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Fantasy Football Week 15 Cheat Sheet: Deep Sleepers To Target

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 08: DeAndre Washington #33 of the Oakland Raiders runs the ball in the second half against the Tennessee Titans at RingCentral Coliseum on December 08, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The fantasy football playoffs roll into Week 15, which brings a new batch of deep sleepers to the surface.

Injuries continue to reshuffle depth charts and rework the projected disbursement of opportunities. While you hate seeing players like Mike Evans, Marvin Jones, Derrius Guice and Rashaad Penny go down, you're constantly taking stock of what those absences might mean for someone else.

Simultaneously, you're scouring this week's matchups to find the likely soft spots in the schedule. With bye weeks well behind us, every bad defense that exists is on the slate somewhere.

We've utilized every tool available to us (including the always reliable eye test) and found the three sleepers—available in 50-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros—you need to target for Week 15.

                   

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Miami Dolphins (23 Percent Owned)

Ryan Fitzpatrick's Week 15 weaponry is unclear. Both DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson are in the concussion protocol, meaning the quarterback could be throwing to players you'll have to Google.

That's concerning, for sure, but we're still on board for a few reasons.

For starters, no matter who's around him, Fitzpatrick keeps letting it fly. His top targets had dwindled down to Isaiah Ford, Allen Hurns and Patrick Laird this past Sunday, and he still launched 37 passes, 21 of which were caught for 245 yards.

The 37-year-old also rushed seven times for 65 yards, which is quietly a decent part of his fantasy appeal. This was the sixth time in eight games he's rushed at least four times, and he's scored on the ground in three of them.

While Fitzpatrick's overall Week 14 numbers weren't great, neither was the matchup with the New York Jets. It's much better this week against the New York Giants, who have allowed multiple touchdown passes in seven different games and five rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks (including two in one game against Tom Brady).

                     

DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders (8 Percent Owned)

With Josh Jacobs' status up in the air—the Raiders just added some running back insurance, for whatever that's worth—DeAndre Washington might be the priority add of the week.

The 26-year-old handled the lion's share of the Week 14 work without Jacobs. He had 14 carries and six receptions for 96 scrimmage yards and a score.

That came in a solid-but-not-spectacular matchup with the Tennessee Titans, but Washington now gets a crack at a Jacksonville Jaguars rush defense that leaks like a bad faucet.

Jacksonville is tied for 31st in rushing yards allowed per carry, tied for 30th in rushing yards per game and has the 31st spot all to itself in rushing scores surrendered. Only two defenses yield more fantasy production to the position, per Yahoo Sports.

If Jacobs can't go, Washington should have a field day.

                 

A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans (28 Percent Owned)

Ever since giving Ryan Tannehill keys to the offense, the Titans have been unrecognizable in the best kind of way.

During the quarterback's seven starts, Tennessee has averaged 31.4 points. Over his last four outings, the number has ballooned to 37.5. For context, the Baltimore Ravens lead the NFL at 33.5. The San Francisco 49ers are the only other team north of 30 (30.5).

Rookie wideout A.J. Brown has played a huge part in this transformation. He has averaged 5.4 targets since Tannehill took over and typically put a big number in the fantasy points column. In five of the seven games, he's had at least 64 receiving yards or a receiving touchdown. In two of the last three, he has cleared 130 receiving yards with at least one touchdown catch.

Brown has had some good matchups in this stretch, but the schedule looks favorable again this week. The Houston Texans have allowed at least three touchdown passes to seven of their last nine opponents, and this defense just made rookie Drew Lock look like a star during only his second career start and first on the road.