5 Players With Tough Week 15 Matchups
Should you always start your studs, especially in the fantasy playoffs? I don’t believe in that narrative as it’s sort of lazy and not entirely accurate if you want the most out of your fantasy squad.
In this column, I take a look at individual matchups and point out players who I think could struggle, even if they’re elite. I’m not saying to sit them without question, but as the title goes, these are players with tough matchups, meaning you'll have tough lineup decisions to make.
Week 14 Wrap-up
I was either way off or spot on last week, there was no in-between. Drew Brees and Zach Ertz both led all players at their positions in fantasy points, while Marlon Mack ended as the fantasy RB33 with 9.8 PPR points and Kyler Murray stunk it up as the QB29 with just 10 fantasy points.
Week 15 Risky Plays
LeVeon Bell (Jets) @ Ravens
Bell is no longer contagious from whatever ailed him and will be back on the field Thursday night. Should you put your trust in him for almost all of the marbles in the fantasy playoffs? I’m thinking not so much.
Baltimore is stout against the run, allowing fewer than 95 yards a contest per backfield on the ground this season. Plus, the Jets are 15.5-point underdogs in this tilt, meaning they’ll most likely be playing from behind, creating a negative game script for Bell. It’s a difficult spot for the former Steeler this week, so you may want to roll with someone else in his place.
Josh Allen (Bills) @ Steelers
Last week was a rough one for Allen, his worst since Week 4’s bout with New England. His throws were off, he took six sacks and also posted the lowest totals of the season in both passing and rushing yards. Allen is now tasked with a bounce-back game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Ouch. As a defensive unit, the Steelers are only yielding 12.3 schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing signal-callers each week, which is the third-fewest in the league.
Our resident Director of Forecasting, John Paulsen, has Allen ranked at QB20 for this week, and I agree that there has to be a better option for your postseason matchup.
Adrian Peterson (Redskins) vs. Eagles
Derrius Guice is out, again, so you’re ready to fire up Peterson, right? I’d pump the breaks a bit this week on the 34-year-old running back. The Eagles are surrendering just 89.6 rushing yards per game this season, which is the third-fewest in the NFL, and they held Saquon Barkley to just 9.6 PPR points just a few days ago.
With injuries and illnesses hitting the league hard, there has to be a better option either on your roster or on the waiver wire with a better outlook for Week 15. Think Raheem Mostert, DeAndre Washington or Patrick Laird.
Matt Ryan (Falcons) @ 49ers
Despite being out of real football contention, Ryan has been leading the Atlanta offense with ease in recent weeks. A road trip to Northern California could derail this recent offensive surge for the Falcons, though. It’s unfortunate timing that it’s during the fantasy playoffs.
The 49ers will be without Dee Ford and Richard Sherman, which is one positive thing for this offense, but to trust Ryan on the road with everything on the line is something you need to seriously ponder before setting that lineup.
Tyler Boyd (Bengals) vs. Patriots
In A.J. Green’s absence, Boyd leads the entire Cincinnati offense in PPR points with 172.5 through 13 games. He’s been a dependable WR2, considering he’s on an offense that just doesn’t score very many points. This week should be a tough test for the fourth-year wideout, as the Patriots secondary does a solid job taking away a team's No. 1 WR.
Boyd is projected as the WR29 (PPR) in our rankings this week, so sitting him for a receiver with a more favorable matchup could behoove your squad in Week 15.