The Waiver Wizard Week 15 2023

By Evan Tarracciano
Evan Tarracciano

The transition from the regular season to the Fantasy playoffs has finally arrived for most leagues, allowing the cream of the crop to rise and the remainder to fall by the wayside. Fingers crossed that my advice provided aided you somewhat in the endeavor, and if you’ve made it this far – congratulations.

Ideally speaking, you don’t want to tinker with your roster too much at this point. After all, they have carried you this far, so barring a game-changing player being dropped to the waiver wire or a rookie magically ascending late in the season, I’d be wary of making too many sweeping changes. The old “start the players that got you there” adage rings true.

That doesn’t mean that if you are in a situation where streaming a position isn’t worth re-examining, or perhaps there is an incredibly advantageous matchup that you wish to exploit. That said, here are a few players that I’d consider adding or pivoting to, should the scenario present itself.


Jake Browning (28 percent rostered) – Browning has played exceptionally well since taking over for Joe Burrow in Cincinnati, capped by his 275 yard, three touchdown effort this past weekend in a victory over Indianapolis. Browning has five total touchdowns to just one interception the last two weeks, and has shown a knack to get all of the Bengals playmakers involved, rather than just focusing on Ja’Marr Chase. This past weekend, nine players caught passes from Browning, and no one had more than four targets. His ability to spread the ball around and utilize everyone may cap the upside of a Chase or Higgins, but it does make it much more difficult on opposing defenses, since they can’t just take away one player and feel comfortable. In Week 15, Browning squares off against the Minnesota Vikings – a team that has surrendered the fourth-most completions and the second-highest completion percentage (69.6 %). Both teams are fighting for their collective playoff lives, and I expect this matchup to be a solid watch.

Joe Flacco (4 percent rostered) – I feel like I’ve been transported back in time, writing about Flacco. Though I initially snickered when I saw that the Cleveland Browns were making him the starter over Dorian Thompson-Robinson, he has played well enough to be dubbed the starter for the rest of the season, following the Browns 31-27 upset against Jacksonville this past weekend. In his two games started, Flacco has thrown five touchdowns to just two interceptions, and is averaging almost 300 passing yards per game. He isn’t a running threat (nor ever was), but he does have the ability to progress through his reads quickly, and Cleveland is ripe with talent at receiver. The Browns square off against the hapless Chicago Bears in Week 15, a defense that has allowed the fourth-highest completion percentage (67.6%), and third-most passing touchdowns (24). Flacco might not be a particularly sexy name, but he’s good enough to get a spot start if necessary.



Chase Brown (2 percent rostered) – A fifth-round rookie selection out of Illinois, Brown has definitely caught my attention the last two weeks, when afforded opportunities to spell Joe Mixon. Finally able to shake a lingering hamstring injury that plagued him in the middle of the year, Brown has had two solid outings of late, totaling 17 carries for 86 yards with three receptions and a touchdown over that stretch. His fresh legs are noticeable versus the plodding nature of Mixon, and Brown is by far the more explosive option of the two. Now part of a near 60-40 split in the backfield, Brown has seen enough work of late to warrant FLEX consideration in most standard-size formats. As mentioned earlier in my column with Jake Browning, Cincinnati squares off against the Vikings in Week 15, and I expect that to be a higher scoring affair than others anticipate. Don’t be surprised to see Brown eclipse the 13-15 point PPR mark again, and find himself amongst the top 15 scorers at the running back position.

Rico Dowdle (8 percent rostered) – In a clear effort to keep Tony Pollard fresh for the playoffs, Dallas has begun to divide carries in the backfield nearly evenly between the two players, and Dowdle set a season-high with 13 total touches in a week 14 drubbing of the Philadelphia Eagles. A compact, powerfully built back, Dowdle excels as an inside runner with one-cut-and-go tendencies. Even more exciting for his value (to the chagrin of Pollard managers) is the fact that Dallas has begun to use Dowdle around the goal line, since he has been so successful at converting short-yardage situations. Dallas takes on the Buffalo Bills in Week 15, in a game that is must-win for Buffalo to keep their playoff hopes alive. I expect them to throw the kitchen sink and more in an effort to claim victory – this game has a sneaky feeling that it might go to overtime on a last-second field goal. Given how well Dak Prescott and Dallas have been playing lately, claiming a piece of the offense (in addition to getting an upside
handcuff) is a smart move.



Parker Washington (2 percent rostered) – I spoke about Washington in my last Sirius XM segment with Bob Haris and guest-host Adam Ronis regarding my thoughts on Washington, stating that his high snap percentage and inherited role made him an attractive stash-add for Week 15 – hopefully you listened. Washington finished with yet another touchdown in a comeback effort against Cleveland, and appeared a more capable target than Zay Jones. A 5’10, 212 lb. slot receiver taken in the sixth round, Washington has the bulk to out-muscle nickel cornerbacks on slant routes, when afforded the chance. With the Jaguars defense struggling to stop anyone of late, Trevor Lawrence and Co. have been forced into a pass-first script. The Jaguars face an extremely difficult Baltimore Ravens secondary in Week 15, and I expect this to be another negative game script that Jacksonville will need to overcome.

Demarcus Robinson (1 percent rostered) – I’ll fully admit that this is more of a stash-and-wait play rather than someone who I would immediately roll out there, but Robinson has me interested. Universally available across all formats, he has seen 15 targets over the last two weeks for Los Angeles, and has secured a touchdown in consecutive contests. He remains entrenched behind Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua on the Rams depth chart, but his recent usage is encouraging, to say the least. A veteran in the league since 2017, Robinson is a player that finds relevance in short spurts, burning bright before flaming out mightily. Now comes the question – have we already seen the best of his 2023 campaign, or will he be Fantasy viable for a longer period? The Rams face the Washington Commanders in Week 15, a defense who has surrendered the most passing touchdowns (30) in the league, and has generated the second-fewest interceptions (6). I wouldn’t be surprised if Matthew Stafford is able to pick them apart and find Robinson in pay dirt yet again.



Isaiah Likely (45 percent) – I’ll admit that I’m breaking my cardinal rule here and writing about a player rostered in over 40 percent of leagues, but with full disclosure – this position continues to be a total mess and crap shoot, and I didn’t want to endorse a weaker candidate. The Tanner Hudson, Adam Trautman and Tyler Conklin grouping wasn’t particularly appealing, and Likely had a fantastic 5-83-1 game that I wanted to briefly touch upon. Likely has appeared much more comfortable of late while filling in for Mark Andrews, and unlike earlier in the year when he struggled with running crisp routes and getting the attention of Lamar Jackson, he appears to be a solid focal point in the passing game now. I don’t expect Baltimore to attempt 43 passes each week, and they also square off against a reeling defense in Jacksonville. This should be a fantastic game to watch in Week 15, and I’m anticipating Likely finding the end zone yet again, as the Jaguars attempt to limit the damage from Zay Flowers or Odell Beckham Jr. on the outside instead.