Week 15 Stashes For Bye Week Teams
If you are reading this column, it is likely that you have found yourself with a first-round bye or have a very competitive fantasy football playoffs roster. The idea here is to give you some suggestions on who might be underrated that could become a starter for your team in Week 15. The time is now to cut bait on third-down backs, WR5s and QBs who can’t help you win, and turn an eye to being competitive a week down the road. Ideally, your starting lineup for Week 14 should be set and we should be looking for some upside in Week 15.
As with all of these players, I am focusing on guys who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. Lamar semi-disappointed against the Falcons and had to leave to be checked for injury at one point but in his three starts this year, the Ravens are 3-0 and he has a minimum of 71 rushing yards in each game. The Ravens play Tampa Bay in Week 15 in what should be high-projected Vegas point total and I really like Lamar in that spot.
Mariota has been one of the most frustrating and inconsistent players in all of fantasy, but if you do not have a dialed in fantasy starter, I really like the upside he will bring in Week 15. The Titans play an anemic Giants pass rush which is the first key I look at in QB streamers; I really don’t want my guys to be under pressure if I don’t think they are that good. Marcus is coming off a 35 pass attempt, 45 rushing yard game against the Jets but will be in a gross Week 14 game against the Jags where he is not really a fantasy option so he might be on your wire.
I actually do not hate the Browns as a streamer against the Panthers this weekend if you are not wanting to hold two defenses. They are under 30% owned on Yahoo! and have decent upside against this version of Cam Newton who has thrown at least one interception in his last four games and is coming off of a four interception game against Tampa. The Browns will face trainwreck Case Keenum in Week 15 and they are actually a top 10 defense in terms of net adjusted yards per attempt allowed this season. I would have no problem using the Browns in Week 14 or 15.
New York Jets
The Jets defense is always interesting for streaming because they are not a very #good unit (right about league average in yards allowed per play and in turnovers generated) but by the nature of the way the team plays, they tend to force opposing offenses into less pass attempts and generally gross game scripts. Ideally, we want our defenses facing a lot of pass attempts to generate sacks and interceptions but beggars cannot be choosers. The Jets face the Bills in Week 14 and the Texans in Week 15, both of which are adequate defensive matchups. Deshaun Watson is not a turnover machine, but the Texans offensive line is generally weak and when they do pass, the Jets should have a chance at generating DST points.
Shaheen is the sort of desperation play than can make or break your fantasy week. The TE position has been full of disappointments this year, from Rob Gronkowski turning into an offensive linemen to Greg Olsen’s foot injury and even Jordan Reed never popping despite being healthy. Shaheen upped his snap count to 24 plays last week and caught a touchdown on one of his two targets. He was a player I was rather high on before his injury this year as I expected Matt Nagy’s system to use two tight ends at a high clip. The other Bears tight ends barely played in their last game and I think we should expect Shaheen’s play count to continue to increase.
Initially, I was planning on putting Jonnu Smith in this space but I actually believe Andrews to be the better option. Andrews is coming off of a 3-target game against the Falcons where he secured all 3 targets but it seems that he is really the only true starting TE for his team. Jonnu plays a decent clip but is used rarely between the 20s. Nick Boyle plays a larger share of the snaps generally than Andrews but Andrews has 2 more targets and 5 more catches on the year. Andrews should be in line for greater usage against both the Chiefs and in Week 15 against the Bucs because those are passing-heavy projected game scripts as opposed to the run-heavy offense of the last three weeks.