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Start/Bench – Week 15

If you are still reading this because you’ve advanced to the second round of the playoffs or are just starting your playoff run then congratulations! If you were eliminated from the playoffs last week and are continuing to read this, then thank you!

If you were a victim of the injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Adrian Peterson or the blizzard in Philadelphia that wiped out the Detroit Lions’ fantasy production…my condolences.

It was a crazy Week 14 and I can’t wait to see what Week 15 has in store for those fantasy owners that are still alive in the drive for the title! Without further ado…



Peyton Manning
Aaron Rodgers

*May not play week 15 *
Drew Brees
Matthew Stafford
Tom Brady
Cam Newton
Philip Rivers
Russell Wilson


Andrew Luck, INDIANAPOLIS vs. Houston: Tennessee’s loss gave the Colts the AFC South division title and the emergence of wide receivers Da’Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill give Andrew Luck a fantasy boost. Luck’s four touchdowns and 326 yards last week have given his owners a viable starting option for Week 15. In the week nine meeting with Houston, Luck finished with 271 yards and three touchdowns.

Nick Foles, PHILADELPHIA at Minnesota: After putting up a solid 21 fantasy points in the blizzard game against Detroit last week, Foles gets a nice indoor matchup with the Vikings. Yes, the same Vikings that have allowed 1,146 yards passing and eight touchdowns through the air in the last four games. Foles and his entire compliment of offensive weapons will have a field day in Week 15.

Matt Ryan, ATLANTA vs. Washington: Ryan has a healthy (OK, healthier) Roddy White to bolster his wide receiver corps and a rejuvenated rushing attack. More importantly, he has the Redskins at home this week and they are a mess. Washington has allowed quarterbacks to account for 27 touchdowns this season and is playing like a team that has already set tee times for December 30th.

Joe Flacco, BALTIMORE at Detroit: Flacco finished last week with 267 total yards (a surprising 22 rushing) and three touchdowns. He has another great matchup this week with a Lions pass defense that has allowed 22 touchdowns through the air. With Detroit likely to stuff the running game, look for Flacco to post excellent passing numbers and hook up with wide receiver Torrey Smith on several big plays.

Josh McCown, CHICAGO at Cleveland: I can’t see the Bears going back to Cutler just yet after McCown put up 384 total yards and five touchdowns on Dallas. Cleveland has allowed 613 yards passing and four passing touchdowns in the last two games. With two of the top-10 fantasy wide receivers to throw to, McCown is a must-start this week. That is as long as Chicago doesn’t inexplicably go back to Cutler.(*Chicago has named Cutler the week 15 starter and he can be started for fantasy purposes as well)


Robert Griffin III, WASHINGTON at Atlanta: The Redskins may take this decision out of fantasy owners hands if coach Mike Shanahan decides to shutdown RGIII for the rest of the season. Or Shanahan may be fired and Griffin plays this week after all. The entire passing game is a mess and Griffin has been sacked 16 times in the last three games. In those games he has thrown for an average of 163 yards while adding another 144 yards on the ground with two touchdowns and three turnovers. It’s bench time even in a matchup against a suspect Flacons defense.

Carson Palmer, ARIZONA at TENNESSEE: Wide receiver Michael Floyd is hobbled with an ankle issue and the Titans have the secondary to make things hard on Palmer this week. Palmer is also nursing an elbow injury and without a healthy set of receiving options (tight end Robert Housler has a hip issue that’s slowing him) is too risky to roll out in a playoff game.

Alex Smith, KANSAS CITY at Oakland: In the week six game against the Raiders, Smith put up only 128 yards passing with another 29 rushing and no touchdowns. The Chiefs won that game handily 24-7 and Smith’s contribution was simply not needed. Oakland is allowing 105 yards per game on the ground and has given up 12 rushing touchdowns. Smith returns to game manager mode this week and there are better options out there.

Eli Manning, NEW YORK GIANTS vs. Seattle: Please tell me that you know this already. Please!

Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI at Pittsburgh: In his five regular season tilts against the Steelers, Dalton has never thrown for more than 280 yards or two touchdowns in a given game. Cincinnati hasn’t surpassed 20 points against the Steelers during Dalton’s tenure and these division matchups have generally been defensive low scoring affairs. Dalton is coming off of a nice game against the Colts (275 yards and three touchdowns) but has been too inconsistent over the last month to warrant a start.

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