Fantasy football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Playoff pressure aplenty this week
Week 15 Start 'em, sit 'em (cont.)
Week 15 Start 'em, sit 'em (cont.)
Week 15 Start 'em, sit 'em (cont.)
You picked a really bad time to be in the playoffs!
Not that you had any say over it, but there are plenty of injuries to major players that will affect the upcoming weekend. The answers I give in this column could change -- and then change back -- as the weekend draws near. So now that you're in the playoffs, so close to a title, you'll want to keep close attention to the fantasy news Sunday morning.
One of the most troubling injuries involves Reggie Bush, who pulled up lame just before his Week 14 game at Philadelphia. If you weren't able to get him out of your lineup and still survived, congratulations.
Since Bush plays Monday night against the Ravens, you won't be able to yank him out of the lineup this week -- unless you were smart enough to handcuff him to Joique Bell! The other option here is if you have Bernard Pierce. And, of course, there's the gamble that you play Bush and he only plays a series or two and pulls up lame again.
Oh man, you picked a REALLY bad time to be in the playoffs!
These Week 15 Start 'em, Sit 'em recommendations are based on standard scoring, non-PPR, 12-team leagues that start 1-QB, 2-RB, 2-WR, 1-TE, 1-FLEX, 1-K and 1-DST. I've tried to list most of the possible players at each position, but if you find one missing -- please comment below, and I'll share my recommendation.
• Redskins: Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon
The Redskins officially shut down Robert Griffin III for the remainder of the season, so Kirk Cousins gets the start in Week 15. The Mike Shanahan situation can't be good for an offense that is struggling to get things going both through the air and on the ground. Atlanta's defense has a way of fixing things for struggling passing games, however. Morris has over 1,000 rushing yards for the second consecutive season, but he is averaging about 50 rushing yards over his past four games. Garcon could actually be rejuvenated with a new quarterback under center.
• Falcons: Matt Ryan, Steven Jackson, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez
Ryan finally has some weapons back, but now he's dealing with his own inconsistency. A snowstorm hindered him a bit Sunday, as it did many quarterbacks, but he did throw a pair of touchdown passes, and now he'll go up against a Redskins team that has allowed more touchdown passes than all but one team. Jackson played well at Green Bay, rushing for nearly five yards per carry, but he was unable to get into the paint. The Redskins defense is just what the fantasy doctor ordered for SJ39. Gonzo's owners got lucky with a play-action pass to the big guy on the two-yard line Sunday, and he should do well against the Redskins as well.
• Redskins: Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin III, Roy Helu, Aldrick Robinson, Logan Paulsen, Jordan Reed, Kai Forbath, Redskins DST
Paulsen has taken over for Reed (concussion), and if he starts again in Reed's place, he deserves a look in weekly fantasy leagues against the Falcons, but not in traditional play. Paulsen has scored in back-to-back games, and the Falcons are below average against tight ends.
• Falcons: Jacquizz Rodgers, Harry Douglas, Matt Bryant, Falcons DST
Douglas was thrown to seven times in Week 13, but that's a drop of about 40 percent of his average targets from the previous six games. The Falcons have plenty of healthy weapons available for Ryan these days, so Douglas isn't quite as valuable as he once was. Bryant has scored 10 or more points just once in his past nine games. Snowy conditions helped the Falcons defense, but that likely won't happen in Atlanta in Week 14.
• 49ers: Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, 49ers DST
Gore surprisingly rushed for over 100 yards against Seattle for the first time since Week 6, and the Bucs rush defense is still overrated (no matter what Week 14 tells you). Davis has scored in four consecutive games, even though he has just 14 catches in that span.
• Buccaneers: Bobby Rainey, Vincent Jackson
Rainey broke off an 80-yard touchdown run to start the game, but did little after that, with just 21 carries for 47 yards. The Niners are tough, but he gets the lion's share of carries, and that makes him a solid RB2 this weekend. While Jackson has just eight catches over the past three games, he's still a productive fantasy wide receiver. Over the past four games, he has 371 receiving yards.
• 49ers: Colin Kaepernick, Kendall Hunter, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Phil Dawson
Despite going up against a Bucs team that recorded seven sacks in Week 14, Kaepernick remains an intriguing option because of his ability to tuck and run if need be (he nearly scored a rushing touchdown in Week 14). There are just a lot of good quarterback plays this week, and the Bucs have 12 interceptions in their past four games. Boldin faced Seahawks CB Richard Sherman in Week 13, and now he gets CB Darrelle Revis.
• Buccaneers: Mike Glennon, Brian Leonard, Tiquan Underwood, Tim Wright, Rian Lindell, Buccaneers DST
Glennon completed just nine passes against the Bills, and he still hasn't returned to his November form. The Buccaneers defense had a big day against the Bills, but that was likely more of a case where Buffalo imploded than it was Tampa Bay dominated. The 49ers are a much better offense, with a much better offensive line. Wright has played very well recently, and he caught his third touchdown pass of the season on Sunday. The Niners are tough on tight ends, however.
• Seahawks: Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Steven Hauschka, Seahawks DST
Wilson had 14 touchdown passes in his six games before Week 14, and he should go back to multi-TD passes against the Giants this week. Lynch has now gone over 1,000 rushing yards in three consecutive seasons, and he remains a top-five running back in fantasy.
• Giants: Andre Brown, Victor Cruz
Brown has been one of the best fantasy running backs over the past three weeks, and deserves a starting nod against a Seahawks defense that can be had on the ground. Cruz should also play well while working underneath, even though he hasn't scored since Week 4, and he has just one 100-yard game since then.
• Seahawks: Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Zach Miller, Luke Willson
Harvin has missed two games since his 2013 Seahawks debut, and fantasy owners in the playoffs should steer clear. Tate has been average, while Baldwin has actually been the up-and-down fantasy player. If Harvin doesn't play, consider Baldwin the better bet for a touchdown over Tate if you're in a dice-rolling mood. Luke Willson led the Seahawks with 70 receiving yards and a touchdown in Week 14, but the rookie will need to do it consistently before we trust him in fantasy.
• Giants: Eli Manning, Rueben Randle, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Myers, Josh Brown, Giants DST
Manning didn't do so great against the team he asked not to draft him (San Diego), and now he has nine games with one or fewer touchdown passes this season. He's on pace for his worst season since his rookie year, a decade ago. While Hakeem Nicks had his best game of the season in Week 14, he will now be going up against CB Richard Sherman for much of Week 15.
• Eagles: Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Alex Henery, Eagles DST
In a snowstorm, Foles threw for just one touchdown against Detroit, but he also threw his first interception of the season. Now he'll face one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, and he'll play a big part in why his fantasy owners move on to Week 16 fantasy championship games. While "Shady" is certainly a cool nickname for LeSean McCoy, it might also be time to add "The Mailman" to his list of monikers, after he showed us in Week 14 how snow won't stop him from delivering in fantasy each week. He rushed for a franchise-record 217 yards in a blizzard against Detroit.
• Vikings: Toby Gerhart, Cordarrelle Patterson
Fantasy owners lucky enough to get the No. 1 overall draft pick this season will now be faced with a very tough decision: Do you start a hobbled A.P. (ankle) if he plays against the Eagles in your fantasy playoffs? We'll know by Friday if Peterson will play or not. If you have great backup options, consider reserving him, but otherwise, he's a must-start player any time he steps on the field. It's scary to rely on rookies in the late NFL weeks, but Patterson now has a touchdown in three of his past five games. Use him as a WR3 or flex player this week, as the Vikings might be forced to lean on their passing game. No defense is worse than the Eagles against fantasy wide receivers.
• Eagles: Brent Celek, Zach Ertz
On a day when the Eagles completed just nine passes in a blizzard, the Eagles tight ends caught just two passes (both by Celek). The Vikings are very bad at stopping tight ends, but it's tough to go with one over the other.
• Vikings: Matt Cassel, Adrian Peterson, Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright, John Carlson, Blair Walsh, Vikings DST
Carlson suffered a concussion, stopping his impressive recent stretch a little early, also allowing fantasy owners to look elsewhere for a tight end to stream in Week 14. Gerhart is more than capable behind this offensive line, so if Peterson is scratched, you could do worse than Gerhart.
MORE WEEK 15 FANTASY FOOTBALL CONTENT:
• Patriots: Tom Brady, Shane Vereen, Julian Edelman, Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots DST
Brady lost his tight end (and favorite 2013 target) Rob Gronkowski to a torn ACL for the remainder of the season, which means he could revert back to his mid-2013 fantasy status, when he was throwing one or fewer touchdown passes in four of five games. The difference between then and now, however, is the return of Vereen in the backfield. He caught twice as many passes (12) as any other Patriots player Sunday.
• Dolphins: Lamar Miller, Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Charles Clay
Miller suffered a concussion Sunday, but he was back on the practice field Wednesday, so he should be fine. Has there been a more frustrating wide receiver this season than Mike Wallace? Every time you give up on him, he has a big game, then falls back into obscurity shortly thereafter. He caught just three of 10 targets for 41 yards in Week 8 against the Patriots, and he was disappointing against the Steelers (although, a snowstorm takes some of the blame). In the playoffs, you have to go with your big horses, and unless you have a good alternative, Wallace is worth a start this week. Hartline, meanwhile, has been much more consistent, week in and week out, no matter what the weather has been like. He has 29 catches for 378 yards and two touchdowns in his past five games. Did you know that Charles Clay has scored more fantasy points than just a handful of tight ends?
• Patriots: Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Michael Hoomanawanui
While Amendola did catch his second touchdown of the season, he hasn't gone over 60 receiving yards in his past four games. Blount and Ridley are essentially sharing touches at this point, hurting the fantasy value of both. The Dolphins had given up just one touchdown catch to wide receivers before giving up three to the Steelers in Week 14.
• Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, Rishard Matthews, Caleb Sturgis, Dolphins DST
The Dolphins defense will be suggested starts in Weeks 16 (at Buffalo) and 17 (vs. N.Y. Jets), and even though they're going up against a Gronk-less Patriots team that they held to 100 passing yards in Week 8, they're a "sit" this week.
• Bills: Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson, Bills DST
Jackson and Spiller were both huge disappointments against the Buccaneers, with their quarterback leading the team in rushing yards (29). They should bounce back in Week 14, although the Jaguars are much improved and haven't allowed over 100 rushing yards in their past five games. Even so, Jackson and Spiller can attack on the ground and through the air, and the Jaguars don't have the speed to match them. Johnson has a Steve-Smith quality to him this season, with about 50-60 yards each game. But only a couple teams have allowed more touchdown passes than Jacksonville's 25 this season.
• Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew, Cecil Shorts
You might be surprised to know that MJD ranks among the top 10 running backs in fantasy points over his past five games, totaling 328 rushing yards, 129 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The Bills gave up an 80-yard touchdown run to Bobby Rainey in Week 14, and MJD hopes to duplicate that. Shorts has two touchdowns in his past couple games, but with limited yardage. He should blossom against a Bills defense that has allowed 2,409 passing yards and a league-high 17 touchdowns to receivers this season.
• Bills: E.J Manuel, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Scott Chandler, Dan Carpenter
Manuel threw four interceptions in Tampa, and he's still trying to piece together a good ending to his rocky rookie season. Woods hasn't scored since Week 4, and he hasn't eclipsed 50 receiving yards since Week 5.
• Jaguars: Chad Henne, Jordan Todman, Mike Brown, Ace Sanders, Marcedes Lewis, Josh Scobee, Jaguars DST
Brown and Sanders might end up being good plays in weekly fantasy leagues, considering their low prices and the Bills' inability to stop the passing game. But traditional leagues should have better options available to them in their fantasy playoffs.
• Texans: Ben Tate, Andre Johnson
Tate didn't do much against the Jaguars, but now he faces a rushing defense that's actually worse. The Colts have allowed over 130 rushing yards per game, and an average of one rushing touchdown per game. Johnson plays well no matter who is starting under center, so he remains a must-start in one of his best seasons. If Johnson averages 107 receiving yards over the next three weeks, he'll eclipse his career-high in receiving yards.
• Colts: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Adam Vinatieri
The Texans have given up 27 or more points in five of their past six games, and Andrew Luck is coming off a huge game, throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdown passes. That was his best game of the season, and now he faces a Texans team that is ranked second against the pass, even though they have a league-low five interceptions. The Texans are troubled, with a new coach at the helm, but they've had 10 days to prepare for this Colts offense. Lean on the side of good Luck against the Texans' bad luck.
• Texans: Case Keenum, Matt Schaub, DeAndre Hopkins, Garrett Graham, Randy Bullock, Texans DST
Keenum gets the start again, even though Matt Schaub has replaced him twice in the past few games. While Keenum played well against the Colts in Week 9, Indianapolis should be able to make short work of him. Graham has been red hot in recent weeks, but he's going up against a defense that's been very tough against fantasy tight ends.
• Colts: Donald Brown, Trent Richardson, T.Y. Hilton, Da'Rick Rogers, Lavon Brazill, Colts DST
Richardson got more involved in the passing game this past weekend against the Bengals, but starting him against the Texans is a gamble, with Brown expected to have the better game. It's really difficult to recommend either of them this week, however. Hilton needs some help from the youngsters around him before we recommend him again.
• Bears: Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett
Even though Josh McCown, not Peyton Manning, leads fantasy quarterbacks in scoring over the past three weeks, with 1,055 yards, eight touchdown passes and one interception, the Bears said the starting job was Jay Cutler's once he got over his injuries. The Bears have too many weapons for Cutler to fall flat on his face. There will be signs of rust, yes, but not enough to bench a guy throwing to Marshall, Jeffery and Forte. The Bears didn't have to punt once against the horrible Cowboys defense. Marshall and Jeffery are the best fantasy WR tandem in the league -- period, and they're opening up space for Forte, who is on pace for a career season, with highs in rushing yards, receiving yards, receptions and total touchdowns. Gould has kicked at least two field goals in seven of his past eight games.
• Browns: Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron
McGahee is a question mark this week because of a concussion suffered Sunday. He has yet to eclipse 100 rushing yards in a game this season, and he has just one touchdown run in his past eight games. But the Bears have the worst rushing defense in the NFL, giving up 157 rushing yards per game. If he plays, consider using him as a flex only. Gordon should also see great success, although, the Bears have stiffened against the pass in recent weeks. Gordon's 774 receiving yards in his past four games are the most in a four-game stretch in NFL history, according to Stats, Inc. While the Bears have allowed just four touchdown catches to tight ends this season, they have given up a lot of yardage to the position, with only a couple teams allowing more in 2013. Cameron is coming off his second-best game of the season.
• Bears: Michael Bush, Robbie Gould, Bears DST
If you've gotten this far in the playoffs, you know not to start these guys.
• Browns: Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell, Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya, Greg Little, Billy Cundiff, Browns DST
Campbell dropped a career-high 391 yards and three touchdown passes on the Patriots in Week 14, and he has played well when healthy. And while the Bears aren't great defensively, there are only 12 recommended fantasy quarterbacks in a given week. Campbell just doesn't instill confidence in anyone -- including the Browns. Ogbonnaya might start if McGahee is out, and he could be a very good weekly fantasy league play because of his cheap price.
• Chiefs: Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Ryan Succop, Chiefs DST
Through the first nine weeks of the season, Bowe was a fantasy afterthought, catching just two touchdown passes and never eclipsing 70 yards in a game. In his past four games, he has three touchdown catches -- but he still hasn't eclipsed 70 receiving yards! The Chiefs defense had four sacks Sunday during their beatdown of Washington, and they scored on both a punt and a kickoff return.
• Raiders: Rashad Jennings, Rod Streater
Jennings (concussion) missed Week 14, but he's ready to go in Week 15. Unfortunately, he's going up against a tough Chiefs defense. Teams have actually had some success on the ground against the Chiefs, and Jennings should see the bulk of the carries. Streater caught seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown against the Jets, and now he has built up a nice rapport with QB Matt McGloin. He'll be the focus in their passing game once again.
• Chiefs: Alex Smith, Knile Davis, Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster, Anthony Fasano
In a game where Alex Smith was supposed to post great fantasy numbers, he was average, throwing for two touchdowns and just 137 yards against Washington. With the NFL playoffs just around the corner, the Chiefs may pull Charles out of another blowout, and give Davis more snaps. He should be owned as a handcuff, and considered in weekly fantasy leagues as a cheap flex option.
• Raiders: Matt McGloin, Terrelle Pryor, Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece, Denarius Moore, Andre Holmes, Mychal Rivera, Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders DST
McGloin played well against the Jets, but he's not worth considering in fantasy just yet. Holmes' follow-up to a breakout Turkey Day saw him catch just three passes for 63 yards. If Moore misses his third straight game, Holmes will have value in weekly leagues.
• Jets: None
The Panthers have a formidable rush defense, leading the NFL with a scant 79 rushing yards allowed per game. That should be enough to reserve Ivory during your fantasy playoffs. He's really the only player you should have been thinking about starting.
• Panthers: Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, Graham Gano, Panthers DST
The Jets have trouble with opponents' passing games, with just eight interceptions on the year. While Smith isn't an ideal fantasy play in Week 15, Newton likes to go to both Olsen and Smith when he does throw the ball. Smith caught his first touchdown pass in seven games in Week 14, but he still hasn't gone over 100 yards in a game this season.
• Jets: Geno Smith, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, Kellen Winslow, Nick Folk, Jets DST
The Jets offense was much better in Week 14, but that was against the Raiders defense, and not against a Panthers defense that ranks among the best in the NFL.
• Panthers: Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr.
While the Panthers defense leads the NFL in rushing yards allowed, the Jets defense is close behind, allowing just 82 rushing yards per game.
• Packers: Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Mason Crosby
Matt Flynn played well against the Falcons, slightly reviving Nelson's fantasy life, and both should have very good days against a Cowboys defense that can't stop anyone. The Packers should do pretty well through the air, although Flynn will also likely throw some picks. But playing James Jones as a flex or WR3 isn't a bad option.
• Cowboys: Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey
The Bears held Romo to just 110 passing yards in Week 14, but the veteran was still able to throw three touchdown passes -- on just nine completions. Only six teams have given up more passing touchdowns than the Packers. Bryant should bounce back, as well, and Murray has more fantasy points than all but two running backs (Jamaal Charles and Knowshon Moreno) in the past three weeks.
• Packers: Matt Flynn, Aaron Rodgers, James Starks, Jarrett Boykin, Packers DST
Since the Packers are still alive, there's a good chance Rodgers doesn't get shut down, and returns to play soon. Flynn showed a preference for his tight end, targeting Andrew Quarless seven times for six catches, 66 yards and a touchdown. He's a nice play in weekly leagues, but traditional owners should have plenty of other options to choose from.
• Cowboys: Terrance Williams, Miles Austin, Cole Beasley, Cowboys DST
Eight Cowboys wide receivers caught a pass in Week 14, but six of the eight co-led the team with two catches. That's not good for Austin or Williams. And Beasley is pretty active underneath, so keep him in mind as a WR3 in weekly fantasy leagues.
• Cardinals: Rashard Mendenhall, Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals DST
Both Mendenhall and Ellington got into the end zone against the Rams. While we still like Ellington toward the end of the season more, Mendenhall continues to see a lot of action in Bruce Arians' offense. Fitzgerald is still a solid fantasy play -- even against a tough Titans pass defense.
• Titans: Chris Johnson, Delanie Walker
The Titans have a very favorable schedule coming up, and the Cardinals star rookie CB Tyrann Mathieu (knee) is out for the season, which could make things a bit easier for Tennessee. Despite the upcoming schedule, Johnson will have a tough time running against a defense that has allowed just five rushing touchdowns this season. Walker makes for a great sleeper play if you find yourself Gronk-less this week. The Cardinals are horrible against tight ends this season, and he's healthy again.
• Cardinals: Carson Palmer, Andre Ellington, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, Rob Housler, Jay Feely
Palmer's streak of 300-yard games stopped at three, but he was able to play through an elbow injury, and he should be OK for Week 15. However, no defense has allowed fewer passing touchdowns than the Titans.
• Titans: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shonn Greene, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, Justin Hunter, Rob Bironas, Titans DST
Fitzpatrick doesn't do a lot of bad things -- but he also doesn't do a lot of good things. And fantasy owners are really just interested in the latter. Yes, we know Greene scored two rushing touchdowns last week, but the Cardinals won't give him those chances.
• Saints: Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Garrett Hartley
Brees sliced through the tough Panthers defense like a hot knife through butter. For the fourth time this season, Brees threw at least four touchdown passes, and now he faces a Rams defense that ranks in the bottom third in pass defense. Colston had, by far, his best game of the season in Week 14, and the Rams should help him continue his hot trend.
• Rams: Zac Stacy
The Cardinals stuffed Stacy in Week 14, holding him to just 25 yards on 14 carries. But he did get a touchdown to offset the bad afternoon. This game, against a Saints team that's average against the run, should be Stacy's best in his final three (Week 16 vs. TB, Week 17 at SEA).
• Saints: Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Kenny Stills, Lance Moore, Saints DST
Thomas is suddenly off the fantasy radar, with just 14 rushing yards in his past two games. The Saints had six players tote the rock in Week 14, but it was Thomas who led them all with seven carries. We keep waiting for more big games out of guys like Moore and Stills, but they just don't come. And while Thomas has struggled, Sproles hasn't been able to take back a chunk of the snaps at tailback.
• Rams: Kellen Clemens, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Stedman Bailey, Jared Cook, Greg Zuerlein, Rams DST
Austin continues to be a fantasy conundrum, as four players got more catches than the rookie, but he was the team's leading rusher in Week 14, with a 56-yard run. If you play in big leagues, or you use deep lineups, with three wide receivers and a flex spot, Austin works as a nice wild card. Cook was all set for a huge game, and while he led the Rams with three catches for 49 yards, it was still a disappointment. It won't get better in Week 15 against a Saints defense that is tough on tight ends.
• Bengals: Giovani Bernard, A.J. Green, Bengals DST
The Dolphins ran for over 180 yards against the Steelers in Week 14, and Bernard was one yard short of his first 100-yard game last week. He also scored twice the last time these teams played. While the Steelers offense has been playing very well, the Bengals held the Steelers to just 10 points in Week 2, and they're a good bet in this cold weather game.
• Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Heath Miller
Big Ben has been not bad! No quarterback has more touchdowns since Week 9 (Peyton Manning ties him with 16). He threw for 251 yards and one touchdown against the Bengals in Week 2, but the team has come on in recent weeks. The Bengals are tough against the run, so Bell and this offensive line are going to have a tough time in Pittsburgh. While Bell hasn't rushed for over 100 yards in a game yet this season, and the Bengals have only allowed three rushing touchdowns to running backs, the rookie out of Michigan State is still a recommended start. He has picked it up in each of the past three weeks, and he's heavily involved in the passing game (12 catches over the past two weeks).
• Bengals: Andy Dalton, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Tyler Eifert, Jermaine Gresham, Mike Nugent
BJGE isn't a horrible option this week, especially after scoring three touchdowns in his past two games, but even though he's getting the red-zone touches, we like Bernard as the better play. The rookie could go over 100 yards for the first time, and only a handful of defenses have allowed more receiving yards to running backs than Pittsburgh.
• Steelers: Felix Jones, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Shaun Suisham, Steelers DST
There are a lot of good fantasy options at receiver this week, so some guys are getting squeezed out -- like Sanders, who has a touchdown catch in each of his past three games. Suisham hasn't made -- or even attempted a field goal in his past two games.
• Ravens: Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta, Justin Tucker
Can I sit Ray Rice? No. Am I excited about starting him against a very tough Lions rush defense? Yes. Do I hate people that interview themselves? Of course. Rice is the main ball carrier still, and he's involved in the passing game (five catches in Week 14). The Lions gave up nearly 300 rushing yards to the Eagles, but the blizzard affected their ability to chase down LeSean McCoy a lot. Rice is a low-end RB2 this week. Smith put up a stinker in a snowstorm, so expect him to bounce back big time. Pitta, meanwhile, is officially back, catching a touchdown against the Vikings, and he's still a solid start against a Lions team that has allowed just one touchdown to tight ends this season. They actually give up a chunk of receiving yards to tight ends, and only a few defenses have allowed more receptions to tight ends in 2013.
• Lions: Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson
It's tough to gather much information from the Week 14 contest at Philadelphia, considering the blizzard they played in. Stafford didn't throw any touchdown passes against one of the weakest pass defenses in the NFL, and a calf injury prevented Bush from playing. Stafford remains a must-start player, as does Megatron, who caught just three passes. Bush, however, could be a question mark up until Monday night. If he's out, Joique Bell proved to be a fantastic start in the snow, and should be an even better play in the dome.
• Ravens: Joe Flacco, Bernard Pierce, Jacoby Jones, Marlon Brown, Ravens DST
Flacco is coming off one of his best games of the second half of the season, but the Lions defense isn't as bad as Minnesota's. As a matter of fact, they're pretty good, and Flacco returns to the "good NFL QB, bad fantasy QB" pile, with Troy Aikman as its captain. Marlon Brown led the Ravens in receiving in Week 14, but Torrey Smith should take most of those targets back in Week 15.
• Lions: Joique Bell, Kris Durham, Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, David Akers, Lions DST
The Ravens have allowed just three rushing touchdowns this season, so it's doubtful both Bush and Bell will be good starts, although we still like whoever ends up starting this game at tailback. Burleson has been a great big disappointment since his big game coming back from a broken forearm.
David Gonos is a fantasy sports veteran of over 20 years and over 100 fantasy football leagues. You can also follow him @davidgonos on Twitter. If you have some good Week 15 Start 'em, Sit 'em opinions, drop them in the comments below.