The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 15 (Fantasy Football)
“Savor the journey. Every day. You only get to do it once.”
Willkommen, 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 the 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. Please note that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated as news breaks, so make sure you check out the tool yourself to catch any last-second changes.
So without further adieu, let’s kick things off with the most popular Start/Sit questions for Week 15:
|Andy Rank||QB #13||QB #10|
|Mike Rank||QB #10||QB #9|
|Jason Rank||QB #10||QB #12|
Talk about neck and neck. The Ballers currently have Tua Tagovailoa ranked barely one spot higher than Taysom Hill, who’s now finished as the overall QB4 in back-to-back weeks since being declared the starter in Week 13. As we all know, he’s able to vault to such great heights through his legs, most recently running for 73 yards and crossing the endzone twice in a landslide victory over the Jets. It wasn’t pretty by any means, but he got the job done and should have no problem doing the same against a Buccaneers’ defense that just let Josh Allen run wild for 109 yards and a TD. And he’ll need to take over the game as they’ll likely be without head coach Sean Payton (COVID-19), but Hill has already been the team’s QB/FB/TE/PR/KR/etc., so why not add coaching to his résumé? Keep in mind that Hill is still nursing a Mallet finger injury that could be easily reaggravated, but his immense upside makes him worth the risk.
So why is Tua ranked higher? Because he gets that same softball matchup against the Jets that Hill feasted on. It’s also the same opponent he faced in Week 11 where he completed 27 of 33 passes for 273 yards and two TDs en route to a QB12 finish. Unlike Hill, Tagovailoa’s actually looked decent despite dealing with his own myriad of ailments, boasting the second BEST completion percentage (71.6%) on the season among QBs. Also unlike Hill, Tagovailoa does not run the ball often, totaling just 69 nice yards in nine games played thus far. But his floor is as safe as it gets, making him a strong DraftKings DFS Cash pick and Andy’s QB Start of the Week. He won’t have Jaylen Waddle (COVID-19), but DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki will be ready to rack up the scoreboards. And, again, it’s the Jets.
Tua for floor, Taysom for ceiling.
|Andy Rank||TE #16||TE #18|
|Mike Rank||TE #27||TE #14|
|Jason Rank||TE #29||TE #18|
At this point, it’s basically survival of the fittest: if he’s active, just start him. That’s the way things are trending with seemingly half the league under COVID-19 protocol. But with misfortune comes opportunity, which is why perennial disappointment David Njoku appears here as not just a viable streaming candidate, but Andy’s TE Start of the Week. The fifth-year TE has flashed greatness — typically whenever he lucks into the endzone — but he’s never been consistent or reliable enough to be deemed a confident start. The Browns (and their opponent, the Raiders) have been decimated by COVID-19 outbreaks, leaving Njoku as one of the last men standing, so he should see a heavier workload leading him to a decent fantasy outcome. However, the game has since been moved to Monday night, leaving a glimmer of hope for fellow pass-catchers like Austin Hooper and Jarvis Landry to recover and reclaim the spotlight from Njoku, making an already risky start even riskier.
I wrote about RSJ last week where I stated my skepticism on his fantasy outlook but was encouraged by his high snap percentage. Unfortunately, that was not the case last week when he saw only 46% of snaps and caught just one measly pass for 8 yards. But as we’ve learned in this injury-riddled season, beggars can’t be choosers (especially against the Eagles), which is why he’s back in the conversation as Jason’s TE Start of the Week. The Eagles are easily the BEST matchup for TEs; nearly every TE who’s played against them has finished as a TE1. Those TEs didn’t necessarily have the most respectable QBs throwing to them either, which helps RSJ’s case as he will likely be without QB Taylor Heinicke (COVID-19), although this game has also been delayed so things could change. Matchups matter, but can they overcome a disheveled and untrustworthy cast?
Both are tough to trust in the fantasy playoffs, but as things stand right now I’d go with Njoku.
|Andy Rank||WR #27||WR #32|
|Mike Rank||WR #25||WR #32|
|Jason Rank||WR #25||WR #35|
Darnell Mooney was a popular Start/Sit question last week because of the combined hype of a healthy Justin Fields and advantageous matchup. And boy oh boy did he bust spectacularly, logging just a lone catch for 19 yards. But guess what? He’ll still have Justin Fields throwing to him, and will also be gifted the EASIEST matchup for opposing WRs in the Vikings. The Vikings are susceptible to deep passes, something Mooney should capitalize on with his team-leading aDOT (12.2). But as last week proved, Mooney’s floor is weaker than Antonio Brown‘s alibis, and he could just as easily sink your playoff team as much as he could save it.
On the other side of the field is K.J. Osborn, a potential late-season waiver wire savior in the aftermath of Adam Thielen‘s high ankle sprain. Osborn is proof that RBs aren’t the only skill position that should have backups secured. Since Thielen’s absence, Osborn has averaged 8.2 targets per game. His catch percentage remains low, but he’s made up for it by scoring each game. Osborn was a factor earlier in the season but was overshadowed by Thielen and Justin Jefferson on a run-heavy offense featuring Dalvin Cook. But with Thielen expected out and under a gunslinging Kirk Cousins, Osborn should thrive yet again in a juicy matchup.
Kirk Cousins & K.J. Osborn (62-yard TD)
Cousins pass traveled 54.4 yards of air distance, the longest completion by Cousins this season.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 10, 2021
The Ballers unanimously favor Mooney, but I’d rather play the guy with the better QB.
|Andy Rank||RB #23||RB #26|
|Mike Rank||RB #25||RB #26|
|Jason Rank||RB #23||RB #25|
So let me get this straight. We’re all confidently prepared to start Rashaad Penny after his first blow-up game in years? The same Rashaad Penny who’s been in the league since 2018, yet has already missed 27 games due to injury? I don’t doubt his talents, but last week was his first career game with over 50% of snaps, and it was also the second-most targets (17) he’s ever seen in a single game. His peak was a 19-target game in 2019, which was followed by an away game against the Rams where he immediately tore his ACL. Like clockwork, Penny will get to follow his rare explosion game with a tough divisional battle in LA. If his body holds up, then he’s in line for another heavy workload with Alex Collins presumably inactive (COVID-19).
— Russell Clay (@RussellJClay) December 14, 2021
Speaking of injuries, D’Onta Foreman has certainly seen his fair share of them. His career is the definition of injury-riddled. Despite being drafted in 2017, Foreman’s only played 22 NFL games (and was injured in one of them). But he’s enjoyed a bit of a revival in Tennessee after Derrick Henry‘s foot betrayed him and his once-happy fantasy managers. In just his past two games, Foreman’s racked up 35 touches, 174 all-purpose yards, and a TD. Most impressively, 10 of those 35 touches were in the red zone. The Titans are a slight favorite, implying that Foreman should see enough goal-line opportunities to bolster his final stat line. IF he’s healthy, then he should be able to exploit a surprisingly vulnerable Steelers front. He probably won’t get as many opportunities as Penny since his backfield is busier with Jeremy McNichols and Dontrell Hilliard siphoning looks, but his red-zone usage makes him a worthy start and a solid DFS FanDuel Cash and Draftkings GPP pick.
The Ballers all vote for Penny. Assuming neither guy gets hurt, I’d personally bet on Foreman instead.
Good luck in the playoffs, Footclan! Make sure you keep a close eye on the latest news and as always, GO WITH YOUR GUT!