Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: All you need to know to win in Week 15

  • Fantasy football, baseball and college basketball contributor.
  • Author of book, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here.”

So much changes from week to week around the NFL, and we’re here to make sure you’re on top of it all heading into Week 15 of the 2022 season.

The weekly fantasy football cheat sheet provides a rundown of the best tips from all the fantasy football content that ESPN has posted over the past seven days. You’ll find answers to the biggest start/sit questions of the week and other pertinent matchup advice from our team, including Field Yates, Mike Clay, Eric Karabell, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Matt Bowen, Seth Walder, Kyle Soppe, Eric Moody, Liz Loza, Daniel Dopp and ESPN Insiders Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, plus all of NFL Nation. It’s all the best advice in one handy article.

Here’s what our experts are saying about Week 15 in the NFL:

Missing Murray

Monday football is supposed to be a time when fantasy managers sit on the edge of their seats, hoping either for or against a last-minute comeback in terms of their weekly fantasy matchup, depending on whether their team is in the lead. However, nobody wants to see a major injury. Unfortunately, that’s what happened this week, as Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was carted off the field with what proved to be a season-ending torn ACL on the third play of the game. What options might be out there at quarterback for managers to try and replace (as best as possible) Murray’s fantasy production? Our experts weigh in.

  • Colt McCoy will step in for Murray, something he has done for nearly three full games this season when Murray has been unavailable because of injury. Murray is one of the most dynamic players in football, so certainly McCoy does not have identical fantasy value to him as a singular player. But McCoy does a very serviceable job of keeping the passing game afloat in Arizona, as he has averaged 234.0 passing yards per game this season. — Yates

  • Jared Goff has been one of my top matchup-based streamers at the quarterback position this season. And he’s really playing good football right now. Two straight games of 21 or more fantasy points, and multiple touchdown throws in each of his past three starts. But the Week 15 matchup against the Jets’ defense isn’t the one you want to play. New York will utilize schemed fronts to create pressure, with very disciplined and defined coverages in the secondary. Goff will be back in the mix as a potential streamer for the Week 16 game versus the Panthers. — Bowen.

  • If you’re like me and lost Murray on the eve of the playoffs, you could do worse than looking at Patriots QB Mac Jones as a streaming option this week against the Raiders. Vegas is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, and Baker Mayfield just went right down the field on the Raiders twice in crunch time 48 hours after getting off a plane. The Patriots’ offense isn’t much to write home about, but the Raiders can be had, and we know Jones is lobbying the coaches to let him throw it. — Graziano

  • Avoid Trevor Lawrence. He’s coming off the most productive, promising five-game stretch of his entire career, but it’s also important to note how fantasy-friendly his matchups were during that time. Lawrence faced the Raiders, Chiefs, Ravens, Lions and Titans, defenses that rank 31st, 29th, 20th, 32nd and 30th against quarterbacks for the season (schedule-adjusted). This isn’t to say that he can’t put up another productive game against the Cowboys, who have struggled against perimeter receivers in recent weeks, but it’d be nice to see Lawrence prove his mettle against a tough defense before giving him a hearty endorsement in a fantasy playoff matchup. — Cockcroft

  • I have Joe Burrow ($7,200 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel) just a tick behind Justin Herbert, but it’s only because stacking him up with his Chargers pass-catchers is a little more cost-prohibitive. Burrow has accounted for 12 touchdowns during Cincinnati’s five-game win streak, and he has nearly doubled his rushing output from a season ago — in three fewer games. The Buccaneers blitz at the ninth-highest rate, which is something that should immediately put Burrow on your radar, as he leads all starters in fantasy points-per-blitzed passing attempt. — Soppe

Looking for the latest injury news leading up to kickoff? Check out all of the Week 15 inactives here.

Wondering about wideouts

Week 14 saw huge fantasy point totals from a standout trio of wide receivers: Justin Jefferson, Jerry Jeudy and Ja’Marr Chase. Certainly nobody is expecting 28-plus fantasy points from their WR1 on a weekly basis, but there are a lot of receivers who constantly tease the promise of potentially reaching that high bar, yet always seeming to disappoint by falling very short of that dream goal. Our NFL Nation team took a look at how optimistic fantasy managers should be with some of these “could be” Week 15 standouts.

  • It’s clear that Gabe Davis hasn’t performed at the level that was hoped for. Overall, outside of Stefon Diggs, the Bills’ wide receivers have underperformed this year, leading the league with a drop percentage of 6.3%. Davis leads the Bills with seven drops. Despite that, he is the clear second option in terms of targets (71) and QB Josh Allen continues to look for him. This offense has the potential to play at a high level but has underperformed. Davis still has the potential for a breakout game, but more consistent fantasy options should come first. As fantasy managers have learned, the big games have been infrequent. — Alaina Getzenberg

  • DJ Chark has been productive and could make an explosive play at any moment, but outside of Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions are spreading the wealth offensively, using all of their playmakers. What that means is that D’Andre Swift could be targeted, or receivers Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds, and then when you add rookie Jameson Williams in the mix, it makes the offense scary. So, I wouldn’t necessarily rely on Chark to put up big numbers individually with so many options for Goff in terms of fantasy football. — Eric Woodyard

Why DJ Chark is a good waiver option for Week 15

Eric Moody explains why he feels good about DJ Chark this week in fantasy.

  • Three different Rams receivers scored at least 9.5 fantasy points last week. All are risky, but if you’re rostering one of them, it’s Van Jefferson. Jefferson is coming off a successful 2021 season — with 50 catches for 802 yards and six touchdowns — and has rebounded from his knee injury well. He is also the most likely of the current receiving corps to be a threat in the red zone. Coach Sean McVay has said he’s impressed by what Tutu Atwell has done in recent weeks, but I’d still pick the more established receiver in this case. — Sarah Barshop

  • The Panthers want to be run-heavy no matter the opponent, which makes DJ Moore somewhat less impactful. But his no-catch performance on Sunday had more to do with being hurt than it did not being a part of the game plan. He has good chemistry with quarterback Sam Darnold and that will continue to be utilized. — David Newton

Quick hits, starts and sits

  • When the Giants and Commanders played in Week 13, Fabian Moreau shadowed Terry McLaurin on 40 of his 43 routes, including all 36 on the boundary and four of six in the slot. It didn’t go particularly well for Moreau, with McLaurin posting an 8-105-1 receiving line on 12 targets. Both Jahan Dotson (5-54-1) and Curtis Samuel (6-63-0) also reached 12 fantasy points in the game. Perhaps New York will change strategy two weeks later, but it might not matter, as Moreau and fellow corners Nick McCloud, Cor’Dale Flott and Darnay Holmes (among others) have struggled to slow receivers. — Clay

  • Play Chigoziem Okonkwo as a sleeper TE or flex. The Titans rookie is coming alive with 16 targets in his past three games, which he has turned into 13 catches for 148 yards and one touchdown. With the running game struggling, Tennessee is searching for answers on offense. Okonkwo is here to help. — Fowler

  • The Chiefs have reduced their backfield to a two-man approach, meaning more work for Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon. Pacheco’s value comes from rushing, and McKinnon’s value is in receiving, but given the offense and the matchup this week (Houston has the worst run defense in the league), both are startable. — Yates

  • Greg Dulcich has seen eight targets in each of his past two games, and the opposing Cardinals have afforded the TE position the most PPR fantasy points per target (2.26). — Cockcroft

  • We should expect Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins to share backfield touches with Gus Edwards this week versus the Browns. And I’m good with that given the juice I saw from Dobbins on the Week 14 tape in the win over Pittsburgh, plus the prime matchup here against the Cleveland defense. Dobbins, who played in his first game since Week 6 (knee), carried the ball 14 times for 120 yards with a low red zone touchdown run. We saw the explosive play ability here from Dobbins, plus the short-area burst to get through the second level. In a game that could be very run-heavy for Baltimore, given the quarterback injuries, I like Dobbins as a solid flex play. — Bowen

Can J.K. Dobbins replicate last week’s success vs. Browns?

Field Yates and Mike Clay have some concerns about J.K. Dobbins sustaining the fantasy success he showed vs. the Steelers.

  • Saints star Alvin Kamara is averaging fewer than 10 PPR points per game over the past five games. You’re probably playing him anyway against the Falcons because it’s Kamara, but shouldn’t we have some doubts here? I’m more likely to trust the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook, as we should, but he has been in single digits in three of four games. — Karabell

  • A lot of our early-season young guys have sorta fizzled out for one reason or another. Travis Etienne Jr. is one who has been really heartbreaking for me because we saw three amazing games from him in Weeks 7-9 and haven’t seen that same production since. He’s a not-very-confident RB20 for me this week, and I would understand if you were trying to find ways not to start him. Same goes for Mike Evans, as if I even need to explain that one. — Dopp

  • I am not thrilled about potentially having to start any of the pass-catchers in Arizona. The matchup at Mile High Stadium against the Denver Broncos is, obviously, rough. Adding a dash of backup quarterback Colt McCoy doesn’t exactly bring holiday cheer to the situation, either. I have DeAndre Hopkins ranked just inside my top 20 and Marquise Brown just inside my top 30. However, if the team I’m facing is projected to score 10-plus points more than my squad, then I might consider reaching for a ceiling play like DeVonta Smith at Chicago or Elijah Moore versus Detroit. — Loza

Source: Read Full Article