The big names on Thursday night mostly didn't bury you to start the week, at least. Well, Christian McCaffrey might've if you were going against him, and Brandon Aiyuk flopped in his hoped-for expanded role in Deebo Samuel's absence.
The Seahawks guys, however, were mostly OK. Not great, by any stretch of the imagination -- 17.3 points for Geno Smith, 11.9 for Kenneth Walker, 13.8 for Tyler Lockett, 12.5 for DK Metcalf -- but they definitely avoided the worst-case scenario against the vaunted 49ers defense.
Unfortunately, we learned after the game that Lockett actually did suffer something like a worst-case scenario, breaking his index finger late in the game. It's not clear at this point if the injury is going to force Lockett to undergo surgery, but coach Pete Carroll made it sound like he's going to miss some time -- and when Pete Carroll is expressing even a small amount of pessimism, that's definitely a bad sign. That's brutal timing heading into the next round of the Fantasy playoffs.
Of course, for that to matter for your Fantasy team, you have to make it to next week. Hopefully, Thursday's participants helped you along the way. Today's newsletter is about making sure you make the right decisions with everyone else, and don't forget -- we have lineup locks on Saturday, with three games kicking off.
Here's everything you need to know:
- Week 15 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: QB | RB | WR
- Starts, sits and sleepers for every game
- Cheat sheets: PPR | Non-PPR
- Week 15 Position Previews: QB | RB | WR | TE
- Week 15 Rankings: Jamey | Dave | Heath
- My rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE
🔍Week 15 Game Previews
There's something to watch in every game on the NFL schedule every week, even if you have to squint to see it sometimes. Here's a look ahead at every Week 15 game, with some thoughts and start/sit calls from the FFT team:
All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
Colts at Vikings
- Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Vikings -4; 47.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Vikings 25.75, Colts 21.75
I've been skeptical of the Vikings, but I'm genuinely surprised to see the line on this one so close. I know, Minnesota's defense hasn't been great, especially against the pass, but I really struggle to see how this Colts team takes advantage of it. I've certainly been wrong before, but I would be genuinely surprised if Matt Ryan and Co. put up 22 or more points.
Start or sit?: Michael Pittman -- Start. "Pittman should be considered a must-start Fantasy receiver in PPR and a flex option in non- and 0.5-PPR leagues at Minnesota. This should be a game where he gets seven-plus targets, which has happened nine times this season, and he scored at least 12 PPR points in seven of those outings. He's also averaging 15.9 PPR points in those games. There have been 17 receivers with at least seven targets against the Vikings this year, and 15 of them have scored at least 13 PPR points. Minnesota is No. 3 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, and Pittman should have a standout game in this matchup. You can also consider Parris Campbell and Alec Pierce as sleepers for this week." -- Jamey Eisenberg
Injuries: There are no Fantasy relevant injuries in this one.
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Ravens at Browns
- Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET
- Line: Browns -3; 38 O/U
- Implied totals: Browns 20.5, Ravens 17.5
The Browns defense has been better of late, allowing 18 points per game over their past three, and they very well could keep that up against the Tyler Huntley-led Ravens. The Browns have been gashed for 4.8 yards per carry this season, and though they held their own against the Ravens offense overall in their previous matchup, the Ravens still rushed for 140 yards in that one. Both teams want to pound the ball on the ground, which could lead to a fast, low-scoring game that doesn't provide much for Fantasy.
Start or sit?: J.K. Dobbins -- Start. "Dobbins might not have been the most explosive version of himself last week, but he did get plenty of opportunities and he thrived with them. He has an even easier matchup this week and should punch in for at least 15 touches again. He's a must-start No. 2 Fantasy RB ahead of Travis Etienne, Zonovan Knight and David Montgomery." -- Dave Richard
Injuries: Lamar Jackson (knee) has been ruled out, while Tyler Huntley (concussion) has been removed from the injury report. Those are the only Fantasy-relevant players on the injury report, though the Ravens do have multiple offensive players listed as questionable, which is a bit concerning.
Dolphins at Bills
- Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Line: Bills -7; 44 O/U
- Implied totals: Bills 25.5, Dolphins 18.5
We're going to be keeping a close eye on the weather reports for this one, because it looks like we could see a classic winter storm in Buffalo this Sunday. The forecast is still changing, obviously, but there could be up to a foot of snow leading up to the game. That wouldn't be the concern, of course -- the concern would be the weather during the game, especially any wind. I wouldn't run away from Tyreek Hill or Stefon Diggs, obviously, but the weather injects some uncertainty, which usually isn't a good thing.
Start or sit?: Tua Tagovailoa -- Bust alert. "Tagovailoa should have Tyreek Hill (ankle) for his game, but he could also be playing in some bad weather in Buffalo, which is worth keeping an eye on. He also has to face a tough Bills defense that has held five of their past seven opposing quarterbacks to 19 Fantasy points or less. And for the season, Buffalo is allowing just 14.3 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Tagovailoa got hurt in the first game against the Bills in Week 3 but had 186 passing yards and a touchdown before leaving. He's struggling coming into this matchup with three games in a row at 17 Fantasy points or less against Houston, San Francisco and the Chargers, and this sets up for another down game in Week 15 on the road." -- Jamey Eisenberg
Injuries: Jeff Wilson (hip) is officially questionable for Sunday's game after getting just a limited practice in Thursday. Given the uncertainty around how the Dolphins backfield would be used, Wilson playing would make both he and Raheem Mostert pretty fringe RB3 options in a bad matchup. Mostert would be a top-24 RB for me if Wilson is out.
Eagles at Bears
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Eagles -9; 48.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Eagles 28.75, Bears 19.75
If there's one flaw in the Eagles defense, it's been the run defense -- it gave up 123 yards to the Giants on the ground last week and is surrendering 4.7 yards per carry, the eighth-highest mark in the league. That's how the Bears would choose to attack even if it wasn't the Eagles' weakness, but Justin Fields' mobility means it's a weakness they can try to take advantage of even if they fall behind. And they probably will.
Start or sit?: Justin Fields -- Start. "This isn't an easy matchup for Fields since the Eagles are No. 4 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks, but I'll still start him based on his rushing upside. He's run for at least 60 yards and a touchdown in six games in a row, and the last time we saw him in Week 13 against Green Bay he had a season-high 254 passing yards. Unfortunately, he had two interceptions against the Packers, but hopefully he can limit the turnovers against the Eagles. If Fields doesn't make too many mistakes, he could be a top-five quarterback in Week 15." -- Jamey Eisenberg
Injuries: Chase Claypool (knee) didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday, so it looks like there's a real risk he won't be able to go this week. David Montgomery (illness) was unable to practice Thursday, but hopefully he'll be fine in time for Sunday. If not, Trestan Ebner will be in line for a big role and will be in the RB2 discussion for Fantasy.
Falcons at Saints
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Saints -4; 43.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Saints 23.75, Falcons 19.75
The Falcons are turning to rookie Desmond Ridder for the rest of the season, and it'll be fascinating to see whether he can provide a spark for this offense. They'll miss Marcus Mariota's rushing skills, but if Ridder can be a competent passer, that would probably raise the ceiling of the entire offense -- especially Drake London and, in 2023, Kyle Pitts.
Start or sit? : Cordarrelle Patterson -- Sit. "Patterson has gone four games in a row scoring nine PPR points or less. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 9, and he didn't have a catch in Week 13 against Pittsburgh. Now, the last time Patterson faced the Saints in Week 1 he went nuts with 22 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown, along with three catches for 16 yards on five targets. The Falcons are starting a rookie quarterback in Desmond Ridder, and we'll see how that impacts Patterson and the passing game. But the Saints haven't allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 9, and only two running backs have scored more than 10 PPR points against New Orleans over that span. I'd only use Patterson as a flex option this week." -- Jamey Eisenberg
Injuries: Juwan Johnson (ankle) is the only Fantasy-relevant player on the injury report for this one, and it looks like he has a good chance to play, getting a pair of limited practices in. He's a touchdown-or-bust TE streamer.
Lions at Jets
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Lions -1.5; 43.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Lions 22.5, Jets 21
The Lions tend to get involved in shootouts, and when we thought Mike White was going to be starting for the Jets, I was excited about what that meant. With Zach Wilson starting instead, I really don't have any faith in this offense -- the three games in Wilson's seven starts with more than 20 points, and he combined for one touchdown in those games. I'm shocked the line only moved 1.5 points toward the Lions with White ruled out.
Start or sit?: Jared Goff -- Sit. "This will sound silly to read, but it is a risk to sit Goff in Week 15. He's played great for three straight, but if conditions aren't favorable and the Jets' pass rush bugs him, it's going to be a challenging game. You should aim to play it safer at quarterback and start Aaron Rodgers or even Derek Carr instead." -- Dave Richard
Injuries: Mike White (ribs) has been ruled out, a disappointing outcome after he and the coaches spent much of the week expressing optimism around his chances of playing. Corey Davis (concussion) hasn't practiced this week, so I'd expect he won't play at this point.
Steelers at Panthers
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Panthers -3; 37.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Panthers 20.25, Steelers 17.25
The Panthers have thrown the ball just 43 times in Sam Darnold's two starts, going 2-0. That'll definitely be the game plan here if they can pull it off. And seeing as the Steelers haven't put up more than 19 points in their past two games and have just one game with more than 24 all season, they should be able to run the ball plenty, especially with the Steelers' QB issues.
Start or sit?: D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard -- Start. "Hubbard is a Sneaky Sleeper more than a must-start. The Steelers aren't a tough matchup anymore. Instead, the worries for each back are related to their ability to score -- Foreman is still more likely to plunge from short yardage than Hubbard. But Hubbard definitely has a role in the offense and should be counted on for a few catches each week -- he has sleeper appeal with an eight-point PPR floor. Foreman has a much better opportunity to rumble for solid yardage and score, putting him in the No. 2 running back convo. In PPR, I'd start Foreman over Najee Harris, Brian Robinson and both Buccaneers RBs. In PPR, I'd start Chuba Hubbard as a low-end flex over Rex Burkhead, Kareem Hunt and A.J. Dillon." -- Dave Richard
Injuries: Kenny Pickett (concussion) was limited at practice Thursday, with Mason Rudolph and Mitchell Trubisky splitting first-team reps. None of those options are particularly appealing, but Rudolph is less of a known commodity, so maybe he can inject some life into an offense that has been mediocre at best all season. Diontae Johnson (hip) was added to the injury report Thursday, but he played through the issue last week, so I'm assuming he'll do the same this week. He's a WR3 no matter who the QB is, and that isn't a compliment.
Cowboys at Jaguars
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Cowboys -4; 47.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Cowboys 25.75, Jaguars 21.75
This is going to be a real test of Trevor Lawrence's new level of play. He hasn't thrown an interception since Week 8 against the Broncos, but he hasn't exactly faced a murderer's row of defenses in that time. This Cowboys defense? Well, they won't kill you, but they have a tendency to make life pretty miserable for quarterbacks, with the second-most sacks and the ninth-most interceptions in the league. Lawrence is playing at a really high level right now, and if he torches the Cowboys, he really might have made the leap to the elite tier.
Start or sit? : Zay Jones -- Start. "Jones could easily flop this week against a good Cowboys secondary, but he's done enough over the past four games that you should trust him as a No. 2 receiver in the majority of leagues, with his value higher in PPR. He has 46 targets over that span, and he has scored at least 14 PPR points in three of his past four games. He's been a better Fantasy receiver than Christian Kirk over that stretch of games as well, and hopefully Kirk and Jones can both post quality stat lines this week. I still like Kirk better than Jones, but both are worth starting in PPR with how well Trevor Lawrence has played of late." -- Jamey Eisenberg
Injuries: Trevor Lawrence (toe) is going to keep sitting out the occasional practice, as he did Wednesday, but he's going to keep playing through this injury.
Chiefs at Texans
- Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Line: Chiefs -14; 49.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Chiefs 31.75, Texans 17.75
The Texans managed to keep their game against the Cowboys unexpectedly close last week, while the Chiefs failed to cover against the Broncos. Weird things can happen in any given week in the NFL, but I still have a hard time seeing how the Davis Mills/Jeff Driskel two-headed QB monster is going to keep up with Mahomes. Isiah Pacheco is Jamey's Start of the Week for a reason.
Start or sit?: JuJu Smith-Schuster -- Start. "Unless the Texans give the Chiefs a fight like they did against the Cowboys last week, it's safe to assume a low-volume passing day for the Kansas City offense. That really limits the upside of Smith-Schuster in any format. At best he's a full-PPR flex. I'd rather start Christian Watson, Adam Thielen, Michael Pittman and Zay Jones." -- Dave Richard
Injuries: Brandin Cooks (calf) was upgraded to a limited participation in practice Thursday, which is bad news for Chris Moore's chances of repeating last week's big game. That still doesn't mean he'll play -- and Nico Collins (foot) still hasn't been able to practice, which helps -- but it's an added complication. I probably wouldn't start Moore if either Collins or Cooks plays. Dameon Pierce (ankle) also hasn't practiced this week, so we're likely looking at a week of Rex Burkhead as the lead back. You'd have to be pretty desperate to use either him or Dare Ogunbowale. Kadarius Toney (hamstring) has been limited both days in practice so far this week, but it sounds like he has a chance to play. I don't mind stashing him just in case he finally gets healthy and lives up to his potential, but I need to see it first.
Cardinals at Broncos
- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
- Line: Broncos -3; 37 O/U
- Implied totals: Broncos 20, Cardinals 17
It looks like we could be down to a matchup between Brett Rypien and Colt McCoy, in case this matchup isn't already disappointing enough. These are two of the most disappointing offenses in the league, and the Broncos especially may not have any must-start options at this point.
Start or sit?: Greg Dulcich -- Start. "Dulcich has several things working in his favor in Week 15 against Arizona. The Cardinals allow the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and 10 tight ends have scored at least 10 PPR points against Arizona this year, including Hunter Henry in Week 14. Courtland Sutton (hamstring) is banged up, and in the past two games with Sutton hurt, Dulcich has eight targets in each outing against Baltimore and Kansas City. And he has Brett Rypien starting this week for Russell Wilson (concussion), and the last time Rypien started in Week 7 against the Jets, Dulcich had a season-high nine targets for six catches and 51 yards. This could be a huge week for Dulcich in Week 15." -- Jamey Eisenberg
Injuries: Russell Wilson (concussion) was limited at practice Thursday after being held out Wednesday, but he'll still have to be cleared through the concussion protocol before Sunday. He's been bad this season, but you'd rather see him out there than Rypien, so hopefully we'll continue to see improvement. Colt McCoy is also dealing with a neck injury, but he's been limited both days so far, so hopefully he'll be able to play. If not we're looking at Trace McSorley or David Blough starting with Kyler Murray (torn ACL) out for the season. Courtland Sutton (hamstring) hasn't practiced this week so it looks like he'll miss another game, while Marquise Brown (illness) was held out Thursday. He should be good to go, and is a viable WR3 assuming he is.
Patriots at Raiders
- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
- Line: Raiders -1; 44.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Raiders 22.75, Patriots 21.75
This is one game with a ton of moving pieces that makes it hard to say how you should approach it as of Friday morning. Head to the injury report for why, but as of now, Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams are the only sure things here.
Start or sit?: Derek Carr -- Sit. "Getting reinforcements would help Carr's outlook, but it's simply tough to trust Carr coming off his ugliest game of the season against an improving Patriots defense. Rolling with Carr over Jared Goff or Ryan Tannehill could pay off provided he has his guys back, but quarterbacks like Mike White and Geno Smith deserve the start ahead of him." -- Dave Richard
Injuries: Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) has been a DNP both Wednesday and Thursday, while Damien Harris (thigh) has been limited both days. It's the Patriots, so who knows how likely either is to play, but I'd guess Harris is more likely at this point. He'd be an RB2 if Stevenson is out; if both are out, Pierre Strong would be in that RB2 discussion, with Kevin Harris more of a touchdown-or-bust RB3, in my eyes. Though, truthfully, it's almost impossible to know which is more likely to be the lead back after Harris had eight carries and Strong had five last week, their first real work of the season. DeVante Parker (concussion) and Jakobi Meyers (concussion) are both on the injury report, although Meyers has been able to practice on a limited basis so he has a better chance of playing. We don't know how much Darren Waller or Hunter Renfrow have done, because they are still on IR and don't have to be reported until they are activated. If Waller is active, I'm starting him as a low-end TE1. Renfrow would have to be a desperation play.
Titans at Chargers
- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
- Line: Chargers -3; 46.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Chargers 24.75, Titans 21.75
There's quite a bit at stake here -- the Titans are two games up in the dreadful AFC South, but they have the same 7-6 record as the Chargers, who are fighting for their playoff lives. The problem for the Chargers? Their run defense is giving up a historically awful 5.4 yards per carry, the highest mark in the Super Bowl era, as Heath Cummings notes in his RB preview. This could be a classic Derrick Henry week-winner game.
Start or sit?: Chigoziem Okonkwo -- Sleeper. "We'll see what happens with Treylon Burks (concussion) this week, but if he remains out then Okonkwo should have the chance to build on his recent solid production. He had six catches for 45 yards and a touchdown on six targets in Week 14 against Jacksonville, and he's now scored at least 10 PPR points in consecutive games. If Burks remains out then I like Okonkwo as a potential top-10 Fantasy tight end in all leagues, even in a tough matchup with the Chargers. I'll lower my expectations for him if Burks plays, but it's hard to imagine the Titans not leaning on Okonkwo in this potential shootout." -- Jamey Eisenberg
Injuries: Treylon Burks (concussion) has yet to practice since his injury two weeks ago, and at this point it looks like he's probably going to miss at least a second game. Dontrell Hilliard (neck) also hasn't practiced this week, so it looks like Hassan Haskins will be Derrick Henry's backup -- and, as D'Onta Foreman showed last season, that can still be a pretty valuable role. Haskins is a high-upside handcuff for the Fantasy playoffs.
Bengals at Buccaneers
- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
- Line: Bengals -3.5; 44 O/U
- Implied totals: Bengals 23.75, Buccaneers 20.25
Here's an interesting stat I discovered while researching this game: Joe Burrow (97.8) and Tom Brady (91.6) lead the NFL in Fantasy scoring in the fourth quarter this season. I don't necessarily know if that means anything -- well, at least in Brady's case, it highlights how much better the Buccaneers offense has been in those situations where they go no-huddle. Here's another stat that I think might actually matter -- and should make you feel better about starting Brady and Mike Evans: Brady (41.2) and Evans (43.6) lead the NFL in Fantasy points lost on plays negated by penalties. It's been a frustrating ride, but they've been so close to big plays nearly every week. Their luck will turn.
Start or sit?: Rachaad White/Leonard Fournette - Sit. "The Bucs running backs are tough to nail down for Fantasy purposes, but at least White seems like the more efficient runner of the two at this point, and he's not much worse in the passing game compared to Fournette. Still, neither one should be considered anywhere close to a must-start against a resilient defense that will probably take some liberties to get after Brady. I'd rather start D'Onta Foreman and Brian Robinson over both, and I'd rather start Latavius Murray, D'Andre Swift and Raheem Mostert over Fournette." -- Dave Richard
Injuries: Tee Higgins (hamstring) and Tyler Boyd (finger) have both been able to practice on a limited basis so far this week. That doesn't guarantee they'll be cleared to play Sunday -- or, as we learned with Higgins last week, even being cleared to play doesn't guarantee they'll actually, you know, play. I'm still bitter about it. If Higgins is cleared, I'll probably start him ahead of Antonio Gibson in one league, but I won't feel confident in it. Julio Jones (knee) sat out both Wednesday and Thursday sessions, so Tom Brady could be down another weapon.
Giants at Commanders
- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
- Line: Commanders -4.5; 40.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Commanders 22.5, Giants 18
These two teams settled for a tie the last time we saw them, so it's kind of interesting that Vegas gives the Commanders more than just a couple of point edge. They have the better point differential for the season and are 5-1-1 with Taylor Heinicke as the starter, so I can't say I disagree with that line.
Start or sit?: Darius Slayton -- Sleeper. "Slayton was overshadowed by Isaiah Hodgins and Richie James in Week 14 against Philadelphia, but I expect him to rebound this week at Washington. Against the Eagles, Slayton was held to two catches for 42 yards on three targets while James (seven catches for 61 yards and a touchdown on nine targets) and Hodgins (four catches for 38 yards and a touchdown on six targets) each had productive outings. But James (concussion) could be out in Week 15, and Slayton was great against the Commanders in Week 13 with six catches for 90 yards on eight targets. He has at least 13 PPR points in three of his past five games, and I like him as a high-end No. 3 receiver in all leagues for this week." -- Jamey Eisenberg
Injuries: Brian Robinson (quad) and Antonio Gibson (foot) are both dealing with injuries that have limited them in practice, but at this point, I'm expecting both to play. Robinson should see more carries, but I have Gibson ranked higher for his passing game role; both are in the RB2/3 range.
Rams at Packers
- Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Line: Packers -7; 39.5 O/U
- Implied totals: Packers 23.25, Rams 16.25
The schedule makers surely thought this would be one of the marquee matchups of the week back in the offseason; instead, both teams are pretty much eliminated from playoff contention, if not officially just yet. Our excitement level about the Packers offense for Fantasy purposes hasn't quite been eliminated, but there are still some questions coming out of their bye.
Start or sit?: Aaron Rodgers -- Start. "If you start Rodgers, you're hoping to get the best version of him attacking downfield against a susceptible Rams defense. The pressure issues Los Angeles have caused lately is a concern, but it might be the only concern, and it's one the Packers have dealt with moderately well all season. There is some potential for Rodgers to have a low-volume game, but the upside his receiving corps offers puts him in the low-end starting range. I'd try Rodgers in the home matchup over Geno Smith, Derek Carr, Jared Goff and Tom Brady." -- Dave Richard
Injuries: The main question for the Packers offense revolves around the return of Romeo Doubs from his ankle injury and what that means for pre-bye breakout Christian Watson. Watson was a big-play machine, turning 15 catches and two carries into eight touchdowns over his past eight games. Of course, 17 touches in four games isn't exactly a ton, so any loss of snaps (unlikely) or target share (possible) would be tough. I'm not sitting Watson, but I'm treating him like a boom-or-bust WR3; I could see him turning into Gabe Davis down the stretch. Aaron Jones (ankle) was limited at practice Thursday, so I'm assuming he's going to be fine for Monday; he's an RB1.