Week 15 Where to Put em

Thursday, Dec 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm ET

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for week 15 of the 2011 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Andre Johnson, or Adrian Peterson. Where to Put 'em takes a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Put 'em In The Game: Rex Grossman
Washington has a cake schedule for secondaries. Rex Grossman has a solid day last week against the Patriots and that trend will continue this week against the NY Giants who give up the 3rd most passing yards in the league and were torched by Tony Romo last week.
Put 'em In The Game: Tim Tebow
Whether you love him or hate him, there's no denying that Tim Tebow makes for a great match up this week. Nobody gives up more yards and fantasy points to QB's than the suspect New England secondary. Hopefully Tebow will make those 15 throws per game count. Heck - he might even throw it 16 or 17 times! Look for him to take a shot to Decker or Thomas. The 4th quarter of this game should be very exciting.
Put 'em In The Game: Matthew Stafford
Aaron Rodgers got pulled in the second half of last week's Packers/Raiders game because it wasn't necessary for him to stay in there. Matthew Stafford should be able to throw all over the Raiders in similar fashion. Oakland is giving up 250 yards per game through the air and Stafford should easily see that total.
Put 'em In The Game: Michael Bush
All reports so far indicate that Darren McFadden is not going to be a "go" this week. Bad news for Run DMC owners, but that's good news for those who handcuffed Michael Bush. We all knew that Bush has RB 1 potential as he's shown that in the past. With McFadden out and even with Ndamukong Suh back for the Lions, we're going all-in on Bush this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Chris Johnson
Is it time to put CJ2K back on the stud list? Perhaps. The way he started the season made owners question the high pick many had to pay to get him, but he's turning it on in the latter half of the season. Ignore last week's performance, because Chris Johnson should run wild against the winless Colts. With question marks at QB this week, expect a healthy dose of CJ2K.
Put 'em In The Game: Beanie Wells
Beanie Wells will go from one extreme to the other this week. Nobody expected much production out of him last week against the 49er's and their top-ranked rush defense. Expectations are different this week against the league's second-worst Cleveland rush defense. Wells should have a solid fantasy day for you right when it counts the most.
Put 'em In The Game: Santana Moss
Just as we predicted last week, Santana Moss had a fantastic fantasy day. There's no reason to expect that to change this week against the Giants. Grossman and Moss looked good and Fred Davis has doped himself out of the game leaving no major threat other than Moss. The upside here is fantastic.
Put 'em In The Game: Donald Driver
Donald Driver, one of Joe's all-time favorite players, is the epitome of what an NFL player should be. Classy, talented, and a true team player. Everyone winced last week when Greg Jennings went down. While he's recovering, there's an opportunity for Driver, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones to step it up. Rodgers will bring the targets and Driver should see an uptick in fantasy production.
Put 'em In The Game: A.J. Green
If you made it through the Rams/Seahawks Monday Night game without falling asleep, congratulations. Other than this year's Colts, I don't recall watching a more pathetic team on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball than the Rams. That's great news for A.J. Green owners. Green should be able to confuse the St Louis secondary and run wherever he wants.
Put 'em In The Game: Owen Daniels
With Andre Johnson less than 100% and a stellar run game to help support the pass, Owen Daniels has quickly become an attractive fantasy option in the playoffs. He looks to have a great rapport with T.J. Yates and finally saw the century mark last week. While he most likely won't duplicate those numbers, his production should still be good enough to warrant a start.
Put 'em In The Game: Jermichael Finley
As a Packer fan, it's tough to hear the comments about Finley lately ("million dollar hands...10 cent head"), but it's also hard to argue it sometimes. His doughnut last week and his multiple drops don't help anyone. He'd be a downgraded choice if it weren't for the fact that Greg Jennings will miss this game. Without Jennings, there will be additional targets available for everyone else. We're giving Finley the benefit of the doubt against a Kansas City defense that has given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing TE's.
Put 'em In The Game: John Kasay
John Kasay has quietly planted himself into the kicking elite. Currently the third most productive fantasy kicker, Kasay is facing a Vikings defense that has given up more fantasy points to kickers than any other team. He's available in almost a third of all Fleaflicker.com leagues and would make an excellent upgrade for your team if he's available.
Put 'em On The Bench: Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger is hurt with a high ankle sprain which already makes him a questionable start regardless of how well he did after coming back into the game last week. The 49ers are a tough team this year giving up the 9th-fewest fantasy points to opposing QB's. Because Mendenhall won't be able to run much against the top-ranked 49ers rush defense, Big Ben will have to throw but we're tempering our expectations.
Put 'em On The Bench: Alex Smith
Standing across the field from Big Ben will be Alex Smith who will have an equally unenviable match up. Troy Polamalu and company allow the 4th-fewest fantasy points to opposing WR's, and let's be honest, Smith doesn't have the most consistent or dynamic receiving corp in the NFL. They're not bad, but they're not good enough to run all over the Steelers. Smith is going to struggle.
Put 'em On The Bench: Sam Bradford
With the exception of a handful of decent plays, Sam Bradford looked like a shell of his former self. At times he was flustered and forced terrible throws that were off the mark last week. Seattle basically ate him up and spit him out. What do you think Cincinnati and their better defense is going to do to him? When you combine the fact that Cincy gives up the 7th-fewest fantasy points to QB's with the face that Bradford did not practice again today (his ankle), what's there to get excited about? Until Bradford stops looking like Blaine Gabbert, it's time to sit him.
Put 'em On The Bench: Peyton Hillis
We had to double check on this, but yes, Peyton Hillis does still play in the NFL but he's much better in Madden on the PS3 than he his in real life. While you can throw on the Cardinals, running on them is a different story. They give up the tenth-fewest fantasy points to opposing RB's. Chalk one up for the Madden curse as Hillis has disappointed fantasy owners all year long. Why should this week be any different?
Put 'em On The Bench: Rashard Mendenhall
Monday night's game may not be the fantasy cornucopia that we'd like to see. Mendenhall looked a bit lethargic last week even though he did gain 76 yards on 18 carries. He'll face a 49ers rush defense that literally ranks first in everything...fewest yards allowed per game, fewest fantasy points allowed per game, and they still haven't allowed any RB to run into the end zone. Have a seat Mendy.
Put 'em On The Bench: Santonio Holmes
It's hard to call Santonio Holmes the go-to guy in that offense. Greene has been running fantastic as of late and Holmes has yet to see the century mark. In fact, he's only had more than 70 yards just once all season. This week he'll face Nnamdi Asomugha which isn't a recipe for success. We'd sit Holmes this week in favor of someone else with better upside. You just can't count on him in the playoffs.
Put 'em On The Bench: Anquan Boldin
We've had email exchanges with FFN users this past week regarding Boldin and Flacco. We're down on any guy from Baltimore this week not named Rice. Some of you favor Boldin and Flacco, and that's ok. They may pull one out, but we're not taking the risk if we don't have to. The Chargers are pretty solid against the pass allowing the 10th-fewest fantasy points to WR's and Boldin's 5 for 57 performance last week was his most productive day in more than a month. Play him if you like but temper your expectations.
Put 'em On The Bench: Vernon Davis
If you drafted Vernon Davis this year, he was most likely drafted to be your primary TE. Unfortunately, he hasn't really played up to that level this year. The Steelers give up the 7th-fewest fantasy points to opposing TE's and there's little reason to think that Davis will buck that trend.
Put 'em On The Bench: Dustin Keller
A popular name on the draft boards earlier this year, Dustin Keller hasn't lived up to his billing either. The match up isn't particularly worrisome as the Eagles are middle-of-the-road against TE's. It's the lack of consistency that worries us. You never know what you're going to get. He's had two big games all year long. That's it. It's difficult to feel comfortable with starting him in the fantasy playoffs.
Put 'em On The Bench: Billy Cundiff
It's with a heavy heart that we put Billy Cundiff on the sit list. He's been a pretty consistent option for us over the past year, but he admitted this week that he wasn't 100% in last week's contest and his prognosis this week is sketchy. This is one of those weeks where you absolutely need a win and Cundiff is too much risk...even for a kicker.

Join the Discussion

Len CommentedDec 17, 2011 11:00 am

PPR league. Which would you use in the Flex? Titus Young or Eric Decker? Also, at TE: Olsen or Celek?

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2011 11:00 am

I'm rolling with Decker and Celek.

JACKASS PENGUIN CommentedDec 18, 2011 11:00 am

PPR League: which would you use in the flex?

Brandon Jacobs, Rashard Mendenhall or Jake Ballard?

Thanks, JP

Nerd CommentedDec 18, 2011 11:00 am

Flip a coin between Jacobs and Mendenhall. I'd probably use Jacobs.

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