The Must Stash: Week 15

Deep sleepers to stash before Week 15's games.

Every Friday I will list some players who I think if things go their way, will wind up in those waiver articles the following Tuesday. You don’t have to stash all of them – it depends on who you have on your roster, the depth of your benches, the scoring system of your league, etc. But these are guys that should at least be on your radar.

Stashing players is only something that can occur in deeper leagues with large benches, so to make this information worthwhile, I will only be recommending guys that are under 20% owned on both Yahoo and ESPN, and in many cases, you’ll see percentages in the single digits. If you’re in a league where guys like Myles Gaskin (77% on Yahoo, 81.4% on ESPN), Taysom Hill (60% on Yahoo, 74.7% on ESPN), or Justin Herbert (91% on Yahoo, 95.5% on ESPN) are on the waiver wire, you’re either in a league too shallow for stashing, or you should go pick them up right away.

In addition, for those of you in really deep leagues (16+ teams), we will also include some deep cut players that are rostered in less than 3% of leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN in a section at the end to try and give you the best chance of winning your fantasy league.

Week 1 was a success where we advised you to pick up Joshua Kelley, Laviska Shenault, and Jerick McKinnon. Week 2 was successful in getting you to roster Myles Gaskin on your team. Week 3 and 4 were less successful but had a few solid waiver suggestions such as Jeff Wilson, Mo Alie-Cox, and Hunter Renfrow. Weeks 5 and 6 we told you to pick up Trey Burton who has emerged as a legitimate TE1 option in the Colts offense. In Week 7, we advised you to pick up JaMycal Hasty, Giovani Bernard, and Tua Tagovailoa. In Week 8, we recommended picking up Denzel Mims, Jalen Reagor, and Darnell Mooney. In Week 9, our recommendation was that you pick up Jordan Wilkins and Jordan Reed. In Week 10, Kalen Ballage was the big piece that we told you to pick up from ‘The Must Stash’, and if you read the ‘Deep Cuts’ section, you might’ve picked up Salvon Ahmed as well. In Week 11, we advised you to grab Taysom Hill, Breshad Perriman, and Devontae Booker off the waiver wire. In Week 12, we re-emphasized that you should pick up Denzel Mims and also suggested Frank Gore might have some value.

 

Who made the list(s) this week? Let’s dive in!

 

Week 14 Recap

 

Collin Johnson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Collin Johnson had two receptions on three targets for 33 receiving yards. While he’s looked good, he isn’t getting enough snaps to be useful this year. He’s a decent hold in keeper/dynasty leagues, but everywhere else he can be dropped.

 

Cam Sims, WR, Washington Football Team: Cam Sims had one reception on two targets for eight receiving yards. If you need a bench spot he’s safe to drop.

 

Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Hurts completed 17 of 30 passes, carried the ball 18 times for 106 rushing yards, and scored a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints. Given the difficulty of this matchup, this was an extremely encouraging start for Hurts and he should be rostered for the late-season stretch.

 

Peyton Barber, RB, Washington Football Team: Against the San Francisco 49ers, Barber took 12 carries for 37 rushing yards and caught two passes on three targets for one receiving yard. Given his inefficiency, he can safely be dropped. 

 

Josh Gordon, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Josh Gordon is almost ready to make his return. If you are in the playoffs, he should be left on the waiver wire. But if you are out of the playoffs and in a keeper/dynasty league, he could be worth a speculative add at the end of your bench.

 

The Must Stash

 

Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons (13% on Yahoo, 14% on ESPN)

 

Russell Gage is a player who has been picked up and dropped a ton this season, largely based on the health status of star wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. He’s teetered between being a FLEX caliber play or drop worthy so far this season, catching 54 passes on 84 targets for 604 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.

 

Russell Gage 2020 Stats

 

And this next week could be a good week for Russell Gage. Julio Jones is once again questionable to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a hamstring injury, which could lead to Gage getting more opportunities in the passing game. If you play in a deeper league and need a player that could put up solid numbers, Gage isn’t a half-bad option.

 

Rashard Higgins, WR, Cleveland Browns (18% on Yahoo, 10.5% on ESPN)

 

Don’t look now, but Rashard Higgins has been a borderline WR1 in fantasy leagues the last two weeks, catching 12 passes on 19 targets for 163 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. He started the season off clearly behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, but Odell Beckham‘s ACL injury gave his fantasy prospects a little bit of life – and it appears he’s finally capitalizing on it.

 

Rashard Higgins 2020 Stats

 

Higgins has had great chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield going back to Baker’s rookie year in 2018. But until now, he hasn’t gotten enough targets in the passing game to be fantasy relevant. If Higgins has another good game against the New York Giants this week on Sunday Night Football, you can expect him to be mentioned as a top waiver wire target in week 16…especially with a juicy matchup against the New York Jets secondary.

 

James Washington, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (5% on Yahoo, 2.7% on ESPN)

 

Diontae Johnson has been struggling with drops the past few weeks, and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had finally had enough of it, benching Johnson in the first half of last week’s Sunday Night Football game against the Buffalo Bills. The primary beneficiary of this move was James Washington, who ended up catching three passes on six targets for 29 receiving yards and a touchdown.

 

 

Diontae Johnson‘s leash is clearly getting shorter with his drop problems, and if they occur once again against the Cincinnati Bengals this week, James Washington will get the call again. Washington’s been very effective despite being the #4 wide receiver option on the team most of the year, and if he gets more opportunities in Randy Fichtner’s pass-heavy offense he should be a solid fantasy football option.

 

James Washington 2020 Stats

 

Jeremy McNichols, RB, Tennessee Titans (1% on Yahoo, 0.7% on ESPN)

 

In this article series, we’ve emphasized how great the Tennessee Titans playoff schedule is for running backs. They just played Jacksonville (30th in rushing yards allowed) in a game where Derrick Henry ran for 215 yards. The next three weeks they play the Detroit Lions (29th in rushing yards allowed), the Green Bay Packers (11th in rushing yards allowed), and Houston Texans (31st in rushing yards allowed).

 

 

Derrick Henry obviously is going to get a full workload as long as he’s healthy. But given how frequently we are seeing players land on the COVID/IR list, you have to be prepared if he misses any time. If he does miss any time, Jeremy McNichols is the pickup based on the Titans snap counts.

 

2020 Tennessee Titans Backup Running Back Snap Counts

 

The Titans clearly trust McNichols most of the three backups, and he is the primary handcuff to Derrick Henry. We are at the point of the season where it’s best to swing for the fences with your bench spots rather than roster players who are mediocre and won’t push the needle. Because of this, McNichols is a great choice for one of your last bench spots in a playoff run.

 

Chad Hansen, WR, Houston Texans (2% on Yahoo, 3.5% on ESPN)

 

Over the past year, the Houston Texans have gone from an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver, to starting players that were on the practice squad a few weeks ago. In this time, they’ve traded star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, watched their new #1 wide receiver Will Fuller get suspended for PEDs, and cut Kenny Stills. In addition, their remaining wide receivers have been dealing with injuries: slot receiver Randall Cobb is on injured reserve with a toe injury and Brandin Cooks missed last week’s game with a neck injury.

While this is concerning for the Houston Texans’ real-life football team, for fantasy purposes it means that you can potentially pick up a wide receiver that is going to be getting a ton of targets from star quarterback Deshaun Watson. Right now, that player appears to be Chad Hansen. Since being elevated from the practice squad to the active roster, Hansen has caught 12 passes on 14 targets for 157 receiving yards and emerged as one of the Texans’ best options in the passing game.

 

Deep Cuts

 

Kendrick Bourne, WR, San Francisco 49ers (3% on Yahoo, 2.2% on ESPN): Kendrick Bourne has seen at least five targets in each of the past five games that he’s played. In addition, he’s got the Dallas Cowboys up next on the schedule. Could be a good stash in deeper leagues.

 

Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons (3% on Yahoo, 1.6% on ESPN): Ito Smith has taken 31 carries for 143 rushing yards over the last three weeks. Given the uncertainty of Todd Gurley‘s health, Smith has upside down the stretch.

 

Dan Arnold, TE, Arizona Cardinals (2% on Yahoo, 0.8% on ESPN): Dan Arnold has been ridiculously efficient over the past two weeks, catching four passes on seven targets for 88 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. While it’s unlikely he maintains this production given the lack of volume, his play has warranted a spot on the ‘Deep Cuts’ list.

 

Collin Johnson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (1% on Yahoo, 0.7% on ESPN): As we mentioned in the Week 14 recap, Collin Johnson was on ‘The Must Stash’ last week and had a mediocre game against the Tennessee Titans, catching two passes on three targets for 33 receiving yards. In deeper leagues, the 6’6” wide receiver is still worth a look based on his upside.

 

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Washington Football Team (1% on Yahoo, 0.7% on ESPN): After Alex Smith injured his calf last week, Dwayne Haskins came in and completed 7/12 passes for 51 passing yards. While it’s hard to trust him, if Smith remains out in Week 15 he’ll have a nice matchup with the Seattle Seahawks and could be useful in 2QB/Superflex leagues.

 

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Cleveland Browns (1% on Yahoo, 0.5% on ESPN): Donovan Peoples-Jones has 166 receiving yards in the last two weeks. While the volume (only eight targets) makes it difficult to believe this production is sustainable, he’s earned a spot on the ‘Deep Cuts’ section.

 

Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (0% on Yahoo, 0.4% on ESPN): James Conner may have returned from the COVID-19 list to play against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football, but it was actually Jaylen Samuels who got the most snaps (27) of this backfield. It’s difficult to say if this was just the Steelers easing Conner back into action, but this is a situation to watch.

 

Trayveon Williams, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (0% on Yahoo, 0.2% on ESPN): Trayveon Williams took 12 carries for 49 rushing yards against the Dallas Cowboys last week. While this workload was in large part because Giovani Bernard fumbled in the first quarter, it’s worth monitoring him.

 

That’s it for week 15. Feel free to weigh in and mention any players you believe should be on this list.

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

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