5 breakout fantasy football stars to pick up for Week 15

The fantasy football playoffs are finally here. These five pickups could be the difference between advancing or getting knocked out in the first round.

Indianapolis Colts v Cincinnati Bengals
Indianapolis Colts v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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After a long and winding road, the fantasy football regular season is over (at least for those of you smart enough not to play in leagues that have championships in Week 18). Three weeks separate those of us still alive from bragging rights for the next year, so every pickup made from here on out can be the difference between a league title and sitting at home in the semifinals.

The fortunate thing here is that there are quite a few pickups out there who can be useful ahead of Week 15. Let's take a look at the Top 5 pickups of the week with all rostered percentages based on Yahoo! leagues.

5. Atlanta Falcons D/ST

Streaming defenses can be a very valid strategy if you don't have a reliable starting unit or if your starter has a tough matchup on tap. The key to this game is to try and plan ahead when possible, but if you haven't a good defense is certainly worth a waiver claim depending on your league's scoring settings.

One widely available defense who should be a top streaming play in Week 15 is Atlanta, which gets to take on the struggling Carolina Panthers. The Falcons had a ton of success against the Panthers back in Week 1, allowing just 10 points while recording two sacks and three takeaways, and things have only gotten worse in Carolina since then.

A lot of frustrated owners dropped the Falcons this week, who are rostered in 32 percent of leagues, after they gave up 27 points against Tampa Bay. Take advantage of their short-sightedness if the Falcons are available in your league and ride them to the semifinals.