If you are reading this, then you have made it to the semifinals of your fantasy football league! Hooray! Unless you’re just someone who indulges in weekly pools. Either way, I’ve got what you’re looking for: fantasy advice for the upcoming week.
If you don’t want the quick summary of how my tips did last week, you can judge each one here. But here’s the Coles Notes version from Week 14. I hit big on…
- Tom Brady – 26.14 points (QB1)
- Tyler Eifert – 16.80 points (TE1)
- T.Y. Hilton – 17.50 points (WR3)
- Jeremy Hill – 20.20 points (RB4)
- Doug Martin – 14.50 points (RB11)
- Rishard Matthews – 2.60 points (WR69)
- Mike Wallace – 5.20 points (WR47)
- Jay Ajayi – 6.30 points (RB33)
- Marcus Mariota – 7.32 points (QB25)
Although I am refusing to call Matt Forte a bust, since he got injured after three carries and Bilal Powell (RB2) went nuts in his place, I will hang my head over these ones…
- Russell Wilson – 5.50 points (QB28)
- Philip Rivers – 7.44 points (QB24)
- Carson Palmer – 10.30 points (QB21)
- Brandon LaFell – 2.20 points (WR74)
Hopefully you didn’t have any concerns at quarterback and didn’t need one of my streaming options. But hey, I think I still pass comfortably – says the guy who has Tom Brady.
Let’s move to this week, though. As has been the case the previous 14 weeks, I’m offering you advice on the fringe players. I’m not here to rub it in your face that you don’t have Le’Veon Bell on your team, and the likelihood of him shredding your fantasy hopes as he did the Bills defense last week. So, if I haven’t told you to sit one of the year’s fantasy studs, then start him. Give these guys some consideration, though.
Good luck to all! Oh, and if your day is a little flexible, give the top-50 flex players from Mr. Ferris a gander.
A Precise Seven Fantasy Tips For Week 15
1. Start Carlos Hyde
In a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, it seems all but certain the 49ers will find themselves behind early. Generally this does not bode well for a running back, as the trailing team will abandon the run in an effort to catch up on the scoreboard. That’s not how Chip Kelly operates, though.
Whether that’s because Kelly doesn’t have a quarterback who can play catch-up or because Chip just doesn’t want to win games this year doesn’t matter. Chip’s obsessed with the ground game and that provides Carlos Hyde owners with even more optimism heading into the week.
The Falcons are allowing 21.21 PPG to RBs this season and Hyde is fresh off a 26-point outing. Hyde is averaging just over 15.57 fantasy points in his last four games and looks to be back to full health, finally. View him as a top-five play at RB this week.
2. Thanks to matchups, start…
Tyrod Taylor – After taking a look at E.J. Manuel and Cardale Jones in practice, it was obvious to the Bills that Taylor provides them with the best chance to win. And although they are already eliminated from playoff contention, Rex Ryan knows he can’t lose to the 0-13 Browns. This is good news for Taylor owners, as the Browns are allowing 19.58 PPG to QBs (second-most). Look past Taylor’s 27.96 combined points over the last two weeks, and expect a motivated effort from the pivot. View him as a mid-range QB1. Trevor Siemian is worth a look in weekly pools, too.
Tevin Coleman – The 49ers are allowing 27.83 PPG to RBs (most) and, since returning in Week 12, the second-year back has received at least ten touches in every game. When the Falcons put this game to bed early, there will be lots of carries to go around. Expect Coleman to be a high-end RB2 with a lot of upside. Isaiah Crowell is a decent RB2 option as well, considering RG3 can’t throw the ball.
Mike Wallace – The speedy Ravens receiver hasn’t scored more than 7.5 fantasy points in five straight weeks, but he has had at least five points in each of those games. Wallace is seeing the targets and has a golden opportunity to snap his endzone drought against an Eagles secondary that’s giving up 26.08 PPG to WRs (third-most). View him as a safe WR2 with a high ceiling. Tyreek Hill is a little more of a boom-or-bust WR2 this week, and Taylor Gabriel could enter the WR1 realm if Julio Jones sits out again.
3. Thanks to matchups, bench…
Matthew Stafford – If dislocating the middle finger on his throwing hand last week wasn’t enough to scare you away, then the Giants defense should be. New York is only allowing 12.81 PPG to QBs (second-fewest). I expect Stafford to be a high-end QB2 this week. Keep Blake Bortles on your bench, too.
Todd Gurley – The Seahawks are only allowing 15.26 PPG to RBs (fifth-fewest) and held Gurley to seven points in their previous meeting this year. The second-year back hasn’t been receiving the same workload since Jared Goff took over under center, and I wouldn’t expect this game to be any different. If you’re needy, he’s an RB3 at best. I wouldn’t go anywhere near Ryan Mathews, either.
Kelvin Benjamin – The Panthers’ top receiver has recorded fewer than 20 yards in back to back games, and now he’ll have to deal with Josh Norman this Sunday. Washington allows the 11th-fewest PPG to WRs, and they won’t let this be Benjamin’s breakout week. I’d also severely lower expectations for Antonio Brown. I understand the hesitancy in benching fantasy’s best receiver, but Brown has only averaged 57.6 receiving yards in his last three against the Bengals (who allow the fourth-fewest PPG to WRs) and only one touchdown in that time. He definitely falls from the elite tier.
4. Temper expectations for Jeremy Hill
Since Giovani Bernard went down against Buffalo, Hill has benefited from extra work, averaging just under 13 fantasy points per game over the last three. Now he has a date with the Steelers defense, which is giving up 20.88 PPG to RBs this season (fifth-most).
Don’t be fooled by that stat, though. Pittsburgh’s defense is tightening up and has only surrendered 13.05 PPG to RBs over the last four (fourth-fewest). With Tyler Eifert as the only true receiving threat for Pittsburgh to worry about, Hill will garner a lot of attention. I wouldn’t sit him, but he becomes a touchdown dependent RB2.
5. Forte vs Powell
As I mentioned, Bilal Powell took full advantage of his opportunity to tote the rock when Matt Forte went down early against the 49ers last week. Reports have stated that Forte is dealing with a meniscus injury, but he has claimed that he intends to play through it. What a nightmare situation we’re dealing with here.
It seems unlikely that Forte will suit up Saturday against the Dolphins, but we don’t have concrete information yet. If Forte does play, he should be viewed as nothing more than a low-end RB2. In this case, Powell’s stock falls significantly as well, as he becomes an RB3 with touchdown potential.
If Forte is not in equipment this week, then Powell should be viewed as an RB2 with a lot of upside.
6. Despite tough matchups, stick with…
Tom Brady – I know, I know… This is going against everything I stand for. Denver only allows 12.10 PPG to QBs (fewest). But do you remember what Atlanta did to the Broncos with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman out of the backfield? The Pats can attack the Broncos defense the same way with Dion Lewis and James White. Brady is too proud to just hand the ball off all game. He was likely the reason you won last week, so afford him the start. I wouldn’t turn away from Andrew Luck, either.
Doug Martin – Since returning from injury in Week 10, Martin has only posted one week with fewer than 10.5 fantasy points. He has yet to eclipse 90 yards on the ground this season, but his volume and goal line work make him extremely reliable. In a matchup against the Cowboys, who only allow 14.82 PPG to RBs (third-fewest), I’d still view Martin as a low-end RB2. Most of the above applies to Frank Gore, as well.
T.Y. Hilton – Luck’s favorite target gave you 17.5 points last week against a tough Texans pass defense, and he won’t disappoint against a Vikings defense that only allows 16.89 PPG to WRs (second-fewest). Without Harrison Smith, Minnesota’s secondary isn’t the same. Hilton remains a WR1. Stick with Emmanuel Sanders, too.
7. Do not be fooled into starting…
Sam Bradford – The leader of the purple has become a staple in this section; and he hasn’t disappointed (me) yet. (If you ignored my advice, he’s definitely disappointed you.) The Colts are allowing 18.33 PPG to QBs (fourth-most), but Bradford has proven he can’t be trusted.
Jeremy Maclin – The Chiefs receiver only recorded 16 yards in his return last week and is averaging 49 yards receiving in his eight games this year. It won’t matter that he plays a Titans squad that’s giving up 26.44 PPG to WRs (second-most), Maclin shouldn’t even be on the WR3 radar.