Fantasy Football Week 15: Rankings, Stat Projections and Top Waiver-Wire Adds

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2020

Fantasy Football Week 15: Rankings, Stat Projections and Top Waiver-Wire Adds

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    With just three weeks left in the 2020 NFL season, it's playoff time in the world of fantasy football. While teams are on the field battling for their playoff lives, fantasy managers are doing the same—and every lineup decision they make could prove critical.

    Fortunately, bye weeks are a thing of the past; unfortunately, injuries, inconsistent play and bad matchups are not. Avoiding them, and/or finding adequate replacements, could make the difference between going home and reaching the fantasy championship game.

    Here, we'll take an early look at the top potential plays for each key position in Week 15. We'll also dive into some waiver-wire options worth claiming for spot-starter or streaming purposes.

    All rankings and picks are based on points-per-reception (PPR) scoring.

Quarterback

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    Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

    1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

    2. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

    3. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

    4. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    5. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    6. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

    7. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

    8. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

    9. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

    10. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

    11. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

    12. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

       

    Waiver-Wire Target: Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

    Managers streaming at the quarterback position may want to take a long look at Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller Jalen Hurts. The rookie was forced into a tough situation against the vaunted New Orleans Saints defense and still delivered the win in Week 14.

    Hurts finished with 167 passing yards, a passing touchdown and 106 rushing yards. If your league awards rushing points to quarterbacks, he could be a tremendous play in Week 15, even against a solid Arizona Cardinals defense.

    The Saints rank second in total defense and fifth in points allowed. Arizona ranks 13th in both total defense and points allowed. Arizona also ranks a mediocre 18th in run defense, so another 100-yard game isn't outside the realm of possibility for Hurts.

    Hurts is rostered in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues and 8 percent of ESPN leagues.

    Projection: 175 passing yards, 101 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs

Running Back

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    1. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

    2. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

    3. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

    4. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

    5. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

    6. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

    7. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

    8. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

    9. Melvin Gordon III, Denver Broncos

    10. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

    11. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

    12. Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers

      

    Waiver-Wire Target: Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, San Francisco 49ers

    Despite splitting time with Raheem Mostert—who briefly left the game but was cleared of a concussion—San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. had a solid stat line in Week 14. Against a stout Washington Football Team defense, he finished with 31 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards, one reception and one touchdown.

    Things should be much easier for Wilson against the Dallas Cowboys this week. Dallas ranks dead-last in both run defense and points allowed. The Cowboys have also allowed 200-plus rushing yards four different times this season.

    Against a run-oriented 49ers team, the Cowboys could yield 200 ground yards for the fourth time this season.

    Presumably, Wilson will again be just a cog in San Francisco's committee backfield, but with this matchup, he could still find a way to top 100 scrimmage yards. He is rostered in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues and 8 percent of ESPN leagues.

    Projection: 88 rushing yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards

Wide Receiver

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    1. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

    2. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

    3. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

    4. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

    5. A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans

    6. Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears

    7. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

    8. Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team

    9. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

    10. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons

    11. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    12. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams

       

    Waiver-Wire Target: Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos

    For some reason, fantasy managers just haven't bought into Denver Broncos wideout Tim Patrick. Despite being a strong performer in three of the past four weeks—Denver, as you may recall, played Week 12 without a quarterback—Patrick remains widely available on the waiver wire.

    Patrick is rostered in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues and 20 percent of ESPN leagues.

    Against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Patrick hauled in three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. He had 44 yards and two scores the previous week and 119 receiving yards in Week 11.

    While Patrick has a daunting matchup against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15, it's not an impossible one. Buffalo ranks 19th in passing yards allowed.

    Projection: 5 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 TD

Tight End

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

    2. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders

    3. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

    4. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    5. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

    6. Noah Fant, Denver Broncos

    7. Evan Engram, New York Giants

    8. Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers

    9. Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons

    10. Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team

    11. Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

    12. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

       

    Waiver-Wire Target: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Minnesota Vikings

    Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph missed Sunday's game with a foot injury. This opened the door for teammate and fellow tight end Irv Smith Jr. Though the Vikings weren't able to outlast the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Smith had one heck of an effort.

    Smith finished the game with four catches on four targets for 63 yards and a touchdown. Presumably, Minnesota will continue leaning on him over the final three weeks.

    "it'll be a big month for Irv and for our team. Obviously, we need him to come in and contribute as much as possible," offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said, per ESPN's Courtney Cronin.

    Smith doesn't have a great matchup against the Chicago Bears and their 16th-ranked pass defense, but he's still worth a look. He is rostered in just 6 percent of Yahoo leagues and 3 percent of ESPN leagues.

    Projection: 5 receptions, 55 yards, 1 TD

        

    *All Yahoo and ESPN roster percentages from FantasyPros. Advances statistics from Pro Football Reference.

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