepped in and became a star.

Jones had minimal value in his return to the field, but now that Murray is lost for the year with a broken ankle, it’s time to believe in Jones again. The veteran looked better than I’ve ever seen him in the past against the Giants, showing great vision and looking like a running back with fresh legs in December.

Look to Jones as the top player to target if he’s still on your waiver wire, as he should have a dominant RB-1 performance against a Buccaneers defense that gave up touchdowns to Maurice Jones-Drew last week and three rushing touchdowns the week before to Cam Newton.

Ryan Grant -

For the first time this year, Ryan Grant actually looked like the running back we remember from the second half of the 2009 season. Grant took off for a 47-yard touchdown run in his first carry of the game, and would end up with 98 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. While Grant only had 10 carries, his low workload had more to do with the blowout victory than injury or the team using a running back by committee approach throughout the game.

With backup Brandon Saine suffering a concussion in the game, look to Grant as the main option in the running game this week against the Chiefs with John Kuhn picking up the slack. This should be another productive game for Grant, as he’s looking like a RB-2 at this time.

Marion Barber -

Backup Kalil Bell did get some work in the running game, but the Bears were clearly leaning on Marion Barber as the main option on the ground. Until Barber made a few horrible plays at the end of the game, he was leading the Bears to a victory on his 27 carries for 108 yards and the Bears' lone touchdown. If for some reason Barber is still on your waiver wire, he makes for a solid flex play going forward.

Wide Receivers

DeMaryius Thomas -

The Broncos former first-round pick DeMaryius Thomas is finally looking healthy, and his play is showing just that as he’s had at least one touchdown in each of the past two weeks. Last week Thomas was targeted 13 times by Tim Tebow for seven receptions and 78 yards, and he should have another fine performance against the Patriots this week.

If Thomas is still around, take a chance on him as a solid WR-3 option that could give you the kind of performance that helps you advance to the Super Bowl.

James Jones / Donald Driver -

With Greg Jennings lost for the remainder of the regular season, both James Jones and Donald Driver are options to target off the waiver wire. Both are worthy of considering as WR-3 plays in the final weeks, as the Aaron Rodgers is showing no signs of slowing down.

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