The NFL season is back for another week of action, and fantasy football managers are ready for a full slate of games to flood their TVs this weekend as the fantasy playoffs begin. As not all matchups or roles are equal, we’re breaking down our top fantasy football start/sit Week 15 plays.
Week 15 Fantasy Football Start ’ems
Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears
Are the Eagles one of the best defenses in the NFL? Absolutely, and in most cases, it’s hard to justify starting a quarterback against them. But this is Justin Fields, and when he’s healthy, he’s a must-start quarterback for fantasy football.
Even though Chase Claypool has been ruled out, and at this point, Cole Kmet and Dante Pettis might be his top targets, Fields’ rushing upside alone makes him worth a start. He has at least 60 yards in his last seven games and has not scored fewer than 19.3 fantasy points during that stretch. With the playoffs starting in Week 15, there’s no way you could afford to sit Fields.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Since Week 6, Trevor Lawrence has been the QB6 in both overall and points per game at 20.6 PPR. He’s finished as a QB1 in six of his last eight games, and since Week 9, he’s 10th in yards per attempt and second in adjusted completion rate.
Lawrence is turning into the quarterback we saw at Clemson, and by the time we get to next year, we’re going to view him the same as we do Justin Herbert. Dallas has been difficult this year. Since Week 10, they’ve been ninth in success rate, seventh in yards, and fourth in EPA. Nevertheless, I would trust Lawrence has a low-end QB1 in Week 15.
Isiah Pacheco, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Last week was Jerick McKinnon’s day, but it goes back to Isiah Pacheco this week. In games when the Chiefs are leading, Pacheco sees the bulk of the action. He has recorded over 13 carries and 66 yards in five straight games. Since Week 12 alone, he’s been averaging 18.3 touches and 87 total yards.
In Week 15, Pacheco gets a cakewalk matchup against the Texans. While Houston is sixth in EPA since Week 10, they’ve allowed the most points per game and rushing yards to running backs. With a positive game script in mind, Pacheco is a high-end RB2 for Week 15.
Zonovan Knight, RB, New York Jets
I was really looking forward to this game when I thought it would be Mike White. I was even cool with Joe Flacco. But Zach Wilson? I have to downgrade the passing game but leave Zonovan Knight as a must-start.
Even though Michael Carter returned to the lineup last week, Knight played on 47% of the snaps with 19 touches and 77 total yards with a score to finish as the RB13 on the week.
Detroit is more challenging than they used to be the run the ball against. Yet, since Week 10, they’re 14th in success rate and 15th in yards per carry, but allow 3.3 yards after contact, which suits Knight’s rushing style. Fire him up as an RB2 in Week 15 fantasy football lineups.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Even with an ankle injury, Mike Williams caught all six of his targets for 116 yards and a touchdown, giving him a top-five finish on the week against the Miami Dolphins. It’s a good thing he has a social media quarterback throwing his way, after all.
Williams is a big-time playmaker, and when active, he’s a must-start. Not only has Tennessee allowed the most points per game to receivers this year (41.9), but they’re also dead last in yards, touchdowns, and passer rating on targets of 20+ air yards. Williams is a locked-in, high-end WR2 for fantasy football in Week 15.
DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
The Slim Reaper is on a mission to steal the souls of opponents. He’s a WR26 in points per game with a 25% target share and a near 30% air-yard share. Although he only has three red-zone targets in his last four games, DeVonta Smith scored a touchdown in back-to-back holdings while finishing as the WR11 and WR16.
While I do expect the Eagles to have plenty of success on the ground against Chicago, since Week 10, the Bears are last in DVOA, EPA, and 31st in success rate. Don’t be surprised if Smith scores again as he closes in on another high-end WR2 outing in Week 15.
Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Tennessee Titans
Since the Titans lost Jonnu Smith, they’ve yet to get any production out of the tight end position. That is until now, as rookie Chigoziem Okonkwo out of Maryland looks like Tennessee’s next Smith or Delanie Walker.
After recording 68 yards on four of five receiving against the Eagles (TE8), Okonkwo caught all six of his targets against the Jaguars for 45 yards and scored his first touchdown since Week 4. His 19 PPR fantasy points were enough to net Okonkwo a TE3 finish last week.
While I’m sure he could remain a highly volatile option, it’s hard not to look at him as a high-end TE2 to add this point. If Derwin James cannot play this week (quad), Okonkwo could finish again inside the top 10 against a Chargers defense that is 24th in DVOA, allowing the highest yards per reception and the 14th-most points per game to the position.
Greg Dulcich, TE, Denver Broncos
Even though Russell Willson is out this week as the team gives him another week to recover despite being cleared through the NFL’s concussion protocol, when you see a matchup against the Cardinals on the schedule, it’s hard to bench Greg Dulcich.
Dulcich is the TE13 in PPR with a 17.4% target share and has become the most reliable pass catcher on this broken offense. He was off to a hot start with TE11, TE7, and TE9 finishes, respectively, between Weeks 6 through 9. However, he’s more hit-or-miss as of late, with two of his last five games outside the top 30.
But in the other three, Dulcich was the TE16, TE2, and TE14, with eight targets in back-to-back games coming into Week 15. Arizona has allowed the most fantasy points per game, the highest catch rate, and is last in receiving yards to the position. Dulcich is a top-eight TE for fantasy football in Week 15.
Week 15 Fantasy Football Sit ’ems
Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chemistry is everything in the NFL, and right now, Tom Brady doesn’t have that with his offense. Brady struggled in Week 14 with just over 10 fantasy points with 253 yards passing, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Since Week 6, Brady has averaged less than 15 PPR points per game and has only topped 20 points once all season. I will sit Brady against the Bengals, who have allowed the seventh-fewest points per game to quarterbacks this year.
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants
Fairplay to Daniel Jones, who is the QB12 in points per game with three top-12 outings in his last four games. One of those also came against the Commanders, where he completed over 80% of his passes and rushed for 71 yards on the ground.
At the same time, Jones has thrown for one or fewer touchdowns in four straight games and has thrown for less than 230 yards in three straight. Unless he has another sensational rushing performance or scores a TD on the ground, Jones will struggle to eclipse 15 PPR points. With a full slate of games and playoffs on the line, Jones is a sit against the Commanders.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sitting in a timeshare with Rachaad White, this is no longer Leonard Fournette’s backfield. Fournette is played on 50% or fewer of the snaps in his last three games, averaging just 2.3 yards after contact, the second worst amongst running backs with 100+ carries.
What doesn’t help is the matchup against the Bengals, who have held three of their last five opponents to fewer than 60 yards. It’s not like they faced no-name players, as that includes Nick Chubb and Derrick Henry. With Tampa Bay likely trailing and White as the primary receiving back in those situations, Fournette is someone I cannot trust in Week 15.
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta Falcons
The darling of 2021 was due for regression this year, but injuries and inefficiency have made it worse than expected. Cordarrelle Patterson has scored nine or fewer PPR points in four straight games and hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 9. What makes it worse is that he didn’t even record a reception in Week 13 against the Steelers.
Patterson did go bonkers against the Saints in Week 1 with 25 touches, 136 total yards, and a touchdown, but I don’t expect that this week. Throw in a more mobile QB in Desmond Ridder making his first start and the likely increase in turnovers, and I would sit Patterson against a Saints defense that has allowed only one rushing touchdown and two running backs to score 10 or more PPR points since Week 9.
Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers
Christian Watson is the WR1 on this offense. Since he broke out, Allen Lazard has averaged 3.8 catches, 48.3 yards, and 8.6 PPR points per game over this stretch. He has topped out at just 11.7 PPR fantasy points with only two games of 70+ yards since Week 4.
Lazard had value earlier in the year as Aaron Rodgers’ top red-zone target but has not found the end zone since Week 9. The Rams are not necessarily a matchup to avoid, but the situation is. Lazard is a risky high-end WR4 that I would ideally look to leave on my bench.
Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets
I hate this just as much as you do. I have several rosters where Garrett Wilson has been carrying a significant part of the load. Since Week 8, he’s had a 23.5% target share, 27.3% end-zone target share, and a 32.4% air-yard share while enjoying the increased efficiency with Mike White.
But we don’t get that this week with Zach Wilson back under center. But that can’t be that bad, right? Actually, it can.
Following the announcement that the No. 2 overall pick of his draft class was getting the start, oddsmakers lowered the spread for the Jets by a whopping three points.
I understand the Lions have allowed a ton of production this year, but I cannot trust Zach Wilson to replicate White’s success. I understand if you don’t have better options and want to dance with the one you took to the party, but Garrett Wilson is a shaky, low-end WR3 at best for me this week. I’m sorry.
Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots
We know what Hunter Henry is for fantasy. He’s a touchdown-dependent TE on a low-volume offense that throws the anchor out in pace of play. Since Week 9, Henry has had an 11.5% target share while averaging 43.2 receiving yards with two games of 60+ yards and two games of less than 20 receiving yards. Henry is feast or famine.
Las Vegas is 26th in DVOA vs. TEs but has not allowed a touchdown since Week 5. The only tight ends to score more than nine PPR points against the Raiders are Gerald Everett (twice), Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and Geoff Swaim. Henry is too boom-or-bust for me to trust in Week 15.
Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams
Despite numerous offensive struggles and losing Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson II, Tyler Higbee has been a non-factor in 2022. Higbee has caught four passes for 25 yards over his last three outings and hasn’t caught a touchdown all season.
He’s seen fewer than five targets per game over the previous three games, and last week with Baker Mayfield, Higbee spent most of his time as an additional blocker while catching two of three targets for 11 yards.
It doesn’t help that the matchup against Green Bay isn’t a favorable one, either. While they are 25th in DVOA to TEs, the Packers have allowed just 9.6 fantasy points per game to tight ends. Only Cameron Brate, Dalton Schultz, and Cole Kmet have recorded over 50 yards against Green Bay. Higbee shouldn’t even be on rosters.
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.