In Week 15, fantasy owners need to win to move on. While making start/sit decisions may be easy at this point, some players do have good matchups. Also some players have tough matchups and have not been performing very well. Others have changes in the quarterback position that may affect their performance (positively or negatively). Choosing who to start is always tough; just keep in mind all factors that may affect a player's performance.
At the end of the column is the full disclosure, listing how well last week's picks performed. Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
In the seven weeks since the bye, the Houston Texans have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for 14 touchdowns against them (and rush for one). Bortles has quietly been putting up solid fantasy points for his owners. It's not a fancy name to start, but he has scored two touchdowns in each of the past three games. He's used both Marqise Lee and Dede Westbrook and he has been efficient with his passing. He should continue that streak and sneak into QB1 territory, above his No. 14 ranking.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
With Tevin Coleman still in the concussion protocol, Freeman may be the only back for Week 15. It is still early as the Falcons don't play the Buccaneers until Monday night, however. If Coleman is out, Freeman's value jumps from No. 9 into the top five. The Buccaneers have allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs in the past three weeks (two to Coleman in Week 12 when Freeman was out).
Mike Davis, RB, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have seemingly given up on the Eddie Lacy/Thomas Rawls experiment. Davis has shown that he is the best healthy back on the Seahawks roster. He's had 16 and 15 carries in the past two weeks for 64 and 66 yards respectively. In Week 13 he added four receptions for 37 yards. He wasn't as involved in the passing game in Week 14, but he should be in Week 15. The Los Angeles Rams allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Play Davis with confidence as a RB2 who should exceed his No. 28 ranking.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson has six touchdowns this season. All were scored in the first five weeks of the season with Aaron Rodgers. Once Brett Hundley took over, Nelson faded away. Well, Rodgers is back in Week 15. Time will tell how well he plays, how good he looks and how he handles the matchup. However, Nelson and Rodgers are a great duo. Since Hundley started a game, Nelson doesn't have more than 35 receiving yards. Expect that to change this week and he should find the end zone and exceed his No. 15 ranking.
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The last time the Bucs played the Falcons, Jameis Winston was sidelined. Brate has been Winston's tight end of choice, although neither tight end has been very effective recently (related: Winston has not been very effective recently). In Week 13, Brate had two receptions for two touchdowns. He did have six targets in that game. In Week 14, he had one target, which he caught for 11 yards. It's not promising, but for a touchdown-dependent tight end, he may exceed his No. 15 ranking.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Facing the New York Jets, starting Brees seems like a no-brainer. Except for this: the Jets just lost the quarterback that was leading the team to victories. They travel into New Orleans and the Saints need a win. What's worked for the Saints in recent weeks? The running game. The dual threat of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara has been great for their fantasy owners, but not so good for Brees and even Michael Thomas. Look for the Saints to take the lead (likely by a TD or two from a running back) and Brees to stop throwing the ball. He should finish below his No. 2 ranking.
Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
When the Texans played Jacksonville in Week 1, Miller had 65 rushing yards and two receptions for 31 yards. The nine points (in standard leagues) have been fairly typical for Miller as the season progressed. He does have six touchdowns on the year (three rushing, three receiving), but he's also been banged up and has missed some plays because of injuries. The Jaguars are a tough defense, and Miller just doesn't seem up to the challenge. He's ranked No. 19 but is more of a RB3.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In the past two weeks, Evans had two receptions in each game. He posted 33 and 25 yards in those two matchups. Fantasy owners everywhere have been frustrated and disappointed this season with Evans. He has four touchdowns on the season (none since Week 7). He has yet to have a 100-yard game. The targets have been there (107 on the year, 14th among all pass catchers) but he hasn't been able to do anything with them. With a tough Week 15 matchup against Atlanta, Evans may fall below his No. 17 ranking.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Kupp has had two games with more than 100 yards in his last three. However, Robert Woods also has been out during that span. With Woods set to return and a tough matchup against the Seahawks, Kupp should fall below his No. 31 ranking. With Woods in the lineup, the most receptions Kupp had was six and the most yards was 76 (Week 1). Kupp still has some WR3 value, but his overall value takes a hit with Woods' return.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
Ranked No. 12 for Week 15, Olsen may not be on many fantasy rosters for players who are in the semifinals. He earned a goose egg for fantasy owners that started him in Week 14, and he faces a Green Bay defense that allows the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Originally the Panthers said he was going to come back from injury and be very involved. Then the story changed after he left with soreness in his foot and he's slowly coming back. It's hard to trust him at all, especially after he played in Week 14 and didn't record a catch.
Full Disclosure for Week 14:
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Ranked: 13, Actual: 1)
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (Ranked: 30, Actual: 19)
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns (Ranked: 19, Actual: 18)
Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (Ranked: 42, Actual: not in top 50)
Stephen Anderson, TE, Houston Texans (Ranked: 17, Actual: 29)
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks (Ranked: 10, Actual: 6)
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Ranked: 7, Actual: 12)
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (Ranked: 21, Actual: 42)
Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Detroit Lions (Ranked: 13, Actual: 42)
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings (Ranked: 9, Actual: 6)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.