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Friday, 12 December 2014 17:15

Fantasy Football Week 15 Preview

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A few major players are on IR and it may be costly for your team. Let’s see what you can do to soften the blow.

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams

The Cardinals offense has been pretty weird lately, and with Larry Fitzgerald injured and Andre Ellington on IR, there’s no sure bet when it comes to performance. Yes Kerwynn Williams did a solid job, but Stepfan Taylor is the starting RB. I’m staying away from the Cardinals other than the DST. Same with the Rams. Tre Mason (Flex) may be a decent start, but I wouldn’t rely on him.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

My guess is Mike Wallace will be stuck on Revis Island, so I’m benching him and rolling with Jarvis Landry (Flex). Lamar Miller may have some success in the running game, but the Pats have done a good job limiting that lately other than Eddie Lacy. For the Pats I have a hard time using any of their RBs, but it’s hard not to put Shane Vereen (Flex) in the lineup. LeGarrette Blount should also be a good Flex play, as he’s become the lead back for the Pats, and will probably get some goal line work. Brandon LaFell took a backseat to Julian Edelman last week, but both are WR2 plays for me.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons

Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are the only Steelers you care about. I’d say Julio Jones is the only player you care for from the Falcons, but the Steelers have been pretty good to opposing QBs lately (Matt Ryan – QB1) and Steven Jackson (RB2) has had double digit fantasy points in 3 straight weeks. Leave the defenses at home people.

Washington Football Franchise at NY Giants

Ugh, I’m done with Washington. Alfred Morris gets a RB2 nod, but I’m not letting anyone else from that team touch my starting lineup. Eli Manning is a Sleeper Selection for me simply because Washington has been so bad in the secondary. Overall I like the Giants here. Odell Beckham Jr is clearly a top WR in the league, Rashad Jennings (RB2) should do well with more touches, and if he isn’t active Andre Williams will fill in well (Flex otherwise). Larry Donnell has been very quiet, but Washington may be just what he needs to get back to top-10 TE levels.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

A decent game for Latavius Murray, but since he’s become lead back and has been running well I think he’s an RB2 for me. I don’t think Mychal Rivera is all of a sudden a start worthy TE again, and I’d stay away from the Raiders other than Murray. Who can you really trust on the Chiefs other than Jamaal Charles? Travis Kelce is a low end TE1 in my opinion, and overall he hasn’t been that good lately.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

A lot of offense here; Foster, Hopkins, Luck, Hilton and Herron (Flex) should all be in your lineup. Hopkins in particular could have another career day if Andre Johnson is out. You may think the extra defensive attention would hurt him, but I think he’s one of the best in the league and the extra targets will help him.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens

With Denard Robinson out for the season, I’m not using any Jaguars. Steve Smith took over with Torrey being hurt, and if Torrey can’t play this week I think Steve is a WR2. If Torrey does play, the older Smith is a Flex and the younger is a WR2. Justin Forsett is a RB1 and continues to play extremely well. Use the Ravens DST, but if you’re in the playoffs I probably shouldn’t need to tell you that.

Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills

This game should be comical. Fred Jackson (Flex) and Sammy Watkins (WR2) are the only players worth considering on the Bills. Packers, well, take your pick. Eddie Lacy bruised his hip against the Falcons, but he should be good to go and I think he’s a top-10 RB (how could you not at this point?). Sleeper Selection here is James Starks. If Lacy is limited, Starks should be the main beneficiary.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

Vincent Jackson will have a game here and there that makes you wish you put him in your lineup, but I still think he remains on the bench. With a possible championship on the line, I think Mike Evans (WR2) is the only Bucs player worth starting. Cam Newton, due to an extremely unfortunate and scary car accident, will sit out Sunday’s game. I’m not sure how well Derek Anderson will connect with Kelvin Benjamin, but the latter is still at least a WR2 to me. Same goes for Greg Olsen (TE1). Jonathan Stewart ran superbly against the Saints, and if DeAngelo Williams is out again I’d use Stewart as an RB2.

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

The Bengals defense may be intriguing with Johnny Manziel as the new starting QB for the Browns, but I wouldn’t place any bets on them being worth a start. Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill remain in a pretty close 50/50 split, so I think both are Flex plays. Hill has been the more effective of the two, so I’d feel more comfortable using him. For the Browns I’d stick with Isaiah Crowell as a Flex play and Josh Gordon as a WR2. Don’t risk your championship hopes with Manziel so soon.

NY Jets at Tennessee Titans

Percy Harvin (bench) can’t have a good game without getting hurt, and I’m not falling for Eric Decker’s hot/cold play. Lately Decker has followed up good games with duds, so he’s sticking on the bench for me. Chris Ivory (RB2) should do well against the Titans’ horrible run defense and he’s the only Jets player I’d feel okay with using. How can you trust any Titan other than Delanie Walker? He’s had a rough couple weeks, but the switch to Jake Locker at QB may help him out. I’m taking the usage here, 10 targets for him in 2 of the last 3 games plus a shoddy run game leads to believe he’ll stay involved.

Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

No way Peyton goes two games in a row without a touchdown. No way Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders put up duds like that. No way CJ Anderson is not a top-10 RB going forward. Start your Broncos (other than Wes Welker). Keenan Allen (WR2) got lost on Revis Island, which was expected. I’d be concerned as a Ryan Mathews owner, he isn’t getting many carries and if they’re down early he probably won’t be used much. Mathews is a Flex play for me.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

As great as the Vikings defense has been lately, I’d sit them this week. Megatron, Tate (WR2) and Joique Bell (RB2) could easily put up big games on Sunday. The only Viking I’d risk using is Charles Johnson (Flex). Last week is the first time he’s crossed 100 receiving yards, and although I don’t think it’ll happen again this week, he’s the best shot at scoring a TD.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Another poor performance by this offense last week, and since it was only 2 weeks ago that they played horribly against the Seahawks I’m expecting a bad game. I’m not putting a 49er in my lineup for Sunday, it’s too risky for my taste. Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are the only Seahawks to use other than the DST. 97 yards and a TD were nice, but I don’t expect Doug Baldwin to do anything similar against the 49ers.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

Tony Romo didn’t play well against the Eagles two weeks ago, but unlike Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers, this offense is coming off of a great week. Romo (QB1), Murray (RB1) and Dez Bryant (WR1) should have great days. Cole Beasley has been pretty useful the last 3 weeks, so he’s earned a Flex spot. Jason Witten had a nice 4 game stretch of solid performances, but the last 2 weeks were disheartening. Only had 5 targets combined in the last 2 games for the former top-5 TE, I think he’s a TE2 this week.

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

Both of these teams are huge disappointments. Drew Brees scored a TD towards the end of the 4th quarter, but 11 points in standard scoring is unacceptable for one of the highest drafted fantasy QBs. The Bears defense is giving up a ton of points to fantasy QBs, so I’m putting faith in Brees to have a great day. I can certainly understand Jimmy Graham concerns. He hasn’t broken 50 receiving yards in 4 weeks, and has only had one 100 receiving yard game this season. That in mind, you aren’t sitting him unless you have Gronk or Julius Thomas. Mark Ingram maintains RB1 status for me; the Bears have given up 3 rushing TDs in the last 2 weeks. With Brandon Marshall gone for the rest of the season, I expect a boost for Alshon Jeffrey (WR1) and Martellus Bennett (TE1). Matt Forte shouldn’t have any issue against the Saints defense; he could easily replicate what Jonathan Stewart did last week. Should you start Jay Cutler? You should start Jay Cutler.

 

Thanks for reading, and follow me @CLNS_Marc for further coverage.