Fantasy owners are starting Elliott on name value alone; his production barely warrants RB2 status
Fantasy owners in Week 15 need to be sure their best running backs and wide receivers are in their starting lineups. With injuries and COVID-19, it's been a rough season. Many players are still banged up, and fantasy owners need to pay attention to their practice status. Some veterans are likely going to miss mid-week practices, so just pay attention to Friday's practice report most of all. Be sure your lineup reflects the best possible players to try to get a win this week. The matchups are important to examine as you set your Week 15 lineup.
START These RBs
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
For a while this season, Taylor was relegated to fantasy benches. However, he has seemed to surpass Nyheim Hines on the depth chart again. In Week 14, the rookie had 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Hines seemed to be more of a pass-catching back, which is a good balance for fantasy owners. As long as Taylor is the No. 1 running back for the Colts, he should be an RB1 for fantasy owners. The Colts face the Texans in Week 15. In Week 13 when Taylor faced the Texans, he had 91 rushing yards and caught a touchdown as well.
Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (Sat.)
It seems that Christian McCaffrey will miss another week in an already lost season. Davis gets the great matchup against the Packers, vaulting him into high RB2 territory. Davis only rushed for 51 yards in Week 14, but he got in the end zone twice. He added five receptions for 42 yards. He's been involved in the passing game, and that should continue into Week 15. While fantasy owners want McCaffrey back, Davis is more than a serviceable replacement that fantasy owners can use in the semifinals.
SIT These RBs
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
Look at the stats alone and ignore the name: Week 12, 32 rushing yards, one reception for seven yards; Week 13, 77 rushing yards, four receptions for 18 yards; Week 14, 48 rushing yards, two receptions for 11 yards. Would you start this running back as your RB1? Elliott has been dealing with a calf injury and that may be hampering his performance. The team has been using Tony Pollard more often and he looks like the better back. In Week 15, the Cowboys face the 49rs, who allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Elliott can sneak in as an RB2, but just barely.
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team
Carson has been dealing with a foot injury, but against the Jets he was able to run for 76 yards and a touchdown. He has touchdowns in the last three games since returning from injury. The problem for Carson is that Carlos Hyde is there and Rashaad Penny may be returning as well. The Seahawks will still use Carson as the primary back, but if he is dealing with any foot issues, they may scale back his work. In Week 15, the Seahawks face Washington, whose defense allows the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Carson is an RB2 for Week 15.
START These WRs
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Julio Jones looks doubtful for Week 15, which opens up more targets for Gage. While there were times earlier in the season where Jones was out and Gage did not take advantage, fantasy owners should focus on the recent games. In Week 14, Gage had seven targets. He had five receptions for 82 yards in that game, although he didn't find the end zone as he did in Week 13. The Falcons play the Bucs, which have been a good matchup for opposing wide receivers (three touchdowns to Tyreek Hill!) although they were much better in Week 14 against the Vikings. Gage should be viewed as a WR3.
Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Even though the Bears' offense has had its share of struggles, Robinson has been a bright spot regardless of the quarterback. Mitchell Trubisky has been solid for fantasy owners, mostly because he seeks out Robinson each week. There have only been two weeks this year where Robinson has less than 50 yards. In the past three weeks, Robinson has one 100-yard game and three touchdowns. The Bears face the Vikings, who allow the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Start Robinson with confidence.
SIT These WRs
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (Sat.)
Moore suffered an ankle injury before the Panthers Week 13 bye, but he seems to be over that. Instead, he spent a week on the reserve/COVID-19 list, although based on the timeline, it seems that Moore was a close contact rather than testing positive himself. However, that is a lot of missed practice. It's also a lot of time away from the football field, which often requires a little bit to get back. Moore faces Jaire Alexander and the Green Bay Packers in Week 15, which is going to be tough. Moore has been a WR1 at times, but this week, he's more of a WR3.
DJ Chark Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens
Chark is a good receiver, but he's brought down by the quarterback mess in Jacksonville. Mike Glennon was not the answer, as the Jags realized in Week 14. The team turned back to Gardner Minshew, although that hasn't helped Chark either. In Week 15, the Jags face the Ravens, which is a difficult matchup regardless of the quarterback. In the past four games, Chark doesn't have more than four receptions in a game. He hasn't found the end zone and only managed 16 receiving yards last week. If possible, keep him on the bench.
— 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.