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Start and Sit: Week 15

For the length of the season, the best team (more often than not) ends up at, or near, the top of the league.  In the playoffs, once you get past the rounds where teams have a bye, the best team doesn’t matter. 

Last week someone somewhere could have realistically started the following lineup.

QB Ben Roethlisberger
RB Thomas Rawls Devonta Freeman
WR DeAndre Hopkins Allen Robinson
TE Greg Olsen
FLEX Dez Bryant
DEF Broncos
K Cairo Santos

Anyone out there would kill to start that lineup and would have felt great going into a playoff matchup.   

Then you checkout your opponent.

QB Kirk Cousins
RB Isaiah Crowell Tim Hightower
WR Tyler Lockett Tedd Ginn
TE Zach Miller
FLEX Golden Tate
DEF Jaguars
K Caleb Sturgis

Final score of 178-53. Wow. What a win! Or so you would have thought. That’s right, you would have lost by over 120 points to a lineup primarily assembled of players that weren’t drafted or roster worthy a few weeks ago.

The point is that this is a weekly game. You might have a lineup full of first round picks, but those guys could all have a down week in the same week and you lose to someone who shouldn’t even be in the playoffs. 

Even if you do every thing right you might not get the result that puts you in the championship. You might have heard the phrase “trust the process” and that’s what you need to be doing every week.

Make the decisions based on the information you have.

If all the information tells you to start Tom Brady over Ryan Fitzpatrick (an obvious choice) and Fitzpatrick scores more points, and you lose by that amount, there is nothing you can do. It happens. It is fantasy football. Nothing ever goes the way we expect it to, and that’s why we love it.

As always, post any questions you may have in the comment section below or hit me up on twitter @TheSportsGuy40.

QUARTERBACK

Start

Blake Bortles vs. Falcons: Since Week 5 Bortles has thrown for multiple touchdowns in all but one week, and that was a short week playing on Thursday night. The Falcons have been deceptively good against quarterbacks this season. The quarterbacks that they have held under 16 fantasy points this season have been Sam Bradford, Brandon Weeden, Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota, Blaine Gabbert, Matt Hasselbeck, and Teddy Bridgewater. Not exactly murderers row. They have given up 18 plus points to Eli Manning, Brian Hoyer/Ryan Mallett, Jameis Winston (twice), and Cam Newton. This team can be beat by a good offense lead by a good quarterback, and that is what Blake Bortles and the Jaguars are at this point in the season.

Ben Roethlisberger vs. Broncos: I am starting Bortles over him this week, but If I didn’t have Bortles I wouldn’t worry about starting Big Ben. It is hard to sit the starting quarterback in such a high-flying offense because in any given week he can put up 30 points and no one would be surprised. Roethlisberger is a high ceiling low floor play in this matchup. I think he can hit the 300-yard mark that you always want from a starting quarterback, but I worry for him throwing for two or more touchdowns.

Matthew Stafford at Saints: The Saints have played some better defense lately, but I think Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson can beat them pretty easily. Since the bye Stafford has nearly 21 points per game and has thrown for 11 touchdowns in five games. And let’s be honest, we all like having a guy who could score a ton of points on Monday night.

Sit

Eli Manning vs. Panthers: The matchup scares me, and at this point there are probably a lot of other options on the waiver wire that you can start over him – mainly due to the lack of owners still involved in your leagues. The Panthers have only allowed one quarterback to throw more than one touchdown in the past five games.

Matt Ryan at Jaguars: I might only be speaking to one owner on this one. Odds are if Matt Ryan is your quarterback you didn’t make it this far, but if you did good for you. Even in a good matchup with the Jaguars I can’t start Ryan knowing that he could easily put up single digits with a very slim chance to score 20; he has only one 20 point game since Week 4.

Philip Rivers vs. Dolphins: Talk about a player’s fantasy value falling off of a cliff. From weeks 4-8 Rivers put up at least 20 points in every game. Since then his offensive weapons started getting injured left and right he has had only one game over 16 points. The Dolphins defense isn’t good, but I can’t trust Rivers in at this point.

Digging Deep

Tommy Landseadel covered QB streamer options earlier in the week.

RUNNING BACK

Start

Denard Robinson vs. Falcons: I am trusting Robinson as a starting running back this week, but I am not as high on him as some others are. Remember that the Jaguars do not do a lot of running the ball when they get down close to the endzone; T.J. Yeldon only had two rushing touchdowns all season. Robinson should get nearly all of the work though, and with the potential for 20 touches he can do a lot of damage in the yardage department.

Tim Hightower vs. Lions: I like the volume he got last week, but don’t expect 28 carries again. I don’t know if he gets to that number (or that close to it) again this week, but I would lock him in for 15 touches and be pretty confident that he can get to 20. In today’s NFL, for a running back, that is a borderline top-10 play.

Charcandrick West at Ravens: If Spencer Ware is out, and as of this writing it is looking like he will be, West is a top play against the Ravens. The Chiefs play games conservatively and I can see them running early and often against the Ravens this week. If Ware is active I think West is still startable, but he becomes more of a top-20 play than top 10.

Sit

Frank Gore vs. Texans: I can’t trust Gore in a win or go home situation. He needs to find the endzone in order to have a good game, and he hasn’t scored on the ground since the Colts played Denver in Week 9.

Darren McFadden vs. Jets: The Jets run defense is really good and they don’t have to focus on the pass at all with Matt Cassel at quarterback for the Cowboys. The Jets could get a big lead early and the Cowboys could be playing from behind limiting McFadden’s carries.

Javorius “Buck” Allen vs. Chiefs: He has yet to have a good game on the ground, but he has done some damage in the passing game. This is a tough matchup for Allen and the Ravens so I don’t expect much on the ground. If you are super desperate you could try Allen with the hope that he can put up 50 or more yards receiving.

Digging Deep

Mike Tolbert at Giants: If you need a Hail Mary play, Tolbert could end up with eight touches and two touchdowns. He could also end up with eight touches for 20 yards. Buyer beware if you are going to start him.

WIDE RECEIVER

Start

Michael Floyd at Eagles: The Eagles are not good against opposing receivers, and surprisingly Floyd has been the most consistent Arizona receiver in recent weeks. In his last four games Floyd has received 8, 9, 2, 12, and 9 targets with the two target game coming the week he returned from a hamstring injury. In those four games where Floyd had more than two targets he had at least 100 yards and scored in three of four games.

Eric Decker at Cowboys: You could say he is touchdown dependent for his fantasy point output, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, when you score in 9 of 12 games I think it is reasonable to just accept that Decker is going to score.

Randall Cobb at Raiders: This one might be tough to stomach if you have owned Cobb all season. The Packers really looked like they were trying to feature Cobb last week getting touches in a variety of ways. The more chances he gets to touch the ball the better (obviously), and Green Bay’s passing attack looked good last week when trying to get him the ball quickly. Against a good Oakland front seven Cobb might get a lot of underneath targets again this week.

Sit

Amari Cooper vs. Packers: He is nursing a foot injury and has only reached 100 yards once in the past seven weeks. The Packers have been playing good defense against opposing receivers in the past five games. In that stretch, Dez Bryant, Calvin Johnson (twice), Alshon Jeffery, and Stefon Diggs all failed to reach 100 yards, and only Calvin Johnson managed to find the endzone.

Dez Bryant vs. Jets: There is always that chance that Matt Cassel just starts throwing the ball to Bryant when he is covered just to let him do his thing and fight for the catch. That could be a reason to start him if you really want to talk yourself into it. He only has one 100-yard game this season and two total touchdowns.

T.Y. Hilton vs. Jets: Charlie Whitehurst might play this Sunday, and if he doesn’t it is going to be a beat up Matt Hasselbeck that pays. The Houston defense has only allowed Sammy Watkins to total more than 81 yards since Week 8. The pass rush looked great last Sunday night and I could see them getting after whoever is playing quarterback for the Colts, making it a long day for the Colts offense.

Digging Deep

Markus Wheaton vs. Broncos: For the record I really wouldn’t want to start him this week, but if you are in a 14 team or bigger leagues you could try to go this route. I would think the Broncos will put Talib and Harris on Brown and Bryant and Wheaton could have a nice game when the Steelers exploit the matchups similar to the Seattle game. I’m not expecting 200 yards and a touchdown, but I think you can expect 70 or more yards with a chance for a touchdown.

TIGHT END

Start

Julius Thomas vs. Falcons: Remember when everyone was saying that Thomas wasn’t going to have a good year because he was leaving Peyton Manning to play with Blake Bortles? He has scored in four straight games and I don’t think that stops this week in a matchup where the Jaguars should be able to put up a lot of points.

Heath Miller vs. Broncos: I see a big PPR game coming for him this week. I don’t know if he will pile up the yards, but with any tight end if you can be pretty certain he is going to catch six passes, as long as you don’t have a stud, you need to put that guy in your lineup.

Zach Ertz vs. Cardinals: If you have been reading all year you know I am not a huge fan of his fantasy potential, but he is coming off of a 98-yard game and the Eagles will (probably) be coming from behind against the Cardinals leaving the chance for him to get a lot of targets.

Sit

Travis Kelce at Ravens: The Chiefs should beat the Ravens, which is bad news for anyone in the Kansas City passing game. Odds are if you have him you are starting him, but there is a good chance you might have a better option on waivers.

Jason Witten vs. Jets: Please stop starting him. I am begging you.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

I again refer you to Tommy Landseadel’s article on streamer options for weeks 15 and 16 which you can read Here.  Most of the better options for week 15 are probably rostered, and if that is the case you might want to grab the best week 16 defensive unit off waivers now.

 

Fantasy Rundown BannerNeed more start/sit options, position battles, injury news, waiver wire pick-ups, etc.., head on over to Fantasy Rundown.

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Andy Germani
I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.

4 comments on “Start and Sit: Week 15

  1. Hey Andy, I picked up Hightower and D. Robinson off waivers this week for Ajayi and Ware. Some quick start/sit questions:

    Bortes vs Atl or Carr vs GB

    Pick 3 out of these 4:
    Freeman, D. Johnson, D. Robinson, and Hurns to start at RB1, RB2 and FLEX.

    Also, would you start both Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant vs Denver or play Hurns?

    Thank you! Best of luck this week!!!

    • I like Bortles as a top 5 type play this week so I would go with him there.

      Freeman and Johnson are locks. Robinson is safer to get you 8 plus points where Hurns is a high risk high reward type play. I would go with Robinson for safety.

      I would start the Steelers guys. It is a little worrisome that they get a tough matchup but I cant sit them in the playoffs for a guy who is as risky as Hurns.

      Good luck in your matchups this week!

      • Thank Andy. I somehow forgot to include Hightower in the list of players to start at RB/Flex. I started him over Robinson…Do you like Hightower over Robinson this week?

        • It would have been a toss up to me earlier. Knowing Robinson’s result now I think you made the right call. Hightower has a good chance at a touchdown and he should be able to get right around what Robinson did yardage wise.

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