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01 Aug

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In The Trenches: Week 15 Matchups

Which players have the best matchups for Week 15 of the NFL season?

Slide 1 of 4 Week 15 NFL Matchups | Slide - 1 FantasyAlarm.com

It's the second week of the fantasy football playoff for most folks, so now more than ever making the right decision with who to have in your starting lineup is paramount. In this piece I'll run through the four main positions – QB, RB, WR and TE – and point some matchup information that might help you to make those ever important decisions.

 

A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE

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*** NOTE: All references to fantasy points assume a PPR setup.


QUARTERBACK

Tom Brady has thrown for 14 scores an only four interceptions the last five games in Miami. He's also gone a phenomenal 43-6 in December in his career leaving him with a .878 winning percentage, the best in history. Brady has also thrown for six scores an no interceptions over the last three second half’s he's been under center.

Drew Brees has thrown for 4,000 yards in 8-straight seasons and 30 scores in 6-straight. He faces a Rams team that has been solid against the QB this season allowing 19 passing scores while picking off 12 passes.

Matt Cassel will start for the Vikings versus the Eagles. He's only threw for an average of 254 yards and 1.5 scores the past two weeks but the Eagles are brutal against the pass allowing the second most passing yards on the year at 285 per game.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is a top-12 QB the past three weeks. He faces the Cardinals club that has allowed the 12th fewest points to QBs this season.

Nick Foles has 20 scores and one interception. The Vikings are the second worst pass defense in football and have permitted a league worst 28 passing scores.

Mike Glennon has thrown only four interceptions his last eight games. He's also tossed 12 scores though he has a tough matchup with the Niners this week.

Case Keenum has thrown for five scores an just one interception in three starts on the road. The last time he faced the Colts he went off for 350 passing yards and three scores.

Andrew Luck stinks, just ask around. Well, that's just not accurate. He is coming off his first 4 TD, zero INT of his career and in three games against the Texans he has thrown for seven scores and no interceptions. Luck is also the 11th ranked QB in fantasy the past four weeks.

Eli Manning has faced the Seahawks five times in his career. He's thrown for at least two scores in every game. The last time he faced Seattle he lit them up for 420 yards.

Peyton Manning is 10-0 against the AFC West as a Bronco. He has the most yards (4,522) through 13 games in NFL history and his 45 scores are the 5th most for a season. He threw for 330 yards and four scores versus the Bolts earlier this season.

Cam Newton is the 5th highest scoring QB the past four games averaging 26 points an outing. Newton has scored twice with his legs and seven times with his arm in those four games. He's only thrown for 220 yards once in his last five games though.

Over the past four games Ben Roethlisberger hasn't thrown an interception while tossing 11 scores. The Bengals present a challenge as they have permitted 19 passing scores this season while intercepting 13 passes.

Tony Romo has thrown for six touchdowns and one interception the past three weeks. That success is offset by a four week run in which he hasn't reached 240 yards passing. The Packers allow 247 passing yards a game and have permitted far too many passing scores (24) with only seven interceptions.

Matt Ryan threw for 345 yards and two scores the last time he faced the Redskins. The 'Skins allow the 5th most points to QBs this season. The last four games this season Ryan has thrown for only five scores while averaging 266 passing yards a game.

Ryan Tannehill has been on a role. For more see NFL Waiver-Wire Additions for Wk.15.

Russell Wilson faces the Giants in New York. In seven games on the road this season he's averaged 216 passing yards with 11 scores and three interceptions.

Slide 2 of 4 Week 15 NFL Matchups | Slide - 2 FantasyAlarm.com

RUNNING BACK

Montee Ball played a season-high 43 snaps in Week 14 (out of 98). He's also run for an average of 97 yards on 14 carries the past two weeks. The Chargers allow a whopping 4.9 YPC, the second worst mark in football.

Joique Bell has scored on the ground in each of his last two outings. The Ravens though allow nothing on the ground. Their three rushing scores permitted is the best mark in football.  

Giovani Bernard had 148 yards from scrimmage last week and the last time he faced the Steelers he scored twice (one rush, one reception). Meanwhile teammate BJGE has three rushing scores in the past two games, even if the NFL has stated that one of the scores last week shouldn't have counted. Good for his owners that the officials blew it.

Andre Brown has 11 rushing scores in his last 14 games. Unfortunately for Brown the Seahawks have permitted only four rushing scores this season.

Donald Brown is averaging a career best 5.3 YPC this season. The Texans allow 4.2 YPC and have permitted 10 rushing scores. Too bad Brown has run for only 66 yards the past three weeks at an average of 3.3 yards per clip.

Jamaal Charles has four scores in his last three games. He ran for a season best 151 yards last week. The Raiders held him to just 78 rushing yards earlier this season by the also caught five balls for 50 yards while racking up two rushing scores in that game.

Matt Forte had 121 yards from scrimmage and two scores the last time he took on the Browns. The last six weeks of the season there isn't a runner in football with more fantasy points.

Frank Gore ran for 110 yards last week. He ran for 125 yards the last time he faced the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay allows 103.7 yards a game on the ground ans has allowed only six rushing scores.

Steven Jackson has run for an average of 78 yards a game the past two weeks and he's scored three times in his last three games. The Redskin has allowed a league worst 19 rushing scores this season.

Chris Johnson is currently ranked 10th at the RB position in points this season. The Cardinals are a tough matchup though as they allow the third fewest RB points this season.

Chris Ivory has run for 75 yards in three of his last five games and he's also scored in each of those games that he's run for 75 (he had 35 and 61 yards in the other two outings). The Panthers are stout though. They allow a league low 79.4 yards a week on the ground and their total of three rushing scores is tied with the Ravens for the best mark in football.

Eddie Lacy is 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards since October 1st and he's scored in six of his last eight games. His ankle issue might cause him to miss the matchup with the Cowboys this week.

Marshawn Lynch had 131 yards from scrimmage an a TD the last time he faced the Giants in New York.

Ryan Mathews has averaged 19 carries the past four weeks for an average of 87 yards a game on the ground while scoring twice. He faces a Broncos defense that allows only 3.9 YPC but one that has permitted 11 rushing scores this season.

LeSean McCoy ran for a team record 217 yards last week while scoring twice. He leads the NFL with 1,744 yards from scrimmage and 1,305 rushing yards this season.

Rashard Mendenhall has three scores in his last four games while Andre Ellington had a rushing score last week. The Cardinals face the Titans this week a club that has allowed the second most rushing scores in football – 18 (the only worse team is the Redskins at 19).

Lamar Miller ran for 89 yards and had 23 receiving the last time he faced the Patriots. It's anyone's guess how he and Daniel Thomas will be used this week though.

Knowshon Moreno needs 80 yards for the first 1,000 yard rushing season of his career. The last time he faced the Chargers he ran 15 times for 65 yards but caught eight balls for another 49.

Alfred Morris ran for 115 yards the only time he faced the Falcons. The Falcons are allowing the third most rushing yards per game this season at 135 a contest.

Demarco Murray has run for 209 yards and three scores in his last two games. The Packers are a bottom third defense against the run allow nearly 123 yards a game on the ground and 11 rushing scores.

The Raiders lead the AFC with an average of 134.4 rushing yards a game this season. They ran for 121 net yards in the first meeting this season against the Chiefs which obviously bodes fairly well for Rashad Jennings and Marcel Reece.

Bobby Rainey has five scores in his last three home games as he's rushed for an average of 111.7 yards a contests. The Niners allow 104 yards a game on the ground and have permitted 10 rushing scores.

C.J. Spiller has averaged 5.7 YPC in two games against the Jaguars. The Jags allow 4.2 YPC and 127 yards, the 6th most in football. The 16 rushing scores also make this a tasty matchup.

Zac Stacy has run for five scores and 84.5 yards a game on the ground in his last five outings. The Saints allowing a big total of 4.7 YPC though they've allowed only nine rushing scores.

Ben Tate has run for 155 yards and three scores the past two weeks after his atrocious one yard effort against the Jaguars. He face a Colts team that he put up 81 yards against on 22 carries back on November 3rd.

Shane Vereen has averaged eight receptions and 74.6 yards a game this season. Pretty amazing stuff. He's also scored once as a runner and once as a receiver the past two weeks. The Dolphins allow the 7th most points to runners this season including an average of 5.5 receptions a week to runners.

Slide 3 of 4 Week 15 NFL Matchups | Slide - 3 FantasyAlarm.com

 WIDE RECEIVER

Keenan Allen has been the #6 wideout the past three weeks. He faces a Broncos club that is allowing the 8th most points to wideouts this season which includes 14 touchdowns in 13 games.

Doug Baldwin had eight grabs for 136 yards an a score the last time he faced the Giants. The Giants have been solid against WRs this year though allowing the 9th fewest points per game to the position.

Anquan Boldin has gone for 90 yards in 3-straight contests. He hadn't reached 75 yards in the preceding six games.

Dwayne Bowe has scored in three of his last four games and he's caught passes for at least 50 yards in 5-straight games, even if he's been unable to reach 70 yards in any game this season.

Marlon Brown had seven receptions for 92 yards an a score last week. The Loins aren't a good pass defense which is good news for Brown and Torrey Smith (the Lions allow the 7th most points to wideouts).

Dez Bryant has 20 touchdowns in his last 21 games. Too bad he's only reached 75 receiving yards once in his last six games.

Marques Colston has caught at least four balls in 5-straight games and during that span he's averaged 5.8 receptions and 76 yards a game while scoring three times. The Rams are often beat by wide receivers allowing the 3rd most points to the position of any team in football.

Over the past five games Riley Cooper has caught only 17 balls but he's gone for 400 yards and five scores. The Vikings are always pounded through the air allowing the 3rd most points to WRs this season.

Julian Edelman is averaging just over 91 yards a game the past three weeks. The Dolphins are stingy against the pass, they allow the 5th fewest points to wideouts (including just four scores). That won't stop Edelman from catching passes underneath.

Pierre Garcon leads the NFC with 89 receptions, but he'll be catching passes from Kirk Cousin this week. The Falcons have allowed 14 scores to wideouts this season.

For the desperate. In his last four games against the Jets Tedd Ginn Jr. has scored four times (two receiving, two on kick returns).

Josh Gordon has 774 yards the past four games, and that's the most in a 4-game stretch in NFL history as he's gone for at least 125 yards in each game. Larry Fitzgerald has 774 receiving yards this season (13 games). Speaking of Fitzgerald, he's scored five times in his past four outings including once in each game. He's rolling. Meanwhile teammate Michael Floyd is a bit beat up physically but he's still producing with every one of his last 22 receptions going for a first down or touchdown.

Brian Hartline has caught at least five balls in 5-straight contests. He's also scored in 2-straight after scoring three times in his previous 27 games. The Patriots are middle of the pack, ranked 16th, in yards allowed through the air each week.

T.Y. Hilton went for seven receptions, 121 yards and three scores the last time he faced the Texans. With Brazil/Rogers emerging to take heat off Hilton he could have another big week.

Andre Holmes has 10 receptions for 199 yards the past two weeks. Rod Streater went for a career best 130 yards last week. Both could see their value diminish this week against the Chiefs as Denarius Moore might return from a shoulder injury. The Chiefs allow the 12th most points to wideouts so it's not a brutal matchup.

Alshon Jeffery the last 10 games: 6.2 receptions, 109 yards, 0.6 scores. The Browns have allowed 13 scores to wideouts but the 13th fewest points. Joe Haden can't cover both Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. By the by, Marshall and Jeffery have combined for 2,283 yards, the most of any duo in football.

Greg Jennings performs much better with Matt Cassel running the offense. The last two weeks he's caught 12 of 19 targets for 131 yards an a score. The Eagles are a potentially burnable defense.

Andre Johnson has gone for 100 yards the last three times he's faced the Colts including the best game of his career just over a month ago when he caught nine balls for 229 yards and three scores.

Calvin Johnson and the Lions faces the Ravens. Over his last 10 versus an AFC opponent Johnson has averaged 7.5 receptions, 140 yards and 1.1 scores. In nine of the 10 games he's gone for 100 yards.

Stevie Johnson has scored three times in two games against the Jaguars. Johnson has caught at least five passes in five of his last six games though he has only scored once since September 15th which obviously severely limits his upside in Week 15.

Hakeem Nicks has stunk this year. The last two times he's faced the Seahawks though he has scored.

Ace Sanders caught 12 balls in Weeks 12-13. Last week he only caught three of six targets for 26 yards ending a 3-game run of at least 60 receiving yards. Buffalo has allowed the 6th fewest passing yards this season.

Cecil Shorts has scored in 2-straight games. He only scored once this season before that. Unfortunately he's also been held to less than 25 yards in two of his last four outings and you have to go all the way back to October 20th to find a game with 75 yards. The Bills have allowed a league worst 17 scores to wideouts.

Steve Smith scored last week for the first time since October 20th. It was also the second time this season he caught more than five passes as he hauled in six balls. Amazingly he's averaging a mere 52.4 yards per game this season as he hasn't gone for 70 yards even one time.  

Mike Wallace has scored twice in three games but after 2-straight games of at least five grabs he saw only five targets in Week 14 leading to two receptions for 19 yards. The Pats have allowed 13 scores to wideouts.

Roddy White is finally back. Over his last two games he's hauled in 18 passes for 217 yards. The Redskins are a beatable defense that has allowed 14 passing scores this season to WRs.

Slide 4 of 4 Week 15 NFL Matchups | Slide - 4 FantasyAlarm.com

 TIGHT ENDS

Jordan Cameron has scored four times in three games against NFC opponents this season. The Bears defense has allowed only four scores to the tight end this season but they do permit the 6th most points to tight ends.

Charles Clay has been killing it. See the NFL Waiver-Wire Additions for Wk.15.

Vernon Davis scored twice the last time he faced the Bucs. He's scored 11 times this season including one end zone boogie in each of his last four games.

Tony Gonzalez has scored in three of the last four games that he's faced the Redskins. The 'Skins are currently the 9th easiest defense for a tight end to put points up against.

Garrett Graham is the 4th highest point producing tight end the past four games at an average of 15.7 points a game. To compare Vernon Davis is averaging 15.2 points a game this season.

Jimmy Graham scored twice last week to give up 14 touchdowns on the year including four the past three games. He's only scored five on those games on the road and the Saints travel to St. Louis this week.

Marcedes Lewis has scored in back-to-back games. The Bills are likely to stop that trend though as they have allowed seven scores to tight ends and the 5th fewest points per week.

Brandon Myers has scored in 3-straight games. To make it four in a row he will have to light up a Seahawks team that has allowed only five scores to tight ends this season.

Greg Olsen has scored in four of his past six games. He's scored in six of his past seven outings against an AFC club including 3-straight. The Jets have allowed seven scores to tight ends this season.

Logan Paulson has caught a touchdown in back-to-back games with Jordan Reed sidelined. The Falcons have allowed nine scores to tight ends this season.

Delaine Walker has been cleared to return from his concussion. In Weeks 10-12 he averaged six receptions for 66 yards. This week he faces a Cardinals defense that is embarrassingly bad against tight ends. They are the worst unit in football by a mile. Per game = 6.4 receptions, 85.5 yards, 1.08 TDs.

 

Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.


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