At this point in the season, you might surprise yourself by who you're picking up and who you're starting in fantasy football leagues. Names don't matter, only winning does, so even veterans who have been on waivers most of the season could be among the top Week 15 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. That's true again this year with WRs like A.J. Green, Allen Lazard, and Russell Gage climbing up the ranks, but as is also always the case, you have out-of-nowhere RBs like Rashaad Penny, Justin Jackson, and Joshua Kelley also vying to start in must-win matchups. If you're still alive for the big prize, these players and more figure to be waiver claims or potential free agents to target after waivers clear around 4-5 a.m. ET on Wednesday mornings in Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Our full free agent list features plenty more WR and RB stashes. However, with COVID surging around the league, you could add about 32 more backup RBs to the list, as handcuffs (and potentially even handcuffs of handcuffs) will be vital down the stretch. Also vital -- our many Week 15 streamer suggestions at QB, WR, TE, and D/ST, which can be found at the end of this list. If you don't have enough lineup decisions to worry about and want to cause yourself another headache, you can also check out our Week 15 kicker rankings.
Penny and the Chargers' RBs are the obvious top waiver choices right now, but that could easily change by Tuesday night. Either way, it's officially "must-win" time in virtually all leagues, so it's all about doing whatever it takes to advance. If that means going all-in for a QB like Taysom Hill or a WR like Gabriel Davis, then that's the move. Don't hold back, even if you have a bye this week. Planning ahead for Week 16 is important, too.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 15
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
A.J. Green, WR, Cardinals. Green looked like Arizona's No. 1 receiver on Monday night, catching seven-of-10 targets for 102 yards. DeAndre Hopkins had two more targets, but it's clear Green will continue to be a factor even when Hopkins is healthy. With favorable matchups against Detroit, Indianapolis, and Dallas the next three weeks, Green has a lot of upside.
Allen Lazard, WR, Packers. Lazard caught six-of-seven targets for 75 yards and a score and added a run for another 14 yards on Sunday night. With Randall Cobb (core) out for the foreseeable future, Lazard should continue seeing a decent amount of targets. With the Ravens' shaky secondary on deck in Week 15 and a highly favorable matchup against the Vikings in Week 17, Lazard is worth adding ahead of the fantasy playoffs.
K.J. Osborn, WR, Vikings. In the first game without Adam Thielen (ankle), Osborn drew nine targets, catching three for 83 yards and a touchdown. It remains to be seen how long Thielen will be out, but Osborn is clearly operating as the No. 2 WR in Minnesota during his absence. Chicago gives up the 11th-most FPPG to WRs, so he can be streamed in Week 15, but he could also have value past that point.
Josh Palmer, WR, Chargers. Now that we're this late into the season, it's not unreasonable to consider picking up "WR handcuffs." Keenan Allen (reserve/COVID) should be back in Week 15 vs. Kansas City, but Palmer proved he's going to be productive if one of the Chargers' WRs goes down -- like Mike Williams, who's dealing with a heel injury issue that landed him on Monday's injury list. There's also the off-chance the Chargers increase Palmer's usage regardless following his five-catch, seven-target, 66-yard, one-TD day in Week 14.
Craig Reynolds, RB, Lions. Reynolds could be a one-week wonder, but with D'Andre Swift (shoulder) ailing and Jamaal Williams on the COVID list, you never know. Against the Browns, he turned 13 touches in 99 total yards, so it seems likely he'd be the lead back again if Swift and Williams are out. Even if just one plays against the Cardinals, Reynolds could see a significant amount of touches.
For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including Rashaad Penny, Justin Jackson, Taysom Hill, Gabriel Davis, and more, check out our full Week 15 list.