Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable matchups and how they might impact lineup decisions for your fantasy football roster. Let’s take a look at some players that you’ll want in your starting lineup for Week 15. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Seahawks are coming off their 2nd loss of the season last week. They still have their own destiny ahead of them and will be traveling to play the Giants this weekend at a place where they hope to revisit on February 2nd. It begins and ends with their stellar defense but Wilson’s arm is tough to ignore. The Giants gave up 3 Philip Rivers’s touchdowns last weekend, that’s my prediction for this week for Russell. I’m adding another via the ground in there too. 20 plus for Russ.
Luck to your fantasy playoff rescue this round. He played well against Cincinnati last weekend and I expect that to continue against Houston. While the Texans are jockeying for the #1 draft pick I anticipate Luck will be able find some of his new weapons (minus Heyward-Bey and Reggie Wayne) for big gains. Another 3 touchdown game would be a disappointment for him this week. I’m thinking much bigger and more yards in a statement game.
There has not been a hotter wide receiver in the NFL over the last 3 weeks than this Cleveland Browns sensation. As a budding superstar, he’s really come on strong this season despite an ever revolving door of quarterbacks. Chicago is better at covering the pass than the run, but Gordon should have his regular dosage of targets and touchdowns as a result. He’s getting hot around the right time for a fantasy title run.
As the Wes Welker replacement, Edelman has been thrust into an even larger role this season. Gronkowski is now out for the year and Amendola has been back and forth between the IR and the rookie receivers have had their growing pains. Miami is without one of their top defensive backs and the Patriots are still trying to hang on to the #2 seed in the AFC. Edelman’s targets should rise with the recent loss of Gronk and so should his red zone catches.
Coming into the season Mathews was a major question in the minds of many fantasy owners due to his history of injuries. This season he’s been relatively healthy for his first full season and owners have reaped those rewards. Last week against the Giants he played very well and against a Denver defense that struggles against running backs that can run and catch, I expect more of the same from him. This Thursday night tilt is the last stand for the Chargers to make a playoff push, if they want to have a chance Mathews will be heavily involved.
Since Stacy’s stretch during the middle of the season, where he burst onto the fantasy scene propelling the Rams offense, he’s been average the last 2 weeks. That should change this week, as his matchup improves against a formidable New Orleans defense, but one he can beat. Without a proven QB to lead them the 49ers stacked the box and the Cardinals rank as the #1 defense against all fantasy running backs. Still Stacy managed nearly 10 points last week. I see a 20 point game coming here for the Rams and Coach Fisher finding ways to use his explosiveness to get to the edge.
After missing a couple of weeks, Thomas is back and has caught the eye of Manning again. San Diego is a prime suspect to be picked on Thursday night by this athletic space-eater in the middle of the field. As a primary red zone target the smaller defenders from the Chargers, including former linebacker from Notre Dame, will find themselves confused and stumbling most of the evening. Thomas should be deployed as usual this week.
Clay is coming off a monster performance against the Steelers last weekend. While the Dolphins fight to stay in the playoff conversation it will be the New England Patriots who have a good chance to put that to rest. The Pats have weaknesses in their defense, which has been torched in back to back weeks by the lowly Texans and Browns. Clay has opportunity to make big plays and touchdowns in South Beach come Sunday.
The Panthers defense looked anemic on Sunday Night football in the Super Dome. That happens when Brees takes out his aggression from an embarrassing loss the previous week to Seattle on a visiting team the next week. The Panthers have a very stout defense and with Riverboat Ron’s tactics I expect the Jets will be busy recovering from Geno Smith interceptions and turnovers all game long. Big bounce back possibility for Carolina.