Week 15 working the waiver wire: League winners

Photo via: Redskins/Facebook

Congratulations if you're reading this because that means you're in the playoffs. Adding free agents should be easier with many teams already done for the season. Also, be aware that other owners that are in the playoffs will be looking to block you from picking up any players that can help you, so go all-in if you need a certain player this week.

Keep in mind the owner % mentioned is for 10-team standard ESPN PPR leagues. Some of these players below are good for this week, while others could help you in Week 16. You have to make the call on what your team needs. Immediate help to start this week, or a player to stash for next week.


Carr's matchup this week is beautiful. Photo via: Raiders/Facebook

Ryan Tannehill: I had him as the No. 1 option in this article last week, and that certainly paid off with him throwing for 391 yards and 3TDs against the Raiders. He gets the Texans at home this week, so the matchup is good. He might also have to throw a little more with Derrick Henry playing through a hamstring injury. Tannehill is still available in about 60% of ten team leagues.

Derek Carr: Just typing this makes me sick, but you could do worse this week. The Jags have quit on the season, and Carr faces them at home this week. He's terrible in cold weather historically, so being at home really matters for Carr. The Jags on average are giving up over 20 points per game to QBs over the last 4 weeks. He's owned in about 38% of leagues.

Philip Rivers and Mitchell Trubisky: Both of these guys have put up good fantasy numbers lately, but their matchups are ugly this week. Over the last 4 weeks the Vikings and the Packers have been tough on QBs, but they haven't played many good ones. Rivers is rostered in 43% of leagues and Trubisky is more available being rostered in 19% of leagues. Trubisky should at least give you some rushing production, so I would probably choose him over Rivers.


DeAndre Washington: If Josh Jacobs doesn't play, you have to like Washington's chances this week. He's playing the Jags who were ripped apart by the Chargers' RBs last week, and Jacksonville looks like they've given up on the season. He's available in 90% of leagues.

Raheem Mostert: It's hard to know which RB to start in this backfield, but Mostert's huge game against the Saints makes me think he's the best back to use. He's rostered in 24% of leagues.

Adrian Peterson: He's back... I know, he's hard to trust in a PPR league, but he has a good shot at scoring a TD every time he takes the field. And with Guice out of the picture, you could do worse. He's out there in 55% of leagues. He has a tough matchup against the Eagles, but he should get volume.

Patrick Laird: You never hope to start a Dolphins RB in the playoffs, but he's getting a lot of work, and he has a good matchup against the Giants if you need him. He's available in 90% of leagues.


A.J. Brown: He recorded over 21 fantasy points in 2 of his last 3 games, and he gets the Texans this week. Tannehill is on a roll and Brown is his main weapon. He's only rostered in 31% of leagues, and he should continue his production against Houston.

Zach Pascal: He rostered in 30% of leagues and has recorded a TD or 100 receiving yards in 2 consecutive games. Over the last 4 weeks, the Saints are giving up massive production to WRs, so the matchup is great. He should continue to be involved with Hilton still dealing with an injury.

Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton: They face Miami this week, so there is that. Also, Slayton is coming off a huge game against the Eagles in Week 14. I'd pick Slayton if I had to choose between the two.


Tyler Higbee: If Gerald Everett doesn't return to the lineup, you have to like Higbee's chances to keep racking up fantasy points. If you haven't been watching Higbee, he's recorded over 100 receiving yards two weeks straight and caught a TD. He's out there in about 90% of leagues.

OJ Howard: It feels weird even typing his name, but he should see an uptick in targets with Mike Evans done for the year. Also, he has over 61 receiving yards in two straight games and has a great matchup against the Texans in Week 16. He's rostered in 39% of leagues.

Okay, that will do it. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5FM. We're on every Sunday morning from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday. Good luck this week!




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Israel plays Jose Altuve and Venezuela on Wednesday. Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images.

Josh Wolf was born in Houston. He attended the Emery Weiner School on Stella Link just south of the Loop. He played Bellaire Little League, where he hardly was one of the bigger kids. He went to St. Thomas High School on Memorial Drive.

So how on Earth was he pitching for Israel (almost halfway on the other side of Earth) against Nicaragua in the World Baseball Classic this week?

Wolf’s mother was born in Israel, Wolf is Jewish and by Israeli law all Jews are eligible to become Israeli citizens, and that qualified him to play with the Star of David on his baseball cap. Plus he’s started the process, called Aliyah, to become an Israeli citizen.

The Israel team is mostly composed of American minor leaguers and free agents. The team has a small number of MLB players, like outfielder Joc Pederson, pitcher Dean Kremer and former Astros catcher Garrett Stubbs. Israel currently is 1-1 in the event, defeating Nicaragua and losing to Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, let’s have a look at the U.S. roster, which is packed with future Hall of Famers like Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Nolan Arenado, and Paul Goldschmidt, plus All-Stars like J.T. Realmuto, Pete Alonso, Tim Anderson, Trea Turner, and a couple of guys you may have watched at Minute Maid Park named Kyle Tucker and Ryan Pressly.

The Dominican Republic team, Israel’s opponent Tuesday night (6 p.m. on FS1) boasts Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Rafael Devers, Julio Rodriguez, Sandy Alcantara, and Astros stars Jeremy Pena, Hector Neris, Cristian Javier, Rafael Montero and Bryan Abreu.

Wolf was drafted out of St. Thomas in the second round of the Major League Baseball’s draft in 2019. Still only 22, he’s spent three years in the minors. In 2021 the Mets included Wolf in a trade with the Cleveland Guardians to land superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor.

This week, he’s in Miami, pitching for Israel in Pool D of the World Baseball Classic, awaiting his next turn on the mound, which he expects will be Tuesday night against the powerful, All-Star packed Dominican Republic or Wednesday against Venezuela, which has a guy named Jose Altuve leading off. Oh, and Venezuela has already defeated the Dominican Republic this week.

SportsMap: Can you believe you’re playing in the same baseball tournament as today's biggest stars? Is this like fantasy camp for real?

Josh Wolf: It’s definitely surreal. The thought of me playing with all these amazing players is pretty crazy. But at the same time, I want to get to that level in my career and I believe I can get there. I’m kind of in the middle right now, between fanboy and thinking I can get these guys out. There are parts of me, when I don’t have to be a serious professional player, like when I met Altuve, I say to myself how amazing this is. I watched him when I was growing up. Joc Pederson is on the Israel team. I had his jersey when I was a kid, all that stuff. This is the dream of 14-year-old me. Not only do I get to watch this up close, I’m playing in it.

SM: Are you in the moment fully capturing this experience, or is it a haze right now?

JW: It is a haze. Even now I don’t think I’m comprehending how big this is, especially at this point in my career. I think after the tournament is done, I’ll say to myself, wow, that all happened.

SM: Were you an Astros fan growing up in Bellaire?

JW: Of course, yeah yeah, 100 percent. Today I saw Martin Maldonado on the Puerto Rico team. I got to watch him up close. Being an Astros fan, I’ve watched Astros baseball my whole life. So I know a lot about the players. It’s really cool facing them. I’m expecting to pitch Tuesday or Wednesday. I’ll be facing Altuve or Jeremy Pena depending which night.

SM: OK, you’re on the mound and Jose Altuve steps into the batter’s box. What's the plan?

JW: I can’t reveal that. All I can say is that I’ll throw my best. I learned from our game against Nicaragua. I was trying to be too perfect. I let the moment speed up on me. The beauty of that is, I’m learning. I’ve got to trust my stuff. Against a guy like Altuve, I’ll just throw my best. If he gets me, I’ll tip my hat. But I believe that my best can get anybody out.

SM: Last week you posted a photo of yourself with Altuve. Will you apologize if you strike him out?

JW: I won’t apologize but I may ask for the ball back.

SM: How awesome were you in Bellaire Little League?

JW: My first couple of years I didn’t play that well. There were a couple of years I was really good. I started separating myself in the last year, the age 12 year. After that my career started taking off. It wasn't that I was physically imposing. To be honest, I’m still waiting for my body to grow. My abilities just started increasing, that’s all.

SM: How did you get to St. Thomas High School instead of Bellaire High School?

JW: My dad knew my best friend’s dad who sold him on St. Thomas’ baseball program. So my dad told me, you’re going to St. Thomas. I said all right, sounds good. They didn’t scout me or anything. I just went there. I think the coach was pleasantly surprised by me.

SM: Have you been to Israel?

JW: Yes, I’ve been there. I had my bar mitzvah there, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. And I’m becoming a citizen so I can play for Israel in international competitions, like the Olympics, that require athletes to be citizens of the country they represent.

SM: Where will you play this year?

JW: I will go where Cleveland assigns me. I would guess it will be High-A Lake County in Eastlake, Ohio.

SM: Now that you’re a professional, is baseball still fun?

JW: Yeah, I think it is. The only difference is, it can’t be just fun.I know there’s stuff on the line. I have to take it more seriously. When I struggle, I think it’s because I forget that it’s still a game and it’s fun and I can smile and have a blast. I know a lot of people would love to be in my situation.

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