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One more win. That's likely the scenario facing many Fantasy owners this week who are striving to make it to the championship game in their leagues. Win this week, and you're likely playing for the big prize.
We hope the stars show up to help you on your way. Peyton Manning and his receivers were colossal disappointments in Week 14, as were Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. Those owners who advanced in spite of those players are hoping for big rebound games, and some owners with those players were on a bye in the first round of the Fantasy playoffs, so they are expecting plenty of points.
Obviously, we can't guarantee anything, but we expect Manning and the Broncos to throw more this week than the past two games when they've been running the ball. And the Saints should take advantage of their matchup against the Bears after they were embarrassed at home by the Panthers.
LeSean McCoy and the Eagles, who also faltered in Week 14 because of a tough home matchup with Seattle, should excel against the Cowboys in a rematch from Thanksgiving. And the 49ers should ... well, nevermind. They were bad against the Raiders last week, and they might be even worse at Seattle now.
There are some prominent injuries to monitor this week with Cam Newton (back) out, and hopefully Eddie Lacy (hip) and Julio Jones (hip) will play. Lacy practiced Wednesday, so he appears in good shape, but Jones could come down to a game-time decision. It would be tough not to have him active in a dream matchup against the Steelers.
Believe me, I'm as shocked as you are that we're recommending a Patriots running back this prominently in Week 15. I must be a glutton for punishment going down this road again.
This will be the third time this year we've had a New England running back as the Start of the Week, and each time we've failed. In Week 3 it was Stevan Ridley, and he struggled at home against the Raiders with five Fantasy points. Then it was Shane Vereen in Week 8 against Chicago at home, and he had four points.
So why go with Blount now? How can I or anyone else trust a Bill Belichick running back? I might need therapy come Monday morning if this fails.
But it makes too much sense not to use Blount this week. The Dolphins are awful against the run of late with Denver (201 rushing yards), the Jets (217 yards) and Baltimore (183) going right through this defense. In those games, C.J. Anderson, Chris Johnson and Justin Forsett had double digits in Fantasy points, and we hope Blount follows suit.
Also, the Dolphins ran all over the Patriots in Week 1 with 191 yards in an upset win, and don't think Belichick has forgotten how his team was pushed around in that game. New England can clinch the AFC East by winning this game at home, and Blount has been the lead back for the Patriots the past three games.
The Patriots have been hard to pin down this season, especially their backfield, but if there's ever a week for Blount to have a dominant performance this is it.
Don't get caught up in watching if Julio Jones (hip) will play or not this week with Ryan. He should remain a starting Fantasy quarterback with or without Jones. The only thing Jones will determine is just how good Ryan can be in this matchup. With Jones, Ryan should be a Top 5 Fantasy quarterback. Without him, he's just a Top 10 option, but he should have success against the Steelers. Pittsburgh has been obliterated by quarterbacks all season long with seven in a row scoring at least 20 Fantasy points and nine reaching that mark for the year. They have given up 14 total touchdowns to just two interceptions to opposing quarterbacks in the past five games, and Ryan is finding a groove with consecutive games of at least 360 passing yards and two touchdowns. We hope Jones plays, but either way you should start Ryan with confidence in Week 15.
The 49ers were embarrassed last week at Oakland when Derek Carr ripped them apart for 254 passing yards and three touchdowns, and clearly this team is falling apart. Now they have to head to Seattle, and the Seahawks should have their way on offense. Wilson had modest stats at San Francisco in Week 13 with 18 Fantasy points, but that's his floor since he's scored at least that many points in five consecutive games. He had 32 Fantasy points at Philadelphia last week, and while he won't be that good, another game with 20-plus points is expected. Wilson once posted 30 Fantasy points against the 49ers at home in Week 16 in 2012, and we'd love to see him dominate on that level against San Francisco again this week. With how the 49ers played against the Raiders, it wouldn't be a total surprise.
Cutler is going to have to manage without one of his best weapons in Brandon Marshall (lung), who is out for the season. He played well in Week 14 against Dallas after Marshall got hurt, and this matchup suggests Cutler should have a great performance. The Saints are struggling with their pass defense of late as Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton each scored at least 27 Fantasy points against New Orleans in the past four games. Cutler should be able to rely on Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte and Marquess Wilson to make plays this week, and he's in line for his 10th game this year with at least 20 Fantasy points. We're expecting him to reach that total, and he remains a solid Fantasy quarterback even with Marshall out. He had 26 Fantasy points against the Saints at home last year in Week 5.
Roethlisberger was one of the biggest surprises of Week 14 because he had his first big game on the road against an opponent that had previously frustrated him. We expect him to carry that momentum over to Week 15 in another road outing against the Falcons. Atlanta hasn't stopped many quarterbacks this season with seven scoring at least 20 Fantasy points, including four in the past six games. It hurts the Falcons that safety William Moore (foot) is banged up, but Roethlisberger should be throwing a lot in this shootout. This should be one of the best games of the weekend with a lot of points, and Roethlisberger should do his part to help Fantasy owners.
Manning is due for a big game, and this matchup sets up for him to go off. He's played well at home all season with at least 19 Fantasy points in five of six games. He also torched the Redskins in Week 4 at Washington with 40 Fantasy points, and the Redskins have allowed eight quarterbacks to score at least 20 points, including Shaun Hill and Andrew Luck in the past two games. Washington is clearly a dysfunctional team right now, and the Giants should be able to move the ball through the air with Odell Beckham and Larry Donnell leading the way. Manning is definitely a risky starting option because of his inconsistent play, but this matchup suggests he will come through for you, possibly in a big way.
SleepersMark Sanchez (vs. DAL): It's a good matchup so Sanchez should thrive.
Johnny Manziel (vs. CIN): His rushing ability enhances his Fantasy value.
Kyle Orton (vs. GB): The past three quarterbacks vs. GB have scored at least 21 points.
Rivers comes into this game looking to establish some level of consistency because he's been awful of late. He had a good ending to the Week 13 win at Baltimore and finished with 32 Fantasy points in that game, but otherwise he's been at 15 points or less in four of his past five outings, including three at home. He did well at Denver in Week 8 with 252 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, but he's got an interception in each of his past three games and is dealing with offensive line woes. Ryan Mathews (leg) is also banged up and without a running game to lean on, we could see Rivers continue to falter. He's a risky starting option at best this week, and I would recommend benching him if possible.
His receiving corps has let him down for two weeks straight, and his offensive line was pummeled in Week 14 against Baltimore. It makes him hard to trust heading into a tough matchup at New England this week. The Patriots have held Matthew Stafford and Rivers to 11 Fantasy points or less in two of their past three games, and Tannehill had just 17 Fantasy points at home against New England in Week 1. In his previous two trips to New England, Tannehill has combined for 19 Fantasy points. He'll need plenty of help from his offensive line to hold off the Patriots pass rush, and Mike Wallace needs to make some plays if Tannehill is going to have a chance of playing well here. We don't see it working for Tannehill in this matchup, and he's worth sitting in the majority of leagues.
The Seahawks are starting to look like the Seahawks again on defense where they just completely dominate their opponents. Derek Carr in Week 9 is the last quarterback with multiple touchdowns against Seattle, and Tony Romo in Week 6 is the last quarterback with 20 Fantasy points. The return of linebacker Bobby Wagner in Week 12 has been huge for this defense, and Kaepernick knows first-hand what to expect. He was overwhelmed by Seattle at home in Week 13 with just 121 passing yards and two interceptions and three carries for 17 yards for one Fantasy point. That is now 19 Fantasy points combined in his past three games with the Seahawks, and Kaepernick hasn't scored more than 15 Fantasy points since Week 6. He's just not playing well right now, and he's an easy sit candidate in all leagues.
Bridgewater comes into this game playing at a high level for the past three weeks. He's scored at least 18 Fantasy points against Green Bay, Carolina and the Jets, with two passing touchdowns in each game, and he had his second 300-yard outing in Week 14. But all of those games were at home in favorable matchups. This game at Detroit doesn't fall into that category. The Lions held Bridgewater to two Fantasy points in Week 6 at home with 23-of-37 passing for 188 yards and three interceptions and three carries for 11 yards. Only four quarterbacks have scored 20 Fantasy points against the Lions, who have an interception in 10 games in a row and 15 total picks over that span. We hope Bridgewater can finish the season strong, but this is not a good week to trust him in the majority of leagues.
It wouldn't surprise me if Flacco came out and had multiple touchdowns in this game, because the Ravens should be able to do what they want offensively. But this feels like a game where Flacco will be handing off a lot and letting Forsett (a must-start option) and Bernard Pierce (sleeper alert) handle most of the heavy lifting. Flacco has 27 Fantasy points in each of his past two games against San Diego and Miami, but those were competitive games. The Ravens should cruise to victory at home, and we've seen Flacco be limited in games where Baltimore runs the ball, like Week 10 against Tennessee (12 Fantasy points) and Week 12 at New Orleans (15 points). You can gamble on Flacco playing well here, but also keep in mind Jacksonville has allowed just one quarterback to score more than 18 Fantasy points in the past eight games, including matchups with Roethlisberger, Tannehill, Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck and Eli Manning over that span.
Good Andy showed up in Week 14 against the Steelers with 30 Fantasy points, as he passed for 302 yards and two touchdowns with 22 rushing yards and a touchdown with a fumble. It was his highest-scoring game of the season, and now he gets a rematch with the team where he had his lowest score, which was Week 10 at home against the Browns. He scored minus-3 Fantasy points on Thursday night, and he should struggle again. The Browns have allowed one quarterback to score 20 Fantasy points this season -- which was Andrew Luck last week -- and he had three turnovers in making that happen. Dalton has combined for 19 Fantasy points in his past three meetings with the Browns going back to last year, and it hurts him that A.J. Green typically struggles with Joe Haden. While you're not benching Green because of his potential, it's easy to bench Dalton. He won't repeat his negative performance against the Browns again this week, but it's unlikely he'll have a big game either. Look elsewhere for your starting quarterback in Week 15.
The Saints were blindsided at home by the Panthers last week, and Ingram lets us down in a big way as the Start of the Week with 10 carries for 43 yards and two catches for 13 yards with a fumble. He's now gone from great to marginally good with three Fantasy points in two of his past three games after double digits in points in five of his first six outings. We're counting on the matchup here to help Ingram rebound since the Bears defense is awful. In their past two games, Joique Bell and DeMarco Murray each had over 100 total yards with three combined touchdowns against Chicago, and we expect Ingram to follow suit. You can also consider Pierre Thomas a sleeper this week as New Orleans should bounce back with a strong offensive performance.
We've been riding with Bell for the past two weeks, and there's no reason to stop now. He's been the running back we've expected all season with 22 Fantasy points against Chicago in Week 13 and 25 Fantasy points against Tampa Bay last week. He already faced the Vikings in Week 6 and had 18 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 23 yards for 15 points. He also had 20 Fantasy points in Week 1 against Minnesota last year with six carries for 25 yards and two touchdowns and five catches for 67 yards. The Vikings have allowed 12 touchdowns to opposing running backs this year, with 10 reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Reggie Bush isn't a factor when it comes to Bell, and he should once again be a great option in all leagues this week.
Stewart could be the type of running back who saves Fantasy owners down the stretch as long as DeAngelo Williams (hand) remains out. He has double digits in Fantasy points in the past two games, including a dominant outing in Week 14 at New Orleans with 20 carries for 155 yards and a touchdown. This is a great matchup for him against the Buccaneers since they have allowed 15 touchdowns to running backs and 13 to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including five in the past six games. And Stewart has proven when he gets a heavy workload he's stellar. He has 20 games in his career with at least 15 carries, and he's finished with at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in 17 of them. There's a good chance the Panthers lean on Stewart with Newton out, and we consider him a must-start option this week.
If you've been a loyal reader or have listened to me on our airwaves for a while, you know I buy into revenge games against former teams and players going back to their former homes. Most of the time it works out (see DeSean Jackson vs. Philadelphia, Steve Smith vs. Carolina, Eric Decker vs. Denver, Percy Harvin vs. Minnesota and Rashad Jennings vs. Jacksonville this year), while other times it fails (see Trent Richardson vs. Cleveland). It's not a perfect theory, but there is something to it. So is a good matchup, and Johnson has both of these factors working for him this week. The Titans are awful against the run with 17 touchdowns allowed to opposing running backs and 11 reaching double digits in Fantasy points, including six games in a row. Johnson has been sharing touches evenly with Ivory for the past three games, and he has one outing with double digits in Fantasy points over that span. Ivory is worth starting this week as well, but Johnson should have plenty of chances to do something great in his return to Tennessee. For the first time in a long time I'm actually recommending Johnson as a starter.
The Browns continue to use Crowell and Terrance West in tandem, and both split carries evenly in Week 14 against the Colts. Crowell had 14 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown, while West had 15 carries for 54 yards. Expect more of that this week -- so consider West a sleeper -- but Crowell has plenty of upside in this matchup. The Bengals are terrible against the run and won't get reinforcements anytime soon with linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee) out for the season. There have been 13 running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points against Cincinnati with 16 touchdowns allowed, including Crowell and West in Week 10. Manziel should open up running lanes because the threat of his rushing ability, and we expect Crowell to continue to play at a high level. He has double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past five games, and he should continue to produce Top 15 value in Week 15.
SleepersSteven Jackson (vs. PIT): He's been consistently good for three straight weeks.
Latavius Murray (at KC): Oakland is doing the right thing leaning on him.
Tre Mason (vs. ARI): He's been great at home the past three games.
Jeremy Hill (at CLE): We're excited that CIN plans to feature Hill this week.
Fred Jackson (vs. GB): He's a must in PPR with Buffalo likely chasing points.
Stepfan Taylor might have been named the starter for the Cardinals, but after watching the Week 14 game against Kansas City, it was clear Williams is the running back to covet in Arizona with Andre Ellington (hip) out. Williams had 19 carries for 100 yards against the Chiefs, but he should struggle in his encore this week against the Rams, so use caution when starting him. St. Louis has only allowed six touchdowns to running backs this season and only six have reached double digits in Fantasy points. If the Cardinals get behind they will quickly abandon the run, and Taylor will likely work on passing downs ahead of Williams. I have no problem stashing Williams to see if he's a matchup buster, since the Cardinals have three tough matchups ahead with St. Louis, Seattle and San Francisco, but I'm not trusting him in the Fantasy playoffs just yet.
Gore was among several 49ers players who were letdowns last week with his performance at Oakland. He ran well with 12 carries for 63 yards, but the 49ers once again didn't lean on him enough in their embarrassing loss to the Raiders. He now has eight Fantasy points or less in four games in a row and seven of his past eight games, and you can't trust him in any format at Seattle this week. He had 10 carries for 28 yards against the Seahawks at home in Week 13, and Seattle has limited Ellington, Gore and LeSean McCoy to five Fantasy points or less in each of the past three weeks. Gore also has combined for four Fantasy points in his past two trips to Seattle, so this should be another tough week for him.
I thought there was a chance Richardson could help Fantasy owners last week with his return to Cleveland. The thinking was he could get a shot at the goal line for a touchdown to celebrate something against the Browns, who traded him to the Colts. It didn't work out that way as he was held to seven carries for 30 yards, and he now has one game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 7. He's a non-factor in the passing game with three catches for 30 yards in his past five games, and clearly Dan Herron is the running back of choice for the Colts. I like Herron as a starting option this week in all leagues, and Richardson is someone you can cut in the majority of leagues. He's not going to help Fantasy owners anytime soon barring an injury to Herron or a miracle happening this holiday season.
The Dolphins pushed around the Patriots with their running game in Week 1 when Knowshon Moreno had 24 carries for 134 yards and a touchdown and Miller had 11 carries for 59 yards and four catches for 19 yards and a touchdown. New England is not likely to let that happen again, and Miller hasn't been producing enough to be considered a must-start Fantasy option. He has one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past five outings, and he's run for more than 60 yards just once over that span. The Dolphins continue to limit his workload with one game this season with 20 touches, which caps his upside, and the Patriots haven't allowed a running back to score a touchdown in four straight, including matchups with Joique Bell, Lacy and Ryan Mathews. Miller is hard to bench so consider him more of a bust alert, but I'm nervous about his production this week on the road.
We keep waiting for Bernard to do something special since coming back from his hip injury in Week 12, but he's gotten progressively worse each of the past three weeks from six Fantasy points to four to two. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson indicated Wednesday he wants to lean on one running back, and going with Jeremy Hill makes the most sense, with Bernard more of a third-down back. Hill should remain a No. 2 Fantasy running back, but Bernard is just a flex option at best. Complicating matters for him is the Browns have played well against the run the past three weeks in holding Steven Jackson, Fred Jackson and Herron and Richardson to 70 rushing yards or less, with only Steven Jackson scoring a touchdown. We hope Bernard can close the season playing on a high note, but until he proves himself you just can't trust him in the Fantasy playoffs.
Mathews is dealing with an ankle injury, which he sustained in Week 14 against the Patriots and was part of the reason for his poor performance. He had just 11 carries for 44 yards and ended his two-game streak with double digits in Fantasy points. The Chargers haven't given Mathews a heavy workload since he came back from a knee injury in Week 11 with 14 touches or less in his past three games, and this is a tough matchup for him against the Broncos. Knile Davis, Marshawn Lynch and Mason are the only running backs with more than 60 rushing yards against Denver, and the Broncos have allowed just five rushing touchdowns this season. They have struggled with running backs catching the ball, but Mathews has just nine catches for 69 yards on the year. Keep an eye on his health heading into Sunday, but even if he's active for this game as expected, you should avoid starting him as anything more than a flex in deeper leagues.
We hope Jones is able play this week, but if he's out then White becomes the No. 1 option in the passing game for the Falcons in this potential shootout. And while he doesn't have the same upside as Jones, White still should have a big game, even if Jones is healthy. The Steelers are struggling in the secondary and have allowed a receiver to score in six consecutive games, with nine touchdowns to receivers over that span. White has either 90 receiving yards or a touchdown in four games in a row, and he's a great No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues. If Jones is out then look at Harry Douglas as a sleeper this week.
I like Maclin and Jordan Matthews (sleeper alert) to rebound this week after last week's tough outing against the Seahawks at home. Maclin was held to three catches for 21 yards and a touchdown, and Matthews had two catches for 21 yards. They will play better against the Cowboys, who they just faced two weeks ago on the road. In that game, Maclin had eight catches for 108 yards on 10 targets, and Matthews had four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown on five targets. Dallas has allowed a receiver to reach double digits in Fantasy points in four games in a row, and Maclin and Matthews are looking to extend that streak. If you have to pick one of the Eagles receivers this week then lean toward Maclin, but both have the potential to be starters in all formats.
Edelman and Brandon LaFell should both play well this week, and both have Top 24 potential in the majority of leagues. Edelman is coming off a big game at San Diego with eight catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. The score was just his third of the season, but this was the fifth time he's reached double digits in Fantasy points. Tom Brady continues to lean on Edelman with at least 10 targets in four of the past five games, and he's done well against Miami of late. In his past two meetings with the Dolphins, Edelman has combined for 19 catches, 234 yards and a touchdown. Miami has allowed a receiver to reach double digits in Fantasy points in seven games, and the Dolphins have allowed seven touchdowns to receivers since Week 10. LaFell has at least nine Fantasy points in each of his past three home games with two touchdowns over that span, and he should play well if he can avoid the coverage of Brent Grimes.
Watkins picked the right time to have a bounce-back game in Week 14 because his matchup with the Packers this week is enticing. Green Bay leads the NFL with touchdowns allowed to receivers at 20 after four different Falcons scored against the Packers last week. Watkins is coming off his best game since Week 8 at the Jets after he had seven catches for 127 yards and a fumble at Denver on 12 targets. That was the fifth time this season he's had double digits in targets, and he's responded with at least eight Fantasy points in four of them. The Bills will likely be chasing points in this matchup, so Watkins could see another hefty workload, and we're glad his recent hip injury might be a thing of the past.
Evans is doing something you love to see from the good receivers in that even when they're having a bad game they still find a way to produce. Last week at Detroit, Evans had just four catches for 45 yards on 11 targets, but he found the end zone twice for 16 Fantasy points. He has double digits in Fantasy points in five of his past six games, and he should keep playing well against the Panthers this week, even if the Buccaneers go back to Mike Glennon as the starter over Josh McCown. Prior to shutting out the Saints receivers in Week 14, Carolina had allowed a receiver to score in three consecutive games, and the Panthers have given up 16 touchdowns to receivers this season. Evans is vying for top rookie honors, so he should look to finish the season strong. Fantasy owners also should continue to count on him during the playoffs.
SleepersKenny Stills (at CHI): He should rebound against this porous secondary.
Marqise Lee (at BAL): Look for Jacksonville to be throwing a lot in this game.
Donte Moncrief (vs. HOU): Reggie Wayne's health will determine his value.
Charles Johnson (at DET): Last week should be a sign of things to come.
Martavis Bryant (at ATL): Let's hope he's a factor in this potential bonanza.
Boldin is likely the only semblance of hope the 49ers have in their passing game this week, but realistically what can you expect from him in this matchup with the Seahawks? In Week 13 at home, Boldin was held to three catches for 14 yards, and he struggled against the Raiders last week with four catches for 54 yards. You have to sit Michael Crabtree in this game also since Richard Sherman will lock him down (he had three catches for 10 yards in Week 13), and last year Boldin was held to one catch for 7 yards at Seattle in Week 2. The only way I would consider using Boldin this week would be as a No. 3 receiver in PPR leagues, but I would avoid all the 49ers if you can.
Fitzgerald is playing through a knee injury which cost him two games, and he struggled in his return to the field in Week 14 against the Chiefs with four catches for 34 yards on nine targets. He just hasn't been good with Drew Stanton as the starter, and it's hard to trust him this week. In five starts with Stanton, Fitzgerald has combined for 17 Fantasy points against the Giants, 49ers, Broncos, Lions and Chiefs. He has 37 targets in those five games, but he failed to top 60 yards in any outing with no touchdowns. He played well against the Rams at home with nine catches for 112 yards on 10 targets, but that was the game when Carson Palmer tore his ACL. Fitzgerald hasn't been the same since, and you can't start him now in the Fantasy playoffs when your season is on the line.
It was great to see Garcon put together a good game in Week 14 against the Rams with nine catches for 95 yards on 11 targets, and he stepped up with DeSean Jackson (shin) out. The catches, yards and targets were all his best totals since Week 3 at Philadelphia, but he's been a non-factor most of the season because of Jackson's presence and poor quarterback play. Jackson is expected to return this week, meaning Garcon will return to a limited role. He had two catches for 28 yards on six targets against the Giants in Week 4, and he's combined for 13 Fantasy points against the Giants in a standard league in his past three meetings going back to last year. He should only be considered a No. 3 in PPR leagues at best, and he’s gone six games in a row without scoring a touchdown.
Colston scored in his last game outdoors in Week 13 at Pittsburgh, but otherwise he was non-existent outside once again. He had just three catches for 16 yards and the touchdown against the Steelers, and he has now gone 12 games in a row outdoors without reaching double digits in Fantasy points. The last time he did it was Week 12 of the 2012 season, and since then he's played in Chicago in Week 5 last year. He finished with two catches for 15 yards in that game, and you just can't trust Colston away from home. He hasn't played well there either or anywhere this season for that matter with double digits in Fantasy points in just two games. The matchup is great for the Saints, which is why we like Stills and expect Brees and Graham to rebound, but keep Colston on your bench in the majority of leagues.
Sanu might be forced to step up this week if the Bengals can't get anything going with Green vs. Haden. But we haven't seen Sanu do much of late with Green healthy. He has one game in his past five outings with more than two Fantasy points, which was Week 12 at Houston. His targets have faded with six combined in his past two weeks against Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, and he struggled against the Browns in Week 10 with two catches for 20 yards on seven targets. Sanu also has just two touchdowns away from home this season in six games, and he's not worth trusting any more now that Green is back as the focal point of this passing game.
Wallace got off to such a great start this season with at least eight Fantasy points in each of his first six games, including seven catches for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots in Week 1. But he's tailed off since then with one game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 7, and he's struggled the past two games with nine catches for 108 yards on 15 targets against the Jets and Ravens. Now he faces a matchup with Revis, who didn't shadow him in Week 1 but should now. This isn't a matchup to trust Wallace with the way he's been struggling on the road against a great cornerback. We hope Wallace can finish the season the way he started, but don't plan on using him in the majority of leagues this week.
The first time Donnell faced the Redskins in Week 4 he had a career game with seven catches for 54 yards and three touchdowns on eight targets. We hope Eli Manning and the Giants remember that because the Redskins haven't improved against tight ends since then, especially of late. In their past six games, Washington has allowed four tight ends to reach double digits in Fantasy points with six touchdowns allowed over that span. Coby Fleener and Jared Cook have combined for eight catches, 188 yards and four touchdowns the past two weeks against the Redskins, and Donnell should be in line for a big game. He hasn't scored in his past four games, but the targets have been there with 14 in his past two outings. If there was ever a good week to buy into Donnell, this is it based on the matchup.
Walker has struggled the past two games with five catches for 33 yards and no touchdowns on 13 targets, but we're counting on a rebound game this week against the Jets. New York leads the NFL with 12 touchdowns allowed to tight ends. Since Week 8, a span of six games, the Jets have allowed five touchdowns to tight ends. The Titans are going back to Jake Locker this week with Zach Mettenberger (shoulder) hurt, and Walker and Locker played well together to open the season. In their first two games against Kansas City and Dallas, Walker had 13 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets, so hopefully they pick up from their in this tasty matchup at home against the Jets.
The last time Kelce faced the Raiders in Week 12 he had four catches for 67 yards on five targets. That's a good game for a tight end these days, and he's coming off a great performance at Arizona with seven catches for 110 yards and a fumble in Week 14. Anthony Fasano scored at Oakland in the first meeting, and he's always a candidate to steal a touchdown from Kelce. But this matchup is enticing since the Raiders have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends in the past five games and seven overall for the season. We hope the momentum Kelce had in Week 14 carries over to this week.
SleepersJordan Reed (at NYG): He should be able to exploit this great matchup.
Jordan Cameron (vs. CIN): A strong finish can salvage his down season.
Jared Cook (vs. ARI): He's scored three times in his past three games vs. ARI.
Rivera rebounded with a huge game in Week 14 against San Francisco after three consecutive poor outings with seven catches for 109 yards and a touchdown on seven targets for 16 Fantasy points in a standard league. He combined for six Fantasy points in his previous three outings against San Diego, Kansas City and St. Louis. In that game against the Chiefs, Rivera had one catch for 8 yards on four targets. The Chiefs have allowed eight touchdowns to tight ends this season, but Antonio Gates in Week 7 is the lone one to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Since that game, the Chiefs haven't allowed a tight end to score more than six points in any outing. I wouldn't count on Rivera having a repeat performance from last week in this matchup.
We're glad Miller has come around the past three games, and he's been beneficial to Fantasy owners who stuck with him. He has at least seven Fantasy points in three games in a row, including eight points in the past two outings against New Orleans and at Cincinnati. While I'm expecting a huge offensive outburst for both teams this week, I'd be a little wary of Miller in this matchup. The Falcons haven't been good defensively this year, but they have done well against opposing tight ends. Only two tight ends have scored against Atlanta, and only Owen Daniels in Week 7 has reached double digits in Fantasy points, including matchups with Jimmy Graham (eight points), Martellus Bennett (five points) and Greg Olsen (six points). We hope Miller continues to play well, but this matchup suggests he should struggle. You might want to consider other options this week.
I was holding out hope Rudolph would be a good tight end to use down the stretch, and maybe he gets hot over the next three weeks. But I can't trust him now with the way he's played the past four weeks since coming back from hernia surgery. Bridgewater isn't looking in his direction enough with only 10 targets in four games, and he's responded with seven catches for 66 yards and a touchdown for 11 Fantasy points. The Lions have struggled with tight ends recently against New England and Chicago over the past three games, but only four tight ends have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Detroit with six touchdowns allowed. Also, in his past five meetings with the Lions, Rudolph has just 15 catches for 138 yards and one touchdown. He's not a good option to use right now unless you're desperate.
The Eagles had a blip in their defense of tight ends briefly in Week 10 against Greg Olsen and Week 12 against Walker when both had over 100 receiving yards. But those are the only two tight ends to hurt them this season since they've allowed one touchdown to the position and no one else getting double digits in Fantasy points, including matchups with both Colts, Donnell and Witten in Week 13. He was held to one catch for 8 yards in that matchup on two targets in that game, and he also struggled last week at Chicago with two catches for 26 yards on three targets. It's hard to bench Witten at this time of year, but he hasn't scored double digits in Fantasy points since Week 8 and has only hit that mark once this season. You can find better options to start this week like Reed, Cameron and Cook.
Bryant had a better game than I expected in Week 14 at Green Bay with nine Fantasy points, and he's scored at least eight points in five games in a row. In his last two home games, Bryant has 25 Fantasy points, and this game should be an offensive outburst for the Falcons. The Steelers have allowed seven kickers to make multiple field goals against them this season, and Bryant is typically better at home. He's worth starting as a No. 1 option in all leagues this week.
SleepersCairo Santos (vs. OAK): Six kickers have at least 10 Fantasy points vs. OAK.
Shaun Suisham (at ATL): Eight kickers have multiple field goals vs. ATL.
Connor Barth (at SD): SD has allowed seven field goals in the past two games.
I think we've illustrated the point enough that the 49ers offense is bad heading into this game, so relying on their kicker isn't the best move. Dawson had one field goal and no extra points against the Seahawks at home in Week 13, and he's scored double digits in Fantasy points just once since Week 5. Last year at Seattle, Dawson also was held to one field goal and no extra points, and the Seahawks haven't allowed a kicker to score more than six points in six games in a row. I would avoid all 49ers players if you can.
The Ravens played like an elite DST in Week 14 at Miami with a season-high six sacks on Tannehill. That might have more to do with the Dolphins offensive line than the Ravens pressure, but Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs combined for five sacks and harassed Tannehill all game. The same could happen this week since Blake Bortles has been sacked at least four times in each of the past four games and 19 times over that span. He also has an interception in all but one game this year, and the Ravens should be a Top 5 DST in this matchup.
SleepersGiants (vs. WAS): WAS has allowed 29 sacks in the past five games.
Browns (vs. CIN): CLE scored 24 Fantasy points vs. CIN in Week 10.
Jets (at TEN): TEN has allowed three DST touchdowns in the past four games.
The Dolphins DST has been a good unit for a good portion of this season, but they have struggled of late and should not be started in this matchup. They have single digits in Fantasy points in two of their past three games, and their pass rush and turnover ability has fallen off with four sacks and just two interceptions over that span. The Dolphins sacked Tom Brady four times in Week 1 and had two fumbles, but Brady hasn't been sacked multiple times since Week 7 and only the Chargers DST has reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Patriots in the past nine outings. This is an easy sit for Fantasy owners.
Full Disclosure from Week 14
Mark Ingram, and the entire Saints offense, was a disaster against the Panthers at home last week. I'm not sure how many people saw that coming, but New Orleans completely crumbled, with Ingram a terrible option as our Start of the Week.
Cam Newton also was a surprise given his previous history against the Saints, and the same could be said about Ben Roethlisberger and his history against the Bengals and Matt Ryan outdoors. All three were better than expected, and I whiffed on all three in Week 14.
As for our good start selections, including sleepers, we had five Top 12 quarterbacks in Russell Wilson, Andy Dalton, Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo. We had three Top 10 running backs in Joique Bell, Jonathan Stewart and Andre Williams. We also had a Top 10 receiver in Percy Harvin and the No. 3 tight end in Martellus Bennett.
There should be more good than bad in Week 15, and we expect Blount to be a great Start of the Week. Good luck to all of you this week.
|Player||Fantasy Pts. (proj.)||Fantasy Pts. (actual)||Pos. rank|
|Mark Ingram, RB, Saints||16||3||39|
|Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks||20||32||5|
|Joique Bell, RB, Lions||14||25||3|
|Martellus Bennett, TE, Bears||9||14||3|
|Brandon LaFell, WR, Patriots||9||2||70|
|Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins||8||2||31|
|Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers||8||0||93|
|DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans||14||4||57|
|Kenny Stills, WR, Saints||13||2||67|
|Mohamed Sanu, WR, Bengals||11||1||79|
|Cam Newton, QB, Panthers||18||41||1|
|Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons||18||39||2|
|Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers||18||34||3|