Our Week 15 sleepers features under-the-radar players that are currently being started in less than 50% of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 15 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Well, my JFF call fell quite a bit short last week. If I burned you with that one, you have my apologies. What we did see, however, was that the Browns should have listened to my (and many others’) call. Hoyer just wasn’t cutting it at QB, and the Browns stubbornness to make the change cost them an upset win against the mighty Colts. Manziel was named the Week 15 started today, and will obviously have all week to prepare for a home game against the Bengals. The few times he’s seen the field have been good and bad, but his running ability combined with a healthy Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron should definitely manifest at least low-end QB1 or high-end QB2 numbers. He’s easily the best QB sleeper of the group this week, but I wouldn’t bench anyone in the top 10 for him.
I have to admit, before this year I’d gone and left SJax for dead. But watching him run through, around, and over multiple Packers defenders on Monday night changed my tune, and I’m now seeing him as an opportunity for Week 15. Pittsburgh is a middle-of-the-pack run defense, but I feel like the Falcons aerial attack, at home, will open up room for the ground game. Jackson has scored in four of his last six games and even racked up 26 yards receiving last game. I wouldn’t bench a stud for him, but if you’re staring down some mediocre options, I feel like he’s a reliable, if not flashy, RB2 play.
Did anyone learn an object lesson watching Andre Williams immolate the atrocious Titans run defense? I sure did – they’re really, really poor. It just happens to be that the only thing the Jets can actually do is run the ball, so you can be sure they will do so early, late, and often. Ivory is the main stud of the two Jets RBs, and he’s gotten 16 carries exactly the last two weeks. I’d expect another 16 from him, and I’m expecting him to approach 100 total yards here, hopefully with a short-range TD to boot.
Can’t say I really care if DeAngelo Williams is active, hurt, or otherwise. Stewart earned the lion’s share of the carries this week, and for the rest of the year, with his total domination of the Saints on Sunday. Add in the fact that Cam Newton probably misses at least this week after his Tuesday-morning traffic accident, and I think you have a great recipe for a RB2 start with upside. Despite the Newton injury, Carolina has momentum going into a must-win game at home against a very poor Bucs squad. The Panthers should lean on Stewart heavily and I’d give strong consideration to playing him over options like Ryan Matthews, Denard Robinson, and a bunch of the lower-tier RB2’
Douglas is my #1 keep-your-eye-on guy for the week. Julio Jones exited Monday’s game with a hip injury and his status is unknown, and while Roddy White played he certainly didn’t look anything like himself despite catching a junk-time TD. One or both of these guys could be candidate to sit this coming week, and if either of them did so, Douglas immediately becomes a must-add player. He dominated down the stretch last year with Julio out, and has always produced when given the chance. If either marquee Falcons WR sits, I think Douglas is a top 25 WR and strong WR3 with upside. I’d definitely add him even if I didn’t need a WR.
With Brandon Marshall now done for the year, it is fully expected that Wilson will immediately step into his spot opposite Alshon Jeffrey. At 5-8, the Bears have no playoff hopes left, but will try to put on a show in a shootout at home against the Saints. It seems likely that Jay Cutler will throw until his arm falls off to attempt to keep pace with the Saints, and there’s no debating that the flanker spots in Marc Trestman’s offense have been a fantasy goldmine Some are ranking Wilson an automatic WR3 – I think that’s a bit expectant, but if you’re staring at uninspiring options and need to roll the dice, I think you could do much worse than Wilson.
Steve Smith, Sr.
Just when we had all counted him out, it seems like the Week 11 bye has seriously reinvigorated Smitty. He’s scored in double-figures in two of the past three games, and is an integral part of an offense that’s scored 96 points over that span. I like Smith this week not because I think he necessarily goes off, but because he’s a big play waiting to happen that also happens to have a pretty reliable 5-ish point floor (5+ points in 10 of 13 games). In a must-win game for the Ravens, I think Smith is an excellent WR3 play.
Remember earlier this year, when Larry Donnell scorched a team for three TDs, winning a spot in Brent’s heart in the process? Good, you do. That was against my Washington Redskins. This time, the Giants are at home, and I’d bet a plugged nickel that they haven’t forgotten how easily they shredded the Washington linebackers last time. Washington is going to have to give extra attention to Odell Beckham, so I fully expect Donnell to get his this weekend. He’s a TE1 in my book despite being less than 50% started.
The Jags have been a little bit better offensively over the past couple of week, but that doesn’t stop the Ravens defense from being my top plug-and-play defense of the week. Baltimore showed up against the Miami passing attack, and have more than enough run defense chops to silence the Jags Denard Robinson/Toby Gerhart RB combo. The matchup is even better at home against a Jags team just playing out the string. Baltimore should return 8+ points this week (with upside) for owners lucky enough to grab them.
As much as it bugs me to say it, my Washington Redskins…are terrible. The last four games have been some of the worst football I’ve ever seen, especially with regards to QB play. I’m not sure it matters who starts this coming weekend against the Giants, but with Colt McCoy sustaining some kind of neck strain, the QB looks like it could be RG3. While he looked okay on the final drive of the St. Louis blowout, he’s been generally terrible and dragged the rest of the Redskins offense down with him. Regardless of who starts, Washington is giving up the 3rd most points to opposing fantasy defenses, making them an extremely stream-worthy opponent.