Trashman’s Fantasy Fallout Going Into Week 15
Well the first week of the fantasy playoffs is almost in the books (at the time of this publication). I hope you are on the good side of it – Chances are if you are a Kenny Golladay, Kareem Hunt, Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette, Todd Gurley or Odell Beckham owner, you are not. Let’s dig into the Fallout going into Week 15…
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Jaguars – 9 @ Titans – 30
- Don’t get it twisted, Cody Kessler didn’t throw a decent game. He made most of his 240 yards in garbage time. It doesn’t matter, you weren’t using him. And you shouldn’t use him this week against the Redskins, as he may not even be the QB. Blake Bortles could get his job back. The same can be said for Dede Westbrook and Donte Moncrief, who had 10 targets a piece. Most came in garbage time, and the Jaguars don’t project to trail the ‘Skins by 20.
- Leonard Fournette(16 tou, 41 yards) found no room against the Titans, but he’ll have much better luck against the ‘Skins this week. He’ll be the main source of offense in that one, if the Jaguars want to stand a chance.
- We always knew Derrick Henry(17 car, 238 yards, 4 TD) had it in him. It’d just been so long since we’d seen anything like this from him that we never saw it coming. Maybe it’s the catalyst that will take Henry into FFL stardom. He’s always had the capability of a star RB, he’s just never had the backfield to himself. I imagine he’ll see the field more often this week and on.
- Tajae Sharpe injured his leg on Thursday, forcing him from the game. Taywan Taylor lead the Titans in yards(59) and targets(7) in his absence. If Sharpe can’t go this week, Taylor makes for a decent PPR flex against the Giants.
Colts – 24 @ Texans – 21
- It was no surprise the Andrew Luck(415 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) and T.Y Hilton( 9 rec, 199 yards) teed off on the Texans, as Luck’s best game this season came against them in Week 4. The Colts face Dallas this week, but the Cowboys’ secondary bends enough to keep Hilton in play.
- Marlon Mack(14 car, 33 yards, 1 TD) has floundered in his last two games and was only saved by a TD on Sunday. He’ll have a rough go of it against Dallas – I’m not playing him unless I absolutely have to.
- Zach Pascal(5 rec, 68 yards, 1 TD) had the best game of his entire season on Sunday. There’s nothing to see here. He’s just one of many Colts secondary WRs who have had good days with Andrew Luck this season.
- Lamar Miller(19 tou, 52 yards, 1 TD) had a middling day that was salvaged by a late TD. It wasn’t an encouraging sign going into the playoffs, but the Texans play the Jets this week, and they’re soft through and through.
- Demaryius Thomas(4 rec, 48 yards) just isn’t putting up the yardage we need him to make him viable in the playoffs. He’s actually performing worse on a better team with a better QB. His Week 12 boom was a mediocre game masked by 2 TDs.
Falcons – 20 @ Packers – 34
- Ito Smith(74 yards) had his best game of the season while out touching Tevin Coleman 14 to 11 on Sunday. The Falcons face the poorly defensed Lions this week, so he’s not a terrible option for those in dire straits.
- Coleman(41 yards) hasn’t gone over 45 yards in over 3 weeks, so I’m not enthusiastic to use hm in Week 15, especially when the Falcons seem to to favor Smith on the ground.
- Calvin Ridley(1 rec, 10 yards) hit a season low Sunday – if you don’t count his Week 1 no show. I’m at an impasse here, as I don’t want to use Ridley if I can avoid it this week, but Julio Jones will get the Patrick Peterson treatment – Kenny Golladay was held to just 2 catches for 5 yards against him on Sunday. The middle ground might be using Mohamed Sanu(6 rec, 54 yards) whose floor has remained higher than Ridley’s on almost every occasion this season.
- Randall Cobb is the new No.2 in Green Bay, if Aaron Rodgers has anything to say about it, and he does. Just a week after Mike McCarthy was canned, Cobb had his best game since Week 1. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but with Marques Valdes-Scantling fading and no Geronimo Allison, the now healthy Cobb is the de facto 2nd option these days.
Giants – 40 @ Redskins – 16
- No word yet on whether Odell Beckham will go in Week 15, although there was no word he wasn’t going to play Sunday before the news was sprung on hapless fantasy owners. Not technically out of the playoff race, the Giants would be behooved to use him in Week 15 if he’s close – Which he probably is, as he wasn’t announced out until the last minute.
- With no ODB, the Giants resigned to focusing on Barkley, per usual, along with Evan Engram(3 rec, 77 yards) and Sterling Shepard. Shepard’s line almost didn’t show it(2 rec, 17 yards), but he saved his day with a TD – He actually led the Giants in targets with 6. Both would be reasonable options against Tennessee this week if ODB can’t go.
- QB Josh Johnson(240 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) was signed off the street a week ago and promptly outplayed Mark Sanchez, who hasn’t thrown a TD since 2015. Johnson may actually give the Redskins passing game a boost, though he doesn’t seem to have a positive on the other Redskins runners who combined for 39 yards on the ground – though this was largely the result of the game flow, as the Giants were up 34 at the half. Jackson’s feet should elevate his floor moving forward, but the ‘Skins play the Jaguars this week in Jacksonville, so I’m not advising his usage.
- Adrian Peterson had his worst game of the season on Sunday – he wasn’t the only one – leaving owners with a bad taste in their collective mouth. In negative gamescripts this season, he’s been woefully ineffective. Things probably won’t go as sideways this week, as the Jags can actually be run on, but that’s not a chance I want to take.
- Jamison Crowder(2 rec, 87 yards, 1 TD) led the ‘Skins in targets and yardage on Sunday in his second game back from injury. Jordan Reed left the game with an injured toe in the first quarter, so Crowder became the safety blanket for both beleaguered QBs. He’ll probably serve a similar role in Jacksonville if Reed can’t go, and he probably won’t.
Jets – 27 @ Bills – 23
- Isaiah Crowell left the game in the 1st quarter with a toe injury, never to return. Elijah McGuire(83 yards, 1 TD) played well in his absence and will be looking at a workhorse role against the Texans this week if Crowell stays sidelined.
- With Quincy Enunwa dealing with ankle injuries and Jermaine Kearse faltering for reasons I can’t explain, Robby Anderson(4 rec, 76 yards, 1 TD) is once again the best receiver option in New York. His big play ability makes him a deep league flex this week for those who have strong stomachs.
- LeSean McCoy left the game with a hamstring injury on Buffalo’s first drive of the day and did not return. Josh Allen(9 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD) assumed the role of lead back in his absence and did quite well – he might want to consider a position change. Seriously though, the loss of McCoy would put Chris Ivory(12 car, 42 yards) in the driver’s seat. He’s done well this season in games where he’s gotten double-digit touches.
- Robert Foster has cleared 90 yards in 3 of his last 4 games, but he only had one catch in the game that he didn’t. He’s a major boom or bust candidate, who’s better left for DFS tourney plays.
- Zay Jones led the Bills in targets, but was unproductive on the day. Jones was a hot pickup during the week, after scoring twice in Week 13, so this was a disappointing outcome. No Bills receiver can be depended on during these fantasy playoffs.
Panthers – 20 @ Browns – 26
- Cam Newton(288 yards, 1 INT) isn’t right. His shoulder is ailing and it’s showing in his gameplay. Even against the Saints, in what would normally be an exciting matchup, I can’t advocate going out of your way to use him.
- Both Curtis Samuel(4 rec, 80 yards) and D.J. Moore(5 rec, 67 yards) received 8 targets in this one, but Ian Thomas(9 rec, 77 yards) topped them both with 11 on the day. With Cam’s shoulder giving him hell, Thomas serves as a short distance target hound. You can use Moore and Samuel this week, but it’s a risky situation. Thomas and Christian McCaffrey are the only safe Panthers this week.
- Breshad Perriman had the best game of his season and perhaps his career on Sunday with his 2 catch 88 yard day. He caught both of his only 2 targets and most of his yards came on a 66 yard play, so he’s not a wise pickup this week. There are too many random mouths to feed in Cleveland.
- Jarvis Landry had his 2nd strong showing in a row this week, with 111 yards and 2 TDs. Landry is coming on and gets to face a Broncos team that will be minus Chris Harris this week.
Patriots – 33 @ Dolphins – 34
- James White(6 tou, 28 yards) led the backfield in snaps on Sunday, but he did not reward his owners. He’s going to have more variability now that Burkhead is back in the mix, but he’s in line for a lot of work against the Steelers this week – They have trouble with pass-catching backs.
- Cordarrelle(2 rec, 51 yards, 1 TD) Patterson started over Chris Hogan in 3 WR sets on Sunday. It was Patterson’s 2nd straight 50+ yard week in a row. He’s not getting enough targets to rely on as anything more than a high upside flex for the desperate though.
- Kenyan Drake finished off that miraculous last second play to gut the Pats, but he was quiet otherwise, touching the ball 7 times to Frank Gore‘s 13 and losing 2 touches to Brandon Bolden – though Bolden’s usage was probably only a revenge move against the Pats. Either way, Drake will be a risky TD dependent play against the Vikings this week.
- Kenny Stills went ballistic against the Pats’ secondary, but he’ll have a harder time burning the Vikings this week. Ryan Tannehill‘s favorite target since his return, Stills makes for a high upside start for those who need to fill their flex spot.
Ravens – 24 @ Chiefs – 27
- Lamar Jackson played a gutsy, but mistake prone, game versus the Chiefs before leaving the game in overtime with injury. We may have seen the last of Jackson for awhile, as the injury is a convenient excuse to give Joe Flacco another go of it. I’m not sure going back to Flacco is the right move for the team, but it betters the fantasy chances of the Raven WRs, who have been largely excluded from the game plan since Jackson has been under center.
- Kenneth Dixon(80 yards, 1 TD) logged 9 touches to Gus Edwards‘(67 yards) 16 against the Chiefs and made the bigger impact on the game. They’re redundant players in my opinion, though Dixon is a bit more of a pass catcher. Both get downgrades if Flacco is under center this week.
- Spencer Ware vastly improved on his performance from Week 13 by putting up 129 all-purpose yards on 23 touches on Sunday. Damien Williams ate into his load again(12 tou, 30 yards, 2 TD), but it’s nice to know Ware isn’t a bum. He is dealing with a shoulder injury though so it might be a good idea to add Williams in a short week against the Chargers in what should be a high scoring game.
- Sammy Watkins is out 4 to 6 weeks, and though Kelvin Benjamin didn’t play in Week 14, he will likely make his KC debut this week. Benjamin isn’t the tour de force he used to be, but he’s a big target on a team that often scores at will.
Saints – 28 @ Buccaneers – 24
- Tre’Quan Smith is an enigma. He’s now laid eggs in 3 of his last 4 games, and that other game is a 157 yard monster. You can’t use him in the playoffs. You actually probably aren’t in the playoffs anymore at this point if you used him on Sunday. My condolences.
- Mark Ingram(14 tou, 53 yards, 1 TD) bounced back a bit after a lackluster Week 13. If you look at his game log, he gets less work and performs more poorly against good defenses – go figure. Fortunately for him, Carolina, the opponent this week, has fallen off the map defensively.
- Chris Godwin received a team high 10 targets in Week 14, but only had 1 catch on the day for 13 yards. Eli Apple handled him nicely and Jameis Winston was erratic. Still, if DeSean Jackson sits this week, Godwin will be worth trying again.
Bengals – 21 @ Chargers – 26
- Jeff Driskel(182 yards, 1 TD) is a game manager at best, and has diminished the fantasy stock of every Bengal not named Joe Mixon. Tyler Boyd(3 rec, 52 yards) only remains reliable because the Bengals play Oakland this week.
- Austin Ekeler performed against the Bengals like the guy we’d hoped we see in Week 13. Melvin could return this week, but there’s a good chance his snaps would be limited. Keep Ekeler on standby, as he could be a busy man in Week 15.
- Justin Jackson and Ekeler switched scripts in Week 15, with Jackson playing the dead fish in this one. If Gordon goes, Jackson is unstartable. If he doesn’t, Jackson would be a risky flex against the Chiefs.
Broncos – 14 @ 49ers – 20
- Courtland Sutton(2 rec, 14 yards) flopped, while Tim Patrick(7 rec, 85 yards) and DaeSean Hamilton(7 rec, 85 yards, 1 TD) both thrived on Sunday. The Broncos face the Browns, and potentially Denzel Ward this week, so Sutton can’t be relied upon in the playoffs. Patrick and Hamilton make for PPR flexes though.
- Jeff Wilson Jr.(24 tou, 96 yards) took some of the pressure off of Nate Mullens Sunday, touching the ball 24 times. The health of Matt Breida will decide if Wilson can be used this week, but if Breida can’t go, Wilson is a surefire RB2 against the Seahawks. Alfred Morris is a non-issue.
- Dante Pettis(3 rec, 49 yards, 1 TD) popped even with Marquise Goodwin back in the mix. Mullens trusts him more than anyone not named George Kittle, and he’s a solid start even against Seattle this week.
Eagles – 23 @ Cowboys – 29
- Josh Adams only touched the ball 7 times in a highly competitive game on Sunday afternoon, but that was 6 more times than any other Eagles back. He’ll have an easier go of it against a Rams team that just gave up over 100 yards to Jordan Howard.
- Darren Sproles(3 rec, 34 yards, 1 TD) was active in the passing game in his 2nd game back from injury. It wasn’t a huge impact, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he sees considerable action against the Rams this week, as the Eagles try to match their pace.
- The Cowboys opened it up in the air on Sunday. Michael Gallup saw 9 targets and Blake Jarwin saw 7 to Cooper and Elliott’s 13 a piece. Cooper makes Gallup a viable option, as defenses game plan to take Cooper away, and this may have been a breakout game for Jarwin to some effect. I’m not bothering with either outside of DFS though.
Lions – 17 @ Cardinals – 3
- Zach Zenner led the Lions in rushing on Sunday with 12 carries for 54 yards a TD. He looked better than LeGarrette Blount, who received the same number of carries against the Cardinals. Theo RIddick was in the mix too with 6 carries and 4 receptions. This crowded backfield on a low scoring team makes for fantasy poison. I’m staying away.
- Kenny Golladay killed many a playoff run with his pitiful 2 rec, 5 yard day. This is partially on Matt Stafford, who only threw the ball 4 times after the half. Patrick Peterson plays a big part too. Either way, the Lions face Buffalo this week, so I’m hands off Golladay anywhere it counts.
- I nor 99% of the football public knew who Trent Sherfield was coming into Week 14. It doesn’t matter outside of DFS tournaments anyway. In these playoffs, I’m not sniffing around any Cardinal other than David Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald in PPRs.
Steelers – 21 @ Raiders – 24
- It’s hard to hate Antonio Brown after so many years of fantasy excellence, but a little ire in his direction is warranted after a 35 yard day in the fantasy playoffs. It was literally his worst game of the season, and it came against arguably the worst team in the league. You have to play him in Week 15, if you make it there, in spite of this effort though.
- Jaylen Samuels couldn’t get much going on the ground(11 car, 28 yards), but he was fairly productive through the air(7 rec, 64 yards) on Sunday. Stevan Ridley(5 car, 4 yards) served almost exclusively as a TD vulture. Even if Conner returns this week, Samuels should have a 3rd down role moving forward in an effort to keep Conner fresh for the playoffs… well, actual playoffs.
- The Raiders put in a valiant effort as a team in an improbable win against the Steelers, but you can’t seriously consider any of them, save Jared Cook(7 rec, 116 yards), for the fantasy playoffs. FIne, I suppose Doug Martin could be flexed in a pinch, but that’s as far as I will go and no further.
Rams – 6 @ Bears – 15
- The Bears put on a defensive clinic against the Rams Sunday night, limiting Jared Goff to 4 INT and virtually nothing else. Only one Ram topped 60 yards(Robert Woods, 61 yards), and Todd Gurley(58 yards) had his worst game of his season and maybe career. These guys are going to make the Eagles pay for the Bears’ transgressions this week, so fire up all your Rams if you got ’em.
- The Bears did it on the ground this week, running at will and keeping the Rams off the field, as much as anyone can. Jordan Howard seems to be on the uptick, as he’s had his best 2 game stint this season over the last 2 weeks. He gets the middling Packers run defense this week, so start him with confidence.
- The Bears WR corps didn’t have to do much, with the running game going so well, but Mitch Trubisky wasn’t helping by throwing 3 picks. Allen Robinson did receive 8 targets, so maybe he’s someone you can look to in Week 15 to match DaVante Adams on the other side of the ball, but he’s the only Bear receiver I’m looking at, as Anthony Miller only got 1 target on the night.