Fantasy Football Week 15 Start Em’/Sit Em’
Image: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
By: Dustin Dietz
We have reached the second round of the playoffs in most fantasy leagues, and if one is fortunate enough to still be playing, I congratulate you in a way I promise is strictly platonic. I myself am still alive in both of the leagues I play in, and I pray to the fantasy Gods I am rewarded with a handsome sum at the end of the season.
Before I provide fantasy owners with information which will undoubtedly lose them playoff games this week, if the reader does not mind, I would like to toot my own horn very briefly. I am commissioner of what I believe is the greatest fantasy football league in the world, The Huge Ten Fantasy Football League. The league features nine (not including myself) of the most shrewd, astute, and intelligent fantasy owners. Winning this league is not very simple. In the 9 seasons of operation, I have yet to win a title, and I have advanced to the playoffs in every season. In fact, I have not won a playoff game in 5 years. However, this past week, I finally ended the 5 year playoff win drought as I defeated a team I am unable to write the name of because I would probably offend most readers.
Since a lot of time had passed since I last won a fantasy playoff game in my league, I thought I would highlight some events of the past five years just to stress how extended of a time period my fantasy playoff failure really was.
- The New York Giants have defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, twice.
- The San Francisco Giants have won the World Series, twice.
- The Texas Rangers have won the American League pennant, twice.
- The Butler Bulldogs college basketball team played in the National Championship game, twice.
- The Dallas Cowboys won a playoff game.
- The Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Finals.
- I started, and finished, college.
- Apple released 4 new versions of the iPhone.
- Myspace was still popular, and no one knew what a hashtag was yet.
The list could be rather interminable if I wanted it to be. However, I have the prerogative of providing the reader with some predictably terrible fantasy advice. So, without further ado, here is my Start Em’/Sit Em’ for Week 15. Good luck to everyone in the playoffs.
QB – Brandon Weeden vs. Washington Redskins
Yes, I realize many owners who are this desperate at quarterback are probably no longer playing for anything important. However, if one is fortunate enough to still be in the hunt and needs solid production from the QB position this week, slide the antiquated rookie into your lineup as he opposes a defense which is second worst in the league in defending the pass. The Redskins allowed over 215 yards passing in every road game of the season, including four games over 300 yards.
RB – Reggie Bush vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Reggie Bush has been incredibly frustrating for the majority of the season as he has been taken out on 3rd down and goal line plays for most of the year. However, Joe Philbin has finally discovered Bush is the best offensive weapon the Dolphins employ and he has finally begun using Bush in passing situations the last few weeks. The Jaguars allow the second most fantasy points to opposing running backs, and with Bush playing to earn a new contract for next season, I expect double digit fantasy points.
WR – Marques Colston vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doctors would diagnose the Buccaneers defense with bipolar disorder. Tampa Bay has the number one ranked defense against the run, but is ranked dead last against the pass. Even Eagles QB Nick Foles threw for 338 yards against them last week. Expect at least 70 yards and a TD from the Saints top WR.
TE – Dennis Pitta vs. Denver Broncos
The Broncos defense is formidable, but for some strange reason, they have difficulty containing tight ends. Denver has allowed the second most fantasy points, and the most touchdowns to opposing tight ends. However, I did find an ominous statistic for fantasy owners in need of Pitta’s services this week. The last three games after Pitta has caught a touchdown, he has combined for 1 fantasy point in the three games. Pitta caught a touchdown last week. So, beware of a possible letdown.
K – Ryan Succop vs. Oakland Raiders
In the battle of the titans of the NFL, I like Succop to score at least 9 fantasy points as Oakland allows the most points to opposing kickers in fantasy football. Last week was the first week since Week 6 Succop failed to kick 2 or more field goals. He is a sneaky play for the bold.
Defense/Special Teams – Detroit Lions
Normally, I do not recommend starting 4-9 teams in the fantasy playoffs. However, this week the Lions are up against one of the worst offenses in recent NFL history as they face the pathetic Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have scored the fewest points in the league (186) and have turned the ball over in every game except one this year, including a mind boggling 8 last week in a humiliating 58-0 loss to Seattle. Arizona allows close to 4 sacks per game, and with the indomitable force known as Ndamukong Suh ready to unleash a can of whoop ass on the Cards this week, things could get really ugly.
QB – Tony Romo vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Romo engineered a magnificent game winning drive in an emotional win over the Bengals last week following the death of practice squad player Jerry Brown. Tony has only thrown three interceptions in his last six games after he and the offense got off to a horrendous start in the first quarter of the season. Pittsburgh had trouble defending the pass last week in a loss to the Chargers as their best corner Ike Taylor was out with an injury. Taylor is out again this week, but I expect the Steelers number one ranked pass defense to return to form.
RB – Stevan Ridley vs. San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco allows the second fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, and Ridley seems to be a fumble away from returning to Bill Belichick’s doghouse after another fumble which almost cost the Pats points last week. New England will score points as no team has been able to hold their offense in check, but the Patriots will be moving the ball through the air rather than on the ground.
WR – Stevie Johnson vs. Seattle Seahawks
Johnson has caught one touchdown since Week 8, and has only topped 100 yards receiving one time in 2012. The weather in Buffalo this time of year usually is not very pleasant, and Seattle allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. The situation looks dire for Mr. Johnson Sunday.
TE – Jermichael Finley vs. Chicago Bears
The former Texas Longhorn continues to not live up to preseason fantasy hype as he has only topped 6 fantasy points twice this season. Chicago allows the third fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
K – David Akers vs. New England Patriots
New England allows the fifth fewest fantasy points to kickers, and has allowed only 16.1 points per game on defense over the past three weeks. The grizzled veteran Akers has actually struggled in 2012 as he has missed 9 field goals.
Defense/Special Teams – San Francisco 49ers
Normally, the 49ers are a D/ST one can plug in every week and not even have to be concerned with whom they are playing. However, this week they face the exceptional Tom Brady and the Patriots offense. New England has scored fewer than 23 points only once this season, and that was all the way back in Week 2. The incredibly precise Brady has thrown 4 interceptions the entire season, and the Pats have turned the ball over the fewest times in the NFL. The Niners have their hands full Sunday night.
Follow Dustin Dietz on Twitter @DustinDietz18