Fantasy Football Week 15: You're starting Doug Martin, benching Aaron Rodgers, and other things to know

Need Fantasy Football lineup advice? Talk to CBS Sports on your Google Assistant to get insights on the best sleepers and to help decide between players. Just start with, "Hey Google, talk to CBS Sports."

Have the Eagles' wings been clipped?

I wrote about this more extensively on Wednesday, but the Eagles offense could be in real trouble with Carson Wentz out. I've never been sold on Wentz as a truly elite quarterback, but the last time we saw Nick Foles he looked flat-out awful. In two games this season he threw for 451 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Of course, the other problem the Eagles have is they have too many mouths to feed. Three running backs will receive touches, and the receivers have been even less predictable. They also face a Rams defense in Week 15 (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, available on fuboTV) giving up 13.4 points per game with Aqib Talib on the field. 

I'm sitting Alshon Jeffery, Josh Adams, Golden Tate and anyone else on the Eagles not named Zach Ertz

We're not trusting Aaron Rodgers or Cam Newton.

Seasons are on the line and we're telling you to bench both Rodgers and Newton. Something must be wrong, right? Yes, absolutely.

For Rodgers it's a combination of his performance and his matchup. For the season he's been a low-end starting Fantasy option. He's 12th in Fantasy points per game. In his last three games he's scored 53 Fantasy points. And now he's facing the Chicago Bears on the road. The Bears have allowed the second-fewest Fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. No quarterback has scored more than 20 points against them in the last seven weeks. 

Newton's situation is more complicated. The Saints defense is good, but they aren't the Bears. Newton has been better than Rodgers this season in Fantasy, but he's struggled as of late and there are real questions about the health of his shoulder. His rush attempts are down over the second half and he hasn't been an accurate passer. This game could turn into a shootout, but I'm expecting a low-scoring game and a subpar performance from Newton as a result. 

The Vikings offense may look different.

With John DeFilippo fired this week we have a little bit of uncertainty about how the offense will work for Minnesota. But we can make an educated guess. The broadcast Monday night mentioned multiple times how Mike Zimmer wanted this team to be more run-heavy; it would be hard to be less so than they were under DeFilippo. 

The Vikings have run the ball on just 33 percent of their offensive plays, compared to a 63 percent pass rate. I would not be surprised at all by a major shift in that number against the Dolphins in Week 15. For that reason, I'm concerned about Kirk Cousins and excited about Dalvin Cook. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are still starts, but they may not have the same upside. 

I also love the Vikings defense. They're in a great spot as it is, but if Minnesota goes to more of a ball-control offense they may just pitch a shutout against a Dolphins team coming off an emotional win. 

Doug Martin has the dream matchup.

The Cincinnati Bengals have been a phenomenally bad against running backs over the last eight games. Nine running backs have scored at least 14 Fantasy points in non-PPR scoring; Six have scored 20 or more. Martin has found the end zone in three straight games and has seen his workload increase in games which the Raiders stay competitive. Martin is a solid No. 2 running back with upside in a game between two terrible teams. 

The league's worst offense faces one of its worst defenses.

The Arizona Cardinals rank dead last in yards per game and points per game. The Atlanta Falcons allow the fourth-most points and seventh-most yards per game. What a matchup!

Why is this interesting? Really because of three options:

  • The first is David Johnson, who has been a bit of a plodder this year but has scored enough to be a top-15 running back on the season. The one advantage for Johnson? The Falcons have been awful against pass-catching running backs for almost five years running. You should start Johnson with confidence as a No. 1 running back, especially in PPR.
  • The second is Larry Fitzgerald. The Falcons have had their struggles against No. 1 receivers, but I'm a little leery of starting Larry. He looks as though he's lost another step and there is no one else other than Johnson to pay attention to in the passing game. As bad as the Falcons are, I think they can keep track of the veteran receiver over the middle. He's a low-end flex.
  • Finally we get to the Falcons defense. Many people are streaming them this week. I'm not. Even though they're at home against a terrible offense. I prefer Buffalo, Washington and Detroit as streamers.

We may finally see Lamar Jackson's upside.

I understand if you're tired of hearing about Jackson's upside. He's had four starts against outstanding matchups and he's mostly been mediocre. But that upside is just so intoxicating. 

He has between 12 and 14 carries in all four starts and he's starting to take a few more shots deep. This Tampa Bay defense is susceptible to the deep ball and hasn't been very good at all against the run. I legitimately believe he has 200-100-3 upside which would make him a candidate to be the No. 1 overall quarterback in any given week. He wouldn't have been far from that if Chris Moore hadn't dropped this pass last week.  

There are two games you should try to avoid.

We have two games in Week 15 with an over/under below 40. I'm mostly trying to avoid them. Josh Johnson and Washington travel to Jacksonville to take on a Cody Kessler-led offense. And the Lions are in Buffalo. The only must-start (besides the DSTs) in either game is Leonard Fournette, and even that is a volume-based recommendation. Vernon Davis and Kenny Golladay are both fine starts as well, but neither is anywhere close to guaranteed.

Monday Night Football gives us outdoors Drew Brees.

We talked about the Newton side of this game, but Brees owners have a more difficult decision to make. I have him ranked as a borderline start, but there's plenty of reason for concern. 

The Saints have played four games outdoors this season. They've won all of them, but Brees Fantasy owners have mostly suffered. Brees has averaged 29.5 attempts, 223 attempts, and 16.5 Fantasy points in those four games. The only game where he was good was against the Bengals when he threw three touchdowns on 25 attempts and ran for a score as well. His upside may be too much for you to bench, but the history outdoors is pretty discouraging. 

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking quarterback could win you Week 15? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories