FIRST DOWN – Splitsville
Last week I covered Julio Jones and how his splits show he’s much better on the road than at home. Jones got injured at the end of his week 14 game and looks to be a GTD for week 15, but before getting injured he had a great game (11-259-1). This week I’m staying with Atlanta and we’re going to take a look at Matt Ryan and his home and away splits. Unlike Jones, Ryan does like the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome when it comes to putting up better NFL QB numbers, but fantasy wise, he like Jones, fairs better on the road. To date, Ryan has played in 107 games, and 52 have been at home. Even if Ryan doesn’t have Jones this week he should be a solid play, but don’t look for him to ball out like Julio did last week.
SECOND DOWN – Ironmen
There have been so many injuries this year that I thought it’d be kind of cool to take a look at the players – IRONMEN – that have the longest consecutive games started (active players) streaks going. As you can see, Brandon Marshall will have his 65 game streak snapped this week.
|OT||D. Fersuson||141||DE||J. Watt||61|
|OG||A. Levitre||93||DT||D. Peko||77|
|C||C. Meyers||125||DE||R. Ninkovich||62|
|OG||R. Sims||87||LB||D. Harris||97|
|OT||D. Penn||121||LB||C. Lofton||96|
|QB||E. Manning||164||LB||J. Laurinaitis||93|
|RB||F. Gore||57||LB||J. Peppers||83|
|RB||A. Morris||45||CB||B. Carr||109|
|WR||B. Marshall||65||S||A. Bethea||109|
|WR||V. Jackson||65||S||G. Quin||81|
|TE||J. Witten||128||CB||A. Cromartie||62|
THIRD DOWN – Steve’s Seven Sleepers
The fantasy playoffs are upon us and gambling on sleepers in the playoffs isn’t something many like to do, but injuries and poor matchups still make sleepers a viable option in some instances. Check out my seven sleepers that I think can put up solid production this week. To qualify the player can’t rank in the top-36** at their respective position based on the season long rankings in the Huddle IDP Expert League. I thought it’d be nice to show how my sleepers did the previous week so you’ll also find last week’s sleepers with the amount of points that they scored. I also want to add that I’m trying to target players that should be available on waivers, which at this time of year is a very difficult thing to do at the running back position.
*Top-12 for QB & TE. **Top-15 for QB & TE.
|Week 15||Week 14|
|QB||Johnny Manziel||QB||Shaun Hill||16.42|
|RB||Chris Johnson||RB||Jonathan Stewart||21.50|
|WR||Marquis Lee||WR||Cecil Shorts III||2.30|
|TE||Ryan Griffin||TE||Kyle Rudolph||2.90|
|DL||George Johnson||DL||Damontre Moore||10.00|
|LB||Devon Kennard||LB||David Hawthorne||9.00|
|DB||Gearge Wilson||DB||Marcus Gilchrist||13.00|
UPDATE: Garrett Graham has been ruled out for week 15 so I’m subbing in Ryan Griffin at TE.
So close to a good week across the board, but Cecil Shorts III and Kyle Rudolph foiled that. Mr. Rudolph, I am officially done with you. Shorts was a miss but the logic and reasoning wasn’t. His teammate, Marqise Lee put up 12.10 points.
This week the theme is BOOM OR BUST! If you are looking for a sleeper in week 15 during the playoffs you must be an underdog so go big or go home. That’s why at QB I’m tabbing Johnny Manziel as my guy. I don’t know what to expect from Johnny Football, outside of the fact that I expect him to put up some rushing numbers. That’s what gives him upside and why he won’t need a big passing day to put up big fantasy points. There is no other pick at QB (OK, I do like Eli Manning) this week, we’re all in on JFF! At RB, Chris Johnson has a great matchup and is as BOOM OR BUST a player as you can find. Of course it’s been a while…so he’s due, right!?!?! This week the Jaguars have another good matchup, but no, I’m not going back to the well with Shorts. Instead I’m going with Lee. I’m not chasing points, I really do think that he has a good shot to put up a big day with a TD…or two! And I’m putting my money where my mouth is because I nabbed him off waivers and will be starting him as my WR3 in the semi-finals of the Huddle IDP Expert League. At TE, I’m going way, way deep and penciling in Garrett Graham. Graham faces a Colts team that over the last six weeks has given up the 2nd most PPG to the tight-end position.
On the defensive side of the ball at DL George Johnson has a great matchup. Earlier this year against the Vikings he logged 4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles and 1 ½ sacks. Hopefully he keeps the DL position rolling like Damontre Moore (10 points) did last week. At LB, I’m hopeful that Devon Kennard can do a better job filling the stat sheet than David Hawthorne did last week. The key thing with Kennard will be if Jacquian Williams is active or not. If he’s active then Kennard will likely be a BUST! Defensive back was hard to find a true BOOM OR BUST OPTION so I’m going with George Wilson against a turnover prone NY Jets team.
FOURTH DOWN – TRENCH WARFARE
This week’s battle in the NFC East between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles has huge playoff implications. According to FiveThirtyEightSports, the Cowboys, with a loss will see their playoff chances fall to 35.8% but with a win it jumps up to 83.9%. The Eagles come in with a 78.2% chance to make the NFL’s second season. Losing to the hated Cowboys drops their chances to 48.1%, but a win all but puts them in (96.4%). The article at FiveThirtyEightSports has a nifty little tool (about halfway down the article) that tells you “Which Teams To Root For In Week 15” to see what will help your team make the playoffs. Below you can also take a look at how the battle in the trenches between these two rivals shakes out.
EAGLES RUSHING OFFENSE & RUSHING DEFENSE
COWBOYS RUSHING OFFENSE & RUSHING DEFENSE