Skip to main content

Waiver Wire

Presented By

2023 NFL fantasy football waiver wire, Week 15: QB Matt Stafford, WR Odell Beckham among top targets

I won't lie to you all. This was a tough week of fantasy football. Unless you're rostering Deebo Samuel or were among the loyal managers to start Cooper Kupp, the wide receiver landscape felt pretty barren. And somehow, we lost a couple more starting quarterbacks. Can we change the rules to get some of these 2024 NFL Draft quarterbacks called up to the big leagues early? Assuming we cannot, we'll need to look at the waiver wire instead. 

If you're reading this right now, you probably made playoffs -- congratulations! That means this week's waiver moves arguably will be the most crucial of the season. Let's make them good ones.

As always, these are the most intriguing players who are rostered in less than 60 percent of leagues. If you have questions, my DMs are open: @MattOkada on Twitter ... or X ... or whatever it is.


Matthew Stafford
Los Angeles Rams


Want 23 fantasy points from your quarterback? Let me introduce you to Matthew “23 Points, I Guarantee It” Stafford. As it turns out, having Kyren Williams and Cooper Kupp both on the field alongside Puka Nacua is quite the recipe for success. Since Williams returned in Week 12, Stafford has thrown 10 touchdowns in three games. Prior to that, he had thrown nine over the entire season. He’s scored 23.4, 23.0 and 23.7 fantasy points in those three games. Most bafflingly of all, the last two were against the Browns and Ravens, two of the toughest matchups for quarterbacks in the entire league. But this week's opponent, Washington, is the complete opposite. Only Philadelphia has allowed more fantasy points to QBs this season. Unless Stafford turns back into a pumpkin this Sunday, he is set up for an absolute smash play against the Commanders. I’d consider him a must-start -- if you don’t have one of the top guys, pick Stafford up and stream him.

Jake Browning
Cincinnati Bengals


If Browning keeps playing like this, we’re going to get some keyboard warriors labeling Joe Burrow a “system quarterback” before long. After throwing for 354 yards and posting two TDs (one passing, one rushing) in Week 13, Browning’s encore against the Colts resulted in 275 yards, two passing scores and another rushing score. He has recorded more than 50 fantasy points over the last two weeks. The visiting Vikings should theoretically be a tougher opponent than either of those last two, but we don’t need 25 points from Browning to feel good about starting him. In this injury-riddled day and age, we’ll take 16-to-18 points from a fantasy starter. That should be more than doable, given the way Browning and the Cincy offense are playing in Burrow’s absence.

Joe Flacco
Cleveland Browns


In his first game “off the couch” back in Week 13, Flacco was surprisingly serviceable and earned a spot in last week’s waiver article ahead of a great matchup with the Jaguars. To be honest, even I didn’t expect 311 yards and three touchdowns from the old vet, but you won’t hear any complaints from me! Flacco is now averaging 18.3 fantasy points per game (in two starts), making him a top-10 quarterback in the metric ... ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. No, I can’t explain it, either, except to say that he’s clearly a capable signal-caller who has Amari Cooper and a red-hot David Njoku to throw to (along with a recently productive Elijah Moore and a couple solid backs). And he’s throwing a lot, which is obviously good for fantasy. He also got the nod from head coach Kevin Stefanski to be Cleveland's starter for the rest of the season. The Bears aren’t as soft a matchup as Jacksonville, so I’m not betting on 20 fantasy points again this Sunday. But just like with Browning, we will be grateful for 16-to-18 points, which Flacco is very capable of providing.

Baker Mayfield
Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Mayfield finally turned in another “stud” game on Sunday, thanks to two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground. That said, he totaled 144 passing yards, which was rather discouraging, and has now averaged just 182 per game over the past three weeks. The Packers have not been the friendliest matchup for quarterbacks, either. Am I excited? Not really. But the way things are at QB, excitement is a luxury reserved for the managers rostering Josh Allen and Dak Prescott. For the rest of us, Mayfield has been regularly useful enough to remain in the streamer conversation (especially in two-QB leagues) before this week's trip to Lambeau.


Ezekiel Elliott
New England Patriots


If Zeke isn’t already rostered in your league, it’s going to be an absolute brawl to get him. With Rhamondre Stevenson out on Thursday Night Football, Elliott stepped up to the tune of 27 fantasy points and the RB1 finish on the week. Elliott compiled a whopping 30 opportunities, including eight targets (of which he caught seven for 72 yards and a touchdown) and totaled 140 yards on the night. His involvement in the passing game is absolutely elite and will keep Elliott in the starter conversation no matter how bad New England's offense performs down the stretch. I’ll be completely unsurprised if Elliott is held out of the end zone the rest of the season and still remains an RB2 or better in PPR, with an extremely high volume-based floor. And if the Patriots do manage to make their way into the red zone and Elliott finds the painted area, his ceiling could be league-winning through the fantasy playoffs. 

Jerick McKinnon
Kansas City Chiefs


Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Kansas City Chiefs


There was quite the heated debate across the fantasy community as to whether McKinnon or Edwards-Helaire would pick up more of the slack with Isiah Pacheco out in Week 14. Things went much as I expected, based on head coach Andy Reid’s comments on the subject: CEH handled the majority of carries (11, to McKinnon’s four), while McKinnon had the edge in routes run (18 to 16) and seemed to be the go-to guy in the red zone and near the goal line (leading to his 7-yard rushing touchdown near halftime). McKinnon has been a consistent weapon for Kansas City inside the 10 for a couple years now (even with Pacheco active), and I expect that to continue moving forward. We are waiting to hear anything useful or conclusive on whether Pacheco will return this week, but don’t forget that McKinnon became a fantasy playoff savior last year even with Pacheco on the field. I like McKinnon as an add regardless -- and Edwards-Helaire as a speculative pickup if the news trends poorly on Pacheco.

Keaton Mitchell
Baltimore Ravens


It was an odd day for the Ravens in Sunday’s 37-31 overtime win over the Rams. Lamar Jackson threw the ball 43 times (which tied his career high) and, likely as a result of all the dropbacks, Justice Hill led the running backs in snaps (despite zero carries). Meanwhile, Mitchell out-snapped (24 to 19) and out-carried (nine to six) Gus Edwards over the course of the game, taking his 10 touches for 62 total yards. He continues to be Baltimore’s most explosive and efficient back, leaving all of us asking the same question: When will Mitchell get the usage he deserves? Here’s hoping it’s in Week 15, when he and the Ravens draw a Jaguars defense that’s looked very beatable recently, allowing double-digit fantasy points to six different running backs over their last five games. This figures to be another high-scoring game and hopefully one in which the Ravens can play their style of offense more comfortably. Mitchell is a low-end flex with high-end upside.

Chase Brown
Cincinnati Bengals


Speaking of Keaton Mitchell, we previously called him De’Von Achane Lite. Well, Bengals rookie Chase Brown is starting to look like De’Von Achane Lite 2.0. He’s a fifth-round pick out of Illinois who has exploded onto the scene with 166 yards on 20 touches over the past two weeks. He had a 31-yard run in Week 13 against Jacksonville (on the eighth carry of his career) and then scored a 54-yard touchdown on a screen pass early in the win over the Colts on Sunday. Obviously, Joe Mixon is the unquestioned bell-cow back in this offense, but Brown just put up 19.5 fantasy points in a game where Mixon had 24 touches. Plus, we are in the business of ‘stacheing handcuffs to high-volume backs (SEE: Ezekiel Elliott) in our pursuit of league-winners. Brown has that kind of potential. If you have an extra roster spot, tuck him away.

GUYS TO 'STACHE: There's only one. He is the one. Tyjae Spears. The fantasy playoffs are a time for starting your studs and 'stacheing your future studs. I've been saying it all year: If anything happens to Derrick Henry, Spears will win fantasy championships. But he's only going to win you yours if he's on your roster. Plus, as seen in his 17.8-point fantasy performance on Monday Night Football, he can be confidently flexed in the right matchups. Add him. Please.


Odell Beckham
Baltimore Ravens


The four catches for a team-high 97 yards and a touchdown were excellent for OBJ, no question. But I’m most excited by his 10 targets, tied with Zay Flowers for most on the team. Not only that -- he received those targets on just 25 routes (fourth-most on the team), which translates to a target on 40 percent of his routes. That’s beyond elite. Now, your projections for Beckham moving forward will depend heavily on whether you evaluate those numbers as a pessimist or an optimist. On the one hand, he ran fewer routes than Nelson Agholor. On the other, he was heavily featured when on the field, capitalizing massively on his opportunities and looking great in the process. The next three games on the schedule -- at Jacksonville, at San Francisco and vs. Miami -- could all require Lamar Jackson to throw in high-scoring affairs. If OBJ remains highly involved, he could have a surprisingly relevant fantasy playoff run.

Jayden Reed
Green Bay Packers


Reed has been a mainstay of the waiver column for a large chunk of the season, but this might be his last week on the wire. The Packers rookie took 12 total touches (eight catches, four carries) for 65 total yards and a touchdown on Monday Night Football, hitting double-digit fantasy points for the fourth time in the last five weeks. The efficiency was more than a little lacking, but the involvement was again superb, and it's becoming hard to argue with the results: Specifically, the fact that Reed has scored a touchdown in each of those aforementioned four weeks (two through the air, two on the ground). He's Deebo Samuel Lite -- and a legitimate flex play as a result.

Zay Jones
Jacksonville Jaguars


Jones caught five passes for 29 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Browns. Even in PPR, that’s pretty mediocre. Here’s what you might’ve missed with that stat line: He had a team-high 14 targets and ran 50 routes, second on the team only to Calvin Ridley (53). Jones and Trevor Lawrence simply could not get on the same page in this one, which was rather disappointing after they connected for 78 yards on five completions on Monday Night Football in Week 13 (largely in relief of Christian Kirk following his injury). It’s very possible some of that can be attributed to Lawrence playing through injury, as he had a 37 percent completion rate throwing to all his wideouts in this game (in a tough matchup). The Ravens, who are on the slate in Week 15, aren’t particularly kind to receivers, either, though they did just get torched by Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua, so Jones may be flex-able this Sunday night. And perhaps more importantly, in Week 16, the Jags get the Buccaneers, who have been an outright sieve to opposing passing attacks. I think Jones has the potential to be a startable WR3 the rest of the season.

Demarcus Robinson
Los Angeles Rams


If I had asked you which team Robinson plays for in 2023 (before you saw the label above), would you have been able to correctly answer? He didn’t have a target until Week 9 and didn’t have a relevant fantasy day until Week 13 against the Browns. That being said, his breakout vs. Cleveland resulted in 15.5 fantasy points -- and he followed it up on Sunday with 13.6 points in the overtime loss to the Ravens (with 46 yards and a touchdown). More importantly, like with both OBJ and Jones above, the real story here was the usage. Robinson tied Cooper Kupp for the team-lead with both 10 targets and 42 routes run. It won’t be easy for Robinson to turn in consistent fantasy performances with Kupp and Puka Nacua playing like they are, but this kind of involvement can’t be ignored. Plus, this week, they all get the Commanders, who are right up with the Eagles as the best matchups for fantasy wide receivers this season. If you need to stream a wide receiver for some reason, Robinson would be one of my first looks.

Noah Brown
Houston Texans


A week after Tank Dell’s season-ending injury, Nico Collins left Sunday’s game early with a calf injury and then C.J. Stroud exited in concussion protocol. That left Brown as the go-to target for ... Davis Mills. He finished with zero catches on five targets. It’s a mess in Houston. As it stands right now, Brown hasn’t had a catch since Week 10 ... when he had seven for 172 yards, which perfectly encapsulates the range of outcomes for the receiver moving forward. If Collins misses time and Stroud does not, I think Brown might become the top receiver pickup of the week (possibly the top add at any position). If, on the other hand, Collins plays and Stroud is out, Brown becomes next-to-useless for fantasy. If the news is vague come Tuesday night, throw in a claim for Brown and keep your ears open throughout the week.

Josh Palmer
Los Angeles Chargers


Palmer had his 21-day window to return from injured reserve opened last Wednesday and could be back on the field this Thursday against the Raiders. Unfortunately for the Chargers, it might be too little too late, as the team is all but out of playoff contention, and Justin Herbert is dealing with a finger injury. Fortunately for Palmer and anyone brave enough to add him off waivers, no one has stepped up as the No. 2 option on the team. In his three games playing the vast majority of snaps this year, Palmer scored 10.7, 10.0 and 18.3 fantasy points. He can absolutely hit those kinds of numbers against the Raiders’ secondary next week, even with Easton Stick in at quarterback. If you need a sneaky flex play for the first round of playoffs, Palmer is on the table.


Isaiah Likely
Baltimore Ravens


Do me favor and go read last week’s blurb on Likely. He should have been on your roster (and in your lineup) for Sunday’s contest against the Rams. Instead, he scored 19.3 fantasy points on waivers or benches in the vast majority of leagues. Let’s remedy that in Week 15, shall we? At the very least, if you have a top-five guy, add the Ravens tight end so your league mates can’t. If you don’t have one of those elite few, add Likely and consider starting him. He’s in the mix with the recently hot David Njokus and Evan Engrams of the world -- i.e., he should be started in every league unless he’s being ‘stached as a backup to Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson or Sam LaPorta.

GUYS TO 'STACHE: Hopefully, you're not this desperate. If you are, I'm sorry. But let's get you some names. Coming out of the late bye, Logan Thomas gets to face the Rams in Week 15. He has the talent and opportunity to capitalize on what has been one of the top matchups for streaming tight ends this season -- I'd consider him a legitimate TE1 this week. More often than not, Cade Otton comes in right around eight to nine fantasy points. He's not going to blow you away, but if you need a spot starter, you could do worse. Gerald Everett has also lived in that eight-to-nine-point realm recently, with upside for 14-to-15 if he can find the end zone (which, admittedly, might happen less if Justin Herbert is out). Bengals tight end Tanner Hudson has looked kind of good recently and scored his his first touchdown in Sunday's win over the Colts. Yay.



Pick up the Colts. Start the Colts. Keep starting the Colts. This is very straightforward. Despite allowing 34 points (and recording zero sacks) against the shockingly competent Jake Browning-led Bengals, Indianapolis scored yet another defensive touchdown to continue their hot stretch of D/ST production. And this week, Indy draws the Mitch Trubisky-led Steelers at home. An interception is essentially guaranteed, no? Maybe two! Another score is feasible. Fire up this Colts unit.


We had the Saints as a top-tier stream last week against Carolina and they turned in a 21-point banger of a performance (likely helping some of you into the fantasy playoffs). We ride with the hot hand in Week 15, as New Orleans draws Tommy DeVito and the Giants at home. Big Blue is the most sacked team in football. I would not be surprised to see the Saints go back-to-back as the top D/ST on the week.


The Bengals' defense had a stretch of fantasy uselessness in recent weeks, but they looked a bit better (with 11 fantasy points) in Sunday’s win over the Colts and draw the Vikings in Week 15. The Vikings who benched Joshua Dobbs for Nick Mullens this past Sunday -- and still scored just three points (... and somehow won). We don’t yet know who will start under center for Minnesota, and I could not care less. Whether it’s Dobbs, Mullens or Jaren Hall, I’m happy to fire up a Cincy defense looking to fight its way into the AFC playoffs.


It’s hard to know what to make of this Falcons defense for fantasy: The unit has scored 12-plus fantasy points in two of their last four ... but also scored five or fewer in eight games on the year. Fortunately, it’s much easier to make sense of the Panthers' offense: It’s really bad. Like, really, really bad. Since Carolina's bye in Week 7, the Panthers have scored fewer than 20 points in seven straight games (averaging just 12.1 PPG in that span). You can consider literally anyone against this offense, and Atlanta's defense has shown enough flashes to make it a legitimate start in Week 15.

Related Content