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Saturday NFL Matchups Analysis - Week 15


Welcome to the Saturday edition of our Week 15 matchups analysis and starts/sits column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every matchup from every game to help you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. We'll also be updating this as injury reports come in, so check back often for the latest advice.

This article will cover the two Saturday games, as the NFL starts to expand its late-season schedule with college football season over. Don't forget to see our early Sunday games and late Sunday games matchups analysis here and look for our MNF matchups analysis as well.

Check back here each week to get advice for your toughest start/sit decisions and take a look at our consensus rankings each week. For start/sit advice or anything fantasy football-related, find me on Twitter @Pfunk00, and I'll be glad to help.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Texans at Jets - 4:30 PM ET

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Miller (RB, HOU)
A week after rightfully labeling him a hate in Week 14 (a one-yard TD run salvaged an otherwise rough day as he tallied just 52 yards on 19 touches), Miller gets the seal of approval for the second round of the fantasy playoffs. Miller was in the midst of a strong mid-season stretch before last week and it doesn't appear D'Onta Foreman is ready to see the field yet, leaving plenty of work for Miller against a Jets team allowing 183 rushing yards per game over the last four. He should be a strong RB2 for your final or semi-final round as the running game gets most of the work in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Deshaun Watson (QB, HOU)
While they seem much worse in real-life, the Jets have proven to be perfectly average on pass defense, ranking 16th in fantasy points allowed to QBs. Watson himself has been mediocre at best the last few weeks. In fact, last week's 267-yard output was his highest since Week 5 and he's only thrown more than two TD once all year. He just isn't going to help you win your league, especially in a road matchup in a cold venue that could bring rain on Saturday.

Sam Darnold (QB, NYJ)
It was a triumphant return for the rookie QB in Week 14, beating division rivals Buffalo. Darnold's fantasy numbers were lackluster at best, as they've been nearly all season. He threw for 170 yards, one TD, one INT while scrambling for 10 yards. If he brought some rushing ability, a la Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen, we could consider him in two-QB leagues but there just isn't enough upside in a tough matchup with the Texans defense that is seventh in the league in interceptions and 11th in sacks.

Isaiah Crowell / Elijah McGuire / Trenton Cannon (RB, NYJ)
Counting on a Jets running back this week is looking to be a bad idea all around. McGuire is coming off a nice game where he totaled 83 yards and a touchdown in Buffalo. He missed practice Tuesday, however, and may be limited if he even plays. Cannon stepped in once Isaiah Crowell left with a foot injury against Buffalo and scored on a short touchdown run. Cannon only managed seven combined yards on six touches, however, and has been bothered by a hamstring injury himself. Crowell seems unlikely to go at all. Between the promise of limited usage, shaky health, and a bad matchup, all three should be avoided.

Demaryius Thomas / Keke Coutee (WR, HOU)
Coutee continues to miss time with the same hamstring injury, which makes him a must-sit even if he manages to be cleared for Week 15. The last time he suited up against Tennessee, he caught two passes for 14 yards and left the game early. Thomas has been a disappointment since coming to Houston, averaging under three receptions and 36 yards per game with a single two-TD effort saving the day for his owners in Week 12. If Coutee plays, DT is a must-sit, and it likely renders both receivers as non-factors.

Quincy Enunwa / Jermaine Kearse (WR, NYJ)
Enunwa left Week 14 early with an ankle injury and wasn't spotted at practice early this week. With a short week to recover and unfavorable circumstances surrounding him, he should be left alone. Kearse has simply disappeared from the offense, catching one of two targets for 10 yards over the last two games. He'll face the underrated Kareem Jackson, making him a receiver to avoid as well.

Other Matchups:

DeAndre Hopkins (WR, HOU)
It's possible that Watson is simply average or worse but still finds Nuk often enough to salvage a WR1 finish. The Jets are seventh-worst against wide receivers, and Hopkins doesn't need a ton of volume to produce big numbers. He's found the end zone in eight games this year and could easily do so again.

Robby Anderson (WR, NYJ)
Anderson was the apple of Darnold's eye last week, catching four of seven targets for 76 yards and a touchdown. He was mostly a non-factor early this year when Darnold was behind center, posting exactly one good game amongst a sea of duds. Anderson has seen the most targets among Jets receivers the last two weeks and could benefit if Enunwa misses this game. He also has the best WR/CB matchup of the group, facing Shareece Wright. Anderson is obviously a risk, but his ceiling is higher than most other waiver wire options.

Ryan Griffin / Jordan Thomas (TE, HOU)
Neither tight end receives enough targets to enter the starting fantasy discussion unless you are desperate. Both get enough attention to be considered a TE2, if you happen to play in a league that demands two tight ends be started (why?). Griffin has the higher floor in PPR while Thomas is a better bet to score as he's done four times to Griffin's zero.

 

Browns at Broncos - 8:20 PM ET

Matchups We Love:

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE)
The Chubbster has scored at least once in five straight games and has eight TD in the last seven games. Denver doesn't allow too many touchdowns on the ground (seven all year), but they do give up big chunks of yardage, seventh-most in fact. Denver is fighting for their playoff life but will be overmatched in this game, making Chubb a low-end RB1 once more.

Phillip Lindsay (RB, DEN)
If there's exactly one and only one thing to love about the Broncos these days, it's Lindsay. He has eight TD and 718 scrimmage yards in the last seven games, accounting for 30% of the team's offense. Cleveland allows 22.7 fantasy points per game to running backs, fifth-most in the league, so there's no reason to think Lindsay won't produce RB1 numbers in Week 15.

Jarvis Landry (WR, CLE)
We won't necessarily see Landry throwing, catching and running for touchdowns like we did last week, as he suddenly became Freddie Kitchens' version of Inspector Gadget on the football field. He does have the advantage of avoiding Chris Harris Jr. and faces a Broncos secondary that has gotten much weaker lately. Landry has gotten more involved and should be a solid floor play in PPR leagues, even if he isn't needed as much as last week.

David Njoku (TE, CLE)
The last two weeks have convinced some to move on from Njoku but are there really better options at tight end these days? Although he's secured just three receptions each of the last two games for eight and 35 yards respectively, this could be an ideal spot for a resurgence. Denver has allowed more receiving yards to tight ends than any other team and that trend could continue as they battle injuries on defense. Peg Njoku as a top-10 TE in Week 15.

Matchups We Hate:

Case Keenum (QB, DEN)
There is just no reason to tout Keenum in any format. He's averaged 184.8 yards and one TD per game since their bye four weeks ago. Not throwing interceptions isn't a counting stat in fantasy football, so you can count him out of any lineup decisions as he wasn't much of an asset even before he lost his top two receivers and tight end.

Duke Johnson (RB, CLE)
It appears Week 9 was a massive outlier in an otherwise disappointing season for Sir Duke. Johnson managed to lose six yards on two carries while not seeing a single target in Week 14. He's only gone over 60 combined yards twice in a game and only scored in two games. Denver's average run defense should be enough to keep him in check.

Royce Freeman / Devontae Booker (RB, DEN)
If you hadn't noticed, neither backup is much of a factor any longer. Freeman saw just nine offensive snaps last week and Booker 17. There would have to be a majorly positive gamescript in order for either back to be involved to the point they would be fantasy-relevant and that seems unlikely this week.

Other Matchups:

Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE)
Denver had been one of the stingier pass defenses in the league up until their Week 9 bye and then things went south. They've allowed over 300 passing yards in three of the last four games for an average of 335. The loss of their top corner, Chris Harris, and veteran linebacker Brandon Marshall are surely key reasons for that decline. While they are susceptible, their low-scoring offense doesn't promise a lot of back and forth, which may reduce Mayfield's need to throw. He figures to be a mid-range QB selection that can be passed over for those needing a higher ceiling.

Antonio Callaway / Rashard Higgins / Breshad Perriman (WR, CLE)
One of these receivers will probably catch a 50+ yard touchdown pass this week. One of them will drop an easy touchdown through his fingertips. One of them won't see more than a single target. Good luck guessing which is which.

Courtland Sutton (WR, DEN)
Sutton is one to watch on the injury report, as he didn't practice on Tuesday and is listed as questionable. He could very well play but at less than 100% if his quad bothers him. He was a huge bust in Week 14 despite the promise of a higher target share without Emmanuel Sanders and a plus matchup with the Niners. If Denzel Ward returns for this game, that puts another damper on his fantasy potential. Sutton is a very iffy WR3 as of right now.

Daesean Hamilton / Tim Patrick (WR, DEN)
Both rookies had a breakout game of sorts in Week 14, mainly because Keenum had nobody else to throw to. Patrick led the team in all receiving categories with 10 targets, seven receptions, and 85 yards. Hamilton tied him with seven catches for just 47 yards but scored his first NFL touchdown. They could each see plenty of short passes once again, especially is Sutton isn't healthy. The upside is quite limited, though, even is the matchup is just OK. These are deep-league streamers for PPR formats in a best-case scenario.

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