As we head into week 15, we here at the Bruno Boys have decided to change things up a bit here in our “Cut Them Loose” article.
This late in the season, the majority of your rosters are set as the fat’s been trimmed.
Thus, rather than focus on what guys to release from your rosters altogether, we felt it would be beneficial to point out some fantasy playoff matches to avoid this coming weekend.
WHILE IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED YOU DROP THE PLAYERS BELOW, IT IS RECOMMENDED YOU TAKE A LONG LOOK AT YOUR OTHER OPTIONS AND CONSIDER PLACING THEM ON YOUR BENCH FOR WEEK 15.
Note: While looking for replacements for the below guys, be sure you check out the Fantasy Football Week 15 Waiver Wire—Pick Them Up article. Remember, you can always visit our FORUMS to get your questions answered about waiver wire candidates, players to drop, or anything at all related to fantasy football.
QUARTERBACKS TO AVOID
Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)
Regardless of whether he’s active or not for week 15’s action, Matt Ryan should be nowhere near your fantasy lineup. Sure, in his last full game, Ryan went for 268 yards and two TDs with one fumble against the New York Giants for a solid 17 fantasy points in week 11, but prior to that performance, Ryan had a streak of four straight single-digit outings going.
Throw in the fact that Ryan will be a bit rusty and goes up against the stellar pass defense of the New York Jets, who are allowing just 160.4 passing yards per game to go along with seven TDs to 15 INTs on the year, and the decision to avoid him in such a crucial week is a no-brainer.
Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Big Ben is averaging a hearty 15.9 fantasy points per contest this season, so why are we suggesting you avoid using the Steelers’ quarterback in week 15?
For starters, the matchup is definitely not a favorable one, as Pittsburgh will be taking on the third-ranked pass defense of the Green Bay Packers, a team that has allowed just a combined 22 fantasy points to the quarterback position over their last three contests.
There’s also, the Steelers’ uninspired play of late to consider. In what was essentially a must-win game in week 14 against the hapless Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh lost 13-6 with Big Ben throwing for just 201 passing yards and no scores. If he can’t carve up the porous pass defense of the Cleveland Browns, how can you trust him against the Packers?
RUNNING BACKS TO AVOID
DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers)
Thanks to a bad matchup with a New England Patriots rush defense that has given up just three rushing TDs on the year, owners of Williams and Stewart may not even have the luxury of sitting the Panthers’ backs this coming week, as there is a very good chance they’ve already been sent packing from their fantasy playoffs.
However, if by some way you managed to advance despite the single digit performances of Williams (9) and Stewart (2) in week 14, you may want to consider other options in week 15.
The Minnesota Vikings, who the Panthers will be going against in week 15, have not allowed a running back to accumulate 100-plus rushing yards in 36 straight contests. Like the duo’s week 14 opponent, the Patriots, the Men in Purple have allowed just three rushing TDs in 13 games this season.
LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers)
A huge disappointment to fantasy owners to start the season, LT has gotten back on their good sides with five straight games of 11 or more fantasy points. But don’t let that streak lull you into a false sense of security. LT’s run of double-digit outings has been aided greatly by trips to the end zone, with the back finding pay dirt seven times in the last five weeks.
With a frolic in the end zone unlikely in week 15 against a Cincinnati Bengals rush defense that has allowed just eight TDs on the year (two of which came in week 14 via the great Adrian Peterson ), LT’s day will be determined by his yardage output. That’s not good news for a running back that’s averaging just 3.2 yards per carry and that has exceeded the 80-yard mark just once this year.
Matt Forte (Chicago Bears)
Forte has posted some solid outings on the year, but for the most part, those games came against rush defenses that ranked 25th or lower in the league (i.e. the 13 points he had in week 13 against the St. Louis Rams ). Against teams with any semblance of a D-line, Forte has struggled mightily, as demonstrated by the mere six fantasy points he tallied in week 14 against the third-ranked rush defense of the Green Bay Packers.
Forte’s week 15 matchup is just as difficult as his week 14 contest, as the Baltimore Ravens will be hosting the Bears' back. On the year, the Ravens have allowed less than 100 yards per contest and have only given up seven rushing TDs. Forte has disappointed you all season long, don’t let him do so again in week 15.
WIDE RECEIVERS TO AVOID
Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons)
The saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” The educated fantasy owner should know by now that New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is kryptonite to wide receivers. Revis, who has shut down big name after big name, is a large reason the Jets are giving up the fewest fantasy points to the wide receiver position this season.
That doesn’t bode well for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White, who will undoubtedly draw Revis’ attention this coming Sunday. White put up a dud with just four points in week 14, and unfortunately, for his fantasy owners, a bounce-back game does not appear to be in the cards.
Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs)
Many fantasy owners may have forgotten about Bowe, who has missed the Chiefs’ last four games due to a suspension he was served for violating the league’s drug policy. For those, though, that have held onto the receiver looking to use him in week 15 against the Cleveland Browns, let us advise against it.
Fantasy owners may be surprised to hear it, but the Browns have limited opposing wide receivers to single digits in three of their last four games. Granted, that has a lot to do with their inability to stop the run, but no matter the reason, the matchup doesn’t look to be a good one for Bowe.
Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals)
While he didn’t don the sombrero and poncho again in week 14, Ochocinco did find the end zone for the second week in a row, and it’s a good thing that he did, as he only hauled in three of Carson Palmer’s passes for a total of just 27 yards. Ochocinco has now gone for single digits in five of his last six games, and there’s a good shot that he fails to reach double digits again in week 15.
The Chargers, who sport a top-10 pass defense, are playing their best football of the season. Sadly, for his owners, the same can’t be said for the Ocho. Avoid him if you can in week 15.
TIGHT END TO AVOID
Zach Miller (Oakland Raiders)
The switch from JaMarcus Russell to Bruce Gradkowski brought life back to Zach Miller’s fantasy season, as the Raiders tight end amassed 27 fantasy points over his last four games with Gradkowski under center. However, Gradkowski suffered a knee injury in week 14, allowing for the return of Russell and once again tolling the death knell for Miller.
It doesn’t help the Raiders tight end’s case that week 15 ushers in a matchup with the Denver Broncos, who have allowed just two double-digit fantasy performances to the tight end position on the year. In his previous matchup with Denver this season, Miller caught just two passes for 17 yards. Look elsewhere for your week 15 tight end play.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAM TO AVOID
Cincinnati Bengals D/ST
Following a string of games against three offenses (the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, and Detroit Lions ) that rank 27th in the league or lower in points per game, the Bengals got a true test in week 14 when they took on the Minnesota Vikings, a team that’s posting 29.9 points per contest this year, second only to the New Orleans Saints.
The only thing positive that can be said about the Bengals’ showing was that they didn’t finish with negative fantasy points. They did, however, post a goose egg, as they allowed 30 points to Minny while forcing just one turnover and sacking Brett Favre two times.
The Chargers offense that the Bengals will face in week 15 may not be as explosive as the Vikings, but putting up 27.8 points per game, they aren’t too far off. It’s best to avoid Cincy this coming week.
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