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Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings

Congrats on making it this far in your playoffs! For some this is the first week of the playoffs but for many others it means you've managed to win at least one playoff match if you are still in the hunt. That means this week is the most important yet and lineup decisions are crucial!

As always, we are bringing you our Week 15 fantasy football rankings, for both PPR and standard leagues, by authors Zach Wilkens (@LopsidedTrades) and Ryan Rufe (@RyanRufe) along with some Week 15 rankings analysis by Zach Wilkens.

The NFL season has 3 weeks remaining, and that means many fantasy seasons are over and many more will end this weekend. Listen up if you want to stay alive. You should be familiar with the routine by now, but just in case you weren’t sure, every week fellow RotoBaller Ryan Rufe and I will be posting our weekly fantasy football rankings and rankings analysis, based on team matchups and expected player performances for the week.

We are done with the byes in Week 15, and thankfully we're past those weeks where you have to start your entire bench because 3-4 of your players are on byes. Good luck with your lineups, and your turkey consumption.



2014 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros
 
 

Week 15 Quarterback Rankings Analysis

A couple real fantasy killers among the top five QBs last week. If you own them and you're still alive I wouldn't fret too much. Peyton Manning will bounce back. I'm so certain of this that I even have him at #1 this week (and for what its worth I was 2 spots below his consensus rank last week). Bad games happen even for the best and the Bills are a very good defense. The Chargers are no cakewalk but they aren't a scary opponent either. I expect a typical 20+ points from Peyton here.

On paper Drew Brees vs Jay Cutler should be a shootout. It doesn't always work that way, especially with two quarterbacks prone to turnovers. I'd start them with confidence though. If the Saints were the cure for Cam's awful season I think Cutler will be just fine.

At QB9 I have Tony Romo. I know many of his owners are wary of starting him after he had a horrible game against the Eagles on Thanksgiving. Outside of that game he has delivered three straight 20+ point games following his injury. He also gets the benefit of extra rest coming off a Thursday game. There is certainly risk here but I think the upside outweighs it and he is worth a start.

Ben Roethlisberger is QB10 for me which is 5 spots below his consensus rank. It is a great matchup against the Falcons but I just can't imagine putting Big Ben in the top 5. The one time I did that was against the Jets and he scored a disappointing 13 that week. The following week in another easy matchup against the Titans he scored just 10 points. He's a good play but not a great one here. As for his opponent Matt Ryan I have him at QB11. He's coming off two very good games. If Julio Jones is out I'd avoid Ryan entirely. Otherwise he falls into the good, not great category for me.

Lets move on to the most interesting QB of the week and that is of course Johnny Manziel. While many will consider him risky, I think just the opposite and having him at QB13 reflects that. I fully expect 50 rush yards as a bare minimum. If he is able to throw for 200 yards, 1 TD/1 int, that would mean he has 15 fantasy points. Sure it could be worse but even then I would think his floor is 12-13 points and his ceiling is much much higher. What if he runs for 100 yards and a rush touchdown? Even then if he was terrible as a passer with 150 yards 0 TD and 2 ints, that is 18 fantasy points with standard scoring. I have no idea how he will do as a passer but you can bet he will be running and that makes him a fairly safe play believe it or not.

Eli Manning, Josh McCown and Alex Smith are the streams of the week (outside of Manziel). All have nice matchups with decent floors. Both Manning and Smith have already scored well against their opponent earlier this year (very well in Manning's case). Josh McCown struggles against Carolina in Week 1 but with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson both playing at a fairly high level right now I feel good about him as a stream in deeper leagues or 2QB leagues this week.

 

Week 15 Running Back Rankings Analysis

At RB Le'Veon Bell is an unstoppable machine right now. He can't keep going over 200 total yards every game but against the Falcons 150 yards feels like the minimum. Crazy things happen but I would be shocked if he didn't have a great game.

No surprises in the top ten so let's move right to RB11 which is Rashad Jennings. He wasn't listed on the early injury report this week and beat reporters say he looks much better than last week. If that is the case he should take over the lion's share of carries again and that means good things for Jennings. As a Jennings owner I would start him with confidence.

Latavius Murray is pretty high at RB13. Going into this week I didn't expect him nearly so high but then I realized just how awful the Chiefs run defense has been. Of course this is the same Chiefs team that allowed Murray to get 112 yards on just four carries. Allowing 100 yards to Kerwynn Williams though? Yeah I'm not worried about Latavius at all. I would be quite surprised if he is unable to reach the 100 yard mark.

One guy I would be worried about is Alfred Morris. I've said this several times but he isn't the same without RG3. Of course RG3 might start this week so keep an eye on that as I'd probably move him up five spots but otherwise I see him as a low-end RB2. Not to mention the Giants have been great against RBs over the last two games (granted it was Jacksonville and Tennessee). This is a situation where I am certainly hoping he does well but not expecting it.

Reports out of Cincinnati indicate that Jeremy Hill will get most of the carries this week. Honestly? It's about time! He's been the much better back for most of the season. That makes him a solid RB2. It doesn't exactly kill Giovani Bernard's value as I think he is better suited as a receiving back with some carries but he is nothing more than an okay flex play that you're probably better off avoiding entirely.

Denard Robinson is on IR which means Toby Gerhart is back in a starting role, with Jordan Todman and Storm Johnson in supporting roles. How fitting would it be if Gerhart had a huge game? He was an incredibly popular fantasy sleeper in the preseason to the point that his draft position shot way up. Of course he was a huge disappointment but it would be fun to see him go off here. I have him at RB29, but I'm probably not starting him.

Kerwynn Williams was a nice story this past week but he is unlikely to repeat. I still think its entirely possible that Marion Grice or Stepfan Taylor get more touches in week 15. Arians acknowledged that he gave Grice and Williams a few carries early on knowing that one would do well and he could go with the hot hand. I think he'll be quick to switch again if one of the other backs gives him reason to.

 

Week 15 Wide Receiver Rankings Analysis

Another week with plenty of elite talent at this position. Can the Bills stop Jordy Nelson much like they stopped Demaryius Thomas? I don't think so. Jordy seems much more physical than DT so I'm not too worried.

T.Y. Hilton loves playing the Texans. In five games over his career he has averaged 122 yards per game and a touchdown in all but one of those games. Of course earlier this season he went over 200 yards against the Texans as well. I'm not saying he'll do that again but he is a must play this week.

A.J. Green is hot right now but has an incredibly tough matchup against Joe Haden. Green has struggled against Haden over the past two seasons so this is definitely cause for concern. Yet Green is in one of the best stretches of his career with at least 100 yards or a touchdown (or both) over his last four games. I think you have to start him but the possibility remains that Haden could shut him down.

What to make of Josh Gordon with Johnny Manziel? Honestly I think it'll be a good thing for Gordon but I'm not daring enough to have Gordon as a top ten play. When Manziel came in during the Buffalo game he quickly found Gordon for 18 yards which was his longest catch of the day, and longer than either of the two passes he hauled in last week. Even if Manziel struggles, if he can have more success targeting Gordon deep than Hoyer did he'll be fine.

If DeSean Jackson plays this week I think he'll be a nice play regardless of who starts at QB. He can certainly burn the Giants. He did struggle against them in their first meeting but this Giants defense has lost a number of players, most notably Prince Amukamara. If DJax plays, he's a WR2 for me.

I'm low on Keenan Allen at WR26 but I actually like him and might try to move him up some more. He has had success against Denver in his short career including a touchdown in their first meeting this year and the best game of his career last year (although it was in the playoffs). Denver does have very good corners but Allen has yet to struggle against them. I expect him to bounce back from an awful game against Revis.

The Thursday night game between Arizona and St. Louis is likely to be a defensive matchup but if anyone has a big game offensively for St. Louis it will be Stedman Bailey. He disappointed last week with just 47 yards against the weak Redskins secondary but I still prefer him over Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin there. For the Cardinals I think Michael Floyd is the best bet but given that the Rams have allowed 0 points over their last two games I'd avoid the Cardinals entirely.

 

Week 15 Tight End Rankings Analysis

Will Jimmy Graham bounce back? Probably and he's still my TE2 this week. If you are considering benching him, don't. There is simply no chance that your next best option has better odds of scoring big than Graham does. It might not work out but you still want to start Graham.

Julius Thomas was active last week but not really active, misleading all of his owners including myself. This week he should actually play. He's no sure thing but still an excellent option in the red zone for a Denver offense looking to rebound from a poor showing.

Travis Kelce had a big game last week when few people were actually starting him. He had 67 yards in his last outing against the Raiders and that total is probably better than your other options and hey, he might even score this time! It's been a frustrating year for Kelce owners who see the talent while the production and usage rarely matches up. His nine targets last week matched a season high and Anthony Fasano has missed practice this week so lets hope the trend continues for Kelce.

Dwayne Allen returned last week while Coby Fleener was still the better play. I still believe Allen is the better tight end but it's close and I have them at TE10 and TE11. They are both decent plays that can score in any given week. In their first matchup it was Allen who had the yards (49) but Fleener got the touchdown with a measly 11 yards.

Expect the struggles to continue for Jason Witten. The Eagles have allowed just one touchdown to tight ends on the season and Witten was awful in their last matchup. I don't see that changing. Witten is hardly worth rostering at this point.

If you're looking for a high upside play in a very deep league, I'd look to Eric Ebron whom I've mentioned several times over the last few weeks. Ebron has been seeing a consistent 4+ targets the past four weeks and now Joseph Fauria is out for good which means Ebron might see a target boost. Don't be surprised if he is able to find the end zone.

 


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.