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6 Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 15 Start/Sit Advice (2023)

6 Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 15 Start/Sit Advice (2023)

Arguably, the most frustrating thing in fantasy football is seeing someone in your starting lineup struggle that week. Therefore, the logic behind this article is simple – identify fantasy football lineup landmines.

These are players you’re leaning towards starting this week but could end up being a landmine that blows up and destroys your starting lineup, potentially costing you your matchup.

Brace yourself and take cover. These six players could blow up in your face this week.

Fantasy Football Lineup Landmines: Week 15

Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC)

Despite having a down year, Mahomes remains one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy football. However, he hasn’t been the set-it-and-forget-it QB1 that fantasy players hoped for when drafting him. Instead, the superstar is the QB8 for the season, averaging 18.1 fantasy points per game. He has scored 13.6 or fewer fantasy points in back-to-back contests. Furthermore, Mahomes has only two games with more than 19.2 fantasy points since Week 3. The former Texas Tech star is on pace to have 30 passing touchdowns in 2023, the second-lowest total of his career as the starter.

Kansas City’s defense has been outstanding, leading to few shootouts for Mahomes. Unfortunately, he won’t need to sling the ball all over the yard on Sunday, as the New England Patriots’ offense will struggle to put up points. More importantly, the Patriots have held quarterbacks to 14 fantasy points per game, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. While Mitch Trubisky scored 20.6 fantasy points last week against New England, nearly half of his production came in the run game. I would start Brock Purdy and Matthew Stafford over Mahomes this week.

Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)

Not having Joe Burrow has been no problem for Cincinnati’s offense. Jake Browning has played well during the team’s two-game win streak, but so has Mixon. The veteran running back has been the RB1 over the past two weeks, averaging 21.1 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. However, he has the 12th-fewest yards per rushing attempt (3.7) and the ninth-lowest rate of missed tackle forced per attempt (13%) over the past two weeks among running backs with at least 20 attempts (per Fantasy Points Data).

More importantly, his recent touchdown success is coming to an end. After totaling four rushing touchdowns over the first 12 weeks this season, Mixon has three over the past two contests, accounting for nearly 40% of his fantasy production. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings have surrendered only four rushing touchdowns to running backs all season, the third-fewest in the league, including zero over the past three weeks. Furthermore, they have held running backs to only 15.1 fantasy points per game, the fifth-fewest in the NFL. Mixon’s hot streak ends is coming to an end.

James Conner (RB – ARI)

The veteran running back had his best performance this year heading into the team’s Week 14 bye. Conner had 105 rushing yards, two touchdowns, and a season-high 22.5 half-point PPR fantasy points in a win over his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he’s struggled coming off his knee injury, and has been averaging only 6.6 fantasy points per game in the first three contests back. More importantly, the veteran has scored fewer than 7.4 fantasy points in 55.6% of the games in 2023, including five of the past six.

Unfortunately, Conner has an awful fantasy football matchup on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The NFC West division rivals have held running backs to only 14.6 fantasy points per game, the second-fewest in the NFL. They have surrendered only 57.2 rushing yards per game to running backs, the fewest in the league, and gave up more than 70 yards only twice. After scoring just 6.1 fantasy points in the earlier matchup against the 49ers this year, fantasy players should have low expectations for Conner in the rematch.

Zack Moss (RB – IND)

Many considered Moss an afterthought heading into the season. However, the veteran running back was outstanding early in the year and he averaged 16.4 half-point PPR fantasy points per game while replacing an injured Jonathan Taylor. Unfortunately, he has been awful the past two weeks, averaging only 2.5 yards per rushing attempt and 7.2 fantasy points per game despite seeing 19 opportunities per contest. Furthermore, Moss has averaged only 0.41 yards before contact and has a 3% missed tackle forced per attempt rate over the past two weeks (per Fantasy Points Data).

Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers surrendered 140 scrimmage yards and 23.5 fantasy points to Ezekiel Elliott, both season-highs for the veteran running back. Yet, 71.1% of his fantasy production in the matchup came in the passing game on his 28.6% target share. By comparison, Moss has only a 9.3% target share in the five games without Taylor this year. More importantly, Pittsburgh has held running backs to only 3.4 yards per rushing attempt over the past month. Unfortunately, Moss will likely have his third consecutive dud performance on Saturday.

Drake London (WR – ATL)

Hopefully fantasy players who needed help at the quarterback position last week streamed Desmond Ridder off the waiver wire. The second-year quarterback had a career-high 347 passing yards and 25.4 fantasy points in Week 14. This was partially thanks to London’s performance, which included 10 receptions for 172 receiving yards and 24.2 half-point PPR fantasy points. However, fantasy players shouldn’t trust the former USC star in Week 14. He had scored fewer than 8.5 fantasy points in four of his previous five games before last week’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Furthermore, London’s matchup on Sunday is unfriendly for fantasy players. The Carolina Panthers have held wide receivers to 23.7 fantasy points per game, the fifth-fewest in the NFL this season. They have given up fewer than 20.2 fantasy points to wide receivers in 71.4% of their matchups since the Week 7 bye, including two of the past three. More importantly, the Panthers have arguably the worst run defense in the league. Arthur Smith will take full advantage of the matchup and run the ball down Carolina’s throat.

Hunter Henry (TE – NE)

Henry was outstanding last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, catching all three targets for 40 receiving yards and two touchdowns, scoring a season-high 17.5 half-point PPR fantasy points. However, last week was only the second time this season since Week 2 that the veteran tight end had more than 7.1 fantasy points. He had also scored only one receiving touchdown since Week 2 before last week’s contest. More importantly, Henry scored 4.3 or fewer fantasy points in seven of the previous eight games before the Thursday night matchup.

While the veteran finished Week 14 as the TE3, Henry was 24th at the position in targets (three), 23rd in target share (10.7), and 48th in target per route run rate (14%) per Fantasy Points Data. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs have held tight ends to only 7.2 fantasy points per game and three receiving touchdowns this season, both ranking as the sixth-fewest in the NFL. The Patriots’ offense remains a fantasy disaster. Don’t go chasing points after Henry’s Week 14 performance.

Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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