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Week 15 Busts - Overvalued Players to Avoid In Fantasy Football


How did your first week of playoff action go? Did you lose in multiple leagues because Adam Thielen piled up some garbage time yardage? Or was that just me?

Let's talk about some guys you should avoid this week. As I did last week, each section will feature two or three players per position and a few notes on other guys whose matchups are of interest to the topic of this column: guys who could bust and guys you should avoid.

Below are 10 lineup busts and avoids for Week 15 of NFL action.

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Top 10 Busts - NFL Week 15

QUARTERBACKS

Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Colts

The Cowboys have held quarterbacks under 20 fantasy points for four consecutive weeks. That stretch included Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Carson Wentz. Luck has been good, and his connection with T.Y. Hilton appears to be stronger than ever, but the Cowboys defense has rounded into a nice shape, and Luck's upside is limited this week by it.

Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In three games since reclaiming the starting job in Tampa, Winston is completing 63.2 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and just one interception. Not bad! You might be ready to pop Winston into your lineup and roll to the title game.

But let's slow down, because there's a big obstacle in Winston's way this weekend: the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have had a few bad games when it comes to limiting quarterbacks, but most of those have come against very good quarterbacks; of the four quarterbacks with 20 or more fantasy points against the Ravens, only one is a huh, how? guy (Andy Dalton) with the other three being Patrick Mahomes, Ben Roethlisberger, and Cam Newton. Winston isn't those guys, and his propensity for turnovers is always waiting to rear its head.

Additional Thoughts 

Matthew Stafford is too obvious a pick at this point to even put on the main list. He faces a Bills team that allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan both have tough matchups, but neither guy screams BUST to me, though expectations should be tempered. And as for Patrick Mahomes against the Chargers...you're playing Patrick Mahomes.

Oh, and Nick Foles is probably not your waiver wire savior.

 

RUNNING BACKS

Peyton Barber - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Ravens are even better against the run, allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. Barber hasn't topped 50 yards in the last three games. Anyone starting him has been very, very happy that he's found the end zone in two of those games, but that touchdown upside may not be there this week.

Barber also dropped down to a 47.1 percent snap share. The Buccaneers have decided that Jacquizz Rodgers is still a thing, and Ronald Jones II is still lurking somewhere in the background, (hopefully) preparing to make his move.

Tarik Cohen - Chicago Bears

I love Cohen this year. I'm not going to end up sitting him anywhere. But the Packers have allowed just two receiving scores by running backs this year, and if you ignore the Giants game, then you see that Cohen hasn't been some monster over the last few games. He's been under a 50 percent snap share in three of the last four games, and Jordan Howard just reminded head coach Matt Nagy that he exists with a strong Week 14, putting him in line to see some more work.

Kenyan Drake - Miami Dolphins

BUT THE MIAMI GARDENS MIRACLE.

Forget that, and focus instead on Drake's low number of touches as of late. He hasn't had double-digit carries in five straight games and gets a not-great test this week against Minnesota. The Vikings have allowed four rushing touchdowns to backs over the last three weeks, but before that, they'd allowed just two all year. The only reason I'd think of playing Drake is if I believe that the Vikings defense is officially #BAD against the run, but I'm not ready to make that assertion.

Additional Thoughts

You aren't sitting Saquon Barkley against the Titans, even if they allow the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs. You probably aren't sitting Aaron Jones against a Bears team allowing the third-fewest, or Christian McCaffrey against a Saints team that allows the fourth-fewest. All three of those guys can perform well against good defenses.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

T.Y. Hilton - Indianapolis Colts

I'mma be eating all the crow on this one, right?

Hilton has three games with 100 or more receiving yards in his last four games, but he faces the Cowboys this week, who allow the second-fewest fantasy points to wideouts. I'm...look, I don't feel confident in worrying about Hilton, because he's been so good, but I'll say this: in the leagues where I'm playing Hilton, I'm hedging my bets by playing safe options at my other receiver spots, not risky guys. He'll probably be fine, but I don't like him facing the Cowboys.

Kenny Golladay - Detroit Lions

The situation in Detroit should be great for Golladay, but it hasn't been. Two catches for five yards in Week 14 after a three-catch, 50-yard game in Week 13. He faces the Bills, who allow the third-fewest fantasy points to receivers. Nope, nope, nope. Golladay is on my bench everywhere.

Kenny Stills - Miami Dolphins

Stills had eight catches for 135 yards and a touchdown in Week 14 and he's found the end zone in two straight games. But two things have me doubting Still this week: a meeting with Xavier Rhodes and the Vikings defense, and his track record this season. Stills has four games with just one catch. He has three more with just two catches. Yes, his targets are up, but in this crucial time in the fantasy playoffs, I'm not ready to trust him.

Additional Thoughts

All Washington receivers are on my nah list, because they face the Jaguars and have Josh Johnson at quarterback. Tampa Bay receivers are downgraded for me as well. Amari Cooper doesn't have a great matchup against the Colts, but I'm playing him if I have him.

 

TIGHT END

Trey Burton - Chicago Bears

Question: Does Trey Burton exist?

Answer: I don't know. Maybe?

In the last four games, Burton has seven catches for 59 yards. TOTAL. Those aren't averages. Early in the year, Burton kept finding the end zone, but right now his role has diminished so much that you can't trust him in the playoffs, especially against the Packers, who have been stout against the tight end position.

Evan Engram - New York Giants

No team allows fewer points to tight ends than the Titans. While Engram was fine in his return last week, catching three passes for 77 yards, that was aided by the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham could return this week, and if he does Engram is a huge risk. If Beckham doesn't return, Engram gets a bump up into startable territory, though the matchup still worries me, especially since no tight end was scored against the Titans.

Additional Thoughts

Ian Thomas is a popular streamer this week, but I don't love his matchup. Austin Hooper has a tough one as well and isn't someone I want to start. And George Kittle finished the first half in Week 14 just five yards shy of the all-time record for receiving yards in a game by a tight end, and then was held without a catch in the second half. He faces the Seahawks this week, and while you're definitely playing him, you should be a little worried about it.

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