Streaming Quarterbacks: Week 15 Targets
Why? That question gets asked a lot throughout the fantasy community on Sundays. Why did Aaron Jones not start the game against Atlanta? Why did Ben Roethlisberger sit out of the Raiders’ game for so long? Why did Todd Gurley only have eight touches in the first half against Chicago? However, these questions are reactionary to what happens on the field. A place where we have no control. Despite the frustrations, these are times where our decision-making process should be reviewed. The real questions should surround the information that was used to start that player. What process was used? What metrics or projections were scrutinized? Honest answers to these questions and making adjustments to them are what can turn a fantasy GM into a champion.
If you’re reading this, you survived. The answers to all the "Why’s" don’t matter. Sometimes these situations boil down to two words. Survive. Advance. So, we look to Week 15. The Process for Week 14 led us to a few hits. Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Jackson finished as QB1’s with 23.9 and 19.0 points, respectively. Josh Allen used his dual-threat ability to put up 18.3 points to get up to QB15. The same tools and processes will be used to identify viable starts during the fantasy playoffs.
First, let’s visit 4for4’s Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed ranks are updated each week. Noticeable changes from Week 14 to Week 15 include:
- NE down 13 spots with a 20.0 aFPA.
- GB down 10 spots with an 18.5 aFPA.
- CLE up 13 spots with a 15.2 aFPA.
- LAR up 15 spots with a 17.4 aFPA.
Our ground rules remain unchanged throughout the playoffs:
- Only quarterbacks with no more than a 40 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues are considered.
- Ancillary metrics and game conditions (e.g. defensive ranking, weather) will be factored into the analysis.
- Positive matchups for all pass catchers to be considered.
- 4for4 rankings should always be consulted for league-specific decisions.
Our Playoff Matchup Planner is still available for those that want to take a quick look at all of the matchups from Weeks 14–17. It should be your go-to site for all planning for those locked into a championship run. Now that we're into the playoffs, at least one new recommendation will be provided based on the latest data.
Key Defensive Injuries:
Sidney Jones, Eagles (Hamstring) – It feels like every week there’s a new injury to the Philadelphia secondary. Their defensive front has been slightly below league average in stopping the run, but their pass defense has been nearly non-existent. They’ve given up over 250 yards per game over their last three with Dak Prescott lighting them up for 455 in Week 14. Continual personnel losses will only make their defense (18.1 aFPA) more susceptible to quarterback play. The Eagles travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams in Week 15.
Ezekiel Ansah, Lions (Shoulder) – The oft-injured defensive end left the Lions’ game with a shoulder injury. He started the season on the physically unable to perform list and has only started two games in 2018. Detroit’s defense (19.2 aFPA) has been a limiting factor to opposing offenses on the season, but their lagging offense isn’t helping. They’re in the top 10 for defending the run, but this could change if Ansah misses time. The Lions hope to contain Josh Allen and Bills as they head out to New York in Week 15.
Robert Nkemdiche, Cardinals (Knee) – Nkemdiche has been in and out of the rotation due to various ailments throughout the season. He’s been a starter for Arizona (15.2 aFPA) on nearly half of their games in 2018 with multiple tackles in each. Despite their lackluster offense, the defense has been able to limit most opponents through the air (11th best) while giving way on the ground (11th worst). Now placed on injured reserve, Arizona will be forced to take on Atlanta a man down as they go on the road in Week 15.
Top Streaming Picks
Lamar Jackson vs. Buccaneers
The NFL community at large has their concerns about the rookie, but his on-field play has progressed over his four starts. Boxscore scouts might disagree, but the tape indicates otherwise. Jackson’s first pass of the game to Michael Crabtree against the Chiefs was the ideal situation—a clean pocket out of the shotgun with time to set up and make an accurate throw to a receiver in tight coverage. While we’d like to see more passing yards, his rushing ability gives the Ravens an edge that Joe Flacco can’t duplicate. Jackson out of the pistol formation is something defenses have come to respect. Both the safeties and linebackers focus on Jackson as he makes the decision to hand the ball off or keep it. His ability to read the defenders and pick up the necessary yards are what makes him Baltimore’s best chance to win as they vie for a playoff spot. They host Tampa Bay (16.7 aFPA) who has shown some life over the past few weeks. They shut down San Francisco, flustered Cam Newton and held Drew Brees for half a game. They’ve been in the top half of the league for sacks over that period while being league average with respect to both passing and rushing yards allowed. Jackson is at home with a 27.5 implied team total and is our top streamer for Week 15.
Jackson is available in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Josh Allen vs. Lions
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