Week 15 NFL Matchups

All your Week 15 matchup advice found here.

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Dolphins -2.5; O/U 37.5

Dolphins – Bad news for Miami Dolphins fans as starting QB Ryan Tannehill suffered an ACL/MCL sprain last week and will be out for Week 15’s contest. The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for owners of Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills who will obviously be taking a step back. Backup Matt Moore hasn’t started a game since 2011 and will be extremely limited this week. Luckily though, he’s playing the Jets, meaning there’s a glimmer of hope for the Dolphins passing game. Especially with Miami needing these wins to make the playoffs, the team is still playing for something. With the injury to Tannehill, running back Jay Ajayi should be seeing more carries in the offense. Ajayi had no room to run against the Cardinals in a very frustrating game. The vulturing touchdown by Damien Williams didn’t help Ajayi owners, as he’s failed to rush for 100 yards in five straight games now.

Jets – Bryce Petty started a game for the Jets, AND WON! Let that sink in for a second. Despite a win, there was a lot more bad than good for this offense. First off, running back Matt Forte left the game early in the first quarter with a knee injury. He did not return, while Bilal Powell ripped off 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. Granted it was the 49ers defense, but Powell looked pretty good. He’ll be a top waiver wire add this week. For some reason, Petty loves to target this creature named Robby Anderson. Anderson caught 6 balls off 11 targets for 99 yards after 12 targets in Week 13’s game. Anderson provides desperation value for teams seeking WR help. Brandon Marshall couldn’t get much going with Petty, and becomes a dangerous play moving forward, especially in semi-final matchups.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

Packers -5.5; O/U 39.5

Packers – Aaron Rodgers continues to dominate as the red hot Packers disposed of the Seahawks in convincing fashion last week. Green Bay took advantage of Earl Thomas’ absence in the secondary and attacked Seattle through the air all day. Rodgers fed Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams the most frequently, with the latter reeling in another deep ball and score. Both Nelson and Adams are very good plays against the Bears this week. Third receiver Randall Cobb injured his ankle in the game, which has become a recurring theme for him. With Nelson and Adams drawing so many looks, Cobb has become an afterthought in the offense. The running game saw split carries from Ty Montgomery and Christine Michael, but it was Montgomery who got into the end zone. It was only the Packers 3rd rushing touchdown on the season by a running back (which Montgomery is “strictly listed” as with the team).

Bears – I know this is going to sound crazy, but Matt Barkley doesn’t look that bad. The USC product had 212 yards while working the ball around to different receivers. Cameron Meredith was the leading receiver with 72 yards and a touchdown. Playing against the Packers this week means Barkley is going to have to throw again, so Meredith could be in line for another nice game. Running back Jordan Howard was great in his limited work, averaging 6.6 YPC and finishing with 86 yards. He came back to Earth after the Week 13 moonshot, but you should expect a solid outing from Howard against Green Bay. Alshon Jeffery returns from his suspension this week, so he immediately offers some value to owners searching for receiver/flex help. We’ll see how he clicks with Barkley.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

Texans -5; O/U 39.5

Jaguars – As we expected, the Jaguars offense had nothing to offer us on Sunday except for some desperate TJ Yeldon action. Blake Bortles was bad, the running game didn’t do much, and Allen Robinson had one catch for 17 yards. The only reason Yeldon was good last week was because Chris Ivory was out, and then he caught 7 passes. Aside from that, the offense was a dumpster fire and non-existent. Now Jacksonville travels to Houston to take on a good Texans defense. Hard pass on all Jaguars players. Don’t even think about it.

Texans – Also as expected, Brock Osweiler STUNK for the Texans who were carried by Lamar Miller once again versus Indy. Miller ran for 101 yards and a touchdown against a soft Colts defense, and should see usage once again with Jacksonville. The Jaguars have a very good pass defense, so Osweiler and company won’t be getting much through the air. For some reason unbeknownst to me, CJ Fiedorowicz still leads the team in targets and is your best play in the Texans passing game. DeAndre Hopkins under performed once again, and is in conversation to be sat in Week 15. Surely there are better options out there for you. It sucks to see such an elite talent be wasted away with shit quarterback play. Miller is the only good option from this team in Week 15.

Cleveland Browns @ Buffalo Bills

Bills -10; O/U 41.5

Browns – This offense is just blah. The return of Robert Griffin III did nothing to revamp the offense whatsoever. They tried a flea flicker from their own end zone, which Griffin through into triple coverage for an interception. Receivers Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor are tough plays to use in Week 15 and are best to be avoided. What was nice to see though was the reemergence of running back Isaiah Crowell. Crowell rushed for 113 yards on only ten carries which is very impressive. The Bills were just steamrolled by Le’Veon Bell for a career day, so you have to like what Crowell and the Browns running game can do this week.

Bills – After a disappointing showing against the Steelers, the Bills are rewarded with a dream scenario of facing the Browns. QB Tyrod Taylor becomes a sneaky good play if you have another QB that’s in a very tough matchup spot for Week 15. QB always do well when facing the Browns. LeSean McCoy is set for a monster showing against Cleveland. He’s been the top weapon in the offense all year, and will have plenty of opportunity to wreck havoc on the league’s worst team. Its great to see Sammy Watkins‘ usage and snap totals increase in each week since his return. Watkins will be a solid play as Taylor’s primary receiver on the outside. He’s due for a big game/coming out party.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Baltimore Ravens

Ravens -5.5; O/U 40.5

Eagles – Carson Wentz continued to put up impressive passing stats without the touchdown totals we all want. Wentz did a great job of finding Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews on the day, but could have a tough time repeating that success against Baltimore. With Ertz and Matthews, you can feel the most comfortable with those two, as they have continued to have high target and reception numbers over the last few weeks. Wentz knows that if he’s going to move down the field, it’s going to be with these two. The running game however, is struggling with injuries. Darren Sproles  was murdered on a punt return and is in concussion protocol. Wendell Smallwood is now on IR with a knee injury, so that leaves Ryan Mathews as the last man standing. Mathews won’t find much room to run against Baltimore though, so keep him on your bench.

Ravens -Against the Patriots, the Ravens were a pass heavy team. They’ve been that way for a few weeks now with a lack of a running game. Joe Flacco isn’t a bad option here, but he’s not someone to trust in a fantasy football playoff matchup. Running back Terrance West has been phased out of the offense, so the back to own now is Kenneth Dixon. Dixon looked like a bulldozer and was used a lot in the passing game. He’s a sneaky good RB2/flex play this week. In the receiving game, you never know who its gonna be. Last game it was Steve Smith Sr, but it could very well be Mike Wallace, or Breshard Perriman. I’d feel most comfortable with Smith, Wallace or tight end Dennis Pitta in lineups.

Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs -5.5; O/U 42

Titans – As expected, Marcus Mariota and the Titans passing game struggled mightily against the Broncos secondary with only 88 passing yards. Tight end Delanie Walker was the only receiver to catch multiple passes in the game, so a bounce back against the Chiefs seems imminent. Receiver Rishard Matthews is also a nice receiver candidate to bounce back and put up healthy numbers. The offense still revolves around Demarco Murray though and that won’t change this week. He’s still getting a large number of carries, but Derrick Henry is still involved with the offense. Murray will be fine and should be a very nice play.

Chiefs – What’s weird is that the Chiefs won a huge game against the Raiders, but QB Alex Smith just doesn’t put up fantasy relevant numbers. Receiver Tyreke Hill was an absolute force in the game with a huge touchdown catch, as well as a punt return touchdown. He’s on fire right now and the Chiefs would be nuts to not get the ball in his hands more. He’s too goddamn fast. The return of Jeremy Maclin should help to get the offense moving a little more. Travis Kelce will look to continue his hot streak as one of the top tight ends in the NFL right now. He’ll be a solid play per usual. Running back Spencer Ware struggled in his last game and will set to get back to his performance similar to the Falcons game. He should be locked into lineups for Week 15.

Detroit Lions @ New York Giants

Giants -4; O/U 41

Lions – QB Matthew Stafford is dealing with an injured finger, but it’s nothing serious to keep him out of the game. He could be limited with what he does in the game though, especially while facing a very good Giants defense on the road. It’s not an ideal spot to use Stafford, so if you have a quality backup, look for help there. Running back Theo Riddick should be back this week and will be a nice option with a limited Stafford as a check down option. He was a late and mysterious inactive last week, which cost me a playoff loss but it’s okay I’m not bitter at all. Fucking bitch. As for receivers, Golden Tate is the ideal play here in the offense as he continues to be the team leader in catches and targets. He’s the best bet to make the big play in this offense. Anquan Boldin caught the touchdown pass last week and proved he’s not slowing down anytime soon. Eric Ebron and Marvin Jones are okay plays this week, but knowing that Detroit plays the Giants puts a damper on all receiving ceilings.

Giants – Aside from Odell Beckham Jr, the Giants offense has been rather dormant and mediocre. Beckham had the teams lone touchdown in the big win against the Dallas and has been on fire these last few weeks. He’ll continue to be a great play against the Lions and is all but guaranteed for another touchdown. He’s an elite receiver right now. As for the rest of the offense, Rashad Jennings hasn’t made much work of his carries, and saw an even split with rookie Paul Perkins. The two had the same exact output, so it’s time to bench Jennings unless you really have no other choice. As for receivers, Sterling Shepard is the only other guy to consider, but he’s been quite the last couple weeks, similar to how everyone has taken a back seat to Beckham. Everyone knows the offense’s best chance to move the ball is through ODB, and that’s exactly what’s been happening. Odell is the only ideal Giants player to use this week.

Indianapolis Colts @ Minnesota Vikings

Vikings -4; O/U 45.5

Colts – After a dominating performance against the Jets, Andrew Luck and the Colts came out flat at home against the Texans. Now he has to worry about traveling to Minnesota where things don’t get any easier for the QB. Obviously if you have Luck, you spent a good pick on him and it’s troubling to think about benching him this week. Unfortunately, it’s just a bad matchup for him, and it’s something to consider if the right backup is there. He has shown great chemistry with TY Hilton since he’s returned from injury. Hilton could draw Xavier Rhodes in coverage though which no Hilton owner wants to see. Hilton should be fine despite whatever matchup he’s placed in, as Luck has continuously fed him the ball. Donte Moncrief injured his hamstring in the last game and had a quality zero points. He’s a tough sell this week as hamstring injuries are never good, and the offense as a whole just looked real bad. Running back Frank Gore managed to salvage his bad rushing day with a receiving score, and Jack Doyle took his turn as the tight end option over Dwayne Allen. The Colts find themselves in a tough spot, and I only feel good about playing Hilton this week.

Vikings – As we’ve said before, there’s not much to like from the Vikings offense. Receiver Stefon Diggs is the best play from here against a questionable Colts defense, while receiver Adam Theilen is a decent WR3/Flex play if need be. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is another very good play in the offense, as he’s seen his usage spike and stay consistently high the past few weeks. As far as the running game goes, neither Jerick McKinnon nor Matt Asiata are great candidates to lead your playoff squad. However, the Colts are very bad against the run, so they aren’t the worst options. We all know Asiata is the ultimate vulture, and McKinnon will catch some passes out of the backfield. In theory, you could do a lot worse here, but they should only be out of desperation. Big news though is that Adrian Peterson says he will play this week. I would expect him to get EXTREMELY limited touches if he even suits up, but he’s a nice potential RB2 for Week 16 if you have a void in that area.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Steelers -3; O/U 44

Steelers – Boy what can we say about Le’Veon Bell that hasn’t been said already. The dude straight up BEASTED for 236 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns while adding in 4 catches for 62 yards. A career day, and if you owned Bell in your league you likely won. If you had the joy of facing him, I’m terribly sorry. What we’ve started to pick up on is the strange home/road split in Ben Roethlisberger’s production. He was TERRIBLE in Buffalo, granted it was snowing like crazy. Still, he made some real bad decisions and poor throws that left you scratching your head. Maybe it was the news that broke out about him using under inflated footballs? Maybe you didn’t hear about that though because outside of New England and potential “Deflategate” scandal gets destroyed faster than emails off a private server. Jokes aside, Ben struggled on the road, and will likely to do the same this week on the road against their rival Bengal team. Lots of bad blood between these two teams, but I would expect Bell to thrive, Ben to struggle, and superstar Antonio Brown to come out somewhere in between. He won’t have his crazy 20/30 point game, but he’ll put up respectable WR1 numbers while trying to destroy their enemies. Tight end Ladarius Green regressed from his coming out party, but should be a fine play this week as the #3 option in the offense.

Bengals – QB Andy Dalton made the best of his date with the Browns, and hopefully he can ride the offense’s hot hand into a date with the rival Steelers. You know the team will be fired up to try and knock Pittsburgh from the playoffs since the Bengals are basically already out. Dalton worked heavily with receiver Tyler Boyd and tight end Tyler Eifert on the day, as Eifert had both touchdown catches in the game. I would expect another consistent and average game from Boyd who will get 5-7 catches for 60-70 yards, while Eifert continues to be the touchdown and red zone guy in the offense with the much higher ceiling. As for the running game, Jeremy Hill looked solid which usually happens against the Browns. He had 111 yards and a touchdown, so those numbers are very likely to come down against the Steelers, but Cincinnati should look go keep him going on the ground.

New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals -3; O/U 50.5

Saints – What the hell has happened to the Saints offense? Drew Brees now has two straight games of zero touchdowns and three interceptions. That’s about as likely to happen as the Browns coming into New England and whipping Brady by 40+. It just doesn’t happen. Running backs Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower split carries and neither could get anything going. It’s unlikely they figure it out this week in Arizona. With Michael Thomas being a surprising inactive last week, Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead were the big two receivers in the offense. It was good to see Cooks rebound from a previous 0 point effort and reestablish himself in the offense. If Thomas suits up, he’s likely to draw Patrick Peterson in coverage, meaning Cooks could be the better play from the receiving core.

Cardinals – It’s become evident how poor the Cardinals offensive line is, which is really hurting Carson Palmer and the offense. Granted is was raining like crazy, but Palmer only threw for 145 yards on the day as he just had no time to throw. The Saints are generally a good team to face from an offensive standpoint, but even Winston struggled with them last week. There’s too many question marks around Palmer and the offense. Running back David Johnson was limited to an average game by his mere mortal standards. He should find plenty of room to run against New Orleans, and if this defense is as bad as it’s been in the past, Johnson could have a Le’Veon Bell Week 14-esque performance. In the receiving game, Michael Floyd was cut from the team following a drunk driving arrest. That opens up more opportunities for JJ Nelson and Jermaine Gresham to be more involved. Hopefully it also means that Larry Fitzgerald can get back to his all-star status and maybe catch a touchdown. He’s due.

San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons

Falcons -13.5; O/U 51.5

49ers – In a game complete opposite of what was expected, it was Carlos Hyde that did all the damage against the Jets. Hyde went for 193 yards and caught a 7 yard touchdown en route to a big performance. We’ll see how the gameflow is dictated in this one, but I would expect a lot of passing trying to keep up with Atlanta. That makes Colin Kaepernick an intriguing play. After two stinkers, it’s extremely tough to trust him in your playoff game, but he’s not the worst choice. Aside from those two guys, the only other remotely potential starter is Jeremy Kerley at receiver, but there are so many better options out there, so please look harder.

Falcons – You all should know how this one will go. The Falcons at home against a terrible 49ers defense is a wet dream for all Falcons players/owners. Matt Ryan is the ideal QB this week and tops The Wolf’s QB Rankings, Devonta Freeman should run at will against this pitiful team, and even Tevin Coleman is likely to get in on the action. Receiver Julio Jones is OUT for Week 15 which makes Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel decent fill in plays in what’s sure to be an explosive offense from the Falcons. There’s plenty of points to go around in this offense, so some cheaper guys are looking to step up for big time production.

Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers

Raiders -3; O/U 49.5

Raiders – Derek Carr and the Raiders will look to bounce back from a disaster performance versus the Chiefs and right the ship in San Diego. The cold weather and stingy defense proved to be too much for Carr, but returning to sunny California against a mediocre defense should be exactly what’s needed to fix things. The only question will be, what receiver will be the lead guy this week. Most of the season it’s been Michael Crabtree, but Amari Cooper dominated targets and led the team in receptions last game. Both are good plays that should be in lineups this week no matter what. As for the running game, Latavius Murray looked very impressive going for 103 yards on 22 carries with a score. He’s a bruising back and behind that offensive line he can do some serious damage. I like Murray to follow suit with another great game.

Chargers – Horrible news out of San Diego as Melvin Gordon went down with a hip injury and will miss Week 15. The timing couldn’t be worse for the stud RB who will now be replaced by Kenneth Farrow. Farrow put up a nice stat line as the featured back and was used in the passing game. If you were lucky enough to snag him off waivers, then you got yourself a nice plug in RB2/flex back. In the receiving game, Dontrelle Inman caught yet another touchdown and should keep the ball rolling against Oakland’s questionable secondary. With Gordon out, there will be lots of throwing. Tyrell Williams and Antonio Gates are also nice plays this week, but Hunter Henry has continued his red zone presence with multiple touchdown catches, limiting Gates’ production. Philip Rivers will have to throw, and this secondary is beatable so he’s a good QB option.

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos

Patriots -3; O/U 44

Patriots – I will never, ever tell you to sit Tom Brady in a fantasy football matchup. With that said, he is traveling to Denver to take on the league’s best secondary who do an extremely good job of limiting opposing quarterbacks. I’m not saying sit him, but consider alternate routes if you have the opportunity. Knowing that, receivers Malcolm Mitchell, and Chris Hogan are likely to be extremely limited along with tight end Martellus Bennett. Brady leaned very heavily on Julian Edelman and James White in last year’s matchups so I would expect these guys to have the better games in the offense. It will be interesting to see if LeGarrette Blount can get some momentum going. He did nothing last year, but looks a lot better this season, while Denver has struggled against the run.

Broncos – This will be a big game for Trevor Siemian to see how he stacks up against one of the NFL’s best. The Patriots secondary has been beatable, and receiver Emmanuel Sanders has been great in the last two meetings against the Patriots. Sanders will be a solid play, as will Demaryius Thomas likely to be matched up with Logan Ryan due to size. Last week, running back Devontae Booker had a rather strange game with 3 carries for 1 yard. Backup Justin Forsett had 6 carries after being signed earlier in the week, so this backfield is a mess. It’s best to avoid Broncos RBs this week against a good New England front seven, especially when Denver threw the ball 51 times last game. 51!!!!!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys -7; O/U 46.5

Buccaneers – In a game where we expected big things from their offense, Tampa Bay had nothing going for them. Jameis Winston had only 184 yards with no touchdowns against the goddamn Saints. Playing at home, he should have lit them up, but instead was just bad. It’s only going to get worse on the road against the Cowboys who are fresh off a loss. Receiver Mike Evans has gone relatively quiet the last few weeks, and it’s hard to imagine him having his amazing game similar to Seattle or Atlanta earlier. He’ll be in your lineups, but don’t expect numbers up to the moon. Cameron Brate has established himself as a reliable tight end in Tampa’s offense. He’s a streaming option if need be. Running back Doug Martin got into the end zone last week, but had a poor YPC showing. Dallas is stingy against the run, so it’s better to look elsewhere with Martin, but not too far because the RB depth is very thin.

Cowboys – A poor outing by Dak Prescott, and the hot takes came out calling for Tony Romo to step in and take over the team. The Cowboys will stick to what they do best and that’s running the ball with Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke’s a beast, simple as that so if you have him you have to be comfortable with your lineups. Dak should bounce back nicely in this game and hopefully feed Dez Bryant some more than just one catch. Cole Beasley is still getting good target numbers, so he should round back into his 10-12 point average range in this one.

Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins

Redskins -6.5; O/U 50.5

Panthers – Cam Newton and the Panthers aren’t what we’re used to them being. A lackluster performance at home against the Chargers wasn’t very encouraging when Newton only threw for 160 yards. It was very nice to see Greg Olsen get back in the offense leading the team with 7 targets. He looks to be back on pace and can hopefully return to his elite tight end self. Kelvin Benjamin has all but disappeared in the offense and can’t be trusted especially with Josh Norman likely matched up across the line of scrimmage. Running back Jonathan Stewart made the most of his work and scored a touchdown, but his YPC of under 3.0 wasn’t the best look.

Redskins – Ho hum Kirk Cousins. I love Cousins in this spot against a struggling Panthers defense. The Redskins are loaded with so many weapons which makes Kirk just that more dangerous. Whether it’s DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed or Pierre Garcon, these Redskins receivers are all solid plays in what’s likely to be a high scoring game for Washington on MNF. It would be nice to see Rob Kelley continue his role in the offense, where he’s seen a good amount of carries. He could very easily sneak in a goal line touchdown in this game. All Redskins players have the green light in lineups this week.

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  • THE Inaugural 2016 RSJ Fantasy Football League Champion. Owner of a #bigbrain, and lover of football, baseball and college hoops. When not grinding for the RSJ, can be found captaining his beer league softball team.

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