Week 15 Start'em/Sit'em

Dec 16, 2020 at 6:21 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 15 of the 2020 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 Alvin Kamara, Travis Kelce, or Davante Adams. 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 Ryan Tannehill (TEN, QB)
Surrounded by all the usual names in the Top 10 rankings this week is Ryan Tannehill facing a Lions defense that has given up the 6th-most yards through the air along with more than 20 fantasy points each week. Detroit gave up 30 points to Aaron Rodgers last week and 31 points to Deshaun Watson two weeks prior.
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7th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Jared Goff (LAR, QB)
Granted, Jared Goff hasn't done much in the past few weeks to get folks excited, but a matchup with the winless Jets should help him get you into the championship. Over their past five games, the Jets have surrendered a whopping 28 fantasy points to QBs.
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2nd Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Tom Brady (TB, QB)
When we look at Tom Brady's weekly production, a rollercoaster pattern emerges. He should be on his way back up in the stats against the Falcons who give up more fantasy points to QBs than any other team.
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Most pts to QB
Start 'em Cam Akers (LAR, RB)
Running back committees are notoriously difficult to predict, but we're keeping Cam Akers locked in after he rushed 29 times for 171 yards last week. That followed 21 carries the week prior. With that workload, he's as strong an RB2 as you're going to see. We're banking on Sean McVay riding the hot hand into the playoffs - exactly what fantasy owners are hoping for.
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10th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Jonathan Taylor (IND, RB)
It's amazing how the Taylor hype-train has been this year. For the first half, JT was vying for Rookie of the Year. Then he experienced several down weeks where folks were writing him off. After taking his 20 carries last week for 150 yards and 2 trips to the endzone, everyone's back on the train. Keep him locked in with a plus matchup against Houston.
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2nd Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Mike Davis (CAR, RB)
A Week 16 return for Christian McCaffrey would be the best case scenario for CMC owners, but that means that it's still the Mike Davis show. You couldn't ask for a better matchup here as the Packers have routinely been generous to running backs all year.
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3rd Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Calvin Ridley (ATL, WR)
Whether Julio Jones plays or not, Calvin Ridley is a WR1. He led the Falcons in targets and receiving yards in Julio's absence last week and matched him for targets the week prior. The fact that he has at least 90 yards or a touchdown in four straight games means that even a relatively-tough matchup with the Bucs is not enough to budge him from a Top 10 finish.
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11th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Corey Davis (TEN, WR)
While AJ Brown will command most of the attention, Corey Davis still has the potential to put up a nice fantasy day against the Lions who are giving up the 5th-most fantasy points to the position. He's ranked 19th this week on FFN in a matchup that's simply too good to pass up.
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5th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em T.Y. Hilton (IND, WR)
T.Y. Hilton, A.J. Green, and Alshon Jeffery all scored last week making fantasy owners question what year they're living in. Keep the DeLorean at 88 mph again this week as Hilton faces the same Houston secondary that he took for 25 points just two weeks ago. With three straight games of at least 18 fantasy points, Hilton has picked a fine time to reemerge as the top option in the Indy receiving corp.
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9th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Rob Gronkowski (TB, TE)
While he only saw two targets last week, Gronk did manage to find the endzone for the fifth time this year. He's averaged 5.5 targets over the prior four games and should see similar target numbers in this one. Gronkowski lands at #11 this week on FFN facing a Falcons defense that is in the Top 5 in fantasy points allowed to the TE position this season.
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4th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Eric Ebron (PIT, TE)
Don't let last week's dud performance sour you on Ebron. His five targets last week was the lowest he's seen since Week 8. A plus matchup with the Bengals should help the Steelers get back on track. They're giving up the second-most fantasy points to the position this year.
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2nd Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Los Angeles Rams (LAR, DEF)
Unless you have the Rams defense, it's hard not to feel bad for the Jets. Nobody surrenders more fantasy points to opposing DST's than Gang Green.
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Most pts to DEF
Start 'em Tyler Bass (BUF, K)
It's no surprise to see Justin Tucker at #1 in our rankings, but who is that nipping at his heels? That's Tyler Bass in what is a dream matchup for a kicker. The Broncos have allowed more double-digit production to fantasy kickers this year than any other team.
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Most pts to K
Sit 'em Cam Newton (NE, QB)
If you were hoping for a repeat of Cam's Week 1 performance against the Dolphins, don't hold your breath. Since then, the Dolphins have significantly improved their defensive posture and Cam has seen his production decrease with multiple single-digit games. If you need the win this week, you're going to need to look elsewhere.
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6th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Baker Mayfield (CLE, QB)
Cleveland may have lost Monday night to Baltimore, but Baker Mayfield and the Browns put on a helluva show with Mayfield throwing for a whopping 343 yards and two scores. He'll have another tough matchup with the Giants, and even if it ends up being a slugfest, Mayfield may not be able to turn in big numbers. Over the past two weeks, the Giants have kept both Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson to an average of just 16.5 points.
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5th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Gardner Minshew (JAC, QB)
How anyone could think that Jake Lutton or Mike Glennon were going to be viable quarterbacks is beyond us. Fortunately, the Jaguars will get Gardner Minshew back under center this week, although that doesn't mean that he's startable. Other than Baker Mayfield last week and Patrick Mahomes in Week 3, quarterbacks have simply not been able to breach 20 fantasy points against the Ravens.
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14th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Giovani Bernard (CIN, RB)
Ladies and gentlemen, it's officially time to engrave Gio Bernard's name on the bench. After multiple plus matchups including last week's plum game against the Cowboys, Bernard has utterly failed to live up to even the most generous of expectations. Combine his lack of doing anything remotely considered productive with a brutal matchup against the Steelers, and Bernard is a name that fantasy owners would do well to simply forget.
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2nd Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Todd Gurley (ATL, RB)
It's been clear for the past several weeks that the Todd Gurley that we fondly remember is no longer here. He has not seen more than eight carries in his last three games, and he's averaged a paltry 2.7 yards per carry during that time. A tough matchup with the Bucs is not likely to help him boost his declining usage and productivity.
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3rd Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Damien Harris (NE, RB)
If there's a Patriots running back to own, it's still probably Damien Harris who comes into our rankings this week at #31. Some semblance of a passing game would certainly help Harris, but the Dolphins have not allowed a running back to surpass 20 fantasy points since Week 4. He may not be in RB2 contention this week, but he could still provide some flex appeal.
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11th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em DeVante Parker (MIA, WR)
After leaving in the first quarter of last week's game with a hamstring strain, DeVante Parker has put in limited practice and is on track to play this week, but that doesn't mean that you should immediately start him. He doesn't seem to have the kind of rapport with Tua that he had with Fitzpatrick, and it shows. This week's matchup is not great either as only three wide receivers have managed to put up at least 20 fantasy points against the Patriots all year.
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13th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Jamison Crowder (NYJ, WR)
In what should have been a great fantasy day, Jamison Crowder disappointed fantasy owners with just 2 fantasy points...again. He's dealing with a calf injury that is clearly impacting his ability to create separation. If he can't put up points against an easy opponent, he's likely to struggle against the Rams who are giving up the fewest fantasy points to receivers on the year.
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Feweset Pts to WR
Sit 'em Jerry Jeudy (DEN, WR)
Move over Jerry Jeudy. KJ Hamler has become the favorite target for Drew Lock. With the fantasy semi-finals here, Jeudy is no longer trustable in must-win matchups. Over his last four games, he's averaged just 1.5 receptions for 21 yards and hasn't even sniffed the endzone since Week 9. At this point, Jeudy is not even flex-worthy and can be safely dropped for depth from the waiver wire.
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10th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Zach Ertz (PHI, TE)
We weren't sure what was going to happen with Jalen Hurts under center, and while Hurts put up a nice stat line, Ertz and company did not. We're not expecting much more than that from Ertz this week either as the Cardinals give up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this year. In fact, no TE has scored more than 12 fantasy points against them all year.
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4th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Jonnu Smith (TEN, TE)
This is a tale of two Jonnu Smiths. The first half of the season, Smith was a monster scoring five touchdowns in his first five games. He averaged 5.8 targets per game during that span. The Jonnu Smith of late has become difficult to trust. In his last five games, he has averaged just 3.2 targets per game including just two last week. He's dealing with a knee issue and losing snaps to Geoff Swaim making it hard for him to help lead you to the championship game next week.
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11th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em New Orleans Saints (NO, DEF)
The Saints have been a fantastic fantasy defense this year putting up five games of double-digit production; however, a matchup with the defending Super Bowl champs is not ideal. The Chiefs' high-powered offense has allowed the 3rd-fewest fantasy points on the season.
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3rd Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Nick Folk (NE, K)
No other team gives up fewer fantasy points to kickers on the season than the Dolphins. In fact, Miami hasn't allowed any kicker to put up double-digit fantasy points including Nick Folk who managed just 3 points against them back in the season opener.
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Feweset Pts to K

Join the Discussion

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 16, 2020 6:55 pm

hey nerds! do I dare sit JJacobs tomorrow for any of these guys instead? Coutee, Chark or Gus the Bus? Thinking not if he's active at 7PM tomorrow, but just wondering... thanks!

Nerd CommentedDec 16, 2020 7:59 pm

If Jacobs is active (he's expected to play), I'd still start him. Just don't follow his Instagram account...

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 17, 2020 11:16 am

Thanks, and I agree!

Broc CommentedDec 16, 2020 7:39 pm

Miles Sander or Josh Jacobs for week 15? ppr league

Nerd CommentedDec 16, 2020 8:01 pm

Sanders and fingers crossed for a repeat from last week.

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 17, 2020 11:16 am

Jacobs for me. Most of sanders yards last week came on one play.

Broc CommentedDec 16, 2020 7:42 pm

Also pick your top 2 for rest of season ppr: Diontae Johnson, J.K. Dobbins, and Cam Akers. Thanks.

Nerd CommentedDec 16, 2020 8:02 pm

Johnson/Akers

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 17, 2020 11:15 am

Agree with nerd

spittdogg CommentedDec 16, 2020 10:01 pm

Man I'm in a tough spot in one of my leagues where I've had QB issues all season. Second round of the playoffs and the only QB I have rostered is Cousins. Debating if I should roll with him or pick up off the waiver wire. Only realistic options available are Hurts, Minshew, Trubisky or Bridgewater. Ugh. Hurts appears to offer the most upside, but pretty darn nervous on starting a rookie in his second game in the fantasy playoffs! Thoughts?

Nerd CommentedDec 16, 2020 10:29 pm

Wow - that's an incredible dilemma. It really comes down to your tolerance for risk. Cousins is a known quantity - you basically know what you're going to get from him. It's not a good matchup but he's got some great receivers and a legit run game.

Our sample size for Hurts is really just the one game and there's no guarantee that he rushes for 100 yards. That being said, I think his upside is better. If you're comfortable with the risk, I'd take a chance and play Hurts.

Good luck!

spittdogg CommentedDec 16, 2020 10:58 pm

Yeah tough spot I know! Well, I'm 10th in waiver order, so no guarantee to pick up Hurts anyway. I'll put in a claim for him and see what happens. Thanks for the response!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 17, 2020 11:15 am

Cousins for me.

Sarge831 CommentedDec 16, 2020 11:10 pm

Hey all should I start r.wilson or j.jurts on sunday

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2020 10:45 am

Wilson is the safer play here.

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 17, 2020 11:15 am

Wilson

Broc CommentedDec 17, 2020 11:37 am

Should I play Kenyan Drake instead of Miles Sanders if Chase Edmonds doesn't play?

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2020 7:41 pm

It's close - very close, but I'd go against the rankings and play Sanders.

Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 17, 2020 11:52 am

who do you like more this week at TE... Kimet or Higbee?

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2020 7:43 pm

Coming off back-to-back games of 7 targets, I'd roll with Kmet.

craigfc8 CommentedDec 17, 2020 11:54 am

Trying not to overthink this... Deshaun Watson or Jalen Hurts? My opponent is starting top 2 WRs for HOU too and I have Miles Sanders...

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 17, 2020 6:34 pm

Watson for me

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2020 7:38 pm

Agreed - Watson

craigfc8 CommentedDec 18, 2020 10:52 am

Thanks!

Fred Schaub CommentedDec 17, 2020 4:44 pm

Start Ekeler or J. Robinson JAX non PPR

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 17, 2020 6:34 pm

Robinson

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2020 7:40 pm

I'd actually go with Ekeler.

Good luck!

RaiderLuv4LIFE CommentedDec 17, 2020 8:08 pm

Which 2 would you start? Gallman, Hunt or Andrew’s? 1 flex. Thx

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2020 8:18 pm

In PPR, I'd probably start Mark Andrews. No Brown this week.

In standard, I'd probably start Gallman who has actually been better than many of us anticipated.

Good luck!

Paintsy CommentedDec 17, 2020 9:12 pm

Tight end. Should I trust Noah Fant or go with Irv Smith?

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2020 9:14 pm

I'd still start Fant.

Muscle man CommentedDec 18, 2020 12:53 pm

If Michael Thomas can't go should I start Chark or Antonio Brown ?

Also, in a separate league, should I flex Hines, Gage or Wilson jr?

Muscle man CommentedDec 18, 2020 12:54 pm

Sorry Both standard

mrock CommentedDec 19, 2020 10:20 am

Brown and Gage

Przybyla CommentedDec 18, 2020 1:07 pm

Half point PPR: Drake or Wilson Jr?

mrock CommentedDec 19, 2020 10:20 am

Drake

JuJu's Tigers CommentedDec 18, 2020 2:53 pm

Fournette, Edmonds, Kirk, or Jamaal Williams for flex. Believe it or not, I'm in first place in two leagues and with injuries this is what I'm down to.

mrock CommentedDec 19, 2020 10:21 am

Fournette

ny84fl CommentedDec 18, 2020 3:42 pm

Which TE to Start in a PPR League Irv Smith, Kimet, or Jared, and Cook?

mrock CommentedDec 19, 2020 10:21 am

Cook

Fred Schaub CommentedDec 18, 2020 11:26 pm

Non-PPR Robby Anderson, C. Davis or DJ Moore

Fred Schaub CommentedDec 18, 2020 11:28 pm

Robby Anderson

mrock CommentedDec 19, 2020 10:21 am

Anderson

Nerd CommentedDec 19, 2020 3:01 pm

Close. I think Anderson is probably the safer play, but I like Davis against that Lions secondary.

Fred Schaub CommentedDec 18, 2020 11:28 pm

Robby Anderson

T-Jugg CommentedDec 19, 2020 1:41 am

Standard scoring flex: Dobbins, M. Evans, or Diontae Johnson?

mrock CommentedDec 19, 2020 10:21 am

Evans

Nerd CommentedDec 19, 2020 3:02 pm

Dobbins

teswqa CommentedDec 19, 2020 11:40 am

Lineup help at RB please...Half point PPR. Montgomery, Miles Sanders, Swift. I can start 2 of these 3. How would you rank these guys?

Nerd CommentedDec 19, 2020 3:41 pm

Same order that you put them.

Montgomery, Sanders, Swift.

Good luck!

Valentine85 CommentedDec 19, 2020 3:33 pm

Can start only one in standard league. Gordon, Mckissic, Wilson. Who would you play !?!?

Nerd CommentedDec 19, 2020 3:42 pm

Melvin Gordon. Good luck!

Valentine85 CommentedDec 19, 2020 8:42 pm

Was a good call lol Gordon got me 20 points. But I’m my other league Patrick didn’t help me by getting 1 point:(

Cychotic CommentedDec 19, 2020 9:18 pm

Kyler Murray or Lamar Jackson this week?

Nerd CommentedDec 20, 2020 11:03 am

Lamar

Good luck!

T-Jugg CommentedDec 19, 2020 9:54 pm

Still alive in two leagues. I have Josh Allen in one league, and my opponent has him in the other league. So...yay?

gil49 CommentedDec 19, 2020 11:03 pm

1ppr need 2 C.Godwin Dionte Johnson, JK Dobbins, Thanks

Nerd CommentedDec 20, 2020 11:05 am

Godwin/Johnson

Good luck!

Gambo-Nator$ CommentedDec 20, 2020 11:02 am

Drew Brees or Kirk Cousins ? full PPR

Nerd CommentedDec 20, 2020 11:05 am

Who Dat Drew Brees

hoop2311 CommentedDec 20, 2020 11:31 am

PPR.... Hines or Fournette

Nerd CommentedDec 20, 2020 11:33 am

I have the same choice.

I'm going with Hines.

Good luck!

deibs81 CommentedDec 20, 2020 11:50 am

1pt PPR and early players (Ekeler, M.Davis) did not perform well. What QB would you start?
Goff (concerned with them going into run mode)
Hurts (only his second start and Arizona has a running QB, so they should know how to defend)
Brees (no Michael Thomas and returning from IR)
Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

Nerd CommentedDec 20, 2020 12:13 pm

Goff has the best matchup there.

T-Jugg CommentedDec 20, 2020 11:54 am

PPR flex, 2 of 3:
Dobbins, Pollard, Marv Jones

Nerd CommentedDec 20, 2020 12:14 pm

For me, it's Dobbins and Jones.


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