Week 15 RB/TE Start ’em Sit ’em

There are only two weeks left, unless you’re in a league that oddly includes week 17 as your playoff finals. We are already underway after Damien Williams and Justin Jackson showed what they can do when they are designated as the lead RB for their team. I hope you had either of them in your lineups!

Meanwhile, Travis Kelce’s performance reminds me of the scene in Rocky IV when Rocky finally lands a punch on Ivan Drago that draws blood. Rocky returns to the corner where his trainer shouts, “He’s NOT a machine!”

On the Chargers side, I’ve heard several people talking up Antonio Gates as if he had an incredible night. 4 for 54, folks. It’s okay, but nothing worth bringing up at the water cooler.

Let’s discuss some starts and sits.

Running Back: Start ’em

DALVIN COOK (MINNESOTA VIKINGS)

The Vikings return home, licking their wounds, after being decimated by the Seattle Seahawks. They have fired their “Sean McVay 2.0” OC, John DeFilippo. The lone shining offensive star from that game was Dalvin Cook.

Now, the Vikings are in Minneapolis and they are facing the Miami Dolphins defense who is easily beaten on the ground. It’s quite possible that the Vikings stop trying to make Kirk Cousins a thing and focus on that electrifying piece in their backfield: Dalvin Cook. That dude is absolutely amazing when he’s healthy. Guess what? He’s healthy.

The Dolphins can be exposed on the ground. On the season, they are the 8th worst team against the Running Back position. While they have improved over the past few weeks, it can be explained. The Patriots had to keep up with the Miami offense last week while also suffering an identity crises at Running Back. Are they RBBC? It looks like it.

In week 13, they held LeSean McCoy in check, but allowed Josh Allen to rush for 135 yards. In week 12, Marlon Mack rushed for 85 yards, but it was 5.7 yards per carry.

If Dalvin Cook can touch the ball 15 times on the ground and another 5 times through the air, his big play ability will likely equate to 100 yards and a touchdown, if not more. Those are the kind of numbers that I can get behind.

DOUG MARTIN (OAKLAND RAIDERS)

When do you definitely want to start an Oakland Raiders Running Back in 2018?

  • When they play at home OR
  • When they play against the Cincinnati Bengals

They only get one of those as the Raiders are travelling to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. Defensively, this matchup is a dumpster fire. On the offense, you can safely start your Running Backs. Joe Mixon is going to light up the universe; he’s an auto-start. That brings us to Doug Martin.

Doug Martin has rushed for almost 100 yards and has scored 2 touchdowns in the last two matchups. He is still capable of giving you fantasy value. The Bengals are a perfect foe for your semi-finals roster. The Cincinnati Bengals are the worst team against the Running Back position. In week 13, Philip Lindsay rushed for 157 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. In week 14 (also known as “the week that Austin Ekeler looked tired”), Austin Ekeler rushed for 66 yards and scored a touchdown. These are numbers that you can believe in. Doug Martin will have a good game. If you’re in a really bad pinch or a deeper league, Jalen Richard should also have a decent game.

Running Back: Sit ’em

MARK INGRAM (NEW ORLEANS SAINTS)

Look at Mark Ingram’s performance since returning from suspension. One thing is clear: he is touchdown dependent in order to give you fantasy value. If you are in need of a “swing for the fences” player, this is your man. Keep in mind that he will not be fantasy relevant if he doesn’t score.

It gets worse. The Saints are travelling to Carolina to face the Panthers in a divisional matchup. It takes a special opponent (like the Bengals) for me to have confidence in a Running Back in an away game. To add fuel to this fire, the Panthers and Saints have always put on a show. Even though the Panthers have lost 5 in a row and appear to be falling apart at the seams, they will very likely show up for this divisional game in front of their home crowd who are hungry for a win.

Alvin Kamara is the lead back, Mark Ingram is picking up the scraps. If he scores a touchdown, your week is saved. This week, that is a huge If.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS BACKFIELD

What the heck is going on? Despite a positive rushing matchup against the Dolphins, Tom Brady threw the ball 43 times. The last 3 rushing touchdowns have been scored by James Develin. James Develin? James White had his expected PPR value game against the Vikings in week 13, but almost disappeared in week 14.  Sony Michel is getting the touches, but isn’t earning any value with them. It just hasn’t made sense.

But wait! There’s more! The Patriots travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers. On the season, the Steelers are the 6th best defense against the Running Back position for fantasy. Yes, they are on a 3 week losing streak and have allowed a rushing touchdown in each of their last 6 games. They are still holding the opposing Running Backs to low Yards Per Carry. So, let’s say the Patriots get to the goalline in a short yardage situation. Recent weeks have shown that they will give the ball to James Develin. Are you putting HIM in your starting lineup in the semi-finals? I didn’t think so.

Between the muddled backfield, the negative matchup, the away game, and the vultured touchdowns by James Develin, I just cannot get behind any Patriots Running Backs.

Tight End: Start ’em

KYLE RUDOLPLH (MINNESOTA VIKINGS)

We know he has the ability. The old OC just wasn’t giving him the opportunity. New OC, home game, and a positive matchup against the Dolphins leads me to believe that we will see a better game out of Kyle Rudolph.

I’ve already written about John DeFilippo above. We don’t need to rehash it here. Let’s just say that we could see a bit of a shake-up in who Kirk Cousins targets.

The Dolphins have been beaten by the Tight End position for the last half of the season! There are some obvious results like Gronk in week 14 or Ebron in week 12. But, there have been some other weeks that aren’t so obvious: Michael Roberts in week 7 or Jordan Thomas in week 8. In case those names are unfamiliar, they are from the Lions and Texans, respectively. My point is: You do not need to be a household name Tight End to have a great week against the Miami Dolphins defense.

Kyle Rudolph might even be on the free agent list in your league. If you aren’t fortunate enough to be a Kelce/Ertz/Ebron/Kittle owner and have been streaming the position, this is a great time to pick up Kyle Rudolph.

CJ UZOMAH (CINCINNATI BENGALS)

They’re playing the Raiders. The Oakland Raiders are the worst team against fantasy Tight Ends. CJ Uzomah has received 22 targets in the last 3 games. He will have the opportunity and Oakland knows how to allow production to the position.

Just like I said above, if you aren’t an owner of the big 4, you could do a lot worse than CJ Uzomah. You won’t feel very confident, but at least you’ll have the opportunity to do well.

Tight End: Sit ’em

TREY BURTON (CHICAGO BEARS)

Two weeks ago, I wrote that I had given up on Trey Burton until he proved otherwise. Well, the return of Mitchell Trubisky and the positive matchup against the Rams blinded me. I called Trey Burton a Start. Shame on me. Shame. On. Me. 2 catches for 22 yards.

The Bears might be playing at home this week, but they’re playing against the Green Bay Packers who, for all their faults, are the 3rd best team against fantasy Tight Ends. If you haven’t already, drop Trey Burton. Get that weight off of your shoulders.

Good luck to each of you in week 15! I usually say, “Unless you’re facing me.” However, I had a dreadful fantasy year in 2018. I am in exactly two playoff matchups this week. I guarantee that you aren’t facing me. I can say without any hesitation, “Good luck to you in Week 15!”

5 Rounds of Week 15 DRAFT Advice


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High Hopes, Low Ceilings in the First Round

Week 15 is a tricky one; loaded with tough match-ups and late season uncertainty. That uncertainty starts at the running back position in week one. Barkley, Zeke and McCaffery are projected at the top by DRAFT, however, they face tough match-ups that give them low ceilings.

Barkley faces off against the Titans; who rank 27th in run defense; only allowing more fantasy points than the Bears, Saints, Ravens, and Cowboys. Even more challenging for Barkley: they’ve allowed the least receiving yards to running backs this season (334), and 0 touchdowns through the air to running backs. Similar challenges exist for CMC,even though the New Orleans name is a tempting trap. The Saints started slow,but over the last 4 weeks their rush defense is 2nd best in the league. They’ve allowed just 201 rushing yards and 1 touchdown over the last month. Zeke faces similar challenges against a reborn Colt’s defense that’s allowed the 9th least fantasy points to opposing running backs over the last 4 weeks.

Instead of these 3, I’m sticking to Gurley as my first round running back of choice. Instead of a red-hot defense fending for playoff contention, Gurley gets a depleted Eagles defense scraping it’s way to the end of the season, likely without their staring quarterback. The Eagles have allowed 537 rushing yards (2nd most), 4 touchdowns (4th most), 196 receiving yards (4th most), and 2 receiving touchdowns (2ndmost) over the last 4 games; totaling the 2nd most fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs.

The 2nd Round is for WRs

There’re few options at running back once you venture into the second round, with the exception of Mixon or Fournette I’m pivoting to wideout. In particular I’m targeting JuJu and DHop. Smith-Schuster is coming off a WR6 finish in Week 14. Over the last 4 weeks, he’s torched Jacksonville,Denver, the Chargers, and Oakland for 35 receptions and 552 yards. In Week 15,he gets the Patriots-who have allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers over the last 4 weeks than the Chargers, Raiders, and Jaguars. Hopkins faces off against the 25th worst passing defense on the season; the Jets have also allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing wideouts over the last 4 weeks. That’s enough for me to go big on this big redzone threat.

3 Upside Targets in the 3rd Round

Winning big in DRAFT usually means hitting on a risky type player. I see 3 of those upside plays going consistently in the 3rd,and even early 4th, rounds. First up: Tarik Cohen, who scored players big when he went off in Week 13 for 186 total yards, and 12 receptions.He followed that up with 89 total yards and 4 receptions against a Rams defense that’s allowed the 10th least fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. In Week 15 he gets Green Bay, who have allowed the 14th most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Cooper is falling in draft position because of his tough match-up this week, still Cooper finished as WR in Weeks 12 and 14. I’m also willing to roll the dice on Dalvin Cook; who has at least 75 total yards in each of his last 3 games, and 2 total touchdowns. In a Week 15 must-win match-up he faces a Miami Dolphins defense that’s allowed the 8th most rushing yards to opposing running backs this season.

4th Round TE Pivots

Tight Ends are always enticing on DRAFT, especially in 6-team formats. This week, however, I’m okay with 3 of them. My top choice is absolutely the man I (and likely you) have been fading all year: Gronk. We saw flashes of the old Gronk last week (8 receptions, 107 yards, 1 touchdown). This week he gets Pittsburgh, who he has a history of dominating. The Steelers have also allowed the 5th most fantasy points to the tight end position this season (104 receptions, 853 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns). Ebron has been much more consistent (TE2 on the season) and is averaging 63 receiving yards and a touchdown per game since Week 12. Kittle has a much tougher match-up (Seattle has allowed the 3rd least fantasy points to tight ends this year),but he just dropped 210 receiving yards and is clearly the only option the 49ers feel comfortable relying on.

5 Quick Fire Round 5 QBs

This is a week I highly recommend you wait on QB for: my top 2 ranked Quarterbacks of the week (Mahomes and Rivers) both played on Thursday Night Football. That should leave you with these 5 options, that all have differing upside.

Deshaun Watson is facing off against a Jets team that has allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, making him a fantastic stack with Hopkins (mentioned above) for big play potential.

Jared Goff will be available likely all the way to the end,after the worst performance of his short career in Week 14. The Eagles,however, have allowed the 2nd most passing yards this season and the 3rd most fantasy points over the last two weeks. Stack that with the QB8 on the season, and a likely high time of possession for the Rams and I see no reason to fade.

Andrew Luck continues to prove that volume is king: he’s thrown for at least 37 attempts in his last 3 games, and over 30 times in 10 of his 14 games, while performing as QB7. He’s thrown for at least 3 touchdowns in 6 of his 14 games, and of at least 340 yards in 2 of his last 3 games. Dallas isn’t a great match-up but they’ve allowed the 16th most passing yards and 9th most passing touchdowns over the last 4 games-so they’re beatable.

Lamar Jackson has finished as QB14, QB11, and QB15 since taking over for Flacco. This week, at home, he gets the Buccaneers-who have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Vegas pegs this game at 46.5, a high total compared to Baltimore’s usual lines, with an implied total for the Ravens of 26; that’s enough upside for a round 5 pick for me.

Mitch Trubisky gets a beaten-up Packers defense in Week 15;who have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over the last 4 weeks. Even with 2 weeks missed, Trubisky is QB15 on the season; and will likely be faded because of two weak performances against the Rams and Vikings. Trubisky, however, has 4 games with over 300 passing yards this season, and 5 games with more than 40 rushing yards, including 4 total rushing touchdowns.


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WEEK 15 DRAFTKINGS/FANDUEL SELECTIONS


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QUARTERBACK 

Mitchell Trubisky: vs GB (DK 6000; FD 7900)

Glance over the game logs of the Packers and it becomes apparent that they’ve faced weak competition at the quarterback position this season, especially at home.  When removed from the friendly confines of Lambeau Field, they’ve allowed multiple touchdown passes in five of six road games and face a quarterback who has put together three 30+ DK point performances at Soldier Field. 

Not many will start Mitchell Trubisky after posting a dud against the Rams last week but that’s the type of low-rostered individual that can win a GPP if he goes off.  The Packers are in the top 10 in FPA to both receivers lined up on the perimeter and in the slot and with the quality of weapons that he has in his arsenal, expect Trubisky to rebound from his dismal performance on Sunday night.

Tom Brady: at PIT (DK 5900; FD 7900)

The bye week has rejuvenated not just the future first-ballot Hall Of Famer but the New England offense as a whole as prior to the bye, Tom Brady had three 300+ passing yard games along with throwing 1.7 touchdowns and causing .9 turnovers per game in the first 10 weeks.  Since then, he’s thrown for two 300+ yard passing games, six touchdowns, and turned the ball over just once in the last three and duels with a Steelers defense that is stingy against running backs but can be penetrated through the air.  He’s discounted on both sites in a game that has the highest total on the main slate and given Pittsburgh’s effectiveness against running backs on the ground, look for Brady to sling the ball early and often in what could be a high-scoring affair at Heinz Field.

Josh Allen: vs DET (DK 5800; FD 7600)

As long as he continues to use his legs to return value, Josh Allen will be an asset for DFS purposes.  This play doesn’t come without risk as he’s completed just over 50% percent of his throws and turned over the ball five times in three games since returning from injury.  If he can put it all together against a middle of the pack Detroit defense, he is a bargain at his affordable salary.  An Allen, Buffalo defensive stack is in play here as the Lions offense has been anemic with Marvin Jones and Kerryon Johnson absent from action, scoring no more than 17 points in the last three weeks while turning the ball over five times.  

RUNNING BACK

Saquon Barkley: vs TEN (DK 9400; FD 9400)

He’s proving that he is indeed a generational talent as he hasn’t hit the wall that rookies encounter at this point in the season and is comfortably on pace to reach 2,000 scrimmage yards in his first year at the pro level.  Although the Tennessee defense has surrendered the 2nd fewest FPA to running backs and has improved tremendously from prior year against those out of the backfield, I’ll take my chances on Saquon Barkley who has posted 20+ DK point performances in all but one game. 

The Titans bolstered a respectable defense against running backs last year that Todd Gurley destroyed in week 16 to the tune of 44.6 FD/55.6 DK points and Barkley already possesses the ability and skillset to mimic that performance, even with the maddeningly inconsistent Eli Manning under center.  He’s worth paying up for as he’s all but a lock to touch the ball 20+ times and with Gurley, McCaffery, and Kamara all unavailable on the main slate, he’s worth the roster spot while the rest of the field ponders the tough matchup on paper and gets cute.

Ezekiel Elliott: at IND (DK 9000; FD 8800)

He’s touching the ball a ridiculous 32.5 times per contest in the last four and posting 24.42 FD/31.02 DK points in that span.  The coaching staff has succeeded in getting Ezekiel Elliott more involved out of the backfield and this is before he caught 12 balls in week 14 and now he faces a Colts defense that gives up the second-most receptions to pass catching backs, something to keep in mind in DraftKings scoring.  Jamming in Barkley and Elliott is in play with the lack of reliable running back options this week and with a +10.4 DK point differential since the arrival of Amari Cooper, look for Zeke to continue his second-half dominance.

Leonard Fournette: vs WAS (DK 7500; FD 8200)

Prior to the blowout loss against the Titans and the game he was ejected in Buffalo, Leonard Fournette was touching the ball 29.5 times and he should see that volume again in a game that the Jaguars should easily win with Josh Johnson suiting up as the starter. 

The Washington defense has been hemorrhaging yards on the ground as opposing backs are accumulating 154.25 rushing yards per game in the last four weeks and with Cody Kessler under center, expect another run-heavy gameplan against a team that simply can’t stop the run.  He’s a nice pivot in a great spot from the aforementioned expensive backs and will save at least $1000 in salary on both sites.

David Johnson: at ATL (DK 7100; FD 7400)

The Arizona offensive line is in shambles as three rookies are now thrust into starting action last week and it showed as David Johnson was only able to muster a meager 3.26 yards per carry on 15 attempts.  However, Byron Leftwich is trying everything he can to get his best offensive weapon involved as evidenced by his 25 touches per game in the last five weeks and eight receptions out of the backfield against the Lions. 

Even with a makeshift line, DJ is capable of more than the eight catches for 12 yards he generated in week 14, especially against a Falcons team that allows the most receptions to running backs and has been bitten by this weakness for the better part of two years.  He’s more of a GPP play as the Arizona offense has been a question mark all season but if there was a spot for DJ to erupt, this is the one.

WIDE RECEIVER

JuJu Smith-Schuster: vs NE (DK 8000; FD 7800)

The New England defense is in the bottom half in FPA to wide receivers but can be attacked via the slot receiver as defending the slot has been a challenge for the Patriots.  Enter JuJu Smith-Schuster who is leading the team in receptions and receiving yards and is cheaper than Antonio Brown on both sites. 

Recent slot receivers to face the Patriots like Jermaine Kearse and Adam Thielen have seen double-digit targets and a touchdown in two of the last three weeks while JuJu has seen double-digit targets in three of his last four games and crossed the pylons three times in that timeframe.  Getting exposure to the game with the highest total on the main slate is always a viable strategy, more so when this game is the only one that boasts a total over 50 and inserting JuJu is a great way to do just that.

Julian Edelman: at PIT (DK 7200; FD 7200)

Like their opponent, the Steelers have also been victim to the slot receiver, allowing the 2nd most FPA to those lined up in the slot.  Julian Edelman is seeing nine targets per game and it’s a safe assumption he’ll see at least that amount of volume with Tom Brady forced to throw more against a solid Steelers defense against running backs on the ground and Josh Gordon seeing shadow coverage from Joe Haden.  He’s already exceeded his 2016 touchdown total in nine games played this season and expect Brady to look for Edelman in the red zone as he’s seen the most red zone targets since he has returned from suspension.

Tyler Boyd: vs OAK (DK 5700; FD 6700)

His ceiling definitely drops with Jeff Driskel at the helm but this is about opportunity meeting a reasonable price point.  Fellow slot receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was last seen torching the Raiders and Tyler Boyd is capable of putting together a performance that at least returns value and possibly exceeds it if this game between two terrible defenses generates points on the scoreboard.  As this is the final home game of 2018 and possibly the final time Marvin Lewis coaches at Paul Brown Stadium, expect the Bengals to come out with extra motivation for their head coach and Tyler Boyd to be an integral part of that effort.

Adam Humphries: at BAL (DK 5100; FD 6200)

The Ravens don’t bolster many weaknesses on defense but the two positions that have given them fits are the tight end and the slot receiver.  Baltimore has been lights out against perimeter receivers which should funnel targets in the direction of Adam Humphries who has posted a double-digit fantasy point floor in five of the last seven games.  He’s tied for the team lead with 12 red zone targets, four which he has converted into touchdowns.  Given that Jameis Winston will be expected to throw the ball a ton as the Bucs are 7.5-point underdogs against a tenacious Baltimore defense against running backs, Humphries will be relied upon to move the ball in a tough matchup.

TIGHT END

Eric Ebron: vs DAL (DK 5900; FD 6500)

You could argue he’s still too cheap for the output he’s generated since Jack Doyle went on IR and as long as he remains underpriced, Eric Ebron will be an option worth consideration.  He draws a Cowboys defense that Zach Ertz has carved up twice and the way the Indianapolis offense utilizes the tight end, Ebron should find similar success in a game that could see the teams exchanges blows throughout the afternoon.  He’s as reliable of an option at the position in what has been anything but predictable this year; start him with confidence.

 Rob Gronkowski: at PIT (DK 5800; FD 6900)

His ownership levels are naturally going to skyrocket due to posting his best fantasy performance of the season as well as Kelce and Ertz being off the main slate this week.  However, Rob Gronkowski’s next two opponents are ones that he has crushed throughout his career and it begins with a visit to Heinz Field against a Steelers team that he’s found paydirt eight times in six regular-season meetings while averaging 110.66 receiving yards in those contests.  Tight ends have had their way with Pittsburgh throughout 2018 and an underpriced Gronk on both sites should continue this trend and his dominance of the Steelers.

Anthony Firkser: at NYG (DK 2900; FD 5100)

Even before Jonnu Smith was put on IR, Anthony Firkser has had a solid floor of three catches in the last four weeks.  The only competition he now has for targets at the position are Luke Stocker and MyCole Pruitt, both who have had no more than two receptions in any game in 2018.  Firkser enables the rostering of two or three of the higher-priced options on a main slate where value hasn’t opened up at any of the positions at the time of this writing.  If paying up for Gronk, Ebron, or Cook isn’t an option, Firkser is a punt with upside as he’s shown reliability by catching all 16 passes thrown his way this season.

DEFENSE 

Jacksonville: vs WAS (DK 3400; FD 4800)

Expect a more valiant effort from a Jacksonville defense in front of its fans for the final time in 2018.  With Josh Johnson assuming the starting role for the Redskins, the Jaguars should feast on this backup that saw his first NFL action last week since 2013.

Baltimore: vs TB (DK 3000; FD 5000)

No team has given away the ball more than Tampa Bay’s 31 offensive turnovers through 13 games.  Although the Ravens have forced less than a turnover per game, the chances of multiple Buccaneer turnovers in this game is likely as they’ve turned the ball over multiple times in 9 of 13 games this year.

Chicago: vs GB (DK 2900; FD 3700)

Byron Bell, Bryan Bulaga, and Lane Taylor were all inactive last week en route to Aaron Rodgers being sacked four times against the Falcons.  Taylor could be the only one of the three to suit up for the Packers offensive line which means only good things for a tenacious Chicago defense.  

PRICE SHOPPING

Each week, I will identify what players are bargains based on the salary cap percentage difference they represent on the respective site.  Here are the notable week 15 bargains from both sites:

NOTABLE DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS

QB Aaron Rodgers: 2.1

QB Matt Ryan: 1.8

TE Anthony Firkser: 2.7

DEF Baltimore: 2.33

NOTABLE FANDUEL BARGAINS

RB Ezekiel Elliott: 3.34

RB Saquon Barkley: 3.14

WR Adam Thielen: 3.54

WR Odell Beckham Jr: 2.87




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Week 15 QB Streaming Options


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Last Week’s Result: Josh Allen came through on the ground once again this week rushing for 101 yards and a TD. Overall his fantasy week was decent because of this, but was hurt because of his lack of production passing. The turnovers hurt him as he threw 2 interceptions and 0 TDs. If he had been able to produce anything in the passing game he would have been a top 10 play, instead he finished with 18.34 fantasy points for a respectable week. Let us jump into the streaming options this week as we get deeper into the fantasy playoffs.

Main Streaming Option: Lamar Jackson

To be honest I am surprised he is still owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Last week he has another good fantasy outing rushing for over 60 yards for the 4th straight game. He even threw 2 TDs, even though it was only on 147 yards it was nice to see him produce for fantasy in the passing game. This week the Ravens are a 7.5 point favorite at home against Tampa Bay. Tampa continues to be a positive match up for fantasy QBs and Jackson should be able to exploit this. The biggest risk with Jackson is his play style knocking him out of the game; he has to come out last week against the Chiefs. Flacco is healthy but the Ravens appear to be moving on to their QB of the future and will continue to start Jackson. He is 3-1 with his only loss coming against the Chiefs in overtime so it is the right call. I would not be surprised to see him on championship teams this year.

Alternate 1: Derek Carr

I keep finding myself look at Carr as a potential streamer each week. He has had a run of positive matchups and has been able to exploit them for solid fantasy results. This week he has another positive match up against the Cincinnati Bengals. He has thrown multiple touchdowns the last 2 weeks against teams giving up points to QBs and the Bengals have been worse against QB in fantasy than every team but Atlanta. Carr has only thrown the ball less than 30 times twice the whole season, there is no reason to expect that to change this week. The opportunity is there with the volume for Carr and the matchup is the best one he has faced all season. The Raiders might be a mess of a team right now and are trying to figure out where they will play their home games next season, but Carr is just good enough to succeed for fantasy in a situation like this.

Alternate 2: Josh Johnson

This is a game I have no interest in watching. I do not even think Johnson is a good QB. This is going to be ugly and Johnson is really a Hail Mary play in a 2 QB league where you lost Carson Wentz. There are not a lot of QBs under the 50% threshold at this point. His entire value is based on his ability to run the ball, he showed it last week taking over for Sanchez and finishing as the QB6 on the week in about half a game. He ran 11 times and scored a TD and he seems like he will rely on his legs. This is going to be the ugliest QB match up of the season as he faces off against Cody Kessler. Johnson is another example that running QBs have more value in fantasy, even if they aren’t any good. Josh Allen is available an actually a safe option at this point, but I wanted to highlight Johnson for extreme cases. I am in a 18 team dynasty league so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him swing a matchup in a league like that.

These are the names I am looking at for the fantasy playoffs. The first 2 are pretty safe options given their great match ups and the last is a giant risk that could pay off for anyone having the courage, or more likely the desperation, to play him. Good look in the semi-finals this week (I am assuming if you are reading this you are not playing your championship week 17 because gross.).


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Redraft Waiver Wire Targets: Week 15


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If you’re reading this, you’ve won. You progressed to the semi-finals. You need a pickup or two to solidify your options for game-day (don’t freak out, we help with start-sit questions too). You may even be in a pinch like I was, afraid to start your non-stud guys and need a capable stand-in. That’s what we’re here for, breath and read on.

Due to our scheduled releases, this will be completed before the Monday night games as well as before I’ve had time to digest every game in depth. So with that being said,  stay tuned to my tweets for more gems later on in the week and Follow THE Fantasy Vigilante HERE!

Quarterbacks:

There’s only one QB I’d possibly trust, as a last ditch option, this deep in the playoffs:

Josh Allen

ESPN OWN %: 16.9

YAHOO OWN%: 14

He’s giving us his best throwback Cam Newton impersonation and putting together pretty good fantasy games. In the last three weeks he has at least thrown and ran for a touchdown or both. Along with the fact that he’s getting you 99+ yards on the ground and 150 through the air, it makes him at worst, a safe play. Detroit isn’t a team that I’d be shaking in my boots playing my QB against either, so fire him up.

Wide Receivers:

Dante Pettis

ESPN OWN %: 19.6

YAHOO OWN%: 46

Very solid 3 weeks after the bye, Pettis has had 7 targets every single game. He’s turned those into 5,4 and 3 receptions for at least 50 yards and a TD. Couple that with a little recency bias of him facing the Seahawks this week who he gave a nice 5/123/2 and you have a wonderful wr3 with wr2 upside.With Goodwin and Brieda being healthy and “Kittles N Bits” taking the attention of the defense, it’ll only help.

Robert Foster

ESPN OWN %: Available

YAHOO OWN%: Available

This doesn’t make me feel good, but I can’t deny what he’s been which is playable. Outside of the game against MIA, he’s been great as a flex/wr3. Sneakily averaging 90+ yards on about 3 receptions per game, he is a most certainly “boom-bust” type. Not something you want to depend on during the playoffs, but sometimes that’s what it takes. Keep an eye on Zay Jones as well, the target share is there, with 8 per game over the last 4 weeks.

Curtis Samuel

ESPN OWN %: 32.5

YAHOO OWN%: 31

Didn’t even bother to take Curtis off from last week because I believe in him and the match-up he has AGAIN. New Orleans doesn’t have the strongest secondary and has allowed the #1 and #2 to routinely have good enough yardage games to not sink your ships. I have him in two places currently in the playoffs and who knows, he could be a sneaky championship piece. He’s getting opportunity to make use of his ability and capitalizing. Add to the fact that he’s had good games the last two weeks (15.6, 12 PPR) without touchdowns makes me feel safe. Add a touchdown to these games and we’re looking at a waiver wire week winner.

Running Backs:

Kenneth Dixon

ESPN OWN %: 2.6

YAHOO OWN%: 8

Everyone’s darling from a while ago, Dixon has started to round back into form and steal from Gus Edwards. With them running as much as they do and having TB on the docket next, Kenneth wouldn’t be a terrible flex in a pinch. They have allowed over 100 yards to the RB position over the last few weeks and I don’t imagine they’ll be able to slow down Dixon, Gus and Lamar enough.

Damien Williams

ESPN OWN %: 14

YAHOO OWN%: 17

If for some reason Ware can’t go or is limited, this would be the next man up. He’s seen enough to at least warrant a flex play and on a short week with not much out there RB wise, he is an option with some upside.

Tight End:

Vernon Davis

ESPN OWN %: 4.9

YAHOO OWN%: 5

Anytime Reed goes down, Davis is ready to step up. Davis is a solid replacement and a perfect security blanket for dump offs and shallow routes with a 4 string QB. Fire him up if you need him.

C.J. Uzomah

ESPN OWN %: 30.9

YAHOO OWN%: 29

He’s averaging 3 receptions a game which is a good baseline for your tight end in this wasteland. If he’s available, he should be on your roster because he’s alive and gets looks every game. Not really much going out there for the tight end position

You set yourself up in the draft, you win through waivers! Check the transaction wire and go get your #waiverxmas on and come home with a #Top2TypeVictory!


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Dynasty Trash Pile: Week 15 Edition


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I’ll be digging through the trash for your next waiver stash. Just like last week on the Trash Pile, we are recommending 3 stash players for next season each week from now until week 17. These players are owned in 15% or less in all FFPC leagues. The list may range from veterans, fringe players all the way to first round busts. If you’re in a rebuild and you are looking towards the future, maybe there is a guy that sparks some interest between now and week 17. If not, thanks for reading anyway. Here goes:

1. Robert Foster, WR, Buffalo Bills
(4.76% owned in FFPC leagues)

Robert Foster went undrafted in 2018. The former Alabama wide receiver signed as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills. At the draft combine, Foster ran the 5th best 40 time at 4.4. The main issue with Foster’s game is his hands. During training camp, Foster had problems catching passes and almost found his way on the roster bubble. Despite this issue, the Bills kept Foster on their 53 man roster and he has been active since week 1. Foster finally had his breakout game in week 10 against the New York Jets. In this game, Foster caught a 47 yard up route from Matt Barkley to set up a Shady McCoy touchdown. He would finish this game with 3 receptions for 105 yards. Foster would then have another stellar performance against Jacksonville week 12. In this matchup, Foster ended up scoring on a another bomb, this time from Josh Allen for 75 yards. He would finish that contest with 2 catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. This past week against the Jets, Foster was a PPR demon catching 7 passes for 104 yards. As you can see, the talent is there, but like most Trash Pile players, there is always a reason that they are barely owned. Robert Foster’s defect is a lack of consistency and also with dropped passes (as stated above). His speed, however, will be what keeps him on the Bills roster. Josh Allen has a cannon of an arm, this is no secret, and it’s very possible that Robert Foster will be his deep ball threat moving forward. After the release of wide receivers Andre Holmes and Kelvin Benjamin, there is certainly a large hole in the Bills receiving corps. In the coming weeks, you may see Fosters name more and more. If you are prepared to keep a player on your roster who has deep ball upside, Foster is your guy.

2. Jordan Akins, TE, Houston Texans
(13.27% owned in FFPC leagues)

We finish the Trash Pile with Jordan Akins. The Texans selected Akins in the
3rd round of the 2018 draft (98th overall) out of UCF. Akins is a monster. He is 6’3” and 249lbs and has exceptional hands. He is however, old for a rookie. Jordan is currently 26 years old due to having played minor league baseball for a few years before heading to college at UCF. Regardless of his age, Akins could still be worthwhile in dynasty formats. With his huge frame, he is an instant red zone option for Deshaun Watson. This year, Akins has not delivered for dynasty owners and has yet to have a real breakout game. This past week against the Indianapolis Colts, Akins showed off his skill set by catching a 24 yard contested catch on the right sideline by leaping and bringing down the ball in bounds. After having a pretty big first half in this game (2 catches for 40 yards), he would not catch another ball. His current stats won’t make you jump out of your seat (13 catches on 18 targets for 152 yards and no touchdowns). It’s just a matter of time with Akins, and with his ownership low, he could be easily had for your dynasty roster. If you’re looking towards the future and have a hole in your tight end spot, grab Akins up now.

3. J’Mon Moore, WR, Green Bay Packers
(12.2% owned in FFPC leagues)

J’Mon Moore is a big-bodied receiver (6’3” 205lbs) with great leaping ability out of Missouri. Moore was selected as the first of 3 wide receivers drafted by Green Bay in the 2018 Draft (4th round 133rd overall). Early on during camp, Moore was receiving first team reps which created a buzz among the dynasty community. Then after a few bad preseason games, he was passed over on the depth chart by other rookie receivers (Valdez-Scantling and St. Brown) and eventually an undrafted free agent (Kumerow). This was due to an issue J’Mon had developed during practices and then in preseason games with dropped passes. The lack of confidence Aaron Rodgers had in Moore and also a lack of concentration, made Moore’s stock plummet. He was made inactive a bunch of times and would only be activated for 9 of the teams 15 games. Originally most dynasty leaguers thought he would be the predecessor to Randall Cobb, but it hasn’t worked out the way most owners figured. His original ownership had dropped by 28% since the start of the year. In the 9 games he has been active for, he had only been targeted one time. Moore did end up catching this pass, however, for a 10 yard gain. In this past weeks game against the Falcons, Moore did get on the stat sheet by returning a kick for 26 yards, but he did not receive a target in the passing game. The knock on Moore is his limited route tree and more recently, his problem with drops. Moore is still somewhat of an unknown in the NFL and could definitely have value once given an actual chance in real-game action. If you’re rebuilding, he is someone to put on your watch list or even your roster, if you have the room. Any time you can add a pass catcher with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback, you should at the very least be intrigued.


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