On to round two of the playoffs, and for those still in it to win it, I have your top Week 15 fantasy streaming options.
As always, my free agency deep dive will include favorites (my locks) and honorable mentions (more risk, or reliant on an injury update). For certain positions I’ll even recommend streamer options to avoid. I will also look past the most obvious waiver candidates, targeting Week 15 streamers that are available in less than 40 percent of all ESPN leagues. Bold names mentioned are usually waiver candidates that would also qualify as streamers.
Disclaimer: My selections will be based on their matchups, recent play, and upside potential in deeper PPR formats. I recommend checking weather and injury/COVID updates for each streamer in the days leading up to each game, being that this article is written mid-week.
Week 15 Fantasy Streamers: QB
In Week 14 two out of four of our quarterback streamers went well (Bridgewater and Rivers), but Darnold and Glennon were back to being unreliable.
More importantly, while suggesting those two, I missed on players like Baker Mayfield (again, 47 passing attempts??), Tua Tagovailoa (he played pretty poorly against the Chiefs despite being handed three turnovers by his defense, but his fantasy numbers were solid), Drew Lock and Mitch Trubisky. Even Jalen Hurts impressed against the Saints, making him my main expected waiver candidate this week because of his upside potential. 50 percent isn’t awful, but I want 100 percent this week.
Jalen Hurts (PHI) – 13.9% (@ARI)
I know I just said he’s an obvious waiver candidate, but waivers are also precious this time of year, so maybe he’ll slip through the cracks. Either way, Jalen Hurts is clearly the most attractive streamer at this point because of his high ceiling. Against a really tough Saints defense playing at its peak, Hurts was able to move the ball as a dual-threat (167 pass yards, 106 rush yards). Considering Carson Wentz’s struggles, Hurts really proved himself in this game and rose to the occasion. His next matchup against the Cardinals D is an easier one, and it is also a matchup that could turn into a shootout.
Philip Rivers (IND) – 24.4% (v HOU)
(DOUBLE DOWN) If you’re looking for that safe 18-20 point streamer, it’s been Rivers in 2020 (I know, strange right?). The Colts are a run-heavy offense, no doubt, but they also put up some serious points per game and Rivers usually capitalizes with at least two TD’s through the air (two or more passing TD’s in each of his last four games). The veteran has really settled into this unit lately, developing recent chemistry with T.Y. Hilton at long last. Since the Week 7 bye, Rivers only has three interceptions. He has 13 TD’s during that span, and the Texans are 25th ranked vs QB’s.
Mitchell Trubisky (CHI) – 25.5% (@MIN)
I went with Mitch two weeks ago and he let me down, and I really considered doubling down last week but in the end the Chicago weather scared me off. Trubisky ended up playing well though, and his next matchup against Minnesota could be another fruitful one. The Vikings D has gotten better as the year has gone on, but they’re still susceptible against dual-threat signal-callers (Wilson, Watson and Rodgers twice were four out of their five worst performances, much better numbers against pocket passers).
(DEEP DIVE) Nick Mullens (SF) – 4.2% (@DAL)
Now I’m not saying play Nick Mullens in a playoff matchup, but if you need someone in a Sacko game or some sort of consolation match, he may be an option. This unit is still consistent, and although they should pound the run against Dallas, Mullens may be in line for multiple red zone opportunities. If he can limit turnovers and get a score or two, he’ll put up 15-plus points.
QB Streamers to Avoid
Not gonna lie, my QB’s to avoid list has been way off the last couple weeks, so you may want to add these guys if you believe I’m a jinx right now.
Daniel Jones (NYG) – 17.6% (v CLE)
The matchup is certainly there for Jones, but you could tell his leg wasn’t right last week against Arizona. Without his mobility, Jones isn’t much of a fantasy asset behind this offensive line, especially with Myles Garrett lurking.
Drew Lock (DEN) – 9.7% (v BUF)
I didn’t have Lock as a play or an avoid last week, I left him in the gray area against an up and down Carolina defense. The Broncos QB ended up having his second best game of 2020 (which could lead to Week 15 streams off recency bias), but I think this Bills matchup is tougher than it seems. Buffalo is 24th ranked against quarterbacks, but they’ve shut down both Justin Herbert and Ben Roethlisberger in recent weeks. Buffalo is finally starting to clamp down on opponents, and a Denver setting may actually play to their advantage.
Week 15 Fantasy Streamers: RB
While my top two running backs suggested floundered in Week 14, I hit on my honorable mentions Jeff Wilson Jr. and Lynn Bowden Jr. (seven receptions for 82 yards).
Waivers are always key at RB, so please check out Rich King’s weekly waiver wire article for all the top candidates, including Jeff Wilson who may start in Week 15 if Mostert misses time again.
Gus Edwards (BAL) – 24.3% (v JAX)
The Ravens have finally benched Ingram for their much more impactful youth of the backfield. J.K. Dobbins gets all the hype, but Edwards has been the more efficient running back the past two weeks. On just seven carries each of the last two games, Gus had 101 and 49 yards respectively. Last week he also added two touchdowns. The Jags get run over every week, and Baltimore may give extra carries to all their backs, plus extra goal line touches for Edwards.
Peyton Barber (WSH) – 33.7% (v SEA)
I didn’t expect Barber to do much last week against the Niners run D, but assuming Gibson remains sidelined, he has a much better matchup this time around. Seattle is 22nd vs opposing RB’s, and the early down back received 48 percent of the snap share a week ago.
DeAndre Washington (MIA) – 28.9% (v NE)… or Lynn Bowden Jr. in PPR
The Dolphins running back situation is kind of a wait and see approach with all the injury tags. I actually had to play Washington last week in a non-PPR playoff matchup last minute because of COVID and injury, and he wasn’t great. In a PPR league, I’d prefer Bowden Jr. again, who has taken up a role as a slot receiver/scat back for Miami. For both of these options, keep an eye on injury updates for Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed. If either returns, abort Washington, and if Gaskin plays abort Bowden too.
Salvon Ahmed (MIA) – 25.9% (v NE)
Ahmed is a streamer in his own right if Gaskin is ruled out (seems likely) and he is able to play. The rookie had two solid games as the Miami starter Week 10-11 before a shoulder injury sidelined him as well. As of now, things seem to be trending towards another Washington spot-start however.
(DEEP DIVE) Ito Smith (ATL) – 2.0% (v TB)
Hate the matchup against the Bucs but if you’re desperate, Ito Smith could be an option in Atlanta. With Gurley set to be a free agent again, the Falcons have begun to move on from the veteran, giving more snaps to the more efficient Smith in recent weeks. Ito has also outperformed Brian Hill this season, and he offers some breakout ability as an all-purpose back.
Week 15 Fantasy Streamers: WR
Yet again, wide receiver was a consistent position for us in Week 14. I listed Tim Patrick, Keke Coutee, Collin Johnson, Laviska Shenault, Gabriel Davis and Anthony Miller. Aside from Miller and Johnson, all of those streamers had 10 points or higher in standard PPR leagues. None of them turned into breakout plays though, like a KJ Hamler or Keelan Cole of Week 14.
Top waiver candidates include Coutee, Nelson Agholor, Jalen Reagor, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (off another big game), Russell Gage (with Julio having been out) and Sammy Watkins.
Keelan Cole Sr. (JAX) – 18.3% (@BAL)
This Jaguars offense has been difficult to read depending on the quarterback, but while Glennon’s favorite receiver seemed to be Collin Johnson, Gardner Minshew has preferred Keelan Cole all season. Cole had multiple big games with Minshew early on, but his production has waned since Luton and Glennon took over. Now that the mustache is back, there’s no reason to expect that Cole won’t get targets against a Ravens secondary that has faltered down the stretch.
Rashard Higgins (CLE) – 8.6% (@NYG)
Not sure where THIS Rashard Higgins has been hiding over the many lousy seasons with Cleveland, but over the last two games alone he has 12 catches and 163 yards (two TD’s) off 19 targets. With few WR weapons on the Browns roster, stream Higgins while he’s hot. P.S. The Giants D has been good but their weak point is their secondary corners behind Bradberry.
Tim Patrick (DEN) – 30.3% (v BUF)
(TRIPLE DOWN) Not necessarily my favorite set-up for Patrick, but the rising star has three TD’s in the past two weeks (six in 2020) for us so I can’t turn my back on him now. Hopefully Tre White is elsewhere on the field, but it’s unclear where the Bills top corner will match up.
Gabriel Davis (BUF) – 8.0% (@DEN)
(DOUBLE DOWN) Davis only had three catches against the Steelers, but he STILL had a touchdown (and better yet he had eight targets). That’s three straight weeks with a score now and six on the season. The rookie has become a favorite red zone and deep threat option for Josh Allen after the team lost John Brown. Broncos corners are banged up, ride Davis till the streak is up!
(DEEP DIVE) Cam Sims (WSH) – 0.5% (v SEA)
As in the past with Washington, Steven Sims is also an option, but the riskier boom or bust play is Cam. The deep ball threat has his breakout games here and there, and this could be one of them against a Seahawks defense that has allowed the big play all season. If Haskins starts at QB, it may even play to Cam Sims’ strengths.
WR Streamers to Avoid
Breshad Perriman (NYJ @LAR)
I’ve considered benching stars against Jalen Ramsey throughout the season, but Perriman against Ramsey? That is a no doubt STAY AWAY. If anything go with Denzel Mims assuming he’s back with the team, but you may want to avoid all things Jets right now.
KJ Hamler (DEN v BUF)
Could Hamler have another big week? Of course, but the odds are certainly stacked against it happening. The rookie caught two of three targets in Week 14, it just happened that they were both blown coverage deep ball TD’s. The Bills safeties are much more experienced in this regard.
Week 15 Fantasy Streamers: TE
Our tight end streamers hit last week! Woohoo! If you’ve been following along all season you’d know that this has been the main position I’ve struggled with. Other areas have been up and down week to week with hot streaks at times, but TE has been cold as ice.
Anyway, Cole Kmet made for a decent PPR stream and Will Dissly actually topped the rookie with a TD against the Jets. I’ll take that any day with the way free agent tight ends have been this year. Let’s keep it going in Week 15 as the TE streamer market gets even more barren.
Irv Smith Jr. (MIN) – 4.4% (v CHI)
Coming off a four for 63 game with a touchdown. Rudolph has been dealing with injuries and Smith is finally propelling himself into more of a TE1 role. Now is the time to stream the athletic talent against a Bears team that is 28th against the position.
Cole Kmet (CHI) – 6.8% (@MIN)
(DOUBLE DOWN) At this point in the season, Kmet is unlikely to be waivered, but he has played well enough to warrant one in a normal scenario. Assuming he’s available, there’s no reason not to stick with the rookie based on sheer potential alone. It’s not like there are any better options out there!
Week 15 Fantasy Streamers: D/ST
D/ST was a stinker last week. The Giants offense really left the the defensive unit out to dry, and Carolina didn’t show up against Denver. The top available performers ended up being Arizona and Dallas, who beat up on brutal offensive units. I didn’t have the guts to trust the Cowboys, but those who did were rewarded big time, and I give you a ton of credit if you streamed them in a playoff matchup.
Some of the top D/ST’s available in less than 40 percent of leagues are Minnesota, Arizona, Carolina, NYG, LAC, Philly, Dallas, Tennessee and Denver. Here are my suggestions for Week 15 if you need a defense.
Minnesota Vikings – 39.3% (v CHI)
This is a really rough week for D/ST streamers. If you can get your hands on the New England Patriots vs Tua (46.5 percent rostered), I might actually go that route over the Vikes, but otherwise Minnesota is the only team I remotely trust to not get me negative here. And that’s really more about Trubisky’s history of turnovers than the Vikings being rock solid. I like the Pats, but Minnesota is my backup play if NE is taken.
D/ST Streamers to Avoid
Some of the juicy looking matchups I would be careful about are the Cardinals D hosting the Eagles. Arizona is coming off a huge eight sack three fumble game against Daniel Jones, but the Giants QB had no mobility due to an injury and the line was easily overwhelmed. Jalen Hurts is a mobile QB. Do not expect this outcome to repeat itself.
Another is Dallas at home against the 49ers. I know Nick Mullens isn’t scary, but San Fran has an offensive line that is far superior to the Cowboys D-Line. They can and most likely will bully Dallas with a relentless rushing attack, unlike the Bengals who cannot block to save their lives.
Finally, LAC or Vegas on Thursday night. If you want to take a chance on a Thursday Night Football blunder and a defensive TD, be my guest, but at this point in the season I can’t trust either of these units that are more likely to get negatives. I have a similar mindset with the Titans D vs Detroit.
Week 15 Fantasy Streamers: K
Surprisingly, one of my go-to’s Brandon McManus let me down in Week 14, and if you have him, you know that now he’s on the COVID list for Week 15. After that, Succop was average and Slye actually scored the most points out of my three picks from last week. It was a bad week for kickers throughout the entire league though. I mean did you see Dan Bailey and Sergio Castillo?? Really atrocious displays.
Weather is all-around solid in Week 15 as of now, lots of domes and good-weather states as the home teams.
Matt Gay (LAR) – 4.8% (v NYJ)
I really love any kicker against the Jets right now, being that they are giving up massive amounts of points, but Gay is also a guy that I’ve recommended in the past. I think he’s one for two on 10-plus point performances when I’ve listed him, but in sunny California I really see this as a slam dunk streamer. P.S. Gay has only missed two kicks in 2020, so his accuracy issues of the past haven’t really been an issue since his return.
Mason Crosby (GB) – 39.4% (v GB)
If you’re looking for more of a low-risk play, Cro