NFL Start ’em Sit ’em Week 15: Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Hurts highlight fantasy start/sit

Week 15 of the NFL season means fantasy football playoffs and getting those start ’em sit ’em decisions correct becomes as important as ever. Let’s take a look at some of the answers to those all-important, who should I start and sit questions.

Which quarterbacks should I start or sit in my Week 15 fantasy football lineup?

Start ‘Em: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

Disappointing performances in two out of the last three weeks could have some doubting Roethlisberger’s ability to sling it down the stretch. A get right game in primetime on Monday Night Football against the Bengals should result in a top-10 performance on the week.

Start ‘Em: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (at Arizona Cardinals)

The throwing production was severely lacking in his starting debut, but Hurts was closer to cautious than gun shy against a talented New Orleans Saints defense. Most important was his rushing stat line, where he took 18 carries for 106 yards. Those in need of a streaming option can expect a safe floor while the aerial attack opens up in Hurts’ second week starting.

Start ‘Em: Other quarterbacks to consider

Other quarterbacks to consider starting this week include:

  • Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)
  • Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (vs. New York Jets)
  • Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (vs. New England Patriots)

Sit ‘Em: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Chicago Bears)

While his receiving options are spectacular, Cousins will be under duress all day. After the Buccaneers defense got to Cousins six times on Sunday, the Bears, who just came off a seven sack game against the Texans, will be looking to repeat their strong results. Avoid the potential for Cousins to have a fifth consecutive game with a fumble.

Sit ‘Em: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at Tennessee Titans)

Rib injuries are especially tricky because one wrong shot to the area and Stafford could be out for the game. They don’t make many quarterbacks as tough as Stafford but being unable to comfortably rotate his torso will affect his play. Look elsewhere for your quarterback.

Which running backs should I start or sit in my Week 15 fantasy football lineup?

Start ‘Em: Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)

Hopefully, last week’s performance didn’t sink your team because with Colt McCoy under center for the Giants, a more significant emphasis should be put on the running game. He’s put up double-digit PPR points seven games in a row, so his floor remains safe with close to 20 point upside.

Start ‘Em: Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

The late-season magic is back as Drake has a touchdown and double-digit points in four straight games. Chase Edmonds’ ankle will have him as a game-time decision even if reports have him likely to play. The injury could leave him with a reduced workload, which would increase the ceiling for Drake.

Start ‘Em: Other running backs to consider

Other running backs to consider starting this week include:

  • Lynn Bowden Jr., Miami Dolphins (vs. New England Patriots)
  • D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (at Tennessee Titans)
  • J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

Sit ‘Em: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

A calf injury could lead to a split between Zeke and Tony Pollard like we saw last week. Add in a San Francisco defense that is seventh in rush DVOA, and you have a matchup that should be avoided. Zeke’s high floor was what made him so valuable, but with two single-digit performances in the last three weeks, are you sure you want to put your championship dreams on him this week?

What is the start ’em sit ’em situation for wide receivers for Week 15 in the NFL?

Start ‘Em: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

The return of Ben Roethlisberger was supposed to end the fantasy start ’em sit ’em conversations for Smith-Schuster, but in Week 15 of the 2020 NFL season, we are still having this debate. The fourth-year man is the veteran leader in the wide receiver room for the Steelers and should be called on early as Pittsburgh will look to put this one to bed quickly. It would be a massive boost to a fantasy football player’s confidence if Juju can cross the 100-yard mark for the first time this season in this game.

Start ‘Em: Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (at Dallas Cowboys)

With Deebo Samuel done for the year, Aiyuk belongs in starting lineups as long as he is healthy. He won’t see the 16 targets he got in last week’s game against Washington, but as the man, the 49ers will rely on for spark plays, Aiyuk will see his fair share of looks. Since Week 7, he has put up double-digit points in every game he has appeared in, with 17.5 points being his low watermark. Don’t overthink this one.

Start ‘Em: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Houston Texans)

Suddenly looking dominant after appearing in decline for the first part of the season, T.Y. Hilton is an easy start in a divisional meeting with the overmatched Texans. Some fortunate touchdown production has seen him cross 25 points in back to back weeks. As intriguing as it is to imagine him doing it again, a more reasonable expectation still falls in the mid-teens giving him a good value in the flex.

Start ‘Em: Other wide receivers to start this week

Other wide receivers to consider starting this week include:

  • Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (at Indianapolis Colts)
  • Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)

Sit ‘Em: DJ Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Baltimore Ravens)

Being peppered with targets doesn’t matter much when they’re coming from Mike Glennon and Gardner Minshew. Seeing 16 targets over the past two weeks has only amounted to four catches for 57 yards. Still, Baltimore won’t have any questions as to who the number one on the team is. Minshew will be under pressure, and Chark will suffer because of it.

Which tight ends should I start in my Week 15 fantasy football lineup?

Start ‘Em: Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

Are we sensing a theme here? Big Ben, Juju, and now Ebron. Fire up any and all of the main Steelers’ options you may have. Yes, last week’s result was underwhelming, but with double-digit points in each of Weeks 11 through 13, it is clear Ebron has a secure role in the passing game.

Start ‘Em: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (at Arizona Cardinals)

If you put a spy on Jalen Hurts, you remove one man in the box who is watching Dallas Goedert, and any plan Doug Pederson cooks up will likely involve some safety routes for his rookie QB, which the ascending TE should receive. But Goedert can do damage down the middle of the field if Arizona eases up on him. 

Defenses to consider when it comes to start ’em options this week

Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants: The Giants’ offense had a miserable showing against the Cardinals, and nobody may have been happier to see eight sacks than Myles Garrett. Daniel Jones is a game-time decision, and even if he plays, he is still dealing with a sprained ankle and a hamstring injury, which severely limited his mobility last week.

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Andrew Thomas Jordan is an editor and analyst for Pro Football Network covering fantasy football: dynasty, redraft, best ball, DFS, our 2020 D/ST rankings, and more. You can follow him @The_ATJ on Twitter and hear him weekly as host of The Fantasy Force Podcast.