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Alright, Week 15. Let's see what you've got for us. In today's Fantasy Football Today Newsletter  -- subscribe here to get it in your inbox every morning! --, I've got everything you need to know about for each position as you start your preparations for this pivotal period. That includes Heath Cummings' preview for each position, as well as the latest injury news as teams begin their own preparations for Week 15. 

Before we get to that, it's worth noting that the Chargers and Raiders play Thursday night, but they aren't the only early game this week -- the Bills and Broncos are up at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, followed by the Packers and Panthers at 8:15. That means we'll have answers on key injuries like Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, Melvin Gordon and Christian McCaffrey before the big lineup locks Sunday, but it also means you might have to make some decisions before knowing everyone's status for Saturday. All in all, I think those Saturday games are a positive, but I'll let you know Sunday morning whether I still think that way based on how my players fare. 

You can't afford a loss this week, so let's get right to it. 

More Week 15: Waiver WireQB Preview | RB Preview | WR Preview | TE Preview | Trade Values | Cut List | Winners | Losers  

QB Preview

Injuries

Drew Brees (ribs), Matthew Stafford (ribs), Alex Smith (calf), Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and Brandon Allen (knee)

News and notes

  • Matthew Stafford could miss Sunday's game -- The term used by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler to describe how the Lions feel about Stafford's chances of playing was "not overly optimistic." History has proved Stafford will play through an injury if he can, but it seems like that may not be an option. It would obviously mean a downgrade for the Lions' offense as a whole, with T.J. Hockenson the only must-start pass-catcher with Stafford out. 
  • Alex Smith has a chance to play Sunday -- It sounds this injury isn't too serious, which is great news. We'll watch this one through the week. 

Numbers to Know

  • 18 -- Rush attempts for Jalen Hurts in his first start. Lamar Jackson hasn't attempted more than 16 rushes in a game this year.
  • 3.0 -- Completed air yards per attempt for Ben Roethlisberger; only Alex Smith has a lower average.
  • 10 -- Kyler Murray ran 10 times in Week 15 after 10 rush attempts combined the prior two weeks. Hopefully the shoulder injury is behind him.

Matchups that matter

  • Tom Brady @ATL  -- 32nd vs. QB -- I've shared a lot of concerns about the Buccaneers offense, but those don't really apply as much to Brady, who has multiple touchdowns in four straight. His propensity to spread the ball around to the Buccaneers plethora of options might make it hard to trust Mike Evans, et al., but you're not sitting Brady against this kind of matchup.
  • Jared Goff vs. NYJ -- 31st vs. QB -- Can you trust Goff, even against a great matchup? Well, he only has multiple passing touchdowns in one of his past six games, so I think the answer is pretty obviously, "no." But that doesn't mean you can't start him. There's big upside in a matchup like this, or he could lay a 10.5-point stinker like he did in Week 10 against the Seahawks. 
  • Tua Tagovailoa vs. NE -- 3rd vs. QB -- I'm pretty convinced Tagovailoa will be a superstar one day, maybe even the kind you can rely on even against a tough matchup like this one. One day. But with the Dolphins injuries in the passing game, you can't trust him in this one. 

Consensus Expert Rankings

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Patrick Mahomes
  3. Lamar Jackson
  4. Josh Allen
  5. Russell Wilson
  6. Kyler Murray
  7. Tom Brady
  8. Justin Herbert
  9. Taysom Hill
  10. Ryan Tannehill
  11. Deshaun Watson
  12. Mitchell Trubisky

RB Preview

Injuries 

Christian McCaffrey (shoulder/quad), Austin Ekeler (quad), James Conner (quad); Melvin Gordon (shoulder), Ronald Jones (finger), Raheem Mostert (ankle), Antonio Gibson (toe), David Johnson (illness), Myles Gaskin (illness), Joe Mixon (foot), Damien Harris (back), Salvon Ahmed (shoulder), Alexander Mattison (appendix), Lamical Perine (ankle) and Devonta Freeman (ankle)

News and notes

  • The 49ers are awaiting MRI results for Raheem Mostert -- It seems like Mostert might have aggravated the injury that landed him on IR earlier in the season, and at this point I'm not expecting him to play. Jeff Wilson could be a top-15 RB against the Cowboys. 
  • Ronald Jones will have surgery on his broken pinky -- This doesn't necessarily mean Jones will be out for this week's game against the Falcons, but if Leonard Fournette is out there in your league, make sure you add him. My expectations for him would be roughly the same as what I expect for Jones -- so a mid-range RB2. 
  • James Conner injured his quad Sunday -- We'll have to see if Conner can get through the week in practice, but Benny Snell would be just a fringe RB2 option if he gets the start. This hasn't been a good situation in a long time, and Snell hasn't really impressed. That said, it's a great matchup against the Bengals on Monday night, so you could probably do worse. 
  • Matt Rhule does not expect to have Christian McCaffrey for Saturday -- McCaffrey was listed as a limited participant on Tuesday's estimated practice report, so don't count him out entirely -- Jon Gruden said he didn't expect Josh Jacobs to play early last week but he improved quicker than expected. If McCaffrey is out, Mike Davis will remain a borderline top-12 RB. 
  • Melvin Gordon was estimated as a "DNP" in Tuesday's practice report -- The Broncos had a walkthrough Tuesday, so this doesn't tell us much, but it's not a great sign, especially with one fewer day than usual to get right. At least we'll get the official injury status for Gordon on Thursday. If he doesn't play, Phillip Lindsay could be a solid RB2 against the Bills. 
  • Austin Ekeler was limited Tuesday -- It's a short week, so this could just be the Chargers limiting Ekeler's reps, but we'll want to watch for his official status Wednesday. As long as Ekeler plays, he's a must-start RB1. 

We rank Leonard Fournette, Jeff Wilson, Phillip Lindsay and Benny Snell and discuss the waiver wire QBs and more on the Fantasy Football Today in 5 podcast. Listen below and subscribe at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts:

Numbers to know

  • 4 -- Miles Sanders had four catches in Jalen Hurts' first start to tie his season high.
  • 10 -- Alvin Kamara saw 10 targets in Week 14, more than he saw in Taysom Hill's first three starts combined.
  • 7.1 -- David Montgomery has broken a tackle once every 7.1 rush attempts, the best mark in the league.
  • 34 -- Austin Ekeler is tied for the league lead with 34 targets since he returned in Week 12.
  • 19 -- Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL with 19 rush attempts inside the 5-yard line. He has gained 2 yards on those carries.

Matchups that matter

  • Jonathan Taylor vs. HOU -- 31st vs. RB -- Taylor may not win you a championship -- Week 16 against the Steelers is a tough one -- but he can certainly help you get there. He's rushed for at least 90 yards in three straight with 64 touches in that stretch. He's a top-five RB for this one. 
  • J.K. Dobbins vs. JAC -- 29th vs. RB -- Dobbins is the Ravens lead back, but that hasn't led to the kind of production we hoped to see. Part of the problem is that the Ravens just don't throw to their backs much, but the bigger issue is he's still just the larger part of a platoon. He's rushed for 64.7 yards per game while averaging 13 carries over his past three, with a touchdown in each pushing him over the top. Fortunately, his chances of scoring are pretty high in any given week, and even higher in a game against the Ravens, so you probably have room for Dobbins in our RB2 spot. 
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire @NO -- 2nd vs. RB -- Edwards-Helaire is in the same range as Dobbins, which is to say he comes with a pretty reluctant recommendation as a starter. This just hasn't been as valuable a role as we expected it to be, and now he's got one of the toughest matchups in the league on the way. It's hard to get away from a back in an offense like this, especially when that back just had 21 touches. There's big upside here, but you can't feel super confident in him reaching it at this point. 

Consensus expert rankings 

  1. Derrick Henry
  2. Dalvin Cook
  3. Austin Ekeler
  4. Alvin Kamara
  5. Jonathan Taylor
  6. David Montgomery
  7. Mike Davis
  8. Nick Chubb
  9. James Robinson
  10. Aaron Jones
  11. Cam Akers
  12. Ronald Jones
  13. Miles Sanders
  14. Chris Carson
  15. D'Andre Swift
  16. Josh Jacobs
  17. Kenyan Drake
  18. Raheem Mostert
  19. Kareem Hunt
  20. Wayne Gallman
  21. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  22. J.D. McKissic
  23. David Johnson
  24. J.K. Dobbins

WR Preview

Injuries

Julio Jones (hamstring), DeVante Parker (leg), Brandin Cooks (neck), D.J. Moore (illness), Kenny Golladay (hip), Deebo Samuel (hamstring), Mike Williams (back), John Brown (ankle), Julian Edelman (knee), Preston Williams (foot), Randall Cobb (toe) and Jakeem Grant (hamstring)

News and notes

  • Brandin Cooks should be able to return to the lineup -- Cooks missed Week 14 against the Bears with the injury, but it sounds like he was pretty close to playing. He'll be the top option for Deshaun Watson against the Colts, and he should be a WR2 for Fantasy. 
  • Keenan Allen (hamstring) and Mike Williams (back) were limited Tuesday -- We can't take too much from this because the Chargers have just done walkthroughs the past two days, so Wednesday should be the tell. We'll update you Thursday morning on their status, and if Allen plays, he remains a must-start WR against the Raiders. Williams is more of a high-upside WR3 if he plays. 
  • DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant are both in doubt for Sunday -- We'll have to see what this week in practice holds for both, but at this point, it sure seems like both could be out. Lynn Bowden could be the leading receiver for the Dolphins against the Patriots coming off a seven-catch, 82-yard breakout performance. He's an intriguing option to consider starting in deeper leagues, but the matchup and his lack of track record make him anything but a sure thing. 
  • John Brown has been designated to return from injured reserve -- Brown has 21 days to return to the active roster, but he could be back as soon as this week. Don't plan on having him available against the Broncos on Saturday, but he could be worth starting in Week 16 against the Patriots if he's at full speed. 
  • The Raiders placed Henry Ruggs on the Reserve/COVID-19 list -- It's not clear if Ruggs tested positive or not, but if he did, he won't be able to play until 10 days pass from the initial positive test, based on new protocols announced Tuesday. 

Numbers to know

  • 50 -- Targets for Brandon Aiyuk over his past four games.
  • 75.30 -- PPR Fantasy points for T.Y. Hilton since Week 11. That's 20 more than he scored the first 10 weeks of the season.
  • 16.5 -- Average depth of target for Jalen Guyton, almost identical to Mike Williams. If Williams is out on Thursday, Guyton could be a boom-or-bust flex.
  • 5.4 -- aDOT for JuJu Smith-Schuster. It was 8.8 in 2018 and 9.7 in 2019.
  • 6.9% -- Drew Lock has a 6.9% interception rate when targeting Jerry Jeudy; no wonder his targets have gone down.

Matchups that matter

  • Chris Godwin @ATL -- 31st vs. WR -- Godwin played pretty close to his usual snap share in Week 14, so hopefully we can just write off his three targets to an unusually low volume of pass attempts overall. He's the best Bucs WR to start if you have to have one, and he's the only one I view as a reliable starting option -- though the consensus rankings prefer Mike Evans, for what that's worth. Both are more like low-end WR2 in my eyes, even with a great matchup. 
  • Terry McLaurin vs. SEA -- 32nd vs. WR -- 38 yards on four catches over the last two games? And now he might be playing with Washington's third-string QB, Dwayne Haskins? It's not a great set up for McLaurin, who has averaged 14.5 PPR points in 11 career games with Haskins as the starter. You don't feel great about it, but McLaurin probably still belongs in your lineup. 
  • DJ Chark @BAL -- 3rd vs. WR -- If Gardner Minshew can recapture some of that 2019 magic, Chark could close out the season strong, but you can't bet on that at this point, especially not against the Ravens. It's something of a lost season for Chark -- but he'll be a solid bounce-back candidate for 2021 if the Jaguars upgrade the QB position. 

Consensus expert rankings 

  1. Davante Adams
  2. Tyreek Hill
  3. Stefon Diggs
  4. Allen Robinson
  5. Calvin Ridley
  6. DeAndre Hopkins
  7. Keenan Allen
  8. DK Metcalf
  9. A.J. Brown
  10. Michael Thomas
  11. Brandon Aiyuk
  12. Justin Jefferson
  13. Mike Evans
  14. T.Y. Hilton
  15. Adam Thielen
  16. Amari Cooper
  17. Cooper Kupp
  18. Robert Woods
  19. Terry McLaurin
  20. Robby Anderson
  21. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  22. D.J. Moore
  23. Corey Davis
  24. Diontae Johnson

TE Previews

Injuries

Mike Gesicki (shoulder), Noah Fant (illness), George Kittle (foot), Austin Hooper (neck), Kyle Rudolph (foot) and Greg Olsen (foot)

News and notes

  • "It's too early to tell" if Mike Gesicki will play in Week 15 -- He left Sunday's game late with the injury, and we'll hopefully know more when the Dolphins begin practice preparation for Sunday's game. If he doesn't play, Adam Shaheen could be a viable streaming option if you're desperate. 
  • Noah Fant would not have practiced Tuesday -- Fant tried to play through a non-COVID illness Sunday but had to leave the game early, and it's not a great sign that he's still being held out. Make plans for another starter if you've been relying on Fant, especially because there might be lingering effects from this illness even if he does play. 

Numbers to know

  • 1,250 -- Receiving yards for Travis Kelce, which leads the NFL. No tight end has ever led the league in receiving for a full season.
  • 13% -- Touchdown rate for Jared Cook this year. Maybe regression will never get him in New Orleans.
  • 12 -- Tight ends have scored 12 touchdowns against the Jets this year, six in the past four weeks.
  • -- Cole Kmet has seven targets in each of his past two games.

Matchups that matter

  • Tyler Higbee vs. NYJ -- 32nd vs. TE -- This one is all about the matchup, because Higbee hasn't had more than 34 receiving yards in a game since Week 10 when he had a season-high 60. That's not much, so you're really hoping that the Jets ineptitude carries a lot of weight. It just might. 
  • Eric Ebron @CIN -- 30th vs. TE -- We've seen Diontae Johnson start to lose opportunities due to his drop problems, but that hasn't happened for Ebron yet. I'd trust Ebron over Higbee, for sure, but he's definitely in that touchdown-or-bust range at TE, which is basically everyone after No. 5 at the position. 

Consensus expert rankings 

  1. Travis Kelce
  2. Darren Waller
  3. T.J. Hockenson
  4. Mark Andrews
  5. Logan Thomas
  6. Eric Ebron
  7. Dallas Goedert
  8. Robert Tonyan
  9. Hunter Henry
  10. Rob Gronkowski
  11. Evan Engram
  12. Irv Smith