The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 15 (Fantasy Football)

The FootClan
Unlock Premium Tools + Bonus Episode
Join the FootClan

“When I was a kid I had a pet raccoon… I named my pet raccoon after one of my favorite book characters, Bilbo Baggins.

One night, Bilbo got particularly feisty, so my dad and I drove him out to [the] woods. Once we found a good spot, we stopped and I put him on the ground and took his collar off. He kind of ambled about, taking in the new surroundings.

I preface this next part by saying I do think humans and animals share an unspoken understanding, to some extent. That’s why it’s so easy to bond with pets.

So this is how I remember saying goodbye to Bilbo: He wandered 10 yards away or so from the truck, and then he turned and looked at us and kind of had this expression like, ‘It was nice knowing ya.’ It was this moment where like, both I knew and he knew that we’d had some good times, but this was it.

It was onward and upward for both of us.”
Mike Leach

Aloha, Footclan! Welcome to Week 15 of the Start/Sit series, where we’ll identify and discuss your most commonly asked “Who should I start?” questions for the week.

The projections between any two players on your roster may appear similar, but this “simple” choice could be the difference between your team’s victory or defeat. Luckily, the Fantasy Footballers have created an amazing Start/Sit tool to easily compare any two (or more) players with insight from the Ballers themselves, and trust me — it’s an extremely valuable asset that will help you make these crucial lineup decisions that could ultimately lead you to your #FootClanTitle.

In this article, you’ll find your most popular Start/Sit questions of the week, along with the Ballers’ projections and my personal opinions on the matter. Please note that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated as news breaks, so make sure you check out the tool for yourself to catch any last-second changes.

The FootClan
Love the show? Join our community!
Join the FootClan

So, without further ado, let’s kick things off with the biggest Start/Sit questions for Week 15:

Featured Matchup

QB:
Deshaun Watson (CLE) or Jared Goff (DET)?

We don’t know if Jared Goff will finally break his dreaded away-game curse this Sunday. But we do know that he’ll have to face one of the most foreboding defenses in the Jets, who rank as the fifth TOUGHEST matchup in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs. And we also know that Voldemort hasn’t quite looked like his old self, which is reflected in his team’s despicably low projected over/under total. It doesn’t help that his star wideout Amari Cooper is dealing with a hip injury, although Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Njoku are no small potatoes and should be more than capable of carrying the load.

It ironically feels “safer” to put our trust in Watson’s hands because we’ve seen what he can do. But while he may prove serviceable, I’d rather stay in the flames with Goff. Sure, he’s been absolutely Goff-ul in his away games. But maybe the real difference maker all along was hyped rookie Jameson Williams, who has only been in action the last two weeks, which are coincidentally some of Goff’s best games (averaged 23.9 fantasy points per game)? Or maybe it’s DJ Chark, who has seen 50%+ snaps in only six games this season, which are also coincidentally some of Goff’s best games (averaged 20.1 fantasy points per game)?

The Fantasy Footballers Shop
Got the Ship? It's Time to Drip!
Visit the Shop

Andy and Jason favor Watson, while Mike leans toward Goff. I’m personally riding with Captain Steel Underpants, but it’s understandably difficult to not go along with the illusion of safety that Watson’s name provides.

The Verdict
Jared Goff

RB:
Zonovan Knight (NYJ) or Rachaad White (TB)?

The vote is in, and all three Ballers unanimously choose Zonovan Knight over Rachaad White. His matchup against a pass-funnel Detroit defense that’s stingy against the run but charitable in the air isn’t ideal. However, his impressive usage (averaged 18.7 opportunities per game since Week 12) and red zone utilization (averaged 3.0 red zone attempts per game) should remain or even increase now that Zach Wilson is back in charge, inferring that the team will prefer to lean on their run game rather than trusting Wilson’s arm.

White is also a safe play, though he lacks the upside Knight has in the TD department (averaged 1.3 red zone attempts per game since Week 12). He’s also stuck in a murky RBBC with a very hungry Leonard Fournette. And while their matchups are both mediocre, Cincinnati’s defense has given up three top-24 RBs so not all hope is lost. If OT Tristan Wirfs is active, then I’d slightly prefer White. Otherwise, Bam is the better floor play.

The Verdict
Rachaad White if Tristan Wirfs is IN, otherwise Zonovan Knight

WR:
Elijah Moore (NYJ) or Chris Moore (HOU)?

There’s no doubt about it, this one is gross. Elijah Moore should’ve been a smash play this week as he was expected to feast in the slot against Detroit — who have simply been unable to defend against the slot. Here’s how their last four slot receivers fared against the Lions:

The FootClan
Love the show? Join our community!
Join the FootClan
SLOT WR FANTASY POINTS – AGAINST DETROIT FANTASY POINTS – SEASON AVERAGE
K.J. Osborne 12.3 5.1
Christian Kirk 13.4 12.4
Isaiah McKenzie 19.3 7.7
Wan’Dale Robinson 14.9 6.7

But with Zach Wilson‘s return, there is no happiness to look forward to anymore. There is a world where Wilson has learned from the errs of his ways and will now sling the rock as quickly and efficiently as he can in an attempt to regain the trust of the locker room. After all, he’s had a rather tough schedule thus far, and his upcoming slate is the easiest he’ll have seen all year.

But in that world, Chris Moore will do equally as well as the only reliable pass-catcher in Houston, while someone like probably Jeff Driskel becomes a league-winner (in Yahoo leagues). It could definitely happen with the Texans likely needing to catch up against a red-hot Chiefs offense. They won’t be able to rely on Dameon Pierce as he’s been ruled out, and his expected matchup against rookie CB Trent McDuffie isn’t a cause for concern (two TDs allowed in the last three games). But matchups matter, so I reluctantly have to side with Elijah this time.

The Verdict
Elijah Moore (but honestly, flip a coin)

Christian Watson (GB) or Michael Pittman Jr. (IND)?

Christian Watson is fantasy’s WR4 since Week 10. If that wasn’t impressive enough, this stat includes his Week 14 bye. Not to bury the lede, but Watson is the clear fantasy WR1 in points per game within that same timespan (22.9 points). He’s not getting the elite number of targets (averaged 4.0 targets per game) that someone like, oh, I don’t know, Michael Pittman Jr. has been seeing (8.9), but he’s vastly outproducing him in every facet. Watson’s opportunities should only increase now that the team has had a chance to reconfigure their inconsistent offense after the bye.

But Pittman has the clear edge in schedule as he gets to face a porous Vikings secondary that has worse coverage than Germany’s national team at the 2022 World Cup. Only the Titans are worse against opposing WRs, so Pittman and/or Alec Pierce should thrive this week. However, trusting in the Colts’ offense — during the fantasy playoffs — is a tall order. Nevertheless, Pittman is Andy’s WR Start of the Week.

The Verdict
Christian Watson

The Fantasy Footballers Shop
Got the Ship? It's Time to Drip!
Visit the Shop

TE:
Gerald Everett (LAC) or Chigoziem Okonkwo (TEN)?

I’m totally on board the Chigoziem Okonkwo hype train. Yeah, the Titans are a run-heavy offense, and Derrick Henry will assuredly run havoc all over SoFi Stadium. But they literally have no one but the bones of Robert Woods to throw to while Chigo has been nothing short of beastly, catching 10 of 11 passes for 113 yards and a TD in the last two weeks. In TE terms, that’s like solving the Tamam Shud case while finishing an ultra marathon. It’d be nice to see more targets his way, but he’s evidently becoming a fixture of the offense while exuding great upside.

Everett is a fine alternative option thanks to his wonderful matchup against a vulnerable Tennessee defense, but his opportunities are limited with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Josh Palmer, and Austin Ekeler in his way. The Footballers all unanimously favor Everett, so he’s undoubtedly the smarter choice, but I’d personally roll the dice with Okonkwo.

The Verdict
Gerald Everett for floor, Chigo Okonkwo for upside.

 

If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter. And don’t forget to tune in to Mike’s Sunday Live broadcast where he answers your last-second Start/Sit questions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *