Week 15 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Play or Bench Advice on Top Fantasy Football Stars

Jake RillSenior Analyst IDecember 12, 2019

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) makes a catch during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, in Chicago. Chicago won 31-24. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

If your fantasy football season is still alive, then you've likely done plenty of research this year. So, if you want to keep it going, it's time to keep reading up and evaluating the matchups.

With many leagues getting close to deciding a champion, fantasy owners need to start and sit the right players now more than ever. The stakes are raised, and there is no margin for error.

Heading into Week 15, here are the players you'll want in your lineup and those you'll want to avoid.


Start 'Em

QB: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

QB: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions

RB: Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

RB: DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

WR: A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

WR: Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams

WR: Emmanuel Sanders, San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

TE: Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys

TE: Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku, Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals


The Titans are playing their best football of the season, and Ryan Tannehill and A.J. Brown have been big parts of that.

Tennessee has won six of its last seven games, and in each of those victories, Tannehill has thrown multiple touchdowns. He's frequently connecting with Brown, who has gone over 100 yards in two of the past three games and scored three touchdowns during that span.

Both players will be great ones to start this week against the Texans, who conceded 38 points in their loss to the Broncos last week.

Carson is a must-start running back this week, as the Seahawks no longer have Rashaad Penny in their backfield. Penny suffered a season-ending ACL injury last week, which leaves Carson to receive most of the carries for Seattle moving forward.

It should be a big week for the 25-year-old against the Jaguars, who allow 141.1 rushing yards per game, tied for second-worst in the NFL.

The Cowboys and Rams could have a shootout featuring a lot of points, so there should be some solid fantasy performances from both sides.

Michael Gallup is poised for a strong day as Amari Cooper will draw a tough assignment in Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey. So, expect Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to potentially look to connect with Gallup on some deep passes.

On the other side, Tyler Higbee has emerged as one of the Rams' top offensive weapons. He's gone over 100 yards each of the past two weeks with Gerald Everett out, and he should continue to have solid performances moving forward.


Sit 'Em

QB: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers

QB: Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

RB: Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints

RB: Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles

WR: Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots

WR: James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills

WR: Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

TE: Ryan Griffin, New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens

TE: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers


Josh Allen is typically a solid fantasy option, particularly because he's also a threat to score touchdowns using his legs. But he has a difficult matchup this week when the Bills go on the road to face the Steelers on Sunday night.

Pittsburgh ranks fifth in the NFL in total defense, allowing only 310.9 yards per game, which should make for a tough night for Allen and Buffalo's offense. So, avoid starting most Bills players in your fantasy lineup, especially the quarterback.

Marlon Mack returned from injury last week and scored a touchdown in the Colts' loss to the Buccaneers, but he had only 38 yards on 13 carries. He also continues to not be involved in the passing game, so his value is entirely based on what he can do on the ground.

Now, the 23-year-old has a challenging matchup against the Saints, who rank fifth in the NFL in rushing defense (94.2 yards allowed per game). Find a better running back to stream this week if you typically rely on Mack.

Of the receivers that fantasy owners should sit this week, Tyler Boyd is one of the best among the group. However, most receivers struggle against the Patriots' vaunted defense, and it's likely they'll completely shut down the Bengals' offense. So, that won't bode well for the 25-year-old's performance.

James Washington and Sammy Watkins also draw tough matchups. Plus, the latter is no longer a reliable fantasy option out of the Chiefs' offense.

Over Watkins' last three games, he has only six receptions for 76 yards. Kansas City may be playing well of late, but it's doing so by utilizing its other offensive weapons. It's possible the 26-year-old could break out with a big game at some point, but he's too risky to start in fantasy at this point.