Week 15 is here, and the Saints and your Fantasy Football team need a big win. Jake Ciely (@allinkid) of *RotoExperts.com is providing exclusive expert Fantasy coverage for NewOrleansSaints.com. Get ready for your Fantasy playoffs, as Jake gives you the expert deal on Saints players from Fantasy perspectives.*
The Saints head to Arizona in Week 15, as the team will aim to get back in the win column and help bring you a fantasy championship. Drew Brees is second only to Aaron Rodgers in Fantasy points, and the Cardinals matchup is not as worrisome as it may appear. While the Cardinals have the fourth fewest points allowed to quarterbacks, they have allowed the 14th most points over the last four weeks. This is also the first time Brees has gone back-to-back weeks without a passing touchdown since 2009 and hasn't gone three straight without one since 2003 when he was injured in the third game of that stretch. Brees is still a QB1 in all leagues.
While the Cardinals have also been more forgiving against the run in the same four-week span, they still rank inside the Top 10 and second on the year. That makes it tough for both running backs to have value. However, the Cardinals have given up double-digit fantasy points on NFL.com to four straight teams with three games including at least one touchdown. As long as Mark Ingram is healthy, he's still a RB2 given his potential to find the end zone.
Even in a quiet Week 14 game, Brandin Cooks and Willis Snead still had 6.1 and 8.5 Fantasy points respectively. Michael Thomas could return in Week 15, which would push Snead back into the slot. That's a good matchup for Snead if Tyrann Mathieu is out, and Cooks and Thomas have the skill to warrant use as WR2s with upside for more. Week 15 presents the Saints toughest matchup in quite a while, but it's not as worrisome as it appears on paper. You should remain confident in starting Cooks and Thomas with Snead having deep league value as well.
The Falcons allow the most Fantasy Points per game (FPPG) to quarterbacks on NFL.com. Colin Kaepernick had a decent game in Week 14, but his ceiling is one of the highest for all quarterbacks in this matchup. There is plenty of risk with the 49ers, but the reward can be a Fantasy playoff win with Kaepernick. Just behind the Falcons are the Browns, which give Tyrod Taylor plenty of potential for a QB1 performance. Matt Ryan is having a MVP-caliber season and continues to produce even with Julio Jones out in Week 14. No matter who is healthy for Ryan in Week 15, he must remain in your lineup, especially against the 49ers. The Giants defense showed how improved they are by limiting the Cowboys in Week 14. They rank second only to the Broncos in fewest quarterback points allowed. You might want to consider a different quarterback than Matthew Stafford given his injury and the matchup.
Carlos Hyde has been a RB1 producer of late, and that will continue in Week 15, as the Falcons are allowing the most Fantasy points to running backs over the last four weeks. The Rams have given up the second most FPPG to running backs the last four weeks, which puts Thomas Rawls in the RB1 conversation in a bounceback game for the Seahawks on Thursday night. Deeper leagues (14 teams or more) can find value in Mike Gillislee as a flex option given the matchup with the Browns. Gillislee is seeing a decent amount of work while spelling LeSean McCoy and can rush for a score given this matchup. The Raiders have allowed the fifth most FPPG to running backs on the season and third most over their last four games, which gives Kenneth Farrow RB2 potential if Melvin Gordon is out. If Gordon plays, he would be firmly inside the Top 10. The Ravens are the toughest running back matchup by far, which makes the entire Eagles backfield risky as you aim to advance in the playoffs.
The Titans not only continue to give up loads of Fantasy points to receivers, they are now the top team in FPPG allowed, surpassing the 49ers. That makes Tyreek Hill a strong start yet again, even with Jeremy Maclin having returned last week. The Packers still rank among the four easiest matchups for receivers despite the Seahawks struggles in Week 14. If Marquess Wilson is active, both he and Cam Meredith have WR4 value with upside for more, as the Bears host the Packers. The Chiefs defense is good at creating turnovers, but they give up the fifth most FPPG to receivers and second most over the last four weeks. Don't be afraid to go back to Rishard Matthews in Week 15. The Panthers defense is playing better of late but still allowing the sixth most FPPG to receivers. Jamison Crowder and DeSean Jackson are strong plays as a result with Pierre Garcon having deep league value. The Colts head to Minnesota, and the Vikings are allowing the second fewest FPPG to receivers, meaning Donte Moncrief is risky if playing and Phillip Dorsett is even riskier even if filling in for Moncrief.
There were a couple of tight end injuries in Week 14, so if you are looking for a replacement, you should consider Charles Clay. He had 52 yards and a touchdown last week, and the Browns allow the most FPPG to tight ends and have given up a league high 11 touchdowns to them. The Panthers are just behind the Browns in points and touchdowns (11), which makes Jordan Reed a high-upside play worth waiting on this week. If available, Cameron Brate is a must-own and must-start. He's a Top 10 tight end that too few leagues own (36.8) and the Cowboys have struggled against tight ends, especially in the red zone, lately. The Ravens are not only strong against the run, they shut down tight ends as well, which makes Zach Ertz a risky option.
Streaming defenses against the Browns is always a smart move, making the Bills a great pickup and Top 10 DST. The Jaguars are allowing the second most FPPG to opposing DSTs the last four weeks. The Texans DST is just 25th this year, but they will be a DST1 as they host the Jaguars. On the other side of the ball, Nick Novak is not only a Top 10 kicker this season, but he warrants Top 5 consideration, as the Jaguars allow more FPPG to kickers than any other team. Kai Forbath has increased his scoring in all four weeks with 13 Fantasy points against the Jaguars. He'll look to repeat a double-digit performance as the Colts have given up the third most FPPG to kickers over the last four games.
Good luck in Week 15.
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