With fantasy football playoffs in full swing, upside is the way to go to take out the stout teams that have made it this far into the season. For fantasy owners that don't have the Carolina Panthers or Seattle Seahawks, there is still upside to be had. As usual, it can be had on the waiver wire. Let's take a deeper look at a few of those options.
Indianapolis Colts (vs. Houston Texans): Nothing about the Colts makes much sense this season. They have taken down the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos in convincing fashion, but were then been blown out by the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals. It's not an encouraging thing for fantasy owners to roll with a defense that just allowed 42 points to the Cincinnati Bengals, but it would be difficult to sit a defense with such a premium matchup in Week 15.
The Houston Texans offense has flashed big play ability from time to time this season, but it has been plagued by inconsistency. As a result, they have given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing defenses all season and are averaging just 19 points per game. That mark is fourth-worst in the NFL, and with the offense continuing to slump, the Colts are in a prime position to improve from their first meeting. Texans quarterback Case Keenum exploded for 350 yards and three touchdowns during the Nov. 3 matchup, but has just two touchdown passes over his last four games compared to four interceptions. It's evident that teams have been able to shut down the young quarterback now that they have more film to study, and the Colts defense, which is owned in just 32 percent of Yahoo! leagues, ought to be the next team to do so.
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Minnesota Vikings): Lost in all of the hype behind head coach Chip Kelly's offense is the improvement of the Eagles defense this season. Though they've given up plenty of yards and are in the middle of the pack in terms of points allowed, their 25 takeaways in 13 games has played a huge part in their revitalization.
This week, they have the benefit of facing a Minnesota Vikings offense that is predicated on running the football, and their top two running backs are ailing. Adrian Peterson's status is in question due to a foot injury, and Toby Gerhart aggravated his hamstring during the team's bout with the Baltimore Ravens in snowy conditions. Matt Asiata is the only other running back on the Vikings roster, and if the team has to counter a high-scoring Eagles offense by taking to the air, that spells disaster. The Vikings have already given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season, and the Eagles can be had at a bargain since they are owned in just eight percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Buffalo Bills): It used to be that every defense facing the Jacksonville Jaguars could be penned in for a big night. But instead, under the tutelage of head coach Gus Bradley, it is now the improving defense of the Jaguars that can be counted on in certain weeks.
Week 15 qualifies as one of those instances, as the Jaguars are set to take on a Buffalo Bills offense that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season. The Jaguars proved on Thursday that they can capitalize in plus matchups as they allowed 20 points and picked off two passes versus the Houston Texans. The Bills are even more susceptible to giving the ball away, turning it over 24 times on the year including five last week versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is not a defense more frequently available in fantasy leagues than the Jaguars, and owners in need of a plus matchup wouldn't be foolish to take a flier on them.