Fantasy start ’em, sit ’em decisions only get more difficult in the playoffs, be it because of injuries, late-season breakouts, or matchups. SN’s Vinnie Iyer is here to help you advance to your fantasy championship game with Week 15 lineup advice. He also has some NFL DFS picks for those who have already been bounced from the postseason but are still looking to win some fantasy cash.
As always this time of year, injuries are the dominant storyline. Among the key players to watch this week: T.Y. Hilton (calf), JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee), Greg Olsen (concussion), Adam Thielen (hamstring), James Conner (shoulder), Evan Engram (foot), Damien Williams (ribs), Jordan Howard (shoulder), Will Fuller (hamstring), Josh Jacobs (shoulder), Alshon Jeffery (ankle), Mark Andrews (knee/thigh), DeVante Parker (concussion), and Jared Cook (concussion).
Fantasy Football Week 15 Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (vs. DEN), Lamar Jackson, Ravens (vs. NYJ), Deshaun Watson, Texans (at TEN), Russell Wilson, Seahawks (at CAR), Drew Brees, Saints (vs. IND), Dak Prescott, Cowboys (vs. LAR), Aaron Rodgers, Packers (vs. CHI)
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (at DET). He looks good to go despite injuring his thumb and can shred this defense even without Mike Evans (hamstring).
Ryan Tannehill, Titans (vs. HOU). The Tanne-thrill is back. He’s red hot, and his matchup remains favorable.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (vs. ATL). Thanks his completion percentage and high efficiency in the red zone, Garoppolo doesn’t need massive volume to light up the Falcons at home in a Kyle Shanahan revenge game.
Kyler Murray, Cardinals (vs. CLE). He’ll do some running again against a weaker pass rush and have a good shot at multiple scores at home.
Jared Goff, Rams (vs. DAL). The Cowboys’ defense is reeling, and there should be some big points on both sides here as Dallas can’t cover either his slot receiver or tight end.
Tom Brady, Patriots (vs. CIN). He has a limited ceiling because they can win this game running away with rushing and defense, but 250 yards and two TDs is easily attainable.
Baker Mayfield, Browns (at ARI, $6,400 on DraftKings, $7,700 on FanDuel). No team gives up more QB points than the Cardinals, thus his raised price. A Freddie Kitchens and Steve Wilks revenge game will help him produce well playing off the run.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars (at OAK, $5,500 on DraftKings, $6,900 on FanDuel). They are tanking for Doug Marrone, but when the Raiders open up a big lead, Minshew will be chucking often in the second half and put up decent digits even without D.J. Chark (foot).
Jacoby Brissett, Colts (at NO), Eli Manning/Daniel Jones, Giants (vs. MIA), David Blough, Lions (vs. TB)
Fantasy Football Week 15 Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Josh Allen, Bills (at PIT). Another week, another tough AFC North defense that won’t let him get free as a runner.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings (at LAC). The Chargers’ defense is playing very well now, so watch out here.
Matt Ryan, Falcons (at SF). The 49ers’ pass defense is showing more cracks and won’t have Dee Ford or Richard Sherman, but you still can’t trust him on the road.
Philip Rivers, Chargers (vs. MIN). He had his best game in a while last week, but going here this late in the season is asking for trouble.
Sam Darnold, Jets (at BAL). His run of favorable matchups has concluded for 2019.
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears (at GB). He’s been very good of late, but the Packers’ strength is pass defense.
Kyle Allen, Panthers (vs. SEA), Drew Lock, Broncos (at KC)
Fantasy Football Week 15 Start ‘Em: Running backs
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers (vs. SE), Dalvin Cook, Vikings (at LAC), Saquon Barkley, Giants (vs. MIA), Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (vs. LAR), Aaron Jones, Packers (vs. CHI), Derrick Henry, Titans (vs. HOU), Leonard Fournette, Jaguars (at OAK), Alvin Kamara, Saints (vs.IND), Nick Chubb, Browns (at ARI), Le’Veon Bell, Jets (at BAL), Mark Ingram, Ravens (vs. NYJ), Todd Gurley, Rams (at DAL), Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, Chargers (vs. MIN), Chris Carson, Seahawks (at CAR), Joe Mixon, Bengals (vs. NE)
Phillip Lindsay, Broncos (at KC). Lindsay and Royce Freeman both warmed up together with Lock making the offense look legitimate again in Houston, and they are the best tickets to move the ball on the Chiefs.
Josh Jacobs, Raiders (vs. JAX). Jacobs looks like he’s returning from his shoulder injury, but it not, pivot back to Deandre Washington This matchup is superb given the Jaguars’ linebacker issues.
David Montgomery, Bears (at GB). They need to feed the rookie often here in Lambeau Field with unpredictable weather, and that should go well against a shaky Packers run defense.
Kareem Hunt, Browns (at ARI). He keeps being involved heavily, and Cleveland should have no trouble moving the ball.
Patrick Laird, Dolphins (vs. NYG). The Giants got destroyed by the Eagles’ running backs in open field as receivers because of their linebacker issues and he should be busy.
Miles Sanders, Eagles (vs. WAS). The Eagles should be playing from ahead (we think), so he can redeem himself against the Redskins’ run defense, assuming Jordan Howard (shoulder) can’t play again.
James White, Patriots (at CIN). They need him a ton in their running and passing games with limited playmakers, and he’s come through the past two weeks.
Sony Michel, Patriots (at CIN, $5,100 on DraftKings, $6,100 on FanDuel). He’s been very quiet and fading from this struggling offense of late, but the Bengals defense is so bad against the run that game script can lead to a massive rebound at this nice price.
Raheem Mostert, 49ers (vs. ATL, $5,200 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel). He’s very cheap still on DK, so the price vs. FD makes him more appealing there given his newfound “lead” status in the backfield.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Sit ‘Em: Running backs
Marlon Mack, Colts (at NO). He got fortunate with a TD last week against the Buccaneers, but the Saints are just as tough on power running backs.
Devin Singletary, Bills (at PIT). The Steelers’ defense is downright stingy against everything at the moment.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons (at SF). Freeman peaked with his game against the lowly Panthers, and he’ll snap back to little viable production on the road.
Kenyan Drake, Cardinals (vs. CLE). He’s getting the volume, but the Browns’ defense is playing better than you think against the run — and David Johnson is now randomly involved enough again.
Adrian Peterson, Redskins (vs. PHI). The Eagles shut down the run straight up, so if you need a Washington back without Derrius Guice (knee) go with Chris Thompson in PPR.
Benny Snell, Steelers (vs. BUF). He can’t be trusted after his fumble last week and Kerryth White doing things. Plus, there’s a good chance James Conner (shoulder) will be back on Sunday night.
Bo Scarbrough, Lions (vs. TB). The Bucs can straight up take him out of the game inside.
Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones, Buccaneers (at DET). The matchup is awesome, but good luck guessing who will get the key touches.
All Chiefs (vs. DEN). Minus the Williamses, this has somehow become a bigger mess.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Start ‘Em: Wide receivers
DeAndre Hopkins, Texans (at TEN), Michael Thomas, Saints (vs. IND), Tyreek Hill, Chiefs (vs. DEN), Davante Adams, Packers (vs. CHI), Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (vs. DET), Julio Jones, Falcons (at SF), Keenan Allen, Chargers (vs. MIN), Stefon Diggs, Vikings (at LAC), Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (at CAR), Kenny Golladay, Lions (vs. TB), Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, Cowboys (vs. LAR), Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, Browns (at ARI), Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, Rams (at DAL), Allen Robinson, Bears (at GB), D.J. Moore, Panthers (vs. SEA), Julian Edelman, Patriots (at CIN), Courtland Sutton, Broncos (vs. LAC), DeVante Parker (if he plays, at NYG)
A.J. Brown, Titans (vs. HOU). Here’s your true go-to guy for Ryan Tannehill, and the Texans can’t match up with the emerging rookie well.
Emmanuel Sanders, 49ers (vs. ATL). This offense is getting everyone involved, and these guys can torch a bad secondary now minus Desmond Trufant at home.
D.K. Metcalf, Seahawks (at CAR). He should avoid James Bradberry for some of the game, and the rookie has been pretty solid with his high floor. He is due to score on a deep shot off play-action.
Terry McLaurin, Redskins (vs. PHI). He had a strong Week 1 debut against them and looked good again last week. He can torch them downfield for Dwayne Haskins.
Chris Conley and Dede Westbrook, Jaguars (at OAK). With DJ Chark (foot) set to miss the game, these guys will be a lot busier for Minshew.
Zach Pascal, Colts (at NO). He’s been producing again, and Brissett will likely to need to throw often.
Anthony Miller, Bears (at GB). He can do some sneaky good PPR work in the slot.
Marquise Brown, Ravens (vs. NYJ). He’s been very quiet again, but the Jets’ secondary stinks and he can score on a long or a short one outside.
Deebo Samuel, 49ers (vs. ATL, $5,800 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel). Samuel is worth rolling with again in a great spot, too against the Falcons after a month of fine rookie producing with his rushing, receiving and touchdowns.
Darius Slayton, Giants (vs. MIA, $4,700 on DraftKings, $6,300 on FanDuel). Speaking of tournaments, it’s fun to have him back on the main slate after he was the ultimate Showdown Captain against the Eagles on MNF, stepping into a matchup Robby Anderson rocked last week.
Mike Williams, Chargers (vs. MIN, $4,600 on DraftKings, $6,200 on FanDuel). He made another big play against the Jaguars and also found the end zone for the first time all year. The Vikings’ secondary is beatable deep.
Allen Lazard, Packers (vs. CHI), Breshad Perriman, Buccaneers (at DET), Jakobi Meyers, Patriots (at CIN)
Fantasy Football Week 15 Sit ‘Em: Wide receivers
John Brown and Cole Beasley, Bills (at PIT). The Steelers’ cornerbacks are balling, and they control the middle with Minkah Fitzpatrick, too.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals (vs. NE). The Bengals can expect him to be taken away from Andy Dalton.
Brandin Cooks, Rams (at DAL). He’s pretty much a big-play decoy now.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals (vs. CLE). This is trickier than you think with the Browns’ young corners playing better.
Curtis Samuel, Panthers (vs. SEA). Kyle Allen cannot push the ball deep with pass-protection issues, so he’s short-TD dependent.
Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder, Jets (at BAL). The party is over against the Ravens’ secondary.
James Washington and Diontae Johnson, Steelers (vs. BUF). Tre’Davious White looms, and JuJu Smith-Schuster’s potential return complicates things for the youngsters.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Start ‘Em: Tight ends
George Kittle, 49ers (vs. ATL), Travis Kelce, Chiefs (vs. DEN), Darren Waller, Raiders (vs. JAX), Zach Ertz, Eagles (at WAS), Hunter Henry, Chargers (vs. MIN), Austin Hooper, Falcons (at SF), Jared Cook, Saints (if he plays, vs. IND), Mark Andrews, Ravens (if he plays, vs. NYJ)
Tyler Higbee, Rams (at DAL). He’s on fire with no Gerald Everett and steps into a third consecutive smash spot.
Jack Doyle, Colts (at NO). He can rebound, as the Saints’ linebackers are really hurting.
O.J. Howard, Buccaneers (at DET). He is looking much better of late for Bruce Arians, and he needs to be more involved with no Mike Evans (hamstring).
Dallas Goedert, Eagles (at WAS). Alshon Jeffery (ankle) is back on the shelf, meaning Goedert will need to be used a lot more again.
Noah Fant, Broncos (at KC). Fant is expected to play through a couple injuries, and he can re-create his chemistry with Drew Lock in a fine matchup for the position.
David Njoku, Browns (at ARI). Vance McDonald didn’t come through last week before being concussed, so here’s dart-throwing toward Njoku to restore the trend in his second game back.
Ian Thomas, Panthers (vs. SEA, $3,100 on DraftKings, $5,300 on FanDuel). If Greg Olsen misses another game with a concussion, Thomas would be a solid plug-and-play after seamlessly replacing his production in Atlanta. The matchup is even better this week.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Sit ‘Em: Tight ends
Jacob Hollister, Seahawks (at CAR). The Panthers can’t stop the run and struggle with No. 2 wideouts, but they contain tight ends well.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (at LAC). He’s cold again, and this matchup is rougher than you think now.
Ryan Griffin, Jets (at BAL). The Ravens also smother TEs as well as wide receivers.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins (at NYG). Don’t chase the Ertz game because the Giants have handled tight ends OK for the most part.
Jonnu Smith, Titans (vs. HOU). The Texans are more vulnerable on the outside, and he’s still in a committee.
Darren Fells, Texans (at TEN). The numbers against the Titans call for a dice roll with no Will Fuller (hamstring), but the head says no.
Fantasy Football Week 15 Start ‘Em: Defenses
Patriots (at CIN), Steelers (vs. BUF), 49ers (vs. ATL), Ravens (vs. NYJ), Chiefs (vs. DEN), Seahawks (at CAR), Eagles (at WAS), Saints (vs. IND), Packers (vs. CHI), Browns (at Ari)
Chargers (vs MIN, $2,400 on DraftKings, $3,800 on FanDuel).
Fantasy Football Week 15 Sit ‘Em: Defenses
Bears (at GB), Rams (at DAL), Bills (at PIT), Vikings (at LAC), Buccaneers (at DET), Giants (vs. MIA), Dolphins (at NYG), Lions (vs. TB), Titans (vs. HOU), Cowboys (vs. LAR)