Joshua Abbe, Mason Thompson, Mike Fanelli | December 14th, 2019
To help fantasy football players with their roster construction, three of our writers have provided some insight on which players they would start, would sit, and consider a sleeper for this week. Be sure to follow all of them on twitter and ask any of The Scorecrow’s fantasy writers for fantasy advice.
Josh – Jimmy Garoppolo vs Atlanta Falcons
After a shootout with the Saints, Garoppolo is primed for another knockout performance going into the week 15 playoffs. The Falcons’ defense is giving up a total of 24 touchdowns to the quarterback position. Also, the third-most fantasy points to the position. Fire up Jimmy G with a great matchup facing the league’s sixth-worst red zone defense.
Mason – Ryan Tannehill vs Houston Texans
Tannehill continues to put up great games into the fantasy playoffs. He has had consistent stat lines in all but one of his games since becoming the starter. The Titans face the Texans this week who just allowed Drew Lock to put up over 24 points against them last week. He could be a league winner for thousands of fantasy teams next week.
Mike – Drew Brees vs Indianapolis Colts
If you started Brees last week, you almost certainly won your playoff matchup as he had a season-high 40.1 fantasy points. Brees threw for a season-high five touchdowns in a shootout with the 49ers. This week he gets the Colts, who just gave up 35.5 fantasy points to Jameis Winston despite him playing the second half with a hand injury. The Saints know they need this game to stay in the race for a first-round bye in the playoffs, so expect Brees and the offense to come out focused Monday night.
Josh – Mitchell Trubisky at Green Bay Packers
Yes, Trubisky has been good as of late but look at the teams me faced. He now runs into a stingy Packers’ defense that isn’t kind to opposing quarterbacks and especially at home. In Lambeau, they have only surrendered nine touchdown passes and only 13 fantasy points per game (that’s the seventh-fewest). Fade Trubisky here.
Mason – Dak Prescott vs Los Angeles Rams
The Cowboys are entering a state of complete desperation. The offense didn’t manage much against the Bills and Bears the past two weeks. Now they face a Rams team that is beginning to find their stride and also just made life miserable for Russell Wilson. Prescott has made work in garbage time lately but I think the Rams defense will make him have fits.
Mike – Aaron Rodgers vs Chicago Bears
That bad man hasn’t been so bad lately. Rather he’s been a fantasy disappointment. Over his last five games, Rodgers has topped 13 fantasy points just once and that was against an awful Giants’ defense. Now he faces the Bears, who have won three straight and the defense has been outstanding. The Bears have held quarterbacks under 18.5 fantasy points in seven straight games and held Rodgers to just 12.9 fantasy points in week one. Find someone with a better matchup on the waiver wire.
Josh – Baker Mayfield vs Arizona Cardinals
So, Mayfield has been hit or miss this season and those who drafted him early have stressed his matchups each week if you haven’t already given up on him. Now he travels to Arizona and faces a defense that in their last four games have given up the most passing yards and the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Overall, they are on average giving up 24 fantasy points per game for the season. He could very well put up QB1 numbers come Sunday.
Mason – Ryan Fitzpatrick at New York Giants
Fitzpatrick is in a great spot as he faces off against the Giants this week. The Giants’ defense was already bad enough but that was before they released Janoris Jenkins earlier this week. Miami has become one of the most entertaining teams in recent weeks and Fitzpatrick should have no problem this week against the Giants’ terrible secondary.
Mike – Eli Manning vs Miami Dolphins
Back from the dead, Manning looked very good in the first half of the Monday night game against the Eagles, throwing two touchdowns and scoring a season-high 16 fantasy points. After facing an awful Eagles’ secondary, Manning now gets to take on an even worse one. The Dolphins have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, giving up 21.5 per game. Furthermore, they have allowed quarterbacks to score 24 or more fantasy points in three of their last four games. If you require a last minute streamer, Eli is your guy.
Josh – Chris Carson vs Carolina Panthers
Carson’s matchup for this week could lead you to a championship final. He gets a very putrid Panthers’ defense that seems to get carved up by opposing running backs. Surrendering the most touchdowns at 24 and the most fantasy points at 30 per game to ball carriers. With Rashaad Penny (knee) out for the season, Carson is primed to get the bulk of carries on Sunday.
Mason – David Montgomery at Green Bay Packers
The Bears offense finally hit some strides last week. Montgomery hasn’t had the most success this year but he has a great chance at a get right game this week against the Packers’ terrible run defense. Green Bay ranks in the bottom five against the run and the Bears would be wise to give Montgomery the load.
Mike – Phillip Lindsay at Kansas City Chiefs
Last week I had Lindsay as my running back start of the week and he has a solid 13.5 fantasy points. I’m doubling down this week as the Chiefs have given up the second-most fantasy points to running backs, giving up 29.8 per game. They have given up 30 or more fantasy points to running backs in four of their last six games, including four touchdowns during that span. The Broncos are going to want to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field and the best way to do that is to attack the Chiefs on the ground.
Josh – Devin Singletary at Pittsburgh Steelers
This one is painful, as I personally have a lot of shares of Singletary and he’s been a viable part of the Bills’ offense. The problem comes Sunday night he plays a tough Steelers’ defense that is very good against the run. They have only given up three rushing touchdowns and the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs. Hopefully, I’m wrong here, but the matchup doesn’t look promising.
Mason – Bo Scarbrough vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Scarbrough has led the Lions backfield the past month but hasn’t done much with the opportunity. He is mainly a touchdown dependent running back and is in a very difficult spot to succeed this week against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay’s run defense ranks third in the league and boasts one of the best defensive fronts in the league.
Mike – Devonta Freeman at San Francisco 49ers
Against the Panthers last week, Freeman had his best game since week six, seeing 21 touches for 94 yards and scoring 19.4 fantasy points. However, the Panthers are awful against the run and the 49ers are very good against it. The 49ers have given up the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs, giving up just 16.4 per game. Furthermore, the 49ers held the Saints’ running backs to just 17.7 fantasy points in a shootout last week and haven’t given up a rushing touchdown since week 10. Even coming off his strong performance, fantasy owners need to bench Freeman.
Josh – Kareem Hunt at Arizona Cardinals
Hunt has come back to football and played great so far. He has scored a touchdown in three straight games and is heavily involved in the Browns’ passing game. Looking at their past four games, the Cardinals have surrendered an average of six catches and tenth-most fantasy points to enemy running backs. Hunt could be in line for another great game.
Mason – Patrick Laird at New York Giants
Laird is similar to Scarbrough as being a touchdown dependent back. Unlike Scarbrough though, he is in a good spot to succeed against a Giants defense that just let Boston Scott run all over them. It will be difficult putting your trust into Dolphins’ players this week but they are in a prime spot to put up solid numbers against a terrible Giants’ defense.
Mike – Royce Freeman vs Kansas City Chiefs
I’m going to double down on my double down. Start both Lindsay and Freeman if you need to. Last week, Freeman has 10 touches and 11.2 fantasy points; his best outing in both categories since week eight. As I mentioned with Lindsay, the Chiefs are awful against running backs. Freeman’s role in the offense appears to be returning to what it was earlier in the season and Lindsay can’t get every rushing attempt. If you are in desperate need of an RB2 or flex this week, you could do much worse than Freeman.
Josh – Jarvis Landry at Arizona Cardinals
I for one have not been on the Landry train for quite some time but he has steered me in the opposite direction with his production. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points every week since week eight and continues his production in the slot role. The Cardinals on the season have given up eight touchdown catches, an average of 118 receiving yards, and 24 fantasy points a game to receivers lined up in the slot position. Landry should have another nice day.
Mason – A.J. Brown vs Houston Texans
If you were lucky enough to get the Titan’s rookie receiver off of waivers recently, I’d fire him up this week. The Texans secondary continues to be atrocious and just let Lock throw all over them. With Brown quickly becoming Tannehill’s favorite target and in a prime position to succeed, Brown is a solid WR2 this week.
Mike – Odell Beckham Jr. at Arizona Cardinals
I know OBJ has been a frustrating mess this season and he was my sit at wide receiver last week but this week I’m changing my tune. His groin injury has healed and he is off the injury report, and he is still an excellent talent. Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ secondary gives up fantasy points like Santa gives out presents. The Cardinals have given up the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers, giving up 40 per game. Furthermore, they gave up 36.1 fantasy points to the Steelers last week without JuJu Smith-Schuster and have given up at least 34.5 fantasy points to wide receivers in eight of their last nine games.
Josh – Sammy Watkins vs Denver Broncos
If you are stuck in a position to start Watkins, I pray for your other players to step up big. He has been the forgotten wideout in the Chiefs’ offense and the numbers show it. Since week eight, he’s put up fewer than 10 fantasy points five times. Now he gets a Broncos’ defense that has only given up five touchdown catches to receivers lined up on the outside and only the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to wideouts for the season. Try to find another option.
Mason – Tyler Boyd vs New England Patriots
Boyd has produced since Andy Dalton‘s return to the lineup but has an awful matchup this week as he faces the Patriots. The Bengals are in prime position to get the number one overall pick and I see them trying every way possible to keep that spot. They might not need to try to lose as New England’s defense is far superior to Cincinnati’s offense.
Mike – James Washington vs Buffalo bills
Washington was my sleeper at wide receiver last week and he failed me, scoring just 7.3 fantasy points. Based on his poor performance and the matchup, Washington will be glued to my bench this week. The Bills have given up the fifth-fewest fantasy to wide receivers, giving up just 29.7 per game. Furthermore, over their last three games, the Bills have held wide receivers under 15 fantasy points twice. This game should be a defensive battle and I’m not crazy about playing anyone from this game.
Josh – Dede Westbrook vs Oakland Raiders
The Jaguars will be without DJ Chark this week because of a foot injury. Westbrook slides into a nice WR1 role on the depth chart and with his recent target outlook of seven or more in his last three straight games, he looks to a favorable matchup in Oakland. Westbrook lines mostly in the slot and the Raiders have allowed 10 touchdowns to slot receivers this season. At home, the Raiders are giving up over 40 fantasy points to receivers. Westbrook could be in line for a big day.
Mason – Darius Slayton vs Miami Dolphins
Slayton has impressed during his rookie campaign and it peaked last week against Philadelphia. In Manning’s first start since late September, he looked to Slayton early and often. With Manning in line to start again, he should earn his fair share of looks again this week against the Dolphins. I’d fire Slayton up as a strong flex play for the semi-finals.
Mike – Danny Amendola vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marvin Jones was placed on injured reserve this week and that makes Amendola the new WR2 in Detroit. The good news for fantasy owners who lost Jones, Amendola is the perfect replacement this week. The Buccaneers have given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers, giving up 46.4 per game. Furthermore, the Buccaneers have allowed wide receivers to score 44 or more fantasy points in four of their last six games, giving up 12 touchdowns to wide receivers during that span. Expect this game to have plenty of points scored as both defenses struggle against the pass.
Josh – Jack Doyle at New Orleans Saints
Saints have struggled mightily this season against tight ends. They have allowed seven catches a game and the seventh-most points to the position. If you’re looking for a quick streamer to advance into the finals, Doyle is a player to look to.
Mason – David Njoku at Arizona Cardinals
Njoku has recently returned from injured reserve and has been a great help to Mayfield. The Browns get a great chance to blow up offensively against the Cardinals this week. Luckily for Njoku, the Cardinals are awful against the tight end position and have been since week one. Look for him to put up monster numbers this week in an attempt to help the Browns somehow make a playoff push.
Mike – Dallas Goedert at Washington Redskins
I’ll admit I’m not the biggest Goedert fan but with Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson on injured reserve, and Nelson Agholor unlikely to play, someone other than Zach Ertz has to catch the ball. Goedert has seen at least six targets in four straight games and he has a good matchup this week. The Redskins have given up the ninth-most fantasy points to tight ends, giving up 13.2 per game. Furthermore, the Redskins have given up 11.5 or more fantasy points to tight ends in four straight games, including four touchdowns during that span. I don’t love the idea of playing Goedert but you could certainly do worse than him this week.
Josh – Jimmy Graham vs Chicago Bears
Yes, Graham had a decent game last week but his production the past few weeks has been nothing to be excited about. In fact, he hasn’t caught more than three passes since he had four back in week seven! He just isn’t a guy to trust down the stretch.
Mason – Austin Hooper at San Francisco 49ers
I know this looks like a bad idea on paper. Hooper is one of the best tight ends in fantasy football so he should be a must start. The 49ers defense, however, is a complete juggernaut. San Francisco’s defensive front is far superior to Atlanta’s offensive line so Matt Ryan will be under duress for the majority of the game. Hooper should get garbage time points but could also be in for a bad time against the 49ers’ defense.
Mike – Jacob Hollister at Carolina Panthers
After a couple of hot weeks, Hollister has struggled of late. Over his last three games, Hollister has a total of 22 fantasy points despite averaging six targets per game. To make things worse for his fantasy owners, he faces the Panthers, who have given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends, giving up just 9.3 per game. Furthermore, the Panthers have held tight ends under eight fantasy points in five of their last six games and have given up just one touchdown to tight ends since week six.
Josh – Ian Thomas vs Seattle Seahawks
With Greg Olsen out for this game with a concussion, Thomas makes for a nice streaming option against the Seahawks. Last week he saw 10 targets and posted 16 fantasy points catching a groove with Kyle Allen. Now getting a Seahawk defense that has allowed seven catches, 71 yards, and the second-most fantasy points a game to the position. He is definitely a nice option for week 15.
Mason – Tyler Higbee at Dallas Cowboys
Since Gerald Everett‘s absence, Higbee has been a fantasy hero for teams. He has over 42 points the past two weeks and faces a Cowboys defense that isn’t good against tight ends. The Cowboys allow over 13 points per game to the tight end spot and the Rams finally seem to be finding a groove. Fire him up as a top-ten option.
Mike – Noah Fant at Kansas City Chiefs
Last week Fant had a career day, catching four balls for 113 yards, a touchdown, and scoring 21.3 fantasy points. While Fant is listed as questionable for the game with foot and hip injuries, he is expected to play. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have given up fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends, giving up 14.8 per game. Furthermore, the Chiefs have given up 16.5 or more fantasy points to tight ends in four of their last five games with the exception being the Patriots, who don’t have any good tight ends. If you need a last minute replacement for Evan Engram, Fant is owned in under 34% of ESPN leagues and is a good option.
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