2020 Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 15

2020 Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 15

by December 19, 2020 0 comments

The best part about fantasy football is winning. The second best part is the draft. However, the draft has come and gone, and fantasy owners struggle with who to start, who to sit, and who to target as a sleeper each week. Thankfully, four of our writers (Mike Fanelli, Joshua Abbe, Mason Thompson, and MJ Hurley) offer up their takes on who fantasy owners should start, sit, and play as a sleeper this week. Be sure to follow all of them on Twitter and reach out with any fantasy football questions you may have. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Quarterbacks

Starts

Tom Brady at Atlanta Falcons

The last five games have been rocky for the GOAT, throwing seven interceptions compared to 10 touchdowns. Last week he threw for under 200 yards against the Vikings and scored only 15.6 fantasy points. However, expect him to bounce back against the Falcons as they have given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season at 23.1 per game. Furthermore, they have given up an average of two passing touchdowns per game this season. Over their last five games, quarterbacks have scored 23.5 or more fantasy points three times, and Brady should have a similar finish this week. – Mike

Ben Roethlisberger at Cincinnati Bengals

Last week Big Ben had only 187 passing yards and 13.5 fantasy points against the Bills. It marked the third time in the past four weeks that he has scored under 17 fantasy points. However, before that, he had a season-high 29.3 fantasy points against the Bengals, throwing four touchdowns. Since that game, the Bengals have given up an average of 13 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks but have faced three backups and a rookie. With the Steelers try to stop a two-game losing streak, expect Big Ben to have one of his best performances of the season. – Joshua

Jared Goff vs New York Jets

Goff’s playoff schedule was one of the best out there, and he gets a fantastic matchup this week against the lowly Jets. New York allowed Seattle to score 40 points last week, and the Rams could have similar results this week. Goff is a streaming option in the second round of the playoffs against the second-worst team against quarterbacks. – Mason

Philip Rivers vs Houston Texans

The Texans allowed 38 points last week to Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears’ offense. Rivers is a better quarterback, has been a better fantasy quarterback, and has more weapons than Trubisky does. Yes, Jonathan Taylor will play a key role in their offensive attack, but T.Y. Hilton has caught a touchdown pass in each of the last three games, revitalizing the Colts passing attack. Rivers will be a very viable option for anyone streaming quarterbacks this week. – MJ

Sits

Tua Tagovailoa vs New England Patriots

Last week Tua had his best fantasy game of the season, throwing for 316 yards, scoring three total touchdowns, and finishing with 27 fantasy points. However, in his six starts this season, Tua is averaging only 15.4 fantasy points per game. This week he faces a Patriots defense that has given up the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, giving up 15.2 per game. Furthermore, the Patriots have held Kyler Murray, Justin Herbert, and Goff to a total of 26.9 fantasy points over the last three weeks. Expect Tua to struggle to score 13 fantasy points in this game. – Mike

Teddy Bridgewater at Green Bay Packers

Since returning from a knee injury that forced him to miss the Week 11 game against the Lions, Bridgewater has struggled, throwing only one touchdown and averaging 17.2 fantasy points per game. Things don’t get easier for him this week against the Packers as they have held quarterbacks to under 19 fantasy points in eight of their last 10 games. The Packers are easy to run against, so expect the Panthers to run the ball down the Packers’ throat till they prove they can stop them. – Joshua

Deshaun Watson at Indianapolis Colts

Watson’s receiving core is depleted once again this week as Houston goes to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. Indianapolis is the sixth-best against quarterbacks this season and held Watson in check two weeks ago, where he didn’t throw a touchdown and saved his fantasy day with a rushing touchdown. The Indianapolis defense has stiffed opposing quarterbacks all season, and it will continue again this week. – Mason

Matt Ryan vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ryan has only thrown more than two touchdowns in one game since Week 7. The Falcons receivers have struggled with injuries for most of 2020. Even when Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are healthy, goal line touches to go Todd Gurley. With the high-flying Tampa Bay defense coming to town, Ryan has lost most of his fantasy value. Additionally, Ryan is a drop candidate immediately with a game next week against the Chiefs and a Week 17 matchup against the Buccaneers to close out 2020. – MJ

Sleepers

Gardner Minshew at Baltimore Ravens

Earlier this week, the Jaguars announced that Minshew would return as the starting quarterback against the Ravens. Before suffering a thumb injury, Minshew was averaging 18.8 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, last week he came in after Mike Glennon got benched to throw for 178 yards, one touchdown, and score 13.3 fantasy points against the Titans. This week he faces a Ravens defense that has given up 16.8 or more fantasy points in four of their last five games. Furthermore, Baker Mayfield scored 30 fantasy points against the Ravens on Monday night. Expect Minshew to have at least 20 fantasy points in this game. – Mike

Mitchell Trubisky at Minnesota Vikings

Since taking back over as the starter, Trubisky has played well for fantasy owners, scoring 18.7 or more fantasy points in two of three games. He is coming off a season-high 25 fantasy point game against the Texans and should be in line for a similar performance this week. The Vikings are giving up an average of just under 18 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and have given up at least two passing touchdowns in over half their games this season. If you need a streaming option, Trubisky is an excellent option. – Joshua

Nick Mullens at Dallas Cowboys

While the San Francisco offense has sputtered with Mullens in the lineup, they have played some of the best defenses in the league. This week, he plays the Dallas defense. The Cowboy defense isn’t as bad as it was earlier in the year, but Mullens should be able to make easy work of the Swiss-cheese secondary. – Mason

Drew Lock vs Buffalo Bills

Against a similar pass defense last week in the Carolina Panthers, Lock showed up. The Panthers and Bills both rank middle of the road in passing yards allowed per game, and the Bills allow 24.7 points per game, which is well outside the top 10. With the Denver Broncos finally healthy again, Lock will perform well in a showdown with Josh Allen. – MJ

Running Backs

Starts

J.K. Dobbins vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Over the last month, Dobbins has taken over as the lead back in Baltimore. While Gus Edwards is limiting Dobbins’ upside, he has scored 13 or more fantasy points in three straight games while averaging just under 14 touches per game. This week he faces a Jaguars defense that has given up over 29 fantasy points per game to running backs this season. They have given up 32.5 or more fantasy points to the position in three straight games. Furthermore, the Jaguars have allowed running backs to rush for 100 or more yards in four straight games and seven of their last 10. Expect Dobbins and Edwards to finish the week as top-24 running backs. – Mike

D’Andre Swift at Tennessee Titans

After missing the last three games with multiple injuries, Swift returned last week to score 15 fantasy points against the Packers on only 11 touches. That game was the sixth time in his past seven outings that Swift scored 12.5 or more fantasy points. Meanwhile, the Titans are giving up over 25 fantasy points per game to running backs this season. They have given up 21.5 or more fantasy points to running backs in four of their last five games. With all the injuries the Lions have on offense, don’t be surprised if Swift has his first 20 carry performance of his career. – Joshua

Mike Davis at Green Bay Packers

With Christian McCaffrey out once again, Davis will align as the lead-back in Carolina. He has a matchup against the fourth-worst team against running backs this season as he plays the Packers. Green Bay’s run defense has been lackluster all season, and running backs have made it look easy all year. Davis could very well win your game this week. – Mason

Jeff Wilson at Dallas Cowboys

When Raheem Mostert has been out this season, Wilson has carried most of the load. After Mostert left the game last week, only two snaps by running backs were by someone other than Wilson. The 49ers rely on a run-first offensive scheme that builds into play-action. Expect Kyle Shanahan will be calling Wilson’s name plenty of times against the defeated Cowboys defensive unit. Even with Mostert active, Wilson’s involvement in the passing game, specifically in the red zone, still makes him a borderline flex option. – MJ

Sits

Aaron Jones vs Carolina Panthers

The Packers have Super Bowl expectations, and because of that, they don’t want to run Jones into the ground. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, that makes him hard to trust this week. Since returning from injury, Jones has scored under 15 fantasy points in four of his past six games, including a season-low 9.5 fantasy points last week. Furthermore, Jones has scored 10 or fewer fantasy points in two of his past three games. Meanwhile, the Panthers have done a good job slowing down running backs recently. They have held them to an average of 68 rushing yards and 12.2 fantasy points per game over their last three games despite facing Dalvin Cook and Melvin Gordon during that span. Jones is a risky flex option at best this week. – Mike

Ezekiel Elliott vs San Francisco 49ers

The thought of benching Zeke is a tough one, but it’s needed to win this week. Last week he only scored 7.9 fantasy points compared to 12.8 for Tony Pollard. Zeke hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown since Week 5 and has scored more than nine fantasy points in only three of the eight games since the Dak Prescott injury. Meanwhile, the 49ers have given up the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs this season, giving up 19.8 per game. Furthermore, they have held running backs to an average of 16.1 fantasy points per game since their bye week. – Joshua

Clyde Edwards-Helaire at New Orleans Saints

After starting the season strong, Edwards-Helaire has dropped off as the season has progressed. He’s in a tough spot this week, going against a New Orleans defense that is the best in the league against running backs. Though it may be hard to find other options, it would be smart to see if you can check Edwards-Helaire out of your starting lineup. If not, hope for a touchdown or two. – Mason

Darrell Henderson vs New York Jets

Since Cam Akers has returned from injury, Henderson has lost his job as the featured running back in Los Angeles. Henderson only has five carries and three targets over the last two weeks. Unless the Rams make a considerable change in their offensive scheme this week against the Jets, there is no reason to consider starting Henderson. – MJ

Sleepers

Tony Pollard vs San Francisco 49ers

This pick is a deep dive option if you are in a deeper league or have been hit hard by injuries at the running back position. However, Pollard is a sneaky option this week as he is coming off a season-high 11 rushing attempts and 12.8 fantasy points against the Bengals. Furthermore, over the last three weeks, Pollard has played an average of 37 percent of the snaps as Zeke is dealing with a hip injury. Zeke is expected to play this week but might be limited by the hip injury. Meanwhile, the 49ers have given up 105 or more rushing yards to running backs in two of their last three games. – Mike

Lynn Bowden vs New England

Most fantasy sites have Bowden listed as a running back and a wide receiver, so I’m going to slide him into a running back spot. The Dolphins will be without Myles Gaskin, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki this week against the Patriots. DeVante Parker has struggled against the Patriots and will see plenty of Stephon Gilmore, leaving Tua with limited options to throw to. Last week, Bowden had his best game as a pro, catching seven passes for 82 yards and 15.4 fantasy points. Over his past two games, Bowden has a total of 13 touches for 136 scrimmage yards and 24.6 fantasy points. Expect Bowden to get plenty of work on the ground and in the air this week. – Joshua

Nyheim Hines vs Houston Texans

Even with Taylor starting to get the majority of the work in Indianapolis, Hines has still earned around 10 touches in this game. He has averaged over 15 points over the last five games, including a 12-point outing against Houston just two weeks ago. With a bundle of injuries this week, Hines is a flex option this week against Houston’s 31st-ranked defense against running backs. – Mason

Latavius Murray vs Kansas City Chiefs

One of the biggest ways that teams have tried to defeat the Chiefs is to keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes’ hands. Although Alvin Kamara is an incredible running back, more of his touches come from the passing game. When the Saints want to bear down and focus on the running game, Murray has been their go-to back. Murray averages 12 touches per game and could be a viable flex option this week. – MJ

Wide Receivers

Starts

Terry McLaurin vs Seattle Seahawks

The last two weeks have been awful for McLaurin as he has a total of four catches for 38 yards and 7.8 fantasy points. However, he had six targets in each game and has at least six targets in every game this season. Before the rough two week patch, McLaurin had six straight games with 13 or more fantasy points. This week he faces a Seahawks defense that has given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, giving up over 46 per game. They have given up 13 receiving touchdowns to wide receivers this season, and McLaurin is due for a touchdown. Expect him to finish the week as a top 15 wide receiver. – Mike

Corey Davis vs Detroit Lions

Davis has quietly become a reliable option for fantasy owners every week. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in all but two games this season, averaging 14.7 per game. Davis should have a big performance tomorrow against the Lions as they have given up 42 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season. Furthermore, they have given up at least 48 fantasy points to wide receivers in five straight games. Don’t be surprised if Davis finishes the game with over 20 fantasy points. – Joshua

Brandon Aiyuk vs Dallas Cowboys

In five games played since Week 7, Aiyuk has averaged over 20 points per game. In a prime matchup against the Dallas defense and Deebo Samuel out with an injury, Aiyuk is a smash option this week. He’s a low-end WR1 for the semi-final playoffs. – Mason

T.Y. Hilton vs Houston Texans

Hilton has a touchdown catch in his last three games and finally has built his chemistry with Rivers. He has three straight games with 81 or more receiving yards and has four touchdowns in those three games. A matchup against the hurting Texans secondary gives Hilton another favorable matchup to continue his late-season emergence. Along the same line as Rivers, the Texans allowed Allen Robinson and the Bears offense to run wild last week, which should apply to the Colts on Sunday. – MJ

Sits

David Moore at Washington Football Team

Over the last couple of weeks, Russell Wilson has spread the ball around more. Last week against the Jets, four Seahawks wide receivers scored double-digit fantasy points. Moore had 11.9 fantasy points in that game, but it was the first time since Week 9 that he scored over nine fantasy points. Instead of facing the Jets this week, Moore faces a Washington defense that has given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. If you need a wide receiver, look elsewhere as Moore won’t repeat what he did last week. – Mike

All New York Jets Wide Receivers at Los Angeles Rams

After spending most of the game in negative game script against one of the most fantasy-friendly defenses this season, the entire Jets’ wide receivers unit combined for 21.2 fantasy points against the Seahawks. While Denzel Mims will be back this week, you should avoid playing any Jet player this week against the Rams. They are giving up only 29.6 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season. They have held wide receivers to only seven receiving touchdowns all season long. – Joshua

Robby Anderson at Green Bay Packers

Anderson was the receiver to own in Carolina at the start of the season. Since then, D.J. Moore has taken over as the receiver to own. With Moore back from injury this week and in a tough spot against Green Bay’s pass-defense, Anderson should be left on the bench. It very well could be the Davis and Curtis Samuel show this week against the Packers. – Mason

DeVante Parker vs New England Patriots

Parker has been one of the most confusing fantasy receivers this season. He only has two 100 yard games and four total touchdowns in the Dolphins’ 13 games. No matter who is under center for Miami, Parker’s targets are sporadic and he has lost the consistent factor that made him a must-start almost every week in 2019. Parker has historically struggled against the Patriots, so leave him on the bench this week. – MJ

Sleepers

Marquise Brown vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Brown was placed on the Covid-19 list earlier this week but can play tomorrow if he tested negative all week long. Assuming he is active for this game, Brown is in line for a big performance. Over the last three weeks, Brown is averaging 7.3 targets and 15.5 fantasy points per game. He has scored a touchdown in each game as well. Tomorrow he takes on a Jaguars defense that has given up an average of over 40 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Furthermore, they have given up at least one receiving touchdown to the position in seven straight games. If Brown doesn’t play, Willie Snead becomes a top-24 option. – Mike

Tim Patrick vs Buffalo Bills

While losing Courtland Sutton for the season has hurt the Broncos, the bright spot is it allowed Patrick to shine. He is averaging 11.9 fantasy points per game this season and has scored double-digit fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games. Today he has a matchup against the Bills, who have struggled to slow down wide receivers recently. Over their last five games, the Bills have giveng up an average of 41.3 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Expect Patrick to have his third straight game with at least 12.5 fantasy points. – Joshua

Michael Pittman vs Houston Texans

Pittman has averaged over six targets per game over the last three weeks. He hasn’t produced elite stat-lines thanks to Hilton going off, but the Colts offensive unit should be able to score bundles of points this week against Houston’s lackluster defense. Pittman caught five passes for 46 yards against Houston two weeks ago and should outproduce that stat-line this week. – Mason

Mohamed Sanu at Tennessee Titans

Since joining the Lions, Sanu has eight targets, one touchdown, and is averaging 30 yards per game. However, the Lions’ other receivers have been struggling recently. Against the Titans, who have struggled defensively, Sanu could be in line for a big day given his past success against Tennessee. – MJ

Tight Ends

Starts

Robert Tonyan vs Carolina Panthers

What a surprise Tonyan has become this season, scoring double-digit fantasy points in over half of his games while averaging just under 12 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he has scored a touchdown and 13.5 or more fantasy points in four straight games. Meanwhile, the Panthers have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, giving up 14.5 per game. They have given up double-digit fantasy points to the position in all but two games this season. Furthermore, tight ends have scored 21 or more fantasy points against the Panthers in three of their last five games. Expect a big performance from Tonyan this week. – Mike

Evan Engram vs Cleveland Browns

Engram has been a bust the last two weeks, totaling 11 fantasy points. However, he is averaging seven targets per game since the bye week and has a great matchup this week against the Browns. They have given up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, giving up an average of 16.2 per game. Furthermore, they have given up double-digit fantasy points to tight ends in seven straight games. If one of your league mates dropped Engram after his recent struggles, pick him up and start him this week. – Joshua

Logan Thomas vs Seattle Seahawks

No matter who starts at quarterback for Washington this week, Thomas has emerged as the second option behind McLaurin on offense. He has 16 targets over the last two games and goes against a Seattle defense that is allowing over 294 passing yards per game, which is last in the league. Thomas is a top-five option at the position this week. – Mason

Rob Gronkowski at Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have allowed the third-most passing yards in the NFL and the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends. No matter the game, Brady will ensure a few targets will fly Gronkowski’s way. Against an undermanned Falcons defensive unit that has struggled all year against the pass, expect Gronk to see plenty of targets. – MJ

Sits

Zach Ertz at Arizona Cardinals

Many would like to forget all about the year 2020, including Ertz. He has had arguably the worst season of his career, and it shows in his fantasy production. He is averaging only 7.2 fantasy points per game this season, scoring under 11 in all but one game. Furthermore, he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1 and is no longer the top tight end on the roster, thanks to Dallas Goedert. This week he faces a Cardinals defense that has held tight ends to under 9.5 fantasy points in four of their last five games. With Jalen Hurts at quarterback and Goedert stealing his targets, Ertz belongs on the waiver wire and not anywhere near your lineup. – Mike

Dalton Schultz vs San Francisco 49ers

After a 12.5 fantasy point game against the Vikings in Week 11, many thought Schultz would be a weekly starting option for the rest of the season. However, that hasn’t happened as he scored under 8.5 fantasy points in three straight games, averaging 7.4 fantasy points per game during that span. Things don’t get easier this week for Schultz as he faces a 49ers defense that has given up the fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends. They have held tight ends to under 10 fantasy points in over half their games this season. – Joshua

Austin Hooper at New York Giants

Hooper has been listed in our starts section for the last few weeks and hasn’t produced since recovering from his appendix injury. Now, after returning from a neck injury, he should remain on your bench. In four games since returning from his original injury, Hooper has only seen 11 targets. Meanwhile, he has lost playing time to Harrison Bryant and David Njoku. Hopper is, at best, the fourth option in the Browns’ passing attack behind Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, and Kareem Hunt. – Mason

Jimmy Graham at Minnesota Vikings

Graham has received fewer targets in and out of the red zone with Trubisky under center. Matt Nagy has looked to get Cole Kmet more involved in the offense, which means Graham shouldn’t be in your starting lineup. – MJ

Sleepers

Dan Arnold vs Philadelphia Eagles

Over the last five weeks, Arnold has become a bigger part of the Cardinals’ offense, scoring 7.4 or more fantasy points four times, averaging almost 10 per game. He has scored four touchdowns over his last four games and has become a trusted red zone weapon. Meanwhile, the Eagles have struggled against tight ends this season, giving up 13.9 fantasy points per game to the position. Furthermore, they have given up 16 or more fantasy points to tight ends in each of their last two games. If you need a streaming option this week, Arnold should be your top target. – Mike

Tyler Higbee vs New York Jets

Other than the two games where Higbee has found the end zone, he has failed to score double-digit fantasy points in any game. He is averaging only 8.2 fantasy points per game this season but has a great matchup this week. The Jets have given up the most fantasy points to tight ends this season, giving up 17 per game. Furthermore, they have given up 14.8 or more in every game since their bye week. Since their bye week, the Jets have given up an average of 1.5 receiving touchdowns per game to tight ends. Expect Higbee to find the end zone tomorrow and score double-digit fantasy points. – Joshua

Irv Smith vs Chicago Bears

Smith returned to action last week after missing two games. He caught all four of his targets for 63 yards and a touchdown. He’s in a great spot to start this week against a Bears defense that ranks in the bottom five defending tight ends. To make things even better for Smith, Kyle Rudolph is out once again this week. – Mason

Cole Kmet at Minnesota Vikings

The Bears have focused on involving Kmet more in the offense. Kmet has officially been the starting tight end in two of the last three games and has 17 targets over those contests. Kmet has also increased his yards per reception in each of the past three weeks. That indicates Nagy is more comfortable taking shots downfield to Kmet when Robinson is double covered. – MJ

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