Well, as I explained in this week’s waiver wire sleeper picks post, I needed another Monday night miracle to make the playoffs in the P&G-sponsored Blogger Fantasy Football League*. Barring something truly miraculous over the next hour, my season will end at the hands of Team Gunaxin.
Regardless, it has been a great experience, highlighted by the trip to New York and the draft in the NFL boardroom. That was a truly memorable experience that I’ll remember forever, and I cannot thank P&G and the NFL enough for making it reality. I would have loved to be able to enjoy this year’s Super Bowl live from Jerry World as well; but alas, it was not meant to be.
Luckily I am in many more leagues than just that one and actually had three byes this week. So fear not, dear reader! Just because my season has come to a screeching halt in the P&G league, I still have leagues with friends and family that I must win for essential bragging rights and pride. Thus, I will still be working just as hard as always to analyze the players, trends, matchups, and injuries to help myself out in my other leagues and to help you out in yours.
Let’s start analyzing.
Before we delve into the Week 15 start ’em, sit ’em picks, here is a quick note and then a recap of how I did with my Week 14 top-line picks:
- Don’t forget to check out the Text It To The House promotion. It’s the fun, easy weekly game I told you about a couple weeks back. You pick the five players who will have longest plays from scrimmage this week
And now a quick look back at my Week 14 top-line picks, which we pretty solid – a nice rebound effort after my poor Week 13:
- Start em hits: Knowshon Moreno; Vernon Davis; Atlanta Falcons
- Start em misses: Jay Cutler (damn me for trusting him);
- Sit em hits: Matt Cassel (obviously this is kind of cheap, but I said it on Sunday night, more than a week before we knew he was out!); Marshawn Lynch; Titans WRs (no TDs); Tennessee Titans
- Sit em misses:
Still to play: Anquan Boldin, Joel Dreesen
Fantasy Football Week 15 Start em, Sit em Projections and Q&A
***San Francisco and San Diego play on Thursday night.***
Remember when reading this post that everything is relative. Just because I say “sit Player X” doesn’t mean I’d sit him in all cases. It just means that, in comparison to the general opinion of that player, who likely is not a consensus must-start (because that is who I try to pick for these columns, so that they are useful), I either like him or dislike him more than others.
If you want specific player-to-player comparisons, I’ll be posting my rankings later in this week, which will give you a more clear indication of how I view one guy versus another. This post is meant to provide general guidance on borderline starters and whether I think, generally, they should be in lineups or not.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Start ’em QB: Matt Ryan, Atlanta (at Seattle)
I don’t think this one is very tough.
The Seattle Seahawks are among the generous defenses in the NFL to opposing QBs. As anyone who watched Alex Smith – Alex Smith! – torch the Seahawks this past weekend knows, even a poor passing game can put up big numbers against Seattle. Matt Ryan and the Falcons do not exactly have an explosive passing offense, but it is solid and steady, and it will be able to take advantage of the gaping holes in the Seattle secondary.
Matt Ryan has 22 TD passes and 8 INTs on the season. He has thrown at least one TD pass in every game but one this year and has thrown at least two in three out of his last four games. Roddy White is healthy, Tony Gonzalez is still a threat, and Michael Turner is keeping defenses honest. Ryan will rarely wow you with Brady-like fantasy explosions, but there is something to be said for a guaranteed 14-18 points come playoff time. Ryan will give you that this Sunday, with the potential for more.
Matt Ryan fantasy football Week 15 projection: 245 passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Other start ’em QBs for Week 15:
- Jon Kitna isn’t flashy. In fact, he’s kind of like a poor man’s Matt Ryan in terms of his fantasy value. He’s capable of a big week every now and then, but almost always provides 10 or more points. With a solid matchup against Washington, Kitna is worth a look.
- In case you had lingering doubts about Peyton Manning, he’s facing Jacksonville this week. Start him…and stop worrying.
- David Garrard is having his best season as a pro. As I wrote in this week’s waiver wire sleeper picks article, he doesn’t have a prolific history against Indianapolis, but the Colts’ D has struggled some lately and Garrard is finally a consistent fantasy producer. In a two-QB league, he’s a very good #2 option.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Sit ’em QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (v NYJ)
There are a few reasons why I’m not big on this matchup. First off, I watched the Jets play this weekend, and while their offense was beyond awful the defense played pretty well. Granted, it’s not hard to look good when you’re facing Chad Henne, but they still completely shut down an NFL passing game. And we know that Revis Island is still, in fact, and island.
Secondly, Big Ben and the Steelers’ passing game is really struggling. In fact, Ben has just one TD pass (along with one INT) over his last three games. Not only is the O-Line having trouble protecting him, but Ben looks a bit out of sorts even when he has time to throw.
If you’re reading this, you’re in the playoffs. Do you really want to trust a struggling QB against Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie with your season on the line? Let Ben surprise you with a big game, just don’t start him and have to count on it.
Ben Roethlisberger fantasy football Week 15 projections: 240 yards passing, 0 TD, 1 INT
Other sit ’em QBs for Week 15:
- Two weeks in a row I told you to start Jay Cutler. He was decent in Week 13 and terrible in Week 14. Granted, weather played a factor last week, but it doesn’t change the fact that recommending Jay Cutler went against my fantasy principles. Notice how every time I do that it leads to failure? I need to start trusting my damn self. You have my apologies.
- Wow Kyle Orton. Just…wow. No TDs and 3 INTs against an Arizona team that even Troy Smith lit up. There is no excuse. With rumors now circulating that Tim Tebow could start getting more time, it’s time to stop counting on Orton.
- Don’t get unnecessarily excited about Jason Campbell. Darren McFadden did most of the work on one of those two TD passes, and, well…it’s Jason Campbell. Plus, Denver’s pass D has been better over the last couple of weeks.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Start ’em WR: Pierre Garcon, Indianapolis (v Jacksonville)
I was high on Garcon last week, placing him in my top 20 despite the overrated struggles of Peyton Manning. Pierre responded by hauling 6 passes for 93 yards and two TDs. He now has at least five catches and 56 yards in each of his last four games, and he has caught at least one TD in consecutive ball games. Clearly he and Manning had found some of the rhythm they lacked earlier in the season, and a big part of it seems to be Garcon just focusing better.
So regardless of the matchup, Garcon would be a must-start this week. Fortunately for Garcon owners, the matchup is a thing of beauty. The Jags give up tons of fantasy points to opposing WRs, and there will be plenty to go around for both Garcon and Reggie Wayne. Both players absolutely have to be in fantasy lineups this week.
Pierre Garcon fantasy football Week 15 projections: 6 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD
Other start ’em WRs for Week 15:
- You saw what Desean Jackson did to the Cowboys last week, right? Well Santana Moss was Desean Jackson before Desean Jackson was Desean Jackson. He’s a Cowboy killer and is coming off a nice Week 14. He’s a solid play this week.
- Way too many people asked me about Malcom Floyd last week. Why in the world would you ever sit Philip Rivers’ #1 WR, especially with Antonio Gates out? Floyd is a must-start this week, and I may just end up warming up to Vincent F’ing Jackson too. We’ll see on that one.
- If you’re desperate for a third WR, I like Earl Bennett as a guy who has proven he’ll give you something. He’s not flashy, but he’s been productive over the last three weeks as Jay Cutler’s top, most reliable target.
Head over to MSF Fantasy Sports to see our sit ’em WRs for Week 15, as well as our start ’em, sit ’em projections at RB, TE, and Defense.
Commenting is turned off here. Ask your Week 15 questions over at MSF Fantasy Sports.
* – The P&G Blogger Fantasy League (BFL) is a group of 12 digital sports influencers competing on the NFL.com fantasy platform for the chance to win P&G product, a donation to a local charity, and a trip to Super Bowl XLV, all furnished by P&G. The NFL Entities have not offered or sponsored the sweepstakes in any way.