Start: Blake Bortles (JAX) – Bortles has been on a roll lately, and he should be trusted against the Falcons in the second week of the fantasy playoffs. He has connected with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns all year, and now Julius Thomas is coming along. T.J. Yeldon is out, meaning the pass should be an even bigger part of the offense. The Falcons have been pretty good against the pass, but Cam Newton was able to expose them last week.
Tyrod Taylor (BUF) – The Bills are starting to let Tyrod run more since coming back from his knee injury. They should have absolutely nothing to lose in letting him loose this week, as the Bills have little to no chance at the playoffs. Also, the Redskins have given up at least 20 fantasy points to seven different QB’s this year.
Matthew Stafford (DET) – The Saints defense is still terrible, and Stafford is still pretty good. This game should be a high-scoring affair with big passing numbers. Drew Brees is an obvious start, but Stafford is sometimes overlooked in fantasy. Expect big numbers for both players in week 15.
Sit: Eli Manning (NYG) – Eli was great last week against the Dolphins, scoring 27 points for his third best fantasy game all year. However, this week should be a different story. The Carolina Panthers have picked off more passes (21) than touchdowns given up (16) and Josh Norman will at least limit OBJ’s production.
Ryan Tannehill (MIA) – The MIA should stand for missing in action, as Tannehill has looked awful the last two games. After a bounce back game in week 12 where he had 351 yards and three touchdowns against the Jets, he had less yards and only two touchdowns total against the Ravens and Giants. Number two receiver Rishard Matthews will likely not play, and the Chargers have improved mightily on passing defense.
Start: Bryce Brown (SEA) – The true story in Seattle should be their offensive line, who have come together even without Max Unger. Russel Wilson has more time and room to move than ever, and they have helped make two running backs look like Pro-Bowlers. Without Lynch and Rawls, Bryce Brown steps in as the number one back. He has looked good in spurts with the Eagles and Bills and now has a great chance against the Browns.
Tim Hightower (NO) – Hightower did as much as he good last week filling in for Mark Ingram. He only averaged about 3 yards a carry against a good Tampa rushing defense, but he cashed in with 15 fantasy points. He faces the Lions, who gave up 140 yards and 2 scores to Todd Gurley in week 14, this week.
Melvin Gordon (SD) – The rookie has been pretty disappointing all year, not scoring a single touchdown. However, he should be trusted more this week than any other all year. The Dolphins have given up 25 points or more to opposing RB groups seven times this season.
Sit: Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson (DEN) – Hillman has done nothing in the past two weeks, and C.J. is still battling an ankle injury. Even if both were in peak form, neither should be started this week. The Broncos opponent, the Steelers, give up the third fewest points to running backs.
Isaiah Crowell (CLE) – Crowell went off last week, which might give reason for people to have him in their lineups. He might be able to get 27 fantasy points against an extinct 49er defense, but he should have almost no success against the Seahawks. Seattle should show that last week’s performance was a fluke for Crowell.
Start: Jeremy Maclin (KC) – The Baltimore Ravens give up by far the most points to opposing receivers, and Maclin is easily the best in Kansas City. Although he didn’t do much last week, he did have 245 yards and three touchdowns in the previous two games combined. Expect another big outing from Jeremy in week 15.
Ted Ginn Jr. (CAR) – Ginn has an incredible 200 yards and four touchdowns in the past two games, and his having one of his best years as a wide receiver. Granted, he only had 7 total catches in those games, but he could match that facing a struggling Giants defense.
Tyler Lockett (SEA) – Lockett had a tremendous game against that awful Ravens defense, scoring twice and catching his first 100 yard game. The Browns have not been much better, giving up seven touchdowns to receivers in four games. He is owned in only about half of ESPN leagues, so he is a great option if you need to fill a spot.
Sit: Jordan Matthews (PHI) – The so-called number one receiver in Philadelphia has not really looked like on this year, scoring the 40th most points from the receiver position in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals have only let a receiver enter the end zone twice in five games, and they should make Sam Bradford look more like a punter than he already did.
Dez Bryant (DAL) – Dez has not caught more than five balls in a game all year, and he only has six total catches in the past three games. Even though the Jets secondary has not been great as a whole, they still have Darrelle Revis, who will definitely be on the struggling Dez.
Start: Richard Rogers (GB) – After catching a Hail Mary and having a great overall game against the Lions on Thursday Night Football, Rogers only had one single catch last week. However, things should turn right back around for him as he plays the Oakland Raiders, who have allowed four tight ends to achieve the 100 yard mark and give up the second most points to the position.
Jacob Tamme (ATL) – Matt Ryan will likely have a mediocre game, but he might be forced to throw some quick routes to his tight end. Tamme has been awful quiet lately, but this week might be his week. The Jaguars give up the fourth most points to TE’s, including three performances of 19 points or more in the last five weeks.
Sit: Jason Witten (DAL) – It has been sad watching Witten, usually one of the top players in the league, do nothing week after week. He hasn’t caught a touchdown since the first game of the season, and the Jets, his opponent, haven’t given up one from a tight end since week 7.