FANTASY FOOTBALL ADD/DROPS

Week 15 working the waiver wire: League winners

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.

QB

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.

RB

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.

WR

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.

TE

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!

@JoshJordan975

@Moneyline975

@JerryBoKnowz

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How significant Astros spring training revelation highlights even more reasons for optimism

The Houston Astros had a very successful season in 2023 which led them back to the ALCS for the seventh-straight season, but despite another deep playoff run, their pitching did regress from the prior year.

While many would point to their historic bullpen in 2022 and say they had nowhere to go but down, that doesn't paint the full picture. It was the starting rotation that really fell off in 2023. Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown, and Jose Urquidy all saw a spike in their ERAs from the previous season.

According to a recent report from The Athletic's Chandler Rome, we might have an explanation for Jose Urquidy's down year.

The Astros and Urquidy believe he was tipping his pitches. Which would explain why the slugging percentage against his fastball jumped from .482 in 2022 to .632 in 2023.

When hitters know a pitcher is tipping, they often start hunting fastballs. Also, his strikeout percentage went down last year and his walks went way up. He had 2 more walks per nine innings in 2023 than he had in 2021.

Part of that could be him aiming for corners and refusing to give in to hitters because his fastball wasn't performing up to expectations.

His WHIP in 2023 really jumped off the page as well. He finished with a WHIP over 1.4. While his career WHIP is 1.143. That's a huge difference.

Back to the big picture

Until last season, Urquidy never finished with an ERA over 3.95. He recorded a 5.29 ERA last year. So when we factor in his shoulder injury that cost him three months of the season, and the fact he was tipping pitches, we believe he's in store for a bounce-back season.

And the Astros are going to need him, especially with Justin Verlander and JP France possibly not being available for the start of the season.

What will the rotation look like early on?

The Astros haven't ruled Verlander out yet, so he could be ready to go. But if not, and we base this off what we saw last season. The rotation will likely include Valdez, Javier, Brown, Urquidy, Ronel Blanco, and Brandon Bielak.

Don't miss the video above for the full discussion!

Catch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) with Charlie Pallilo, Brandon Strange, and Josh Jordan every Monday on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel.

We'll continue to drop videos throughout the week!


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