Week 15 Start Them-Sit Them
By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We have put together our weekly "Start Them-Sit Them" list so you will know what to do with your fantasy lineup. Obviously, if Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson and Tom Brady aren't walking on crutches you are going to start them.
This list targets the borderline players whom fantasy owners aren't sure whether to play or sit.
New York Giants at Atlanta
Start - Eli Manning, David Wilson, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Martellus Bennett, Lawrence Tynes
Start - Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, Matt Bryant
Comments - Ahmad Bradshaw has made a habit of not practicing due to injury, yet still playing on Sunday, but this weekend may be different. We're expecting the knee injury to sideline him and open up an opportunity for Wilson. Roddy White has missed a couple of practices due to a knee injury which is supposedly minor, but Falcons will likely be conservative with one of their star receivers. On the other hand, he's never missed a game in eight seasons.
Denver at Baltimore
Start - Peyton Manning, Knowshon Moreno, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Matt Prater
Start - Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, Justin Tucker
Comments - The Ravens have historically been a great defense and people still think of them that way, but in 2012 they rank 24th overall, yielding 376 ypg. Baltimore is vulnerable on the ground, giving up almost 130 ypg, so Moreno should be able to run and no one has stopped Peyton Manning all season. Torrey Smith has just four catches for 54 yards over the last two games and will be covered by Champ Bailey. Not a good matchup. Expect Flacco to target Boldin and his tight ends.
Green Bay at Chicago
Start - Aaron Rodgers, James Jones, Randall Cobb, Greg Jennings, Mason Crosby
Start - Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Olindo Mare
Comments - Alex Green led the Packers' rushing attack over the past three games, but his 10-12 carries per game isn't enough to produce fantasy-worthy results. We're expecting Rodgers to target Jennings more than the three times he did all last weekend against Detroit, but he he'll likely only be the No. 3 receiver on the team behind Jones and Cobb. A gimpy Cutler (knee) will have to avoid Clay Matthews, who returns after a month on the sidelines, but he'll continue to find Marshall who may be the second-best receiver in the league.
Washington at Cleveland
Start - Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon, Kai Forbath
Start - Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson, Josh Gordon, Phil Dawson
Comments - There are many problems for fantasy owners who want to start Robert Griffin III this week. Will he start? If he plays can he last 60 minutes? How effective can he be with his running ability curtailed by the sprained knee? The last time Weeden faced a really bad pass defense (Oakland on Dec. 2) he threw for 364 yards and a score. The Redskins' defense ranks 31st against the pass giving up 30 more yards per game than those Raiders,
Indianapolis at Houston
Start - Andrew Luck, Vick Ballard, Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery, Adam Vinatieri
Start - Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Shayne Graham
Comments - Houston's once-feared defense has given up 120 points and 1,756 yards over the past four weeks. Don't be afraid to start your Colts, even the borderline guys. Foster has seen just 49 carries over the past three weeks (16.3 per game) after averaging 24.9 carries in the first 10 games. Expect the Texans to go back to feeding Foster.
Jacksonville at Miami
Start - Chad Henne, Montell Owens, Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon
Start - Reggie Bush, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess
Comments - The Miami defense has been vulnerable to the pass which is a good thing for Jacksonville since they are down to their fourth-string tailback and have to go to the air. Shorts should return from a concussion that kept him out of last weekend's game with the Jets. He's scored in four straight games and totaled 368 yards and is a must start if active. Of all the rookies starting at quarterback this season, Ryan Tannehill has been the least productive and it has brought down the fantasy value of his receivers. Both Hartline and Bess are low-end WR3 options at best.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
Start - Josh Freeman, Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Dallas Clark, Connor Barth
Start - Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Jimmy Graham, Garrett Hartley
Comments - In a battle between two of the league's three worst pass defenses, you want anyone who can catch the ball in your lineup, including running backs. I hear fantasy owners crying about Graham's productivity this season as compared to last season, but he's still caught 64 balls for 710 yards and eight touchdowns which ranks him third at the tight end position.
Minnesota at St. Louis
Start - Superman a.k.a. Adrian Peterson
Start - Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola, Chris Givens
Comments - Peterson needs 133.3 ypg to reach 2,000 for the season and 168.3 ypg to break Eric Dickerson's 28-year-old record of 2,105 yards. "AP" is averaging 165 ypg over his last five contests. Not bad for a guy who most experts didn't expect to be ready for Opening Day and thought would share the workload with Toby Gerhart. Jackson has posted double-digit fantasy points in four of the past five weeks. Amendola will be a game-time decision and a high-risk, high- reward option while Givens is a great option if Amendola is inactive.
Detroit at Arizona
Start - Matthew Stafford, Mikel Leshoure, Calvin Johnson, Kris Durham, Tony Scheffler, Jason Hanson
Start - none
Comments - Scheffler saw 10 targets as Brandon Pettigrew's replacement and should get just as much work against Arizona. Although Mike Thomas was listed as the starting wideout opposite Johnson, Durham was on the field for 78 of 84 plays and saw nine targets to Thomas' zero. The Cardinals have posted less than 180 total yards in three of the past four games - avoid, avoid, avoid.
Seattle at Buffalo
Start - Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Steven Hauschka, Seahawks' defense
Start - C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson
Comments - Trick question. Which rookie has thrown more touchdown passes this season, Luck, RGIII or Wilson? The correct answer is Wilson who has 20 touchdown passes this season and 10 in the last five games versus just one interception. With Fred Jackson sidelined for the remainder of the season, fantasy owners thought they would see the return of the dominating Spiller who began the year with 292 yards rushing in the first two games. Unfortunately, those numbers didn't materialize last week against St. Louis and will also be tough to reproduce against the Seahawks' tough defense.
Carolina at San Diego
Start - Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen
Start - Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Danario Alexander
Comments - Newton is on a roll with his three best games of the season over the past three weekends and he's carried Smith and Olsen with him. Behind a makeshift line, Rivers has been sacked 37 times, the result of which is that Antonio Gates blocks more than he goes out for passes. Alexander is averaging 92.5 ypg and over 15 fantasy ppg since arriving in Week 9.
Pittsburgh at Dallas
Start - Ben Roethlisberger, Jonathan Dwyer, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Shaun Suisham
Start - Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey
Comments - All Roethlisberger's production came late after San Diego jumped out to a 27-3 lead, but he should be better at the start this Sunday after knocking the rust off. The return of Big Ben also revitalized Wallace and Brown. The Cowboys didn't baby Murray upon his return after missing six games and he's averaging 26 touches per game in his last two starts. If Bryant plays (broken finger) you have to start him because he's playing the best ball of his career with a five-game scoring streak and 525 yards over that span.
Kansas City at Oakland
Start - Jamaal Charles
Start - Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Sebastian Janikowski
Comments - Palmer only threw for 209 yards against the Chiefs in their first meeting in KC and the weather (rain) may not allow him to improve much on that total. The return of McFadden last weekend rendered Marcel Reece useless to fantasy owners.
San Francisco at New England
Start - Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, David Akers
Start - Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez, Stephen Gostkowski
Comments - Tight end Vernon Davis has not been a part of Kaepernick's offense over the past three games, posting a total of three catches for 19 yards. The Pats' league-leading offense (425 ypg) was running on all cylinders Monday night against Houston and faces a big test versus the 49ers' defense which ranks second in the league yielding just 275 ypg.
New York Jets at Tennessee
Start - Shonn Greene
Start - Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright
Comments - Bilal Powell is dealing with a bad toe and is unlikely to play making Greene a viable option. Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez is averaging 104 ypg over his last two starts. Stay away from Sanchez and his mediocre receivers. Jake Locker has seven interceptions and two fumbles over his last three starts, negating his solid 277 ypg through the air.
12/14 12:08:11 ET