Below is our Week 15 Start & Bench Advice for the 2012 fantasy football season.
Who do you start? Who do you sit? From Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em scenarios to Weekly Projections, we got all of your Week 15 fantasy football content right here!
Let’s get to it!
Week 15 Start Bench Advice: Second Chances
Bryce Brown (vs. CIN)
I know, Bryce Brown completely failed fantasy owners in Week 14, rushing for 6 yards on 12 carries… Not that it will take away the week 14 heartburn, but it’s important to remember that the Bucs rank No. 1 against the run when it comes to rushing yards… Week 14 was a tough match-up for Brown, not to mention that the stage just was not ever set for Philly to run the ball. So what do we know for sure? Well, nothing, it’s a lot of guess work at this point, at least when talking about Brown’s future. Before we get to Week 15, let’s address Brown’s long-term value, as many of you dynasty league owners out there are dying to know what’s in store for Brown in 2013 and beyond!
If you think he is a lock to be elite, you’re mistaken. He is an upside guy and his value really just depends on where you get him, how much you have to give up to trade for him, etc., etc… What we do know is that Brown is special. If you aggressively disagree, well, then I venture to say that you are a LeSean McCoy dynasty owner. And, there is nothing wrong with that, I also own McCoy in several leagues, but I have enough leagues that it’s not all that difficult to separate myself from the situation and judge things without a whole lot of bias. Brown is a stud. He is. Will he ever be a long-term elite fantasy player? Honesty, I don’t know the answer to that – yet, at least.
I want to make this point very clear, and I’ve continued to preface things this way over and over when talking about Brown…. Bryce Brown has the talent to be a top 5-10 runner in fantasy football, however, his situation is complicated, and there is a chance that he never gets a shot to become the player that he is capable of becoming. LeSean McCoy will return, no question… Will the team trade Brown, though? Will the two runners share carries all season next year, something that would hurt the values of both runners? Who knows… All I know right now for certain is that this kid has elite talent… and currently (in Week 15), he has elite situation, as he is the team’s bell cow, and he should get a grip of touches at home in Week 15 against the Bengals.
If you own Brown and are considering benching him in Week 15, I can understand that, and by all means, if you have a better option, use it! I have to be honest, despite the success of Alfred Morris, I am considering benching Morris for Brown this week, as I still think Brown is capable of being a strong fantasy RB1 down the stretch (for as long as he starts for the Eagles).
Bryce Brown Week 15 Projections: 110 rushing yards, 1TD, 2 receptions for 10 yards
Alfred Morris Week 15 Projections: 90 rushing yards, 1TD, 2 receptions for 12 yards
CJ Spiller (vs. SEA)
I know it’s easy to doubt CJ Spiller, just like it’s easy to doubt Bryce Brown, but Spiller has explosion written all over him this week. Bills coach Chan Gailey, a frustrating coach I admit, recently said that Spiller will “get (the ball) as much as he wants” now that Fred Jackson is out. Yes, it is officially Spiller time again! But, Spiller has been playing mediocre football lately, right? Wrong, he just hasn’t received the carries. Take a look at his yards-per-carry over his last three games: 7.6, 5.5. 5.3… he has been playing great per touch/carry, and that really hasn’t changed at all this season… his poor fantasy output ONLY has to do with his lack of carries – He is averaging 6.6 yards-per-carry this year! That’s incredible. Fred Jackson (MCL) is out for the season, so expect Spiller to get 14+ carries per game, and some receiving work on top of that! That puts Spiller in the 120-140 total yard department, and a score, on a weekly basis moving forward.
CJ Spiller Week 15 Projections: 120 rushing yards, 1TD, 4 receptions for 35 yards
Week 15 Projections
Below are Week 15 Fantasy Football Projections. These projections are based on a standard PPR scoring format.
1. Cam Newton (@ Chargers): 280/2 70/1 rush 1 INT
2. Matt Stafford (@ Cardinals): 340/3 1 INT
3. Peyton Manning (@ Ravens): 320/3
4. Drew Brees (vs. Bucs): 320/3 1 INT
5. Tom Brady (vs. 49ers): 300/3 1 INT
6. Matt Ryan (vs. Giants): 300/3 1 INT
7. RGIII (@ Browns): 280/2 60/0 rush 1 INT (if active)
8. Eli Manning (@ Falcons): 280/3 1 INT
9. Matt Schaub (vs. Colts): 360/2 1 INT
10. Aaron Rodgers (@ Bears): 310/2 30/0 rush 1 INT
11. Russell Wilson (@ Bills): 260/2 75/0 1 INT
12. Carson Palmer (vs. Chiefs): 310/2 1 INT
13. Collin Kaepernick (@ Patriots): 260/1 60/1 rush 2 INTs
14. Andrew Luck (@ Texans): 280/2 15/0 rush 1 INT
15. Josh Freeman (@ Saints): 280/2 1 INT
16. Andy Dalton (@ Eagles): 280/2 1 INT
17. Tony Romo (vs. Steelers): 280/2 2 INTs
18. Ben Roethlisberger (@ Cowboys): 280/2 2 INTs
19. Phillip Rivers (vs. Panthers): 275/2 1 INT
20. Joe Flacco (vs. Browns): 290/1 1 INT
1. Adrian Peterson (@ Rams): 150/2 2/15/0
2. Marshawn Lynch (@ Bills): 120/2
3. Jamaal Charles (@ Raiders): 140/1 2/25/0
4. Doug Martin (@ Saints): 125/1 3/25/0
5. Arian Foster (vs. Colts): 110/1 2/20/0
6. Ray Rice (vs. Broncos): 100/1 3/20/0
7. CJ Spiller (vs. Seahawks): 80/1 4/35/0
8. Trent Richardson (vs. Redskins): 100/1 1/10/0
9. Alfred Morris (@ Browns): 110/1
10. Darren McFadden (vs. Chiefs): 75/1 3/45/0
11. Reggie Bush (vs. Jaguars): 80/1 3/30/0
12. Matt Forte (@ Packers): 80/1 2/20/0
13. Frank Gore (@ Patriots): 80/1 1/10/0
14. Chris Johnson (vs. Jets): 70/0 2/15/1
15. Mikel Leshoure (@ Cardinals): 95/1
16. Shonn Greene (@ Titans): 90/1
17. Demarco Murray (vs. Steelers): 65/1 3/25/0
18. Knowshon Moreno (@ Ravens): 80/0 3/20/0
19. Steven Jackson (vs. Vikings): 80/0 2/20/0
20. Stevan Ridley (vs. 49ers): 95/0
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
1. Calvin Johnson (@ Cardinals): 10/120/2
2. AJ Green (@ Eagles): 8/110/2
3. Brandon Marshall (vs. Packers): 10/110/1
4. Vincent Jackson (@ Saints): 7/110/1
5. Andre Johnson (vs. Colts): 7/110/1
6. Julio Jones (vs. Giants): 8/100/1
7. Reggie Wayne (@ Texans): 7/100/1
8. Demaryous Thomas (@ Ravens): 6/110/1
9. Mike Wallace (@ Cowboys): 5/120/1
10. Roddy White (vs. Giants): 8/90/1
11. Jimmy Graham (vs. Bucs): 8/90/1
12. Victor Cruz (@ Falcons): 5/100/1
13. Wes Welker (vs. 49ers): 7/90/1
14. Randall Cobb (@ Bears): 4/75/1 2/20/0 rush
15. Pierre Garcon (@ Browns): 5/95/1
16. Cecil Shorts (@ Dolphins): 4/100/1
17. Danario Alexander (vs. Panthers): 5/90/1
18. Steve Smith (@ Chargers): 8/110/0
19. Hakim Nicks (@ Falcons): 6/80/1
20. Kenny Britt (vs. Jets): 6/80/1
21. Eric Decker (@ Ravens): 8/80/1
22. Marques Colston (vs. Bucs): 6/80/1
23. Miles Austin (vs. Steelers): 6/80/1
24. Jeremy Maclin (vs. Bengals): 5/80/1
25. Justin Blackmon (@ Dolphins): 4/80/1
26. Steve Johnson (vs. Seahawks): 7/100/0
27. Sidney Rice (@ Bills): 4/65/1
28. Tony Gonzales (vs. Giants): 4/65/1
29. Jason Witten (vs. Steelers): 6/100/0
30. Michael Crabtree (@ Patriots): 6/100/0
31. Anquon Boldin (vs. Broncos): 4/50/1
32. Antonio Brown (@ Eagles): 5/90/0
33. Lance Moore (vs. Bucs): 6/80/0
34. Mike Williams (@ Saints): 4/45/1
X’s Week 15 Start/Bench Thoughts
If you are reading this, most likely you have won a playoff game or your league just started their playoffs. Either way, it’s what we all play for and for whatever reason this time of year we tend to doubt our lineup choices even more than usual. My advice is to play your studs and let the chips fall where they may; easier said than done I know, but there is no worse feeling than losing a playoff game knowing you sat one of your better players because of matchup or weather concerns. Of course, it is choices between borderline players or players of equal value that really drive fantasy owners to indecision. The only advice I have is to trust your instincts. Below I’ve outlined a few players that I like this week based on matchups or just because I have a gut feeling about them.
At quarterback, a guy I was pressing for owners to trade for weeks ago has paid dividends over the last few weeks. Cam Newton has had back to back monster games, scoring six times over that span, three of those over 50 yards and one of those on the ground. This week Newton goes on the road to face the Chargers, a team ranked in the bottom third against the pass, evidenced by the 300 total yards and three scores Big Ben laid on them last week. Newton is a must start if you own him and should be considered a top five option for the rest of this season. For those who are heading into their playoff game with Robert Griffin III as their primary weapon, I would plan on looking for an alternative now. Although the early indications are only pointing to a mild sprain, I seriously doubt the Redskins are going to risk their franchise player this weekend in spite of the fact they are in the middle of a playoff push. I could be wrong of course, but I just don’t see him playing. Options at the position include Nick Foles who had a huge game last week (32/381/3) or Carson Palmer who has been one of the bigger fantasy surprises of the season. My mid-tier pick of the week is Josh Freeman who has a great matchup against the Saints this week; they rank 30th against the pass and dead last in passing TDs against (27).
The biggest surprise at running back over the last few weeks has to be Bryce Brown of the Eagles who had amassed huge numbers in weeks 12 and 13 only to fall back to Earth last week with just six yards rushing. His status this week may be in doubt since LeSean McCoy has finally passed concussion tests, but the Eagles have nothing to play for and risking McCoy’s health doesn’t make a lot of sense for them. I still consider Brown a solid start moving forward and RB2 material against the Bengals this week – don’t hesitate to start him in spite of the poor performance last week. A real deep reach for those in need of a starter is the Lions Joique Bell. Bell has been steadily improving over the last month and seen more and more carries as the weeks have gone on, cutting into starter Mikel Leshoure’s touches. On Sunday night in Green Bay, he was clearly the more effective of the two and finished with more touches and yards. It is clear to me that this is now an equal timeshare, but the bonus with Bell is he is used far more in the passing game. This week Detroit faces Arizona and both guys should have a nice week, although I have to admit I would play Bell over LeShoure if given the option.
There are about 15 guys at wide receiver that I would consider must start material, after that, going with matchups is a legitimate reason to bench any of the rest. I won’t go through my list of those fifteen here, but one in particular I want to mention is AJ Green who hasn’t scored in his last three games after scoring at least once in every other contest outside of week 1. I expect Green to get back in the end zone this week and go over 100 yards on the road against the Eagles – he is due. A couple of injuries at WR will have teams scrambling this week; Dwayne Bowe has broken ribs and looks to be done for the year, and Dez Bryant is rumored to be having season-ending surgery for a broken finger. Bryant is a huge blow to owners in the playoffs, and he will be tough to replace, but this position has plenty of depth. My favorite to emerge of late is Danario Alexander of the Chargers who has posted 25 catches, 360 yards and 4 TDs over the last four games – an automatic start right now. A real deep option is Rod Streeter of the Raiders who has gone for just under 200 receiving yards and a TD in his last two games – he gets the Chiefs this week so makes a nice spot start.
Good luck in your playoff games!
Looking For Week 15-Only Rankings?
View these Weekly Line-Up Rankings here (week 15 only, and we have both PPR and Non-PPR).
Note: These rankings are maintained by Mile_High_Man and will be updated throughout the week.