The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 15
The Ballers were back on Thursday, bringing their Starts of the Week for Week 15. Andy, Jason, and Mike gave their selections and the logic behind their choices. Below is a look at who they selected for each position and a summary of their reasoning. If you didn’t get to listen to the show, you can find it here. Make sure to check out JoinTheFoot.com for exclusive content available only for #FootClan members.
QB: Tua Tagovailoa vs. NYJ
One of Tagovailoa’s primary weapons was a surprise removal with Jalen Waddle’s addition to the COVID-19 list on Thursday. Tagovailoa’s running backs also find themselves on that list. Tagovailoa will have to do a lot of work in this game. He finds himself in a good spot this week, taking on a Jets’ team that has been the best match-up for quarterbacks over the last eight weeks. Tagovailoa has already had a solid game against NYJ this season, going for 273 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Jets allow the highest yards per attempt, highest completion rate, highest first down rate, and highest quarterback rating in the league. Start Tagovailoa against the Jets, knowing Miami should find success this weekend.
RB: Sony Michel vs. SEA
Regardless of the Darrell Henderson situation, Andy believes Sean McVay has his focus on Michel. Michel makes up more than half the opportunities out of the backfield. The Rams will be taking on a Seattle team allowing the second-most running back fantasy points and the most plays per game. With Odell Beckham Jr. being added to the COVID-19 list and probably not playing in Week 15, Andy thinks Michel will see 15 opportunities versus the Seahawks.
WR: Chase Claypool vs. TEN
Surprisingly, Andy is selecting Claypool for his wide receiver start of the week. Since the 10th week of the season, Claypool has averaged 80 receiving yards per game. The Steelers wide receiver found himself benched for mistakes made on the field in last week’s contest. Still, he managed to have a good game, even with the benching, catching eight balls for 93 yards. This week, Claypool takes on the Titans, a team that has been the second-best match-up for wide receivers this year. Teams also find themselves throwing for the second-highest rate in the league against Tennessee. Claypool had double-digit scores last season, something completely missing from his game this year. Although Claypool has yet to find the end zone this season, he is due for a touchdown in this game.
TE: David Njoku vs. LVR
Njoku has surprise upside, especially now that the Browns will be without a lot of their big targets. There will be no Austin Hooper and probably no Jarvis Landry. Baker Mayfield was added to the COVID-19 list, so Case Keenum and Njoku will be the key to the passing game. Oh, wait, hold on. Keenum was added to the COVID-19 list after the episode aired. Nick Mullens is the new Cleveland starting quarterback, and he has experience in this league playing in San Francisco. Njoku is an essential and reliable target for Mullens, who can be the quarterback’s security blanket. This year, the Raiders are bleeding points to the tight end position, giving up the second-most points on the year. The match-up makes Njoku a start this week.
QB: Dak Prescott @ NYG
Dak Prescott has been disappointing for fantasy football over the last few weeks, and he’s also been bad on the road. This week, he finds himself on the road again against division rivals the New York Giants. You might find yourself debating whether or not to start Prescott, but Jason says to start the Cowboys’ quarterback over streaming someone. Prescott has shown he is a very good quarterback, but he looks to be in a slump as of late. This contest should be the game Prescott gets it back on track. The last time Prescott and company took on the Giants (in Week 5), he threw for 302 yards and tossed three scores in the 44-20 Cowboys’ win. Over the last month, Prescott tossed an average of 42 pass attempts per game. Jason does not believe the run game will dominate in the red zone, but instead, he looks to the wideout group as the beneficiaries of touchdowns.
RB: James Robinson vs. HOU
Jason had Robinson as his pick even before Urban Meyer’s firing. Robinson is a questionable player on many playoff teams, but remember he got you to the playoffs. With Meyer gone, Robinson should start seeing his usual workload. Last week, Robinson was a little banged up and only saw six carries. You might think that is a red flag, and you should bench Robinson. Jason advised against benching the running back but instead let the audience know he will start Robinson in his leagues. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been an advocate for getting Robinson on the field. Robinson faces the Texans, a team allowing the most rushing yards and the most rushing plays of 10+ yards. Carlos Hyde is currently in concussion protocol, an extra incentive for starting Robinson.
WR: Brandin Cooks @ JAX
Davis Mills has been a decent quarterback for Houston this year, and he seems to have quite the connection with Cooks. Mills might be the second-best rookie quarterback this season, and Cooks has benefitted from this. Last week, Cooks saw 11 targets and caught eight of them for 101 yards. Cooks’ first red-zone target in a month came in that game as well. The veteran wide receiver is really the only thing working for Houston right now, and it helps that he has a 27-percent target share. The Texans have played the Jaguars once this season, and Cooks had five catches for 132 yards in that Week 1 contest. Jacksonville’s defense is giving up the highest expected points per pass attempt in the NFL, another reason to start Cooks.
TE: Ricky Seals-Jones @ PHI
Jason believes RSJ should be on the field more in this game. Seals-Jones is past his injury, and he will be a much-needed weapon out there for the Washington Football Team. Jason calls this an opportunity and a match-up play. Washington plays Philadelphia this week, and Philly has allowed big games to tight ends. Adam Trautman, Foster Moreau, Dalton Schultz, and O.J. Howard all put up top-5 performances against the Eagles. The Eagles are the best match-up for tight ends, so look to add Seals-Jones to the list of tight ends that lit up Philly.
QB: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. ATL
Are you limping into the playoffs? Mike has you covered with a quarterback who could still be available on waivers. Mike stated the 49ers were 9.5 point favorites at home at the time of the podcast. Although this is subject to change, there is an implied team total of 28 points. San Francisco faces Atlanta, a squad that has been the second-best match-up for quarterbacks over the last five weeks. In last week’s outing, the Falcons allowed top-12 quarterback production to the combination of Cam Newton and PJ Walker. Garoppolo has been solid for fantasy football over the last month, and he should continue being solid in this contest.
RB: D’Onte Foreman @ PIT
In last week’s game, Foreman was the go-to guy until the Titans did not need him in the second half, then turning to Jeremy McNichols. Foreman is the Tennessee running back seeing touches inside the five-yard line. This week, the Titans face the Steelers, a team that has disappeared against the running back position. Tennessee will need to capitalize on this in Week 15. Pittsburgh allowed top-10 production to the running back position in each of the last five games. Additionally, the Steelers allowed top-5 production to running backs in four of the previous five contests. The Titans should continue to use Foreman much like Derrick Henry, running the ball more than throwing the ball.
WR: Russell Gage @ SF
If you are looking for a wide receiver that can be a solid WR for your team this week, Mike suggests Gage. The Falcons face the 49ers in this match-up, the third-best match-up for wide receivers over the last five games. Last week was disappointing for Gage, with four catches for 64 yards. Even though this was the case, Gage still saw 22-percent of the targets. The volume will be there, and the match-up is superb. Mike thinks he is in play as a WR3 this weekend.
TE: Nick Vannett @ TB
Mike’s ready to dumpster dive with this selection. Vannett might be a player where you have no clue what team he plays for now (it’s the New Orleans Saints). Over the last two weeks, he has had a safe floor of at least three receptions and 40 yards. In those games, Vannett saw four targets and six targets. The tight end position can beat the Buccanneers. Deonte Harris is currently suspended (last week was his first game out due to the suspension). Without Harris in the mix, Vannett saw over 20-percent of targets. Mike threw in that tight ends didn’t do much last week, and Vannett could see four to five points — comparable to what has been going on at TE. When Mike made his pick, it was pointed out that Adam Trautman was designated to return. Mike stated he would play Trautman if Trautman were back, scraping Vannett.