Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 15 Waiver Wire Targets

Bilal Powell Jets

Each week throughout the season PDW will be posting a list of those players worth targeting on your weekly waiver wire. These lists will be made up from PDW contributors as well as fantasy partner content. Please check back weekly for the hot pickups. 

This week’s picks are courtesy of our friends at numberFire.

Here’s a look at players to target on the Week 15 waiver wire…

Add Bilal Powell

Matt Forte was in a pretty good spot against one of the league’s worst rush defenses this weekend, but he went down early with a knee injury. After the game, Forte said that he heard “cracking and popping” in the knee. That, uh, doesn’t sound good.

The 1B in the Jets’ backfield, Bilal Powell, stepped in and ran the ball 29 times for 145 yards in Forte’s absence. Powell has been a guy all season long who steps in during negative game scripts (he’s their hurry-up and third-down back, having seen the ninth-most targets at the running back position this year), but with this cracking and popping, he could have an opportunity to see a lot of early-down work, too. Anytime you can get a potential three-down back this late in the season, you do it.

Add Kenneth Farrow

Melvin Gordon went down early in their contest against the Panthers, and it didn’t look good as he was carted off. Fortunately, today, reports are saying that he’s day-to-day with hip and knee injuries — it wasn’t a complete ACL tear.

Even if he miraculously plays this week, backup Kenneth Farrow is worth an add. The Chargers’ lack real depth (unless you call Ronnie Hillman depth) at the running back position, which could lead to a decent number of touches for Farrow down the stretch. In Sunday’s loss, he saw 85% of the team’s snaps while toting the rock 16 times and snagging 6 targets through the air. If that continues, he’ll be in the RB2 discussion.

Hold Ladarius Green

My mentions on Twitter told me that folks are ready to give up on Ladarius Green, but let’s look at why you shouldn’t.

Sunday’s game against Buffalo saw the Steelers in an ultra-positive game script where they ran the ball more than they passed it. That’s not very common for Pittsburgh, as they had the 10th-highest drop-back-to-run ratio in football entering Week 14 at 1.65.

The snow didn’t help Big Ben’s efficiency, so passing numbers were down overall. Green, though, did see 6 targets while playing 37% of the team’s snaps. That first number means he had a strong 19.4% target market share, but the second one means he wasn’t on the field a whole lot.

Why? It’s pretty simple, actually. The Steelers use him strictly as a pass-catcher — he’s being targeted on well over 26% of his snaps, which is by far the most in the NFL at the tight end position. In contests like yesterday’s, Green isn’t needed as much. He actually played 26 of his 28 snaps in the first half because, once the second half hit, the Steelers generally had control of the game.

So, no, his 2-catch, 25-yard stat line wasn’t nearly as bad as it looked. When the Steelers find themselves in situations where they need to throw the ball — or situations where there’s at least a neutral game script — things should go in Green’s favor.

Add Justin Forsett

As I mentioned in last week’s 15 Transactions column, it was becoming increasingly clear that the Broncos were wanting to move on from Devontae Booker. If not for Kapri Bibbsseason-ending injury sustained last week, we’d more than likely be talking about him — not Booker — being the Broncos’ lead back.

But Bibbs’ injury opened up a roster spot for Justin Forsett, who ended up out-touching Booker in their Week 14 game against Tennessee. You read that right — a 31-year-old running back who was signed to the team just days before playing on Sunday actually saw more touches than Booker did.

If the trend continues, Forsett could easily become the Broncos’ lead back through the rest of the season.

Drop Devontae Booker

Speak of the devil.

Booker, despite seeing 17 or more carries in five contests this year, has yet to rank inside the top 12 in a given week at the running back position in PPR leagues. With Forsett now in the picture (or, really, it could’ve been any other running back), Booker can find your waiver wire. You really, really don’t want to trust a back who’s losing his gig to a free agent veteran after rushing for 3.4 yards per carry. Trust me.

Add Robby Anderson

It looks like Bryce Petty has a favorite receiver, and it’s not Brandon Marshall.

Petty has now played in three games where he’s thrown significant passes (two starts), and in those three games, Robby Anderson has 6, 12, and 11 targets. That equates to a target market share of 31.52%, which is higher than what Mike Evans, the leader in market share this season, has seen all year long.

Whether or not this is a trend, it’s worth adding Anderson — especially in deeper leagues — because volume is king in fantasy football.

Hold Derek Carr

After Derek Carr‘s Week 14 performance, I’m sure plenty of fantasy owners are nervous moving forward. Well, the good news is that Carr was on the road against a team that has beat him up over his brief career, and there’s still one very important team on the Raiders schedule before the fantasy football season is done: Indianapolis.

That’ll come in Week 16, but if you were thinking about dropping him because of his outing this past week and an average matchup against San Diego in Week 15, wait. Week 16 should feature a lot of scoring against a Colts’ secondary that’s surrendered the fourth-most points to the quarterback position.

Add Alex Smith

If you’re streaming the quarterback position, Alex Smith is in a fantastic spot this week. The Chiefs are at home as 5.5-point favorites against the Titans, a team with the second-worst secondary in football, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics. Tennessee’s been awful against the pass during the second half of the season: over their last eight games, signal-callers are averaging 22.77 points scored versus the Titans, with every single passer scoring at least 17.36 points. And the Titans have faced passers like Matt Barkley, Trevor Siemian, Blake Bortles, and Cody Kessler during this stretch.

It’s a perfect matchup for Smith, and a great one for folks looking for a quarterback on the waiver wire.

Continue reading at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)


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