Week 15 QB Ranks
Andrew Luck: Robert Griffin III (ineffective, benched, now starting again), Derek Carr (nine games with fewer than 200 passing yards), Brian Hoyer (11 games without throwing for multiple touchdowns this season, including three straight without a single score), Andy Dalton (NFL-high nine interceptions in November), and Blake Bortles (three times as many 0 touchdown games as 0 interception games ) are the only quarterbacks that haven’t thrown for multiple touchdowns against the Texans this season: safe to say Luck is a step or two ahead of those names.
Peyton Manning: The Chargers rank among the 10 worst defenses at generating a pass rush, a deficiency that could prove fatal this weekend. The future Hall of Famer has surpassed 400 yards or thrown at least three touchdowns without an interception in all four games this season against defenses with a similar flaw.
Drew Brees: Is the “road” thing being a bit overblown? Through his first six games at home and on the road this season, Brees actually had a better touchdown-to-interception ratio away from New Orleans and a nearly identical passer rating. He has destroyed the NFC North this season (completing 73.2 percent of his passes for an average of 316 yards and a 7.0 touchdown-to-interception rate) and faces the division’s worst defense this week in Chicago.
Aaron Rodgers: Obviously an elite quarterback having a great season but … he is averaging just 249 passing yards with a 1.75 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the last two seasons (five games) when he travels to face a defense that ranks in the top third in rushing yards allowed. He is averaging 308 passing yards with a 9.00 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his other 16 games over that stretch.
Ben Roethlisberger: Remember the good ‘ole Steelers that would run the ball and play stout defense? This isn’t them. Big Ben has thrown for at least 300 yards in five consecutive Sunday games (matching the total number of 300-yard games he had a year ago).
Matthew Stafford: He has thrown just two interceptions in his last eight games against the Vikings. In his five games without a pick this season, he is averaging 25.8 Fantasy points.
Tom Brady: Over the last three seasons, he is averaging just 5.99 yards per pass attempt against the Dolphins, an 18.9 percent dropoff from his average against all other opponents.
Tony Romo: Don’t get me wrong, I like what he is doing for Dallas, but he could struggle in the clutch for Fantasy owners. The Cowboys rank 29th in pass attempts per game and are taking on an Eagles defense that owns the second-best pass defense in terms of completion percentage against.
Jay Cutler: The loss of Brandon Marshall is going to make things difficult, as is the fact that Cutler is throwing 9.2 percent more passes in losses than wins this season. Chicago’s best chance to win has been handing off to Matt Forte (18.2 percent more carries in victories this season), a style of offense they likely get back to against a Saints’ defense that ranks among the bottom three defenses in both yards per carry and rushing touchdowns.
Philip Rivers: Despite five of his seven home games coming against defenses that grade out above average in total defense, Rivers has still managed a sparkling 3.5 touchdown-to-interception ratio while completing 69.6 percent of his passes.
Matt Ryan: He is averaging 287 passing yards against defenses that grade out poorly in pass coverage, throwing for 10 touchdowns and just one interception in the process. Those numbers are even better when playing at home, where he is averaging 14.2 yards per completion against those opponents.
Eli Manning: He has struggled against elite run defenses, as 76.9 percent of his interceptions have come against units that excel at stuffing the ground game. In his other nine games, he has tossed 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions. The Redskins do not qualify as even an average run defense, so all systems should be go for Manning and the Giants.
Ryan Tannehill: Big time players make big time plays. In his last four games when opposing a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback, Tannehill is averaging 299 yards and 2.8 touchdowns.
Mark Sanchez: I don’t think Dallas’ defense is very good, but a quarterback with a downward trending total of passes thrown, completion percentage, and yards per attempt is only so appealing.
Joe Flacco: He has torched the NFC South for 11 passing touchdowns with just two interceptions. He has totaled just 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions against the rest of the NFL … the Jags don’t play in the NFC South.
Alex Smith: Since joining the Chiefs, he has thrown seven touchdowns and zero interceptions when opposing the Raiders, averaging 12.73 yards per completion in the process (a 22.3 percent increase over his Kansas City career average).
Ryan Fitzpatrick: He has very quietly completed at least 64 percent of his passes in six of his last eight games (71.2 percent over the last two weeks).
Russell Wilson: His passing yardage improved for the fourth consecutive week, doubling his longest such streak over the last two years.
Derek Anderson: He may not be as flashy as Cam Newton, but he was an effective Fantasy option against these very Buccaneers during a Week 1 victory (240 yards, two touchdowns, and zero turnovers) that saw him target the Panthers primary play-makers (Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen) with 56 percent of his passes. An improving run game and a favorable matchup make him a nice plug’n’play option in deep or two-quarterback leagues if you’re in a bind.
Kyle Orton: I’m not going to argue that he is anything other than a marginal NFL quarterback, but the fact that he ranks seventh in pass attempts since assuming the Bills’ starting gig in Week 5 and has completed more passes than Andrew Luck is noteworthy for Fantasy owners looking for volume.
Jake Locker: At this point, does it matter who starts under center? For that matter, does it matter if he has any NFL talent to utilize? The Titans face a Jets team this week that has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in 11 of their 13 games this season (some were to Hall of Fame bound quarterbacks, but Derek Carr, Alex Smith, and Kyle Orton … twice … are also on the list).
Andy Dalton: He threw for 699 yards in two games against the Browns in 2012, but he has totaled just 385 in the three games since.
Josh McCown: I love his pair of pass catchers, but elite perimeter size can only do so much. McCown’s completion percentage and yards per pass attempt have decreased for three consecutive weeks (sub 53 percent completion rate in three straight games).
Drew Stanton: It hasn’t been pretty, but he is averaging 13.9 yards per completion since Carson Palmer’s season ended, and the Cardinals are forced into throwing the ball given their league-worst 3.2 yards per carry.[table “1306” not found /]
Week 15 FLEX Ranks
Le’Veon Bell: He has totaled 117.1 PPR Fantasy points over his last three weeks, a total that is greater than Arian Foster’s PPR point total through the first two months this season (he was the third-highest scoring back over that stretch)!
Arian Foster: He has scored in seven straight games in which he has recorded at least 10 carries (11 touchdowns).
Antonio Brown: Forget the streak of games with at least five receptions; Brown has hauled in at least eight passes from Roethlisberger in seven straight. For reference, Calvin Johnson has seven games with eight-plus catches over the last two years.
Jamaal Charles: I guess you could say he is a fan of playing the Raiders. In his last three games against Oakland, Charles has piled up 475 yards (7.2 yards per touch) and eight touchdowns.
Alshon Jeffery: Not only has he scored six touchdowns in his last six games, he has also been targeted with 38.2 percent more passes per game during that stretch than he was during the first seven games of this season. It is difficult to see those numbers regressing with Brandon Marshall (ribs/lung) sidelined.
DeMarco Murray: Worried about his workload after a 41 touch performance on Thursday? He has averaged 30 touches per game following a 25-plus touch effort this season and has averaged 25.3 touches against the Eagles over the last three seasons (remember, that includes the pass-happy Dallas days).
Dez Bryant: He has found the end zone at least once in every game over the last three seasons in which the Cowboys had more than normal rest following a game (bye weeks not included).
Julio Jones: The hip injury suffered late on Monday night is less than ideal, but only five receivers have accounted for more yardage over the last month than Jones has over the last two weeks (448 yards).
Demaryius Thomas: If you survived last week, there is no reason to hold a grudge this week against DT. Since Manning joined the Broncos, Thomas has averaged 17.54 PPR points against the Chargers and his Week 14 snap percentage was in line with his season average, so don’t fret the minor ankle injury that made news last week.
Matt Forte: When having extended rest last season, he averaged 154.3 yards (6.3 yards per touch) and scored five times in three games.
Calvin Johnson: He has eclipsed 60 yards or scored a touchdown in just one of his last four games against the Vikings. It’s also worth noting that Minnesota is familiar with Megatron and finds themselves ranked as the 10th best team in pass coverage.
Jordy Nelson: One of the best the game has to offer, but his last five scoreless games have been on the road and the Bills haven’t allowed a receiver to reach the end zone in three straight and five of their last six.
Justin Forsett: He is averaging 6.0 yards per carry over the last month, a trend I will take to the bank against a Jaguars’ defense that has allowed an average of 136 rushing yards to opposing running backs over their last five games (eight rushing touchdowns allowed over that period of time).
Mike Evans: The rookie now has three games with multiple receiving scores since the beginning of November. Terrell Owens had two multi-touchdown games in his first 37 as a pro … and Steve Young was his quarterback. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
LeSean McCoy: His season numbers may be a bit underwhelming, but he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry (ahead of his career average) in games in which he breaks off a run longer than 10 yards. That is a trend worth buying into as no defense has given up more 20-plus yard rushes on fewer rush attempts than the Cowboys.
A.J. Green: What more can a Fantasy owner ask for than a pass game that is dependent on your receiver? Andy Dalton hasn’t been lighting the world on fire (probably because he’s just not very good at football), but that hasn’t stopped Green, as he has accounted for 56.8 percent of Dalton’s yardage over the last month.
Marshawn Lynch: Did you know that 44.4 percent of his career’s receiving touchdowns have come this season? Or how about that he is on pace for the second-most efficient season rushing the football (yards per carry) of his career? Or that he is one score away from matching a career-high in touchdowns? Yea, he is just fine, and this Seattle offense is continuing to run through Beast Mode (35.8 percent more touches in victories than losses this season).
T.Y. Hilton: He’s not catching a ton of passes these days (25 in his last five games, and that includes 10 grabs on Sunday), but with five scores in those games, his Fantasy owners have very little to complain about. The Texans’ defense looked reasonably good against a pathetic Jags’ offense last week, but prior to that, they had given up the most PPR Fantasy Points to opposing wide receivers, in large part because they were giving up one 40-plus yard pass play per week.
C.J. Anderson: Sure, the 5.4 yards per touch and five touchdowns over the last four weeks is impressive, but it is even more impressive when you consider that the big play hasn’t inflated his numbers (no plays over 26 yards).
Randall Cobb: He hasn’t scored in four straight after finding paydirt in six straight, but his target count has risen 30.8 percent over that stretch.
Emmanuel Sanders: You can worry about this Denver passing attack, but I’m not. San Diego has allowed multiple receiver touchdowns in four of their last eight games, including a game against these very Broncos.
DeAndre Hopkins: The Texans have an emerging star here and they know it. In the three previous weeks following a game with less than 50 receiving yards, Hopkins is averaging 154 yards.
Kelvin Benjamin: Cam Newton has struggled this season, yet the rookie has managed a reasonably stable Fantasy stat line, as he has produced double-digit PPR points in seven of his last eight.
Golden Tate: Hard to say that he is loaded with upside given the presence of Calvin Johnson and the Vikings “better-than-you-think” secondary, but he has caught at least four passes in every game in which the Lions have scored at least seven points, totaling at least 50 yards 11 of those 12 contests.
Odell Beckham Jr.: If you project his last seven games for an entire season: 1,730 yards and 11.4 touchdowns on 121 catches. Wow.
Josh Gordon: You might be able to tell that I love me some Mike Evans … Johnny Football found a way to get him the ball with regularity in college and I expect him to do the same with another freak of an athlete at the pro level.
Jordan Matthews: Only Alshon Jeffery has a greater catch percentage and more touchdowns since Week 10 (when Mark Sanchez took over as the Eagles’ starter) than Matthews. Pair that with the fact that his aDOT is 29.2 percent higher than Jeremy Maclin’s over that stretch, and you’ve got a must-start option against a Cowboys defense that is allowing two-thirds of passes to be completed.
Eddie Lacy: He has six straight games with at least 100 total yards, the same number of triple-figure games he had during his entire rookie campaign that made him a first round pick this preseason. Remember when you were complaining earlier this season?
Mark Ingram: The Bears have held opposing running backs out of the end zone in the majority of games this season, not an ideal trend for a running back who hasn’t scored on his last 97 carries (his first 85 carries this season resulted in six scores).
Jeremy Maclin: Just two of his 17 receptions over the last three weeks have gone for more than 17 yards, a vastly different role than he held in the Nick Foles’ version of this offense that had him averaging over 17 yards per catch during the first half of the season.
Marques Colston: He had four games with at least 9.6 PPR Points in his first nine games this season, but has rattled off four straight since.
Sammy Watkins: He had 22 more receiving yards on Sunday than he had in all of November. Let’s not forget that he was on pace for nearly 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns at the midway point this season.
Jonathan Stewart: He leads the league (minimum 25 percent of team’s carries) in Elusive Rating and is averaging 7.8 yards per touch since gaining the starting role. Ignore the name and the past disappointment, in a two-week season, Stewart can very much help you succeed.
Roddy White: Julio Jones may get all of the headlines for his recent run, but if you project White’s last six games over a 16 game season, he is on pace for 107 catches, 1,203 yards, and 11 touchdowns.
Julian Edelman: No receiver has been targeted more and has a higher catch percentage over the last three weeks.
Latavius Murray: He obviously had his way in limited duty against the Chiefs during their first matchup, and while he is the only running back to rush for a score against this defense, don’t mistake that for a “stingy” group. No team in the league is giving up more yards per carry and the Raiders seemed willing to give Murray a full workload last week (and, imagine that, they won!).
Alfred Morris: Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, DeMarco Murray, and Eddie Lacy: A nice group of names, right? Those are the players, along with Morris, that rank in the Top 10 this season in both Elusive Rating and Breakaway Percentage. Combine that with the fact that Morris has scored six times in seven games in which he has touched the ball at least 19 times and you’ve got yourself a reliable option as long as the Redskins commit to him (I like the chances of that, what are they going to do, throw the ball?).
Joique Bell: The Vikings have allowed opposing running backs to total at least 117 yards or a touchdown in 11 of their last 12 games. Bell is averaging 96.4 total yards and 5.0 yards per touch over his last five games.
Andre Johnson: “I don’t score often, but when I do, it’s against the Colts.” Over the last four seasons, 46.2 percent of his touchdowns have come against Indianapolis.
Vincent Jackson: He is averaging just 2.7 catches and 50.3 yards following his last three 100-yard performances.
Steve Smith: The occasional strong game is enough to keep him starting in a favorable matchup, but with more sub 40-yard performances than plus 40-yard performances since September, he is hardly one to feel confident about.
Lamar Miller: He is averaging 4.95 yards per carry in his last five games with at least 10 carries, a total I expect him to surpass this weekend, as the ‘Fins will look to keep Tom Brady off the field (like they did in a Week 1 victory in which they had 38 rushing attempts).
LeGarrette Blount: He is averaging 5.5 yards per carry since last November for the Patriots, scoring eight rushing touchdowns in those 11 games.
Jeremy Hill: The Bengals have the sixth-best run-blocking offensive line, and while I like Hill, this is more the result of not liking what I’ve seen from Giovani Bernard. Just one of his 142 carries has gone for 20-plus yards, and if you subtract that effort he is averaging a mere 3.3 yards per carry (for reference, that’s less than Trent Richardson).
Kenny Stills: He matched a season-high in routes run for the third time in five weeks, a trend worth buying into as he is a member of the offense that ranks second in the league in pass attempts.
Keenan Allen: Even after being blanketed by Revis on Sunday, Allen ranks within the Top 10 in targets since Week 7, despite Rivers ranking outside the Top 15 in number of drop backs. He should get a good number of looks against a Broncos’ defense that has allowed the sixth-most passing touchdowns this season.
Tre Mason: The “elite” run defense of the Cardinals is allowing 4.44 yards per carry to opposing running backs over the last five weeks, a positive trend for Mason owners, as their running back ranks fifth in the league in carries over the last four weeks. Plus, I tend to upgrade running backs that play on Thursday nights.
Pierre Garcon: It’s difficult to call the Cowboys, Jaguars, or Titans pass-first offenses, but wide receivers on those three teams have averaged 11.3 receptions over the last three weeks against these Giants. Garcon has seen 20 targets over the last two weeks (15 targets in the month previous) and is the only reliable option in an offense that is struggling to move the ball.
Isaiah Crowell: I don’t love Terrence West being heavily involved, but no defense has given up more RB rushing touchdowns and a higher yard per carry rate than the Bengals. Cleveland was able to beat Cincinnati in Week 10 behind 56 running plays, a volume of work that should allow the more talented Crowell to succeed, even in a timeshare.
Mike Wallace: He could be stuck on Revis Island, but the Patriots have surrendered the third-most pass plays of at least 20 yards, giving Wallace owners hope that a big play or two could salvage his Week 15 value.
Marqise Lee: He has become Blake Bortles’ primary target since the Allen Robinson injury. Lee has three straight games with a catch of at least 30 yards and the Ravens allowing more than 3.5 20-plus yard completions per game this season.
Martavius Bryant: His three most explosive Fantasy games this season have come courtesy of a 40-plus yard reception, a nice skill set to possess when facing a Falcons’ defense that is allowing one such play per week (second-highest rate in the league).
Steven Jackson: The Steelers have allowed just one running back rushing touchdown in their last five games and SJax has produced more than 10 yards on just one of his last 64 carries. If he can’t find the end zone, his upside is extremely capped.
Fred Jackson: The Packers have the third-worst run stuffing defensive line in football, but does that matter? Buffalo is throwing the ball more than anyone would have guessed and Jackson recorded just eight carries last week in his 63 snaps. The Packers have been one of the better defenses in the league in terms of preventing running backs from catching the ball, a skill that Jackson owners were bailed out by last week (10 receptions on 14 targets against Denver).
Brandon LaFell: Two of his three highest snap counts have come in the last three weeks and with the highest receiver aDOT on his team by 46.3 percent, there is upside here in a Tom Brady led offense.
Reggie Bush: It is becoming clear that the Lions want to turn him into what he was in New Orleans (essentially a backfield receiver), which is not a bad role to have against a Vikings’ defense that is allowing running backs to catch 88 percent of passes throw in their direction.
Torrey Smith: The Jags are allowing four passing touchdowns for every interception, a trend that makes me think Joe Flacco won’t hesitate to challenge a secondary that is allowing 16.8 percent of completions to go for at least 20 yards.
Chris Ivory: The Jets showed no interest in passing the ball last week, and now they get the most run on defense in the NFL. Chris Johnson has shown flashes here and there, but if there is a running back to roll the dice on in New York, it’s the more likely touchdown threat.
Josh Morgan: Ran a season-high 38 routes (he ran a total of 15 routes in the previous two games) as a result of the Brandon Marshall injury. He possesses enough speed to record the big play, but his 7.9 aDOT indicates that the Bears are comfortable with him being used in the short passing game, a valuable role given the matchup issues that Jeffery and Martellus Bennett create down the field.
Matt Asiata: I don’t like the talent, the offense, or the matchup, but the running back with the 11th most touches over the last two weeks at least deserves consideration in a league where 15-20 percent of teams are uncertain of what player will lead their backfield in Week 15.
Steadman Bailey: He’s catching over 81 percent of passes thrown his way during the last three weeks, something I’ll take my chances on given the fact that his snap percentage is trending in the right direction (at least 55 percent in all three of those games).[table “1307” not found /]
Week 15 TE Ranks
Jimmy Graham: The Bears have allowed opposing tight ends to catch at least five passes in the majority of games this season and Graham has tallied 605 yards and nine touchdowns on 60 catches in his eight games with at least five receptions.
Rob Gronkowski: Kryptonite? Over the last three seasons, Gronk has hauled in just eight of the 21 passes thrown his way against the ‘Fins.
Martellus Bennett: Only four tight ends have more targets than Bennett has receptions this season.
Antonio Gates: The Broncos have allowed opposing tight ends to score or record 100-plus yards in the majority of games this season.
Delanie Walker: The Titans lack healthy options in the passing game and the Jets have allowed multiple tight end scores in five of their last 11 games.
Greg Olsen: He has already set a career-high in yardage and is on pace for an 88-catch season with 1,046 yards to go along with seven or eight touchdowns. The veteran has managed at least five catches or a touchdown in four of his last five games against the Buccaneers (he did both in their Week 1 showdown).
Coby Fleener: Dwayne Allen is back in the mix, but Fleener is the less touchdown dependent of the two, a skill set I’m taking against a Texans’ defense that hasn’t allowed a tight end to score since Halloween.
Travis Kelce: The Raiders have allowed four tight end touchdowns over the last five weeks and are allowing TEs to average 12.7 yards per reception. I’ll take those trends for a big playmaker in Kelce, who has a 20-yard reception in the majority of games this season.
Jordan Reed: He ranks fourth in tight end targets over the last two weeks, and even with a rotating door at quarterback, Reed is finally healthy and is playing more snaps with time.
Julius Thomas: A little bit of a gut call here, but the Broncos said they would have used Thomas if they “needed” him last week. I say they “need” him in a divisional game against a team they view as more of a threat. You’re not chasing volume of targets here, rather the danger that comes with him likely being utilized inside the red zone.
Larry Donnell: There have been five games this season(without Week 14) in which the Redskins have allowed opposing tight ends to total at least 70 yards and a touchdown, not to mention Donnell lit them up for three touchdowns in their Week 4 game.
Mychal Rivera: The Chiefs don’t give up many receptions to tight ends, but one of every 4.5 results in six points.
Jared Cook: Not a great talent, but 63 percent of his snaps played have seen him run a route and that’s significant for an offense that truly lacks options.
Kyle Rudolph: I’m expecting the Vikings to use the short passing game to supplement a running game that will likely be rendered useless. If you’re reaching for a tight end, Rudolph is a touchdown vulture that will get red zone targets.
Brent Celek: He very much has the potential to completely disappear, but he still fits a Mark Sanchez offense better than Zach Ertz and the Cowboys have allowed the most completions to tight ends.
Heath Miller: As was the case last week, his ability to sit down in holes in the red zone gives him the ability to hardly be involved, yet register a reasonable point total. He isn’t a high upside option, but he is averaging 11.9 PPR points over the last three weeks and plays in an offense that features two players that demand the majority of the opposition’s attention.[table “1308” not found /]