In addition to writing articles and appearing on podcasts, our in-house analysts at FantasyPros also bounce ideas around in Slack throughout the week. Since these conversations are useful for fantasy managers as well, we decided to organize some of them and make them available to everyone.
Here’s what Matthew Friedman, Pat Fitzmaurice, Derek Brown, Andrew Erickson and Joe Pisapia had to say this week in Slack as they all prepare for Week 15 of the fantasy football season.
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Fantasy Football Week 15 Preview
Q1. What was your biggest takeaway or surprise from week 14?
Erickson: JK Dobbins returns to immediate relevance. It started on a whim because of Seattle’s Blur Valley, and it paid off big time. With Cleveland and Atlanta … Dobbins could be a key player for league winning teams.
Joe: That Baker Mayfield can lead an offense to a win against any NFL team, even the Raiders, in two days.
Maher: Even the Raiders are…tough.
Pat: Baker Mayfield’s fourth quarter superhero performance was certainly the biggest surprise.
But for fantasy relevance? I had no idea that JK Dobbins would have such a big impact. It’s a good thing Dobbins shareholders might still get a decent return on their investment with a good late-season outlook.
Bonus: Justin Jefferson should be 1.01 in every fantasy draft next year. Dude takes care of the job from week to week. Of course the Zero-RB haters won’t get it at 1.01, but they should.
DBro: I’ll stick to the QB play topic. Baker Mayfield looking sharp with no time to prepare was impressive. As harsh as it sounds, seeing Mayfield at least breathe some life into this crucial offense makes Tutu Atwell and Van Jefferson interesting players to keep an eye on or save for a fantasy playoff run.
Another big step for me was the birth of Trevor Lawrence. We’ve all scoffed at offseason additions by the front office, but they’ve all paid off. Lawrence is taking control of this offense and is looking like the QB we were all hoping for. Add Calvin Ridley next year; This crime could do serious damage in 2023. Ridley could be one of the top picks in fantasy next season.
Q2. What advice would you give to fantasy managers as they prepare for the fantasy playoffs this week?
Erickson: Do not change your process now. You made the playoffs because you did everything right (or you got lucky). Either way, don’t push and trust the process that got you this far. Let others think and adjust their approach as the stakes rise.
In a more actionable way, dump players you’ll never start with handcuffs/players with more upside. Its do-or-die, so you no longer need depth in your bench. And block your opponent if they have an obvious hole in their starting roster.
Joe: Put your best talent on the field. Matchups are important in deciding between two close players as a tie, but talent should always take precedent over a theoretically good matchup for a mediocre player.
Pat: “I need an upright.” Good lord, I’m going to be very sick of hearing this for the next two weeks. Fantasy managers who use this infernal phrase are setting the stage for suboptimal decision-making. I hear it like, “Should I use this scorer, a less talented, less reliable player who could have a big game against someone who is a better percentage game?” No. Keep playing the percentages. Sometimes the odd line-up choice works. More often than not, they leave you regretting it.
DBro: Stay ahead of the curve with RBs. If you have space, handcuffs and one type of injury, especially if it’s a cuff for a team you’re playing this week or next week. We never want injuries to happen, but if they do, you’re ready to reap the benefits of making smart roster decisions (while locking down your now-afflicted opponent).
Q3. The last few weeks have been devastating for QB injuries. Who is the QB2 you would confidently start this week if you had them on your bench or could have them on the waiver wire?
Joe: Three words… “Magic” Mike White. (v Det)
Update: Mike White has not been cleared by the doctors and Zach Wilson is ready to start.
Pat: Mc Jones. I could go with Mike White against the Lions, but Jones has an equally attractive matchup against the Raiders defense that made Baker Mayfield a hero, and I think Jones is a better QB than White.
DBro: Brock Purdy. He has proven that he can make quick decisions in this offense. Jimmy Jimmy stepped up as a quarterback in this offense in Week 12, and now we’ve seen how Purdy does as well. Even with Deebo out of the lineup this week, SF still has plenty of offensive firepower to elevate Purdy to borderline QB1 status.
Q4. Any final thoughts for the week? Any sleeper starters or popular players you’re missing in Week 15?
Pat: Just to reiterate my advice from earlier: Don’t get complacent in the most important week of your fantasy season (yet). Injuries can force you to make uncomfortable choices, but don’t do something stupid just because you have a glimpse of some outside contributor having a splash game.
Some borderline start/sit guys I’m above consensus on this week: JK Dobbins, Raheem Mostert, AJ Dillon, Michael Carter, Allen Lazard, Michael Gallup.
Some borderline start/sit guys I’m under consensus on: Jamaal Williams, D’Andre Swift, Brian Robinson, Deonta Johnson, Josh Palmer.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning paper Fantasy Football Tools As you navigate your season. from us Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus forecasts – our Waiver Wire Assistantwhich Lets you quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this season of fantasy football.
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