Fantasy Football: Week 15 Starts & Sits
Last week was a lot better than my first article in week 13. After being correct on 9/11 starts and sits, I am not going to count my sit of T.J. Hockenson because he was ruled out before the game. Playoff football has officially begun for fantasy footballers, and it is do or die time. It is crucial to make the best choices for your lineup and trust your gut when deciding between two players. It is for all the marbles now, if you want that league championship you need to go out and get it! Obviously, keep the guys in your lineup that have been performing week after week. This article is going to give one start and sit for each position (QB, RB, WR, TE, D/ST, and K) the starts being guys that would usually be on the bench or a 50/50 start. But the guys that will be talked about sitting will be some guys that would typically make a starting lineup but have a tough matchup this week that may be a convincing case to sit them.
Start em’ & Sit em’
Start: Kirk Cousins @ Chicago Bears (Projected: 22.4)
The Bears on average allow 19.6 fantasy points to quarterbacks per game, Kirk Cousins is averaging 23.5 points per game. The current number seven quarterback in fantasy football has gotten little to no recognition this season and it is a shame for how well he has been doing. This week against the Bears I see nothing different especially with the injuries on the defensive side of the ball for the Bears. The Vikings have the number the offense in the NFL and rank 7th in the passing category, when you have a WR duo of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen it contributes a lot to a successful passing game. The only knock I have on Kirk Cousins this week is that it is Monday night football, and there is history of Kirk not being able to deliver under the primetime lights. But do not let that scare you away, for all you know if you start Kirk Cousins, he could win you your matchup on the last game of the week and send you into the next round. Unless you do each playoff matchup as two weeks, I really dislike that, but Cousins could propel you forward to have a comfortable lead.
Sit: Joe Burrow @ Denver Broncos (Projected: 18.2) Q
Joe Burrow is currently dealing with a finger injury but that has not seemed to slow him down. However, this week Burrow is not just dealing with a finger injury, he will also be dealing with this Denver Broncos defense. The Broncos allow just 16 fantasy points per game and in your playoff matchup you are going to need a lot more than 16 points from your quarterback. Burrow has averaged 21.4 fantasy points so far this season, but since the Bengals bye week in week 10 Burrow has averaged just 18.6 points per game and only one game above 20 points. The Broncos most points allowed this season was all the way back in week 6 against Derek Carr and the Raiders (25.54). If you have been riding with Joe Burrow all season, I cannot blame you for wanting to start him going into the playoffs, but I think this week will be rough for Joe Burrow.
Start: D’Onta Foreman vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Projected: 10.7)
I had Myles Gaskin here before but since he is still on the COVID/reserve list here comes in D’Onta Foreman. The Steelers allow on average 21.6 fantasy points per game, despite Foreman not having any spectacular performances since taking over the lead back role this could be the week. Dontrell Hilliard could cause a problem for Foreman to succeed but after last week’s game against the Jaguars it seems that Mike Vrabel is going to lean more towards Foreman coming off the bye week. Derrick Henry could be back in time for week 18 or playoffs so this could be the last legitimate chance Foreman has to establish himself as a solid backup running back option for the Tennessee Titans moving forward. With the endless list of players entering the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols Foreman is the perfect option to fill in for your playoff matchup. With A.J. Brown still on IR and Julio Jones just coming fresh off it, the Titans should lean on to their strengths this game and run the football.
Sit: Saquon Barkley vs. Dallas Cowboys (Projected: 14.3) Q
The Cowboys’ run defense is not amazing, but man does this New York Giants offense suck. Daniel Jones is still questionable to play, and Mike Glennon is no better than Daniel Jones was when he was healthy. Last week versus the Chargers Saquon was on the field for just 55% of offensive snaps, which is his lowest percentage since week 5 against the Cowboys. Saquon’s counterpart Devontae Booker was on the field for 41% of snaps and had 12 touches compared to Saquon’s 19. The Giants current quarterback situation has forced them to run the ball more, which causes for Saquon not to be on the field as often because the team does not want to play him past what his body is capable of just a year after an ACL tear. Saquon scored double digit fantasy points for the second week in a row, which he had not done since week 3 and 4 where he put up back-to-back 20-point games. The uncertainty of Saquon’s production I find it hard to trust him in my fantasy football lineup with a championship in sight.
Start: Darnell Mooney vs. Minnesota Vikings (Projected: 12.1)
Money with two o’s, Darnell Mooney needs to be in your starting lineup this week against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have given up 27.5 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, and Darnell Mooney has easily become Justin Fields favorite target. Mooney has disappointed the past two weeks scoring a combined 10.6 points. This week I expect Mooney to return to his double-digit performances that he had put up from week 8 to 12. The volume is there for Darnell Mooney and the matchup versus the Vikings is a perfect opportunity for him to have a career day and give you a booming performance in the playoffs.
Sit: D.J. Moore Q / Robby Anderson vs. Buffalo Bills (Projected: 13.0/8.9)
D.J. Moore has been battling an injury since the Panthers game versus the Falcons on Sunday and got in a limited practice on Wednesday. This will be the only time I include two wide receivers and that is because the likelihood of Moore missing the game versus the Bills this week. Cam Newton simply is not a good passer anymore and the Bills secondary has remained the best in the league. Allowing the least fantasy points to quarterbacks and wide receivers this season the Bills pass defense is terrifying and the Panthers struggling offense will just ultimately let you down for your playoff matchup.
Start: Ricky Seals-Jones @ Philadelphia Eagles (Projected: 5.8)
The TE department is very slim as it is when it comes to fantasy football, so during playoffs it is important to have that positional edge on your opponent. Ricky Seals-Jones is not a household name at all, but this Washington Football Team tight end should be known for this week against the Eagles. On average the Eagles give up 11.2 fantasy points per game, which may not seem like a lot, but it is tied for the second worst defense vs. tight ends. Terry McLaurin is dealing with a concussion and did not practice on Wednesday which is something to monitor on its won for fantasy football playoffs but could open up the opportunities for Seals-Jones. With the recent uprise in COVID-19 cases, and injuries Rick Seals-Jones should be a great fill in option for your team.
Sit: Kyle Pitts @ San Francisco 49ers (Projected: 11.3)
The young rookie tight end has been great this season, but in a struggle offense it is going to be tough for Pitts to continue what he has been doing versus the 49ers defense. The 49ers allow a season low to tight ends in fantasy football of 3.5 points on average. For Kyle Pitts to reach 11.3 points is absurd, he has only eclipsed that number 3 times the entire season. But the most notable number when it comes to Kyle Pitts this season is 1. Not 1 as in the number 1 rookie tight end, or 1 because he was a first-round pick… But 1 as in just 1 touchdown scored all season. If you play Kyle Pitts in fantasy football this week you are solely relying on him to get 5-6 catches for 50-60 yards, and while that is very much attainable for Pitts his lack of touchdowns is alarming. Pitts is a phenomenal tight end and will have many great seasons in the NFL and will become the next best tight end for fantasy football, but this week I do not expect anything phenomenal from Pitts.
Start: Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Projected: 6.3)
This might have been the hardest thing to do this week, and the most unexpected start I think I will ever pick. The last time the Texans and Jaguars met the Texans defense scored 6 fantasy points; allowing 21 points but getting 3 interceptions and 1 sack on Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars have allowed defenses on average to score 10.4 fantasy points, and after Trevor Lawrence threw 4 interceptions last week, I see this Texans defense being able to create some turnovers. I am not overly confident in the Texans defense, but if you are looking for that boom or bust defense it is right here.
Sit: Cleveland Browns vs. Las Vegas Raiders (Projected: 5.8)
The Raiders are not an amazing team, and do not have an amazing offense, but with all the players that have tested positive for COVID-19 it is going to be a tough game for the Browns to win. No head coach, no Baker Mayfield, and 13 other players hitting the list the Raiders have a wide-open door to win this game. The Browns defense has been hit or miss this season except for Myles Garrett, and in a game where the offense and defense have both been dismantled, I sense that the Browns defense could find themselves on the field often and getting tired very quick.
Start: Jason Sanders vs. New York Jets (Projected: 7.5)
This is where the fun of kickers in fantasy football comes to play. The most crucial time of the year is playoffs, and your kicker can either win you your matchup or screw your whole week up and lose it all for you. I hate to pick on the Jets this week, but they allow kickers almost 11 fantasy points per game, and this Dolphins team has been red hot. Jason Sanders is currently the 23rd ranked kicker in fantasy football, which is very underwhelming for what he did just two years ago. Sanders has only scored double digit fantasy points twice this season, but I think Sunday versus the Jets could be game number 3 in the double digits.
Sit: Nick Folk @ Indianapolis Colts (Projected: 9.9) Q
I am going to give Nick Folk the nickname “Mr. Questionable.” Not because his performances are questionable or what he does is questionable but his probability of playing every week always has the little red “Q” beside his name. Nick Folk will either have a huge week because the Colts defense will prevent the Patriots from getting into the endzone, or he will have an awful week. Obviously based on where I have him out at in this article, I am going with option 2 that he is going to have an awful week. There is always that probability Nick Folk may not play, but he has toughed it out all season long, so I see him starting again this week and not getting many chances for points. Obviously if you have Folk it is going to be difficult to bench the number one kicker in fantasy football, and I cannot force your hand to bench him, but I would consider it just this one week.