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Published: Dec. 10, 2018 at 01:11 a.m.

2018 Week 15 fantasy football waiver-wire targets

With a bizarre opening round of the fantasy playoffs in the books, managers moving on to Week 15 must keep their rosters fresh ahead of the semifinals. A pair of 'Niners, Dante Pettis and Jeff Wilson, are coming off back-to-back strong starts and are obvious adds if they are still on top of your league wire. Here are the rest of the Week 15 pickups:

10 Photos Total

  • While Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (stinger) are both banged up ahead of the Chargers short-week date on Thursday night against the Chiefs, Justin Jackson is another primary add along with Pettis and Wilson. Ekeler handled 17 touches in Week 14 while Jackson had nine, but Jackson could be the lead back if Gordon and/or Ekeler are absent on Thursday night. Kansas City entered last week dead-last in YPC allowed to RBs, further enhancing Jackson's Week 15 outlook. 10

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Justin Jackson, RB, LA Chargers

    While Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (stinger) are both banged up ahead of the Chargers short-week date on Thursday night against the Chiefs, Justin Jackson is another primary add along with Pettis and Wilson. Ekeler handled 17 touches in Week 14 while Jackson had nine, but Jackson could be the lead back if Gordon and/or Ekeler are absent on Thursday night. Kansas City entered last week dead-last in YPC allowed to RBs, further enhancing Jackson's Week 15 outlook.

  • Without Isaiah Crowell (foot) for much of the game, McGuire turned in 80 yards from scrimmage and a score on 20 touches against the Bills. Trusting Jets in fantasy football has not been a prudent strategy this season, but McGuire will be on the RB2/FLEX radar if Crowell's foot injury proves cumbersome. Notably, Crowell was questionable last week with a toe injury. With only Trenton Cannon behind him on the depth chart, McGuire is on track for workhorse touches in Week 15 against Houston's stingy run defense. 9

    Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports

    Elijah McGuire, RB, New York Jets

    Without Isaiah Crowell (foot) for much of the game, McGuire turned in 80 yards from scrimmage and a score on 20 touches against the Bills. Trusting Jets in fantasy football has not been a prudent strategy this season, but McGuire will be on the RB2/FLEX radar if Crowell's foot injury proves cumbersome. Notably, Crowell was questionable last week with a toe injury. With only Trenton Cannon behind him on the depth chart, McGuire is on track for workhorse touches in Week 15 against Houston's stingy run defense.

  • Spencer Ware sharply outplayed Williams, but it was the latter who converted the two short scores inside-the-five in Week 15. Ware smoked Williams (129 to 30) in yards from scrimmage, but Williams played just one more snap than Ware (41 to 40) as the Chiefs' lead back was banged up. Ware injured his shoulder late in the first-half after landing on the ground hard and was noticeably off the field in the Chiefs game-winning drive in overtime. Ware should be fine and remain on the RB2 radar in the fantasy semi-finals, but Williams remains a tentative stash. Kansas City gets the L.A. Chargers on TNF next. 8

    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

    Spencer Ware sharply outplayed Williams, but it was the latter who converted the two short scores inside-the-five in Week 15. Ware smoked Williams (129 to 30) in yards from scrimmage, but Williams played just one more snap than Ware (41 to 40) as the Chiefs' lead back was banged up. Ware injured his shoulder late in the first-half after landing on the ground hard and was noticeably off the field in the Chiefs game-winning drive in overtime. Ware should be fine and remain on the RB2 radar in the fantasy semi-finals, but Williams remains a tentative stash. Kansas City gets the L.A. Chargers on TNF next.

  • With 80 yards and/or a TD in five of his last six games, we must treat Curtis Samuel as an every-week, low-end WR3 from here on out. Cam Newton (shoulder) is not close to 100 percent healthy, but Samuel has been a quiet lead source of targets for Cam over the last six weeks. In this span, Samuel is tied with D.J. Moore for second on the team in targets per game (6.0) while he's seen 11 and 8 passing looks over the last two games without Greg Olsen (foot). Carolina faces New Orleans and Atlanta in Weeks 15-16. 7

    Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports

    Curtis Samuel, WR, Carolina Panthers

    With 80 yards and/or a TD in five of his last six games, we must treat Curtis Samuel as an every-week, low-end WR3 from here on out. Cam Newton (shoulder) is not close to 100 percent healthy, but Samuel has been a quiet lead source of targets for Cam over the last six weeks. In this span, Samuel is tied with D.J. Moore for second on the team in targets per game (6.0) while he's seen 11 and 8 passing looks over the last two games without Greg Olsen (foot). Carolina faces New Orleans and Atlanta in Weeks 15-16.

  • With Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles') season tragically over after a mid-week injury suffered in practice, it comes down to a trio of rookie receivers to finish out the Broncos season. Hamilton (43) ended up leading Denver in routes run while Tim Patrick (37) and Courtland Sutton (31) were second and third, respectively. Hamilton turned in 7/47/1 on his nine targets, scoring late from the one-yard line. Hamilton was a top scorer in Matt Harmon's Reception Perception metrics and will avoid primary coverage against the Browns and Raiders in Weeks 15-16. Hamilton ran 67 percent of his routes from the slot last week, while Hamilton and Sutton both stuck on the outside on 85 percent of pass plays. 6

    Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

    DaeSean Hamilton WR, Denver Broncos

    With Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles') season tragically over after a mid-week injury suffered in practice, it comes down to a trio of rookie receivers to finish out the Broncos season. Hamilton (43) ended up leading Denver in routes run while Tim Patrick (37) and Courtland Sutton (31) were second and third, respectively. Hamilton turned in 7/47/1 on his nine targets, scoring late from the one-yard line. Hamilton was a top scorer in Matt Harmon's Reception Perception metrics and will avoid primary coverage against the Browns and Raiders in Weeks 15-16. Hamilton ran 67 percent of his routes from the slot last week, while Hamilton and Sutton both stuck on the outside on 85 percent of pass plays.

  • With Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles') season tragically over after a mid-week injury suffered in practice, it comes down to a trio of rookie receivers to finish out the Broncos season. Hamilton (43) ended up leading Denver in routes run while Tim Patrick (37) and Courtland Sutton (31) were second and third, respectively. Hamilton turned in 7/47/1 on his nine targets, scoring late from the one-yard line. Hamilton was a top scorer in Matt Harmon's Reception Perception metrics and will avoid primary coverage against the Browns and Raiders in Weeks 15-16. Hamilton ran 67 percent of his routes from the slot last week, while Hamilton and Sutton both stuck on the outside on 85 percent of pass plays. 5

    Josie Lepe/Associated Press

    Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos

    With Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles') season tragically over after a mid-week injury suffered in practice, it comes down to a trio of rookie receivers to finish out the Broncos season. Hamilton (43) ended up leading Denver in routes run while Tim Patrick (37) and Courtland Sutton (31) were second and third, respectively. Hamilton turned in 7/47/1 on his nine targets, scoring late from the one-yard line. Hamilton was a top scorer in Matt Harmon's Reception Perception metrics and will avoid primary coverage against the Browns and Raiders in Weeks 15-16. Hamilton ran 67 percent of his routes from the slot last week, while Hamilton and Sutton both stuck on the outside on 85 percent of pass plays.

  • LeSean McCoy (hamstring) left the Bills' Week 14 bout against the Jets early, allowing Chris Ivory to earn 12 carries. Marcus Murphy actually led the Bills in snap rate (52 percent) while Ivory (39 percent) trailed behind, but Ivory would enter the RB3 conversation if McCoy misses time. Buffalo faces Detroit in Week 15 and New England in Week 16. 4

    Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports

    Chris Ivory, RB, Buffalo Bills

    LeSean McCoy (hamstring) left the Bills' Week 14 bout against the Jets early, allowing Chris Ivory to earn 12 carries. Marcus Murphy actually led the Bills in snap rate (52 percent) while Ivory (39 percent) trailed behind, but Ivory would enter the RB3 conversation if McCoy misses time. Buffalo faces Detroit in Week 15 and New England in Week 16.

  • What is dead may never die. Kenny Stills is back in our fantasy lives just in time for two dates with the Vikings and Jaguars in Weeks 15-16. Still, it was nice to see a ceiling from Stills once again after he roasted the Patriots for 8/135/1 (on a team-leading nine targets). Hilariously, Stills called out Miami's coaching staff for a lack of targets two weeks ago ... and it actually worked. Stills' 35 percent target share over the last two weeks easily leads the Dolphins in this span. Again, Stills' remaining matchups are far from ideal -- but, at the very least, he's on the WR4 radar based on opportunity alone. 3

    Logan Bowles/NFL

    Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins

    What is dead may never die. Kenny Stills is back in our fantasy lives just in time for two dates with the Vikings and Jaguars in Weeks 15-16. Still, it was nice to see a ceiling from Stills once again after he roasted the Patriots for 8/135/1 (on a team-leading nine targets). Hilariously, Stills called out Miami's coaching staff for a lack of targets two weeks ago ... and it actually worked. Stills' 35 percent target share over the last two weeks easily leads the Dolphins in this span. Again, Stills' remaining matchups are far from ideal -- but, at the very least, he's on the WR4 radar based on opportunity alone.

  • Essentially without Greg Olsen (foot) for the last two weeks, Ian Thomas has seen 15 targets and turned them into a reasonable 13/114 receiving line. Now, Thomas' ceiling will remain low until his 4.5 air yards per target rises, but he's a full-time player at a destitute position. Over the last two weeks, Thomas has played on 80 percent of Panthers snaps and ran a pass route on 78 percent of Cam Newton's dropbacks. Carolina faces New Orleans and Atlanta in Weeks 15-16. 2

    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    Ian Thomas, TE, Carolina Panthers

    Essentially without Greg Olsen (foot) for the last two weeks, Ian Thomas has seen 15 targets and turned them into a reasonable 13/114 receiving line. Now, Thomas' ceiling will remain low until his 4.5 air yards per target rises, but he's a full-time player at a destitute position. Over the last two weeks, Thomas has played on 80 percent of Panthers snaps and ran a pass route on 78 percent of Cam Newton's dropbacks. Carolina faces New Orleans and Atlanta in Weeks 15-16.

  • Gus Edwards (16 touches, 46 percent snap rate) still led the backfield in the Ravens' heartbreaking OT loss against the Chiefs, but Kenneth Dixon (9 touches, 30 percent snap rate) isn't too far behind. Dixon out-gained Edwards (80 to 67) in Week 14 and has been efficient on his 29 carries this season, forcing seven missed tackles and earning 3.5 yards after contact per attempt (per PFF). If Lamar Jackson starts again in Week 15, Dixon will be a sneaky PPR FLEX play against a Bucs' side yielding the third-most fantasy points per touch to opposing backs. 1

    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens

    Gus Edwards (16 touches, 46 percent snap rate) still led the backfield in the Ravens' heartbreaking OT loss against the Chiefs, but Kenneth Dixon (9 touches, 30 percent snap rate) isn't too far behind. Dixon out-gained Edwards (80 to 67) in Week 14 and has been efficient on his 29 carries this season, forcing seven missed tackles and earning 3.5 yards after contact per attempt (per PFF). If Lamar Jackson starts again in Week 15, Dixon will be a sneaky PPR FLEX play against a Bucs' side yielding the third-most fantasy points per touch to opposing backs.