If you are still alive in Week 15, then you either won last week’s playoff matchup or were fortunate enough to enjoy a first round bye. Strangely enough, many of Week 15’s running backs were either handcuffs or even third string for most of the season and now will be major factors in determining your team’s fate. Javorius Allen, Brandon Bolden, DeAngelo Williams, David Johnson, Fozzy Whittaker, Denard Robinson, Shaun Draughn, Charcandrick West and Bryce Brown will be started in RB1, RB2, and Flex slots in nearly all leagues. Most of these backs were not drafted and only a few were considered worthy of handcuffing. Injury-wise, it’s been a disappointing season for running backs.
Take a dive with me as I review several players that may help your team continue marching towards the championship.
QB Matt Ryan
Over the last several years, Matt Ryan has been one of the most consistent fantasy quarterbacks. However, ironically, he has been one of the least consistent this season with seven games of more than 20 points and two single-digit disasters. His Atlanta Falcons have now lost six games in a row after beginning the season 5-0. Look for “Matty Ice” to rebound in Week 15, which is music to the ears of his fantasy owners. Ryan and the Falcons will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars who have allowed the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks including three-or-more passing touchdowns in three of their last five games. Ryan has only played Jacksonville one other time in his career, but did throw three scores. Start Ryan with confidence this weekend.
Week 15 Projection: 250 passing yards; 2 TD
Robinson has been starter T.J. Yeldon’s handcuff this season and may end up being a major contributor in Week 15. Yeldon is currently questionable for Week 15 with a sprained knee and did not practice on Wednesday. Robinson averaged 5.4 yards per carry for 75 rushing yards filling in for Yeldon in Week 14. The Jags will be welcoming the Atlanta Falcons to town who have given up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing running backs. If Yeldon does not start, then Robinson will be a strong RB2 or Flex option for Week 15.
Week 15 Projection: 80 total yards; 1 TD
Houston’s offense has under-performed much of the season, including in Week 14 against the New England Patriots. Fortunately, their wide receivers look forward to a favorable matchup against the Indianapolis Colts’ struggling secondary in Week 15. Indy has surrendered over 450 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns over the last two weeks along with the 3rd most fantasy points during the season to opposing wideouts. With DeAndre Hopkins locked in as the top target, veteran Nate Washington should be next in line for targets. It appears that T.J. Yates will be the likely starter after Brian Hoyer suffered a concussion last weekend, which shouldn’t hurt Washington’s value.
Week 15 Projection: 80 receiving yards; 1 TD
TE Will Tye
With Larry Donnell on injured reserve, Will Tye has made the most of his opportunity as the New York Giants’ starting tight end. The undrafted rookie has averaged six targets over the last five games and caught his first career touchdown on Monday Night Football in Week 14. Although his matchup against the Carolina Panthers is below average, he should be a key target behind Odell Beckham. If New York falls behind quickly, Eli Manning will be throwing much more which should result in additional targets for Tye.
Week 15 Projection: 60 receiving yards; 1 TD
Defense/Special Teams Miami Dolphins
Miami’s defense, led by Ndamukong Suh, was highly touted before the season, but has not lived up to the hype. They have struggled against the run recently and just allowed 31 points to the New York Giants in Week 14. However, they look to rebound in Week 15 against the struggling San Diego Chargers. Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense has looked out of sorts much of the season and even worse recently. The offensive line has allowed nine sacks and defenses have forced 4 turnovers over the last two games. Look for Miami’s defense to pressure Rivers the entire game as they are a solid plug-and-play for Week 15 if your defense has a difficult matchup.
Week 15 Projection: 11 points
Week 14 Results:
QB Tyrod Taylor
Week 14 Projection: 200 passing yards; 25 rushing yards; 2 TD
Week 14 Results: 268 passing yards; 53 rushing yards; 1 passing TD (good call)
Week 14 Projection: 100 total yards; 1 TD
Week 14 Results:51 total yards (ok call)
Week 14 Projection: 80 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 14 Results: 53 receiving yards (ok call)
Week 14 Projection: 50 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 14 Results: 0 receiving yards (bad call)
Defense/Special Teams Detroit Lions
Week 14 Projection: 12 points
Week 14 Results: 4 points (bad call)