Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings: Looking Ahead to the Best Matchups

John Rozum@Rozum27Correspondent IDecember 12, 2011

Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings: Looking Ahead to the Best Matchups

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    With the fantasy football playoffs in full force, having a player who's got a favorable matchup on the way can be very exciting.

    For one, that ensures greater odds at keeping your season alive, and ultimately takes less pressure off setting the lineup. To that end, here are some favorable matchups in Week 15.

4. Michael Bush: RB, Raiders (vs Lions)

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    According to Vittorio Tafur of The San Francisco Chronicle, there's still no set date when Raiders RB Darren McFadden will return, Tafur quoted Raiders head coach Hue Jackson:

    "it's a sprained foot, Lisfranc, whatever you want to call it. Basically the same thing. I think Darren will be back before the season's over. And when we get him back, we'll get him back."

    Tafur himself added about the injury:

    "A Lisfranc injury affects a joint in the center of the foot, and is what ended Houston quarterback Matt Schaub's season."

    That said, be sure to keep an eye on McFadden's status but for now it's a good idea to keep Michael Bush in the starting lineup. Bush has been Oakland's main man since taking over and the Raiders have continued their dominance on the ground.

    The Detroit Lions still have one of the NFL's worst rush defenses (rank No. 27, allowing almost 140 per game), so for Oakland's offense to get back on track, expect Bush to be fed early and often.

3. Tony Romo: QB, Cowboys (at Buccaneers)

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    The Dallas Cowboys may be squandering off their playoff hopes, but it's not Tony Romo's fault. Last week against the Giants, Romo had arguably his best game of the year.

    In Week 14 he threw for 321 yards, four TDs, no INT and had a 67.7 completion percentage. As for Week 15, don't expect anything too different.

    There, Dallas travels to Tampa Bay and plays the 4-9 Buccaneers who have the NFL's No. 27 and No. 28 ranked pass and rush defenses, respectively.

    Tampa allows almost 390 total yards per game and the Cowboys offense ranks No. 6 in passing. Big D has an array of targets for Romo to dish the rock around to and all are very reliable.

    The Bucs' are still quite young, lack a pass rush  and a vulnerable to any kind of pass-oriented offense. Look for Romo to air it out all day until Dallas builds a comfortable enough lead to take him out.

2. Arian Foster: RB, Texans (vs Panthers)

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    Although the Houston Texans have been mauled by injuries this season, they continue to win. Thing is, they're doing it the old school way of pounding the rock on the ground and playing tough defense.

    Currently, Houston has the NFL's No. 2 rushing offense (average over 150 yards per game) and the defense ranks in the Top 5 against the pass and rush. Their Week 15 opponent are the Carolina Panthers who have the No. 24 ranked rush defense, so RB Arian Foster will destroy them.

    On the year, Carolina allows almost 130 rush yards per game and also almost 240 pass yards per game (rank No. 19). So, in addition to running well Foster will slice through them for some decent receiving yards as well.

    The Panthers have weak LBs and not too much of a threatening pass rush, so QB TJ Yates will have time to throw when dropping back and being that he's still getting acclimated to the game, Foster on screens and check-downs will be there.

    Right now, Foster is the main focus of Houston's offense, therefore coach Gary Kubiak needs to use his versatility to its' fullest extent.

1. Drew Brees: QB, Saints (at Minnesota)

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    Regardless of what defense he has gone up against this season, New Orleans QB Drew Brees has shredded opponents quite well. Currently the Saints rank No. 1 in passing (325 yards per game) and No. 8 in rushing (122 yards per game).

    And their matchup this week? The 2-11 Minnesota Vikings that rank No. 26 against the pass (allow almost 250 yards per game) and are No. 9 against the run (allow just over 100 yards per game).

    Therefore, don't expect anything less than Brees just annihilating the Minnesota pass defense. Let's put it this way, if Tim Tebow can go 10-of-15 for over 200 yards and have two TDs with no picks (not just in the fourth-quarter/OT), then Brees will have a field day.

    The Vikings have struggled in man-coverage all season and are even worse when a play breaks down. Now, plays don't normally breakdown for New Orleans however, either way Brees will dice 'em up.