Fantasy Football Week 15 Start Em, Sit Em Advice, Player Projections, and Roster Q&A

I am skipping an introduction this week because I’m too mad at fantasy football.

In my league of 14 teams, I finished right in the middle of the pack in terms of points…but because I had the third most points scored on me, I missed the playoffs…by a lot.

I finished second to last.

Lame.

Sometimes, fantasy football goes that way. I will spare you my three heart-breaking losses of the year because, quite frankly, we all have them…and nobody else cares.

Jerod’s thoughts:

Nobody cares Jon except for certain other people in that same league who finished in first place with an 11-2 record despite only scoring the 6th-most points but having by far the least points scored against.

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!]

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Let’s get to this week.

Once again, “Start Em” guys are QBs/TEs outside of the Top 12 and RBs/WRs outside of the Top 25. “Sit Em Guys” include QBs/TEs that are in the Top 12 and RBs/WRs that are in the Top 25. Why? Because if you have a guy in the top 20…you should be thinking about starting him anyway. I’m not going to sit here and tell you “enlightening” information like, “LeSean McCoy is going to score points this week!”

Fantasy Football Week 15 Start em, Sit em QBs

Start Em QB: Tim Tebow (at NE)

He’s tied for 18th among QBs…AND HE’S ONLY PLAYED EIGHT GAMES!

If you don’t believe in Tebow yet (and by that, I mean in terms of fantasy football), you probably never will.

Tebow will be playing against the New England Patriots and their league-worst defense. It should also be mentioned that for the first time all year, John Fox was complimentary of Tebow’s passing this past week. He admitted that Tebow is improving a lot, and they will be able to start trusting him more and more in the passing game. This is great news for Tebow-owners.

Will The Broncos win this week? I’m not sure, but that doesn’t matter for your fantasy team.

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Tebow will go crazy like he did two weeks ago against Minnesota. New England’s pass defense is ranked dead last in the league. Start Tebow with confidence.

Tim Tebow fantasy football Week 15 projection: 260 passing yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT; 80 rushing yards, 1 TD

Other Start Em QBs for Week 15:

  • Tony Romo – Tampa Bay is ranked 27th in the league against the pass, and Romo finally has four legitimate receiving weapons now that Miles Austin is back. Add this to the fact that they just lost DeMarco Murray, and I expect Romo to be the #1 QB of Week 15.
  • Matt Stafford – Playing against Oakland (Carson Palmer…you can LOL right now). They are awful.
  • Andy Dalton – Love his matchup against St. Louis. Cincinnati needs a win right now, and Dalton and AJ Green should make beautiful music in the dome on Sunday.

Sit Em QB: Mark Sanchez (at Philadelphia)

Mark Sanchez is, unbelievably, the 10th ranked QB in all of fantasy right now. Don’t be fooled though.

Sanchez has padded his stats against poor pass defenses. He put up at least 17 points against Dallas, Oakland, Miami, New England, and Buffalo. None of those teams are ranked in the top 14 in the league against the pass. Against Baltimore, Jacksonville, Denver, and Washington, he failed to break THIRTEEN.

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The Eagles aren’t a great pass defense, but they are ranked 12th in the league. The way you beat the Eagles is on the ground.
Once you factor Shonn Greene’s resurgence into the picture, Sanchez is a must-sit in week 15.

Mark Sanchez fantasy football Week 15 projection: 180 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Other Sit Em QBs for Week 15:

  • Alex Smith – I really hope you weren’t planning on starting him. He’s been terrible lately, AND he’s playing the Steelers. Good luck with that, Mr. Smith.
  • Matt Ryan – He’s the most hit or miss QB in fantasy. He could very well have a big game, especially if Julio Jones stops dropping the ball, but I think he’s a miss this week. Jacksonville has the 4th best defense in the league against the pass, and both teams are playing off of a short week on Thursday night. Stay away from Matty-Ice this week.

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-15-jerodJerod’s thoughts:

Jon, you picking Tebow as your start ’em QB this week is the most predictable choice of 2011. It’s also correct.

Picking Sanchez as the sit ’em QB though? Boy, I don’t know. I certainly do not agree that he a “must sit”. Do you really trust Philly and its defense that much? Even if Shonn Greene does the heavy lifting, the Jets still like to pass in the red zone.  I don’t love Sanchez, and he’s certainly not a “must start” by any means, but he does have 7 TDs over the last three games. I don’t care who they are against, that’s good. Let’s put it this way: you could do worse.

Fantasy Football Week 15 Start em, Sit em RBs

Start Em RB: Ryan Grant (at Kansas City)

After losing Greg Jennings last week, I have the feeling that Green Bay will start playing a little bit more conservatively late in games. Fortunately for them, Ryan Grant appears to be peaking at the right time.

It always takes a while to fully recover from injury, and Grant appeared to be at top form last week.

Look for Green Bay to start shortening games in the second half as the season ends. They will definitely start this week against Kansas City and their atrocious run defense.

Ryan Grant fantasy football Week 15 projection: 150 total yards, 1 TD

Other Start Em RBs for Week 15:

  • Shonn Greene AND LaDainian Tomlinson – Don’t be freaked out that they might steal each other’s points…BOTH players should be good for more then 10 this week against Philadelphia.
  • Chris Johnson – Against Indianapolis in a game that really doesn’t matter? (Tennessee is basically out of the playoffs at this point) Come on…I think we all know that this is the type of game that Chris Johnson will EXPLODE in.

Sit Em RB: Rashard Mendenhall (v San Francisco)

I will let Jerod confirm this one by explaining to you once again how impossible it is to run on San Francisco.

Rashard Mendenhall Projections: 60 total yards

Other Sit Em RBs for Week 15:

  • Ryan Mathews – Tough matchup against Baltimore. San Diego will have to air it out to beat the Ravens.
  • DeAngelo Williams – Houston is great against the run as well. I actually like Jonathan Stewart a little bit this week – he’s the Panthers’ threat to catch the ball out of the backfield – but stay away from DeAngelo Williams in Week 15.

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-15-jerodJerod’s thoughts:

Wow, I pretty much agree with everything here. I’m not as high on Grant as you are, but I certainly think he’s worthy of playing for the exact reasons you explained.

As for Mendenhall, San Francisco still has not allowed 1,000 total rushing yards this year – they give up just 70.5 rushing yards per game – and have not allowed a single rushing touchdown. Sure, that second stat is a bit fluky (everyone else has allowed at least five) but you can’t even be in a position to have it unless your run D is awesome. I would sit Mendy too. If he scores, oh well. Can you really be upset with yourself?

Other running backs who simply have to be in your starting lineups because of their matchups:

  • Felix Jones – yes, Felix Jones. Dallas is playing Tampa Bay, a team that has essentially quit on the season and can’t stop anyone.
  • Cedric Benson – the Rams can’t stop anyone from running either.
  • Roy Helu – He’s on fire, has Shanahan’s trust, and gets to face a Giants’ D that rushes the passer but barely passes the rushers.
  • Arian Foster and Ben Tate – Carolina’s run D is that bad.
  • Beanie Wells – Cleveland can defend the pass, at least statistically, in large part because they can’t defend the run.

Fantasy Football Week 15 Start em, Sit em WRs

Start Em WR: Demaryius Thomas (v NE)

New England, as I covered before, is just atrocious against the pass. World-renowned Patriots fan Bill Simmons even thinks that Julian Edelman is their BEST defensive back.

Thomas has quickly become Tebow’s favorite target in the end zone ever since he returned from injury. Look for Thomas to have a BIG day again in Week 15.

Demaryius Thomas fantasy football Week 15 projection: 8 catches for 140 yards and 2 TDs

Bonus Start Em WR: James Jones (at KC)

Usually, I only give you one guy that I’m super strong on, but I felt that this was too important to skip over.

The Greg Jennings injury will not hurt the Packers too badly; they will just spread around the points a little more. Look for James Jones (and Jordy Nelson) to have a huge day in Jennings’ absence.

James Jones fantasy football Week 15 projection: 6 catches for 120 yards and 1 TD

Other Start Em WRs for Week 15:

  • AJ Green – Big day for the Cincinnati passing game on the turf in St. Louis. I expect AJ to catch AT LEAST two bombs in this game.
  • EVERY wide receiver for the Saints and Vikings playing in Minnesota this week – Both teams are terrible against the pass…both teams have tons of speed…both teams are playing inside. Yay, free points.

Sit Em WR: Roddy White (v JAX)

I hate his matchup, and I hate his QB this week. The only receiver I like for the Falcons this week against Jacksonville is Tony Gonzalez. I would stay away from Roddy AND Julio Jones actually, but Roddy is the guy that’s ranked in the top fifteen, so that is why he is my sit ’em wide receiver for Week 15.

Roddy White fantasy football Week 15 projection: 4 catches, 50 yards, 0 TD

Other Sit Em WRs for Week 15:

  • Michael Crabtree – Won’t do much against the Steelers this week.
  • DeSean Jackson – Revis Island.

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-15-jerodJerod’s thoughts:

I was going to say that’s scary how much we are agreeing this week, but then I got down to Roddy White and realized that we do disagree on something. I’m not a huge fan of White’s upside this week, but I do like his consistency. Look at those last three games (all with TDs). That’s tough to sit in the playoffs.

Let me say this about Demaryius Thomas though: be careful. He is still a rookie with questionable hands. And if he hadn’t caught that late TD from Tebow, all people would be talking about regarding him is all the drops early in the game. Can he handle the pressure of a game this big? I like him. He has explosive potential because of his talent and the matchup. Just be careful.

Other guys I particularly like this week include:

  • Mike Williams of Tampa – Dallas’ secondary is pretty poor.
  • Nate Washington and Damian Williams against Indianapolis.
  • Antonio Brown‘s underrated consistency against San Francisco.
  • Laurent Robinson – I know that Dallas has all of its weapons back, but they did last week too and he exploded again. He’s not flash in the pan. Romo loves him.

Fantasy Football Week 15 Start em, Sit em TEs

Start Em Tight End: Jermichael Finley (at KC)

The irony here is that if you have Jermichael Finley, you probably didn’t advance in your fantasy playoffs after his goose egg from last week. However, I think he will get much more involved in the passing attack now that Greg Jennings is out, and he should have his typical explosive day that he gets once a month.

Jermichael Finley fantasy football Week 15 projection: 95 yards, 2 TDs

(Yes, everybody, I’m well aware that I predicted at least three receiving TDs for the Packers after I said they would run the ball more. I don’t care. I expect all of the throwing to be done in the first half, and then Grant to dominate in the second.)

Sit Em Tight End: Vernon Davis (at PIT)

As you well know, I’m pretty high on the Steelers’ pass defense. This game will be ugly one way or the other, and nobody on the 49ers (outside of their running backs) will have a big game offensively.

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-15-jerodJerod’s thoughts:

What, no “other guys” to start and sit? Come on Jon! This is Week 15!

By the way, I agree on both Finley and Davis. You’d have to have balls of steel to start Finley this week, but those who made it this far probably do.

A couple of other names to consider:

  • I know that Aaron Hernandez no longer gets the red zone looks in New England, but there is still value in a tight end who catches 4-5 balls per week and gets 50-70 yards. Plus, he’s due for a TD one of these days right?
  • Jake Ballard continues to be a solid under-the-radar selection. He should be as well this weekend against Washington.

Guys not to consider:

  • Dallas Clark caught one ball last week in his return to lineup. Don’t be seduced by the name.
  • Marcedes Lewis has some yardage potential, but I just don’t see many scoring chances for anyone other than MJD against the Falcons.

Fantasy Football Week 15 Start em, Sit em Defenses

Start Em Defense: Chicago (v SEA)

They are playing with their backs against the wall, and pretty much have to hold their opponents scoreless. Fortunately for them, they are playing against Seattle. Look for the Bears to contain the Beast and dominate the Seahawks.

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Also, whenever their backs are up against the wall, Devin Hester seems to do something crazy, which helps the Bears D/ST unit. 
Da Bears will play well this week.

Chicago Bears D/ST fantasy football Week 15 projection: 10 or fewer points, 2+ turnovers, 2+ sacks, 1 TD

Sit Em Defense: Denver (v NE)

I love Denver’s offense this week, in part because I think the New England offense will have their way with the Broncos.

You can’t stop Rob Gronkowski…even with OLBs as good as Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

I will be cheering for Denver to pull it off again this week, but once again it looks like Tim Tebow will have to carry the load.

Denver Broncos D/ST fantasy football Week 15 projection: 24 or more points, 1 turnover, 2 sacks

fantasy-football-start-em-sit-em-week-15-jerodJerod’s thoughts:

Okay, now I forgive you for not doing the “other” tight ends. You stepped up with some D/ST analysis! And I like both picks.

Also consider that Seattle gave up two return TDs to Ted Ginn back in Week 1. While their special teams may now be better, Hester is Hester. He offers lots of upside for Bears owners.

And as for the Broncos, you’re exactly right. Miller and Dumervil are rushing OLBs, not coverage guys. Gronk will dominate, and Welker should find plenty of success too.

Other D/STs to consider:

  • Seattle’s D is criminally underrated. Facing Caleb Hanie, they too should be able to get the scoring to a minimum.
  • Cincinnati playing at St. Louis is a no-brainer. So is Tennessee at Indy.

D/STs to stay away from:

  • Baltimore is excellent, but they are facing a San Diego offense that is starting to click. If I had Seattle or Cincy, I’d play them over the Ravens, who face a desperate Chargers team that literally almost never loses in December.

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There you go. 2,500 words of fantasy analysis for Week 15, which should have you all ready to make every lineup decision facing you for Week 15.

Wait…what’s that? You still have questions? Well of course be our guest and pop on down to the comment section below. We’ll take good care of you, as well as be here on Sunday morning for our weekly live chat to make sure you are ready to win your playoff matchup.

Good luck in Week 15 everyone!

About the Author

Jon Washburn

Jon Washburn grew up in Indianapolis, IN and as such, is a diehard Pacers, Colts, and Cubs fans. When it comes to college, he cheers for Notre Dame football fan and Purdue basketball. Yes, this sounds shady, but since he grew up without cable, he learned to love Notre Dame - the only team on TV. Glenn "The Big Dog" Robinson was at Purdue when Jon was in his formative years, so he latched onto them as well. Did that make him a fair-weather fan at the time? Sure. Give him a break...he was 8...and he has stayed with those teams ever since. Currently, he lives in Charleston, SC with his wife who grew up in Cleveland. Although he is no longer physically in the Midwest, his heart will always be there. Jon goes by the name "Twitch" because he has Tourette's Syndrome. Hit him up on his twitter @jwtwitch.