We’ve made it to Week 15 and hopefully you are looking to set up a victory to get into your championships for seasonal leagues. If you happened to miss or get eliminated from the playoffs already, fantasy football doesn’t have to end. Make sure you’re dabbling in DFS to tide you over for the rest of the season as you have the freedom to play any level you want.
Let me provide the disclaimer that I encourage you use the game by game tables and data points in conjunction with your own information and thought process rather than searching out your own players in the individual player diagnosis and turning that section into a linear start/sit guide. You can always cross reference these thoughts with my weekly rankings for further context. With that out of the way, let’s hit all of the Week 15 games with a PPR light…
Los Angeles vs. Seattle
- Seattle averages 28.7 points per game at home (6th) as opposed to 14.6 per game on the road (31st).
- The Seahawks have scored a touchdown on just two of their past seven red zone opportunities, the lowest rate in the league over the past three weeks.
- Russell Wilson has completed just 41.2 percent (21 of 51) of his red zone passes, the second lowest rate in the league for quarterbacks with 20 or more attempts.
- Opponents have scored a touchdown on 70.7 percent of their red zone possessions versus the Rams, the second highest rate in the league.
- Jimmy Graham has 14 red zone targets (5th for all tight ends), but just one of those is from inside of the 10-yard line.
- 74.1 percent of Thomas Rawls‘ rushing yardage has been gained on first down, the second highest rate in the league next to Chris Ivory (86 percent).
- Los Angeles has reached the red zone just 27 times this season, the fewest in the league.
Trust: Russell Wilson (Wilson has made a living on disappointing in these spots this season and also has a sketchy history versus the Rams defense, but as a huge favorite at home coming off of laying an egg, I believe Seattle dominates), Jimmy Graham (he’s been a top-10 scorer in five consecutive games at home)
Bust: Todd Gurley (a late score last week gave him his first top-12 scoring week on the season, but the Los Angeles total here is submerged in darkness while Seattle is allowing the fourth fewest yards from scrimmage to backfields on the season), Jared Goff (nope)
Reasonable Return: Thomas Rawls (this is a spot that should be conducive to scoring for a lead back and the Rams have allowed seven top-16 scoring backs over their past five games), Doug Baldwin (it’s a favorable layout for the Seattle core, but Baldwin has just three top-24 scoring weeks over his past 10 games, which holds me back from going head first on him), Kenny Britt (as bad as things are on the surface for the Rams side, Britt has been a constant, scoring in the top-25 in five of his past six games and managed a 6-94 line in the Week 2 meeting between these teams)
Miami vs. New York (AFC)
- The Dolphins averaged 291.2 yards from scrimmage per game on the road, 29th in the league.
- Over the past five weeks, Jay Ajayi is the RB23 in overall scoring with a high week of RB17.
- 30.8 percent of the runs against the Jets have failed to gain any yardage, the lowest rate in the league, but 14 percent have gained 10 or more yards, the highest rate in the league.
- The Jets have allowed 148 rushing yards per game over the past five weeks after allowing 74 yards on the ground per game over their first eight games.
- The Jets have scored just 10 touchdowns at home this season, 31st in the league.
- 38.4 percent of the runs versus Miami have gained five or more yards, the second highest rate in the league.
- 47.4 percent of Bilal Powell‘s runs have gained five or more yards, the highest rate for all backs with 50 or more carries on the season.
- Powell’s 1.15 points per touch is the third highest for all backs with over 100 touches on the season.
- Robby Anderson has 31.2 percent of the targets from Bryce Petty this season. For context, Mike Evans leads the league in target share for the season at 31.3 percent.
- Anderson has 11 targets on throws 15 yards or further downfield over the past two weeks, the most in the league.
Trust: Bilal Powell (treating early week analysis of him as if Matt Forte will be held out due to the vague disclosure of his injury, Powell has been electric per touch in a timeshare and is a fringe RB1 in the scenario that he’s the standalone back)
Bust: Matt Moore (there’s a story I can tell myself in leagues that start multiple quarterbacks, but the bottom line is that he’s a backup quarterback on a team that wants to be run heavy when possible while on the road in a shortened week attached to a low team total), Brandon Marshall (his seasn has been so disapointing that New York wide receivers have combined for 10 top-20 scoring weeks and he’s only had three of them while he hasn’t hit 70 receiving yards in a game since Week 5)
Reasonable Return: Robby Anderson (he’s been the WR17 and WR16 the past two weeks with 23 total targets and that volume is packed with high upside targets), Jay Ajayi (he’s dropped off after his insanely hot run, but the volume should still be here against a Jets run defense that has been far from where they were early in the season), Jarvis Landry (if I had to play any Miami receiver, it would be Landry because the types of targets he gets are the most bankable week to week, but it’s hard to feel good about this passing game even if Moore is a serviceable option)
Cleveland vs. Buffalo
- The Browns have scored just one or fewer touchdowns in five straight games, their longest streak since 2008.
- Robert Griffin has completed just nine of 26 targets (34.6 percent) to Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor in his two starts while they have combined to catch 59.3 percent of their targets from other Cleveland quarterbacks.
- Buffalo has allowed 187.3 rushing yards per game over the past three weeks, the most in the league.
- The Bills average 3.7 offensive touchdowns per game at home, tied with New Orleans for the most in the league.
- Cleveland allows 3.7 offensive touchdowns per game on the road, the second most in the league.
- Buffalo leads the league in rushing yardage per game (154.6) while Cleveland allows the second most rushing yardage per game (146.2) in the league.
- Opposing teams have run the ball on 64.9 percent of their 4th quarter plays versus the Browns, the highest rate in the league.
- 47.5 percent of the points allowed to quarterbacks by the Browns has been through passing touchdowns, the highest percentage in the league.
- 23.2 percent of Tyrod Taylor‘s fantasy output has come through passing touchdowns, the lowest percentage in the league.
Trust: LeSean McCoy (this is as good as it gets in terms of matchup for a home team that wants to run the ball as much as they can)
Bust: Terrelle Pryor (the sample is still small, but Pryor hasn’t been able to produce in either game Robert Griffin has played), Corey Coleman (since returning from injury, just 16 of his 42 targets have resulted in a reception), Robert Griffin (he’s completed just 12 passes in each of his two starts), Duke Johnson (he hasn’t cracked the top-30 in five straight games and with Griffin taking over, backfield receptions will remain scarce for the backfield)
Reasonable Return: Tyrod Taylor (it’s a great matchup, but Taylor’s ceiling isn’t much higher than his floor most weeks and he shouldn’t be asked to do much lifting through the air here), Sammy Watkins (he had 25 percent of the targets over the past two weeks and anything the Bills do through the air should run through him), Mike Gillislee (this is a spot where you can flex Gillislee in for touchdown appeal as well as increased volume if script goes as planned), Isaiah Crowell (he had more rushing yards last week than he had over his five previous games combined, but still only had 10 carries, something that is hard to latch onto, but Buffalo has been run on three weeks in a row and it’s the only way Cleveland can hope to generate consistent offense)
Detroit vs. New York (NFC)
- New York hasn’t allowed more than two touchdowns in a game in nine straight games while Detroit hasn’t allowed more than two touchdowns in seven straight, the two longest streaks in the league.
- The Giants have averaged 263.3 yards on offense over the past three weeks, 31st in the league.
- Odell Beckham has 38.9 percent of the team targets over the past three weeks, up from 25.4 percent prior.
- Beckham is averaging 101.7 receiving yards per game at home as opposed to 66.2 yards per game on the road.
- Beckham is 19th in the league in first half receiving yardage (450 yards), but is second in the league with 674 receiving yards after the half.
- Eli Manning has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in three straight games for the first time since 2008.
- Just 13.9 percent of Matthew Stafford‘s pass attempts are throws 15 yards or further downfield, the third lowest rate in the league behind Sam Bradford (13.8 percent) and Alex Smith (13.4 percent).
- The Giants have faced the most pass attempts in the league and have allowed the second fewest touchdowns and 6th fewest passing points in the league.
Trust: Odell Beckham (he’s starting to get jammed with extra targets and has been a much stronger play at home so far on the season)
Bust: Matthew Stafford (between his finger injury, being on the road in potentially subpar conditions with a low total against the Giants pass defense, it’s hard to expect Stafford to deliver to the levels in which he has for the season), Eli Manning (he’s been a top-12 scorer just three times all season and has thrown for 250 yards just once over his past seven games), Anquan Boldin (a touchdown dependent option facing a team that is stingy at allowing passing scores), Eric Ebron (he’s hasn’t been inside of the top-15 for three straight weeks), Rashad Jennings (he hasn’t reached 60 yards from scrimmage in three straight games), Dwayne Washington (if he starts agin, he’s no more than a flex option against and doesn’t carry the same receiving weight that a player like Riddick has)
Reasonable Return: Golden Tate (he has just one week with single digit scoring over his past eight games, so his floor is steady even if the matchup isn’t ideal), Theo Riddick (if he’s cleared, he jumps right back into being a floor RB2 and has a chance to see negative game script for the first time in several weeks)
Philadelphia vs. Baltimore
- Philadelphia has thrown the ball on 64.6 percent of their offensive plays since Week 8, the 4th highest rate in the league.
- Over that span, Carson Wentz leads the league in pass attempts (44.7 per game).
- Since Week 9, Zach Ertz leads all tight ends in targets (60), receptions (42), is second in receiving yards (414) and is first in scoring (15.9 points per game).
- The Ravens allow just 13.1 points per game at home, the fewest in the league.
- Baltimore is allowing just 54.6 rushing yards per game at home (the fewest in the league) as opposed to 99.8 per game on the road.
- 19 percent of the completions versus the Eagles have gained 20 or more yards, the highest rate in the league.
- Just 10 percent of Joe Flacco‘s completions have gained 20 or more yards, the second lowest rate in the league ahead of Brock Osweiler (9.5 percent).
- Kenneth Dixon played a season-high 60 percent of the snaps in Week 14, his first week over 45 percent on the season.
Bust: Ryan Mathews (even if he ends up being the only healthy option in the backfield, this isn’t a desirable situation to chase anything outside of volume), Terrance West (he’s hit 70 yards from scrimmage just once over his past seven games)
Reasonable Return: Zach Ertz (while Baltimore is a tougher tight end matchup, they’ve allowed a touchdown to a tight end in three straight and Ertz is still going to see targets due to the volume the Eagles are throwing with), Jordan Matthews (the only time he’s been outside of the top-36 over his past six games is a game in which he left in the first half due to injury), Kenneth Dixon (script definitely aided him last week in seeing the field the most he has, but he’s been on the incline for weeks as he’s been the RB21 or higher in four of his past five), Joe Flacco (he’s been a top-5 scorer in each of the past two weeks and the Eagles have allowed a top-12 scorer in six of their past seven games), Carson Wentz (he’s not an option in start one quarterback leagues on the road, but volume has kept him in the higher QB2 mix over the past month and nearly the entire Baltimore secondary is beat up heading into this week)
Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati
- Le’Veon Bell‘s 1,616 yards from scrimmage are the second most through a player’s first 10 games of a season behind Jim Brown’s 1,704 yards in 1963.
- 87.6 percent of Bell’s have gained positive yardage and 37.8 percent have gained five or more yards, the highest rates for all backs with 100 or more carries on the season.
- Cincinnati allows 4.6 yards per carry to opposing running backs, the third highest in the league.
- Ben Roethlisberger has been a top-10 scoring quarterback in just two of 15 early start road games since the start of 2013 with one or fewer touchdown passes in 12 of those games.
- Antonio Brown has been a top-12 scoring receiver in just one of his 12 career games versus the Bengals but has been outside of the top-24 just twice over his past 11 games since his rookie season.
- Ladarius Green has run a route on 76.3 percent of his snaps and has been targeted on 33.8 percent of his routes, the highest rates for all tight ends in the league.
- Since their Week 9 bye, the Bengals have allowed just eight touchdowns (tied for the fewest in the league) and 323.4 yards per game (6th fewest).
- Tyler Eifert has caught a touchdown in 60 percent of his games played since the start of last season, the highest in the league.
Trust: Le’Veon Bell (the league leader in touches and yards from scrimmage per game)
Bust: Ben Roethlisberger (his early start road game splits are large enough to warrant trepidation and the Bengals defense has gotten on track over the past month), A.J. Green (if you’re alive in seasonal leagues you’re using him if he suits up, but Pittsburgh has allowed just four top-12 receivers and just eight touchdowns to the position on the season), Andy Dalton (only two quarterbacks have scored more than 15 points versus the Steelers over their past eight games) Tyler Boyd/Brandon LaFell (move both up if Green sits again, but both had target spikes of over 20 percent with Green out while having target shares below 15 percent with him active), Jeremy Hill (only one back has cleared 40 rushing yards versus the Steelers over their past six games)
Reasonable Return: Antonio Brown (his road numbers have trailed Ben’s and his although he hasn’t had many ceiling games in the matchups between these teams, his floor has remained strong), Tyler Eifert (he’s scored in three straight games and is the best touchdown producer at the position now that Gronk is out), Ladarius Green (the Steelers took the air out of the ball last week, but Green was still second on the team in targets while the Bengals are allowing the most receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends)
Indianapolis vs. Minnesota
- The Vikings haven’t rushed for 100 yards as a team in nine consecutive games, the longest streak in franchise history.
- Matt Asiata has 17 carries from inside the 5-yard line, tied with Melvin Gordon for the most in the league.
- Asiata has converted just five of those carries for touchdowns (29.4 percent), the lowest rate for all players with double digit carries from inside of the 5-yard line.
- Just 11.6 percent of Jerick McKinnon‘s carries have gained a first down, the lowest rate in the league.
- McKinnon has 15 targets over the past three weeks after seeing 19 on the season prior.
- Since Week 9, Stefon Diggs (395 yards) ranks 9th in receiving yardage while Adam Theilen (394 yards) ranks 10th for all wide receivers as they are both tied for the WR12 in overall scoring over that span.
- T.Y. Hilton is tied with Julio Jones for the most receptions of 20 or more yards (24).
- Andrew Luck leads the league with 46 completions on passes 15 yards or further downfield.
- Minnesota has allowed just 19 completions on passes 15 yards or more downfield, the fewest in the league.
Trust: Kyle Rudolph (he’s averaging 10 targets per game over the past three weeks and leads all tight ends with 11 red zone receptions while the Colts are allowing the fourth most points per target to opposing tight ends)
Bust: Andrew Luck (the highest weekly finish versus Minnesota is QB12 and the allow just 6.3 yards per pass attempt), Donte Moncrief (even if he’s available, this another week where finding the end zone will be tougher and his floor without a touchdown isn’t usable), Frank Gore (the yardage still isn’t there as he’s had 83 yards from scrimmage or fewer in eight of his past nine games, leaving you with barely a flex option when he doesn’t score a touchdown), Matt Asiata (there are worse games to chase a touchdown than this matchup, but you’re still at the mercy of him finding the paint)
Reasonable Return: T.Y. Hilton (the matchup isn’t strong, but Hilton runs 58 percent of his routes from the slot, so he can avoid Xavier Rhodes, and if Donte Moncrief is out, then he should push for 10-15 targets), Stefon Diggs/Adam Thielen (Theilen’s emergence has capped Diggs a bit and both guys are fairly low bets for a touchdown, but both come with solid WR3 floors based on reception output), Sam Bradford (he’s averaging 37.7 pass attempts per game over his past eight, but has thrown multiple touchdowns just once over that span, something the Colts can cure as they’ve allowed multiple touchdowns in nine games season) Jerick McKinnon (with his infusion into the passing game, he’s been the RB27, RB15 and RB20 over the past three weeks)
Green Bay vs. Chicago
- The Packers have allowed just 36 points total over the past three weeks after allowing a franchise record of 30 or more points scored against them for four straight weeks.
- Green Bay has allowed 5.6 yards per attempt over there past three games (4th best in the league) after allowing 8.6 yards per attempt through 10 games.
- Green Bay leads the league in red zone opportunities per game (4.1) while allowing just 2.5 per game on defense, the third fewest in the league.
- 17.3 percent of Aaron Rodgers‘ pass attempts have come from inside the red zone, the highest rate in the league.
- Jordy Nelson is tied for the league lead with 74 targets in the first half of games this season, but ranks 26th in second half targets (51).
- 30.5 percent of Nelson’s scoring output is from touchdown receptions, the second highest in the league.
- Nelson and Davante Adams have combined for 51.4 percent of the Green Bay receiving yardage and 60 percent of their receiving touchdowns since their Week 4 bye.
- Since totaling 22 yards from scrimmage in Week 7 versus Green Bay, Jordan Howard ranks 5th in yards from scrimmage (125.9 yards) with at least 99 yards in all six of those games.
- Howard has converted 80.6 percent of his carries with 3-yards or less to go for a first down, the highest rate in the league.
Trust: Aaron Rodgers (he’s started to get banged up weekly, but nothing has gotten in his way of delivering as he’s been a top-6 scorer in seven of his past eight games), Jordy Nelson/Davante Adams (it’s become their show now on this offense as Nelson has scored eight time and Adams seven times over their past 10 games)
Bust: Randall Cobb (six straight weeks outside of the top-30), Alshon Jeffery (I won’t push back if you want to use Jeffery as a WR3 this week, but it’s hard for me to set any high expectation level on him based on the season to date while him being active saps any luster on throwing a dart on Cameron Meredith), Matt Barkley (he’s turned in serviceable performances, but still hasn’t turned them into fantasy points outside of one jailbreak 4th quarter versus Tennessee while the Packers have been playing better on the back end), Ty Montgomery (he’s back to playing 50 percent of the snaps, but still isn’t reliable as the passing work has yet to find its way back to the levels it was at prior to his illness earlier in the season)
Reasonable Return: Jordan Howard (he’s had as safe of a floor as any RB2 through a wide variety of matchups, the only small concern is losing late game snaps once again due to script)
Tennessee vs. Kansas City
- Tennessee has scored a touchdown on 71.4 percent of their red zone possessions, the highest rate in the league.
- Kansas City faces the most red zone plays per game (10.2).
- The Chiefs average 24 rushing attempts (28th) and 79.3 rushing yards (30th) per game at home this season.
- Tennessee faces just 21.4 rushing attempts per game (the second fewest in the league) and allows just 86.6 rushing yards per game (the third fewest).
- Since Week 7, Tyreek Hill ranks 75th of all wide receivers in snaps played, but has the 5th most receptions (42) and the 5th most points scored at the position over that span.
- Travis Kelce is the third tight end to ever have four straight games of 100-yards receiving, joining Jimmy Graham (2011 and 2013) and Tony Gonzalez (2000).
- Kelce has been targeted on over 30 percent of his routes in four straight games, the longest streak for a tight end this season.
- Jeremy Maclin played 76 snaps in his return last week, lower than any game prior to his injury.
- Tennessee is allowing 292.2 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, the most in the league.
Trust: DeMarco Murray (he hasn’t broken 100-yards from scrimmage in three straight games, but has averaged 22.3 touches per each of those games and the Chiefs have allowed a top-12 scorer in three of their past four games), Travis Kelce (he’s had better matchups than this one, but the Chiefs are finally leaning on Kelce like many have hoped for years and the results have been high even without scoring a touchdown since Week 8)
Bust: Delanie Walker (the highest a tight end has finished against the Chiefs on the season is TE15), Rishard Matthews (Matthews runs over 50 percent of his routes on the right side where the Chiefs don’t move Marcus Peters), Spencer Ware (he’s been a top-20 back just once over the past six weeks and the Titans have become an extreme passing funnel for opposing offenses)
Reasonable Return: Marcus Mariota (the matchup isn’t as rough as he faced a week ago as the Chiefs had allowed 16 or more points to seven straight quarterbacks prior to last week, but the fact that it’s on the road in expected cold weather while attached to a questionable total has my ceiling expectations tempered), Alex Smith (the lowest a quarterback has finished versus the Titans over the past eight weeks is QB13 and passers have averaged 324 yards per game over that span), Tyreek Hill (his snaps have dipped the past two weeks, but he’s been targeted the most per route in the league, so his usage is still better than his snap counts suggest), Jeremy Maclin (you’re taking a step of faith on the matchup doing some lifting here, but the Titans are hemorrhaging yardage in the secondary to the point that I beleive he can be flexed or considered as a WR3 for desperate teams)
Jacksonville vs. Houston
- The Jaguars have reached the red zone just four times over their past three games, the fewest in the league.
- Allen Robinson was targeted on a season low 7.3 percent of his routes last week.
- Since their Week 9 bye, the Texans have averaged 145.4 rushing yards per game, the fourth most in the league.
- Just 23.9 percent of Brock Osweiler‘s pass attempts have gained 10 or more yards, the lowest rate in the league.
- 23.2 percent of the pass attempts against the Jaguars have gained 10 or more yards, the lowest rate in the league.
- DeAndre Hopkins was targeted on a season low 11.5 percent of his routes last week.
- Just 5.1 percent of Hopkins’ targets this season have come from inside of the red zone, the lowest rate for all receivers with 75 or more targets on the season.
Bust: DeAndre Hopkins (he has one game higher than WR37 over the past seven weeks), Brock Osweiler (he threw for a season-low 99 yards when these teams last met in Week 10),C.J. Fiedorowicz (even if he clears concussion protocol I have reservations for just how many times the Texans put the ball in the air here), Blake Bortles (Houston has allowed multiple touchdowns in five straight, but it’s hard to go in on Bortles on the road here as a big underdog), Marqise Lee (Lee has had a great bounce back year after being left for dead, but has cleared four receptions just once over his past seven games and was the WR48 when these teams last met)
Reasonable Return: Lamar Miller (he seemingly misses a chunk of every game lately, but the Texans have leaned on the run when controlling script), Allen Robinson (Houston has been getting gauged by lead receivers, allowing six top-20 scoring weeks over their past five games, including a WR5 week to Robinson himself), T.J. Yeldon (as long as there’s a feature back in Jacksonville with no timeshare, that player is a RB2 as the Jaguars have shifted to a more balanced approach and we saw that play out last week with Yeldon as the RB14. If Chris Ivory is back, then nobody here is above flex status as a big road dog)
New Orleans vs. Arizona
- The Saints average 23.5 points per game on the road as opposed to 31 per game at home.
- Arizona allows 14.1 points per game home, the second fewest in the league.
- The past two weeks are the first time that Drew Brees has gone back to back games without a touchdown pass since 2009.
- Brees averages 6.2 red zone pass attempts per game, the second most in the NFL.
- 7.6 percent of the passing plays faced by Arizona this season have come from inside the red zone, the second lowest in the league.
- New Orleans has allowed just 76.8 rushing yards per game on the road, the fewest in the league.
- David Johnson averages 34.5 pass routes per game, the most of all running backs in the league.
- 45.6 percent of J.J. Nelson‘s targets are on throws 15 yards or further downfield, the third highest rate for all wide receivers.
Trust: David Johnson (in what was perceived as a down week, Johnson still had 121 total yards and was the RB10)
Bust: Drew Brees (I still would have a difficult time benching him for a clear QB2 option, but it’s another spot where it’s hard to see Brees hit his ceiling on the road versus the team allowing the third fewest yards per game to quarterbacks), Brandin Cooks (he’s been outside of the top-30 in each of his past three games on the road and will see Patrick Peterson often regardless if he’s shadowed or not), Mark Ingram (he has seven or fewer carries in three of his past four games and Arizona is allowing the fewest yards from scrimmage per game to opposing backfields on the season), Coby Fleener (Arizona allows the lowest yards per target on the season to tight ends and only have two have reached double digit points versus them on the season), Carson Palmer (he’s finished in the top half of scoring just twice over his past 10 games)
Reasonable Return: Willie Snead (the area where Arizona has been the most vulnerable through the air is the slot), Michael Thomas (if he’s back, he’ll draw Marcus Cooper on the outside while Cooks deals with Peterson, but is still nursing a foot injury), Larry Fitzgerald (outside of Johnson, he’s the only player we truly have an confidence in weekly, but the WR1 ceiling he displayed to start the season is all but gone), J.J. Nelson (he’s been doing a fine Taylor Gabriel impression the past two weeks, but the last game Michael Floyd was limited, Nelson had a season-high 12 targets and was the WR2 overall and Bruce Arians has hinted that Floyd could be on the outs for playing time this week), Jermaine Gresham (he’s been a top-12 scorer in three of his past four with five receptions in three straight as the Arizona receiving unit has suffered multiple injuries)
San Francisco vs. Atlanta
- Atlanta averages 33.5 points per game at home, the most in the NFL.
- San Francisco allows 34.7 p