This is a message not to overthink things.
Take me for example.
As of this writing, there’s 7:35 left in the second quarter of the Patriots-Cardinals game, and I need Greg Dortch to propel me to victory.
The no. 4 wide receiver on his own team. And he’s the guy I am resting the hopes of my season on at the moment.
I can explain!
See, the slot receiver position for Arizona has actually been pretty good all season. Dortch posted double-digit PPR points in his first three games while the Cardinals’ primary slot receiver, Rondale Moore, was injured. By the time Moore took over the position, the slot receiver scored double-digit points in the following eight of ten weeks until both Moore and Dortch were hurt and the Cardinals focused on other strengths in the offense. That’s a good sample size.
Now, you may be asking, why am I playing the third receiver on a team facing the Patriots, to which I can tell you that the Patriots have historically had trouble against running quarterbacks (see Justin Fields earlier this year), and the Patriots are well known for taking away your star player, in which case this is DeAndre Hopkins. Therefore, by some ludicrous reasoning I justified as rational, I am playing the no. 2 wide receiver against a defense that has struggled against the likes of Kyler Murray.
And there is now 5:54 left in the second quarter and Dortch has yet to receive a single target.
I guess what I am trying to get at here is that it’s easy to overthink your lineups. Especially in the playoffs. You can go cross-eyed looking at possible scenarios in every direction when in actuality we all have no frickin’ idea what’s going to happen. Cities rose out of the Nevadan desert due to this thinking. So, for this week, let’s take it easy. Let’s call out the obvious starts/sits. We’re not getting cute here.
Fantasy football Week 15 start ’em
Quarterbacks to start in Week 15
Justin Fields (CHI) vs Eagles
Yes, you’re scared of the Eagles. Yes, you have questions about Field’s shoulder health. We all do. Just know when he has the ball in his hands he is absolutely electric. He is a 50-yard touchdown waiting to happen. More than likely the Bears are going to be down big, so there’s even more demand for Fields to tuck the ball and run.
Patrick Mahomes (KC) vs Texans
This is the best one. I mean, no one would really bench Mahomes, right? But some people may question his upside given his team is projected to win by two touchdowns. Just know there’s a reason why the Chiefs are ahead by two touchdowns, and will more than likely come on the back of Mahomes’ touchdowns. Even if he sits the entire fourth quarter, he will have made up for it in the first three.
Running backs to start in Week 15
Jonathan Taylor (IND) vs Minnesota Vikings
Sure, he’s had pedestrian numbers lately since his blow-up game against Las Vegas. Sure, on paper the Minnesota defense looks tough against running backs, and this game is in Minnesota. You’re freaking out about Matt Ryan, and you should be! He’s had an extra week to practice throwing passes to the other team.
But we both know that if the Colts are going to score, it’s going to be on the back of one of the most talented backs in the league. Even against stacked boxes, he will come through this week for your team.
Miles Sanders (PHI) vs Bears
He has been great the past three weeks. This is why you cannot bench him, even with tough matchups against Chicago and Dallas coming up. The Eagles are rolling, and teams are unable to find a way to slow them down. At least for this week, it looks to be another plus matchup as the Eagles are favored by 9 points in a game with a 48 over/under. No overthinking on this one.
Receivers and tight ends to start in Week 15
Evan Engram (JAX) vs Cowboys
OK, I did not see 150 yards and 2 touchdowns coming. Why else would I drop him the week before?!?!
(Curls up in a ball and softly cries.)
Look, tight ends are bad this year. Like, really really bad unless you have Travis Kelce. Even Mark Andrews has been disappointing lately. If Engram is on waivers—and good chance he is—scoop him up and play him. Even if it’s against the Cowboys. Nowhere else will you find a player at this position that sniffs the upside he just demonstrated last week.
Christian Watson (GB) vs Rams
7 touchdowns in 4 weeks.
7 touchdowns in 4 weeks.
7 touchdowns in 4 weeks.
What else needs to be said?
Fantasy football Week 15 sit ’em
Quarterbacks to sit in Week 15
Geno Smith (SEA) vs 49ers
Yes, Geno has been good this year. He has defied expectations and turned in a top-10 QB year in fantasy, which no one saw coming.
But he’s going against what may be the best defense in the league.
The Niners have a way of getting to the quarterback rushing only four, which is why they’re top-5 against fantasy quarterbacks this year.
This is a stay away at all possible.
Brock Purdy (49ers) vs. Seahawks
And here’s the quarterback on this other side of the field. It’s been a great story for Purdy so far. The third-string quarterback, Mr. Irrelevant, taking down Tom Brady in his first start. He looks calm in the pocket and comfortable throwing the ball deep.
But still….he was not able to hit 200 yards last week, and his fantasy finish was buoyed by a rushing touchdown. The secondary is the Bucs’ weakness. Know that this is Seattle’s strength. This will more than likely be an ugly, low-scoring game, so keep the rookie on waivers for now.
Running backs to sit in Week 15
Kareem Hunt (CLE) vs Ravens
Where have you been Kareem? Even if a game in which the Browns must win and throw the kitchen sink at their divisional rival I do not trust putting you in my starting lineup. The last time Hunt scored a touchdown was Week 7. He has had 3 weeks this year in the double digits (PPR scoring), and has yet to hit 15 PPR points since Week 1.
Cam Akers (LAR) vs Packers
Yes, he’s had a touchdown in the last two games, but he also ran for less than 4 yards a carry. Take away those touchdowns and you’re left with 11 PPR points combined in the last two weeks.
This is a classic overthinking one. Sure, we can bake a handful of scenarios in which the Rams will put up points, but there’s a better chance they don’t. This is still a bottom offense going against a team coming off a bye and desperately needing a win.
Wide receivers to sit in Week 15
D.J. Chark (DET) vs Jets
You may be tempted to start him after two good weeks, but just know that the Lions are a different team A) away from a dome and B) against good defenses. This is exactly what the Jets have, and so the upside you’ve seen lately with Chark is all but gone. The Jets are a top-10 defense against quarterbacks, but they’re even tougher against wide receivers. Only the Colts and the Broncos have been stingier than the men in green.
D.J. Moore (CAR) vs Steelers
This guy. Sir Goose Egg. Humpty Dumpty here in my starting lineup. I banish you to the sits even if for the fact you may have single-handedly lost me a playoff bid after I traded for you earlier this week. You’re dead to me, Moore!