In Week 15, fantasy owners are looking to win to get into the fantasy championship (in most leagues, anyway). Start/sit decisions are even more important than ever, and with all of the injuries in Week 14, this is tougher than it has been. Not only do fantasy owners need to look at matchups but also opportunity. Some players not only have a chance to perform well, but can exceed expectations. It may seem strange to base your playoff chances on guys that you picked up off the waiver wire, but that's often how fantasy works.
START These Running Backs
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers
Between the matchup (Panthers allow the second-most fantasy points to running backs) and the fact that Rashaad Penny is now out of the picture (torn ACL), Carson vaults to RB1 status for Week 15. He was in the doghouse when he went on a fumbling streak, but he's now the Seahawks' best option. C.J. Prosise may steal a carry or two, but isn't someone to be concerned with. In Week 14, Carson had 76 rushing yards and three receptions for 15 yards. Most importantly, he hasn't fumbled in two weeks. Start him with confidence.
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Lindsay hasn't been having huge games, but he's been a solid running back. He's had at least 50 rushing yards in the past six games. He's had two touchdowns in that span as well. One of the keys to his success is that he's taken over the backfield from Royce Freeman and has emerged as the clear No. 1 RB in Denver. The problem with that is the Broncos aren't exactly an offense that is putting up a ton of points. But fantasy owners needing a solid RB2 can count on Lindsay, especially with a good matchup in Week 15.
SIT These Running Backs
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts (Mon.)
The Saints put up 46 points in Week 14 and Kamara had 43 yards from scrimmage. Sure, Drew Brees threw the ball 40 times, but it wasn't to Kamara (six targets, four receptions). Was it just a bad game for Kamara? Possibly, but he has only scored two touchdowns all year – both in Week 3. He doesn't have a game with either 100 rushing or 100 receiving yards. In the past two weeks, he doesn't even have 100 yards from scrimmage. The Saints face the Colts in Week 15, who give up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs. Treat him as an RB2.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers
In the past two weeks that Freeman has been back from injury, he's had 17 carries in each contest. He had 51 and 84 yards, respectively. He's also added four receptions in each game. However, the Falcons face the 49ers in Week 15. San Francisco bottled up Alvin Kamara last week and made the Saints beat them through the air. Expect more of the same this week. Freeman missed practice with a knee injury on Wednesday, although he is expected to play. Treat him as an RB3.
START These Wide Receivers
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detriot Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even with David Blough at quarterback, Golladay has managed to find success. He's had 10 receptions in the past two games for a total of 216 yards and two touchdowns. Marvin Jones Jr. is now on injured reserve, which means one less mouth to feed in Detroit. In Week 15, the Lions face the Buccaneers, which has been one of the best matchups for wide receivers all season. Golladay has been hit or miss at times this season, but he's a start (solid WR2 with upside) for Week 15.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles
McLaurin's success is hampered by Dwayne Haskins, but he is really the only option for the Redskins. They've lost Derrius Guice and both of their tight ends to injuries. The other wide receivers also have been hurt (Trey Quinn, Paul Richardson) and aren't worth starting. Based on volume and a great matchup (vs. Eagles), McLaurin has fantasy value as a WR2 for Week 15.
SIT These Wide Receivers
Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals
Beckham has given up on yet another team. He's said he wants out of Cleveland, and while it sounds like that may be incentive to play well, it hasn't worked for Beckham in the past. The Browns face the Cardinals, which is a great matchup, but it's going to be hard to trust Beckham in this one. In the past two weeks, he hasn't had more than three receptions or 40 yards in either game.
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens (Thurs.)
The Jets face the Ravens this week, which may be reason enough alone to sit Crowder. On top of that, Crowder has taken a backseat to Robby Anderson in the past two weeks. Anderson has double-digit targets and more than 100 yards in each of the past two games. Meanwhile, Crowder has gone from scoring touchdowns in three straight (Weeks 9-11) to not topping 30 yards. Fantasy owners that have been holding onto Crowder to this point can safely drop him – and certainly not start him this week.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo courtesy of redskins.com)