Week 15 Waiver Wire: Early Pickups and Breakout Fantasy Football Candidates

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2020

Week 15 Waiver Wire: Early Pickups and Breakout Fantasy Football Candidates

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    Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

    Once again, fantasy football managers will flock to a dynamic quarterback who can use his arm and legs to rack up points. With a victory over the New Orleans Saints, Jalen Hurts has arrived, and he's available in most leagues.

    In terms of fantasy relevance, Hurts gives managers a shot at a QB1 who can throw for 150-200 yards and rush for 100 yards, which is a rare find this late in the season.

    Aside from Hurts, managers should take a look at a group of wide receivers who belong on rosters for the remainder of the season. These pickups can easily fill in the WR2 and flex spots in your lineups.

    We'll highlight eight solid adds for Week 15 and the remainder of your fantasy playoff run. All players listed are available in at least 40 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Top Pickups and Breakout Candidates for Week 15

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    David Becker/Associated Press

    QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at ARZ (17 percent rostered)

    QB Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts vs. HOU (41 percent rostered)

    RB DeAndre Washington, Miami Dolphins vs. NE (23 percent rostered)

    WR Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts vs. HOU (54 percent rostered)

    WR Keke Coutee, Houston Texans at IND (45 percent rostered)

    WR Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders vs. LAC (35 percent rostered)

    WR Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos vs. BUF (28 percent rostered)

    TE Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears at MIN (6 percent rostered)

QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

    In addition to leading the Philadelphia Eagles to their first win since Week 8, Jalen Hurts had a breakout fantasy football performance Sunday.

    Hurts threw for 167 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 106 yards and lost a fumble on the ground. The rookie second-rounder finished within the top 10 in fantasy points among quarterbacks through the late-afternoon contests.

    With game tape, the Arizona Cardinals will have a better idea of what to expect from Hurts, but his rushing production will keep him on the fantasy radar down the stretch.

    According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, it is anticipated that the Eagles plan to start Hurts for the remainder of the 2020 campaign, "barring injury or disastrous play."

    If you missed out on Taysom Hill, jump on Hurts' bandwagon and consider him a QB1 going forward.

WR Keke Coutee, Houston Texans

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    Somehow, Keke Coutee is still available on more than 50 percent of Yahoo league waiver wires. He's primed for a strong finish this season.

    The league suspended Will Fuller V for six games because of a performance-enhancing drug violation. The Houston Texans released Kenny Stills. Randall Cobb is on injured reserve with a toe injury. Brandin Cooks missed Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears with foot and neck injuries. 

    Even if Cooks returns to action next week, Coutee has a secure role with Fuller out. Over the last two games, he's recorded 11 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown.

    In his first meeting with the Indianapolis Colts, Coutee caught eight passes for 141 yards. He'll face them for the second time in three weeks. Managers can insert him into the WR2 or flex spot for their upcoming matchups.

    As one of quarterback Deshaun Watson's top receiving weapons, Coutee belongs on rosters for the rest of the season.

WR Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Don't hesitate to snag Tim Patrick off the waiver wire. He's scored three touchdowns in the last two games and leads Denver Broncos pass-catchers in the category with six through 13 contests.

    Patrick has been a more consistent fantasy contributor than his rookie teammate Jerry Jeudy, who has hauled in three or fewer receptions without a score in each of the last four games.

    In Week 14, Patrick recorded three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. He has finished with fewer than 45 yards in two consecutive contests, but quarterback Drew Lock looks to him in the red zone.

    At 6'4", 212 pounds, Patrick should continue to win battles inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He has a decent matchup with the Buffalo Bills' 20th-ranked pass defense in Week 15.

TE Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    In consecutive weeks, Cole Kmet has drawn seven targets. He's more involved in the aerial attack while Jimmy Graham's role takes a hit down the stretch.

    Although Graham secured a touchdown grab Sunday, Kmet's arrow as a contributor points up. The Bears will likely give the rookie second-rounder a chance to showcase his skill set in the final few games. 

    At a position with inconsistent production outside of the top 10, Kmet could fill a void for managers who need a matchup-based starter. He'll face a Minnesota Vikings defense that gave up a tight end score to Rob Gronkowski Sunday. 

    Furthermore, the Vikings field a bottom-tier pass defense that ranked 26th going into Week 14. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky could have another strong outing, which bodes well for Kmet.

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