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.
Cousins has a strong matchup this week, at home against an extremely mediocre Bills pass defense. He’s looked much sharper in recent weeks, and seems to be developing strong chemistry with TE Jordan Reed, among other pass catchers. He rebounded strong from the Monday night loss to Dallas, and I think he’ll be good for at least 17 fantasy points here.
I was pretty impressed by McCarron’s performance last Sunday. Coming in cold after Andy Dalton was knocked out for the game (and maybe the season), A.J. looked calm and methodical in the pocket, dicing the Steelers for 280 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. He’s the guy in Cincy for the immediate future, and he gets to work with weapons like A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert (perhaps) and the Hill / Bernard RB combo. Add in that this matchup is against the 49ers, and I’m more than confident he’ll deliver at least high-end QB2 numbers this week.
Want to know how bad the RB situation has become in New Orleans without Mark Ingram? The Saints started a guy who hadn’t played an NFL down since like 2012 on Sunday…so of course he racked up 28 carries and dominated his way to 80+ yards and a touchdown. There’s no way he’ll get that many again this week (or he’ll just break in half) but he should still get around 20 touches, and therefore stand a strong chance to deliver RB2 value.
James White / Brandon Bolden
This seems like so little analysis here, but I feel like it’s all I need: Here’s a widely available RB (both), who are part of the New England explosive offense, who score touchdowns, and (White) has averaged over 13 fantasy points per game over the last four weeks, which includes one colossal stinker. LeGarrette Blount is out for the season, giving these guy a more concrete role. Why is either one on the waiver wire in your league? Find room for White and Bolden (or both!) at the end of your bench.
Yes, his totals look pedestrian, I’ll give you that. But have you seen him PLAY? Dude runs angry, and looks like a quicker Marshawn Lynch. While I’m not the first to make that comparison, I will point out that the difference in quicks between Jones and Alfred Morris is glaring. Jones has averaged 18 carries the past two weeks, and is also contributing in the passing game. I think he punches one into the end zone here on his way to 10+ fantasy points.
Lockett continues to surge. The Seattle passing game (and team in general) is also surging. Now lacking huge offensive weapons Jimmy Graham and Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks offense has gotten…better? More explosive? Wide open? Whatever you want to call it, it’s in top gear at the moment. Lockett has 38+ fantasy points over the past two weeks and there’s no chance Cleveland is in any position to stop any of the above. This kid looks legit, both for the fantasy playoffs and definitely next year. Lock and load!
Ted Ginn, Jr.
While describing a Ginn touchdown play last week, I told a non-fantasy player who didn’t know the players too well the following: “You look at Ginn, he’s such a weird player. He’s basically a track star who can outrun everyone, and occasionally might catch a football if one is thrown his way”. I was a couple of beers deep at this point, but I remembered that statement because, well, it’s true. Ginn is the definition of boom or bust – he’ll either blow up and get you 20, or he’ll bust and get you three. Lately, however, it seems that he’s become more of a WR, scoring 20+ points in his last two games, and 10+ in three of his last four. Dude only caught two balls last week in a blowout win over Atlanta…and scored on both of them. He doesn’t need volume, but he is averaging over seven targets over his last four starts. If you need a WR3 play with monster upside to pull out a miraculous win this week, Ginn might just be your guy.
Have to go back to well here in take Wheaton again – yeah, even in a really tough matchup. The defense, while stout as all hell, will be concentrated on nullifying Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and DeAngelo Williams, which isn’t even mentioning the threat of Heath Miller. When Wheaton sees the field, he’ll be covered by a sub-package CB-type guy, meaning he should be free to roam at will. If the Pittsburgh offensive line can give Ben enough time, you could be looking at another big game from Wheaton – I like him at around six catches, 75 yards, and a score with some upside.
It seems like all this guy does is score touchdowns. He’s banked FIVE scores over the past six weeks, and if you watch the Bears games, it just seems like he becomes more and more involved. Minnesota is a dead-mediocre matchup for TEs (15th overall), so I think Cutler continues to find Miller down the seam and in the red zone. I’m thinking like 45 yards on six receptions and one all-important touchdown.
So much for Brock Osweiler being the second coming of Peyton Manning, eh? He was completely brutal this past weekend, leading to rumors of possible return to the starting role for Manning. I think we can all agree on this: Whoever starts isn’t striking fear into the hearts of opposing defenses. Pittsburgh has been pretty solid defensively at home, and they’re nasty against the run, which is about all Denver still does well. Perhaps my top D/ST start if you’re on a budget this week.