We're nearing the end. Not the end of the world (although, maybe depending on who you ask), but we're nearing the end of the fantasy season. As such, not only are the top waiver-wire options thinning out each week, but it makes my job of trying to highlight "deep" targets even more ardous. Below are a few rotational running backs who could be flexed in deeper leagues, a few runners to stash for a rainy (read: injury-filled) day, and a few pass-catchers potentially.
Here's what else Week 15 has to offer on the waiver wire.
Deep waiver targets for Week 15:
Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens - 14.4 percent owned
Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants - 6.3 percent owned
Mike Gillislee, RB, Buffalo Bills - 9.6 percent owned
Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders - 8.0 percent owned
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals - 1.1 percent owned
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 15.5 percent owned
Damien Williams, RB, Miami Dolphins - 0.6 percent owned
Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins - 4.1 percent owned
Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets - 0.2 percent owned
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals - 5.0 percent owned
Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens - 0.6 percent owned
A.J. Derby, TE, Denver Broncos -
First, let's talk about Matt Harmon's favorite duo of future Hall of Fame late-round rookie backs, Kenneth Dixon and Paul Perkins. Dixon looks like the better add, as he has a defined role in an offense that could be hitting it's stride late in the season. He's also shown more as a runner and pass-catcher in 2016, and offers low-end flex appeal with an added boost in PPR formats. Perkins has played between 30 and 40 percent of the offensive snaps the last six weeks, but his best fantasy performance was a 47 total-yard outing in Week 9. The Giants backfield remains a mess and Shane Vereen just returned from IR, further clouding this group's outlook. Perkins is worth a stash, but is near impossible to trust in the fantasy playoffs.
Mike Gillislee is a goal-line back on a run-heavy team and the primary handcuff to LeSean McCoy. He should be owned in far more leagues at this point in the season as he's one Shady injury away from being a fringe RB1. Jalen Richard continues to operate as the Raiders No. 2 running back and is the top handcuff for Latavius Murray (RIP DeAndre Washington). His upside and path to touches isn't as clear as a back like Gillislee's but he deserves more attention.
Other handcuffs worth considering: Andre Ellington, Jacquizz Rodgers and Damien Williams. Each backs up a workhorse runner and is available in the vast majority of NFL.com leagues. Bilal Powell's dominant Week 14 performance and Melvin Gordon's injury further illustrate the importance of stashing secondary running backs this time of year.
With DeVante Parker still struggling to perform consistently, Kenny Stills is happy to pick up the slack. His value takes a hit with Ryan Tannehill (ACL) likely done for the year, but an upcoming matchup with a Jets defense that seems to have all but given up evens things out a bit. He's a a huge boom-or-bust play for Week 15, but showed a decent connection with backup quarterback Matt Moore against the Cardinals on Sunday. Speaking of the Jets, it appears chasing the points and targets with Robby Anderson was the right move. In the last two weeks the rookie speedster has seen 36.7 percent of Bryce Petty's pass attempts come his way and has turned that into 10 catches, 160 yards and a touchdown. The Miami secondary is tough to read right now, but Anderson's volume makes him worth a look.
Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell remain locked in a battle to be the Bengals' new No. 1 wide receiver while A.J. Green is out. Including Week 11, when Green suffered his injury, Boyd has out-produced LaFell by nearly 100 total yards (271 to 187), while each has scored one touchdown. Boyd's 21 receptions to LaFell's 15 also give him an added boost in PPR, as LaFell is more often deployed as a deep threat. The Bengals take on the Steelers this week in a tough matchup, though. Breshad Perriman is still fighting for snaps in Baltimore, but as we saw in Week 13 he only needs one play to make a difference in fantasy. It'll be interesting to see his usage against the Patriots on Monday night. An uptick in playing time or a few more splashy catches could make him more of a priorty add this week on waivers.
In his last two games with Trevor Siemian as the quarterback, A.J. Derby has stat lines of 4-43-0 and 5-57-0, catching 100 percent of his targets in those contests. While he did lose a costly fumble in Week 14 against the Titans, that consistent production makes him a safe play at a position that has been one of fantasy's most frustrating in 2016. Also, Derby is set for a #revenge game against the Patriots in Week 15, if you're into that sort of narrative.