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Fantasy Football Week 15 Rankings: Flex, PPR Breakdown for Fantasy Playoffs

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 10: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 10, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Week 15 of the fantasy football season kicked off Thursday with the exciting contest between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.

Yawn.

The Broncos won, in case you were wondering.

What's more shocking: that Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught seven passes or that quarterback Brock Osweiler, who didn't start the game, threw for nearly 200 yards and had three total touchdowns?

The fantasy playoffs are usually single-elimination, so there's no turning back if you make a wrong decision.

Below we have rankings and analysis that will help carry you to victory.

Oh yeah, and we'll see Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers returning. That should be fun.

Let's get to work, guys. Time's a wastin'.

            

Quarterback

1. Tom Brady (New England Patriots) at Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Los Angeles Rams

3. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) at Carolina Panthers

4. Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) vs. New York Jets

5. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. New England Patriots

6. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) vs. Green Bay Packers

7. Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins) vs. Arizona Cardinals

8. Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys) at Oakland Raiders

9. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10. Case Keenum (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

      

After putting up 39 points in Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers will hope for a similar output when they host the New England Patriots Sunday.

This has the makings of a back-and-forth game. New England quarterback Tom Brady is coming off a bad outing at the Miami Dolphins and has Rob Gronkowski back, while Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense will go up against a defense that has it's fair share of holes.

Because of passing volume, Big Ben should have a great fantasy outing here whether his team wins or loses. The Patriots offense will try to shut down wide receiver Antonio Brown, but that might not be possible. Regardless, this will open up more space for running back Le'Veon Bell and fellow wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. And hey, who knows? Maybe Martavis Bryant will do something here.

Expect a high-scoring affair and maybe upward of three touchdowns for Roethlisberger in Week 15. 

          

Running Back

1. Le'Veon Bell (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. New England Patriots

2. Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) vs. New York Jets

3. Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams) at Seattle Seahawks

4. LeSean McCoy (Buffalo Bills) vs. Miami Dolphins

5. Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. Houston Texans

6. Mark Ingram (New Orleans Saints) vs. New York Jets

7. Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

8. Carlos Hyde (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Tennessee Titans

9. Kenyan Drake (Miami Dolphins) at Buffalo Bills

10. Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers) at Kansas City Chiefs

11. Jamaal Williams (Green Bay Packers) at Carolina Panthers

12. Devonta Freeman (Atlanta Falcons) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13. Jordan Howard (Chicago Bears) at Detroit Lions

14. Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders) vs. Dallas Cowboys

15. Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans) at San Francisco 49ers

         

Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt scored for the first time in nearly two months in Week 14.

Going up against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Hunt is in a position to have another good outing, as the Chargers rank 26th in DVOA against the run.

On paper, Los Angeles has a great defense, but that pertains more to pass-rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and the secondary. However, the DVOA rating shows the Chargers struggle to contain the run.

With Kansas City head coach Andy Reid conceding his play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, we have seen this offense open up a bit more.

Volume should not be an issue for Hunt in this game. If the Chiefs can get the passing game going with wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, Hunt should be able to justify the ranking above with his work on the ground. Not only that, but he plays a valuable role in the passing game and has had four or more targets in nine of the team's 13 games this season.

Coming off a good game, Hunt should have another one here, and his performance could make or break many fantasy seasons.

              

Wide Receiver

1. Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. New England Patriots

2. Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Chargers) at Kansas City Chiefs

3. Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4. Brandin Cooks (New England Patriots) at Pittsburgh Steelers

5. Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints) vs. New York Jets

6. Jarvis Landry (Miami Dolphins) at Buffalo Bills

7. DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans) at Jacksonville Jaguars

8. Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) vs. Atlanta Falcons

9. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) at Washington Redskins

10. A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals) at Minnesota Vikings

11. Adam Thielen (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

12. Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns) vs. Baltimore Ravens

13. Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers) at Carolina Panthers

14. Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

15. Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers) vs. Green Bay Packers

            

Let's touch on the guy at the bottom of the rankings. With the return of Rodgers, Carolina Panthers signal-caller Cam Newton may need to throw more than he would if backup Green Bay quarterback Brett Hundley were playing.

Sure, the Panthers will still run the ball—that's their MO—but if Rodgers is in his groove, Newton will need to keep up.

Also, let's not look past the fact the Green Bay cornerbacks are dreadful. The Packers rank 20th in DVOA against the pass, which is slightly below average. Damarious Randall, for what it's worth, has come a long way since he was benched earlier in the season, but Davon House has been a weak spot in the secondary.

Nonetheless, Funchess has an enticing matcup, and the betting total of 47 suggests we could be in for a high-scoring encounter.

Funchess is a solid high-end WR2/fringe WR1 in Week 15. Book it. 

             

Tight End

1. Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots) at Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

3. Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles) at New York Giants

4. Evan Engram (New York Giants) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

5. Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Los Angeles Rams

6. Hunter Henry (Los Angeles Chargers) at Kansas City Chiefs

7. Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans) at San Francisco 49ers

8. Ricky Seals-Jones (Arizona Cardinals) at Washington Redskins

9. Jared Cook (Oakland Raiders) vs. Dallas Cowboys

10. Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys) at Oakland Raiders

11. Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers) vs. Green Bay Packers

12. Vernon Davis (Washington Redskins) vs. Arizona Cardinals

                        

Coming out of Texas A&M, we knew Ricky Seals-Jones had immense talent. He started off as a wide receiver and then converted to tight end. However, his 247Sports 5-star recruitment grade out of high school didn't exactly correlate with his college career.

After being an undrafted free agent, Seals-Jones has found his quarterback: Blaine Gabbert. For whatever reason, these guys click, and they will have another opportunity in Week 15. The Arizona Cardinals take on the Washington Redskins, who rank 20th in DVOA against opposing tight ends.

Seals-Jones has seen his targets drop in each of the past three games, but with Redskins cornerback Josh Norman back and ready to shut down at least one (good thing he's not facing Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams again) of the Cardinals' wide receivers, Seals-Jones may be looked at a bit more here.

His peak has been six targets this season, and that could repeat. If he can haul in four of those targets and rack up 60 or so yards, that's a nice chunk of points for the TE8. However, should he add a touchdown, we are talking about going into the top five or even higher.

There is upside with Seals-Jones in Week 15. If you need to stream a tight end, he could be your guy.

                 

Defense/Special Teams

1. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans

2. Minnesota Vikings vs. Cincinnati Bengals

3. Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

4. Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

5. Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears

6. Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks

7. Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins

8. Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams

9. Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs 

10. Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins

               

Kicker

1. Stephen Gostkowski (New England Patriots) at Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Wil Lutz (New Orleans Saints) vs. New York Jets

3. Greg Zuerlein (Los Angeles Rams) at Seattle Seahawks

4. Chris Boswell (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. New England Patriots

5. Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens) at Cleveland Browns

6. Dan Bailey (Dallas Cowboys) at Oakland Raiders

7. Matt Prater (Detroit Lions) vs. Chicago Bears

8. Graham Gano (Carolina Panthers) vs. Green Bay Packers

9. Jake Elliott (Philadelphia Eagles) at New York Giants

10. Matt Bryant (Atlanta Falcons) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

            

Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference and Football Outsiders. Odds according to Odds Shark.

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