*Week 15 means the Fantasy Football playoffs are in full swing for everyone, and Jake Ciely of RotoExperts.com will provide exclusive Fantasy coverage for NewOrleansSaints.com to help you take home a championship.
The New Orleans Saints head into Chicago on Monday night looking for an important win to help move them closer to the playoffs. Facing the Bears is great news for nearly everyone on the Saints, as the Chicago defense doesn't rate in the Top 10 versus any position. It starts at quarterback, against whom the Bears allow the second most FPPG at 19.95 on NFL.com. Drew Brees just went into Pittsburgh and threw for five touchdowns, so there should be no concerns over Brees being outdoors and on the road. Look for Brees to post some big numbers, as the Bears have also given up the most passing touchdowns on the season (30).
While the Bears' defense is stronger against the run, they still allow 18.58 FPPG to running backs, which includes eight rushing touchdowns and the second-most red zone touches at 77. The Saints went pass-heavy last week, and while Mark Ingram didn't see many carries (10), he did have a 4.3 YPC average and is primed for a bigger game against the Bears. Ingram has the fifth-most red zone rushing attempts on the season, even with fewer games played than most other running backs in the Top 10. Pierre Thomas is a solid RB3/Flex option in PPR leagues, as usual. Last week, Thomas finished with 9.2 PPR points thanks to four receptions on six targets.
Marques Colston and Nick Toon continue to see higher usage rates of late. Colston led all receivers in targets with seven and caught five for 72 yards. Toon finished with four catches for 45 yards. Kenny Stills has a great chance to bounce back this week after finishing with three catches for 23 yards. The Bears have allowed the most red zone pass attempts (88) and touchdowns (22). They've also given up the second-most receptions of 20-plus yards (51) and third-most of 40-plus yards (12). Consider Stills a WR2, Colston a WR2/3 and Toon a deep league option in this great matchup. Even with DeMarco Murray rushing for 179 yards against the Bears last week (good for Ingram), the top three Cowboys receivers still had 18 receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns.
All of those big plays and passing results are good news for tight end Jimmy Graham too. So is the fact that the Bears allow the most FPPG to tight ends on NFL.com at 11.02 per game. The Bears are second only to the Jets in tight end touchdowns allowed (11). Graham is the eighth-highest targeted option in the red zone, and that includes all receivers. Graham has converted 10 of his 18 red zone targets with eight touchdowns. Keep Graham locked into your lineup.
Shayne Graham is primed for a K1 day, as no team allows more kicker points than the Bears (10.62). They've allowed more PATs (42) than anyone has, and are tied for the most 20-29 yard field goals allowed (10). The Bears offense makes opposing DSTs a risk/reward play. The do allow 7.77 FPPG thanks to 25 turnovers, but they also score a good amount of points from time to time. There is a bit more upside with the Saints DST this week without the threat of Brandon Marshall.
Don't overthink your playoff lineups. Trust the players that got you this far. That said, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has another great matchup against the Eagles in an important game. While the numbers weren't great in Week 13, Romo does have 66.64 FP in his other three games over the past four and all three were on the road. Giants quarterback Eli Manning gets the Redskins at home. The Skins give up the most FPPG to quarterbacks at 20.57 on NFL.com, and Manning had 300 yards, five touchdowns (one rushing) and 32.10 FP against them in Week 4. Philip Rivers and the Chargers host the Broncos in an important divisional game, and Rivers had 19.78 FP with three touchdowns in Denver during Week 8.
Even if Cleveland running backs Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell continue to shares touches, Crowell is still a high-end RB2 thanks to the matchup (Bengals allow second-most FPPG at 23.40) and touchdowns. West is an intriguing RB3/Flex for those needing a running back with upside. Chris Johnson has 158 yards and ranks 20th over the past two weeks. He now draws a Titans defense allowing 23.27 FPPG to running backs on NFL.com, which jumps to 25.00 over the last four weeks. Joique Bell is the fifth-best running back over the last five weeks, and the Vikings allow 20.62 FPPG.
Marqise Lee now has 194 yards and a touchdown over the last three games, and you can look for him to continue that success against the Ravens. No team allows more FPPG on NFL.com than the Ravens at 28.15. The Texans are right behind the Ravens (27.45), which makes Donte Moncrief a nice upside play in deeper leagues. Moncrief is owned in just 3.2 percent of NFL.com leagues, and he torched the Redskins for 134 yards and two touchdowns in Week 13. The Packers allow 26.22 FPPG to receivers - fourth most - thanks to the team having to play catch up or keep pace. That gives Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods good potential, and Woods put up 118 yards and a touchdown against a similarly weak Jets pass defense.
Larry Donnell had a hot start to the season, and part of that was due to his production in the game against the Redskins, in which he had 54 yards and three touchdowns. As mentioned, the Giants host the Redskins this week, and the 'Skins are only second to the Bears in tight end FPPG allowed (10.82). With Jake Locker at quarterback, Delanie Walker had 280 yards and two touchdowns in four games. The Titans draw a Jets team giving up 10.17 FPPG to tight ends with a league-high 12 touchdowns allowed.
The Jaguars still allow the most FPPG to opposing defenses, making the Ravens a great play. However, the Redskins top the league at 18.50 allowed over the last four weeks, which makes the Giants a high risk/reward play. The Jets DST is another intriguing pickup given the Titans allowing 10.31 FPPG (16.00 over the last four) and having to change quarterbacks again. One more waiver DST worth looking into is the Panthers unit. They have played better over their past three games and now draw the Buccaneers.