Week 15 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Baker Mayfield, Eli Manning have prime opportunities, plus DFS lineups
In a playoff Week 15 for Fantasy survivors, Jamey Eisenberg shares his sleepers and Daily Fantasy lineups.
Baker Mayfield makes me nervous in Week 15. He only has four games with at least 20 Fantasy points for the season -- all of them at home -- and he just posted a dud against Cincinnati in Week 14 with 10 points.
But I'd still consider him as a low-end starting Fantasy option this week at Arizona. The matchup is too juicy to overlook.
The Cardinals allow the most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks for the season at 27.7 points per game. Only Russell Wilson in Week 4, Daniel Jones in Week 7 and Devlin Hodges last week failed to score at least 20 Fantasy points against this defense in 2019, and I'm hopeful Mayfield has his first big game on the road.
Mayfield also might want to show off against Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, who coached Mayfield in college at Texas Tech before the two had a falling out. Mayfield, who walked on to the Red Raiders as a freshman, transferred to Oklahoma after the 2013 season because he felt Kingsbury did not communicate well with him after he suffered a knee injury following a 5-0 start, according to ESPN.
It would be great if Mayfield got a big game out of Odell Beckham, who is fighting through a groin injury. But Mayfield should get enough production from Jarvis Landry, Kareem Hunt and whatever Beckham provides to make him successful in this matchup.
As I said on our Fantasy Football Today podcast, I'm nervous about Mayfield because of his track record for the season. But the Cardinals defense has made many bad quarterbacks look good this year, and hopefully that happens with Mayfield this week.
He's someone to consider as a sleeper in Week 15, but I don't think he qualifies as a must-start quarterback given his struggles for most of the 2019 campaign.
Week 15 Sleepers
Eli Manning QB
NYG N.Y. Giants • #10
Age: 39 • Experience: 16 yrs.
Manning is expected to start in Week 15 against Miami with Daniel Jones (ankle) still hurt, and this could be the final home start of his career. It would not be a surprise to see him go out with a stellar performance since he's facing the Dolphins. Miami allows an average of 24.6 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and four quarterbacks in a row have scored at least 20 Fantasy points against this defense.
IND Indianapolis • #7
Age: 27 • Experience: 4 yrs.
The Saints defense is a mess right now due to injuries, and Brissett could be forced to throw if he's chasing points as expected. New Orleans has allowed three quarterbacks in a row to score at least 20 Fantasy points, and Brissett just had 26 Fantasy points at Tampa Bay in Week 14, which was his highest total since Week 7.
MIA Miami • #14
Age: 37 • Experience: 15 yrs.
I'll stick with Fitzpatrick this week given his matchup with the Giants, and hopefully DeVante Parker (concussion) is healthy enough to play. The Giants are awful against opposing quarterbacks, allowing an average of 23.5 Fantasy points for the season, including six guys in a row scoring at least 20 points. Fitzpatrick couldn't get in the end zone in Week 14 against the Jets and scored just 13 Fantasy points, but he had at least 26 points in each of the previous two weeks.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #17
Age: 38 • Experience: 16 yrs.
The Vikings defense has been up and down of late, allowing at least 20 Fantasy points to two of their past four opposing quarterbacks and 14 points or less to the other two. The two good ones were Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson, and the two who struggled were Brandon Allen and David Blough. Despite his struggles, I would still put Rivers closer to Prescott and Wilson, and he should deliver a quality outing this week. He's scored at least 20 Fantasy points in consecutive games against Denver and Jacksonville, and I expect Rivers to play well once again in Week 15 at home.
MIA Miami • #42
Age: 24 • Experience: Rookie
Laird was the lead running back for the Dolphins in Week 14 at the Jets with Kalen Ballage (Achilles) out, and he had a season-high 15 carries for 48 yards, as well as four catches for 38 yards on five targets. He's now scored at least 11 PPR points in three of his past four games, and I like him as a low-end starter in PPR this week against the Giants, who should be tired from playing an overtime game Monday night.
Duke Johnson RB
HOU Houston • #25
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Johnson has the chance to play well this week against the Titans, especially if the Texans are chasing points. He's scored at least 10 PPR points in consecutive games against Denver and New England, and he has at least five catches in three of his past five games. The Titans have allowed a running back to catch at least five passes in three of their past five games, and Tennessee is second in the NFL in receptions allowed to running backs with 85, behind only the Texans (95). Johnson is a solid flex play in PPR this week.
WAS Washington • #26
Age: 34 • Experience: 12 yrs.
The Redskins will go with Peterson and Chris Thompson as their primary running backs with Derrius Guice (knee) out against the Eagles, and both are worth starting, depending on the format. I like Peterson as a low-end starter in non-PPR leagues, and he has consecutive games with at least 13 PPR points coming into Week 15 against Philadelphia. He now has six games with at least 13 carries on the season, and he's scored at least 11 PPR points in five of them. As for Thompson, he's better in PPR, and he just had seven catches on eight targets in Week 14 at Green Bay. He has six games this season with at least four catches, and he's scored at least 11 PPR points in three of them.
James White RB
NE New England • #28
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
For Tom Brady, I'm expecting him to lean on the guys he trusts, which right now seems to be White and Julian Edelman. White has scored at least 11 PPR points in back-to-back games, and he's worth starting in all PPR leagues. In non-PPR leagues, White is just a flex, but he might be the best New England running back regardless of format. It's too hard to count on Sony Michel this week, even in a good matchup against the Bengals.
Ronald Jones RB
TB Tampa Bay • #27
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
I don't want to trust Jones this week because it could easily be Peyton Barber having a good game. But the matchup is positive against the Lions, who are No. 2 in Fantasy points allowed to running backs. And maybe the Buccaneers lean on Jones a little more in the passing game with Mike Evans (hamstring) hurt. Jones has at least three catches in three of his past five games. He's a decent flex option this week against Detroit.
Boston Scott RB
PHI Philadelphia • #35
Age: 24 • Experience: 1 year
Scott looked like Darren Sproles on Monday night against the Giants, and he was the spark the Eagles needed to come back and win the game in overtime. He had 10 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown, as well as six catches for 69 yards on six targets, and he could be needed with Philadelphia's banged up receiving corps this week. Miles Sanders is still the best running back for the Eagles, but Scott could be used as a flex option in PPR in Week 15 at Washington.
Zach Pascal WR
IND Indianapolis • #14
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
The only reason Pascal is in this category instead of the starts is because T.Y. Hilton (calf) told The Athletic he might play Monday night at the Saints. If that happens, Pascal would get downgraded, but I love him if Hilton is out again. In the past two weeks with Hilton out, he's scored a combined 37 PPR points against the Titans and Buccaneers. He has 19 targets over that span for 12 catches, 183 yards and a touchdown. I also like Marcus Johnson as a sleeper in deeper leagues, and he has at least 13 PPR points in two of his past four games.
JAC Jacksonville • #12
Age: 26 • Experience: 3 yrs.
The Jaguars likely have to replace D.J. Chark (ankle) in Week 15 at Oakland, and Westbrook and Chris Conley are worth a look in all leagues, with Westbrook the priority. He has at least seven targets in three games in a row, and he's scored at least 14 PPR points in two of those outings. Chark was averaging just over eight targets per game, so Westbrook should be the No. 1 target for Gardner Minshew. Conley won't be far behind, and he has at least seven targets in five of his past seven games. He's scored at least 11 PPR points in three of those outings, and he's someone to consider in deeper leagues this week against the Raiders, who are No. 6 in Fantasy points allowed to receivers this year.
OAK Oakland • #16
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Williams is due for a big game since he's gone six games in a row without a touchdown. He's also had just one game over that stretch with more than seven PPR points. I expect him to do well this week against the Jaguars, who have allowed at least one receiver to score in four of their past five games.
WAS Washington • #17
Age: 24 • Experience: Rookie
McLaurin made his NFL debut in Week 1 against the Eagles, and he put on a show with 23 PPR points. Let's hope he can replicate that performance this week against the Eagles at home, and he's scored at least 12 PPR points in two of his past three games. The key appears to be seven targets for McLaurin, and he's scored at least 12 PPR points in six of the seven games when he's had at least that many targets. He's a high-end No. 3 receiver in all leagues this week.
TB Tampa Bay • #17
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Mike Evans (hamstring) is out, which means Tampa Bay will need someone to step up opposite Chris Godwin. Watson and Breshad Perriman will vie for more targets, as well as O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, but I like Watson the most at receiver. In Week 14 against Indianapolis in the game where Evans was hurt, Watson had five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown on eight targets, and Perriman had three catches for 70 yards and a touchdown on five targets. Both are worth using as No. 3 Fantasy receivers in Week 15 against the Lions.
DET Detroit • #80
Age: 34 • Experience: 11 year
With Marvin Jones (ankle) on injured reserve, as well as T.J. Hockenson (ankle), the Lions are running out of reliable targets. Kenny Golladay is a must-start Fantasy option, but Amendola could be a surprise receiver in Week 15 against Tampa Bay. He's been at eight PPR points or less in six games in a row, but he does have eight targets in each of his past two games. And this week, he's facing a Tampa Bay defense that allows the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers. I hope Blough can get Amendola and Golladay the ball to help them succeed, but Amendola should be considered a nice sleeper in Week 15.
Ian Thomas TE
CAR Carolina • #80
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Thomas should be considered a starting Fantasy tight end in Week 15 if Greg Olsen (concussion) remains out, and Thomas had five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets in Week 14 at Atlanta in place of Olsen. He was good to close 2018 when Olsen was out with a foot injury, and the same thing appears to be happening in 2019. Thomas has a great matchup against in Week 15 against the Seahawks, who have allowed a tight end to score or gain at least 100 receiving yards in three games in a row.
O.J. Howard TE
TB Tampa Bay • #80
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Howard and Cameron Brate should benefit with Mike Evans (hamstring) out, and Howard has quietly played well in the past two games, scoring 11 PPR points in both outings. He has nine catches for 134 yards on 11 targets over that span, and he should see an uptick in targets with Evans hurt. Brate had four catches for 30 yards and a touchdown on four targets in Week 14 against the Colts when Evans was hurt, and he could be a red-zone option for Jameis Winston moving forward. I like Howard as a starter in Week 15 against Detroit, and Brate is a streamer if needed.
PHI Philadelphia • #88
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Goedert didn't have a great game in Week 14 against the Giants with three catches for 41 yards on six targets, but he should be heavily involved in the game-plan with Alshon Jeffery (foot) and Nelson Agholor (knee) hurt. He's scored at least 11 PPR points in four of his past seven games, and Washington has allowed four touchdowns to tight ends since Week 11. Ertz and Goedert should have the chance for big games in Week 15.
QB - Kyler Murray ($5,600) vs. CLE
RB - Chris Carson ($7,500) at CAR
RB - Austin Ekeler ($6,700) vs. MIN
WR - DeAndre Hopkins ($8,000) at TEN
WR - Christian Kirk ($5,500) vs. CLE
WR - Danny Amendola ($4,100) vs. TB
TE - Tyler Higbee ($3,900) at DAL
FLEX - Darius Slayton ($4,700) vs. MIA
DST - Patriots ($4,000) at CIN
I expect Murray to play well this week against the Browns, and I'll stack him with Kirk here given the price. I also love the setup for Hopkins against a beat up Titans secondary, and Amendola is a sneaky sleeper as I wrote about above.
QB - Derek Carr ($7,300) vs. JAC
RB - Saquon Barkley ($8,300) vs. MIA
RB - Chris Carson ($7,400) vs. CAR
WR - Chris Godwin ($8,400) at DET
WR - A.J. Brown ($6,200) vs. HOU
WR - Tyrell Williams ($5,600) vs. JAC
TE - Mike Gesicki ($5,200) at NYG
FLEX - Todd Gurley ($7,600) at DAL
DST - Chiefs ($3,900) vs. DEN
I'll play Carson again here, and I want to go with Barkley since he's due for a breakout game, especially against Miami. I'll also play Gurley in the flex spot since the Cowboys have struggled against the run lately, and he has scored a touchdown in three of his past four games.
Let's go with Carr and Williams as a stack against the Jaguars, and I expect both to do well in the final game in Oakland for the Raiders. Godwin should do well with Mike Evans (hamstring) out, and I love Brown this week in his matchup with the Texans.
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