Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 15: Smart Matchup Plays and Fantasy Playoff Sleepers

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IDecember 11, 2012

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

No more aimless risk taking.

Fantasy championships are on the line. 

Making calculated moves to set your starting lineup has become absolutely paramount. 

Here are the smart matchup plays, the guys who should probably be clicked and dragged to the bench and playoff sleepers. 



Start Em: Andy Dalton vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are prone to surrendering the big play. A.J. Green is a monster down the field. Dalton wasn't tremendous against the Dallas Cowboys in the Week 14 loss, but he'll have plenty of opportunities against Philadelphia. 


Sit Em: Eli Manning vs. Atlanta Falcons

Manning is fresh off a 259-yard, four-touchdown effort against the abysmal New Orleans Saints secondary, however, you should keep him out of your lineup this week. Yeah, even if you've been riding Eli all season and you're a game away from the championship. Well, only if you have a viable backup, that is. 

The Falcons have allowed the 12th fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2012, and they have hauled in 16 interceptions. 

Sure, nine came in three games against Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, but safeties Thomas DeCoud and William Moore formulate a top ball-hawking tandem, and Eli has been slightly better at home this year. 


Sleeper: Brandon Weeden vs. Washington Redskins

The Cleveland Browns have won three straight games. It has taken their record from 2-8 to 5-8, however, winning three straight is a nice accomplishment for any team in this parity-filled NFL

Although the rookie quarterback didn't shred the Kansas City Chiefs last week, he did go for 364 yards against the Oakland Raiders in Week 13. 

The Washington Redskins have allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL and opposing quarterbacks average a QB rating of nearly 91 against them. 


Running Back 

Start Em: Chris Johnson vs. New York Jets

Johnson has a paltry 3.3 yards-per-carry average over his last three games, but he's a good start this week. 

The Jets have one of the least dynamic offenses in the league, so they shouldn't be able to spring out to a huge lead against the Titans that would force Jake Locker into obvious passing situations. 

Also, Gang Green allows 4.4 yards per carry and more than 136 yards on the ground per game. 


Sit Em: DeMarco Murray vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Murray runs as hard as any back in the league and is finally healthy. Chances are, if you have Murray on your team, you'll start him this weekend regardless, but proceed with caution. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line isn't as disruptive as the Cincinnati Bengals front that yielded only 2.5 yards per carry to Murray in Week 14, but it has talent and plays fundamentally sound. 

Dick Lebeau's unit surrenders 3.7 yards per rush. 


Sleeper: Knowshon Moreno vs. Baltimore Ravens

Moreno has experienced relative success since Willis McGahee was placed on IR. However, much of his production has come based on sheer volume and level of competition.

That doesn't mean he's a bad start against the Baltimore Ravens this week.

John Harbaugh's group somewhat surprisingly has allowed 4.1 yards per carry this season and the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs in 2012.


Wide Receiver

Start Em: Lance Moore vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Moore has exemplified what it means to have an up-and-down season, but the Buccaneers can't stop anyone's passing game. Drew Brees has faltered of late—don't expect that against a secondary that allows 312 aerial yards per contest. 


Sit Em: Brandon Lloyd vs. San Francisco 49ers

Tom Brady and the Patriots offense is clicking, so any gripes with this selection is understood. Keep in mind, San Francisco has given up a mere 185 passing yards per game and has registered 32 sacks. 


Sleeper: Andrew Hawkins vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Hawkins isn't a major stat-stuffer, yet the sneaky-quick slot option has received 16 total targets over the last two games and is incredible in the open field. 

The Eagles have become known for coverage breakdowns and will likely focus most of their attention on A.J. Green. 



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