Some players are must starts (Aaron Rodgers, Alvin Kamara, and Rob Gronkowski, to name a few), but here we work to give you value and over-performers, depending on what type of fantasy format you are playing. At this point we are breaking up start/sit for Thursday and Sunday/Monday games. We apologize to those who must have complete lineups in by Thursday’s game.
Matt Phillips is a multiple fantasy football champion, and co-host of the podcast “Pigskin Dynasty: Your Podcast for All Things Fantasy Football”. You can find him on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podbean, and other podcast mediums. He also has live episodes on Facebook every Sunday morning at 9:00 am EST.
Matt and I hope you started Henry, sat Mariota, and did not listen to us about Fournette or the Jaguars defense. Honestly, Thursday night still doesn’t make much sense, and frankly we may never recommend another Jaguars player or unit as a start until 2019.
The big weekend for round one of your playoff journey, and we need to be at our best. Matt wants to remind everyone he was right about Eckler. He isnt the back that’s going to take over the team like Melvin Gordon, he is a complementary back that works well with the skill set that Gordon brings. He changes the pace and that’s it. With his well earned gloating it of the way, let’s help you move on to week 15, and to the semi-finals. Here’s your start/sit recommendations.
QB Kirk Cousins, Vikings
You might be worried this matchup for Kirk, but don’t be. This is the same defense that allowed Nick Mullens to throw for over 400 yards. They have also given up a top 15 quarterback stat line each week over the last six weeks. I’m going to qualify Kirk Cousins as a streamer this week.
Projection: 305 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception
QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens
He was on my start list last week, and performed even though he was temporarily out of the game. The Chiefs defense is back to terrible and I the Ravens will be playing from behind. I see Lamar Jackson leveraging his legs for a good deal of success. As I said before, he’s running back playing the quarterback position.
Projection: 215 yards passing, 1 touchdown and 1 interception, along with 101 rushing and a 1 touchdown
QB Baker Mayfield, Browns
So maybe he didn’t have the performance that I or many other people thought he would have last week. In fact, he scored the fewest amount of points in his fantasy career. However, he did throw for just under 400 yards in the matchup against the Texans. The Panthers have given up 14 passing touchdowns on the road, giving up multiple touchdown passes in a series of games. Look for Baker to bounce back.
Projection: 287 total yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception
RB Mark Ingram, Saints
I believe Mark Ingram will get back on track after posting two straight duds. The Bucs average around 28 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. I believe Ingram find the Endzone this week.
Projection: 79 total yards and 1 touchdown
RB Aaron Jones, Packers
He somehow split touches with Jamall Williams, which I believe is one of the main reasons Mike Mccarthy got canned. I believe Joe Philbin will try to prove he can coach and give more opportunities to Aaron Jones against a Falcons defense the averages around 5 yards per rush, the fourth most points to running backs.
Projection: 95 total yards and 2 touchdowns
RB Lamar Miller, Texans
Miller has been on a nice run, surpassing 100 yards in four of the last six games. His workload seems to fluctuate, but his production has been impressive. He broken the hundred yard barrier in four of his last six games. I don’t think he gets there today, but he will have a touchdown.
Projection: 17 rushing attempts for 95 yards, 1 touchdown with 2 receptions for 15 yards
WR DaeSean Hamilton, Broncos
This is a sneaky deep sleeper pick right here. He’s the number two receiver now with Sanders being out for the year. Hamilton is super cheap in Daily, and reports out of Broncos camp is that he’s going to be featured in the slot, which is where Sanders was featured.
Give him a start.
Projection: 5 receptions for 75 yards and 1 touchdown
WR Courtland Sutton, Broncos
If it wasn’t obvious, he is the biggest beneficiary of Sanders being out. His target share should increase drastically and may propellhim as the future number one next season. It all starts in this game which he will perform quite well against a pretty bad Niners defense. Love his ceiling...start him.
Projection: 6 receptions for 95 yards and 1 touchdown
WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
The Detroit Lions are have been pretty bad against slot receivers, ranking sixth most points given up. With Christian Kirk on IR, he should see more targets from Josh Rosen. He’s a flex starter.
Projection: 5 receptions for 65 yards and 1 touchdown
TE Eric Ebron, Colts
We love Eric. The Houston Texans have given up the eighth most points to opposing tight ends, and if the workload that was shown last week (15 targets) with Jack Doyle out continues, Eric Ebron should have a nice game.
Projection: 8 receptions for 65 yards and 1 touchdown
TE Jared Cook, Raiders
Is it OK to think the Raiders offense is now clicking? Cook has quietly became the Most reliable player on the Raiders, and is a sneaky good Fantasy play this weekend. His matchup against the Steelers is pretty good as the Steelers have allowed several tight ends to break top ten.
Oh, and he has a touchdown in his last three games.
Projection: 7 receptions for 92 yards and 1 touchdown
K Jason Myers, Jets
The Bills have given up the second most fantasy points to opposing kickers, and he ranks top five in points for kickers. He went 5/5 last week. Start him.
Projection: 3 for 3 fields goals and 1 for 1 extra points
Denver Broncos Defense
The 49ers have given up an average of 10 fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. I think the Broncos defense is a good streaming option this week. Look for them to get consistent quarterback pressure and create opportunities.
Brian thinks they will get a defensive touchdown. Risky play, Brian.
Projection: 14 points allowed with 3 sacks and 2 turnovers
QB Matt Ryan, Falcons
Such a disappointing fantasy season for Matt Ryan owners, and I don’t think this week is going to help. The Packers have only allowed approximately 14 fantasy points per game when they play at home and Matt Ryan hasn’t been producing, failing to get to 15 points in two of the last three games. Falcons offense is cold. Sit him even if you are concerned with the Packers defense.
Projection: 225 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception
QB Jared Goff, Rams
It’s always fun to put such a must start player on the Sit list. This is purely for match up reasons. I am not going to be upset if you do start him, especially if you don’t have any other choices with a nice match up. I feel the quarterback position is pretty deep so if you can look somewhere else. The Bears are really tough against opposing quarterbacks at home, averaging around an 80 passer rating.
Projection: 252 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception
QB Nick Mullens, 49ers
Do not chase the points, especially on a position that is pretty deep. The Broncos are a tough matchup at home and are giving up approximately 16 fantasy points per game.
Projection: 236 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions
RB Jordan Howard, Bears
If he wasn’t already a must sit this season, he’s a definite sit this week. Cohen is the back and he is the back you want to own in Chicago. Howard is only averaging .4 points per touch which is atrocious. Look somewhere else.
Remember when the Bears coaching staff said Howard would be featured more often? ARGH!!!!!!
Projection: 12 carries for 52 yards
RB Marlon Mack, Colts
Mack is probably one of those players you were banking on late in the season to give you a little extra something, but the month of November he disappeared. December started with a dud, and this week he gets a tough defense in the Houston Texans. The Texans have only giving up 3.7 yards per game and only three touchdowns when they play at home.
Projection: 71 total yards
RB Chris Carson, Seahawks
This is another match up based sit, as Carson has been one of the most consistent running backs in fantasy. However, the Minnesota Vikings are still really tough against running backs, averaging just under four yards per carry and only eight rushing touchdowns this season to opposing running backs.
Projection: 74 total yards
WR Allen Robinson, Bears
Aqib Talib is back which makes me absolutely want to sit Robinson. He’s been inconsistent and hasn’t shown me any evidence that he could produce in a tough matchup. With only one game getting over 100 yards receiving, and only four games with a touchdown, look somewhere else.
Projection: 4 receptions for 42 yards
WR Demaryius Thomas, Texans
He was on my set list last week, and rightfully so as he only got four targets, catching three of them for 32 yards. That was also with KeKe out! He is not getting enough looks to constitute starting him in any formats unless Hopkins goes down.
Projection: 5 receptions for 49 yards
WR Alshon Jeffery, Eagles
Ever since the acquisition of Golden Tate, Alshon Jeffery stock has been going down. He has seen five or fewer targets in four of five games since the trade. He goes up against the Cowboys on the road, who have given up the fourth number of fantasy points to opposing wide receivers when they play in Arlington.
Projection: 4 receptions for 45 yards
TE Austin Hooper, Falcons
Pretty much every Falcon has been a disappointment this year, with the exception of Julio. Hooper’s season has been inconsistent showing his highs and also showing his lows. I’ll fade him this week as the Green Bay Packers have allowed the third fewest points against the tight end position.
If you’re desperate, Hooper might be a risk play as he is always a touchdown option.
Projection: 4 receptions for 45 yards
TE Chris Herndon, Jets
The Bills allowed the fifth fewest points to the position and held him to just 34 receiving earlier in the year. Don’t like the matchup and suggest looking for better options.
Projection: 4 receptions for 31 yards
K Mason Crosby, Packers
I bench Crosby! He has been such a disappointment as of late and part of that is not on him. You can’t score points if you don’t get opportunities, Until I see the Packers produce points I am fading on Crosby. I remember when we loved him.
Projection: 1 for 1 on field goals and 2 for 2 on extra points
Baltimore Ravens Defense
Opposing teams Arrowhead have averaged a horrible two fantasy points per game. Kansas City’s offense is just too good and I don’t not trust the Ravens defense this week.
Projection: 28 points allowed with 3 sacks and 1 turnover