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Zach hopes you made it through your first playoff matchup or advanced into the playoffs in Week 14! Unfortunately the QB streams were pretty disappointing. Tyrod Taylor delivered a decent game that meets our standards but it was still underwhelming given the matchup.
In a huge surprise, Jameis Winston totally flopped on what should have been a golden matchup. Lastly, Brian Hoyer was terrible on Sunday night against the Patriots. In deeper leagues and 2QB Leagues, Hoyer may have killed playoff chances. If you survived, it’s time to move on and look towards the next stream. An obvious mention that I felt didn’t need it’s own writeup: Andrew Luck has a good chance to play this week. If he is unowned, run out and scoop him up!
For this article I will look at two QBs owned in 50% or less of Fleaflicker leagues and another QB owned in 25% or less to account for the QB scarcity in 2QB leagues. The waiver wire is always thinner this time of the year but there is always a good stream if you look hard enough!
Standard League QB Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 15
Alex Smith (KC) @ Ravens
OWNED IN: 48% of Fleaflicker leagues
I recommend Smith about every other week. Last week I shied away and he didn’t meet my threshold of 15 points, so I’ll take that as a positive! He did hit double digits for the 11th straight game. He will definitely continue that streak against the pitiful Ravens. The Ravens are one of the worse teams vs QBs and just got brutalized by Russell Wilson.
Expect the usual Smith with a little more upside than usual. He probably won’t throw an interception (although he did throw one in Week 14 for the first time since Week 3!) and he will probably run for 30 yards. I like his odds of throwing multiple touchdowns here - the Ravens have given up 27 pass touchdowns this season. If he can do that, he’ll give you a really good performance on the high end for Alex Smith.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (NYJ) @ Cowboys
OWNED IN: 43% of Fleaflicker Leagues
Fitzmagic is on fire right now with three straight starts of 24 or more fantasy points. His WR duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker has proven to be too much for defenses to stop lately. The Cowboys are a solid but not great defense, and I don’t think that will be enough to stop this team.
The Cowboys are bottom 10 in points allowed to QBs, but they’ve also allowed double digit fantasy points in seven straight matchups. That ensures a high floor which is good for Fitz. I’m more than happy to gamble on the talent of Fitzpatrick’s wide receivers carrying him to a solid day.
Deeper League QB Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 15
A.J. McCarron (CIN) @ 49ers
OWNED IN: 1% of Fleaflicker Leagues
Yep, I am diving right in here for AJ’s first career start. Dalton is out with a fractured thumb and McCarron is eager to make the most of his opportunity. We saw the good and the bad in the first significant playing time of his career. He threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns. That included a deep pass to A.J. Green and I like seeing the willingness of the offense to go deep with their inexperienced QB. He also had two costly interceptions.
There is also the worry that against the 49ers the Bengals can and will run the ball 30+ times and limit McCarron. My thinking is if you are in a deep league where your options are limited to the lowest owned QBs such as the Manziels, Gabberts and Hasselbeck’s of the world, McCarron in this offense is worth gambling on. I might give Manziel the nod in another week but against the Seahawks he is an easy avoid. Rather than rolling with an old and/or untalented QB, if you are desperate to find a QB plug this week, McCarron is the guy.