Top waiver wire pickups for Week 15
Note: This list includes only players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Josh McCown (CHI): Go ahead and ask your friends who they think the league leader in QBR is. I would be willing to bet that most of them say Peyton Manning, but the correct answer is Josh McCown, who boasts an impressive 85.72 mark. McCown has started only five games this season, and while we all know that he has played well the absence of Jay Cutler, you may be shocked to see how great his numbers are when extrapolated across a full season - 4,938 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns, and three interceptions. Those would be MVP-caliber numbers. As long as McCown is starting behind center, he should be owned in fantasy leagues. The Bears will take on a strong Browns defense this weekend, but McCown should still be worth starting for a lot of owners.
Jason Campbell (CLE): I would not imagine that any owners who have made it to the semi-finals would have to resort to Campbell, but if you do, it's not the worst thing in the world. After posting 391 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, Campbell is now averaging 298.5 yards in his four full games, putting up nine touchdowns and three interceptions in those contests. Next on the schedule are the Bears, whose run defense has been so horrendous that it's derailing the entire defensive unit.
Toby Gerhart (MIN): Adrian Peterson is dealing with a mid-foot injury, which is an ailment that can really slow down a running back. Peterson looks like a major long shot to suit up for Week 15, and with the Vikings out of playoff contention, he may be shut down for the rest of the year. Gerhart is dealing with a hamstring injury, but he appears more likely than not to suit up this week. If he can play, he should be in for 20+ touches against the Eagles' 22nd ranked run defense - that workload alone should be enough to give any player consideration as a starter. Even if the Vikings fall behind, Gerhart is more than serviceable in the passing game.
Jordan Todman (JAX): Todman was already rotating pretty heavily into the Jaguars' backfield, and he could have a golden opportunity to carry the weight this week if Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) doesn't suit up. Keep in mind that MJD has averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and 55.3 yards per game on the season - Todman's upside will be limited by a poor offensive line (the Jaguars' run blocking ranks dead last - by a lot - according to Pro Football Focus). That being said, a potential heavy workload against the Bills' 26th ranked run defense makes Todman worth rostering.
Daniel Thomas (MIA): Yet another injury has a player on waivers looking like a potential difference maker. This time the injury is a concussion to Lamar Miller. After Miller was forced from the game in Week 14, Thomas trotted out and exploded for 105 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries. Miller looks to have a solid chance at suiting up this week, but you never know with concussions. If Miller can't go, Thomas will get a full workload against the Patriots' 31st ranked run defense.
Chris Ogbonnaya (CLE): As I mentioned when speaking of Jason Campbell, the Browns are playing the Bears this week. Whatever player is taking handoffs for Cleveland should be considered as a possible fantasy starter. With Willis McGahee making his way through concussion protocol, that player could be Ogbonnaya. The Bears have allowed a running back to top a hundred yards in each of their past six games. Ogbonnaya is also a good pass catcher, so the game situation shouldn't affect his fantasy production. He is certainly worth picking up in case McGahee can't go.
James Starks (GB): Eddie Lacy got knocked out on his first carry back in Week 2, and Starks filled in with 20 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown, adding four catches for 36 yards. Lacy is now dealing with an ankle injury that he admitted was slowing him down in Week 14. Though he'll probably play through the ailment, there is a chance that Lacy sits out against the Cowboys this weekend, which would leave Starks in a featured role. Lacy owners should grab Starks as insurance, while other owners who can't get the aforementioned players should consider rolling the dice on Lacy not playing.