Week 15 Fantasy Football Guide (2021) – Start/Sit, Sleepers, and More
We’ve reached the best time of the fantasy football season. It’s time for the playoffs. It’s time for your regular-season success to pay off, and hopefully, you can take home the championship.
For those who didn’t make the playoffs, well, I hope I can help you avoid the last place punishment.
Big names like Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and James Connor suffered injuries, but as of now, they don’t sound long-term.
Here is my fantasy football guide for Week 15.
Week 15 Top Waiver Wire Adds
Last week, both Russell Gage and D’Onta Foreman were strong pickups. Who should we pick up in Week 15?
Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks (9% Owned)
The Seattle Seahawks backfield has been a fantasy nightmare over the last few weeks. We’ve seen Alex Collins, Rashaad Penny, Deejay Dallas, Travis Homer, and Adrian Peterson.
Last week, we finally saw some clarity. Penny became the lead back and took full advantage of the opportunity.
Penny played a season-high 57 percent of the snaps.
Now I will say, Penny benefitted from playing the worst run defense in the NFL. Still, his big performance caught the eye of Pete Carroll. Carroll made it known that Penny will operate as the lead back moving forward.
This week, it should be a tougher matchup with Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams. However, it seems like the Seahawks have found their offensive rhythm.
Looking ahead, Penny has excellent matchups in Week 16 and Week 17. I wouldn’t let a potential league winner get away.
DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins (50% Owned)
A few weeks ago, I had DeVante Parker as one of my waiver wire pickups. Days later, he suffered a setback in practice and went on IR.
Well, let’s try this again.
Parker came off IR in Week 13, racking up five receptions for 62 yards.
In the absence of Parker and Will Fuller, rookie Jaylen Waddle has become Tua Tagovailoa’s top target. Some may say Waddle is on his way to becoming a superstar.
Waddle has the advantage in receptions per game, but he and Parker are very close when it comes to yards per game.
- Jaylen Waddle: 65.3
- DeVante Parker: 64.8
Parker has at least four receptions and 40 yards in every game he has played this season.
The Miami Dolphins are dealing with a COVID outbreak in their backfield. They were already a pass-heavy team, which should stay intact this week.
Watch out for a big performance from Parker.
Week 15 Start/Sit Calls
Sitting Russell Wilson and Brandin Cooks wasn’t ideal, but starting Taysom Hill and Javonte Williams paid off last week. Let’s see who I’m starting and sitting in Week 15.
Week 15 Start List
- Taysom Hill, QB, New Orleans Saints
- Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals
- Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week, Taysom Hill made the start list and finished fourth among quarterbacks. Well, let’s do it again.
Hill is a cheat code in fantasy football. He is a decent passer, but he makes up for it with his rushing ability.
It didn’t look like he would have a great fantasy performance last week, but a late rushing touchdown vaulted him into the top five.
TAYSOM HILL RUN IT HOME!!!— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 12, 2021
?: CBS pic.twitter.com/JOHqxihnYL
This week, Hill has another great matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I thought the Buccaneers defense turned the corner, but they’ve allowed 295+ passing yards in the last three weeks. I think a lot of it has to do with teams playing catch up.
The early betting lines have the New Orleans Saints as (+11.0) point underdogs. They’ll have to throw to keep up.
Even so, there’s no reason to believe Hill won’t continue to run. He is also their primary option on the goal line.
Chase Edmonds hasn’t played since Week 9, so it’s fair to wonder why I’m willing to start him this week. Well, there are a few reasons.
Edmonds almost played in Week 14, so he must be near 100 percent. He should come off IR for a great matchup with the Detroit Lions.
The Lions have struggled to stop the run all season. Just look at what Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams did last week.
- Melvin Gordon: 111 rushing yards
- Javonte Williams: 73 rushing yards
Each player recorded two touchdowns.
Some people may have missed it, but it looked like James Connor suffered an ankle or foot injury at the end of the Arizona Cardinals game. The injury could be nothing, but I wonder if the Cardinals want to ease back his workload a bit.
Chase Claypool had a bit of a tumultuous week. Mike Tomlin benched him for an early unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Late in the game, Claypool inexplicitly celebrated a first down as the Pittsburgh Steelers were trying to quickly spot the ball.
Chase Claypool cost the Steelers AT LEAST 5 seconds posing & pointing— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 10, 2021
that would have given the Steelers 1 more play… 1 more shot to tie it up
so dumb, so clueless pic.twitter.com/cy7wSkv4XE
Lost in the whole debacle is Claypool had a pretty good game. He put up eight receptions for 93 yards. He had a few highlight-reel catches that should give Ben Roethlisberger more confidence in him.
In their last four games, Trevor Siemian and Mac Jones passed for over 295 yards.
Pittsburgh’s passing offense has found its stride lately. Roethlisberger has cleared 260 yards in three of his last four games. He also had nine touchdowns in that span.
Hopefully, Claypool doesn’t run into any trouble and has a strong performance.
Week 15 Sit List
- Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
- Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
- DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers
Last week, Joe Burrow broke out of a mini-slump with a big performance against the San Francisco 49ers. Burrow passed for 348 yards and hooked up with Ja’Marr Chase on both of his touchdowns.
It was a bit surprising because the 49ers pass defense is much better than their run defense.
This week, Burrow will have another tough matchup against the Denver Broncos.
Denver’s pass defense has shut down some of the game’s top quarterbacks over the last five weeks.
- Dak Prescott: 232 yards
- Patrick Mahomes: 184 yards
Justin Herbert cleared 300 yards, but many of those came in garbage time.
On the other side, Denver’s run defense hasn’t been as strong lately. They’ve allowed 105+ rushing yards in two of their last four games. Joe Mixon could be in for a big bounce-back performance.
This could turn into a low-scoring game, so it might not be a bad idea to fade Burrow.
Last week, Barkley rushed for a season-high 64 yards. It was an encouraging performance, but I should note it came against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers defense has neglected the run game all season.
This week, Barkley won’t have the same luxury as he takes on the Dallas Cowboys.
The Las Vegas Raiders had a big day against the Cowboys, but that’s the only time Dallas has allowed 100+ rushing yards to running backs in the last four weeks.
We also haven’t seen Barkley take on a full workload lately. Check out his snap percentage since coming off IR.
- Week 11: 62 percent
- Week 12: 87 percent
- Week 13: 75 percent
- Week 14: 55 percent
That’s a far cry from the 86 percent he averaged in weeks two through four.
I’m not expecting a big day from Barkley.
DJ Moore has had a bit of a roller coaster season.
He cleared 9.0 points in non-PPR formats in his first four games. Then, he failed to score over 7.5 points for six straight games. Over his last three games, he is averaging 9.9 points.
One encouraging thing we have seen lately is Moore’s target share is on the rise. He has 10 targets in each of his last two games. That’s great and all, but I have my doubts this week with his matchup.
The top two defenses in the league will face off with the Carolina Panthers hosting the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo lost Tre’Davious White a few weeks ago to a torn ACL. It’s hard to say how it has affected their defense because they played a New England Patriots team that didn’t pass, and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense that will beat anyone.
Carolina doesn’t have a strong offense, and I expect Buffalo to slow down Moore.
Best Fantasy Sleepers for Week 15
K.J. Osborn was a great fantasy sleeper last week. Can we have another big pickup for the playoffs?
Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears (16% Owned)
Don’t look now, but Justin Fields is quietly establishing himself as a solid fantasy option.
Over the last seven weeks, Fields has dealt with a rib injury and also had his bye. Check out his numbers in his previous three full games.
|Week 8||Week 9||Week 14|
He has cleared 18.0 fantasy points in all three games.
And those weren’t easy matchups. The San Francisco 49ers (Week 7) and Green Bay Packers (Week 14) have a top 10 defense. The rookie has used his legs to have a high floor.
This week, Fields has a much easier matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. In their last two games alone, Jared Goff and Ben Roethlisberger burned them for 295+ yards and three touchdowns, each.
Fields could be in line for his best game of the season. He is a great streaming option.
Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills (3% Owned)
The Buffalo Bills have one of the best passing offenses in the league. Stefon Diggs is their top option, but Josh Allen’s second option has rotated between Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, and Dawson Knox.
Now, it looks like Gabriel Davis has taken on that role, at least from a production standpoint.
His production has been on the rise, but it sounds like Davis will receive more playing time because of an injury.
Emmanuel Sanders has a knee sprain and is “most likely out this week” according to Sean McDermott. He talked up Gabriel Davis after delivering that news.— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) December 13, 2021
It’s always nice when your coach shows confidence in you.
Davis has a tough matchup against the Carolina Panthers, but when you play alongside Diggs, defenses can’t key in on you.
He has established himself as a deep threat and red zone target. That’s a great combination when it comes to fantasy football.
Week 15 Fantasy Football Advice
If you’re in the playoffs, there’s a good chance your lineup is set in stone. Still, it’s never a bad idea to check out the waiver wire. We’ve seen a few fantasy sleepers go on to become starters.
The start sit section should help you with those fringe starters. Unless you have a clear-cut superstar, players with tough matchups should probably see the bench.
Also, I’d recommend you handcuff your running backs. Someone like Joe Mixon has been great all season, but imagine he misses a week or two, and you don’t have Samaje Perine on your bench. It’s crucial to stay ahead of the game.
Fantasy football hasn’t been kind to everyone this season. If you’d like to pivot in a different direction, why not check out the top NFL betting sites.