At last, the fantasy football playoffs are set to begin, and identifying sleepers will be crucial even though there are no longer bye weeks to deal with. Injuries, COVID complications, and other factors will leave fantasy owners looking for Week 15 streamers and handcuffs as we march closer to the conclusion of fantasy season. As always, we’re here to help you identify under-the-radar values specific to this week. Whether it’s with players on your roster or those sitting on the waiver wire, there are always guys, such as Chase Edmonds and Tua Tagovailoa, with sneaky upside ready to enter your lineups
It’s worth noting that any of our selections could bust this week, but so could bona fide studs. We’re taking some chances here, as we don’t want to say anyone too obvious. A list of easy choices wouldn’t do anyone any good. You aren’t going to start the guys below over consistent, proven producers, but you’re probably not searching for fantasy sleepers if your lineup is set. However, even if that’s the case, our sleepers list can help you find value in DFS contests, as the prices of these players should be affordable.
WEEK 15 FANTASY: Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em
Last week, headliners Taysom Hill and D’Onta Foreman delivered, and the success didn’t end there. Gerald Everett and Chubba Hubbard salvaged their performances with touchdowns, and Austin Hooper and the Chargers’ defense came through for us, too. Long-shots Evan Engram and Marquez Valdes-Scantling didn’t hold up their ends of the bargain, but we can’t act surprised in that regard. We’ll also take the L on Jamison Crowder and Taylor Heinicke, but we are surprised they had their worst games of the season.
All in all, we didn’t have many disasters, so we’re ready to hit big when it matters most.
WEEK 15 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide Receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 15 Fantasy Sleepers: Running backs
D’Onta Forman, Titans @ Steelers (Jackson Sparks). The days of the Steelers boasting an elite defense appear to be over, and Foreman is clearly the lead back in Tennessee until further notice. The Steelers give up the ninth-most fantasy points to RBs, and Foreman will have plenty of chances in the red zone.
Malcolm Brown, Dolphins vs. Jets (Vinnie Iyer). They might need to activate Brown (quad) off IR this week with everyone else in the COVID-19 protocol, so they can avoid leaning on Duke Johnson in the best fantasy spot for running backs this season. (Update: Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed have been activated off the reserve/COVID list, removing Brown from any serious fantasy consideration.)
Chase Edmonds, Cardinals @ Lions (Matt Lutovsky). Edmonds (ankle) is fully expected back this week, but James Conner (ankle) is suddenly dealing with an injury himself. Either way, Edmonds is in a good spot to produce against a Lions defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to RBs this year. Edmonds isn’t necessarily a high-ceiling play (unless Conner is out), but he’s definitely a high floor guy in this matchup.
WEEK 15 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide Receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 15 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Quarterbacks
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins vs. Jets (Sparks). Tagovaila is basically a lock for 30-plus passing attempts, and since the Dolphins struggle to run the football with one of the worst offensive lines in the league, Tua often hogs the red-zone touchdowns with passing or rushing scores. Despite being on the wrong end of a ton of blowouts, the Jets give up the eighth-most fantasy points to QBs. Again, Miami isn’t capable of simply running the ball to victory, even in this matchup.
Justin Fields, Bears vs. Vikings (Iyer). Fields has been a dream the past three fully healthy games, as he’s become more fearless in throwing the ball and also padding his stats with the rushing we want. If you start him, he will come … with more QB1 numbers.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers vs. Falcons (Lutovsky). Jimmy G has multiple TDs in five of his past six games, and he’s had at least 296 passing yards in each of his past two games. The Falcons allow the eighth-most fantasy points to QBs, so with all of his weapons back, Garoppolo is likely to have another solid outing.
WEEK 15 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel | Yahoo
Week 15 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Wide receivers
DeVante Parker, Dolphins vs. Jets (Sparks). Parker benefits from the consistent pass-happy game script in Miami, and although New York is statically decent against fantasy WRs, recent matchups with the Eagles, Texans, and Saints have skewed their numbers to look more favorable. Parker is one of the best flex plays in Week 15. (Update: With Jaylen Waddle on the reserve/COVID list, Parker is an even better option.)
Russell Gage, Falcons @ 49ers (Iyer). Gage has operated like their No. 1, and Matt Ryan should have plenty of garbage volume late against a limited secondary.
Damiere Byrd, Bears vs. Vikings (Lutovsky). We originally had Allen Robinson in this spot, but after he landed the reserve/COVID list, we’re swapping in Byrd. He had a long TD in Week 13, but more important, he played 58 percent of offensive snaps, which is actually low for him. The two weeks prior when Robinson was out, he played 76 and 86 percent, respectively. Against a Vikings defense allowing the most fantasy points to WRs, Byrd has a chance fly high again.
MORE WEEK 15 DFS: Best stacks | Best values | Lineup builder
Week 15 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Tight ends
Ricky Seals-Jones, Washington @ Eagles (Sparks). Seals-Jones was a victim of Taylor Heinicke’s worst game of the year against Dallas, but the Eagles are by far the worst defense against fantasy TEs. We’ve seen RSJ be productive earlier in the season when Logan Thomas was out. It was also just Seals-Jones’ first game back from an injury of his own last week, so he should be healthier heading into this one.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys @ Giants (Iyer). He’s done nothing of late, but he can do something sergeant-like against a defense that screams throw to his position to help get Rayne Dakota out of a slump.
James O’Shaughnessy, Jaguars vs. Texans (Lutovsky). With 17 targets in his past three games, O’Shaughnessy is getting opportunities. The production hasn’t been there (12 catches, 63 yards), but eventually O’Shaughnessy figures to cash in with a good amount of yards or a short TD. Houston allows the 10th-most fantasy points to TEs, so this is a pretty good spot if you need a TE streamer.
Week 15 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Defense
Cincinnati Bengals @ Broncos (Sparks). The Broncos’ offense is as stale as it gets, so if the Bengals can load the box and stop the Denver rushing attack, we don’t expect Teddy Bridgewater and Co. to answer in the passing game. This feels like the week the Bengals show up and the Broncos fall flat. We’ve seen both happen several times this season.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington (Iyer). The Heinicke fun is done, and Philly will fly around making big plays.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Falcons (Lutovsky). The Falcons’ offense is playing better, the 49ers’ D/ST has made bigger strides over its past five games. In that span, it’s posted 15 sacks and 11 takeaways, so even if Atlanta scores points, the Niners will pay off.