Fantasy football waiver wire: 5 running backs to target for Week 15
The fantasy playoffs are underway. Which running backs should you look to on the wire?
With only two weeks left in the fantasy football season, the waiver wire is mostly an afterthought in re-draft leagues. Either you’re comfortable with the running back corps you have now, or you’re out of the playoffs and stopped paying attention.
For other league formats, there are still plenty of reasons to scour the wire. Owners in keeper/dynasty leagues can start looking for 2015 breakout candidates at a premium, while daily streaming players have no shortage of bargain gems to dig for. Let’s look at some of those potential gems, owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (48 percent) — The Raiders made some noise about making Murray part of a timeshare, but they know who the better back is, and so do we. Making his return from a concussion, Murray recorded 85 total yards on 25 touches against the San Francisco 49ers. By comparison, Darren McFadden saw just four touches and Maurice Jones-Drew was an afterthought with only one snap all game. There’s a new top dog in Oakland’s backfield, and he’s worth RB2/flex consideration in next week’s rematch with the Kansas City Chiefs. The last time these teams met, Murray racked up 112 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries.
Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints (42 percent) — The Saints had no answer for the Carolina Panthers‘ resurgent defense and Thomas was one of the victims, getting 52 total yards on nine touches. He remains the pass-catching specialist in New Orleans’ backfield and has an appealing matchup with the Chicago Bears next week, so PPR owners probably shouldn’t jump ship yet.
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (40 percent) — See what happens when you stop trying to make DeAngelo Williams happen? Stewart showed that he has plenty of gas in the tank, exploding for 155 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries against the Saints. He’s been on a tear in the past two weeks, racking up 240 rushing yards on 32 carries. The question, as always, is the inexplicable timeshare he has with Williams, who is due to come back in Week 15. That makes Stewart a mere flex play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he’s been playing too good to leave on your bench.
Knile Davis, Kansas City Chiefs (40 percent) — This is a speculative add and Davis is more of a 2015 prospect than someone you can trust in the fantasy prospects. But if you have Jamaal Charles, now is the time to handcuff him. Charles briefly left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury and head coach Andy Reid admitted that he’s dealing with multiple lingering injuries. We don’t expect Charles to miss next week’s tasty matchup with the Raiders, but Davis is someone you should have on speed dial just in case.
Kerwynn Williams, Arizona Cardinals (three percent) — Bruce Arians is becoming the Bill Belichick of the West Coast. When Andre Ellington went down for the season, many people expected the Cardinals to use Stepfan Taylor and Marion Grice in some kind of rotation. Instead, it was the second-year Williams who got the breakout week, with 19 carries for 100 yards against the Chiefs. Williams might be a one-week wonder and you’re playing with fire if you start him against the St. Louis Rams Thursday, but he’s someone to watch in dynasty leagues.