Fantasy Football Week 15: Sleepers Who Will Provide Boost to Playoff Lineups

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 7: Greg Jennings #15 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the football during the second quarter of the game against the Washington Redskins on November 7, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

While many fantasy dreams have ended in recent weeks, those that are still alive are now within a couple of weeks of becoming reality. Most leagues omit Week 17 to avoid resting players altering outcomes, which means it's semifinal week for fantasy owners.

One ongoing internal debate surrounds the best way to fill out the lineup. By now, a vast majority of the positions are filled by players who are constants. But almost every team has one or two questionable spots, and owners will spend hours researching in an attempt to make the right call.

With that in mind, let's examine some of the top sleepers for Week 15. These players are capable of filling one of those voids in a lineup, and while they may not put up elite numbers, they will give a boost to what should be already solid semifinal squad.



Week 15 Sleepers

Semifinal Sleepers
QBKirk CousinsWashington Redskins
RBChris OgbonnayaCleveland Browns
WRGreg JenningsMinnesota Vikings
TELogan PaulsenWashington Redskins
KAdam VinatieriIndianapolis Colts
DBuffalo Bills
Fantasy Week 15


Best Sleeper Options

Chris Ogbonnaya (Cleveland Browns)

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 29:  Fullback Chris Ogbonnaya #25 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after scoring a touchdown in front of linebacker Vincent Rey #57 of the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Ph
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The Browns have been using a committee approach in the backfield all season. It's limited Ogbonnaya to just 42 carries, but he's averaging more than five yards per carry and should see his workload get a serious bump with starter Willis McGahee ruled out due to a concussion.

Ogbonnaya is an especially attractive option in PPR leagues because he's been active in the passing game despite the snaps being spread around. He's racked up 21 catches over the past six games despite not being the lead back.

In Week 15, Cleveland goes up against the Chicago Bears, who rank last in the NFL in rush defense at 157 yards against per contest. With an increased workload likely on the horizon and an ability to make an impact both on the ground and through the air, Ogbonnaya is a solid start.


Greg Jennings (Minnesota Vikings)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Wide receiver Greg Jennings #15 of the Minnesota Vikings outpaces cornerback Cortez Allen #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers turnover score a 70yd touchdown during the NFL International Series game between Pittsburgh Steelers
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jennings' first season in Minnesota hasn't been anything to write home about. There were some high hopes after he moved from a crowed Green Bay Packers receiving corps into a clear No. 1 role with the Vikings, but poor quarterback play in a run-first offense sapped his value for most the season.

He's finally shown signs of life over the past few weeks, though. With Matt Cassel at least providing some semblance of stability under center, the veteran wideout has been able to tally 18 fantasy points in the past two games.

Now, the Vikings are set to face a Philadelphia Eagles defense that ranks 31st against the pass. The weak secondary should ensure that Jennings is able to put together another strong performance, and he could become a total steal for fantasy owners if he finds the end zone.


Logan Paulsen (Washington Redskins)

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 01:  Logan Paulsen #82 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of an NFL game against the New York Giants at FedExField on December 1, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McD
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Tight end is one position where a lot of owners are probably considering several different avenues. Since there are only a handful of reliable top-end options, players like Logan Paulsen, who would normally be ignored, can be difference-makers in the short term.

Jordan Reed continues to deal with a concussion. John Keim of ESPN reports he's going to miss this week's game and could be shut down for the rest of the season. In turn, Paulsen gets to build off of two straight games with a touchdown in Reed's absence.

As Kirk Cousins takes over the reins of the Redskins offense, Paulsen should be in for a busy afternoon against a subpar Atlanta Falcons defense. There's a good chance he'll extend that touchdown streak to three games, and everything else is gravy for desperate fantasy owners.