Fantasy football waiver wire Week 15 adds: 5 players you need to consider picking up now

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Jonathan Mingo runs the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Jonathan Mingo runs the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023.

The fantasy football playoffs are here! Week 15 is less than seven days away and whether it's prize money on the line or just bragging rights for the next seven months, you will need every edge you can find if you want to take home a championship. You are just a pick-up away from the promised land.

You don't want to be in a position where one injury or one bad matchup could eliminate you. Here are five players you should consider adding ahead of the fantasy football playoffs.

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Fantasy football waiver-wire pickups for Week 15:

Carolina Panthers WR Jonathan Mingo (Rostered in 17% of Yahoo leagues)

Mingo did not have a good game in Week 14, but prior to Sunday, Mingo had two straight double digit performances. While it might be easy to dismiss the disappointing rookie based on his output for the whole season, Mingo still had nine targets this week. He's had at least six targets in five straight games.

In a way, he's overtaken Adam Thielen as Bryce Young's top option. Thielen had better numbers, but Mingo had more targets. It's not a pretty pick up, but it could pay off huge.

Cincinnati Bengals QB Jake Browning (Rostered in 27% of Yahoo leagues)

Is Jake Browning actually good? That's still up for debate. Is Jake Browning putting up incredible fantasy number? Yes, and that's not debatable. Fact of the matter is that regardless of Browning's skillset, he still has one of the best wide receiver corps in the NFL, a solid ground game, and a cupcake schedule moving forward. That's the makings of a fine fantasy quarterback.

Cincinnati's schedule the next three weeks includes both Minnesota and Pittsburgh, who've both been less-than-stellar against quarterbacks this year. Browning even scored 13 points in his debut against Pittsburgh. That's not great, but it's not bad and that was before Browning really found his footing as Cincy's starting quarterback.

The only issue with Browning is that the Bengals face the Kansas City Chiefs in the fantasy championship. However, you can't win the championship if you never get there. Anybody worried about Herbert's finger injury or Mahomes only putting up 20 or more fantasy points in four games this year should consider adding Browning to their roster.

Cincinnati Bengals RB Chase Brown (Rostered in 6% of Yahoo leagues)

As hot as Jake Browning is, it's clear that the Bengals want to hedge their bets and lean on their run game. In his last two games, Joe Mixon has 19 (third-most this season) and 21 (second-most this season) carries. Meanwhile, backup Chase Brown has 17 of his 19 carries this year in that same span.

Even more encouraging though was Brown's usage as a pass-catcher this week. Brown had three targets and his touchdown was a designed screen for him. The fact that Zac Taylor and the Bengals' coaching staff is drawing up plays for Brown is a testament to the trust they have in their rookie. Brown is becoming a consistent part of this Bengals' offense and based on his efficiency (averaging over five yards a carry in the last two games), the Bengals will likely look for more ways to get him involved as they make their late-season playoff push.

Atlanta Falcons D/ST (Rostered in 32% of Yahoo leagues)

In fantasy, it doesn't matter how good your defense is. It matters how bad the offense they're going against is, and boy oh boy, do the Falcons have a list of bad offenses coming their way.

The Falcons' next three games are as follows: @ Carolina, vs. Indianapolis, @ Chicago.

The Bears are the most threatening team of that bunch and they are not world-beaters. Atlanta is practically guaranteed five or more points in each of their next three games. Anybody that needs to stream defenses should seriously look at the Falcons as a set-it and forget-it option during the playoffs.

Baltimore Ravens WR Odell Beckham Jr. (Rostered in 41% of Yahoo leagues)

I know he had his bye last week, but there is zero reason this man should be unrostered in nearly 60 percent of leagues. Prior to his bye week, Beckham had double-digit fantasy points in three of his past four games. In his first game after the bye, he earns a team-high ten targets and finds the endzone for the third time in five games.

Beckham has earned seven or more targets in three of his last five as well. Without Mark Andrews in the fold, Lamar Jackson seems to be willing to spread the ball around more than he has in the past. That said, when the going gets tough, he's likely going to look for the most experienced receiver on his team. Flowers will get his looks, Likely will get a few as well, but Beckham seems to be Jackson's favorite target right now. He's definitely worth a spot on your roster for the playoffs.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Waiver wire Week 15: 5 Fantasy football players to pick up now