Five Burning Questions for Week 15 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Round one of the playoffs is in the books for many of us, and the playoffs begin this week for some others. If you advanced to the next round or have officially made it to your league’s playoffs, congratulations! There are just two more weeks until we wrap up the fantasy season, so make the best of it.
Let’s dive into five burning questions on deck for Week 15.
Import your team to My Playbook for instant Lineup & Trade advice >>
1. Who Is a Player to Question on Thursday Night Football?
I am normally not a fan of starting players on Thursday Night Football because those games tend to go sideways from the normal Sunday matchups. In other words, TNF games are weird. However, the Week 15 matchup between the Chargers and the Raiders has too many fantasy options to ignore. There are fantasy gems at every position, with the exception of defense and special teams.
However, is there a player we should possibly avoid if we can?
Raiders RB Josh Jacobs has been disappointing and downright polarizing after last week’s shenanigans on social media. The Chargers have allowed only seven rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns to the position so far this season. Those numbers are akin to the Steelers, Rams, and Ravens, who have also only allowed seven rushing touchdowns. Of course, you can’t dismiss Jacobs’ red-zone and goal-line looks, which make him a touchdown-dependent RB1/2 in this matchup.
I would consider starting Cam Akers, Miles Sanders, James Robinson, or even David Montgomery if you have lost faith in Jacobs. I certainly don’t blame you.
Check out our Expert Consensus Rankings for other players our experts have ranked higher than Jacobs. I want to point out that I am not saying Jacobs is a must-sit. Rather, he is not a guaranteed auto-start if you feel you have better options.
2. Are You In Need of Sleepers for Week 15?
Are you out of FAAB, or did you miss your waiver wire target? Fear not. There are some options available on free agency, especially if your league mates who missed the playoffs have given up for the season.
Look no further than the Miami Dolphins. At running back, DeAndre Washington is a speculative add if Dolphins RB Salvon Ahmed continues to nurse his injury and Myles Gaskin remains sidelined due to COVID-19. Washington’s performance was less than impressive last week, but the Dolphins may have no other options. On volume alone, he could be a spot-start if you’re desperate.
The Dolphins also had to rely on rookie Lynn Bowden with practically all of their receivers injured. Here is an interesting twist. On both Yahoo and ESPN, he is listed as a wide receiver and running back who can give you incredible flexibility if you need a starter at a specific position. Although he didn’t find the end zone, he caught seven passes for 82 yards last week against Kansas City and also logged four receptions for 41 yards in Week 13 against the Bengals.
Of course, double-check with your league setting to make sure you can start Bowden at either position, depending on what you need.
3. Can Terry McLaurin Have a Bounce-Back Game?
McLaurin has gone from a must-start with high expectations to a must-start while reaching for antacids in a matter of only two weeks. He struggled against Pittsburgh with only 3.4 PPR points and 4.4 last week against San Francisco. However, there is a rising sun on the horizon in the form of the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks are worst in the league against WRs, allowing a league-high 2,819 yards to the position and 13 touchdowns. I do want to add a caveat. In the last few weeks, Seattle’s defense has been rather stingy with fantasy points compared to the season as a whole. Either way, McLaurin should capitalize as Washington fights to hold onto its division lead in the NFC East.
4. Who Are the Best Streaming Options at QB?
We’ve already talked about the Raiders, so let’s start there. The Raiders are fighting for their playoffs hopes and dreams, and I am sure all of us fantasy managers can relate to that. This should roll out as a high-scoring, back-and-forth game that puts Derek Carr squarely in the QB streaming conversation.
A somewhat safer play is the Colts’ Philip Rivers. I don’t see his ceiling as high as other options with RB Jonathan Taylor breaking out late in his rookie campaign and RB Nyheim Hines‘ explosive playmaking ability. Still, WR T.Y. Hilton has finally come back to fantasy relevance. WR Michael Pittman is putting his stamp on the receiving game, and Rivers has his big-bodied tight ends to target in the end zone.
Dare I say that we could consider Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky as a streaming option? It seems crazy, but he was in the top-five last week against the Houston Texans and will face the Minnesota Vikings this week. The Vikings have been generous to opposing quarterbacks, and particularly for their wide receivers. If Trubisky wants to hang onto that starting job, targeting elite WR Allen Robinson along with Anthony Miller, Darnell Mooney, TE Cole Kmet, and Jimmy Graham gives him plenty of options. Even Montgomery has gotten involved in the passing game with four targets in the last two games and six targets in Week 12.
For more options to stream at QB, check out Quarterback and Tight End Streamers by Marc Mathyk.
5. Which DST Can You Stream for Week 15?
Quarterbacks aren’t the only position you can stream for a win. It’s important to keep an eye on your DST and not just set and forget it if there are better options available. After all, even one point could give you a win to move onto the championship.
I am keeping my flag firmly planted in Arizona’s DST. After a dismal performance in Week 13 against the Rams, the Cardinals bounced back nicely against the New York Giants. They allowed only seven points, recorded eight sacks, and recovered three fumbles. It’s hard to ask for much more.
This week, they face the Eagles and Philadelphia’s new golden boy, Jalen Hurts. I understand that he made the Saints look like little lambs last week, but I wonder how much of that is a lack of tape on his performance. Like many teams, the Cardinals’ playoff hopes depend on a win. That means a tougher edge, more intensity, and a need to make big plays on offense and defense. They are 29% rostered in Yahoo leagues and 31% in ESPN.
For more DST streaming options for Week 15 and stashes for Week 16 and 17 (if you play in Week 17), check out Let’s Stream Defenses by Jacob Herlin.
Good luck in Week 15!
Import your team to My Playbook for instant Lineup & Trade advice >>
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio
Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Trade Analyzer – which allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.
Lauren Carpenter is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Lauren, check out her archive and follow her @stepmomlauren.