Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 15 of the 2018 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em Kirk Cousins (MIN, QB)
Big changes in their coaching staff should result in a positive showing this week, and if not, it'll happen anyways as Miami gives up a whopping 30.5 fantasy points per game to QBs over the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Russell Wilson (SEA, QB)
Russell Wilson completed just 10-of-20 passes for 72 scoreless yards and an interception in the Seahawks' 21-7, Week 14 win over the Vikings. Wilson at least made up for it a bit with 61 rushing yards, but he was one of the worst fantasy quarterbacks of the week. He should rebound nicely this week averaging a solid 24 fantasy points against the Niners over their last three meetings.
Start 'em Mitchell Trubisky (CHI, QB)
Trubisky looked awful last week throwing for just 110 yards, a score, and 3 picks, but it was also his first start since Week 11. He should rebound a bit this week at home against the Packers whom he's averaging 18.3 fantasy points per game in two career games against them. Green Bay has given up an average of 244 yards passing and 2 scores over the previous four weeks.
Start 'em Chris Carson (SEA, RB)
Solid day last week with 22 carries and a TD and nothing scary at all about this matchup, in fact it's a good one for volume.
Start 'em Damien Williams (KC, RB)
Williams has carried 13 times and has seen 7 targets in 2 games without Kareem Hunt. That's enough to make him a RB3 consideration -- especially in PPR -- for Thursday night's showdown with the Chargers. With Spencer Ware listed as doubtful, Williams moves into RB2 territory.
Start 'em Doug Martin (OAK, RB)
Doug Martin got another 16 carries last week and saw 47% of the snaps. A matchup with the Bengals worst rush defense is as good as it gets as they've been run on all year giving up 41 FPG to RBs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Amari Cooper (DAL, WR)
Keep your seatbelt buckled because we're staying on the Amari Cooper roller coaster! A matchup wtih Indy is not necessarily a great matchup by the numbers as they give up 20.7 FPG to WRs the last 4 weeks, but you're not sitting Cooper who is averaging 27.5 fantasy points in his last 4 games.
Start 'em Tyler Lockett (SEA, WR)
Tyler Lockett caught 5-of-6 targets for 42 yards in the Seahawks' Week 14 win over the Vikings - not a great day, but then again, none of the Seahawks receivers did well in that one. His matchup with the Niners should be a bit easier. He put up 13.2 fantasy points against them in Week 13.
Start 'em Dante Pettis (SF, WR)
Dante Pettis is a name you need to know. He's ranked 27th this week and remains tough to sit as he's averaged 20+ fantasy points over the last three games. Plus, he put up 29.7 fantasy points in Week 13 against this same defense.
Start 'em Eric Ebron (IND, TE)
Eric Ebron remains the filet mignon of tight ends - not a ton of volume, but the guy makes the most of that volume better than anyone else. He's got a great matchup this week against Dallas who has given up 16 fantasy points to tight ends over the last four weeks.
Start 'em Cameron Brate (TB, TE)
Cameron Brate saw a decent 4 targets last week, but more importantly, he hauled in 2 touchdowns. The Ravens have given up 18.8 fantasy points to the position over the last 4 weeks with 4 touchdowns specifically to tight ends over that same time frame.
Start 'em Jacksonville Jaguars (JAC, DEF)
While they seemingly quit last week, the Jaguars have a chance to regain some respect against Josh Johnson and a struggling Washington offense offering an incredible average of 11.5 fantasy points to defenses the last four weeks.
Start 'em Justin Tucker (BAL, K)
Justin Tucker is 7 for 7 over his last three games. We like that consistency. Keep him locked in.
Sit 'em Aaron Rodgers (GB, QB)
Yes, you may have to do a double-take, but Aaron Rodgers is sitting 17th in our QB rankings this week sandwiched between Josh Allen and Jameis Winston. Rodgers has averaged a healthy 26.3 fantasy points against the Bears in their last 2 games, but Chicago is giving up an incredibly stingy 13.9 fantasy points to QBs over the last 4 weeks.
Sit 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
The Ravens allow the 3rd-fewest yards through the air (206.2) per game and kept Matt Ryan, Marcus Mariota, and Derek Carr to under 10 fantasy points. On the season, the Ravens have allowed just 18 fantasy points per game. Winston will enter Week 15 as a risky QB option on the road against the stout Baltimore defense.
Sit 'em Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
Stafford has thrown just 2 touchdown passes in his last four games while averaging an anemic 200 passing yards per game over that same span. Combine that with the fact the Bills give up a stingy 15 fantasy points per game and Stafford becomes bench material.
Sit 'em Adrian Peterson (WAS, RB)
Forget what Derrick Henry did to the Jaguars defense last week. Jacksonville will have some up and down games. Focus on Adrian Peterson's terrible 10 carries for 16 yards last week plus Josh Johnson lining up under center. On a side note, it was revealed this week that Johnson learned his teammates' names by playing Madden. I wish we could make things up like that...
Sit 'em LeSean McCoy (BUF, RB)
McCoy pulled his hamstring early in the first quarter of the Week 14 loss to the Jets and could potentially be shut down for the final three weeks. Chris Ivory led the running backs with 12 carries last week but would be a last-ditch RB3 play this week against the Lions in a game with a 36-point total.
Sit 'em Darren Sproles (PHI, RB)
It's tough to love much in the Eagles backfield, but with Nick Foles returning...perhaps? Still, it's very hard to trust Darren Sproles right now. He has scored two weeks in a row, but only saw 4 touches last week.
Sit 'em Alshon Jeffery (PHI, WR)
Alshon Jeffery put up numbers last week with volume on 9 targets, but Rams have 2 solid and physical CBs outside, plus we're likely back to Nick Foles.
Sit 'em Chris Godwin (TB, WR)
Chris Godwin caught only 1 of his 10 targets last week which is worrisome. Combined with the fact that the Ravens give up just 9.3 WR catches/game over the last 4 makes Godwin a risky start. He's ranked 34th this week putting him in low-WR3 territory.
Sit 'em Zay Jones (BUF, WR)
Zay Jones caught 3-of-9 targets for 22 yards in Week 14 against Buffalo. It's a letdown after Jones went off for two touchdowns the week prior. Jones continued to lead Buffalo in targets, but had fewer yards than both Robert Foster and Isaiah McKenzie. The Buffalo pass offense isn't good enough to support any receivers. Jones should be avoided for a Week 15 matchup with Detroit.
Sit 'em Jimmy Graham (GB, TE)
Jimmy Graham hauled in just 2-of-5 for 13 yards in the Packers' Week 14 win over the Falcons. Mostly a disappointment this season, Graham will be nothing more than a high-end TE2 this week against the Bears. He's not really a startable option right now.
Sit 'em Jordan Reed (WAS, TE)
First, we have to be positive. Who expected 13 weeks out of Jordan Reed? Honestly, that's a lot to ask. While his toe issue isn't believed to be serious, the Redskins have little incentive to push him to play. Keep Reed out of your lineups, and frankly, Vernon Davis doesn't look much better (ranked 17th this week among all TE's).
Sit 'em Arizona Cardinals (ARI, DEF)
The Cardinals are tough to trust right now, but if you have no other option, take solace in the fact that Matt Ryan has been under siege all year and the Falcons have given defenses 10.5 fantasy points over the last four weeks.
Sit 'em Mason Crosby (GB, K)
Mason Crosby has had a decent four field goals over his last three games, but this is a bad matchup and their are better options available.