Tuesday - Jul 7, 2020

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START/BENCH: Week 15

If you’re bothering to read a “Start/Bench” article like this in Week 15, odds are you’re both semi-excited and semi-stressed.

Get it? It’s semifinals week!

Come on! Get it? A convoy of semis? Come on y’all! Work with me here!

That, or you’re one of those weirdos who plays in a league that runs through Week 17. No biggie. I play in a couple too. I don’t judge.

Weirdo.

Anyway, as the fantasy gods are sometimes wont to do, we got quite the curveball last week — in the form of carnage at the wide receiver position. Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans, Philadelphia Alshon Jeffery, Detroit’s Marvin Jones Jr.

All dead. Well, not dead so much as hurt. But still … ouch.

Given all those injuries at wide receiver, this week’s “Start” recommendations at that position will go a little deeper in an effort to help folks playing on with holes in the lineup. Outside that, much like Week 14 we’ll be skipping the “Spot Start of the Week” — if you’ve gotten this far odds are you aren’t scrounging the wire for a starter at running back.

Let’s get this convoy on the road.

QUARTERBACKS

STUDS

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (vs. Denver)

Deshaun Watson, Houston (at Tennessee)

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (vs. New York Jets)

Russell Wilson, Seattle (at Carolina)

Matt Ryan, Atlanta (at San Francisco)

Dak Prescott, Dallas (vs. Los Angeles Rams)

ROLL THEM OUT

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami (at New York Giants)

Fitzpatrick and Miami fell flat last week against the New York Jets, in part because DeVante Parker got hurt. But if Carson Wentz can have a day against the Giants with a parade of “who?” at receiver, Fitzpatrick can probably do the same.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco (vs. Atlanta)

Garoppolo looked fantastic last week in New Orleans, passing for 349 yards and four scores. With San Francisco looking to hang on to the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the pedal should be on the floor again Sunday against a bad Atlanta defense in San Francisco.

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (at Arizona)

Cleveland is a never-ending circus, win or lose — and last week was no different. Still, no team in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks this year than Arizona, so if ever there was a week for the product on the field to be the story for once, this is it.

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee (vs. Houston)

Since Week 8, Tannehill ranks seventh in Sharks League Scoring among all players and fourth among quarterback. Who knew going into the 2019 that Tannehill was going to lead more than a few fantasy managers into the championship round? No one — that’s who.

SIT THEM DOWN

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota (at Los Angeles Chargers)

Cousins has put together a solid statistical season, completing more than 70 percent of his passes for 3,274 yards and 24 touchdowns. But the Chargers have been a tough out for quarterbacks in 2019, allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (vs. Denver)

Mahomes owners are no more likely to sit him at home against Denver than they were last week against New England. But Mahomes barely finished inside the Top 20 fantasy quarterbacks last week, and this week’s matchup isn’t much better.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta (at San Francisco)

Ryan and Atlanta lit up Carolina last week, but San Francisco is most definitely not Carolina. Never mind the fact that Calvin Ridley was one of the numerous receivers who went down with a significant injury in Week 14.

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is an nine-time FSWA Award finalist and three-time winner who has been a finalist for that organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award each of the last four years. He won the honor in 2017 and 2019. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.