First, congratulations if you’re still alive in your league.
It’s obviously the playoffs in all formats by now, and this is the time of year that you’ve already proven to be a good owner. Now it’s in the hands of the Fantasy Football gods. Week 15 is where Fantasy legends are born.
We all know that someone random will have a Matt Asiata-like three-TD day and an elite Fantasy option will have the worst game of his career.
Back in 2006, Ron Dayne had 459 yards and three TDs through 14 weeks when injuries open up more playing time for the all-important Week 15. All Dayne did was carry the ball 32 times for 153 yards with two TDs, becoming an absolute legend to anyone crazy enough to start him in the Fantasy playoffs.
The Jaguars are in a situation to completely alter the biggest Fantasy weekend of the season, with an uncertain RB situation after Denard Robinson was declared out for the season. Toby Gerhart is expected to start, with Storm Johnson receiving some work and Jordan Todman contributing on passing downs. Now, I do not suggest starting any of these guys. But would it really shock you if one of them emerged as a Ron Dayne-type hero?
Back in 2003, Brett Favre’s father tragically died before Favre’s Week 15 game at Oakland. Many owners panicked, thinking Favre would miss the game and benched him in the Fantasy playoffs. Well, Favre didn’t miss the game, and threw for 399 yards and four TDs without an interception in perhaps the best game of his career. Most Fantasy owners fell in love with him for the heroic performance, but the ones who benched him are probably still mad about it today.
Is Jay Cutler going to implode after being called out by his offensive coordinator? If you bench him, will he respond with a career-best performance? Is Jimmy Graham going to show up this week? Which Fantasy star will get injured early in the first quarter and put up a bagel? The truth is that nobody has any idea.
Just remember, Week 15 is not a typical week. Legends will be born, certain players will be forever hated because of a poor performance and someone you weren’t even aware existed a few weeks ago will impact who plays for your league’s title. Good luck.
- It seemed like Marion Grice was set to receive the bulk of carries for Arizona last week, but he didn’t. I regretfully featured him in last week’s column… but I promise to never mention his name again.
- The passing TD crown should come down to the wire, as Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning enter Week 15 with 36 apiece and Aaron Rodgers trails with 35. Whichever QB finishes as the leader will surely be on a ton of Fantasy championship squads.
- Meanwhile, Luck has 4,305 passing yards and his closer competitor is Ben Roethlisberger with 4,055.
- Believe it or not, Drew Brees leads the league with 373 completed passes. Roethlisberger, Luck and Manning aren’t far behind but Rodgers isn’t even in the Top 10 with 276 completions. Brees is averaging a whopping 41.4 attempts per game, while the more-conservative Packers hold Rodgers to 32 attempts per game.
- Brian Hoyer, who is now a backup, is the only QB in the league with four fourth-quarter comebacks. Since he’s no longer starting games, expect one of the seven QBs with three come-from-behind victories to tie his mark this week.
- Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch and DeMarco Murray enter Week 15 tied at nine apiece on the rushing TD leader board. No surprises there. But, Isaiah Crowell has eight and could steal the crown with a big stretch run.
- Julius Thomas is officially dead to me after that whole “active but on the bench” fiasco last week. He single-handedly cost me a playoff game in the FLEX PPR league. Well, him and Grice (OK, now I’ll never mention him again).
- James Starks should be owned in all leagues in case Eddie Lacy (hip) sits out this week. But you probably already knew that if you’re still alive in your league. The Packers play at 1 pm ET, so owners will know the deal before kickoff.
- Jeremy Hill is, allegedly, going to receive a large workload and can be treated as a high-end RB2 for the Fantasy postseason.
- Antonio Brown could win the WR Triple Crown with a strong finish. He’s currently first in receptions with 105, second in yards with 1,375 and trails only Julius Thomas and Jordy Nelson with 11 TD receptions. I’m going to predict that he does, in fact, finish as the leader in all three categories. Receiving yards leader Julio Jones battling an injury makes me feel better about the prediction.
Questions? Hit me on Twitter @briansflood