If you’re still reading this, then you must be one of the lucky ones that is still alive in the playoffs. Congrats! There is lots of offense to go around in a pivotal week 15. The powerhouse offensive teams have about one more week of fantasy stats before reality takes over and players start to rest. Enjoy your Chargers, Saints, and Colts while you can.
When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:
1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions. This list will change from week to week. The first week, the studs will consist of the preseason top “tier” at each position.
2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.
Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!
Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Washington
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati
Marc Bulger, St. Louis vs. Oakland
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis
Michael Vick, Atlanta vs. Dallas
Tom Brady, New England vs. Houston
Tony Romo, Dallas (vs. Atlanta): Look for Romo to bounce back from a sub-par performance last week against the Saints where most of his stats came in garbage time.
Jon Kitna, Detroit (vs. Green Bay): It’s a little scary to have Kitna started for your playoff team, but he’ll continue to produce like a top-notch QB this week at the road against the Pack.
J.P. Losman, Buffalo (vs. Miami): Losman has two TD passes in each of the past two games, but look for Losman’s numbers to decrease against the Dolphins who completely shut down Tom Brady and the Patriots last week.
Derek Anderson/Charlie Frye, Cleveland (vs. Baltimore): Regardless of which QB starts for the Browns this week, you should look elsewhere for your starter as neither will experience much success in the Ravens den.
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Kansas City
Larry Johnson, Kansas City vs. San Diego
Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Oakland
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Giants
Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Seattle
Willie Parker, Pittsburgh vs. Carolina
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Philadelphia
Reggie Bush, New Orleans* vs. Washington
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville (vs. Tennessee): Jones-Drew has a monster performance last week against the Colts and with Fred Taylor dinged up with a hamstring injury, look for Jones-Drew to pick up the slack and have a big day against the Titans.
Artose Pinner, Minnesota (vs. N.Y. Jets): Chester who? With Taylor’s injury, Pinner stepped in and rushed for 125 yards last week. Look for Pinner’s success to continue this week against the Jets who are ranked 26th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed.
Ladell Betts, Washington (vs. New Orleans): Betts has been a stud as of late rushing for over 100 yards in three straight games including a 171-yards performance last week. Betts should make it four games in a row against the Saints whose offense is unstoppable, but their run defense is suspect.
Reuben Droughns, Cleveland (vs. Baltimore): Droughns rushed for six yards on five carries last week and won’t have an easy go this week either against the Ravens who held the Browns to a total of 38 net yards rushing back in week three.
Ron Dayne, Houston (vs. New England): Don’t be fooled by Dayne’s back-to-back solid weeks rushing. He’ll face an angry Patriots team in New England looking for redemption for the embarrassment last week. Sorry Ron, you’ll pay the price for the Dolphins success.
Edgerrin James, Arizona (vs. Denver): James has posted back-to-back 100 yard games on the ground, but he’ll have a tough time finding running room against the Broncos who need this win to stay in the playoff hunt and it all starts with the Denver defense.
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. Oakland
Andre Johnson, Houston vs. New England
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Pittsburgh
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati
Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. Atlanta
Roy Williams, Detroit vs. Green Bay
Donald Driver, Green Bay* vs. Detroit
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati* vs. Indianapolis
Removed from Studs list
-Darrell Jackson, Seattle: out for week 15
Terry Glenn, Dallas (vs. Atlanta): Glenn had his best game of the season last week catching eight passes for 150 yards. Look for Glenn to stay hot as Romo and the ‘Boys should return to form in Atlanta this week.
Marques Colston, New Orleans (vs. Washington): Check the status of Colston later in the week who left last week’s game with cramps. When he was in the lineup, he was definitely Drew Brees’ favorite target. If Colston plays, don’t miss out on a potential big start as the Saints are a sight to see on offense right now.
Donte Stallworth, Philadelphia (vs. N.Y. Giants): Look for Jeff Garcia to have a solid week against the Giants which should translate into big numbers for Stallworth who has a TD-catch in each of the past two weeks.
Reche Caldwell, New England (vs. Houston): Caldwell has emerged as the top WR threat for Tom Brady on the Patriots offense. Look for the Patriots passing game to improve significantly from the 90 total passing yards from a week ago and Caldwell will be the main beneficiary this week.
Santana Moss, Washington (vs. New Orleans): Moss has been inconsistent with Campbell at QB and look for more below-average stats against the Saints who slowed the Cowboys powerful passing attack to a crawl last week.
Joey Galloway, Tampa Bay (vs. Chicago): Galloway is always to dangerous bench as he loves to go deep and that one big day could make up for an otherwise mediocre performance. However, the Bears will pressure Gradkowski minimizing the time Galloway will have to get open down the field. Look for a more reliable starter in your playoff matchup this week.
Lee Evans, Buffalo (vs. Miami): With Losman expected to struggle, the entire Bills passing attack is downgraded including Evans who also has big play ability. Evans was held to two catches for 19 yards back in week two against Miami. A repeat performance is likely.
Braylon Edwards, Cleveland (vs. Baltimore): Edwards has surprisingly continued to post decent stats despite the changes at QB. However, it won’t matter who is at QB this week. All Browns offensive players (except for Kellen Winslow) should be firmly planted on your bench.
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Kansas City
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. San Diego
Kellen Winslow, Cleveland vs. Baltimore
Todd Heap, Baltimore vs. Cleveland
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Philadelphia
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. Dallas
Ben Watson, New England vs. Houston
Jason Witten, Dallas (vs. Atlanta): It’s all systems go for the Cowboys passing offense and there will be plenty to go around against the Falcons this week. Look for Witten to be targeted close to the goal line this week.
L.J. Smith, Philadelphia (vs. N.Y. Giants): Smith had his best game of the season in week two against the Giants posting seven catches for 111 yards. While he may not reach those numbers, five catches, 60+ yards and a score is not out of the question.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco (vs. Seattle): Davis had a big game last week, but don’t jump on the bandwagon just yet. Eric Johnson had four catches for 48 yards the last time these teams met back in week 11, but look for Seattle to batten down the hatches at home and hold the Niners passing attack to a minimum.
Tony Sheffler, Denver (vs. Arizona): Anyone with Sheffler on your roster, please raise your hand. Anyone? Oh well, for those of you that have an open waiver wire this time of year and you’re looking for a sleeper, don’t expect Sheffler to repeat his two-TDs from last week. Keep on fishing you waiver wire hounds!