Week 15 Fantasy Football Where to Put em

Thursday, Dec 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm ET

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Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst match ups for Week 15. Decisions are based upon the FFN fantasy football rankings and match up analysis. Given the known conditions, these match ups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Put 'em In The Game: Matt Ryan
Ryan has put up mediocre numbers over the past three weeks, but those three weeks were tough match ups against Green Bay, Tampa Bay, and Carolina. Things should turn to his favor this week against a Seattle secondary that gives up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing QB's. Just in time for the playoffs!
Put 'em In The Game: Jon Kitna
We like Jon Kitna this week, particularly if you're scrambling for a QB (A-rod owners listen up). It looks like Kitna is rolling along nicely putting up respectable numbers against solid secondaries. He faces Washington this week who is giving up the 5th-most fantasy points to opposing QB's. Kitna's not a "safe" name like Manning or Brady, but we like the risk this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Jonathan Stewart
After sitting on our bench for most of the season, it's time to dust off Jonathan Stewart and let him run wild. Stewart is hitting his stride and we think he'll be last year's Jerome Harrison putting up fantasy points in the last weeks of the season. Arizona is giving up the 2nd most yards per game and fantasy points per game to opposing backs and Stewart is definitely on a roll.
Put 'em In The Game: Tim Hightower
Staring across the field from Jonathan Stewart will be Tim Hightower. Neither team has a potent aerial game so they're going to pound it out on the ground. There are 3 big reasons why we like Hightower this week: 1) No Beanie Wells impact, 2) coming off a huge game (148 yards and 2 scores), and 3) nobody gives up more fantasy points to opposing backs than Carolina. 1-2-3.
Put 'em In The Game: Miles Austin
Normally Austin would be on the stud list and an automatic start, however he has quite a few games where he's failed to put up double-digit fantasy points even in PPR formats. We're expecting double-digit numbers this week against the Redskins though. He was a monster in their Week 1 meeting where he pulled down 10 catches for 146 yards and a score. With Kitna clicking and Dez Bryant gone, Austin should have a fantastic week.
Put 'em In The Game: Hakeem Nicks
Any questions surrounding Hakeem Nicks and his leg should have been put to rest on Monday night. Nicks becomes the de facto #1 in New York and you can be sure that Eli will be targeting him often when they face the Eagles. Jon Kitna had a decent fantasy day against Philly last week and we're expecting a better performance out of Manning this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Pierre Garcon
Garcon is a tough one to predict. When his match ups have been favorable in the past and we've recommended him as a solid start, he's failed us terribly by dropping everything that wasn't handed to him on a silver platter. Garcon has had us hollering "We'll only eat Freedom Fries from now on!" with his unpredictable and often-maddening consistency (yes - we know he's not French - he was born in Florida). On paper, Garcon's match up is a nice one. The Jaguars give up the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing WR's. Whether it's Garcon or Wayne who get the most of those this week is debatable but the match up still makes Garcon an attractive start.
Put 'em In The Game: Owen Daniels
Owen who? Isn't this the same guy who we've had on the sit list for weeks? Yes - the very same, but he's getting the targets and his hamstring issues look to be over. With the exception of a few plays, Daniels looked pretty solid this past week and turned in a great fantasy day. Tennessee allows the 2nd most points to fantasy TE's so the combination of increased targets and a nice match up make for a decent recommendation.
Put 'em In The Game: Jacob Tamme
The Dallas Clark fill-in has been anything but lately. We think a nice match up against Jacksonville may be just what the fantasy doctor ordered. The Jaguars give up the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing TE's and the previous TE's didn't have Peyton Manning throwing to them.
Put 'em On The Bench: Mark Sanchez
Sanchez falls into the FFN naughty list this week for two reasons. First, his play as of late has been horrendous. When they've needed to move the ball at the end of the past few games, Sanchez is still checking down, throwing it away, or turning it over. His pocket presence has seriously deteriorated. Second, if he can't move the ball against average to poor secondaries, how is he going to move the ball against the Steelers who give up the 8th-fewest fantasy points to opposing QB's? Too many questions surrounding Sanchez right now to feel confident in him.
Put 'em On The Bench: Kyle Orton
Orton has helped quite a few fantasy owners get to the playoffs this year, just not as of late. His negative points last week and the 2 points from the previous week were disastrous for many fantasy owners. We're not necessarily concerned with the match up this week as Oakland can be thrown on, but we've got less confidence in Orton than at any other point in the season.
Put 'em On The Bench: Ben Roethlisberger
With high expectations, Big Ben has failed to deliver a fantasy-relevant day in the past three weeks. Chalk it up to a broken nose, an injured foot, or simply bad play, but it's tough to find much love for Ben these days. He's thrown just 1 score in the past three weeks. With a match up against the Jets this week, Ben is no longer the safe play we thought he would be.
Put 'em On The Bench: Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson falls onto the sit list for the first time...ever. Any fantasy owner worth his salt knows that you're not going to actually bench AP, but we want you to temper your expecations this week. Favre is out. Jackson is out. By all accounts, it looks like Joe Webb will be starting under center. Chicago already gives up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to opposing backs and what do you think they're going to do when they see Joe Webb run out onto the field? That's right - they're going to stack the box against Peterson. It will be a tough day for Mr. All Day.
Put 'em On The Bench: Rashard Mendenhall
Like Peterson above, it's hard to bench someone like Mendenhall but you've also got to lower your expectations for what he'll produce. With Big Ben playing poorly, the Jets are going to be watching Mendenhall. The Jets are brutal against the run giving up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points on the ground. Mendenhall is a risk.
Put 'em On The Bench: Brandon Lloyd
Brandon Lloyd gets moved to our bench for the same reasons that Orton is there. While Oakland can be thrown against, Lloyd will have Nnamdi Asomugha covering him all day long and that's not what you want when you're playing must-win fantasy playoff games.
Put 'em On The Bench: Santonio Holmes
It's a tough time to own Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. Sanchez just isn't clicking and Holmes and Edwards can't score if they're not being given the ball. Pittsburgh gives up the 5th-fewest fantasy points to opposing WR's and they're playing at home which is tough for any visiting team. If Sanchez can keep from turning the ball over and find a way to get it to his most productive receivers, the Jets may have a chance, however the odds are just not in their favor.
Put 'em On The Bench: Visanthe Shiancoe
Maybe a new QB is just what Shiancoe needs but we're doubting it. He has 1 catch last week and we have low expectations for him this week. He hasn't had more than 4 catches since Week 2 of the season. We might be willing to take a risk on Shiancoe against a terrible defense, but that's not the case this week in their divisional rivalry game against the Bears.
Put 'em On The Bench: Dustin Keller
At this point it might appear that we're simply picking on Mark Sanchez, and perhaps we are a little but it's deserved. Keller gets the targets but he can't always pull the ball in. Chalk it up to poor route running or bad throws but Keller makes for a risky fantasy play this week against a very tough Steelers D. Keller hasn't seen double digits since Week 4 (Week 6 in ppr formats) and we're not expecting to see double digits this week either.

Join the Discussion

Hawgman CommentedDec 17, 2010 11:00 am

Quick Question - Drop Collie and pick up Freeman? I have Roethlisberger and Orton as my QB crew. Looking to get to my 1st SB!

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2010 11:00 am

If he plays Collie has a nice match up this week but next week is tougher. Collie practiced fully the past 3 days however he's still listed as questionable. I think there's a good chance that he plays but I'd still rather have Freeman who has a fantastic match up this week and next week.

Lutefisk CommentedDec 19, 2010 11:00 am

I've been struggling all week with what to do with DeSean Jackson. I've got Nicks, Welker and Jackson at WR. The Analyzer says run Jackson and Nicks, but I'm not so sure given Jax' ankle and the fact he can be boom or bust. I'm leaning Nicks and Welker with Greene-Ellis at flex. Too much NE given they have clinched? Thanks.

Nerd CommentedDec 19, 2010 11:00 am

Having Nicks, Welker, and Jackson is a nice problem to have. Nicks to me is a must-start. I have some reservations with DeSean Jackson this week. The Giants didn't allow Philly any big plays when they met earlier this year. Jackson had 5 for 50.

If the Pats win tonight, they'll lock up their division and a 1st round bye I believe. Before Rodgers was officially ruled out, I would have said that this would be enough motivation to keep everyone in for the entire game. With Rodgers out, I just don't see my beloved Packers running up the score so I'm not sold on the theory any longer.

Regardless, I personally am inclined to agree with your opinion. Even though Jackson could go off for a ridiculous day, I like Welker and Nicks.

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