Week 15 is the most important week of fantasy football in my most humble opinion. Either it’s your final push to make it into the championship or it’s Week 1 of your final matchup. Either way, you need to have a big game to keep your season alive.
Of course, now is the time the Football Gods decide to eff with us and make determining who to start and who to sit virtually impossible. First Derrick Henry goes off for a massive game last week and then this week we’re treated to another monster performance from a player almost certainly in none of your starting lineups. Great timing guys.
Despite the odds, I’ll try and be as helpful as I can in hopes of easing your start/sit madness. Here are five players that I am SUPER high on this week and if they’re on your team, they need to be in your starting lineup. I made an effort to pick players that you might be debating on since a “must start” article is kinda dumb if it’s filled with RB1s and WR1s. To make things fun, I’ve including a point total that I think they’ll reach in PPR scoring.
Week 13 picks: Who remembers
Season’s picks: Who cares (I definitely didn’t have a losing record...)
WR Julian Edelman vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 15 points: 18
WHO’S READY FOR THE JULIAN EDELMAN SHOW???? Edelman through his career has often been the guy that is irreplaceable on the field but replaceable on your fantasy team (particularly in standard scoring leagues). However this season he’s been a fantasy stud, scoring at least 17 PPR points in five of his last six games and he’s coming off his biggest game of the season, posting 23.6 points against the Dolphins.
Now he gets to face off against a Steelers’ defense that can’t defend slot receivers and is notorious for using their linebackers in zone coverage to take away inside receivers. Yea, that shit doesn’t work against almost every slot receiver in the league right now. In a must win game for the Patriots, you can bet Edelman is going to get open with ease and Tom Brady is going to be looking for him all over the field.
RB Dalvin Cook vs Miami Dolphins
Week 15 points: 16.5
Cook has been less than great this season and while some of that can be blamed on the Vikings’ play calling and their terrible offensive line play (ok, a good portion of Cook’s lack of production can be blamed on those things), it doesn’t help that Cook has been dealing with injuries all season and just hasn’t been able to find his groove coming back from his ACL tear. Fear not Cook owners as we might just be in for his best performance of the season!
Obviously the Vikings are rolling into Sunday’s game with a new offensive coordinator—Kevin Stefanski for those keeping track at home—after they fired Mike DeFilippo earlier this week. I’m sure some attention will be given to getting the ground game going but personally I think the passing game will be what is the focus this week. And spoiler alert, that’s exactly where Cook has been making most of his fantasy points recently. Cook has caught two touchdowns in the past three weeks and has been targeted at least seven times in the past two games and I think the trend continues against a Dolphins team that’s given up the 12th most receptions and receiving yards to running backs this year.
WR Tyler Lockett vs San Francisco 49ers
Week 15 points: 15
We haven’t seen a truly dominate fantasy performance from Lockett since Week 12 but I have a feeling we’re due for another big game from the Seahawks’ leading receiver. Over the last four weeks, the 49ers have been the second worst team at limiting opposing wide receivers, giving up over 30 points to the position. They also have surrendered the most touchdowns to wide outs this season with 20. I’m fully expecting Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to come out attacking and target Lockett early and often, especially with Doug Baldwin sidelined this week.
RB Doug Martin vs Cincinnati Bengals
Week 15 points: 14.5
It was hard for me to put finger to keyboard and type that Doug Martin is a must-start this week but I just can’t say no to any starting running back who’s set to face the Bengals. Here are some stats for you people who like stats: Since Week 5, the Bengals have given up at least 14 PPR points to the opponent’s lead back. If you take out Peyton Barber’s 14.5 point performance in Week 8 and Austin Ekeler’s 17.4 point performance last week, that number balloons to 19.5. Basically the Bengals are Santa and they’re giving out endless fantasy points for Christmas.
Martin hasn’t been to shabby himself the last couple of weeks, scoring a touchdown in each of his last three games and recording at least 12 PPR points in three of his last five starts. I was hesitant put him on the list, but now, 150 words into his blurb, I’ve convinced myself. Well done me.
RB Jaylen Samuels vs New England Patriots
Week 15 points: 12
Obviously this pick is tied to James Conner’s availability (which is very much up in the air as I write this), but if Conner is a no-go Sunday, Samuels is a must-go. As an ex-tight end, it’s no surprise that Samuels was most productive against Oakland via the air, in which he caught all seven of his targets for 64 yards.
Chalk up another big game for him through the air as the Patriots—and you know what I’m about to say is 100% accurate since I watch this team week in and week out— can’t stop a pass catching running back if their lives depended on it. This year the Patriots have given up the fifth most receptions, sixth most receiving yards and third most receiving touchdowns to running backs. I can’t wait to watch Samuels catch everything thrown his way and out run our slow ass linebackers who can’t cover in space. Yup, gonna be a great game for him and a not so great game for my stress level.
Who’s most likely to put up my point total?
This poll is closed
Julian Edelman scoring 18
Dalvin Cook scoring 16.5
Tyler Lockett scoring 15
Doug Martin scoring 14.5
Jaylen Samuels scoring 12