Fantasy football free agent pickups Week 15: Chase Brown, Jake Browning

As the dust settles on Week 14, several big names on the injury report from around the league will impact fantasy managers with championship aspirations. Two of the biggest injuries are at the quarterback position. The Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert fractured his index finger on his throwing hand and the Houston Texans’ C.J. Stroud is in concussion protocol.

Fantasy managers reeling from these two injuries should look no further than Matthew Stafford (rostered in 33.5% of ESPN leagues). Stafford outperformed expectations against a Ravens defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks heading into Week 14. Stafford has Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua as his top two receivers and has scored 20 or more fantasy points in three straight games. With upcoming games against the Washington Commanders, New Orleans Saints and New York Giants, he should be the top priority for managers who need a quarterback. In addition to Stafford, Romeo Doubs, Tyjae Spears, Jayden Reed, Odell Beckham Jr. and Chase Brown highlight my top adds of the week.

Quarterback

Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals (28.6%)

Browning has scored 23 or more fantasy points in his past two games as the Bengals’ starter, averaging 285.3 passing yards and completing 79.3% of his throws. The Bengals face the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs over the next two weeks, and Browning has plenty of playmakers — including Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon — making him an attractive streamer for managers who need a quarterback.

Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns (4.1%)

Flacco has thrown for 250 passing yards and two touchdowns in each of his first two starts for the Browns, scoring 16 or more fantasy points while showcasing solid rapport with Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore and David Njoku. He is definitely on the streaming radar with games against the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans coming up.

Zach Wilson, New York Jets (4.0%)

After being benched for the prior two games, Wilson didn’t seem hesitant at all in his first game back as the New York Jets starter against the Texans. He had his third career game with 300 passing yards and finished with a season-high 19.2 fantasy points. Garrett Wilson had a season-high 20.1 fantasy points, catching nine of 14 targets. The chemistry between the Wilson duo was evident. Zach is firmly on the streaming radar with a matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Week 15. The Jets’ passing game should get a ton of volume against Miami’s middle-of-the-road defense. New York has another favorable matchup coming up in Week 16 against a Commanders defense that has given up the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season.

Running backs

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (37.0%)

On Monday night against the Dolphins, he had 17.8 fantasy points and 89 receiving yards, both season highs and making it back-to-back games with at least 12 fantasy points. Derrick Henry played 32 offensive snaps and rushed for two TDs, while Spears played 46 snaps, and.It’s important to keep in mind that they played some snaps together. The Titans backfield will continue to be a committee, and Spears will continue to have a role, especially in the passing game. Tennessee faces the Seahawks once and the Texans twice during the fantasy playoffs; Houston’s defense has allowed the ninth-most receptions and sixth-most receiving yards to opposing running backs.

Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings (24.0%)

Filling in for the injured Alexander Mattison in the second half Sunday, Chandler matched his season high in touches (15) with 12 rushes for 35 yards and three receptions for 7 yards. Chandler will lead the Vikings’ committee if Mattison (ankle) is unable to play in Week 15. Minnesota faces a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game (90).

D’Onta Foreman, Chicago Bears (26.2%)

Foreman finished with 72 total yards on 13 touches against the Lions on Sunday. He led the Bears’ backfield in snaps and touches and even though quarterback Justin Fields commands a high number of rushing attempts, Foreman should still see ample volume.

Chase Brown, Cincinnati Bengals (1.3%)

The Bengals have tried to get Brown more involved in the offense over the past few weeks. Brown led Cincinnati with 61 rushing yards on nine attempts in Week 13 and finished with 11 touches, 105 total yards and a season-high 19.5 fantasy points in Week 14. With Browning under center, Brown’s role in the Bengals backfield should continue to grow as part of a one-two punch with Joe Mixon.

Zamir White (0.5%) and Ameer Abdullah (0.5%), Las Vegas Raiders

Josh Jacobs might not play Thursday against the Chargers after suffering a knee injury Sunday. That means White and Abdullah would take over in a committee approach with White operating as the lead back and Abdullah in a change-of-pace role. White is a priority option on the waiver wire, facing a Chargers defense that has given up the eighth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

Quick hits

If Isiah Pacheco misses additional time, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (37.3%) and Jerick McKinnon (36.6%) might still find themselves on the fantasy radar. The Chiefs’ running game could become more important going forward as their passing game continues to struggle.

Wide receivers

Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens (50.8%)

Beckham is trending up after not being much of a factor in the Ravens’ passing game earlier in the season. Things changed for Beckham coming out of Baltimore’s Week 13 bye as he caught four of his season-high 10 targets for 97 receiving yards and a touchdown Sunday against the Rams. He has surpassed 95 or more yards in two of his past three games and has a fairly easy schedule ahead of him against the Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders (41.7%)

Samuel has been one of the most reliable receivers for the Washington Commanders. He has scored at least 10 fantasy points over the past two games, with 17 total targets. Samuel has established himself as Sam Howell’s No. 2 receiver and has even outperformed Terry McLaurin at times. Managers looking for a reliable flex option in Week 15 should consider Samuel.

Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers (27.8%)

The Chargers might be without Herbert, but Johnston still played well Sunday against the Broncos. He finished with 91 receiving yards, including a 57-yard on a pass from backup quarterback Easton Stick. Johnston has scored 10 or more fantasy points in consecutive games and is best viewed as a flex option for managers in deeper formats for Thursday night against the Raiders.

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars (26.6%)

Although Jones finished with only 8.0 fantasy points against a tough Browns secondary, he saw 14 targets. Jones should continue to get a heavy amount of targets from Trevor Lawrence with Christian Kirk on injured reserve. Only Calvin Ridley ran more routes for the team in Week 14 than Jones. In fact, Jones has scored at least 10 fantasy points in his past three games where he had five or more targets. The Jaguars face a tough Ravens defense in Week 15 but consider stashing Jones now for Week 16 when Jacksonville faces a Buccaneers defense allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Quick hit

How are Romeo Doubs (42.5%) and Jayden Reed (48.9%) not rostered in a higher percentage of leagues? The two are firmly on the flex radar with upside, especially as Christian Watson deals with a hamstring injury. Jordan Love is playing lights-out and the Packers face the Buccaneers’ defense in Week 15.

Tight ends

Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens (39.8%)

Likely had a favorable matchup Sunday against a Rams defense that allows the second-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. He capitalized by catching five of six targets for 83 receiving yards and a touchdown, finishing with 19.3 fantasy points. He faces a Jaguars defense in Week 15 that ranks in the top 12 in fantasy points per game allowed to tight ends this season.

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots (16.2%)

Henry caught two of three targets for 40 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Thursday night. While it’s unknown if Henry will continue to be actively involved in the Patriots’ offense going forward, his performance in Week 14 makes him hard to ignore at the barren tight end position. The Patriots will have to be aggressive on offense in Week 15 against the Chiefs and face a Broncos defense in Week 16 that has allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends.

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