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Starts and Sits – Week 15

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By Jordan Vander Ploeg (@ff_jvp) and Brian Mackowick (@BMaaaaac)


Week 14 Results

Congratulations if you’ve made it this far in your fantasy league – especially if you started Todd Gurley (RB36) last week! Here’s how last week’s starts and sits shook out for us:

QB Starts: Baker Mayfield (QB20); Jameis Winston (QB11)

RB Starts: Tarik Cohen (RB23); Gus Edwards (RB41)

WR Starts: Adam Humphries (WR54); Larry Fitzgerald (WR41)

TE Starts: Vance McDonald (TE16); Trey Burton (TE31)

 

QB Sits: Carson Wentz (QB13); Matt Ryan (QB7)

RB Sits: Spencer Ware (RB11); Marlon Mack (RB34)

WR Sits: Stefon Diggs (WR32); T.Y. Hilton (WR4)

TE Sits: Cameron Brate (TE7); Jordan Reed (T-TE53)

No sugar coating here – bad week for our recommendations. Just one of our eight starts finished as a top-12 player at their position. Granted, this was again somewhat of an odd week. One in which we saw Brandon Bolden finish as the RB8, and the two highest single-game fantasy scores of the season which came from Derrick Henry (47.8) and Amari Cooper (49.7).

Week 15 on deck. Congratulations to those of you in the semi-finals! Let’s see what players @ff_jvp and I are looking at this week!


Quarterbacks – by Jordan Vander Ploeg

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Josh Allen – WOW, just to be clear this ‘wow’ has nothing to do with this man’s throwing ability, but everything to do with his running ability! Jake Allen, over the last three weeks, has run for 335 yards and two rushing touchdowns! Allen had 26.3 pts against the Jaguars, 30.74 pts against the Dolphins, and 20.34 pts against the Jets. He’s averaged 25.79 pts in those three weeks. This week he goes up against the Lions at home in Buffalo. The Lions are giving up an average of 17.6 pts to the QB position and have allowed 115.2 rushing yards per game. This week, Josh Allen will get you those juicy fantasy points that you desperately need in the fantasy playoffs. He will run all over the Lions defense providing you with a very safe floor and has a high ceiling when he throws and rushes for touchdowns. He’ll range from 18 to 28 pts this week. My bold prediction for Allen this week is that he gets 175 passing yards, one passing touchdown, 115 rushing yards, and one rushing touchdown. Allen, over the last three weeks, has proved to the fantasy community that he is a viable QB option.

Dak Prescott – Dak has been HOT! He clearly has a deep ball connection with Amari Cooper and if he could connect with Michael Gallup as well, ouuuu think of the potential fantasy points! Over the last three games, he had 933 passing yards (331 yards/game), 6 passing touchdowns (2 TD/game), 42 rushing yards (14 yards/game), one rushing TD, two interceptions, and two fumbles. In those three games he averages 22.64 fantasy points. This week Dak goes up against the Colts in Indianapolis, the over/under is 47, and with a 2.5 pt spread favoring the Colts. The Colts defense is allowing 23.1 pts/game, 102.9 rushing yards/game and 242.2 passing yards/game. This will be a shootout between Dak and Luck; both teams have strong run defenses and this should force both teams to throw the ball. Dak will be chasing Luck all game long! Dak will range from 17 to 27 pts this week. My bold prediction for Dak is that he gets 315 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and 25 rushing yards this week. Dak can be trusted; put him in your line up this week!

 

SIT

Matt Ryan – Matt Ryan is the 4th ranked QB this season. He’s had BOOM games and BUST games. Unfortunately, it’s looking like a BUST game this week against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are allowing only 14.6 pts to the QB position. The Cardinal’s defense is allowing only 210.8 passing yards/game (4th in the league) and 139.5 rushing yards/game (29th in the league). The game script does not favor Ryan having a big fantasy game this week. The Falcons should be able to get their run game going against the weak Cardinal’s run defense. The Cardinals offense has also been BLAH, so the Falcons will continue to run the ball to drain the clock. Ryan will range from 10 to 20 pts this week. My bold prediction is that he gets 215 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and one interception. Ryan’s matchup and negative game script poise him to be a fantasy DUD this week. He needs to take a seat on your bench to preserve your fantasy football playoff life.

Aaron Rodgers – Aaron Rodgers has been a fantasy football disappointment. He is currently the 10th ranked QB this season. This week, he has a tough matchup against a strong Bears defense. Last week, the Bears shut down a strong Rams offense and allowed Jared Goff (QB #7) to only get 3.7 pts! The Bears are allowing only 13.5 fantasy points per game to the QB position. Aaron Rodgers has been sub-par lately and his production is worrisome this week. In his last three games he had 20.24 pts against Atlanta, 15.32 pts against Arizona and 11.92 pts against Minnesota, averaging to 15.99 pts/game. He ranges from 10 to 18 pts this week. My bold prediction for Rodgers is that he gets 175 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and one interception. Aaron Rodgers will be a disappointment this week and it’s not the week you want a dud in your line up.


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Running Backs – by Jordan Vander Ploeg

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Tevin Coleman – Tevin Coleman had everyone so pumped up when Freeman went out for the season and now we are all just disappointed. This is his week to bounce back! He is matched up against the Arizona Cardinals who have allowed an average of 30.4 fantasy points to the RB position and 16 rushing touchdowns (most in the league). The Cardinals defense is allowing 131.2 rushing yards per game and 28.2 points against per game. The Cardinals should have trouble stopping the Falcons run game. The game script will positively affect Coleman’s usage. The Falcons should have no issue defending against the Cardinals offense and will likely use Coleman to run out the clock. My bold prediction for Coleman this week is 14 rushing attempts for 76 yards, 5 receptions for 35 yards and one receiving touchdown. It’s been hard to trust Coleman lately, but this is the week to take a chance on him!

Derrick Henry – Let’s start by lowering expectation for Henry’s fantasy production this week. Henry is coming off a career-high performance of 238 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns! He most likely will never do that again, but that performance will give his coaching staff confidence to give him more volume moving forward. Henry was also the goal line stud and should continue to get those important carries in the red zone. This week the Titans face off against the Giants. The Giants defense has allowed 121.8 rushing yards per game (22nd in the league) and has averaged 28.2 fantasy points to the RB position. Derrick Henry’s big-play ability and goal-line work should be able to provide fantasy owners with a solid amount of fantasy points. My bold prediction for Henry this week is 16 rushing attempts for 95 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. Have confidence starting Derrick Henry this week!

 

SIT

Aaron Jones – Aaron Jones has done so well! Fantasy owners can’t complain with his production, he’s been consistent and provided a solid amount of fantasy points week in and week out. After watching the Bears defense absolutely shut down Todd Gurley, I have lowered my expectations this week for Aaron Jones. Last week, the Bears limited Gurley to only 28 rushing yards and 30 receiving yards (season low). The Packers have struggled to get the offense going lately and will have trouble scoring on the Bears. The Bears have allowed only 83.2 rushing yards (2nd in the league), average only 19 points against (3rd in the league), allowed only 3 rushing touchdowns (fewest in the league), and average only 19 fantasy points to the RB position. Aaron Jones’ fantasy production will suffer due to a tough matchup against a stifling Bears defense. My bold prediction for Jones this week is that he gets 45 rushing yards, 3 receptions and 22 receiving yards. Aaron Jones is not a reliable play this week. If you have other viable options, use them!

James White – James White’s fantasy production has been dropping since the return of Rex Burkhead and increase goal line work of James Develin. White hasn’t scored a touchdown since week 9 and it doesn’t look like he’ll see opportunity near the goal line. In his last 4 games, his rushing attempts have gone from one attempt in week 10, to nine attempts in week 12, to six attempts in week 13, to four attempts in week 14. His 4 targets last game was his second lowest amount all season. James White’s amount of targets in the passing game is what makes him valuable in PPR formats and helps make up for the low amount of rushing attempts he gets. Unfortunately, his opportunity has been decreasing and his safe floor is just not safe anymore. Most fantasy owners got burned playing him last week. This week the Patriots play the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have allowed only 20.4 fantasy points to the RB position and if those 20.4 points get divided up between Michel, Burkhead, Develin, and White; none of them are going to really BOOM this week. My prediction for White this week is 4 rushing attempts for 26 yards and 4 receptions for 35 yards. White is not worth the risk this week! Sit him on your bench!


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Wide Receivers – by Jordan Vander Ploeg

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Curtis Samuel – Curtis Samuel has been doing quite well lately. In his last four games, he has 28 targets (7 targets/game), 17 receptions (4.25 rec/game), 240 receiving yards (60 rec yds/game), 2 receiving touchdowns (0.5 rec TD/game), and 2 rushing attempts for 33 rushing yards (8.25 rush yds/game). Curtis Samuel is an explosive playmaker that is versatile in not only the receiving game but also the rushing game. This week, Samuel gets to play against the New Orleans Saints in Carolina. The Saints have allowed 2,802 receiving yards, 17 receiving touchdowns and have allowed 45 fantasy points per game (most in the league) to the WR position. The Saints offense has been fire lately and should be scoring at-will against the Panthers defense. Cam Newton will need to throw the ball to keep up with the Saints hot offense. Samuel will be relied on to make big plays. My bold prediction for Samuel this week is 9 targets for 7 receptions for 89 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown, and 18 rushing yards. Samuel has the fire matchup, versatility and the big play ability to BOOM this week for your fantasy football team.

Tyler Lockett – HOT LOCKETT! This guy has been a fantasy football stud! Most people drafted him late in the draft and has produced like a WR2 most of the season. He is currently the overall WR13 in standard leagues. He has 61 targets, 49 receptions, 755 receiving yards, 9 receiving touchdowns, 11 rushing attempts, and 55 rushing yards.  Lockett has a touchdown in 69% of his games! This week, he is matched up against the 49ers. The 49ers have allowed 2,117 receiving yards, 20 receiving touchdowns (most in the league) and average 38.7 fantasy points to the WR position. Lockett is the definition of big play ability. If he is getting 5 to 7 targets in a game, you can bet one of those will be a 50-yard touchdown. In week 13, the Seahawks played the 49ers and scored 4 receiving touchdowns and had 386 passing yards. Lockett in that game had a 52-yard touchdown! With Baldwin banged up, Lockett will see an uptick in targets and only need one play to get you all of those juicy fantasy points. My bold prediction for Lockett this week is 7 targets for 5 receptions for 84 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. Lockett will have another big game against the 49ers; have confidence when putting him into your starting line up!

 

SIT

Kenny Golladay – Kenny Golladay should be a fantasy football stud and should be getting you mad fantasy points. Unfortunately, Kenny G has been the victim of a horrific Detroit Lions offense! This week’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills isn’t going to help get their offense back on track. In Golladay’s last two games, he had 12 targets for 5 receptions for 55 receiving yards and is averaging 2.75 fantasy points in that two-game span (standard league scoring). This is not what we have come to expect from a WR that has so much talent and who BOOMED earlier in the season. The Bills have the best pass defense in the league allowing only 185.8 yards per game and have only allowed an average of 28.8 fantasy points to the WR position. The combination of a stagnant Lions offense mixed with a tough Bills defense is why Kenny Golladay needs to take a seat on your bench. My bold prediction for Golladay this week is 6 targets for 3 receptions for 35 receiving yards. Look for another WR option this week!

Calvin Ridley – Calvin Ridley started off on FIRE, but now he’s ICE cold! In Ridley’s last 5 games, he had 4 pts against Cleveland, 3.7 against Dallas, 13.3 against New Orleans, 2.2 against Baltimore and 1 against Green Bay (averaging 4.84 pts/game) (standard scoring). The reason Matt Ryan should sit on the bench is the same reason why Ridley needs to sit this week. Ridley will be the by-product of a negative game script. The Falcons should have no problem defending against the Cardinals and no problem running on the Cardinals. The passing game will be non-existent because it won’t be necessary. My bold prediction for Ridley this week is 3 targets for 2 receptions for 26 yards. Ridley should sit on your bench for three reasons: poor recent performance, matchup, and game script. Find another WR option!


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Tight Ends – by Brian Mackowick

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Ian Thomas – Thomas has strung together two nice outings, totaling 16 targets, 14 catches and 123 yards over the last two weeks. The Saints defense has held opposing tight ends to modest outputs this year, but did allow two touchdowns to Cameron Brate last week. With the usage Thomas is seeing, and the potential for a strong offensive game from both teams in this one, I’m starting Thomas as a back-end TE1 this week.

David Njoku – On the road against Denver this week, Njoku faces off against a defense that gave up 210 yards to George Kittle last week. Oh, and, that was all in the first half. Njoku has enjoyed a steady target share averaging 17.1% the last three weeks. I anticipate Njoku seeing a bit above his average for targets in this one, so I expect he’ll see seven or so looks. The opportunity is there, and at a position that’s as thin as it has been in recent years, Njoku is as good a bet as any to provide a TE1 performance for his owners this week.

 

SIT

Kyle Rudolph – Rudolph’s start percentage on ESPN has dropped to 42.3%. That still seems high, but is understandable given the lack of options. Rudolph has not scored since week 3, has posted just one double-digit performance since week 3, and just posted his worst game of the season against Seattle with a 2-7-0 line. This is an easy decision. If you have other options, utilize them.

Evan Engram – Engram provided a decent output last week and finished as the TE12 in OBJ’s absence. This week, it appears Beckham will return to the field. If that is indeed the case, I’d expect Engram to return to some of the mediocre performances we had become used to mid-season. Not to mention, Tennessee has yet to allow a tight-end touchdown on the season and has given up double-digit fantasy points just twice to the position this year. As I said with Rudolph, if you have other options, they certainly deserve consideration this week.


Be sure to check for our week 15 Start/Sit column to see the week 14 results! Follow us on Twitter @ff_jvp and @BMaaaaac, follow our podcast @F3Pod, and look out for more articles in the future on www.TheFFFranchise.com!

Brian Mackowick