The Saints announced Friday that Drew Brees will play in Week 15 against the Chiefs after missing the past four games with injured ribs. But that good news was dampened when star receiver Michael Thomas was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Brees is still worth starting in all Fantasy leagues against Kansas City as a low-end No. 1 quarterback even without Thomas. Brees played six games this season without Thomas, and he scored at least 23 Fantasy points in four of them.
Brees will rely on Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook and Emmanuel Sanders to help replace Thomas, with Tre'Quan Smith likely mixing in as well. Kamara is an obvious starter in all leagues, and Cook scored a touchdown in four of the five games he played without Thomas earlier this year (both were inactive in Week 4). As for Sanders, he should be considered a sleeper in Week 15, and he's worth using as a borderline starter. Smith is just a deep-league flier.
Sanders played four games without Thomas earlier this season (both were inactive in Week 7 against Carolina and Week 8 at Chicago), and Sanders scored at least 15 PPR points in three of those outings. In those three productive games against the Packers, Lions and Chargers, Sanders averaged 9.3 targets per game with 22 catches, 271 yards and one touchdown.
Brees will likely lean on Sanders against the Chiefs, and this game is expected to be a high-scoring affair with an Over/Under of 51. But the Chiefs have allowed the second fewest Fantasy points to receivers on the season, and only four receivers have touchdowns against Kansas City since Week 6, although Mike Evans and Tim Patrick scored twice against the Chiefs over that span.
I'm counting on Sanders to be a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week with Thomas out. Sanders should get a healthy amount of targets, and I'll count on Brees leaning on him, especially if the Saints are chasing points at home. It stinks that Thomas is out, but Sanders should benefit as a sleeper in Week 15.
Now, let's look at other sleepers for this week, as well as DFS lineups to consider on FanDuel and DraftKings.
More Week 15: Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: QB | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: RB | Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: WR | Waiver Wire | QB Preview | RB Preview | WR Preview | TE Preview | Trade Values | Cut List | Winners | Losers | Expert Rankings & Injury Updates
Week 15 Sleepers
Jared Goff QB
LAR L.A. Rams • #16
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
If there was ever a week to trust Goff, it's now against the Jets. They allow an average of 25.4 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and six quarterbacks in a row have scored at least 23 Fantasy points, including four with at least 31 points. Goff only has two games with more than 16 Fantasy points since Week 7, but this matchup suggests he should have a big game.
CHI Chicago • #10
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Trubisky just had his best game of the year in Week 14 against Houston with 30 Fantasy points, and he also scored 24 Fantasy points in Week 12 against the Packers. The Vikings have allowed six quarterbacks this season to score at least 24 Fantasy points, and Trubisky has the chance to be a low-end starter in all leagues in Week 15.
IND Indianapolis • #17
Age: 39 • Experience: 17 yrs.
Rivers has scored at least 21 Fantasy points in four games in a row, including 23 points at Houston in Week 13. For the season, the Texans allow 21.7 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and four of the past six quarterbacks against Houston have scored at least 20 points.
Salvon Ahmed RB
MIA Miami • #26
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
There's no guarantee that Ahmed plays Sunday against the Patriots after being out for the past three games with a shoulder injury. But he got in three limited practice sessions, and it appears like he will return in Week 15. Hopefully, he'll be the lead back for the Dolphins, who won't have Myles Gaskin (illness). The last time we saw Ahmed, with no Gaskin as well, was in Week 10 against the Chargers and Week 11 against the Broncos, and he scored at least 12 PPR points in both outings. He had at least 17 total touches in each game, and hopefully that would be the case again this week. There have been nine running backs with at least 14 carries against the Patriots, and all of them have at least 80 total yards this year, including Cam Akers in Week 14.
WAS Washington • #41
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
The Seahawks are tied for fourth in receptions allowed to running backs with 77, and eight running backs have at least four catches against them this season. McKissic won't have Alex Smith (calf) this week to help with his reception total, but I'm confident that Dwayne Haskins will still keep McKissic involved, especially with Antonio Gibson (toe) out. McKissic has scored at least 16 PPR points in three of his past six games.
Benny Snell RB
PIT Pittsburgh • #24
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
We'll see what happens with James Conner (quad) this week, but if he's out Monday then consider Snell a potential starter or flex option against the Bengals. Cincinnati has allowed a running back to score or gain over 100 total yards in four games in a row, and Snell scored 12 PPR points in one of two starts in place of Conner when he was recently on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Zack Moss RB
BUF Buffalo • #20
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
There's always the chance the Bills go back to Devin Singletary as the lead running back, but Moss had more carries than Singletary in Week 14 against Pittsburgh (13 to seven). He didn't do much with them with only 43 rushing yards, and he added no catches on one target. But hopefully the Bills stick with Moss this week against Denver, and he could be a flex option, with his value higher in non-PPR. The Broncos have allowed eight touchdowns to running backs in their past five games.
BAL Baltimore • #15
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
On Friday afternoon, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he expects Brown to come off the reserve/COVID-19 list in time to play Sunday against the Jaguars. If that's the case, Brown has sleeper appeal for this week. Brown is finally starting to play at a high level after a down season, and he's worth trusting this week as a No. 3 receiver in all leagues. He's scored in three games in a row, with 22 targets over that span, and the Jaguars have allowed the opposing team's No. 1 receiver to either score or gain at least 100 receiving yards in nine games in a row.
Chad Hansen WR
HOU Houston • #17
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
In two games without Will Fuller (suspension), Hansen has scored at least 12 PPR points in both outings against the Colts and Bears. He has 14 targets over that span for 12 catches and 157 yards, and Brandin Cooks (foot) was out against Chicago in Week 14. Cooks is expected to play in Week 15, but Hansen can still be reliable in deeper leagues as the No. 3 receiver for the Texans behind Cooks and Keke Coutee. Hansen had five catches for 101 yards on seven targets against Indianapolis in Week 13.
Russell Gage WR
ATL Atlanta • #83
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Gage has stepped up in the past two games for the Falcons against New Orleans and the Chargers with 15 targets, nine catches, 133 yards and a touchdown over that span, and he also threw a 39-yard touchdown pass at Los Angeles in Week 14. He should continue to be heavily involved with Julio Jones out again, and Gage can be a low-end No. 3 PPR receiver in Week 15 against Tampa Bay. It also helps Gage that Olamide Zaccheaus (toe) is also out.
GB Green Bay • #83
Age: 26 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Valdes-Scantling is difficult to trust, but he could be the type of player who wins your week. He showed his upside again in Week 14 at Detroit with six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown on six targets, and he now has at least 19 PPR points in three of his past six games. The Panthers just allowed two big touchdowns to K.J. Hamler in Week 14, and Carolina has allowed a pair of receivers to score in each of the past two games against Minnesota and Denver.
LAR L.A. Rams • #11
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
You're starting Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp this week, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see Reynolds or even Van Jefferson make some plays against the Jets. Three Seattle receivers scored against the Jets in Week 14, and they have allowed eight receivers to score at least 11 PPR points in their past five games.
CLE Cleveland • #82
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Higgins is on fire in his past two games against the Titans and Bills with 19 targets for 12 catches, 163 yards and two touchdowns, and he's scored at least 18 PPR points in each outing. We'll see if he can keep it going against the Giants, who will be without standout cornerback James Bradberry (illness). And if you want to speculate for a two-week Fantasy receiver, Higgins gets the Jets in Week 16, which is a dream matchup.
BUF Buffalo • #13
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
John Brown (ankle) will be out again in Week 15 against the Broncos, which is a great situation for Davis. In the past three games without Brown, Davis has scored a touchdown in each of those outings. Now, he only has 16 targets over that span with nine catches for 166 yards, but he could be useful in deeper leagues based on how well Josh Allen is playing.
Irv Smith TE
MIN Minnesota • #84
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Kyle Rudolph (foot) is out again, which makes Smith a potential must-start Fantasy tight end in all leagues. Smith had four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on four targets in Week 14 with Rudolph out at Tampa Bay, and the Bears have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends in their past seven games.
Tyler Higbee TE
LAR L.A. Rams • #89
Age: 28 • Experience: 5 yrs.
The Rams get the Jets in Week 15, which should be great for Higbee or Gerald Everett. I like Higbee slightly better than Everett given his touchdown potential, and the Jets have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends in their past four games -- and 12 touchdowns to tight ends for the season.
Cole Kmet TE
CHI Chicago • #85
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Kmet has played well over the past two weeks with 14 targets for nine catches, 78 yards and a touchdown against Detroit and Houston, and hopefully he can continue to remain productive against the Vikings. Minnesota has allowed two tight ends to score in the past four weeks, including Rob Gronkowski in Week 14, and hopefully Kmet -- and not Jimmy Graham -- can score this week for the Bears. Graham also has been dealing with a hip injury this week, and if he's out then Kmet could be a borderline starter in all leagues.
QB: Jalen Hurts ($5,900) at ARI
RB: Jonathan Taylor ($7,200) vs. HOU
RB: J.K. Dobbins ($5,900) vs. JAC
WR: Chris Godwin ($6,200) at ATL
WR: Corey Davis ($5,800) vs. DET
WR: T.Y. Hilton ($5,500) vs. HOU
TE: Irv Smith ($3,600) vs. CHI
FLEX: Cam Akers ($6,600) vs. NYJ
DST: Patriots ($3,000) at MIA
I'm going to trust Hurts here based on his price and upside. Hopefully he continues to run at a high level after gaining 106 yards on the ground last week against the Saints, and Arizona has struggled with running quarterbacks this season.
I'll play Dobbins and Taylor in this lineup as well, along with Akers, who has 50 carries in his past two games for the Rams. And Smith is a great price at tight end based on his upside.
I love the receivers in this lineup with Godwin, Davis and Hilton, and Hilton absolutely destroys the Texans in his career. In 17 career games against Houston, Hilton has 98 catches for 1,732 and 11 touchdowns, including Week 13 with eight catches for 110 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets.
QB: Tom Brady ($7,900) at ATL
RB: Alvin Kamara ($7,800) vs. KC
RB: J.K. Dobbins ($5,900) vs. JAC
WR: Allen Robinson ($7,300) at MIN
WR: Mike Evans ($7,100) at ATL
WR: Brandon Aiyuk ($6,900) at DAL
TE: Logan Thomas ($5,600) vs. SEA
FLEX: Jonathan Taylor ($7,400) vs. HOU
DEF: Titans ($3,900) vs. DET
I'm going with a small Buccaneers stack here with Brady and Evans, and I love their matchup against the Falcons. Evans has three touchdowns in his past four games against Atlanta.
The other receivers I'm using with Evans have great matchups with Robinson against the Vikings and Aiyuk against the Cowboys. Aiyuk also has a touchdown or at least 100 receiving yards in six games in a row.
Kamara should be awesome now that Brees is back, and I love Dobbins as the Start of the Week against Jacksonville. Taylor also has been on fire coming into the rematch with the Texans, and he had 135 total yards and a touchdown at Houston in Week 13. And Thomas should continue to play well against the Seahawks, even with Haskins under center.