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Week 15 Fantasy Start or Sit
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos Thursday 8:25 pm
Ryan Mathews has been on a roll lately and has been taking more and more snaps from Danny Woodhead. I think Mathews continues to be a solid RB2. Keenan Allen has been great recently as well and is a borderline WR1. The return of Eddie Royal meant death for Ladarius Green’s Fantasy value and it appears it is time to let go of the hope that he could be a top 10 play for the rest of the way.
Wes Welker suffered his second concussion in recent weeks and as of now it does not appear he will play Thursday night. His absence means a bigger role for Jacob Tamme who played 45 of 46 snaps after Welker left the game last week mostly playing the slot. If you are in need of a tight end Tamme can be a good yardage play but I expect Julius Thomas to be the tight end with a chance to score. Knowshon Moreno is still the back to own but Montee Ball keeps getting more and more work and could be a flex play for this week if he can manage to get a touchdown.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
Shane Vereen had a big day through the air while the Patriots were trailing in the second half. The loss of Rob Gronkowski means more work for him as well as teammate Julian Edelman who played all 83 of the Patriots offensive snaps. Danny Amendola actually played the third most snaps of Patriot receivers playing only 62 snaps in mostly 3 wide receiver sets. The loss of Gronkowski could lead to some more snaps but he is at least third in line for passing targets in this offense.
Lamar Miller was yet again a disappointment for Fantasy owners. Daniel Thomas surprisingly came back after reportedly being out for the season a few weeks ago. He split carries early and then once Miller left the game with a concussion it let Thomas take the backfield over and he play fairly well. If Lamar Miller does not play it could lead to Thomas being a solid flex play against a great matchup against the Patriots run defense.
Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
I don’t expect either Bears wide receiver to be shadowed by Joe Haden so I don’t expect either receiver to be shut down. If Josh McCown starts again I would play him as a top 8 quarterback.
The Bears have a terrible run defense and looks doubtful that Willis McGahee will play. If he ends up sitting out I think Chris Ogbonnaya could be a good play in daily leagues or someone who is desperate for a running back. Jordan Cameron finally had a bounce back game and I think it can continue now that teams need to put a lot of attention on Josh Gordon.
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pmThe Jaguars have actually been playing very well against the run lately. This could mean rough games for C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. If either one were to have a good game I would have to bet on Spiller with his big play ability.
Maurice Jones-Drew is looking questionable for this weekend and if he is out Jordan Todman. Todman is another play that could be a decent flex with a good matchup against the Bills bad run defense, but I would look elsewhere if possible.
San Francisco 49ers at Tampa bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
Frank Gore came out of his little slump with over 100 yards on the ground last week. Tampa Bay ranks 6th against running backs allowing only 2 touchdowns on the ground to running backs all season. Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin are the only 2 pass catchers that have caught touchdowns for the 49ers this season and there haven’t been any signs that will change.
Tampa Bay has a tough matchup against the 49ers and I think that leads to only Vincent Jackson being a start worthy player. In a tough matchup he is the only player I would trust.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
Andre Johnson is easily a top 10 option and the Colts have not been good against the pass this year. If you were able to survive last week starting Ben Tate I would give him another chance this week. The Colts rank 29th against the run and were gashed last week by the Bengals.
Andrew Luck paid off for the owners who had faith last week but a lot of the points came late when they were in catch-up mode. The Texans even with their struggles this year have a top 3 defense in terms of yards and are number 2 against the pass this season. If you can find another option I would use it. Da’Rick Rogers was finally used last week and played well. He has great talent but he isn’t a guy you can trust in week 15 when the playoffs are on the line. Coby Fleener is still the only option I would want to rely on in 10 and 12 team leagues.
Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants 1:00 pm
Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson are guaranteed starts for the Seahawks. I think Lynch has a big game against the Giants. I think they get up early and rely on him in the second half to run out the clock. The Seahawks defense is also a great play against a turnover prone Giants team.
The big question for a lot of people this week is what to do with Andre Brown. The Seahawks are good against the run but most of their dominance has come at home. They have given up over 100 yards rushing 3 out of 7 road games this year and the teams they didn’t give up over 100 yards against were the Panthers 96 yards, Colts 93 yards, Cardinals, and Falcons. I would be starting Brown unless I had another really good option to take his spot I would have him as a top 15 play this week.
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
The Eagles passing offense should come back to normal after a tough week in the snow. I wouldn’t lose any faith in Nick Foles; he is still a top quarterback play. If you are in a pinch at tight end and need an option outside the top 20 I think Zach Ertz is a good play with Brent Celek taking over a blocking tight end role.
Adrian Peterson as of this writing is looking doubtful for Sunday and Toby Gerhart is also questionable with a hamstring injury but if he plays I think he will be a top 20 option with top 15 upside. If neither of the running backs suits up I wouldn’t dig down to Matt Asiata there has to be something else that is a better option. They are finally getting Cordarrelle Patterson involved in the offense and he is showing his ability. If both running backs are out I think he becomes a top 30 play this week.
Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
Kirk Cousins is taking over as the starter for the rest of the season. I think this is great news for Alfred Morris. After a couple bad weeks in a row he should bounce back and be a top 10 play. Pierre Garcon could be a risky play since we don’t know how the offense will work with a new quarterback, I would place him as a low end WR2.
The torch has finally been passed back to Roddy White as the top pass catcher in this offense as a mid WR2 and Harry Douglas gets bumped to a high end WR3. If you are debating any Falcons player versus another player I think I would lean towards the Falcon. The Redskins have checked out and are just going through the motions. I think the Falcons win this one pretty easily.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders 4:05 pmAlex Smith should be a good play again this week as a top 12 play. Last week could have been better but the defense kept scoring and put the Chiefs in lets just get this game over mode in the second quarter. Dwayne Bowe has touchdowns in 3 of the last 4 weeks but the yards have not been there. He has another good matchup this week and could be a WR2.
Rashad Jennings looks like he will be back but you never know with concussions. If you have a player playing prior to the games at 4 then I would go with that option. Jordan Reed showed us that nothing is guaranteed when it comes to concussions. If Marcel Reece is still available he would be a good insurance policy for a Jennings owner.
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers 4:05 pm
It probably sound like a broken record but Chris Ivory is the only offensive Jet worth owning. He has a tough matchup this week and I expect this game to get out of hand early. I think that means Bilal Powell will get the majority of the snaps but he is not worth a start unless you are in an extremely deep league.
One running back has been knocked out of the equation in Jonathan Stewart so that means more love for DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert. With Stewart gone I think Williams becomes a decent option and now I would take him over Tolbert. I still think Tolbert has the best chance to score a touchdown out of the Panthers backfield. Steve Smith is a low floor low ceiling play this week, as he has never topped 70 yards this season. I expect a big day from Cam Newton through the air and the ground but that advice probably isn’t helping anyone.
New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams 4:25 pm
Darren Sproles has seen his snap counts drop more and more playing only 15 this past week. I wouldn’t trust him except as maybe a high end RB3 in PPR leagues. Marques Colston showed up big last week but he has only had 2 big games this year and they came in home primetime games where the Saints are nearly impossible to beat. I wouldn’t be looking at Colston for help this week.
In St. Louis it is just Zac Stacy. He has struggled a little over the past two weeks but he should play well as long as the Rams can keep this game within reach.
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans 4:25 pm
Carson Palmer was nearly perfect last week with only 5 incompletions he just didn’t convert on touchdowns. I think Palmer is still a good play again this week against a Titans defense that got torn apart last week by Denver. I would continue to start the receiving options again this week as well.
Chris Johnson is a top 10 running back this year but surprisingly he has only one 100-yard rushing game this season. There was news last week that the Titans might let him go after the season and then Shonn Greene went out and scored 2 touchdowns on 9 carries and also had 46 yards. I think they keep Greene involved. Johnson is still a top 20 play based on his upside but against a really tough Cardinal defense I would look elsewhere if I could.
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys 4:25 pm
Aaron Rodgers is still not feeling 100 percent as of Wednesday. It appears he is going to miss another game. I expect Matt Flynn to be a good option in daily leagues against the leagues worst defense. The receiving options should be good options as well I think Jordy Nelson is a top 12 play, James Jones should be a low end WR2, Jarrett Boykin a WR3. If Eddie Lacy sits with a bad ankle James Starks should be a solid RB3 with RB2 upside against the Cowboys.
Dez Bryant has only had three 100-yard games this season and the last one came in week 5 against the Eagles. He has been targeted in the single digits in 3 of the last 4 games. If you have him you are more than likely starting him because he was drafted as your number 1 receiver and you don’t have better options. If you were able to luck into later round players such as Alshon Jeffery, Josh Gordon, or Keenan Allen sitting Bryant might be a good option. DeMarco Murray should be a good play again against a team that has allowed over 200 yards on the ground 2 of the last 3 weeks.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers 8:30 pmBenJarvus Green-Ellis is coming off back-to-back good games but I wouldn’t expect it to continue. He paid off if you played him as a desperation play last week but I wouldn’t count on it again. Giovani Bernard racked up 99 yards on 12 carries but as usual Green-Ellis was used to run out on the clock so he missed out some carries. Bernard is still the running back that you want to own in this offense.
Antonio Brown has at least 10 points in standard leagues 5 out of the last 6 games and is facing a Bengals defense that is hurting in the secondary after losing another corner last weekend. He is probably starting for you anyway and should be a top 10 play. The Bengals have not allowed a rushing touchdown to a running back since all the way back in week 2 against the Packers. They have only allowed two 100-yard rushers all season. Le’veon Bell can get it done in the passing game as well as on the ground. Bell is a flex play but if you have other good options I might look elsewhere.
Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions Monday 8:30 pm
The only Raven I would want to start is Torrey Smith. The Lions are very vulnerable through the air and shut down running backs outside of the snow game against the Eagles last week.
I expect the Lions passing game to get going again this week after the weather derailed them last week. If you own Reggie Bush without Joique Bell I would start someone else unless we hear Saturday that Bush is a lock to play and even then I might play someone like Danny Woodhead on Thursday instead of take the chance. If Bush does play I think there will be a decent split with him and Bell that could limit the value of both players.
Hopefully, this Week 15 Fantasy Start or Sit column gives you a good head start on the weekend! If you have any lineup or waiver wire questions feel free to reply with a comment or ask me via twitter @TheSportsGuy40