Welcome to FY’s top-50 flex plays for the week. Rankings represent the order I would be most comfortable inserting each player into my lineup; tiers further separate our fantasy assets to help establish the probability of fantasy dominance. Keep player availability in mind as the week progresses. Below, you will only find players I feel have a good chance to play this week.
Semi-finals, one step away from bringing home a glorious, much deserved fantasy championship and, even better, the bragging rights that go along with it. Week 15 is make it or break it for everyone left in season-long leagues. Once again excluding leagues that go to Week 17 because well, they should be excluded.
Week 14 didn’t offer the same surprises as Week 13; Dwayne Allen and Dennis Pitta didn’t steal the spotlight at tight end again (thank God). Instead, the running backs and wide receivers stole the show. RBs accounted for the top-four scorers, but the two positions split the top-ten. As you all know by now, Le’Veon Bell had the performance of the year.
Week 15 should hold status quo with the running backs leading the way. The position may take a bit of a hit as top-five runner Melvin Gordon is unlikely to play (as of now). But even with Gordon, the down the depth of the position remains strong. After the “Big 3” (LeVeon Bell, David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott) there are multiple runners whose sheer volume potential puts them near the top of my list.
Wide receivers dominate the bottom of the top-50; unpredictability and bad quarterback play has made selecting a wide receiver outside the top-ten a complete crapshoot.
I could wax poetic all day about talented wide receivers being non-factors (cough cough DeAndre Hopkins) because teams hand the reins to untested pivots (cough cough Brock Osweiler). But I won’t bore you. Let’s get to the good stuff.
Top 50 Flex Players Week 15
Player/Team Position (Rank) Opponent
1. L. Bell/PIT RB(1) @CIN
2. D. Johnson/ARI RB(2) NO
3. E. Elliott/DAL RB(3) TB
4. A. Brown/PIT WR(1) @CIN
At this point in the season there is no need to be cute. Tier 1 belongs to the elite. Currently there is no one doing it better then these four superstars. Whether you’re riding them into the semis or building your daily lineup, each player has a chance to win you a week. Exhibit A: Bell’s 47 points in the snow in Buffalo last Sunday (298 total yards and three touchdowns). Elite.
5. L. McCoy/BUF RB(4) CLE
6. D. Murray/TEN RB(5) @KC
7. J. Jones/ATL WR(2) SF
8. M. Evans/TB WR(3) @DAL
9. O. Beckham/GIA WR(4) DET
10. A. Green/CIN WR(5) @PIT
11. J. Nelson/GB WR(6) @CHI
The 0-13 Cleveland Browns bring their 31st-ranked run defense into Buffalo. The Bills have the league’s best rushing attack and LeSean McCoy leads the charge. A December game in Buffalo and a favorable matchup have McCoy looking very attractive this week.
It sounds like Julio Jones will once again be a game-time decision (turf toe). Monitor this situation until game time; you don’t want to miss out if he decides to play against the anemic 49ers defense. Just make sure you have an alternate option ready.
A.J. Green’s 964 yards and four touchdowns through ten games had him hanging with the fantasy elite before getting injured. He’s back at practice and may be ready to return against division rival Pittsburgh. The Bengals will need all hands on deck versus the Steelers and their suddenly surging defense. Green has massive upside if he’s healthy.
12. L. Blount/NE RB(6) @DEN
13. J. Howard/CHI RB(7) GB
14. S. Ware/KC RB(8) TEN
15. L. Murray/OAK RB(9) @SD
16. C. Hyde/SF RB(10) @ATL
17. J. Hill/CIN RB(11) PIT
18. L. Miller/HOU RB(12) JAX
19. T. Rawls/SEA RB(13) LA
20. J. Ajayi/MIA RB(14) @JETS
21. D. Martin/TB RB(15) @DAL
22. R. Kelley/WAS RB(16) CAR
23. T.Y. Hilton/INDY WR(7) @MIN
24. D. Bryant/DAL WR(8) TB
25. A. Cooper/OAK WR(9) @SD
Okay, so I can admit defeat. If you have been reading previous weeks you have probably learned I’m not a big fan of LeGarrette Blount. Last week, I ranked him the RB(20) in a horrible matchup with the Ravens’ top-ranked defense. I thought that may even be a little high. Oops. He finished 14th, proving capable even against the toughest defense. Against a much softer Broncos front in Week 15, Blount may visit pay-dirt multiple times and add to his league-leading 14 rushing touchdowns.
Carlos Hyde hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown since Week 4. He has, however, caught two touchdowns over his last three games. Coming off a season-best 193 yards rushing against the Jets, expect the 49ers to continue to ride Hyde against the Atlanta Falcons as he is their only consistent offensive threat.
Thomas Rawls drops from 13th overall to 20th this week, but that’s no fault of his own. He looks great, finishing runs like few others in the league, but an inconsistent Seattle offense has me worried. Seattle hosts division rival Los Angeles on Thursday night. The Rams are reeling and just made a coaching change, but they always play their divisional opponents tough, especially Seattle. While I want to give Rawls more love, the Seattle o-line and the Rams defense both worry me.
Another running back I want to like more is Doug Martin. Last week, he was my RB(7). I felt his usage would finally lead to a big day. What we got was more heavy usage/average results; he finished as the RB13 despite 25 touches. These type of results are becoming par for the course for Martin and should continue this week as the Bucs visit Dallas’ second-rated run defense.
Dez Bryant let owners down in Week 14 as he was out played by Giants corner Janoris Jenkins. The two other times Bryant has had poor outputs this year have been followed up by solid games. I’m expecting more of the same this week as the Cowboy offense looks to right the ship against a Tampa squad that’s been on fire. Bring the big hose, Dak!
26. D. Freeman/ATL RB(17) SF
27. M. Forte/JETS RB(18) MIA
28. J. Stewart/CAR RB(19) @WAS
29. F. Gore/IND RB(20) @MIN
30. T. Gurley/LA RB(21) @SEA
31. S. Watkins/BUF WR(10) CLE
Devonta Freeman killed owners in Week 14 with his Falcons getting out to a big lead early against the over-matched Rams. They face the one-win 49ers at home this week and the game script may turn out similar. With a healthy Tevin Coleman sharing the workload once again, the Falcons backfield has reverted to a coin flip.
I was confident ranking Todd Gurley as my RB(16) last week as I felt the Falcons presented a good opportunity. Gurley capitalized on the matchup to some extent, scoring his fifth rushing touchdown of the year. But this week, he travels to Seattle to face a Seahawks team ready to unleash some frustration. Even with Jeff Fisher finally being let go, the Rams will be hard-pressed to move the ball against the league’s number eight defense.
32. A. Jeffery/CHI WR(11) GB
33. D. Inman/SD WR(12) OAK
34. M. Crabtree/OAK WR(13) @SD
35. B. Cooks/NO WR(14) @ARI
36. J. Edelman/NE WR(15) @DEN
37. J. Crowder/WAS WR(16) CAR
38. M. Thomas/NO WR(17) @ARI
39. T. Hill/KC WR(18) TEN
40. D. Baldwin/SEA WR(19) LA
41. T. Kelce/KC TE(1) TEN
42. J. Reed/WAS TE(2) CAR
43. S. Diggs/MIN WR(20) INDY
44. E. Sanders/DEN WR(21) NE
45. D. Thomas/DEN WR(22) NE
46. G. Tate/DET WR(23) @GIA
47. L. Fitzgerald/ARI WR(24) NO
48. J. Matthews/PHIL WR(25) @BALT
49. I. Crowell/CLE RB(22) @BUF
50. K. Dixon/BALT RB(23) PHIL
Alshon Jeffery returns from a four-game suspension eager to show teams he is worth a fat new contract. Jeffery wasn’t lighting the world up before the suspension, but Matt Barkley has looked serviceable at QB and is in dire need of a receiver who can actually catch a ball.
Dontrelle Inman moves all the way up from WR(19) last week to WR(12) this week. Inman has scored a touchdown in three straight games and, with running back Melvin Gordon potentially missing this week, Inman and the rest of the receivers should be in for lots of work against a 27th-rated Oakland pass defense.
Realized upside wins weeks. Kansas City playmaker Tyreek Hill has upside to the moon and he’s been soaring of late. With multiple touchdowns in two out of his last three games, Hill can and will score from anywhere on the field, be it as a runner, receiver, or return man. With nine total touchdowns on the year, his upside is much higher than most of his Tier 5 cohort.
Travis Kelce enters the top-50 for the first time this year thanks to four straight 100-yard receiving games. The Chiefs’ offense has started to funnel through the talented tight end. Only time will tell if it continues; for now, Kelce looks to be the best option at the beleaguered position.
Stefon Diggs is averaging a solid 78.3 yards per game. He doesn’t offer much touchdown upside with only two scores on the year, however, with games of 182 yards and 164 yards under his belt, his yardage ceiling is as high as any. Against a 26th-ranked Indy pass defense, the Vikings only reliable receiver should be busy.
Just when we all forgot about Isaiah Crowell, he hits the Cincinnati Bengals for 113 yards on just ten carries. With the Browns trying to avoid the embarrassment of an 0-16 season, expect him to get more touches and decent yardage against the Bills, who rank seventh against the pass but 28th against the run.
With no fewer than 77 total yards over his last three games, Kenneth Dixon is becoming a bigger part of the Baltimore offense. He’s the most dynamic back the team has. Even though the Ravens go pass-heavy every week, Dixon should continue to get opportunities as the team tries to keep its playoff hopes alive against a struggling Philadelphia squad. His talent will shine.
Thanks for the read. God luck in your matchups and may the injury bug miss us all!