Wednesday - Oct 21, 2020

Home / Commentary / RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 15

RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 15

Welcome back for the Week 15 edition of “Red Light, Green Light”, your matchup guide for all of this weekend’s (and Monday’s) NFL contests. While this piece is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, it can be used for some of those decisions as well.

In each NFL Week 15 game profile below, players mentioned in the green light sections have a great matchup, and can be counted on as rock solid options for the week. Players mentioned in the yellow light sections have just an okay matchup and/or usage concerns, meaning they are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire. Players in the red light sections have serious concerns, and need to have expectations lowered for the week, and/or should be avoided if possible. Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not be the guy(s) carrying your team to victory this week.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default PPR scoring system.

Houston Texans at New York Jets (Saturday, December 15th)

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Texans Jets
Quarterback 21st 16th
Running Back 24th 20th
Wide Receiver 22nd 3rd
Tight End 9th 29th
Defense/Special Teams 15th 3rd
Vegas Line: Texans -7
Vegas Over/Under: 41.5
green-light
  • DeAndre Hopkins – Was held to a season-low 36 receiving yards last Sunday, but salvaged the day with a short touchdown reception. The Jets have allowed the third-most receiving yardage to opposing wideouts.
  • Texans D/ST – The Jets have an implied team point total of 17.25 (second-lowest of the week) and commit an average of two turnovers per game.
yellow-light
  • Deshaun Watson – Averaging just 1.4 touchdown passes per game since throwing five in Week 8 against Miami, while the Jets haven’t allowed an opposing quarterback to throw more than two touchdown passes since Week 6,
  • Lamar Miller – A tough nut to crack this season, Miller has flopped in favorable matchups and succeeded in tough ones. The Jets are more of a neutral matchup for opposing backfields, so maybe we’ll get positive production out of Miller as the Texans are moderately favored in what projects as a defensive struggle.
  • Chris Herndon – Quiet the last two weeks, albeit in tough matchups. The Texans are ranked 9th for most receiving yards allowed to opposing tight ends.
  • Robby Anderson – Looked healthier than he has in while last Sunday while putting up a 4-76-1 line on the Bills.  Houston has allowed the 10th-most receiving yardage to opposing wideouts, but just 9 touchdowns to the position. Anderson should be able to feast in garbage time with Quincy Enunwa (ankle) ruled out.
red-light
  • Demaryius Thomas – Outside of a two touchdown performance in Week 12, Thomas’ struggle for fantasy relevance has been even worse in Houston than in Denver this season. Keke Coutee (hamstring) is also expected to return, which will likely cut into Thomas’ snaps and target share.
  • Elijah McGuire (ankle) – Starter Isiaiah Crowell (toe) was knocked out of the Jets’ Week 14 win over the Bills, which paved the way for McGuire to rack up 83 total yards and a score on 20 touches in that contest. Unfortunately, McGuire is now dealing with an injury of his own, and would face the NFL’s second-best rush defense in terms of limiting rushing yards allowed to opposing backfields if he is indeed able to play. Update: McGuire was removed from the Jets injury report, while Crowell has officially been ruled out.

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos (Saturday, December 15th)

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Browns Broncos
Quarterback 14th 17th
Running Back 6th 19th
Wide Receiver 10th 15th
Tight End 5th 6th
Defense/Special Teams 16th 24th
Vegas Line: Broncos -2.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
45.5
green-light
  • Phillip Lindsay – Put up just 51 total yards in what was supposed to be a positive game script for the Broncos last week, though did manage to punch in a goal line touchdown. Lindsay should rebound in a big way against a Browns defense allowing the 6th-most rushing yards per game to opposing backfields.
  • David Njoku – I continue to recommend Njoku in favorable scenarios and continue to get burned, as the sophomore tight end has now gone just 6-43-0 over the past two weeks. Regardless, this matchup is too juicy to fade as no NFL team has allowed more receiving yardage to tight ends over the last month.
yellow-light
  • Baker Mayfield – The rookie continues to play like a poised veteran, has now finished with a 67 percent completion ratio in each of his last five games played. Since Week 8, Denver has allowed multiple touchdowns or 400+ yards passing to five of the six quarterbacks they’ve faced.
  • Nick Chubb – He’s averaging just 60.3 rushing yards per game over the Browns’ last three games, though has scored four times over that span. Denver has only allowed two running backs to go over 100 yards, both of them accomplishing that feat during the first half of the 2018 season.
  • Jarvis Landry – He’s now strung together two solid outings in a row with a 9-160-1 receiving line to go along with 54 rushing yards and an additional score over the past two weeks. The Broncos’ secondary will be down another starting CB in third-round rookie CB Isaac Yiadom (shoulder).
  • Broncos D/ST – They’re dealing with several key injuries on the defensive side of the ball, while Baker Mayfield has suddenly turned into one of the least sacked quarterbacks in the NFL.
  • Courtland Sutton – It seems like every time Sutton gets a promotion, he performs even worse than before, with his 2-14-0 line last Sunday while serving as Denver’s no. 1 receiver being the low point. Even with Browns CB Denzel Ward (concussion) looking iffy, Sutton will be hard to trust.
  • Tim Patrick/DaeSean Hamilton – These two actually played more snaps than Sutton in Week 14, as the latter spent some time on the sidelines dealing with a thigh injury. In that contest, Patrick went 7-85-0 on 10 targets, while Hamilton went 7-47-1 on 9. With Sutton expected to play, both Patrick and Hamilton’s upside is limited on a low-volume passing offense.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Packers Bears
Quarterback 22nd 30th
Running Back 22nd 30th
Wide Receiver 4th 13th
Tight End 28th 23rd
Defense/Special Teams 22nd 11th
Vegas Line: Bears -6
Vegas Over/Under: 
45
  • Davante Adams – Currently the overall WR1 in PPR formats, Adams continues to carry the Packers’ passing attack on his back. The Bears have allowed the 8th-most receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts, and recently sent a core piece of their secondary in CB Bryce Callahan (foot) to injured reserve.
  • Bears D/ST – As evidenced by their domination of the Rams last Sunday night, it doesn’t really matter who the Bears play for this elite unit to rack up fantasy points.
  • Randall Cobb – Seems to be back atop the Green Bay depth chart after hamstring injury sapped his effectiveness for most of the season. Callahan’s absence for Chicago upgrades Cobb’s matchup in the slot.
  • Mitchell Trubisky – Last Sunday night wasn’t pretty, as Trubisky threw for just 110 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions, while adding another 23 yards on the ground. The Packers have allowed 8 touchdown passes over their last four games.
  • Tarik Cohen – Has caught at least three passes in five straight games, but has been held under double-digit carries in every one of them. This week’s game script doesn’t figure to favor the diminutive scat back, but he should still see a fair amount of touches.
  • Jordan Howard – Amazingly logged his first 100-yard rushing game of the season last Sunday night with 101 against the Rams. However, Howard comes into this contest on a five game scoring drought, and continues to have an all but non-existent role in the Bears’ passing attack.
  • Allen Robinson (hip) – Leads the Bears with a 22.5 percent target share since Week 10, though has little to show for it outside of a 6-133-2 line against the Lions. This matchup could get Robinson off his scoring schneid so long as he’s healthy enough to play.
  • Aaron Rodgers – Having thrown at least three touchdown passes in just two games this season (none since Week 5), the era of Aaron Rodgers as a set-and-forget option at quarterback seems to be fading.
  • Aaron Jones – This is a brutal spot for Jones, as the Bears have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards to opposing backfields on the season.
  • Jimmy Graham – The veteran tight end has caught two passes or less in four of his last five games. The Bears did not allow an opposing tight end to go over 42 receiving yards or score over that same span.
  • Trey Burton – The $32 million man is averaging just 19.8 receiving yards per game over his last five games,  and hasn’t found the end zone since Week 9.

Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2018 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Lions Bills
Quarterback 20th 32nd
Running Back 9th 8th
Wide Receiver 20th 30th
Tight End 20th 30th
Defense/Special Teams 5th 2nd
Vegas Line: Bills -2
Vegas Over/Under: 
39.5
  • Bills D/ST – The Lions are the NFL’s 8th-lowest scoring team (20.8 points per game), while the Bills defense boasts an overall DVOA ranking of 3 per Football Outsiders.
  • Josh Allen – With 335 rushing yards over his last three games, I’m probably overdue on taking Josh Allen seriously. With LeSean McCoy (hamstring) unlikely to play, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Allen leading the Bills’ rushing attack for a fourth week in a row.
  • Lions D/ST – Buffalo is one of the most turnover-prone teams in the NFL, but the loss of DE Ziggy Ansah will hurt Detroit’s pass rush ability.
  • Zay Jones – Managed to lead all Bills wideouts with 9 targets last week, but turned them into just 22 yards. Jones is the Buffalo receiver most likely to draw Lions CB Darius Slay in coverage.
  • LeSean McCoy (hamstring) – Likely to sit this weekend with the Bills having nothing to play for but pride. In McCoy’s absence, Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy will form some sort of uninspiring committee.
  • Kenny Golladay – No sooner is Golladay finished getting shut down to the tune of a 2-5-0 receiving line by the Cardinal’s Patrick Peterson, he has to square off with the Bills’ Tre’davious White. The Lions don’t have any other credible receiving threats, so expect Golladay to garner all the defensive attention the Bills can throw at him.
  • LeGarrette Blount – Carried the ball just 12 times last week, as the Lions rushing attack devolved into a timeshare between Blount and Zach Zenner. With Blount requiring volume to thrive, his chances at decent output aren’t good if he has to share the ball.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.