Week 15: Sleepers of the Week
If one of your normal starters is injured or facing a tough match-up, here are some players you might consider starting in their place. While these players may not be every week starters, they are good bets to perform well this week. Most of the players that will be listed are on fantasy rosters, but not normally starters.
Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in a week 15 Thursday night game. Dalton has put up good numbers this season, but still gets little love in fantasy leagues, as he is currently started in just 36 percent of leagues. Prior to his one touchdown performance in week 14, Dalton had gone four straight games with at least two total touchdowns, as he totaled 11 touchdowns in these four games. I expect Dalton to bounce back this week against the Eagles, making him a top 10-12 fantasy option going into many leagu'es semi-final matchups. If your normal starting quarterback is facing a difficult matchup, Dalton is the perfect option to stick into your lineup for the week. Fantasy owners should get the second year quarterback into their lineups and can expect at least 235 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers travel to New England to take on the Patriots in week 15. Kaepernick is coming off a good game against the Miami Dolphins in which he threw for 185 yards, while also adding 53 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Kapernick's running ability makes him a dual threat in fantasy leagues, as he has scored three rushing touchdowns over the past five games. Kaepernick will face a tough test in week 15, as the Patriots completely stifled the Texans offense in week 14, but have also been allowing 275 pass yards per game on the season. I would start Kaepernick this week as a low end QB 1, with upside based on his rushing ability. Fantasy owners can start the second year quarterback and can expect at least 225 total yards and two touchdowns.
Shonn Greene and the New York Jets travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans in the week 15 Monday night game. Greene is coming off a 20 carry, 77 yard, one touchdown performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars, his second straight game with at least ten fantasy points. Despite his poor play at times this season, the Jets have stuck by Greene all season and he has touched the ball 44 times over the last two games. The Jets know that they have to run the ball if they are going to win games, making it likely that Greene tops 20 touches again this week. The Titans run defense has struggled this season, giving up an average of 127 yards per game, 22nd in the league. Fantasy owners who have been keeping Greene on their bench can activate him this week and can expect close to 100 yards and a touchdown.
David WIlson and the New York Giants travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in week 15. The rookie running back made a major impact out of the Giants backfield for the first time in week 14, rushing 13 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns, while also adding 227 kick return yards and another touchdown. The Giants have been trying to get Wilson more involved in the offense, and following this performance, it is likely that he will touch the ball at least ten times this week 9if Ahmad Bradshaw is healthy and able to play against the Falcons). Fantasy owners should monitor Bradshaw's injury throughout the week, and if he is unable to suit up, Wilson will be a huge fantasy factor. Either way, Wilson should be picked up off the waiver wire, as he is available in more than 40 percent of fantasy leagues. The Falcons currently rank 22nd in rush defense, making it likely that the Giants will come out looking to establish the run. Fantasy owners can start David Wilson as a Flex play this week and can expect at least 60 yards and a touchdown, with the potential for much more if Ahmad Bradshaw is out.
Darrius Heyward-Bey and the Oakland Raiders face the Kansas City Chiefs in week 15. Heyward-Bey is coming off a good game in week 14 against the Denver Broncos in which he caught five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. He had been struggling in the weeks leading up to this game, but this could be the start of a late season push from the former first round pick. Carson Palmer and the Raiders passing game have been putting up good numbers for most the season, and that should continue this week against a Chiefs defense that he threw for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns against in week eight. I expect an even bigger game from both Palmer and Heyward-Bey in this rematch. Fantasy owners can start Darrius Heyward-Bey as a WR 3 and can expect 75 yards and a touchdown.