We’ve finally made it to the fantasy football championship round. Even if you’ve made it this far, finding a quality quarterback may not always be a simple decision.
Last week Cam Newton was a stud, and Russell Wilson was a dud and took down many fantasy dreams with the Seahawks’ fading playoff hopes.
So, who is worth a start this week? Especially if you’ve made it this far streaming quarterbacks?
Good Calls for Week 15...
Start Nick Foles (25.36 fantasy points) – Looks like the Eagles aren’t so doomed after all.
Bad Calls for Week 15...
Sit Jameis Winston (25.76 FP) – Winston and the Bucs came to play Monday night. Too bad it was a little too late in the season.
START THESE QBs...
Blake Bortles, JAC (at SF)
Bortles is absolutely on fire. No one is better than Bortles right now. No one. You read that right. At this point, you can’t deny him, and the 49ers have the kind of defense that Jacksonville should be able to score on as they rank 25th in touchdown passes allowed and have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs on the year.
Case Keenum, MIN (at GB, Sat.)
Keenum has two touchdown passes in four straight games while averaging 256.3 yards entering a Saturday night battle against a 24th-ranked Green Bay pass defense that has allowed 13 touchdown passes in their last four games and now has nothing to play for. Expect Keenum and the Vikings to crush the Packers.
Philip Rivers, LAC (at NYJ)
Rivers was a complete bust last week in a plus-matchup against the Chiefs, but don’t give up on him yet. This week he gets to take on the Jets with the Chargers’ playoff hopes hanging in the balance. The Jets allow the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and are surrendering 278 passing yards per game in their last three. You can start Rivers with confidence this week.
SIT THESE QBs...
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF (vs. JAC)
Garoppolo has been the best streaming QB option over the past three weeks. He’s also won his first three starts as a 49er, averaging more than 300 passing yards per game. But Jacksonville is the defense against which fantasy quarterbacks go to die. The Jaguars are No. 1 in the NFL in passing defense (168.9 ypg) and have given up the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs (less than 10 per game). This is an easy decision.
Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs. DEN)
Cousins seems to be in a late-season slump, not good for someone looking to cash in as a free agent after the season. He’s reached the 20-point fantasy plateau only twice in the last eight games, and now he goes up against a Broncos defense that seems to have rediscovered its fearsome form. Denver is allowing 140 passing yards per game over its last three, so don’t expect Cousins to break out of his slump this week.
Derek Carr, OAK (at PHI, Mon.)
Remember last year when Carr was an MVP candidate before he got injured? Things have definitely changed, as he has struggled mightily in 2017. Even though the Eagles have been horrendous against the pass over the last two weeks, they still have one of the better pass rushes in the league and the Raiders’ offensive line is falling apart. Look for Carr to be running for his life all game, which could lead to two or three interceptions.
Defense Special/Teams (DST)
START THIS DST...
Los Angeles Chargers (at NYJ)
The Chargers disappointed last week while the Jets’ offense surprised in what it was able to do against the Saints on the road, but we expect these trends to reverse this week. Bryce Petty is still Bryce Petty, and the Chargers still have one of the best pass rushes in the league. There's some worry about the long road trip for Los Angeles, but the Chargers should be motivated while the Jets have nothing to play for.
SIT THIS DST...
Seattle Seahawks (vs. DAL)
The Seahawks’ defense is a mess, they’re missing a few cornerstones and now are starting to turn on each other for playing hurt. Last week they got thumped by the Rams at home 42-7. Now they travel to Dallas to face a Cowboys team fighting for the playoffs and gets a motivated (and fresh) Ezekiel Elliot back. The Chicago Bears DST (vs. Cleveland) is a better start this week.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.