The first round of the fantasy playoffs in typical leagues is just about in the books, with Monday’s Vikings-Seahawks matchup the only remaining game on the board. No player who’s on the waiver wire in most leagues emerged in Week 14 as someone who should jump right into lineups in the playoff semifinals, but it still should be an active week on the wire, with a couple of possible significant backfield changes in New York. That’s where we begin with our early look at the Week 15 waiver wire.
Elijah McGuire, RB, Jets
McGuire was clearly the best back in the Jets’ backfield in the team’s 27-23 win over the Bills on Sunday, racking up 17 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three of four targets for 23 yards, ranking second on the team in all three of those stats to Robby Anderson. Isaiah Crowell was questionable for most of the week, and left the game early, opening the door for McGuire. Crowell ran the ball well in Week 13 against the Titans, he has had fewer than 50 yards in seven of his last eight games. In other words, the Jets would be wise to see exactly what they have in McGuire, a second-year back out of Louisiana. Should McGuire be in line for 15 opportunities (carries plus targets) per game the rest of the season, he’d stick on the low-end RB2 and flex radars in most leagues.
Chris Ivory, RB, Bills
LeSean McCoy left the Bills’ 27-23 loss to the Jets on Sunday with a hamstring injury in the first half and did not return to the game. Ivory took over the reins of the backfield in his absence, carrying the ball 12 times for 42 yards. Well, the better way to say it is that Ivory shared the reins of the backfield with Josh Allen, who had another big day on the ground, picking up 101 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Should McCoy miss any time, Ivory would take over as the starting running back for the Bills. They host the Lions in Week 15, and Ivory would likely rate as a low-end flex play in most leagues should he get the start.
Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers
Samuel had another useful fantasy day in the Panthers’ 26-20 loss to the Browns, catching four of eight targets for 80 yards. He led the team in receiving yards and was tied for second in targets behind tight end Ian Thomas. Samuel first played more than half of Carolina’s snaps in Week 12. That week, he totaled 42 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on three touches. Last week, playing nearly 90% of the snaps, he caught six of 11 targets for 88 yards, and then followed it up with Sunday’s four-catch, 80-yard effort. With Devin Funchess putting up a goose egg on Sunday and the Panthers’ season falling apart week by week, we should see plenty of Samuel for the rest of the fantasy playoffs.
Kenny Stills, WR, Dolphins
Stills had one of his best games of the season on Sunday, hauling in eight of nine targets for 135 yards and a touchdown in the Dolphins’ shocking 34-33 win over the Patriots. In Ryan Tannehill’s eight starts this season, Stills has 27 receptions on 43 targets for 419 yards and five touchdowns. In Stills’s other four games, he has five catches on nine targets for 85 yards and one score. He’s a much more viable play when Tannehill is under center, and is a worthy pickup heading into Week 15, even if you’re only adding him for depth purposes.