Fantasy Football Week 15: Matt Camp's Fantasy Big Board
For all the effort you put into managing your fantasy roster and starting lineup, luck and timing can go a long way toward winning a championship.
If you've been riding with Jameis Winston (or Ryan Fitzpatrick) for most of the season, the results have been typically good and sometimes great. Unfortunately, Winston and the Buccaneers hit the road over the next two weeks to face the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys. Even though Winston may have gotten you this far, that does mean you have to stick with him in a pair of brutal matchups.
Jared Goff's last two games have been hard to swallow, as he scored just 7.8 fantasy points against the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. If you survived those major bumps in the road, Week 15 should give Goff and the Rams a chance to bounce back in a big way with the Philadelphia Eagles visiting on Sunday night.
A combination of shaky performances and Sean Payton's insistence on using a wide variety of offensive players has made the New Orleans Saints an annoying fantasy team over the last month. A decent second half against the Buccaneers in Week 14 salvaged some fantasy production, so hopefully the team can play more of a complete game featuring their best fantasy options on Monday night against a poor Carolina Panthers defense.
Here's the first look at points-per-reception (PPR) rankings for Week 15. These will change throughout the week and up to Sunday's action as we get more information about injuries and limitations, so make sure to bookmark this page for my full rankings for all scoring formats.
Check out Matt Camp on his Fantasy Camp podcast available every Tuesday and Thursday. Click to subscribe or listen wherever you get podcasts.
I present my top 100 players (minus quarterbacks) for the week as a way to help determine your flex spots. You may favor a certain position or player over another based on his role and/or your scoring rules.
As an additional tiebreaker, here are the teams I like as a whole this week based on their matchups:
- Los Angeles Chargers (at Kansas City Chiefs)
- New Orleans Saints (at Carolina Panthers)
- Los Angeles Rams (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
- Minnesota Vikings (vs. Miami Dolphins)
- Houston Texans (at New York Jets)
Week 15 Top 100 PPR Rankings
Better than Usual
Philip Rivers, LAC (at KC)
The Los Angeles Chargers moved to 10-3 with a closer-than-expected 26-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14. Rivers had just 29 attempts with 19 completions for 220 yards and a touchdown to finish with just 13.5 fantasy points. The matchup was a beatable one, but there's only so much you can do with limited volume.
Volume shouldn't be a problem on Thursday night when Rivers and the Chargers face the Chiefs in Kansas City. Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (concussion, stinger) aren't locks to play, which would put rookie running back Justin Jackson in line to start. While the Chargers have a good defense, slowing down the Chiefs offense has been a chore for any defense this season, which is why Rivers will likely take to the air more than his season average of 31.5 pass attempts per game.
No team has allowed more fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the last month than the Chiefs, so Rivers should be able to have a lot of success with increased volume. With or without the injured running backs, Rivers should have a busy and productive outing with top-three potential for the week.
Aaron Rodgers, GB (at CHI)
Don't let the name value fool you into thinking Rodgers is a safe play this week. He had a great matchup with the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14, yet he had a season-low 196 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-32 passing with a season-high 44 yards rushing. Thanks to his legs, Rodgers was able to finish as QB8 with 20.2 fantasy points. It will be hard to replicate that against the Chicago Bears.
In the Sunday night victory over the Rams, the Bears held Jared Goff to 180 yards on 20-of-44 passing with no touchdowns and four interceptions. Goff was a complete non-factor for fantasy, and he came into Week 14 as the No. 6 quarterback with 21.6 fantasy points per game. Chicago has been the toughest matchup for opposing quarterbacks over the last four weeks, allowing less than eight fantasy points per game.
Considering how well the Bears have played, including last week's performance against a Super Bowl contender, it's hard to justify a spot in your lineup for Rodgers.
Jameis Winston, TB (at BAL)
Don't let Patrick Mahomes' performance against the Baltimore Ravens fool you into thinking Winston is still a reliable option for the fantasy semifinals. Winston didn't exactly light up the New Orleans Saints in Week 14. He connected on 18 of 38 passes for 213 yards with two scores and an interception in addition to 47 rushing yards. That was enough for a top-12 finish at 19.2 fantasy points, but it was not a confidence-instilling effort with a trip to Baltimore on tap.
The Ravens have been a top-10 defense against fantasy quarterbacks in the last month. Even though Mahomes got them for 377 yards and two scores last week, Baltimore's defense has limited quarterbacks to 913 yards and six touchdowns in the last month. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars (203.7) and Buffalo Bills (185.8) surrendered less passing yards this season than the Ravens (206.2).
Winston may have gotten you this far, but it doesn't mean you need to be stubborn and stick with him in such a tough matchup.
Derek Carr, OAK (at CIN)
You might be surprised to see Carr make the streamer category at such an important time of the season, and that's fair. However, in preparation for the fantasy playoffs, potential streaming options like Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield and even Josh Allen may already be scooped up in your league. If you need to look a little deeper, Carr could be your man.
Believe it or not, Carr is the No. 3 fantasy quarterback in the last two weeks with 43 fantasy points. In a 40-33 loss to the Chiefs in Week 13, Carr completed 29 of 38 pass attempts for 285 yards and three touchdowns. He followed that up with 322 yards and two scores on 25-of-34 passing in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend.
Even though the Cincinnati Bengals have been an average matchup for fantasy quarterbacks in the last month, they rank fourth in most passing yards per game allowed at 273.8. Oakland's defense also struggles, so Carr should have another fairly busy and productive performance on the road. You can use him if you need him on Sunday.
Week 15 Quarterback Rankings
|1||Patrick Mahomes (KC)|
|2||Drew Brees (NO)|
|3||Philip Rivers (LAC)|
|4||Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)|
|5||Jared Goff (LAR)|
|6||Deshaun Watson (HOU)|
|7||Tom Brady (NE)|
|8||Andrew Luck (IND)|
|9||Cam Newton (CAR)|
|10||Russell Wilson (SEA)|
|11||Dak Prescott (DAL)|
|12||Lamar Jackson (BAL)|
|13||Matt Ryan (ATL)|
|14||Josh Allen (BUF)|
|15||Mitchell Trubisky (CHI)|
|16||Baker Mayfield (CLE)|
|17||Carson Wentz (PHI)|
|18||Kirk Cousins (MIN)|
|19||Derek Carr (OAK)|
|20||Aaron Rodgers (GB)|
|21||Jameis Winston (TB)|
|22||Eli Manning (NYG)|
|23||Marcus Mariota (TEN)|
|24||Nick Mullens (SF)|
|25||Jeff Driskel (CIN)|
|26||Ryan Tannehill (MIA)|
|27||Case Keenum (DEN)|
|28||Sam Darnold (NYJ)|
|29||Josh Rosen (ARI)|
|30||Matthew Stafford (DET)|
|31||Cody Kessler (JAC)|
|32||Josh Johnson (WAS)|
Better Than Usual
Jeff Wilson, SF (vs. SEA)
With Matt Breida (ankle) ruled out early last week, the San Francisco 49ers made yet another change to the starting lineup with Wilson leading the way. He rushed for 90 yards on 23 carries and added a reception for six yards on two targets. That made him RB24 for Week 14 with 10.6 fantasy points, which should be considered a success since he was a plug-and-play off the waiver wire.
The Minnesota Vikings were foolish not to challenge the Seattle Seahawks' run defense more this past Monday night, but the 49ers likely won't make the same mistake. In the last four games, the Seahawks allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to running backs thanks to 296 yards and two touchdowns on 65 carries and 35 receptions for 347 yards and three touchdowns on 39 targets.
Seattle won't have the home-field advantage, so the 49ers should be able to feature a rushing attack that is eighth in yards per game (125.7) and 10th in rushing attempts per game (27.7). If Breida is out again, Wilson is a solid RB2 in this exploitable matchup.
Aaron Jones, GB (at CHI)
The Green Bay Packers foolishly went with Jamaal Williams at the beginning of last week's game against the Atlanta Falcons before eventually featuring Jones. He paid off that decision by rushing for 78 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and catching all three of his targets for 28 yards to post 19.6 fantasy points and an RB6 finish. If you're expecting another top-10 performance in Week 15, you're not respecting Jones' opponent.
The Bears are coming off a dominant victory over the Rams in which the defense limited Todd Gurley to just 28 yards on 11 carries and three receptions for 30 yards on seven targets. Gurley didn't even crack the top 30 with just 8.8 fantasy points. While it's easy to argue Gurley should have carried the ball more, the bottom line is when he did carry the ball, he didn't go far. In the last month, Chicago has been the third-toughest opponent for fantasy running backs.
Jones doesn't have to land on your bench, but you'd be better off lowering his expectations for Week 15. He's a decent RB2 at best.
Spencer Ware, KC (vs. LAC)
The combination of Ware and Damien Williams worked out quite nicely for the Chiefs in a tough matchup with the Ravens in Week 14. Both players finished inside the top 10 for the week, but that came at a price.
Ware carried 15 times for 75 yards and added five receptions on five targets for 54 yards. He came out of the game with shoulder and hamstring injuries, which explains why he's yet to practice ahead of Thursday's game with the Chargers.
Los Angeles has been the seventh-easiest matchup for fantasy running backs over the last four weeks, so Ware would be missing a chance to keep his production up in a potentially high-scoring affair. His status is in question, which boosts the value of Williams.
Kenneth Dixon, BAL (vs. TB)
In just his second game back from the injured reserve, Dixon posted 15 fantasy points and a top-16 finish in Week 14. The Ravens may have lost to the Chiefs, but Dixon was a bright spot for the offense. More snaps and touches should be coming for Dixon, and if he's playing well, Baltimore would be wise to feature him, much like it did when Gus Edwards zoomed past Alex Collins last month.
Even though Edwards outgained Dixon 67-59, Edwards needed 16 carries while Dixon had just eight attempts. Over the last two games, Dixon rushed 16 times for 96 yards with a touchdown, so he's earned a bigger role. He'll have a good chance to come through in Week 15 against the visiting Buccaneers. Tampa Bay allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs over the last four weeks.
Edwards might be a little safer based on recent workloads, but Dixon's arrow is pointing up, especially with an ideal matchup. He's an RB3/flex with RB2 upside.
Week 15 Running Back PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
Allen Robinson, CHI (vs. GB)
The Chicago Bears didn't need to get much offense to beat the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14, so it wasn't a big game for Robinson. He led the team with five receptions for 42 yards on eight targets in the 15-6 victory. He should have a chance at a better fantasy outing this week when the Green Bay Packers come to visit.
Over the last four games, the Packers surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers thanks to 59 receptions, 722 yards and six touchdowns during that span. Robinson leads the Bears' wide receivers with 17 targets, 10 receptions and 121 yards in the last two games, so while he hasn't been great for fantasy, he's getting chances.
It's hard to call Robinson or any Bears receiver more than a WR3, but he should have a chance to get into WR2 territory against Green Bay.
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG (vs. TEN)
Beckham dealt a big blow to a lot of fantasy teams over the weekend when he was ruled out Saturday because of a quad injury that limited him in practice. There was no indication Beckham would sit out, so the announcement came as a big surprise. Of course, the New York Giants aren't officially eliminated from the playoffs, but at 5-8, the team's record may have factored into the decision.
According to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, head coach Pat Shurmur said Beckham "felt a lot better" Monday. Beckham's status will need to be closely monitored throughout the week. He's obviously a must-start if he plays, but his bruised quad could put him out there at less than 100 percent.
Mike Evans, TB (at BAL)
Evans looked liked he was on his way to a big day against the Saints in Week 14 after a 36-yard catch on the opening drive. However, he had just three more receptions for 50 yards in the rest of the game on eight total targets, so at 12.6 fantasy points, he finished outside the top 25. Evans has been on the WR1/WR2 borderline over the last month with 15.8 fantasy points per game.
A road trip to Baltimore is cause for concern if you are expecting Evans to approach the WR1 level this week. Only the Indianapolis Colts have yielded fewer fantasy points to wide receivers than the Ravens in the last four weeks. For the season, Baltimore has given up the third-fewest receiving yards at 225.9. Evans should be downgraded into the WR2 tier, as he could be in danger of finishing outside the top 20 for Week 15.
Mike Williams, LAC (at KC)
Williams hasn't had a bad season, but he's been a victim of volume. He's tallied 30 receptions for 516 yards and seven touchdowns on 48 targets this season. That target total is fourth on the Chargers behind Keenan Allen (122), Melvin Gordon (60) and Austin Ekeler (52). Potential absence and a favorable matchup could put Williams in line for a bigger role Thursday night.
Ekeler hasn't practiced this week because of a concussion and neck issues related to a stinger, according to Rachel Gossen of Chargers.com. Gordon got in a limited practice Tuesday but isn't a lock to play. That's a big target share that could be up for grabs if both backs are out, although if Gordon plays, Williams should still get more chances out of necessity.
The Chiefs allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers in the last four weeks and most receiving yards on the season. If this game turns into a shootout, Williams would have a good chance of a top-30 fantasy effort against a bad defense. He's worth a look as a WR3 with upside potential.
Week 15 Wide Receiver PPR Rankings
Better Than Usual
David Njoku, CLE (at DEN)
Njoku is never a lock to be in your starting lineup, but he's in contention every week as a potential starter, especially when the matchup is in his favor. The last two weeks have been disappointing for Njoku with six receptions for 43 yards on 10 targets in games with the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans. He enters Week 15 as TE12 for the season with 112.4 fantasy points (9.4 fantasy points per game).
He deserves a look and a slight bump over that TE spot with a trip to Denver coming up. The last four weeks have been a struggle for the Broncos versus tight ends. They surrendered the fourth-most points to the position during that time, which includes George Kittle's seven-reception, 210-yard performance that also saw Kittle find the end zone on an 85-yard catch and run.
You have to consider Njoku when the matchup is his favor, and this is one of those weeks.
Cameron Brate, TB (at BAL)
Brate didn't do much last week, but he was able to turn his only two receptions on four targets into a pair of touchdowns in a loss to the New Orleans Saints. Brate doesn't have more than three receptions or 36 yards in any game this season, although he does have three of his six touchdowns in the last three weeks. He's TE7 during that stretch at 11.1 fantasy points per game.
Even though the Ravens possess one of the better defenses in the league, they've been weak against tight ends in the last four games. Baltimore's struggles have allowed opposing tight ends to score the fifth-most fantasy points per game in that period.
All six of Brate's touchdowns have come in the red zone on 11 targets, which is second on the team to Chris Godwin's 13 red-zone targets. Brate might be Jameis Winston's primary target in this game, and with the matchup on his side, he has a decent chance of another starter-caliber outing.
C.J. Uzomah, CIN (vs. OAK)
As the Cincinnati Bengals continue their downward spiral, you might not be interested in using any of their players outside Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd. That's understandable, although you should have an open mind at tight end since there's a lack of reliable options.
Uzomah and Boyd are tied with 22 targets in the last three games, although Boyd has posted 16 receptions for 234 yards and a touchdown compared to Uzomah's 14 receptions for 109 yards and no scores.
If Uzomah has a chance to come through, it's this week at home against the Oakland Raiders. The last four weeks saw the Raiders give up the second-most fantasy points per game to tight ends. From strictly a matchup standpoint, Uzomah should be in consideration to fill a tight end spot in starting lineups.
Week 15 Tight End PPR Rankings
|1||Travis Kelce (KC)|
|2||Zach Ertz (PHI)|
|3||George Kittle (SF)|
|4||Eric Ebron (IND)|
|5||Rob Gronkowski (NE)|
|6||Jared Cook (OAK)|
|7||Jaylen Samuels (PIT)|
|8||David Njoku (CLE)|
|9||Cameron Brate (TB)|
|10||Vance McDonald (PIT)|
|11||Austin Hooper (ATL)|
|12||Ian Thomas (CAR)|
|13||C.J. Uzomah (CIN)|
|14||Evan Engram (NYG)|
|15||Kyle Rudolph (MIN)|
|16||Trey Burton (CHI)|
|17||Jimmy Graham (GB)|
|18||Vernon Davis (WAS)|
|19||Chris Herndon IV (NYJ)|
|20||Gerald Everett (LAR)|
|21||Jordan Thomas (HOU)|
|22||Mark Andrews (BAL)|
|23||Blake Jarwin (DAL)|
|24||Dallas Goedert (PHI)|
|25||Antonio Gates (LAC)|
|26||Ricky Seals-Jones (ARI)|
|27||Dan Arnold (NO)|
|28||Ryan Griffin (HOU)|
|29||Tyler Higbee (LAR)|
|30||Jesse James (PIT)|
Best Streaming Option
Atlanta Falcons (vs. ARI)
Many savvy fantasy players likely got ahead on streaming defenses for the fantasy playoffs. If you didn't pick up defenses ahead of time, finding an attractive option might be tough for this week. That's why you should consider the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons may not have much of a defense in reality, but they are lucky enough to face the Arizona Cardinals in Atlanta. Last week, the Cardinals managed just three points at home in a loss to the Detroit Lions. By scoring just three points while giving up three sacks, an interception and a defensive touchdown, Arizona let the Lions defense score 18 fantasy points.
Much like the Falcons, the Lions don't have much of a defense, so the matchup is the key. Arizona's offense has been a mess for most of the season, so you can take a shot on the Falcons defense if you're stuck.
Ownership percentage: ESPN, 5.6; Yahoo, 17.0
Week 15 Defense Rankings
|1||Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. WAS)|
|2||Houston Texans (vs. NYJ)|
|3||Baltimore Ravens (vs. TB)|
|4||Minnesota Vikings (vs. MIA)|
|5||Buffalo Bills (vs. DET)|
|6||Chicago Bears (vs. GB)|
|7||Seattle Seahawks (vs. SF)|
|8||Los Angeles Rams (vs. PHI)|
|9||Atlanta Falcons (vs. ARZ)|
|10||Denver Broncos (vs. CLE)|
|11||Washington Redskins (vs. JAX)|
|12||Tennessee Titans (vs. NYG)|
|13||New York Giants (vs. TEN)|
|14||New Orleans Saints (vs. CAR)|
|15||Dallas Cowboys (vs. IND)|
|16||New England Patriots (vs. PIT)|
|17||Arizona Cardinals (vs. ATL)|
|18||Indianapolis Colts (vs. DAL)|
|19||Oakland Raiders (vs. CIN)|
|20||Cincinnati Bengals (vs. OAK)|
Best Streaming Option
Cody Parkey, CHI (vs. GB)
Sometimes it's best to grab a kicker on a team that should control the game. Parkey fits that bill with the Chicago Bears hosting the Green Bay Packers in Week 15.
He's connected on eight of his last nine field goals and all six of his extra points. Green Bay's defense is average at best, so the Bears should be able to move the ball well enough to give Parkey enough chances to use as a streamer this weekend.
Ownership percentages: ESPN, 27.0; Yahoo, 12.0
Week 15 Kicker Rankings
|1||Greg Zuerlein (LAR)|
|2||Justin Tucker (BAL)|
|3||Wil Lutz (NO)|
|4||Harrison Butker (KC)|
|5||Ka'imi Fairbairn (HOU)|
|6||Stephen Gostkowski (NE)|
|7||Michael Badgley (LAC)|
|8||Cody Parkey (CHI)|
|9||Daniel Carlson (OAK)|
|10||Matt Bryant (ATL)|
|11||Dan Bailey (MIN)|
|12||Brett Maher (DAL)|
|13||Sebastian Janikowski (SEA)|
|14||Brandon McManus (DEN)|
|15||Adam Vinatieri (IND)|
|16||Chris Boswell (PIT)|
|17||Ryan Succop (TEN)|
|18||Aldrick Rosas (NYG)|
|19||Mason Crosby (GB)|
|20||Steven Hauschka (BUF)|