DYNASTY OWNER: PLAYOFFS
WINNING TIME: Week 15 RB/WR Rankings
Congratulations if you are still competing in your leagues for the title, this is the most exciting time for owners who can all but taste the glory of hoisting the trophy.
But before you get ahead of yourself celebrating, you need to make the right coaching decisions. As is the case every year in the fantasy playoffs (weeks 14-16) the landscape of the NFL is drastically different than the start of the season. Injuries, benchings, emerging stars, conserving players for the playoffs....it all factors in. This post should help you make your lineup decisions if you are suddenly staring at a void with one of these positions.
Because the decisions are so important this week, we will post our rankings with commentary on the top 20 at each individual position.
Running Back Rankings - Week 15
1 Le'Veon Bell PIT at ATL: A dream matchup against the league's worst rushing defense in a game that Pittsburgh needs to win. Bell owners couldn't ask for anything more. He gashed the Bengals last week for 235 yards and 2 TDs and will likely be the reason his owners win their leagues if he keeps up his current pace.
2 Matt Forte CHI vs. NO: Forte has been bottle up on the ground the last couple games, but he's easily the best pass-catching RB in the league and could have a big day from his receptions and yards receiving alone.
3. Jamaal Charles KC vs. OAK: Charles owners got great news on Friday as Andy Reid confirmed he will get a full workload vs the Raiders.
4. DeMarco Murray DAL at PHI: According to the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys have no plans to limit Murray's workload despite getting a massive 41 carries last week.
5. Arian Foster HOU at IND: Indianapolis is vulnerable against the run and Foster torched them earlier in the season and is coming off a nice line last week where he went for 24/127/1 vs the Jaguars.
6. Justin Forsett BAL vs. JAC: The Jags have a good front 7 but it's better as a pass rushing unit than it is at stopping the run. Forsett looked healthy last week despite some nagging injuries coming in but the Ravens still like to rotate backs.
7. C.J. Anderson DEN at SD: Monty Ball is officially on IR as of Saturday 12/13, so it's Anderson's show. He's exploded onto the scene in the last 5 games and has a Ronnie Hillman's return shouldn't jeopardize his top 10 status.
8. LeSean McCoy PHI vs. DAL: McCoy disappointed last week and his fumble cost the Eagles big time. But he feasts against Dallas and hung 25/159/1 on them on Thanksgiving.
9. Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. SF: Lynch is listed as probable and should get his normal workload against a reeling 49ers defense. Last week Lynch had 28 touches and over 100 combined yards and a TD.
10. Fred Jackson BUF vs. GB: Jackson is a poor man's Forte at this point, as he's been limited on the ground but makes up for it as a pass catcher out of the backfield. He had 10 catches while the Bills were playing mostly from behind and that's almost a certainty heading into Green Bay this week.
11. Eddie Lacy GB at BUF: ESPN Packers reporter Rob Demovsky speculates that Lacy and Starks will split caries 50/50 this week. Lacy is banged up and is looking more risky as the week evolves. If he's your Flex option and you have a top 30 WR you might want to go that route instead, especially in a PPR format.
12. Mark Ingram NO at CHI: Ingram struggles to get his touches when the Saints play good teams but Chicago is not that so he should get closer to the 20 touch mark.
13. Joique Bell DET vs. MIN: Bell struggled for most of the game last week vs the Buccaneers but then broke a 57 yard in the 4th to save his day. He's been a pleasant surprise out of the backfield and should be the primary RB despite Riddick and Bush getting looks occasionally.
14. Alfred Morris WAS at NYG: Morris badly needs RG3 to return and start because even though he's been brutal, he prevents defenses from keying on and bottling up Morris which is what happened last week. But with the Redskins announcing Colt is starting in week 15, we're officially worried about starting Morris despite a plus matchup against a soft Giants rushing defense giving up 135 yards per game (ranked 30th in the NFL).
15. Daniel Herron IND vs. HOU: Herron is basically in a time share with Trent Richardson, though he's the preferred option out of the backfield in pass situations so he will likely get about 60-70% of the touches out of the backfield.
16. Lamar Miller MIA at NE: Nobody can figure out why Miller's carries and workload have been so limited, as he's looked great in the open field and is clearly head over heels better than any other RB the Dolphins have. Hopefully they stop whatever they are trying to prove and give him the bulk of the touches, he's been quite effective the entire season.
17. Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. TB: Stewart was fantastic last week and DeAngelo Williams has been designated as an 'emergency' back only, so Stewart should destroy a TB defense that has surrendered 115 yards / game on the ground.
18. Tre Mason STL vs. ARI: We like Mason but this is going to be a defensive struggle as two of the hottest defenses battle against two low-octane offenses. Defensive battles can yield decent yardage if the Rams are ahead but touchdowns are going to be tough to come by.
19. Jeremy Hill CIN at CLE: The Browns have really clamped down on opposing running backs of late and Jeremy Hill is going to have to deal with sharing carries with Gio Bernard. Still, we like his chances of finding the end-zone this weekend.
20. Isaiah Crowell CLE vs. CIN: We like both Crowell and West now that the situation is not so crowed with Tate gone, but it's always a coin-flip on who's going to get the bulk of the carries. Crowell has been the more talented runner all season long, especially in the red-zone. He should get 70+ total yards and a TD and we like him as a flex play.
21 Latavius Murray OAK at KC
22 Rashad Jennings NYG vs. WAS
23 Shane Vereen NE vs. MIA
24 LeGarrette Blount NE vs. MIA
25 Steven Jackson ATL vs. PIT
26 Christopher Ivory NYJ at TEN
27 Chris Johnson NYJ at TEN
28 Giovani Bernard CIN at CLE
29 Pierre Thomas NO at CHI
30 Andre Williams NYG vs. WAS
31 Reggie Bush DET vs. MIN
32 Ryan Mathews SD vs. DEN
33 Terrance West CLE vs. CIN
34 Matt Asiata MIN at DET
35 Kerwynn Williams ARI at STL
36 Bishop Sankey TEN vs. NYJ
37 Doug Martin TB at CAR
38 Frank Gore SF at SEA
39 Marcel Reece OAK at KC
40 Toby Gerhart JAC at BAL
41 Branden Oliver SD vs. DEN
42 Darren Sproles PHI vs. DAL
43 Bernard Pierce BAL vs. JAC
44 Donald Brown SD vs. DEN
45 Charles Sims TB at CAR
46 Trent Richardson IND vs. HOU
47 Theo Riddick DET vs. MIN
48 Dexter McCluster TEN vs. NYJ
49 Marion Grice ARI at STL
50 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL vs. PIT
WR Rankings Week 15
1. Antonio Brown PIT at ATL: A dream matchup against an awful secondary. Brown should carry the day as far as WR scoring goes.
2. Calvin Johnson DET vs. MIN: CJ is back and has been the Megatron of old the last several weeks posting 3 TDs and averaging 150 yards/game in each of his last two games.
3. Demaryius Thomas DEN at SD: The Broncos aren't leaning on the pass nearly as much with Anderson dominating on the ground but Thomas has still been a stud, and should easily eclipse 100 yards and score in what should be a shootout.
4. Odell Beckham Jr. NYG vs. WAS: What an ascension Beckham Jr has made, he's one of the most dominant WRs in football the last half of the season. Expect him to abuse the Redskins depleted secondary.
5. Dez Bryant DAL at PHI: Odds are in Bryant's favor to find the end-zone this week as he's been held without a TD in the last two.
6. Ty Hilton IND vs. HOU: Hilton hasn't had a bad game all year and who can forget his record setting performance against the Texans several weeks ago. Expect 100+ and a TD, with upside for 2.
7. Alshon Jeffery CHI vs. NO: The clear cut #1 with Marshall out for the rest of the year, the Bears are going to be throwing it early and often. Jeffery should have a huge day against a struggling Saints secondary that has just been shuffled in a major way by coach Peyton.
8. Jordy Nelson GB at BUF: The worry here is that the game is out of control early. That doesn't usually stop the Packers or Nelson from getting his numbers but when it becomes this late in the season, playoff teams tend to be more conservative with big leads.
9. Emmanuel Sanders DEN at SD: Sanders had his best game of the season back in late October against the Broncos, finding pay dirt 3 times and going for over 100 yards. We think the Chargers will pay a lot more attention to him this week but he's still a good bet to find the end zone.
10. Mike Evans TB at CAR: Evans has slowed down a bit from his torrid pace in November but is still finding the end zone almost every week and scored twice last week. The TB offense is struggling but Evans is still a must start.
11. Julio Jones ATL vs. PIT: The reports out of Atlanta do not sound promising as Jones' hip injury appears to be really limiting him. He should play but they are using the word 'decoy' describing his role. It's a shame after he put up a mind-boggling 250+ yards last week on MNF.
12. Josh Gordon CLE vs. CIN: Gordon has been heavily criticized the last couple weeks for running lazy and incomplete routes, but with the entire country tuning in to see what Johnny Manziel does we think Gordon will be on his game. Rookie QBs tend to hone in on and force the ball to the top targets so we are expecting a huge day from Gordon.
13 A.J. Green CIN at CLE: Cleveland's corners and Joe Haden in particular have been dominant lately, but Haden has struggled with Green in the past. It's a matchup everyone is looking forward to and Green has scored in 3 of the last 4 games, not to mention the monster 200+ yard game he had last week against the division rival Steelers.
14 Randall Cobb GB at BUF: Like Nelson above, we're a little leery of the Packers piling on the Bills at home and running clock for most of the 2nd half. But you still aren't sitting either so let's hope the Bills offense can match GB for a while.
15 Jeremy Maclin PHI vs. DAL: We think this will be a pretty dynamic shootout and Maclin is going to match Dez Bryant in the areal assault. We'd start Maclin over most RBs outside of the top 10 in a flex scenario.
16 Kelvin Benjamin CAR vs. TB: Benjamin and Olsen are the only two options in the Panthers passing game and Tampa should yield scores to both.
17 DeAndre Hopkins HOU at IND: Hopkins was more of an afterthought when the Texans played the Colts earlier in the season but he's emerged as the clear #1 WR in Houston since that game.
18 Keenan Allen SD vs. DEN: Allen should be targeted double digit times so in PPR leagues he's a really strong flex play. SD will be throwing it with playoff positioning on the line.
19 Roddy White ATL vs. PIT: His ranking is improving with each Julio Jones update, as he was in the 30s to start the week. If Jones is out or severely limited, White should approach double-digit catches. Pittsburgh secondary is atrocious and seems to be regressing every week.
20 Sammy Watkins BUF vs. GB: He's going to be a target monster as Buffalo should be throwing 50+ times. Expect him to approach 100 yards but we don't see a TD as likely.
21 Julian Edelman NE vs. MIA
22 Golden Tate DET vs. MIN
23 Kenny Stills NO at CHI
24 Steve Smith BAL vs. JAC
25 Brandon LaFell NE vs. MIA
26 Jordan Matthews PHI vs. DAL
27 Vincent Jackson TB at CAR
28 Andre Johnson HOU at IND
29 Marques Colston NO at CHI
30 Jarvis Landry MIA at NE
31 Marqise Lee JAC at BAL
32 Marquess Wilson CHI vs. NO
33 Charles Johnson MIN at DET
34 Martavis Bryant PIT at ATL
35 Pierre Garcon WAS at NYG
36 Mike Wallace MIA at NE
37 Donte Moncrief IND vs. HOU
38 Malcom Floyd SD vs. DEN
39 DeSean Jackson WAS at NYG
40 Eric Decker NYJ at TEN
41 Larry Fitzgerald ARI at STL
42 Kendall Wright TEN vs. NYJ
43 Robert Woods BUF vs. GB
44 Allen Hurns JAC at BAL
45 Anquan Boldin SF at SEA
46 Nate Washington TEN vs. NYJ
47 Reggie Wayne IND vs. HOU
48 Harry Douglas ATL vs. PIT
49 Mohamed Sanu CIN at CLE
50 Percy Harvin NYJ at TEN
51 Rueben Randle NYG vs. WAS
52 Greg Jennings MIN at DET
53 James Jones OAK at KC
54 Andrew Hawkins CLE vs. CIN
55 Torrey Smith BAL vs. JAC
56 Kenny Britt STL vs. ARI
57 Cecil Shorts JAC at BAL
58 Wes Welker DEN at SD
59 Jeremy Kerley NYJ at TEN
60 John Brown ARI at STL
61 Riley Cooper PHI vs. DAL
62 Davante Adams GB at BUF
63 Doug Baldwin SEA vs. SF
64 Michael Crabtree SF at SEA
65 Eddie Royal SD vs. DEN
66 Michael Floyd ARI at STL
67 Cole Beasley DAL at PHI
68 Terrance Williams DAL at PHI
69 Stedman Bailey STL vs. ARI
70 Kamar Aiken BAL vs. JAC