Week 15 Start Sit Advice - Fantasy Playoffs

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2022 at 12:34 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 15 of the 2022 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FN. Rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Please Note: 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 Christian McCaffrey, Travis Kelce, or Jalen Hurts. Instead, we take 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.

Start 'em Deshaun Watson (CLE, QB)
After a rough first game back (5.3 fantasy points), Deshaun Watson bounced back a bit last week to the tune of 16 fantasy points. With the rust starting to shake off, he finds himself back in QB1 discussions against Baltimore who has been fairly pedestrian against QBs this year. With recent QB injuries around the league, fantasy owners may need to lean on Watson for their championship run.
15th Fewest Pts to QB
Start 'em Kirk Cousins (MIN, QB)
It's not a particularly great matchup for Cousins, but if you're looking for safety from the QB spot this week, he's it. Coming off a season high 25 fantasy points (425 yards & 2 scores), the Vikings have been putting up yards. Indy has been solid, but they can be taken for points. Trevor Lawrence, Taylor Heinicke, and Jalen Hurts all put up at least 22 fantasy points. Cousins is a safe floor in Week 15.
13th Fewest Pts to QB
Start 'em Zonovan Knight (NYJ, RB)
We got quite a bit of email three weeks ago when our Lineup Analyzer kept suggesting Zonovan "Bam" Knight as a top option in the waiver wire, but the former practice squad player has surprised everyone. He has delivered three straight games of at least 13 fantasy points. There's plenty of skepticism here though as the Lions have largely bottled up a litany of rushers over the past two months including keeping Aaron Jones, David Montgomery, Saquon Barkley, Travis Etienne, and Dalvin Cook to single digits. Still, Knight's usage could make him a nice flex option for the playoffs.
9th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Rachaad White (TB, RB)
Leonard Fournette is showing signs of wear and tear, while Rachaad White has gone from an average of 2 carries a game over his first four games to 14 carries a game over his last four. He's also heavily involved in the passing game as Brady's dump off option. White has also delivered fantasy owners four straight games of double digit points. While it's not a great matchup on paper, his usage and efficiency make him a solid flex option.
13th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Jerick McKinnon (KC, RB)
He didn't do much on the ground, but Jerick McKinnon flourished in the passing game racking of 7 catches for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. One of those was a flip from Mahomes that won't be repeated, but McKinnon was the second most targeted player on the team. He gets a great matchup this week against a very beatable Texans teams. He hasn't seen more than eight carries in a game all year, but his role in the passing attack keeps him in flex territory.
Most pts to RB
Start 'em Garrett Wilson (NYJ, WR)
Garrett Wilson has faced plenty of tough defenses in his rookie season and delivered well. Forgive us if we feel giddy anticipating a matchup with the Lions who have been incredibly generous to receivers this year including a combined 67.6 fantasy points last week to Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn. This is exactly the kind of matchup one hopes for in the fantasy playoffs.
2nd Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Michael Pittman (IND, WR)
The Cowboys may have bottled up Michael Pittman before the bye, but we would anticipate him bouncing back in a big way against the Vikings this week. He remains the focal point in the Indy passing attack. Minnesota gives up the third-most fantasy points, the most catches, and the most yards to receivers on the season. With fresh legs, Pittman should be a solid WR2.
3rd Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Christian Watson (GB, WR)
After a slow start to the season (his Week 10 performance was more points than Watson scored in Weeks 1-9), Christian Watson has turned on the afterburners. With four straight games of at least 21 fantasy points, Watson heads into Monday night's contest facing a Rams defense that has largely been unable to stop the passing game. Whether it's Rodgers or Love throwing, Watson is dynamic enough to keep fantasy owners' playoff hopes alive.
8th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Gerald Everett (LAC, TE)
The tight end position has been a boondoggle for fantasy prognosticators this season, but there is an old adage that we feel fits nicely here. If you've ever heard the phrase "Sales is a numbers game", you'll understand the analogy. The more opportunities one gets, the greater the likelihood of seeing success. Everett has seen 18 targets over his last three games (7th-most targeted TE on the season), so while he didn't deliver last week, he could at any moment. Given the lack of depth at the TE position, Everett remains a solid starting option.
3rd Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Evan Engram (JAC, TE)
This one could certainly blow up in our face as it's akin to chasing points, but if you want to ride the hot hand, few hands are hotter than Evan Engram's right now. Coming off the biggest game of his career, Engram has cemented himself as a solid option at the TE spot. He's not likely to come close to repeating last week's outing as the Cowboys give up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points, but with 23 targets over his last three games, we'd be tickled pink with double digits.
2nd Fewest Pts to TE
Start 'em Green Bay Packers (GB, DEF)
The Packers have been solid against the pass but have struggled against the run. The Rams offense is sputtering both on the ground and through the air. Without Stafford or Kupp standing in their way, Green Bay is poised to deliver some fantasy goodness on Monday night.
2nd Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Chase McLaughlin (IND, K)
The Vikings have largely allowed yards to be racked up against them each week, but they've been pretty solid in the redzone limiting touchdowns and forcing field goals. That's good news for Chase McLaughlin as nobody gives up more points to kickers this year than Minnesota.
Most pts to K
Sit 'em Derek Carr (LV, QB)
There's no way to cover up the odor from last week's stinker, but that comes with the territory. Derek Carr turned in his second sub-3 point game this season. He's thrown as many picks over his last three games as touchdown passes. He hasn't had back-to-back turd games, but a matchup with the Patriots' defense has the potential. With the first round of the playoffs in our window, Carr presents entirely too much risk to consider starting.
9th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Russell Wilson (DEN, QB)
It was nice to see the old version of Russell Wilson last week. With a season-high of 57 rushing yards, he really found his groove in the second quarter and marched his team downfield. Unfortunately, he also took a hit that lodged a chunk of turf into his helmet. Assuming he can overcome the concussion protocol this week, we're not banking on a repeat performance. Statistically, it would seem difficult to replicate for him even in a plus matchup. Why? He's had plenty of plus matchups this season and failed to deliver. A glimpse of his past greatness is sadly all we're likely to see.
UPDATE: Russell Wilson has been declared INACTIVE for Week 15.
7th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Travis Etienne (JAC, RB)
Are you really going to sit Travis Etienne? That depends. Do you have better options? If so, then absolutely. The foot injury that took him out of the Week 12 game has limited his ability to deliver. Ask fantasy owners who were burned by him the last two weeks if they feel comfortable starting him and nearly two-thirds will tell you no. Over his last four games, Etienne has averaged just 5.3 points per game - not even flex worthy. Obviously, Etienne has the volume and talent to break one out at any time, but who wants to deal with that risk during the playoffs?
5th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em AJ Dillon (GB, RB)
With Aaron Jones dealing with his shin, AJ Dillon matched his season-high with 18 carries. With Jones back, Dillon's workload will likely return to what we've seen all year thus limiting his upside. The Rams rank inside the Top 10 in fewest points allowed to RBs and have allowed just eight rushing touchdowns all year. Unless Jones aggravates his injury, Dillon's upside is likely capped in this one.
8th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Raheem Mostert (MIA, RB)
Raheem Mostert hasn't produced double digits in a month. Although he saw 11 carries last week, he managed just 3.3 ypc and turned in another disappointing game. Barely involved in the passing game, he's only had one target over the last three games. If Wilson misses the game, Mostert gets a bump in value, but Buffalo has been decent against RBs this season leaving Mostert a benchable option in Week 15.
14th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Jamaal Williams (DET, RB)
One of the league's most frequent endzone visitors, Jamaal Williams continues to carry the load for the Lions. Unfortunately, that hasn't translated into fantasy points. The Vikings kept him out of the endzone last week and Williams delivered just 3.7 fantasy points. With D'Andre Swift running healthy, Williams is a touchdown-dependent back. The Jets are allowing just one rushing score per game this season. Will it be Swift or Williams? If you're comfortable taking a chance, see if he can deliver again. We're not taking the chance.
11th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em George Pickens (PIT, WR)
The exciting thing about George Pickens (other than his ridiculously talented catches) is that he could go off at any moment. He is that talented. Unfortunately for Pickens, his QB isn't. With uneven QB play, Pickens hasn't caught more than four balls since Week 7. Those players that can consistently and reliably deliver each week are the must-starts in the fantasy playoffs. Pickens is a lottery ticket which begs the question: how many lottery winners do you know?
9th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em D.J. Chark (DET, WR)
The biggest wide receiver name on the waiver wire rankings this week was D.J. Chark who scored for the second time in three games last week. He led the team with 94 receiving yards and matched Amon-Ra St. Brown for the lead in routes run, but the Jets present a much more difficult matchup. If you want to try and go to the well once more with Chark, feel free, but we're looking for safer options.
3rd Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Drake London (ATL, WR)
With Marcus Mariota out of town (for good? who knows?), Drake London will need to develop a rapport with Desmond Ridder who is in line to make his first career start at QB. There's a lot of uncertainty about what this passing game will look like. If this change had happened in the first couple of weeks of the fantasy season, there would be a margin for error. Unfortunately, fantasy owners in the playoffs have no such luxury.
14th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Robert Tonyan (GB, TE)
Baby Kittle has only had one big game all year and that was two months ago. Tonyan simply isn't involved enough in the Green Bay passing game to warrant consideration any longer. Add the fact that the Rams have been respectable against tight ends all season and Tonyan belongs on the bench for the Monday night tilt.
13th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Tyler Higbee (LAR, TE)
Across the field from Robert Tonyan on Monday night will be Tyler Higbee who hasn't had much opportunity to find a rhythm with new QB Baker Mayfield yet. Higbee's usage has dropped considerably. Consider this: he has seen the same number of targets in his last three games combined as he did the week prior and the week prior to that. Higbee has delivered just 6.7 points total over his last three games. Week 15 is not the time to deploy a strategy of hope.
11th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Miami Dolphins (MIA, DEF)
The Dolphins defense has actually fared pretty well this season tied with the Cardinals for 13th-most fantasy points scored. That keeps them in the streaming discussion...except for this week when they face Josh Allen and the Bills. With 2-5 inches of snow expected, there's every reason to chill out on our expectations for the Dolphins this week.
4th Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Jason Sanders (MIA, K)
When Jason Sanders faced the Bills back in Week 3, he managed just one field goal. Don't be surprised if he can only deliver you three points this week as the Bills have surrendered the second-fewest fantasy points on the season.
2nd Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 14, 2022 4:57 pm

PPR, Walker in a tough matchup and injury or the lackluster Kamara in a decent matchup? thx!

Nerd CommentedDec 14, 2022 5:14 pm

I think you still have to go Kamara in this one.

Cry me a Rivers CommentedDec 15, 2022 3:16 am

It is the playoffs now. Alvin Kamara will finally come through.

pattymelt CommentedDec 15, 2022 4:17 am


muddogs CommentedDec 16, 2022 5:03 pm

kamara is going to finally blow up

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 14, 2022 6:57 pm

agreed! how about cinci def vs carolina? kind of have to wait to see which QBs take the field right? not sure huntley or pickett play…

Cry me a Rivers CommentedDec 15, 2022 3:16 am

Either one should be great but I would play the Panthers

pattymelt CommentedDec 15, 2022 4:17 am


jamisdiablo CommentedDec 14, 2022 7:00 pm

hey one more please… keep playing metcalf in a tough matchup or rollout pittman and hope he finally shows up (doubtful)…? i hate matt ryan but that SF def scares the shit outta me.

Cry me a Rivers CommentedDec 15, 2022 3:17 am

Metcalf. They will feed him the ball. Walker is going to play so they have a real ground game which should open DK underneath

pattymelt CommentedDec 15, 2022 4:17 am

I would start DK Metcalf.

pattymelt CommentedDec 15, 2022 5:22 am

Jamaal Williams or Rachaad White. Half pt

TrunkMonkey CommentedDec 15, 2022 6:24 am

Rachaad White because Fournette isn't going to hold up. Williams has to deal with Swift who is healthier than Fournette is. Unless Williams gets the goal line work and scores a touchdown but White can do the same thing.

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 15, 2022 9:31 am

White for me here, good luck!

Stefans CommentedDec 15, 2022 10:49 am

Geno smith or Brandon purdy

Yohawk CommentedDec 15, 2022 11:39 am

Geno is the safe play

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 15, 2022 12:12 pm

Geno for sure, Purdy might not even play

muddogs CommentedDec 16, 2022 5:04 pm

geno took a dump but purdy wasnt much better

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 16, 2022 9:28 am

stick with goff in a tough road matchup or grab white or huntley? most upside outta them? (metcalf let me down a little last night). thanks!

Nerd CommentedDec 16, 2022 11:33 am

Assuming that Mike White doesn't play (Zach Wilson may get the start), I think you have to stick with Goff. Good luck!

Hinzie22 CommentedDec 16, 2022 2:14 pm

Please pick 2 of these 3 (.5 ppr): R White, B Robinson, or T Etienne.

And then 1 of these 3 (.5 ppr): Gabe Davis, Pickens, or C Samuel?

Thanks as always!

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 16, 2022 2:17 pm

white, etienne, pickett

Nerd CommentedDec 16, 2022 2:46 pm

I agree on White and Etienne, but I'd probably start Gabe Davis over Pickens. Good luck!

muddogs CommentedDec 16, 2022 5:05 pm

pickett isnt going to play but the other qbs are better than him so i would play pickens

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 16, 2022 2:16 pm

thanks! lawrence is available, so him>goff right? neither has the best matchup… please HELP!

Nerd CommentedDec 16, 2022 2:43 pm

Yep - I'd start Lawrence over Goff. Good luck!

Ed Chan CommentedDec 16, 2022 3:10 pm

Which TE should I start, Freiermuth or Njoku? And who to flex: Slayton or RB Harris, if he's healthy and Rhamondre is out?

muddogs CommentedDec 16, 2022 5:06 pm

njoku and harris. i think harris is going to be great in the game

mrock CommentedDec 17, 2022 11:22 am

Freiermuth and Slayton. Harris is not going to play.

muddogs CommentedDec 17, 2022 11:38 am

to be fair i wrote that before harris was inactive.

c30341 CommentedDec 16, 2022 4:40 pm

Hey Mr. Nerd, do I play Pitt or Carolina Def this week? League stat primarily based on how many points the Def gives up. So, which has a better chance to give up less than 20

muddogs CommentedDec 16, 2022 5:06 pm

go with the steel curtain baby!!!

STORM TROOPER CommentedDec 16, 2022 5:09 pm

They haven't been the Steel Curtain for a long time but I agree. You should start Pittsburgh.

Nerd CommentedDec 16, 2022 5:25 pm

I'd probably roll with the Steelers as well. Good luck.

Freddy Rodriguez CommentedDec 16, 2022 8:15 pm

Deshaun Watson, Huntley, Goff or tannehil?

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2022 9:04 am

It's Watson for me. Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 17, 2022 11:21 am

Watson for me too

jculbrea CommentedDec 17, 2022 12:34 pm

Goff for me, could see this one being a high scoring affair. He has all his WR weapons also with Chark and Jameson healthy to go alongside Amon. Sauce can’t guard them all!

Fernando Echeverria CommentedDec 17, 2022 6:10 am

Please pick 1 of these 2 (ppr): Zonovan or Swift

And then 1 of these 2 (ppr): Higgins or Zay Jonás

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2022 9:09 am

I think Swift is probably the safer option, but I would start Zonovan Knight.

There would normally be no doubt in my mind about Tee Higgins, but the combo of his hamstring issue (will he actually play a whole game?) and the # of targets that Zay Jones gets would have me starting Jones.

Good luck!

mrock CommentedDec 17, 2022 11:21 am

Good advice but I would start Swift.

Jean Francois Fortin CommentedDec 17, 2022 7:41 am

Knight or White ?
And what is the impact of Wilson on the jets receivers ?

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2022 9:26 am

I think the rankings have White slightly ahead, but I'd start Knight.

The loss of Mike White hurts a bit here. I don't think it's realistic to expect Zach Wilson to have miraculously fixed his deficiencies over the last few weeks. When I review the game logs for Wilson and the receivers, it would seem logical that we should expect at least a slight downgrade almost across the board. What does that translate to? Take Garrett Wilson - instead of a high-end WR2, he moves to a low-end WR2. I'm still starting him, but my expectations for him are lowered a bit.

The cool (and frustrating) thing about the NFL is that even though we can arrive at these conclusions through analytics and induction, the game is ultimately unpredictable. Zach Wilson could have a big game in his return. We've seen that happen before, but instead of dealing in absolutes (a wasteful use of our mental capacity in my opinion), we're better off looking at likelihoods. It's not likely that Wilson suddenly improves and it's not likely that the receivers will perform better in this game.

Wow - sorry for the long-winded response. I'll back away from the keyboard now...

mrock CommentedDec 17, 2022 11:19 am

Great response and I love the "long-winded response". Completely agree.

Dangerruss CommentedDec 18, 2022 9:15 am

I also look at things in terms of likelihood. Great long-winded comment.

yuh CommentedDec 17, 2022 7:42 am

RB help. Need another, I have Stevenson and Damien Harris, both questionable.
Patterson and Dillon also, or pickup McKinnon?
Cook is my other RB btw.

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2022 9:32 am

Not sure what your scoring format is, but I like Stevenson (assuming he plays), McKinnon, Patterson, and then Harris. Subject to change based on how the injury reports come out of course. Good luck!

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2022 11:15 am

Just an update - Damien Harris has been declared inactive.

mrock CommentedDec 17, 2022 11:19 am

Stevenson, Patterson, McKinnon, Dillon, Cook.

jculbrea CommentedDec 17, 2022 12:32 pm

Start Jerry Jeudy or Michael Pittman? Jerry only WR and actually probably an upgrade with Rypien, Pittman in a higher scoring matchup.

Nerd CommentedDec 17, 2022 12:38 pm

I'd give Pittman the edge there in all formats. I like Jeudy and he did great last week, but Pittman is the better option this week in my opinion. Good luck!

Drew Shoemaker CommentedDec 17, 2022 8:28 pm

L. Murray, R. White, Akers? Full PPR

Dangerruss CommentedDec 18, 2022 9:12 am

The same order that you listed them is how I would rank them.

NoviJeff CommentedDec 18, 2022 5:25 am

My league is PPR for RB and TE, but not for WR. 2 questions.

1.Who should be my flex this week - McKinnon (RB), Wilson (WR) or Watson (WR)?

2. For TE, Waller (just came off IR) or Engram?

Many thanks, and Happy Holidays all!

Dangerruss CommentedDec 18, 2022 9:13 am

I would rank them Wilson, Watson, McKinnon. For TE, I would take a chance on Waller. Engram won't repeat last weeks game.

mrock CommentedDec 18, 2022 10:35 am

Same for #1 - Wilson, Watson and McKinnon for me.

#2 I would start Engram. Safer play. No clue how much Waller will play.

c30341 CommentedDec 18, 2022 9:31 am

Knight, Stevenson or Scary Terry in the flex today?

mrock CommentedDec 18, 2022 10:36 am

Terry McClaurin for the win

jamisdiablo CommentedDec 18, 2022 9:57 am

waller or kmet today?

mrock CommentedDec 18, 2022 10:37 am

Cole Kmet is going to be the top option in the Bears offense. Everyone else is hurt. Start Kmet.

T-Jugg CommentedDec 18, 2022 11:00 am

2 questions
PPR flex (need 2 of 3):
Christian Kirk, Garrett Wilson, Terry McLaurin

20-team league PPR flex:
Joshua Palmer, Tyler Boyd, or Cole Kmet

Nerd CommentedDec 18, 2022 11:17 am

Great situations. I think Christian Kirk is ranked ahead of Wilson, but I would lean McLaurin and Wilson. Tough call.

Good cases to be made for Kmet and Boyd, but I'm leaning Palmer.

Good luck!

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