Week 15 “Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em” by James Morris
Week 15 is the first week of the fantasy football playoffs for some, but the second week for most. I’ve gotten more emails and social media messages than any other year telling me about your successful run this season and hope we can continue that streak this week! I know some leagues play until week 17, but most hard core leagues don’t because week 17 sees most stars resting.
Josh Freeman – QB Buccaneers: The Saints may have won their Bounty case against the NFL, but that doesn’t change the fact that they give up the most fantasy points (FP) to QBs this season at a whopping 24.8 PPG. Freeman is averaging 17.7 PPG, and is the #10 ranked QB over the last 4 weeks according to NFL.com fantasy scoring.
Robert Griffin III – QB Redskins: Coach Mike Shanahan said he won’t know until Sunday how effective RGIII can be with his sprained knee, and added the final decision on him playing will be made by the medical staff. However, Griffin is a freak and I fully expect him to play and put up QB1 numbers this week against the Browns. What I find most shocking is that Griffin is owned in 100 percent of NFL.com leagues, but started in just 50.4 percent of them. That numbers was quiet honestly shocking to me because he is the #2 ranked fantasy QB according to NFL.com scoring this season!
Reggie Bush – RB Dolphins: Bush was more involved in the passing game last week and he finished with a respectable 65 yards rushing and 5 catches for 38 yards. While he didn’t score, the 15 points were good enough for an RB2 ranking in NFL.com PPR scoring formats. The Jaguars give up 28.1 PPG to RBs in PPR formats this season, so I expect the Dolphins to let Bush do what he does best and catch the ball more.
David Wilson – RB Giants: I’ll be honest and say I don’t know for sure at the time of writing this article if Ahmad Bradshaw will play or not on Sunday. None of the major news outlets around New York thinks he will play, and my gut says he won’t since a sprained knee is typically a 1-2 week injury for an RB.Because I assume Bradshaw is out, Wilson now becomes a legit RB1 with the Falcons giving up 24.2 PPG (8th most in NFL) to RBs this season in PPR formats.
Anquan Boldin – WR Ravens: While I am a little worried about the switch in Offensive Coordinators, Boldin is on a hot streak over the last two games in which he has totaled 159 yards receiving and 3 TDs. Because of the offensive switch, you can be sure the Ravens will throw the ball more and that is always good news for a WR. Denver is 9th in FP allowed to WRs at 19.7 PPG in PPR formats, but Boldin should have a solid WR2/3 type of game.
Mike Williams – WR Buccaneers: Because the Saints give up so many fantasy points to opposing offenses, I would love to play just about anyone in a Buccs uniform this weekend.Williams is only owned in 65.6 percent of NFL.com leagues, and started in 31.9 percent of them, making him a prime sleeper candidate for this weekend.
Martellus Bennett – TE Giants: Bennett has racked up 10 catches for 114 yards and 2 TDs over the last 2 games, and this week gets a Falcons defense that gives up the 12th most FP to TEs at 8.1 PPG in PPR formats. That may not sound like a lot, but the worst defense for TEs (Redskins) give up just 11.0 PPG, so the difference isn’t as much as you would think.
Detroit Lions defense: I’m not even going to sugar coat this, the Cardinals are a REALLY bad offensive team and I would play WHATEVER defense they played against this week. It just so happens to be the Lions, and as long as Ndamukong Suh can keep from stomping on someone or kicking them in the groin, the Lions are a top tier fantasy defense against a team full of QBs that play pitch-n-catch with defenses. The Lions are owned in 68.3 percent of NFL.com leagues, but that number is raisingevery single day as owners are flocking to the waiver wire to grab them for this weekend (28,141 this week alone).
Jay Cutler – QB Bears: For some reason people seem to think the Packers give up a ton of fantasy points, so naturally they want to play whoever they play against for offensive stats. However, did you know the Packers only allow 19.2 PPG to QBs, a number good enough to put them as the #14 in the NFL this season? Add to that Cutler is dealing with neck problems after a nasty hit last week, and now a knee ailment has been added to the Bears injury report. If the Packers get up on the Bears, Cutler will go all Jay Cutler and try to force the ball where he shouldn’t; and, that will lead to turnovers.
Andrew Luck – QB Colts: Luck didn’t have a good day (196 passing yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs) against a Titans defense that gives up 20.8 PPG to QBs, so I don’t really see him doing much better against a Texans’ defense looking for revenge after the 42-14 blowout on Monday Night Football last week. The Texans know the Colts aren’t a running team, so they are sure to gear their defense to stopping Luck and the passing attack. I would rank Luck in the 15-20 range QBs this week.
C.J. Spiller – RB Bills: I saw one highly respected website put Spiller as their #9 ranked fantasy RB this week, which is crazy to me because the Seahawks are ranked #6 in yards allowed to RBs (1,092) and #4 for FP allowed to RBs (14.7 PPG). Not to mention the Seahawks have the #5 ranked fantasy defense over the last month.
Jacquizz Rodgers – RB Falcons: Rodgers is a good example of why you shouldn’t get too hyper over late-season promotions (if you can call it that). If he was good enough to play over Michael Turner, the Falcons wouldn’t have moved him up the depth chart months ago. Because the Falcons want to lessen Turner’s workload, owners have been flocking to the waiver wire and picking up Rodgers in the hopes of getting waiver wire gold after the trade deadline. Instead of gold Rodgers is looking more like Tungsten thanks to his 129 yards rushing, 15 catches for 104 yards receiving and 1 TD over the last 4 games. That averages out to just 32.3 yards rushing and 3.75 catches for 26 yards receiving. Can you say overrated?
T.Y. Hilton – WR Colts: Hilton got a lot of fantasy football run due to his 100-yard games in weeks 11 and 13. However, he had 33 and 50 yard games in weeks 12 and 14. This week the Colts lock horns with a team sure to be seeing red after a thrashing on a national stage in week 14. I wouldn’t even look at Hilton in my flex spot if I could help it.
Justin Blackmon – WR Jaguars: Blackmon’s stats are skewed if you look at the last 4 games, so I will take his last 3 games and tell you he is averaging just 4.0 receptions and 42.7 yards. And, with Cecil Shorts due back this week, things aren’t looking any better for the Jaguars much hyped rookie WR. I would give Blackmon a flex ranking this week, but would try my best to find other options at WR if at all possible.
Brandon Myers – TE Raiders: I think we all saw Myers’ week 13 game against the Browns (14 catches for 130 yards and a TD) and thought we would catch lightening in a bottle if we grabbed him off the waiver wire. Instead, he fizzled out last week and hauled in just 1 pass for 7 yards. This week the Raiders get a Chiefs defense that is actually ranked #5 at TE points allowed with 7.3 PPG.
Chicago Bears defense: The Bears are going once again being bitten by the injury bug, and will be without MLB Brian Urlacher (hamstring), DE Shea McClellin (MCL), S Craig Steltz (pectoral), CB Sherrick McManis (knee), and Tim Jennings (shoulder) may or may not be back for this week’s game. Add to that Greg Jennings looks to be back and ready to contribute and you have a recipe for another fantasy bust week for NFL.com’s #1 owned and started defense (99.3 percent owned, 91.0 percent started).
Be sure to check back here on Sunday morning for the latest fantasy injury updates.
Also, for more fantasy advice, follow James on Twitter here.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
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