If you could rewind to last week as you prepared for Week 14, what lineup changes would you have made? What free agent would you have picked up? Would Tennessee running back Derrick Henry (against Jacksonville) appeared on your radar? Would you have started Amari Cooper and George Kittle? Unless you are the most accurate psychic in the world, it was highly unlikely anyone would have forecasted Henry, Cooper and Kittle as the highest scorers for Week 14! Even more surprising, Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, Antonio Brown, James White, Russell Wilson, Mitchell Trubisky, Cam Newton and several other fantasy studs were complete busts, which sent many hopeful fantasy owners’ teams packing for home in the first round of the playoffs! Other shockers included New England’s last-second loss to Miami after a desperate, miracle game-ending play led to a Kenyan Drake winning touchdown. Many expected the Chicago defense to slow down the Los Angeles Rams’ high-octane offense, but no one expected Chicago to limit the Rams to a pair of field goals!
Are your fantasy playoff hopes still alive? Hopefully, you escaped with a win or enjoyed a bye during last week’s unpredictability. With only light rain expected in New York for Jets and Giants home games, weather should not be a factor heading into Week 15. Take a dive with me to discuss several players who will step up in Week 15!
QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
After a solid fantasy season, Cam Newton has struggled in his last two starts. For the first time in 2018, Newton failed to strike pay dirt in Week 14. Look for Newton to rebound in Week 15 when Carolina welcomes division rival New Orleans, who has given up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. In three games against New Orleans last season, Newton had two great games and a dud, but I’d bet on the superstar quarterback this weekend as a solid QB2 with high upside.
Week 15 forecast: 250 passing yards, 25 rushing yards, 2 TD
RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
Can Derrick Henry encore? Or was last week’s epic performance a fluke for the Tennessee running back? Henry may be worth a start as a FLEX or low-end RB2 in deep leagues as Tennessee visits the New York Giants, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs.
Week 15 forecast: 80 total yards, TD
WR Robert Woods, L.A. Rams
Despite the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive hiccup in Week 14, wide receiver Robert Woods was still a frequent target for Jared Goff. In fact, Woods has been targeted at least five times and gained at least 70 receiving yards in every game except Week 1. The Rams should return to offensive domination when they welcome Philadelphia, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers, and was just recently torched by Amari Cooper.
Week 15 forecast: 75 receiving yards, TD
TE Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers
With Greg Olsen sidelined, Ian Thomas was a solid fill-in during Week 14 as he led all tight ends with 11 targets and also caught nine passes for 77 yards. Although his matchup against New Orleans is not overly attractive, New Orleans did just allow a pair of touchdowns to Tampa Bay tight end Cameron Brate. Consider Thomas a low-end TE3, but decent plug-and-play if your tight end is injured.
Week 15 forecast: 50 receiving yards, TD
D/ST New York Giants
After a rough start, the New York Giants have picked up steam with two wins in a row and just came up short in their recent losses. Their defense has also improved with 10 sacks, six forced turnovers and two defensive scores over the last two weeks. The Giants welcome Tennessee, whose offense has given up the sixth-most points to opposing defenses. Look for a low-scoring game with New York’s defense pressuring Marcus Mariota.
Week 15 forecast: 12 points