Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 15: Examining Difficult Decisions for Fantasy Playoffs

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 08:  Tom Brady #12 celebrates with teammate Ryan Wendell #62 of the New England Patriots following a touchdown late in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns during the game at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The actual NFL playoffs may be a few weeks away, but those aren’t nearly as important for fantasy football owners as the postseason in fantasy leagues.

Not everyone has the pleasure of inserting Calvin Johnson, Jamaal Charles and Drew Brees into his or her lineup, so many championships are swung based on how toss-up decisions are made. Is it better to go with the best player, ride the hot hand or tailor the lineup based purely on matchups? 

That’s why I'm here. Let's dig into threeof the most difficult decisions you will have to make in Week 15.


Tom Brady

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 08:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the Cleveland Browns in the second half during the game at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

That’s right—Tom Brady of all people is actually a question mark. Yahoo! fantasy expert Brad Evans sums up the predicament perfectly:

Point blank, unless Aaron Dobson is injected with Randy Moss' archived DNA from 2008 or Kenbrell Thompkins resembles the unstoppable target from the preseason, Brady has no reliable deep-threat, a clear weakness Miami is sure to take advantage of. Quite possibly the most underrated secondary in the league, the Dolphins have surrendered just 6.9 yards per attempt and three multi-TD passers the entire year.

It’s hard to argue against the logic that you simply play him because he's Brady, but without Rob Gronkowski, it will be difficult to find chunks of yardage against the Dolphins secondary. Miami already limited Brady once this season to fewer than 150 yards passing (and that was with Gronk) and will likely do so again. If you have a better option, go with it. 

Decision: Sit


Alfred Morris

The 2013 season may be a disaster for Washington from a wins-and-losses standpoint, but running back Alfred Morris has posted more than 1,000 yards on the ground.

Fantasy owners would like to see more than six touchdowns, though, and he has struggled mightily the past three games (109 yards rushing combined and one touchdown). However, don’t be surprised if the Redskins try to get the running game going with Kirk Cousins starting at quarterback.

The Falcons are an abysmal 30th in the league against the run, which means the lanes will be there. All Morris has to do is make his way through them when given the opportunity. 

Decision: Start


Jordy Nelson

It has been a season marred by injuries for the Green Bay Packers, but as ESPN’s Rob Demovsky points out, Jordy Nelson has been the one constant.

The good news for Nelson owners in Week 15 is that he will be going up against Dallas’ tissue-soft secondary. The Cowboys are dead last in the league in opposing passing yards (and 28th in opposing rushing yards), and Nelson is coming off an 85-yard performance against Atlanta.

Matt Flynn is no Aaron Rodgers, but as Josh McCown showed in Week 14, Dallas has the tendency to make backup signal-callers look like Joe Montana. Nelson is a solid fantasy play against such a vulnerable pass defense in what could be a shootout game.

Decision: Start


Follow and interact with Bleacher Report writer Scott Polacek on Twitter @ScottPolacek.