Fantasy Attack: Week 15

Still in the Running!

by Lead Fantasy writer Steve Cook | @SteveCook84 |

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It’s Week 15. If you’re still reading the Fantasy Attack, I offer my congratulations! Obviously if you’re here, one or more of your fantasy teams is alive & well in the playoffs. Pretty much every fantasy league is in the semi-finals this week, except for goofy leagues that end in Week 17. I believe the Supreme Court should rule leagues playing in Week 17 unconstitutional, but that’ll be another topic for another time.

Week 14 was an interesting time for sure. If you started Derrick Henry, you did really well for yourself. Of course, if you were starting Derrick Henry you more than likely weren’t in playoff contention anyway. I got beat by a team starting him. In the consolation bracket. If you made your living off of players on the LA Rams, you had a really rough week since they didn’t do much of annything on Sunday night in Chicago. In general, if you were hoping for points to come your way on Sunday night & Monday night, you didn’t get what you were looking for.

It was one of those weeks where up was down & down was up. If your team still has championship aspirations, don’t read too much into Week 14 results. One conclusion I would reach is to try & not start people going against the Bears. I wouldn’t expect Derrick Henry to go off for three touchdowns every week, or even get three touchdowns over the next three weeks.

It’s semifinal time. Let’s take a look at who to love, who to hate, and who to pick up.

Fave 5
Drew Brees (20.00 DRAFT projected points): I typically wouldn’t waste my time with Brees in the Fave Five because it’s not like you need to be told to start him. Unfortunately for his owners, Brees & the Saints offense has gone into the toilet lately. The Cowboys D shut them down on a Thursday night, and Brees getting under 20 points against Tampa Bay has to be considered nothing short of a disaster. Don’t worry guys, Drew’s going to put up some big numbers on Monday night against Carolina. Countless fantasy playoff games will swing on Brees’ Week 15 output, & it’ll be good news for those of you owning him.

David Johnson (15.90 DRAFT proj.): Another top fantasy star that’s fallen on hard times lately is the running back of a team that’s fallen on hard times. David Johnson saw his numbers go up briefly when Byron Leftwich took over the offense, but the last three weeks have seen him come back to Earth. The last three weeks have seen point totals of 7, 7 & 6, which won’t get it done. The good news is that Arizona meets the Atlanta Falcons this week, and everybody runs all over the Falcons. You might think about getting cute & benching DJ for some hot name, but I’d hold off on that.

Tyler Lockett (11.80 DRAFT proj.): Maybe you’re like me and haven’t really noticed other Seahawks WRs due to your disappointment over your Doug Baldwin draft pick. Lockett’s stepped his game up. He’s scored in eight of Seattle’s games so far, and has a really good chance of doing the same this week against the 49ers. San Francisco is 4th-worst against the pass, so expect Russell Wilson to take advantage of it. Heck, maybe Baldwin even gets something done.

Doug Martin (12.20 DRAFT proj.): Nobody expected much from the Muscle Hamster before the season started, and we didn’t see much early on in the season when Marshawn Lynch was still a thing. He’s been doing things since then, with touchdowns in three straight games. He’s got a dream matchup this week, as the Bengals have given up more rushing yards than anybody in the league. Martin, who was drafted as a handcuff if at all, may end up powering teams to the next round.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (15.60 DRAFT proj.): You know that the Patriots & Steelers aren’t going to go out there & have a 15-6 game on Sunday. It’ll be one of those shootouts that we’ve grown accustomed to. I wouldn’t say that JuJu has put Antonio Brown out to pasture or anything like that, but the guy can make the deep plays & Pittsburgh will need plenty of those to keep up.

Fearful 4
Aaron Rodgers (17.40 DRAFT proj.): Rodgers has looked surprisingly human for most of this season, and the Packers’ status out of the playoff picture is a sign of that. It didn’t look like 2018 would go that way for Green Bay back in Week 1, when Rodgers put up a ton of points on a Chicago Bears defense that was still figuring things out. Flash forward to Week 15, and the Bears have become one of the most dangerous defenses in the history of football. They shut the Rams down in Week 14, and I’d expect a similar result in Week 15. Rodgers owners might find their season over after this one.

Mike Evans (13.20 DRAFT proj.): Evans has been fantastic for most of this season, but his production has dropped off the last two weeks. I might tell you not to worry, except for the fact that the Bucs are heading to Baltimore this week. They go to Dallas in Week 16, so Evans isn’t going to be much help at all for playoff teams this year.

Kenyan Drake (9.60 DRAFT proj.): Drake’s been on fire since the Dolphins’ bye week, with three straight games in double-digits since then. The issue is that he still isn’t getting a ton of carries, and his point totals are mostly based on crazy nonsense like that thing that ended the Dolphins vs. Patriots game last week. Don’t expect anything like that against Minnesota.

Vernon Davis (3.90 DRAFT proj.): OK, I know that Jordan Reed is probably out of the picture in Washington. In years past, we’ve seen VD rise to the occasion in situations like this. With the tight end position being what it is, you might be tempted to pick up some VD & insert him into your lineup. Please don’t. He’ll be catching passes from Josh Johnson or Mark Sanchez. Don’t get involved in that nonsense against a Jaguars defense that will be PISSED OFF after their sorry showing in Tennessee.

3 Sleepers
Derek Carr
(19% Yahoo-owned): Don’t look now, but Carr is starting to show flashes of the greatness that Jon Gruden saw in him. Back in Week 13 he threw it a ton to try & keep up with Kansas City, and last week he went over 300 yards for the first time in awhile in a victory over Pittsburgh. Lord knows the Bengals are prone to giving up some passing yards & TDs, so if you’re really stuck in a situation for some reason you just might consider picking Carr up.

Curtis Samuel (31% Yahoo-owned): Samuel has been quiet for most of this season, but Cam Newton has been looking his way pretty often the last two weeks. He had a decent little touchdown streak before that too, so it’s a little surprising he’s not owned in more leagues. He’ll be playing on Monday night against the Saints, a matchup that should bode well for those that pull the trigger on him.

Kenneth Dixon (9% Yahoo-owned): Dixon went out due to injury after Week 1 & we all forgot about him. He’s back, and he has touchdowns in the last two games. The Ravens’ running game is tough to predict…Gus Edwards is getting more snaps for now, but Dixon’s been gaining on him and also has the ability to catch passes. They’ll both have the chance to do things against Tampa Bay this week.

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