Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 15: Stars to Avoid and Studs You Want in Your Lineup

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25:  wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game against the St. Louis Rams at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 25, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 31-17.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Playoff time is not when you should be abandoning the strategy that has gotten you this far and revert to plugging the best players on your fantasy squad into your starting lineup with no regard for their matchups.

For whatever reason, it's something that some fantasy owners tend to do when the playoffs roll around.

It's a recipe for disaster, especially in Week 15 when you don't get another week to redeem yourself.

We've reached the point of no return.

Let's take a look at some players that will lead you to victory, and some others who you want as far away from your starting lineup as possible this week.

Start 'Em: Carson Palmer, QB, Oakland Raiders

The last time Carson Palmer didn't throw an interception was Week 4 against the Denver Broncos. The last time that he faced the Kansas City Chiefs, he threw for only 209 yards his fourth-lowest total of the season.

But this is a Chiefs defense that has allowed 25 touchdown passes on the season while recording only seven interceptions, and they allow the sixth-most points to quarterbacks on a weekly basis, according to ESPN.

Palmer is a lock for 250 yards passing and two touchdowns with a chance for more.

Sit 'Em: Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens

While Joe Flacco is typically better in the confines of M&T Bank Stadium than he is anywhere else, he faces as Denver Broncos defense that is allowing 13.3 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks according to ESPN, the ninth-best mark in the league.

It's not as if Flacco has been setting the fantasy world ablaze with his play of late, failing to crack the 200-yard passing mark in three of his last four games.

He's simply not worth your time this week.

Start 'Em: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos

Anyone who added Moreno has been giddy with their decision, especially after he picked up 167 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown last week against the Oakland Raiders.

He faces a Baltimore defense that has struggled against the run in 2012, allowing just under 110 rushing yards per game. The Ravens has allowed at least 130 rushing yards in five of its past nine games.

That bodes well for Moreno, who has not only become the featured back in Denver, but 

Moreno has not only become the featured back in Denver, but he's quickly become a part of the Broncos' passing attack, hauling in 12 receptions for 88 yards over his past three games.

With Peyton Manning under center, the Ravens will have to respect the pass. That should open room up on the ground for Moreno to run, which means that another triple-digit rushing day is in his immediate future.

Sit 'Em: Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Michael Turner has scored a touchdown in four consecutive games and five of his last six, but he's only averaging 46 yards per game in those six games.

He'll be facing a Giants' defense that, according to's Michael Fabiano, has the second staunchest run defense on the road, holding running backs to the second-fewest fantasy points on the road.

With the Giants' secondary vulnerable to giving up big plays and the Falcons having three explosive weapons to threw the ball to in Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez—and the expectation that this could be a shoot out between Eli Manning and Matt Ryan—Turner is best left on your bench.

Start 'Em: Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

Over his past two games, Josh Gordon has 14 receptions for 202 yards receiving and a touchdown. 

Going up against a putrid Washington Redskins pass defense that has allowed wide receivers to catch 172 passes for more than 2,500 yards and 15 touchdowns this season—according to ESPN—Gordon will put up starting-quality numbers for the third consecutive week.

Sit 'Em: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

This has nothing to do with the matchup, because Larry Fitzgerald is on a level where the matchups mean nothing.

But the Cardinals embarrassing trio of quarterbacks does, and they all negatively impact Fitzgerald, who has been a fantasy non-factor over the past month.

Consider how awful Fitzgerald truly has been.

Over his past four games, Larry Fitzgerald has a total of six receptions for 67 yards,

You can't afford to have that kind of production in your starting lineup.


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