Welcome to Week 15. If you’re reading this, you likely had a Week 14 bye or won your first round game and are moving one step closer to that #FootClanTitle! We all recognize the part that luck can plan in fantasy football. It feels great when it goes in your favor (see any owner who started Derrick Henry out of sheer desperation) and terrible when the fantasy world collapses around you (I’m looking at you, Seahawks/Vikings MNF “game”!)
But that was last week. What are we looking forward to in Week 15?
1. Josh Allen Rushing to the top of the Charts
Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, Josh Allen was one of the most polarizing prospects. He had plenty of supporters, including the Buffalo Bills who drafted him, and plenty of doubters. His rookie season has not been very good when analyzing his passing game. He’s played just nine games due to an injury and has just five passing TDs. Yet, over the past three weeks, Josh Allen is THE QB1 in Fantasy Football. How is that possible?
335 rushing yards is how. In fact, Josh Allen’s 490 total rushing yards current ranks 29th in the NFL, and he’s missed four games. He’s one spot ahead of his teammate, LeSean McCoy, who had missed just one game before exiting early in Week 14.
As I highlighted last week with Lamar Jackson, rushing yardage for a QB can drastically skew their scoring. Allen’s 335 rushing yards are equivalent to 838 passing yards. When you add that to his 597 passing yards in that span, we get 1,435, or the equivalent of throwing for 478 yards per game. Add in the two rushing TDs which are equal to 3 passing TDs (in 4pt passing leagues); you can see why he’s #1. But will that rushing prowess remain and is anyone daring enough to start Josh Allen in their Semi-Final Round?
2. Atlanta Backfield
Hello, my name is Michael, and I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to Tevin Coleman.
I, like many other Tevin Coleman owners, have been burned more than once throughout this year with a player we expected to produce significantly more fantasy points than he has. I have no insider knowledge but don’t be surprised if we find out after the season that he’s been playing injured this year. He’s unlikely to return to Atlanta next year with the drafting and emergence of Ito Smith.
For fantasy purposes in Week 15, the Cardinals have allowed the 3rd most points this season to opposing RBs, so there is a reason to consider starting one or both of Atlanta’s backs in a flex position.
3. The Parity Conference vs. the Haves-and-Have-Nots Conference
The NFL likes to promote its parity with the “any given Sunday” mantra. And, to an extent, it’s true. Any team can win on any given Sunday. Looking at the standings, the two conferences appear to be on opposite sides of this. There seems to be a clear delineation between the haves and the have-nots in the AFC. But over in the NFC, there is a lot of parity behind the division leaders. As of this writing, only the Seahawks have a winning record in the NFC Wildcard Race. 8 of the 16 teams in the NFC have 5 or 6 wins.
4. Planning for Next Week
As noted above, there are some teams that are far ahead of others. With three weeks to play, the Patriots and Texans have two game leads over their closest competitor. Depending on the outcomes of this week’s games, both teams could lock up their division titles. With the Chiefs and Chargers already locked into the playoffs, there is a real possibility that some of these teams start resting starters in the second half of Week 16 games.
In the NFC, the Saints and Rams have clinched their respective divisions and are on their way to locking in first round byes. The Cowboys and Bears could also lock up their divisions this weekend. Let that sink in – after Week 15, 7 of the 8 divisions could be clinched, only the AFC North having serious contention for the division title. You need to be prepared for key starters of your fantasy team to see a reduced workload in Week 16.
5. It’s Your Team
I had a Twitter question earlier this week about going against the grain of the general consensus. I re-iterated something that Andy, Mike, and Jason say on the podcast all the time: It’s your team. Make your own decisions and live with the outcome knowing it was YOUR call. You obviously want to get as much research and input possible to make the best decision, but at the end of the day, you need to check the box on that starting lineup.
If you strictly listen to an outside party and bench the guy you have a strong feeling about and he has a great game, you’ll be mad. At the same time, if you play him, and he’s a dud, but it was YOUR call, you can own it and learn from it by identifying what part of the process failed you.
Best of Luck in Week 15!