Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 15: Stars Who Should Be Replaced in Fantasy Playoffs

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2013

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 14:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans carries the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter at LP Field on November 14, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In the fantasy football playoffs, it is important to start players who give you the best chance to win, even if it means sitting the biggest stars in the NFL.

Fantasy owners love to stick with players that were high draft picks that might have even helped get them wins throughout the season. However, each week is different and you cannot afford a bad showing at this point in the year.

Instead, you cannot be afraid to use a sleeper off the waiver wire that could score more points for your team in Week 15.

It certainly takes guts to make these changes to your lineup, but it could pay off huge for your fantasy squad. 



Sit: Tom Brady, New England Patriots 

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 01:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots drops back to pass during the first half of the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

On paper, Tom Brady has appeared red-hot lately with three straight games of at least 20 fantasy points. However, he will have a hard time excelling without Rob Gronkowski who tore his ACL and MCL, according to ESPN.

Without his favorite target, fantasy owners are much more likely to see the Brady who averaged only 11.5 points per game through the first eight weeks of the season.

Additionally, the Miami Dolphins have done a good job at defending the pass this season holding opposing quarterbacks to the fourth fewest fantasy points in the NFL. With the defensive pressure, Brady is likely to struggle in Week 15.


Start: Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:  Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks to pass in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Although Alex Smith is always overlooked when it comes to top quarterbacks, he has done a good job of taking advantage of poor defenses in recent weeks.

The Chiefs veteran has thrown at least two touchdowns in each of the last four games, and he will look to keep that up against a struggling Oakland Raiders defense. Only three teams in the NFL allow more fantasy points per game than this unit and Smith has a chance to keep up his recent momentum in this matchup.

Considering the Raiders have been decent against the run this year, Smith will be asked to beat them through the air, posting big fantasy numbers in the process.


Running Back

Sit: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

When it comes to the fantasy football playoffs, you have to start someone you can trust. Despite a couple of good games, there is little reason to have any faith in Chris Johnson. 

In 13 weeks, the running back has only scored double-digit fantasy points in six games. His 3.8 yards per carry average is the lowest mark of his career, and it has made him too dependent on scoring touchdowns to be productive.

Meanwhile, he faces the Arizona Cardinals, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Frank Gore was the only player to top 100 rushing yards against this defense— managing 101 yards on 25 carries. 

Johnson will struggle in this matchup and should be benched for better options this week.


Start: Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 08: Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball while defended by James Harrison #92 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy L
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After finally getting the opportunity to start for the Colts, Donald Brown barely touched the ball with only four carries and four receptions against the Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, Trent Richardson totaled 88 yards on 11 touches in one of his best performances since arriving in Indianapolis.

However, a lot of this had to do with the fact that the Colts trailed 21-0 and had to pass the ball to catch up.

This should not be an issue against the 2-11 Houston Texans. Brown should get his chance to rush the ball against a defense that has fallen apart as of late which should lead to a big performance.


Wide Receiver

Sit: Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers runs in for a touchdown in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

There are fantasy owners who have been waiting all year to start Michael Crabtree. However, they must wait at least a little longer with a poor matchup coming in Week 15.

Last week, he was covered most of the game by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. This week, Darrelle Revis will match up against him more often than not.

After catching only six balls in the last two weeks, it is hard to believe he will come through with an offensive explosion against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Instead, Anquan Boldin is a much smarter choice among 49ers receivers.


Start: Rod Streater, Oakland Raiders

Since Matt McGloin took over as quarterback of the Raiders, Rod Streater has turned into a No. 1 receiver. In four games, he is averaging 91 receiving yards thanks to a total of 31 targets. He also has two touchdowns in this stretch. 

He has clearly earned the trust of the young quarterback, which is something likely to continue in the coming weeks. 

Although the Kansas City Chiefs have been solid defensively this year, Streater has the skill and the opportunity for more big games. Considering he is available in most leagues, fantasy owners should pick him up and start him immediately.


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