Week 15 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Fantasy Advice for Top Fringe Players This Weekend

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2013

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 02: Running back Pierre Thomas #23 of the New Orleans Saints carries the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during a game at CenturyLink Field on December 2, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Millions of fantasy football owners are gearing up for another critical week of postseason play.

But the up-and-down play of some of the NFL's best and brightest will force many owners to make some tough calls this weekend. 

Here I'll provide advice on how to handle some notable fringe performers in Week 15.

*Fantasy scoring statistics and rankings according to NFL.com.

Week 15 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
PlayerWeek 15 OppAverage PtsFantasy Play
Nick Foles, QBat Vikings21.3Start
Jason Campbell, QBBears17.5Sit
Case Keenum, QBat Colts14.4Sit
Andre Brown, RBSeahawks13.7Start
Dennis Pitta, TEat Lions10.8Start
Joique Bell, RBRavens10.2Sit
Pierre Garcon, WRat Falcons9.2Sit
Pierre Thomas, RBat Rams8.9Start
Harry Douglas, WRRedskins7.7Start
James Jones, WRat Cowboys6.8Start
Jared Cook, TESaints6.4Sit
Zach Ertz, TEat Vikings4.0Start
Fantasy stats according to NFL.com

 

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 8: Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up in the snow before the start of a game against the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schu
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Week 15 Opponent: Minnesota Vikings

Average Points: 21.3

No quarterback in the NFL this weekend will have a better matchup than Philadelphia's Nick Foles. The second-year signal-caller and the Eagles will square off against the reeling Vikings in Week 15.

Only the Dallas Cowboys have given up more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than Minnesota this season, and no team has been worse against opposing quarterbacks than the Vikings over the past four weeks. 

Since the start of Week 11, Minnesota's defense has given up more than 1,150 yards and eight touchdowns through the air. 

Don't be surprised if Foles scores a rushing touchdown in Week 15 either, as the Vikings surrendered one to Scott Tolzien in Week 12's tie with the Packers.

Fantasy Play: Start 

 

Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 01:  Free safety Will Hill #25 of the New York Giants strips the ball from wide receiver Pierre Garcon #88 of the Washington Redskins during the closing mintues of the Giants 24-17 win at FedExField on December 1, 2013 in Landover,
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Week 15 Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

Average Points: 9.2

Washington Redskins wideout Pierre Garcon hasn't caught a touchdown pass or scored more than 7.7 fantasy points since Week 10's loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

And with Kirk Cousins set to replace Robert Griffin III under center in Week 15 against Atlanta, per ESPN NFL Nation reporter John Keim, that disappointing trend is sure to continue for Garcon and his fantasy owners.

While the Falcons rank 20th in terms of fewest passing yards allowed this season, they've done a decent job at keeping opposing wide receivers under wraps when it comes to fantasy production. Atlanta has been particularly impressive over the past four weeks, allowing just one touchdown to an opposing wide receiver. Only Arizona has been better over that time.

Fantasy Play: Sit

 

Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 10: Running back Pierre Thomas #23 of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 10, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Week 15 Opponent: St. Louis Rams

Average Points: 8.9

It's unlikely that Saints running back Pierre Thomas will break out the way he did against Dallas and the Chicago Bears earlier this season when New Orleans takes on the St. Louis Rams in Week 15. Nonetheless, Thomas is still a smart play given his versatility and the Rams' defensive woes.

St. Louis' defense is the fifth-worst against opposing running backs in 2013, surrendering over 1,900 total yards and 16 total touchdowns to opposing backs through 13 games.

Only Dallas, Minnesota, the Cleveland Browns and the Tennessee Titans have allowed more receiving yards to opposing running backs. That's noteworthy considering that Thomas has caught a career-high 64 passes coming into Week 15. Keep in mind that Thomas has caught at least four passes in every game since Week 9 and that when Drew Brees drops back to pass, he's targeting Thomas 13.5 percent of the time.

Fantasy Play: Start 

 

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