Week 15 Fantasy Football Sneaky Starts & Sleepers
As we begin to navigate the fantasy playoffs, we can be grateful that there are no more byes to deal with. Unfortunately, there were several injuries in Week 14 that will have an impact in fantasy leagues across the world. We lost a stud quarterback (Kyler Murray, ACL tear), while Deebo Samuel (MCL sprain) is going to miss at least a couple of games. Despite being cleared to play, Tee Higgins (hamstring) barely saw the field in Week 14, Tyler Boyd injured his finger, and middle-round gem Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) may not be able to play this week.
All but the luckiest fantasy owners at some point need to find the proverbial diamond in the rough—a waiver wire or bench player capable of putting up some points in a pinch. This weekly feature is dedicated to that part of fantasy football. It's not pretty, but it's part of the game.
Below is a list of players who are ranked higher than usual due to injuries, depth chart changes, or favorable matchups. As the bye weeks hit, it’s important to be able to find players who can produce.
I’ll put the matchup and our signature strength-of-schedule metric, adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA), in parenthesis. The higher the number, the better the matchup.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers (vs. LAR, 5)
Rodgers’ season has been disappointing on many fronts, but he’s still tied for fifth in passing touchdowns (22) and has thrown at least two touchdowns in eight of his last nine games at Lambeau Field. The Rams surprisingly erased Derek Carr last week, but they’ve also given up 367/3 to Geno Smith, 320/1 to Patrick Mahomes, and 260/3 to Andy Dalton, all since Week 11.
Mike White, Jets (vs. DET, 30)
White finished with 268 yards and no touchdowns against the Bills last week, which is nothing to write home about, but it wasn’t a complete disaster either. The key here is that he’s attempted 43.0 passes per game in three starts and has accounted for four total touchdowns. The Lions are actually favored in this game, but Detroit has yielded 274/1.6 (and 27.1 fantasy points per game) to quarterbacks since Week 10.
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