Ten Things We Learned In Week 15 (Fantasy Football)
Here we are, the start of the 2022 fantasy football playoffs! Week 15 is now coming to an end, and playoff matchups are being decided. Dreams of a championship are coming closer to reality for some and have ended for others. We had several big-time performances this week that we will discuss. Hopefully, you are on your way to a Footclan Title, and we can help you out with what we learned from this week.
1. George Kittle Shows Up
If you were lucky enough to make the playoffs with George Kittle on your roster, chances are you will be advancing into the second round. Kittle is currently the TE1 on the week with 23.30 fantasy points in half-point PPR leagues. He caught 4-of-5 targets for 93 yards and two touchdowns. With Deebo Samuel out and expected to miss the rest of the fantasy playoffs, Kittle should see an uptick in production. Brock Purdy is playing well enough right now, so Kittle could help carry teams to a Footclan Title!
2. Captain Kirk Leads Historic Comeback
The largest comeback in NFL history happened in Week 15 when the Vikings returned from a 33-0 point deficit against the Colts. Kirk Cousins was on fire, throwing for 460 yards and four touchdowns, and is currently the QB2 overall on the week. Cousins had a huge game that undoubtedly helped fantasy managers who had him in their lineups. Cousins has had a great year and is a solid play against the Giants and the Packers over the next two weeks.
3. Jerick McKinnon Is On Fire
With back-to-back overall RB1 performances, Jerick McKinnon is potentially a league-winning player. In Week 15, McKinnon had a season-high ten rushing attempts for 52 yards and a touchdown, and he caught 8-of-8 targets for 70 yards and another touchdown. McKinnon has been dominant through the air in the past two weeks, giving him a high ceiling even with low volume. McKinnon is still a risky play, but he is a solid RB2 option right now. He could be on his way to another huge performance in Week 16 in a plus matchup against the Seahawks.
4. Zay Jones Is Becoming A Solid Flex Option
Since the Jaguars’ bye week, Zay Jones has been a big part of the offense. Jones has been a top-10 wide receiver in 3-of-4 games since the bye. In Week 13, Jones had a bad week but still had seven targets. He’s been heavily involved in the offense and is becoming a solid flex play, even in tougher upcoming matchups against the Jets and Texans. Christian Kirk will still be heavily targeted, and Evan Engram will also be involved, but Jones will be an option for fantasy managers should they not have anyone better.
5. Jonathan Taylor Could Miss The Rest Of The Year
Fantasy managers with Jonathan Taylor are going through it in the first week of the playoffs. Taylor exited early in the game with an ankle injury after one reception for 13 yards. Taylor has had an up-and-down season, but with the Colts’ season pretty much over, there is talk about the organization shutting Taylor down for the season. If those with Taylor on their roster this week somehow advance in the playoffs, they likely will have to find other options to start. If Deon Jackson is available, he becomes a priority add for remaining playoff teams as he has two plus matchups against the Chargers and Giants.
6. Tee Higgins Is Healthy
Fantasy managers were left questioning whether they should start Tee Higgins this week after being cleared last week and proceeding only to play one snap. Higgins looked healthy on his way to catching 5-of-8 targets for 33 yards and a touchdown. Despite the slow start for the Bengals’ offense, he had a solid outing. Higgins remains a must-start now that it is proven he is healthy.
7. Trevor Lawrence Can Be Trusted In Tough Matchups
The Jaguars took on the Cowboys in Week 15, and Trevor Lawrence had another outstanding performance, throwing for 318 yards and four touchdowns. Lawrence has mostly been good in plus matchup scenarios, so seeing him perform well in a tough matchup was encouraging. Lawrence has thrown for 300 yards and three touchdowns in three of the past four games. He seems to have hit his stride this season, and if you need a quarterback to play, Lawrence should be a good start despite matchups against the Jets and Texans in the next two weeks.
8. Darren Waller Is Back
The Raiders welcomed their star tight end back for the first time since Week 5. Darren Waller dealt with a hamstring injury for most of the season, but he is now healthy. Waller caught 3-of-3 targets for 48 yards and a touchdown. While it would be nice to have seen more targets go his way, it was at least good to see him on the field. Even though Waller is back, he only had a 9.4% target share, so he is still a risky play against some tough matchups coming up. If playoff teams do have Waller, he may be worth playing because he does offer a high upside, but right now, he also has a low floor, so we should temper expectations.
9. K.J. Osborn Helps Nobody
There likely wasn’t a fantasy lineup with K.J. Osborn starting this week but is he worth picking up to play in the playoffs? Osborn has flashed potential over the last two seasons; however, his big games have been very random, and unless there is an injury, he will likely not be fantasy relevant. He is typically an afterthought in that lineup, so unless fantasy managers are desperate for a spot start, it’s probably not worth plugging him into your lineup in the playoffs.
10. Neither Rex Burkhead Nor Dare Ogunbowale Are Worth Starting
Texans’ rookie running back Dameon Pierce is injured, and fantasy managers were trying to figure out who might be a good start in his place. Most of the debate was between Rex Burkhead or Dare Ogunbowale, but Royce Freeman was the running back who led the team in carries. Freeman rushed 11 times for 51 yards, Ogunbowale had eight carries for 14 yards, while Burkhead did not receive a carry. The Texans’ runningback situation should be avoided, as none of these backs are nearly as talented as Pierce.