NFL

Start/Bench/Flex Advice for Week 15 in Fantasy Football

By: Jonathan Goad

It’s week 15. That means you’re either in the semi-finals or the first round of the playoffs. Forget last week. You have to focus on this week’s matchup. Now is not the time to take chances. Go with the guys who are going to get you points. If possibly, avoid boom or bust players. Sure, you might guess correctly, but if you don’t, it could end your season.

Here’s my picks:

START

D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers

With the awful year that Devin Funchess has had, D.J. Moore has emerged as Cam Newton’s second favorite target (McCaffrey is number one). Moore has seen 33 targets over that last four games. That’s solid volume for any WR. The Panthers also play the Saints poor pass defense this week. That bodes well for Moore. With as poor as Carolina has been playing over their last five games, expect Cam to throw the ball a lot. That’s also good news for Moore owners. D.J. Moore will be a solid WR3 this week.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Lockett has been fairly solid all season. He’s got nine touchdowns on the year, and if he finishes strong, he could see his first 1,000 yard season. Also, Doug Baldwin may miss another game this week. That means an uptick in targets for Lockett. Factor in that the Seahawks face the 49ers, and you’ve got yourself a solid option in Lockett. Russell Wilson was pretty bad last week. Look for him to rebound this week as the Seahawks continue their playoff push.

Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Mixon shouldn’t need to be included on this list, but if you’re doubting him for some reason, STOP. You can trust him this week. Without Andy Dalton and A.J Green, Mixon should continue to see a lot of touches. He had 26 carries last week that went for 111 yards and a score. Expect something similar as the Bengals play a poor Raiders defense. Start Mixon with confidence.

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BENCH

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Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots

Michel has had a bit of an up and down rookie season. At times, he’s looked like he’s ready to be a feature back in this league. Other times, not so much. Factor in how Bill Belichick uses RBs and you have an unpredictable outcome. Belichick has been trolling fantasy footballers the last two weeks by giving James Develin some goal line carries. The Pats also play the Steelers this week who are good against RBs. I’d look elsewhere this week. There’s just too much unknown with how the Pats will play this week.

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Robert Foster, WR, Buffalo Bills

Foster has played well in three of his last four games. He’s also seen more targets since the team released Kelvin Benjamin. He did catch seven of eight targets for 104 yards last week. You might be thinking about starting him this week as a sneaky play. I’m advising to go against that instinct. He’s too much boom or bust for me to consider. Sure, he’s trendy right now. Don’t give into it. Start someone who will for sure get you points. Foster is too much risk.

Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans

Davis has been extremely inconsistent this season. I don’t think you can trust him at this point in the year. With the explosion of Derrick Henry last week, Tennessee may focus on running the ball against the Giants this week. The Giants are also surprisingly decent against WRs. Look elsewhere, if possible.

FLEX

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Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

I know what you’re thinking, “shouldn’t Derrick Henry be a must-start after his 17 carry, 238 yard, 4 TD game last week?” My answer is no he shouldn’t. Yes, he did have the best game by a running back last week. However, that was the first game he went over 100 yards this season, and he nearly doubled his TD total for the year. He also saw the most carries in a game since week 3. Maybe Tennessee rides him again against the Giants defense, but I think Henry is a flex play at best. I’ve got trust issues with the Titans coaching staff. Henry is one of those players who needs volume to have a big game. I’m not sold that he’ll get that this week or any week for that matter.

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Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

This one hurts me to say. It has nothing to do with Jones. It’s all about the matchup. The Bears defense held Todd Gurley to 28 rushing yards last week. Todd freakin’ Gurley! Jones is clearly the best RB the Packers have, but the Bears defense is too good. I’m benching him in favor of Nick Chubb this week in one league, and am starting him in another only because I have no better option. I see Jones as only a flex play this week. If you have to start him, don’t be surprised if he gets shut down like Gurley did.

Adam Humphries, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This is another matchup I don’t like. The Bucs play the Ravens who have been shutting down WRs. Tyreek Hill is the only player to top 100 yards against them this season. They’ve also only given up nine touchdowns to receivers this year. Humphries has seen a solid amount of targets over the past few weeks, but it’s hard for me to trust him this week. I like him as a flex play at best.

There’s you advice for you playoff matchup. Go with volume over boom or bust players.

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