by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Obviously the big news coming out of Week 14 was the loss of Carson Wentz, though Josh McCown was also lost for the season. The potential return of Aaron Rodgers helps, but with many leagues moving into their semifinals the injuries are a significant blow. Who are the actual good plays? Is there a solid streaming option to target? Let’s take a look at the rankings heading into Week 15:
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at Pittsburgh
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Los Angeles Rams
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. New England
- Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – at Kansas City
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – vs. Green Bay
- Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – vs. Arizona
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. New York Jets
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Houston
- Case Keenum – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Cincinnati
- Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Atlanta
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at Tampa Bay
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at Cleveland
- Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – at Seattle
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – at Oakland
- Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Tennessee
- Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – vs. Dallas
- Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles – at New York Giants
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. Chicago
- Brett Hundley – Green Bay Packers – at Carolina
- Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
- Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – vs. Miami
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Minnesota
- Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – at San Francisco
- Jacoby Brissett – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Denver
- Many went into Week 14 skeptical about Russell Wilson due to a seemingly difficult matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Instead of struggling Wilson continued his stellar run, even with 3 INT, as he threw for 271 yards and 3 TD (while also rushing for 50 yards). He now has eight straight games with at least 2 TD and he obviously also brings the potential to make plays with his feet. Is he completely matchup proof? Maybe not, but he’s a must play in all formats.
- Obviously no one is going to expect Ben Roethlisberger to throw the ball 66 times once again (44 completions, 506 yards, 2 TD), but the game against New England could easily devolve into a shootout. That plays into Roethlisberger’s current run, as he’s thrown for 290+ yards in four straight games and 2+ TD in five straight.
- Phillip Rivers has thrown for at least 319 yards in three straight games, and over his past four games he has 8 TD vs. 0 INT (23 TD vs. 7 INT on the season). Kansas City has been among the worst defenses defending the pass this season (seventh most points per week to opposing quarterbacks), meaning there’s every reason to believe in Rivers continuing his strong run.
- We all know that the Saints have developed into a RB-centric offense, led by Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. However Kamara did suffer a concussion on Thursday night and is no guarantee to be cleared ahead of the Saints matchup against the Jets. If he’s out the outlook for Drew Breese increases significantly, but even if he plays the matchup makes him intriguing. The Jets have been among the worst in the league at stopping opposing quarterbacks (third most points per week to opposing quarterbacks overall, most over the last four weeks), though what is the chance that Brees and company get out to a big lead early? He’s on the QB1 spectrum, but not a must play.
- Blake Bortles is a viable option with our fantasy seasons on the line?! Really?!?! He’s been very good over the past two weeks, with 577 yards, 4 TD and 0 INT, which alone gives up. Taking on the Houston Texans, who is allowing the fourth most points per week to opposing quarterbacks on the season, just adds to the appeal. He’s a borderline QB1, and that’s shocking.
- We are all going to want to dial in Aaron Rodgers as a can’t miss QB1 in his first game back (assuming he does return) and it makes sense. However you have to be cautious, given the length of absence. He’s a borderline QB1, but not a must play depending on your alternatives (think of him as around the #10-12 QB if he plays, though for now he’s been left off the rankings).
- Finally Dak Prescott woke up and delivered a truly strong performance against the New York Giants, delivering 332 yards and 3 TD. The matchup doesn’t get much harder in Week 15, as the team travels to Oakland (20 TD vs. 2 INT on the season). He was so bad for so long that he’s still hard to trust, but he’s at least worth consideration.
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN, CBS Sports
Make sure to check out all of our Week 15 rankings: