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Fantasy football start/sit advice guide: Best and worst picks for NFL Week 15

Helping you pick your lineups.

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Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants

Disclaimer: Starts and Sits are relative to where a player is ranked on the aggregate. In other words, a “Start” is someone I like more than most, and a “Sit” is the opposite. So if I say to start Nick Foles and sit Matthew Stafford, that doesn't mean I'd start Foles over Stafford, it just means I think Foles will exceed his expectations while Stafford will underperform his. Cool? Cool. -Seltz

Quick Post Disclaimer Note: Yoooooooo! It's that magical time of year – the time when regular old nobodies become legends and find eternal glory. That's right, it's fantasy playoffs time! Did I oversell that? Yeah, I probably oversold it. Either way, the fantasy playoffs are important to you if you're in them – so I'm going to try and honor that with more starts and sits, and (hopefully) less of my long-winded blabbering. Is blabbering a word? We're already off to a bad start. Let's get into it before I dig a hole I can't pull myself out of – but in case I forget to say it later (I will), good luck in your playoff matchups, I wish you nothing but W's. Lots and lots of Double U's . Alright, let's hit it.

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Nick Foles (@ NYG) – Pro Bowl MVP. He left the field with the lead. 27-2. #Next

Aaron Rodgers (@ CAR) – If Aaron Rodgers is playing (which he is), you have to start him. Don't worry about rust or any of that garbage – he's Aaron friggin' Rodgers and he's facing a Panthers defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to QB's over the last month. However, in spite of all this, he's the consensus #6 QB heading into the weekend. That's hogwash. Yup, hogwash.

Case Keenum (vs. CIN) – I often make jokes about Keenum's name. I mean, duh, right? But (I'm on the) Case (study) Keenum deserves better. He's been...awesome (multiple TD's in five of his last six games) and the Bengals just gave up 33 points to the Bears. THE BEARS! That's so embarrassing. Keenum is going to have his way with those Indian Tigers. Get it? Because a Bengal is a tiger from India? Yeah, you're right, not my best work. I vow (to try) to be better.

Matt Ryan (@ TB) – I'm torn (TM Natalie Imbruglia) on this one. On the one hand, Ryan stinks. On the other hands, Tampa's defense blows. Stinks vs. Blows. An all-time conundrum, but I'm going with stinks over blows. Stinks over blows for sure.

Blake Bortles (vs. HOU) – Bortles has been a top 10 fantasy quarterback three weeks in a row and faces a Houston defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to QB's. He also...nope. No way. I can't do it. Eff that. Don't start Bortles. He's Blake freaking Bortles. I feel dirty.


Alex Smith (vs. LAC) – You know what else will be dirty? Alex Smith's uniform on Sunday after Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have their way with him! Boom. In all seriousness, Smith was atrocious last week in a cake matchup vs. the Raiders, and should be equally horrendous against a Chargers defense that is outstanding against the pass.

Matthew Stafford (vs. CHI) – Stafford is banged up and facing a Bears defense that has done a decent job defending the pass. He won't be a terrible fantasy play thanks to volume (aka the Lions literally cannot run the ball), but he won't live up to his lofty expectations. And yes, they're lofty. Trust me, I'm a lofty expert. It's my life's work. I have spent years and years analyzing what is lofty and what is not lofty. Stafford's expectations this week: 100% lofty.

Jared Goff (@ SEA) – I know it's chic to say Seattle's pass defense is bad now, but they're really not. Don't get me wrong, they're not the legion of boom anymore, but they're not the legion of doom either. They're more like the legion of mediocre. You know who else is mediocre? Jared Goff. Nailed it.



Jay Ajayi (@ NYG) – The Jay Train is leaving the station to embark on a trip to Minnesota. First stop, New York. Well, it's New Jersey to be honest, but who cares. Either way, THE JAY TRAIN IS RUNNING RIGHT OVER THE GIANTS.

Kenyan Drake (@ BUF) – No more yelling. I promise. Well, except for this, KENYAN DRAKE IS THE TRUTH! Ok, now I'm done. I'm all about the Kenyan Drake hype train – not to be confused with the Jay Train. Drake is good at football. The Bills run defense is everything. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, eat some cake with Drake. Nope. Make a break (for it) with Drake. Again, no. Get on the take for Drake. Still no. Start Drake. Yup, that's the one.

Alex Collins (@ CLE) – I don't need to get on the Alex Collins hype train because I've been on it for a while. In fact, I've been on so long my butt is starting to hurt. I've been sitting in this seat on the train so long that my butt freaking hurts. That's how long I've been on the Alex Collins train. Guess what, the butt keeps hurting this week – Collins is going to drop trow on the Browns. Quick sidebar, was the “drop trow” thing weird? It was, wasn't it? Dammit, my bad...again. I promise to keep any and all trow un-dropped.

Mike Davis (vs. LAR) – The Rams are horrendous at stopping the run. How horrendous, you ask? Really, really, really horrendous. They are bottom five in rushing yards allowed, yards per carry average, and touchdowns yielded on the ground. Conversely, Mike Davis is better than I, or you, or anyone thought. He's aight, and incredibly undervalued this week (consensus #25 running back). Also, he has a sweet name. Mike Davis. Classic unforgettable name.


Mark Ingram (vs. NYJ) – Look, if you own Ingram in a seasonal league and he got you to the playoffs, you have to start him. But I'd shy away in daily formats against a better-than-you-think Jets run defense with Alvin Kamara back in action.

Lamar Miller (@ JAX) – Lamar Miller, more like you are chiller. Amirite? Let me explain, the Jags have the best defense in the league and Miller is playing with T.J. Yates at quarterback. Miller ain't going to be chiller on Sunday, hence you are chiller than him. That may have been the worst, dumbest thing I've ever written and I'm sorry for it.

Samaje Perine (vs. ARI) – Arizona's run defense is stout. Like, Guinness stout. Washington's offensive line is the opposite of stout. They're skinny. Well, not literally, they're NFL offensive lineman. None are skinny. But skinny is an antonym for stout so...just sit Perine and stop giving me lip. I've had just about enough of it.

Joe Mixon/Giovani Bernard (@ MIN) – Minnesota. Vikings. Defense. Moving. On.



Adam Thielen (vs. CIN) – How many times do I have to say it?! Adam Thielen is a Top 5 WR every week until the end of the season – and yet, the consensus continues to refuse to rank him as such. I am outraged and I will not stand...wait, what's that? He's the consensus #5 WR this week? Oh. Well, I guess I don't have to be outraged about this anymore. So, yeah. Start Thielen in all formats...obviously.

Jordy Nelson (@ CAR) – For the lucky few of you (if any) who drafted Jordy in the first or second round and still are somehow alive in your fantasy playoffs and haven't decided to drop him at any point during his horrendous season – it was all worth it! In case you hadn't heard, or in case you didn't read the “Quarterback” section about 13 paragraphs ago, Aaron Rodgers is back. That means Jordy Nelson is also back. Well I guess he never really left, but whatever, you know what I mean. Point is: Jordy + Rodgers = Good. Plus, the Panthers have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers over the last month. So, as Hal McRae once so eloquently put it, “put that in your effing pipe and smoke it.”

Mohamed Sanu (@ TB) – You don't need me to tell you to start Julio Jones. Especially considering he put up 253 yards and 2 TD's three weeks ago against this trash Buccaneers defense. Obviously you're starting Julio, but I think you should also give Sanu a look. He's averaging 7 targets per game over the last three weeks and faces the aforementioned trash Bucs defense. How trash you ask? They've allowed the most fantasy points to WR's this season. They also let Sanu throw for a TD last time they played. Don't expect another one of those, but Sanu should exceed his expected value nonetheless.

Marquise Goodwin (vs. TEN) – What the hell happened? I was doing so well with the brevity thing and now I'm a long-winded mess. I'm refocusing myself on being efficient with my words, you have my...word. Alright, let's put that plan into reality, word? Lol. I'm the worst. In the two games with Jimmy G at the helm, Goodwin is averaging 10 targets, 7 catches, and 102.5 yards. Yes, I know it's a small sample size, but it's all we got and I'm buying into it. The G-to-G connection is real, and it's spectacular. The spectacularness (not a word) continues this weekend against a crappy Titans secondary.


Mike Evans (vs. ATL) – I hate Mike Evans. He took my 2017 fantasy hopes and dreams and took a dump all over them. A big, smelly, steamy dump. Which coincidentally is exactly what he's done on the field all season. Don't continue to allow this man to Cleveland Steam you. No more. NO MORE! To quote The Who, “We Won't Get Fooled Again.” And yes, I am absolutely the first person to quote The Who and Hal McRae in the same column.

Tyreek Hill (vs. LAC) – Tyreek Hill has been way better, and more consistent, this season than I ever expected. He's been awesome. You're not sitting him if you own him in seasonal leagues. But I'd shy away in daily formats – the Chargers' pass defense is legit. LAY-JIT. How legit? They've allowed the fewest fantasy points to WR's over the last month and are playing at a really high level. #TooLegitToQuit

Stefon Diggs (vs. CIN) – Thielen stole Diggs' soul. Thielen rules, Diggs drools. What I'm trying to say is, Thielen is worth starting and Diggs is not. You got that, right? No? Man, I'm off my game. Let's get through the rest of this before I embarrass myself any further...if that's possible.

Chris Hogan (@ PIT) – Just because Hogan is back in New England's lineup, doesn't mean he should be in your fantasy lineup. Yeah, that's right, your lineup is better than New England's lineup. Suck it, Patriots. Seriously though, Hogan had 1 catch for 1 yard last week (with Gronk out no less) and faces a Steelers defense that has been stingy against the pass. Stingy is a funny word, isn't it? Stingy. Hehehe. Dingy is a funny word too. Stingy and dingy. See, I told you I could embarrass myself more. Never doubt my ability to embarrass myself! Also, what the hell is wrong with me?



Zach Ertz (@ NYG) – Alright, let's tighten this ish up. Ertz has cleared concussion protocol and will be back on the field against a Giants defense that has yielded the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. By a lot. Also, Ertz was an Eagle in 2013 and 2014, so he should have better chemistry with Foles than anyone else on the field. For whatever that's worth.

Evan Engram (vs. PHI) – Engram may be the only bright spot in the Giants' dumpster fire of a season. No joke, I think he's the only one. Seriously. That's nuts hahaha. And awesome. And I love it. What I don't love, is Engram squaring off against the Eagles' linebackers in coverage. But still, LOL Giants.


Cameron Brate (vs. ATL) – I actually agree with the consensus tight end rankings (for the most part) this week, so I don't feel strongly about this call. But the Falcons have defended tight ends well and Brate is super touchdown dependent. Those are the kind of strong takes you get here.

Austin Hooper (@ TB) – Speaking of strong takes, this is not one of them. I'm guessing no one is starting Hooper in their fantasy playoffs. But I'll lobby for you to avoid him in daily formats as well. Tampa Bay only does one thing well on defense, and that's cover tight ends. They literally suck at everything else. Thus, Hooper sucks too. Don't question it, just roll with it.



Philadelphia Eagles (@ NYG) – Win it for Wentz. Also, Eli Manning.


Buffalo Bills (vs. MIA) – The Bills are the consensus #7 defense this week. That's way too high for a defense that's terrible. Yes, the Bills are terrible. They are the #22 fantasy defense this season aka terrible.



Some guy who's playing in a dome or who's on a team with a good offense.


Any guy who doesn't qualify the above set standard for “Start.”

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