For many of you, the fantasy playoffs are here, and if you’ve made it this far, you probably made a few great start/sit decisions along the way. We are here to try and help you continue this hot streak, and we have some interesting NFL matchups to study.
There are some difficult matchups for some borderline flex options, and others have a dream matchup that should make them slam dunks for starts.
Let’s take a look at this week’s Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em.
Mike White, QB (New York Jets)
It appears as though Mike White will be healthy enough to get the start on Sunday against the Lions, making him the best streaming option available.
He got beat up against the Bills in Week 14, leaving multiple times with rib injuries. Figuring the Lions won’t be able to rush as the Bills did, White should be fine in a plus matchup.
He has thrown for over 300 yards in his first two starts and probably would have against the Bills had he not been hurt.
Cam Akers, Running Back (Los Angeles Rams)
I’ve been against Cam Akers as a top back in fantasy after he returned from his achilles tear. Still, with the Rams out of options and basically just seeing what they have on offense, Akers is actually a decent option this week against a bad Packers’ run defense.
The Packers are giving up the sixth-most points to opposing Running Backs, and my assumption is the Rams will be just fine trying to control the clock with the ground game.
Akers may not put up 150 yards and two touchdowns, but you can figure he will have room to run and should have a decent shot at a touchdown.
Mike Williams, WR (Los Angeles Chargers)
Mike Williams returned from his ankle injury and caught six passes for 116 yards and one touchdown against Miami.
This week the Chargers face the Titans, a team who is giving up the most points to Wide Receivers. The Chargers themselves are a pretty iffy defense, so this one could be a high-scoring game.
Williams is more of a deep threat, so he could take at least one long pass for a touchdown. Williams is a great start in Week 15.
Greg Dulcich, TE (Denver Broncos)
Gotta stay in the “flames” for this one, since Greg Dulcich has been a solid fantasy asset now for a few weeks. He only caught three passes for 42 yards against the Chiefs, but he was targeted eight times.
Russell Wilson had his best game as a Bronco, which at least gives us hope that maybe he is finally turning it around. Either way, Dulcich has cemented himself into the offense.
This week the Broncos face the league's worst defense against Tight Ends: the Arizona Cardinals. Dulcich is in a prime position to at least score a touchdown and could have a career day if Wilson repeats his Week 14 performance.
Brandon McManus, K – (Denver Broncos)
Going back to Brandon McManus well this week since he faces a bad Cardinal defense. As I mentioned above for Dulcich, the Broncos’ offense actually looked decent last week, so hopefully, that continues.
This game is in Denver, which always bodes well for kickers, and the offense is the kind that should move the ball easily enough but aren’t good enough to punch it in the endzone every time, so McManus is primed for plenty of opportunities.
Green Bay Packers, DST
The Baker Mayfield story is pretty awesome, but we have to be real in the fact that he only put up 17 points and it was against the Raiders…a team that really isn’t a good defensive team at all.
This week they face a much tougher test, and I don’t think Mayfield is suddenly going to be a top Quarterback in the NFL. The Packer pass defense is miles better than the Raiders, so I think Mayfield may struggle in this one. Plus it’s a Monday night game in a freezing Lambeau Field, which is always a tough test for any Quarterback.
I think the Packers could get quite a few sacks and potentially a few turnovers in this one. Plus it’s a Monday night game, so if you already have the matchup in the bag, you can just sit the defense to avoid negative points.
Trevor Lawrence, QB (Jacksonville Jaguars)
After the Cowboys almost embarrassingly lost to Houston last week, you can probably expect a very angry team coming into this game. The Cowboys’ defense has been probably the best in the NFL this season and is currently giving up the third-fewest points to Quarterbacks.
Trevor Lawrence has been up and down this season, but I expect a very difficult matchup this week for the young Quarterback. If you look back at Lawrence’s play against tough defenses, he does seem to struggle (174 yards against Philly, 165 yards against Indianapolis, and 133 yards against Denver).
If you have other options for your first round of playoffs, I’d pivot away from Lawrence.
Najee Harris, RB (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Najee Harris is probably one of the biggest bust candidates of the season. He hasn’t rushed for 100 yards yet this year, and I don’t think that will change this week against the Panthers.
The Panthers are in the top half of the league in run defense, and the Steeler's offensive line is pitiful. You basically have to pray for a Harris touchdown if you want a decent fantasy day, so as crazy as it sounds, Harris probably should be on your bench if you want to win your playoff matchup.
DJ Chark, WR (Detroit Lions)
I thought about putting Amon Ra St. Brown here, but he seems almost matchup-proof. So I went with the second option on the Lions’ offense, DJ Chark. Chark has been a flex option this season with how much the Lions are throwing the ball, but this week he faces the Jets, a team currently giving up the third-fewest points to Wide Receivers.
The Jets have played great defense this season, even holding the Bills to under 20 points twice. Sauce Gardiner is the real deal, so I think the Lions’ receivers could struggle in this one.
Cole Kmet, TE (Chicago Bears)
Cole Kmet and the Bears face a tough test in Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are currently middle-of-the-pack when it comes to points against the Tight End position.
Chase Claypool supposedly is struggling to learn the offense, and that could mean the Eagles focus their attention on keeping Justin Fields in check (running-wise) and also clamp down on the only decent pass-catching option the Bears have.
Kmet is a scary start in Week 15.
Jake Elliott, K (Philadelphia Eagles)
The Eagles should have an absolute field day against the Chicago Bears, so I don’t expect Elliott to have many opportunities in this one. He may kick five extra points, but the Eagles should be able to score at will.
There are other streaming options that should have more field goal opportunities.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DST
Tampa Bay hasn’t been great this season, and they probably won’t fare much better against the Bengals. The Buccaneers just gave up 35 points to Brock Purdy and the 49ers.
Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase should have a field day in this one, and hopefully, Tee Higgins is healthy enough to play. Either way, the Buccaneers have lost their top defense from the last few years and are no longer a scary team to play against.
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