Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2019
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 15 of the 2019 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FFN. FFN rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. 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, Travis Kelce, or DeAndre Hopkins. 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 Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, QB)
Ranked 8th this week on FFN is Jimmy Garoppolo fresh off what was an incredible game where he threw for 349 yards and 4 scores. Even under pressure, he was calm and delivered against a difficult defense. He'll have an easier time with the Falcons who are giving up the 6th-most fantasy points to signal callers in 2019.
Start 'em Ryan Tannehill (TEN, QB)
Ryan Tannehill is ranked inside our Top 10 this week and he's been a solid fantasy play since taking over the top of the depth chart. The Texans have given up the 4th-most fantasy points to QBs this season including 24 points to Drew Lock last week. Tannehill has been on fire and should continue to remain so.
Start 'em Kyler Murray (ARI, QB)
Kyler Murray hasn't been lighting up the fantasy world the last two weeks throwing for less than 200 yards, but we anticipate seeing the Kyler Murray from the three previous games where he averaged almost 25 fantasy points. We should see his rushing stats return as well against a Browns defense that has been very generous in that area to QBs this year.
Start 'em Todd Gurley (LAR, RB)
Todd Gurley's usage this year has been an area of constant speculation, but after rushing just six times in Week 12, he has seen his usage go up to an average of 21 carries the last two weeks where he also found the endzone in both cases. Look for his usage to continue against Dallas this week.
Start 'em Raheem Mostert (SF, RB)
Looking for a flex option to help you get to the championship game? Look no further than Raheem Mostert who is the top dog in the San Francisco backfield per Coach Kyle Shanahan. He's ranked 27th this week following three straight weeks where he found the endzone.
Start 'em Kareem Hunt (CLE, RB)
Another great flex option this week is Kareem Hunt who comes into our Week 15 rankings as a low-end RB2. He's seen double-digit touches in each game since coming back from his suspension. It's a great matchup for him as the Cardinals give up the 8th-most fantasy points to running backs this year.
Start 'em Robert Woods (LAR, WR)
Over his past four games, Robert Woods has averaged 8 receptions for 115 yards. He's become a focal point in this offense, so even in a difficult matchup, his volume should keep him fantasy-relevant. Case in point: the Cowboys have given up 22 fantasy points to both Allen Robinson and Cole Beasley the previous two weeks - both focal points of their respective passing offenses.
Start 'em Emmanuel Sanders (SF, WR)
After a slew of poor performances, we finally saw a nice bounce back game from Sanders who hauled in 7-of-9 targets for 157 yards and a score. He should have a nice matchup this week against the Falcons who are giving up the 6th-most fantasy points to receivers this year.
Start 'em DK Metcalf (SEA, WR)
DK Metcalf has become an integral part of the Seahawks offense ranking 2nd on the team in targets and 3rd in snaps. He's also coming off two straight games of six receptions and 75+ yards. A matchup with the Panthers and their bottom-10 ranked secondary is just what the fantasy doctor ordered.
Start 'em Dallas Goedert (PHI, TE)
Looking for an unsuspecting option at TE? How about Dallas Goedert who is ranked inside our Top 10 this week while remaining available in more than half of all leagues on the major platforms. He's 4th on the team in targets and snaps facing a Washington defense that has been generous to tight ends with yards and trips to the endzone.
Start 'em Tyler Higbee (LAR, TE)
Tyler Higbee has gone over 100 yards each of the last two weeks - a feat that eludes most tight ends. He has clearly shined brightly in the absence of Gerald Everett, and even if Everett returns, Higbee has earned a larger role on this team.
Start 'em Philadelphia Eagles (PHI, DEF)
The Philadelphia Eagles are ranked inside our Top 5 this week against a Dwayne Haskins-led Washington offense that is surrendering the 8th-most fantasy points.
Start 'em Robbie Gould (SF, K)
Last week's showdown with the Saints ended with a game-winning field goal by Robbie Gould. Just as he delivered his team a victory, he'll chip in some points for yours as well.
Sit 'em Josh Allen (BUF, QB)
Josh Allen can beat you with his arm as well as his legs, but he's going to run up against a Pittsburgh defense that has been solid this year (3rd-fewest fantasy points allowed) and has kept Murray, Mayfield, Goff, Brissett, Dalton, and Garoppolo to single-digits. We need more than single-digits to help us win our championship.
Sit 'em Philip Rivers (LAC, QB)
As much as we enjoy listening to the clean trash talking of Philip Rivers, we just can't bring ourselves to start him in our championship run. He's coming off a fantastic game though throwing for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns which was one of his best games of the year, but it's hard to forget that he averaged 11 points for the five games prior - too much risk.
Sit 'em Matt Ryan (ATL, QB)
Drew Brees defied the odds last week putting up huge numbers against San Francisco, but are you willing to roll the dice that Matt Ryan can do the same? The Niners have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to QBs this season including five quarterbacks who were held to single-digits.
Sit 'em Sony Michel (NE, RB)
Ugh. It has become so obvious what the Patriots are going to do when Sony Michel is on the field. It has become equally obvious to fantasy owners that he can't be trusted. Keep in mind that he hasn't scored more than 8 points in ANY format since Week 7.
Sit 'em David Johnson (ARI, RB)
Just because David Johnson reached the endzone last week in a tough matchup doesn't mean that he's back to being fantasy-relevant. His usage and volume is still awful. He's seen 7 carries TOTAL over his last three games. DJ should not be rostered in anything but the deepest of leagues.
Sit 'em Peyton Barber (TB, RB)
This is a sweet matchup, but who's going to get the ball? Peyton Barber or Ronald Jones? They are the classic running back roulette situation where the team continues to change who they're going to feature each week.
Sit 'em JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT, WR)
JuJu Smith-Schuster was a full participant in practice, and just as he tweeted this week, we fully expect him to suit up. The problem is that he has been an incredible fantasy disappointment this year and the QB situation in Pittsburgh doesn't help, nor does the fact that the Bills give up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to receivers this year.UPDATE: JuJu aggravated his knee and will not play this week.
Sit 'em Sammy Watkins (KC, WR)
Sammy Watkins hasn't pulled in more than 63 yards or visited the endzone since Week 1, but he's coming off a nice 4-for-50 yard game where he saw eight targets. We're not ready to plug him into our lineups based upon one week - particularly against a tough Denver secondary.
Sit 'em Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, WR)
The torch has been passed in the desert. Larry Fitzgerald's time is coming to an end as evidenced by his production this season. He's not likely to rebound against a Browns secondary that is giving up the 10th-fewest fantasy points per game this year.
Sit 'em Jimmy Graham (GB, TE)
For Jimmy Graham to be fantasy relevant, he needs to find the endzone which he hasn't done since Week 7. Since then, he's averaged just 2 receptions for 26 yards and no scores. He's ranked 24th this week on FFN - well outside startability. A banged-up Graham is simply not what fantasy owners need in their playoffs.
Sit 'em Kyle Rudolph (MIN, TE)
With Adam Thielen sidelined, Kyle Rudolph flourished...until last week when he let many fantasy owners down. With Adam Thielen expected back this week, we've watched Rudolph's ranking slip to 19th against a Chargers defense ranked inside the Top 10.
Sit 'em Chicago Bears (CHI, DEF)
We've seen a resurgent Chicago Bears defense, but a trip to Lambeau Field isn't likely to continue that trend. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are giving opposing DSTs the 4th-fewest fantasy points.
Sit 'em Zane Gonzalez (ARI, K)
This is going to be a difficult matchup. With the exception of last week, the Browns have kept opposing kickers to single digits all year.