Fantasy Football Week 15: Playoff Advice for Desperate Owners

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2013

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 03:  Fullback Chris Ogbonnaya #25 runs the ball against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Week 15 of the fantasy football season is a critical one. Whether your league’s playoffs are just starting, right at the midpoint or at the championship, you simply cannot afford to make mistakes at this juncture.

Owners that are hoping to ascend to guru status and win a title this year must be disciplined, confident and educated. There is no room for error, as a single roster mistake could cost you a shot at the glory.

Keep reading for a few quick tips and some advice ahead of the upcoming slate of NFL games.


Use the Waiver Wire

Smart owners have been doing this all season, but it’s imperative that you maximize your waiver value in Week 15.

If you’ve been burned by injury or have a terrible matchup, it’s time to start considering the waiver or free-agency pool to find a suitable fill-in.

There is nothing wrong with a plug-and-play option this late in the campaign, as fantasy is all about putting yourself in position to make your own luck and score the most points.

It’s much smarter to send a usually serviceable starter—such as Chris Ivory of the New York Jets—to the bench if they have a brutal matchup, as Ivory does against the Carolina Panthers.

Instead of getting just a point or two from that position, you could just as easily replace him with a readily available talent in most leagues.

Someone like Chris Ogbonnaya may not be a marquee name, but the Cleveland Browns back has a dream showdown with a terrible Chicago Bears front and would be a much better play here.

Assess each of your positions in this manner, and don’t have any hesitations about jettisoning fringe starters to the pine in favor of someone with a much better matchup.


Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Risk

It’s much better to go down swinging than meekly flame out in fantasy.

If your opponent is projected to beat you by a large margin, aim for the sky and pull out all the stops. You’ll either win or go out in a blaze of glory, both of which are better than getting soundly beat and knowing it was going to happen.

That means start players that you think may be poised for a breakout, even if all the experts don’t agree. Gamble on injuries, start one of the backups being given a chance in Week 15—such as Jason Campbell in Cleveland—and don’t be afraid to go with your gut.

This advice brings us to the last tip which goes hand in hand…


Monitor the Injury Report

The final advice I have for you here is to closely track the injury report. There are a ton of talented players that usually receive a heavy workload whose status is currently up in the air.

Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers, Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Willis McGahee of the Browns all may be out of the picture in Week 15, making backups James Starks (GB), Jordan Todman (JAX), Fozzy Whittaker and Ogbonnaya (CLE) great options to utilize as deep sleepers on Sunday.

Touches are one of the most important fantasy football stats, as the more a player possesses the rock, the better a chance he has at doing something productive with it.

If it seems like a star player—or even just one that has been getting a lot of looks lately—is going to be sidelined, snap up the backup and insert them into your lineup with confidence.

After all, it could just be the difference between a championship and another disappointing season.