By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston)- The fantasy playoffs got underway in Week 14, and boy was it an interesting day.
After going 13 weeks with only a handful of serious injuries to fantasy contributors, Week 14 saw several talented players go down. Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley, DeVante Parker, Mark Andrews, Jared Cook and Josh Jacobs all missed time due to injuries, just to name a few, and all are either out or major question marks for Week 15.
As we’ve discussed all season, fantasy football is all about opportunity. With a lot of players getting hurt this past Sunday, it looks like it will be a very busy day on the waiver wire.
Here are the top waiver wire adds heading into Week 15, or the fantasy semifinals.
QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans– It can no longer be denied; Tannehill is a bona fide QB1. Going up against the Oakland Raiders, the veteran QB completed 77.8% of his passes for 391 yards, three touchdowns and one interception while adding four carries for 19 yards. Tannehill has played so well since being named the starting quarterback that he might be playing himself into the starting QB role next year. Tannehill should continue to tear opposing defenses apart, as Tennessee’s next two games are against the Texans and Saints, neither of which present a tough matchup. If you’re still streaming quarterbacks, Tannehill should be your top priority.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins– Fitzpatrick has been very up and down this year. Last week wasn’t Fitzmagic’s prettiest outing, as the 37-year-old threw for 245 scoreless yards with an interception. The veteran did manage to salvage his fantasy day a bit by adding 65 yards on the ground, but things should get easier for Fitzpatrick in Week 15. The Dolphins will head north to take on the New York Giants and the team’s struggling young secondary, putting Fitzpatrick firmly on the streaming radar.
RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers– Mostert put up his third consecutive strong performance this past Sunday. The 49ers-Saints game easily lived up to its expectations, and Mostert played a big role in that. The fifth-year running back took 10 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown along with two receptions for 40 yards and an additional score. Mostert has taken over as San Francisco’s lead back over the last few weeks, out-touching both Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida. The three backs should continue to split carries, but as of now, Mostert seems to be the top dog. In the 49ers’ run-heavy offense, that role offers a ton of fantasy value.
RB Patrick Laird, Miami Dolphins– Miami has had trouble running the ball all season, regardless of who was in the backfield. Laird is the latest to take the reigns as the Dolphins’ lead back, and while that alone wouldn’t offer much fantasy value, the rookie back has proven his worth in the passing game. Laird has caught four passes in each of his last two games, totaling 81 yards. With a matchup against the Giants on deck, Laird has a solid chance at finding the end zone, which is all he would need to crack double-digit fantasy points. It comes with some risk, but Laird makes a decent FLEX play in Week 15.
RB DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders– At the time of this writing, it remains unclear what the situation is with Oakland’s star rookie running back, Josh Jacobs. If Jacobs is able to play due to his shoulder injury, then Washington should not be a priority add. However, if the rookie is unable to go, Washington makes for a good fantasy play in Week 15. Serving as the Raiders’ lead rusher against the Titans, Washington carried the ball 14 times for 53 yards and a touchdown. The fourth-year back was also a factor in the passing game, catching six passes for 43 yards. With Oakland’s season essentially over, the team could decide to shut Jacobs down. If this is the case, go out and snag Washington on the waiver wire.
WR A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans– It took a few months, but Brown has finally emerged as an absolute stud. The rookie receiver continued his strong surge of late, reeling in five of seven targets for 153 yards and two touchdowns. We already discussed Tannehill’s success this season, and Brown has clearly been the biggest beneficiary of the improved QB play. Brown has finished with 135 yards or more in two of the last three weeks, and now has six touchdowns on the season. Brown is a viable WR3 in Week 15, even without getting a ton of targets.
WR Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts– The Colts’ offense is falling apart. T.Y. Hilton has been hurt, Eric Ebron was placed on IR a few weeks ago and Parris Campbell just joined him on Monday. There aren’t too many pass-catchers left, but the one that has taken advantage of this opportunity the most is easily Pascal. One week after catching seven passes for 109 yards, the second-year receiver caught five receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay. The Colts will take on a Saints team this week that just allowed the 49ers to score 48 points. Pascal will likely be Indianapolis’ number one receiver once again, making him a solid play in Week 15.
WR Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears– Miller has quietly put together an impressive month of football these last four weeks. Miller has finished with at least six receptions and 54 yards or a touchdown in four consecutive games, and has emerged as Mitchell Trubisky’s security blanket in Chicago. The Bears have a tough upcoming schedule with games against the Packers and Chiefs, but that hasn’t slowed the second-year receiver down in the past. Miller is blossoming into quite a talented slot receiver, and if you need some WR depth, go out and grab the young Chicago receiver.
TE Noah Fant, Denver Broncos– Fant got banged up in Sunday’s game against the Texans, but reports out of Denver indicate it is not considered serious. Assuming he’s able to suit up this week, Fant should be the top tight end add. The rookie caught all four of his targets in Houston, totaling 113 yards and a touchdown. Fant and rookie QB Drew Lock looked in sync, and with the various injuries suffered by tight ends this past week, Fant could be your replacement if you lost Andrews or Cook.
TE Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams– Jared Goff has loved targeting his tight ends this season. For the last two weeks, Gerald Everett has been out with a knee injury, leaving Higbee as Los Angeles’ primary tight end. The results? 16 catches for 223 yards and a touchdown. Higbee and Robert Woods have been Goff’s favorite targets the last two games, and if Everett remains out in Week 15, that trend should continue. Keep an eye on the Rams’ injury report throughout the week, but if Everett is out, Higbee becomes a strong TE1.
Matt Citak is a contributing writer for CBS Local. Follow him on Twitter here for all things fantasy football, New York Giants and more.