X

Fantasy Football Week 15 Rankings: Matchups We Love and Player Stat Projections

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 24: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints in stands on the field during a NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on November 24, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

It's the 15th week of the 2019 NFL season, which means it's playoff time for most fantasy managers. Those fortunate enough to have made it this far are likely a win or two away from a fantasy championship. Of course, they're also a loss away from going home.

It's as important as it has ever been to make the right lineup decisions.

The good news is that bye weeks are a thing of the past. Injuries and tough matchups are still a thing, though, so managers cannot simply insert all of their top performers and watch things unfold.

Here, we'll run down the top 40 flex options for the remaining Week 15 schedule and examine some of the best matchups to exploit potential streaming options.

       

Fantasy Football Flex 40

1. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

2. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

3. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

4. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks

5. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

6. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

7. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

8. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

9. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

10. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

11. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

12. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

13. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

14. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

15. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

16. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

17. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

18. DJ Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers

19. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

20. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

21. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

22. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

23. Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns

24. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions

25. Melvin Gordon III, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

26. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

27. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

28. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

29. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

30. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams

31. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys

32. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

33. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

34. Darren Waller, TE, Oakland Raiders

35. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos

36. Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos

37. Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers

38. James White, RB, New England Patriots

39. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, San Francisco 49ers

40. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

    

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 01: Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates a touchdown during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on December 01, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Imag
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Fantasy managers haven't always been able to rely on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston this season. He's had some ridiculous statistical outings—he passed for 456 yards and four touchdowns in Week 14—but turnovers have been a major issue.

Winston has 28 turnovers to go with his 26 touchdown passes this season.

As a streaming option, Winston is a top option here in Week 15. He has an incredible matchup against the Detroit Lions, who rank just 30th in pass defense. Detroit has allowed an average of 276.5 passing yards per game while producing just five interceptions on the season.

This is a week in which Winston should avoid the turnover monster. If he does, he could be one of the top performers at the quarterback position.

Projection: 378 passing yards, three TDs

    

Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals have scaled back the role of running back David Johnson in recent weeks, which has opened the door for Kenyan Drake. The former Miami Dolphin, who was acquired midseason, has averaged roughly 13 carries four receptions per game over the past three weeks.

While this isn't an especially large workload, it's enough to make Drake worth the start this week against the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland has struggled to contain opposing ball-carriers this season, allowing an average of 128.2 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry.

Expect Arizona to lean on Drake and the running game in an effort to keep Cleveland's own rushing attack off the field. While Baker Mayfield and the passing offense have been inconsistent for the Browns, starting back Nick Chubb leads the NFL with 1,281 rushing yards.

Drake should again be at the forefront of Arizona's running game.

Projection: 88 rushing yards, four receptions, 35 receiving yards, one TD

     

Breshad Perriman, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Buccaneers have placed star wide receiver Mike Evans on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, which is a major blow to many fantasy managers. For those looking for a handcuff for Evans or simply for a possible streaming option, his injury makes Breshad Perriman an intriguing option.

Perriman has started to come on in recent weeks—he had eight receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown over the last two—and will likely see an increase in production with Evans out of the lineup.

"He just comes to work ready for his chance," head coach Bruce Arians said of Perriman, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times. "The last two weeks, it's been there."

Expect it to be there again this week against the Lions' maligned pass defense

Projection: four receptions, 82 receiving yards

       

Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans

Streaming at tight end has long been a popular fantasy strategy, as the position is often the most top-heavy. Managers faced with middle-tier options at tight end should take a long look at streaming Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith this week.

Smith has not been a regular producer, even with veteran tight end Delanie Walker on injured reserve. However, he did have a three-catch, one-touchdown performance in Week 14 and has an enticing matchup this week against the Houston Texans.

The Texans pass defense has been a major liability all season long. It ranks 27th and has surrendered 28 passing touchdowns on the season.

Last week, Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant torched Houston for 113 yards and a touchdown on four receptions. While Smith isn't likely to have as prolific an outing, he should do enough to justify the start.

Projection: five receptions, 61 receiving yards, one TD