Sat Nov 9 2:48pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Six teams are on a bye this week: New England, Philadelphia, Houston, Denver, Washington and Jacksonville. Some premier fantasy will be missing in lineups, who can you replace them with?
The Colts get the gimme game with the Dolphins coming to town, but T.Y. Hilton is out and Jacoby Brissett looks doubtful. Their defense remains a good play. The other matchup of bad teams meet in the battle of New York with the Giants playing the Jets. There is very little to get excited about there.
There are two matchups where a lot of offense is predicted, so playing the guys on these four teams makes sense: Arizona at Tampa Bay, and Atlanta at New Orleans. Not far behind will be Kansas City at Tennessee, and Minnesota at Dallas.
In one of the better good versus bad team matchups, Baltimore plays Cincinnati. This should be a very one sided game.
Three Bengals have one of the worst defenses in the NFL against both the pass and rush, so Cincinnati has no chance to stop the potent Ravens offense. Lamar Jackson should have a big day both rushing and passing. And the other Ravens players should put up big numbers - Mark Ingram, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews. Play them all!
Quarterbacks: Kyler Murray and the Cardinals travel to Tampa. The prize the Cardinals get is the Bucs defense. Their secondary is in shambles, having allowed 300-passing yards and two touchdowns the last six games. The rookie quarterback has a great chance to have one of his best days as a pro in this one. And on the other side of the ball, Jameis Winston could put the ball up 40 times playing catch up. You can safely play both quarterbacks. Arizona is really bad defending against tight ends. Could this be the day everyone has been waiting for from O.J. Howard? I say no. Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians doesn’t make up plays that go to tight ends, and I doubt he’ll start against his former team.
Drew Brees gets an easy game against a pitiful Falcons defense at home in what should another very one-sided game.
My sleeper quarterback pick is whoever starts for the Colts at home against Miami. I think Brian Hoyer might have better day than banged up Jacoby Brissett, and I don’t think the Colts need him to dispose of the Dolphins. It’d be smarter to give home the week off to heal. If Hoyer starts, he makes a great DFS play.
Running Backs: David Montgomery has averaged 110 yards his last two games, and the way Mitch Trubisky has been playing, the key to victory for the Bears is to run him early and often against the Lions. You can expect the big five - Christian McCaffery, Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook - to all have the games you’d expect this week.
Devin Singletary has taken over the lead running back role in Buffalo, and he should have a really good day against a Cleveland rushing defense that is giving up over 120 yards per game.
And the Colts are playing the Dolphins, so the Marlon Mack express should be chugging along.
Wide Receivers: Look at the quarterbacks above. The question is what receivers will they be throwing to? I think Murray’s top receiver will be veteran Larry Fitzgerald, but Christian Kirk will have a good day, also. It wouldn’t surprise me to see both top the century mark. On the other side when James isn’t throwing to Arizona cornerbacks, I look for Chris Godwin to out-catch Mike Evans this week. The main reason is because Winston might want to stay away from Patrick Peterson, who likely shadows Evans.
The most consistent wide receiver this year has been Michael Thomas, and he’ll be Drew Brees’s favorite target this week. To go with my sleeper pick with the Colts at quarterback, Zach Pascal will be on the receiving end for which ever quarterback plays.
Tight Ends: Travis Kelce should have a good day against a questionable middle linebacker group in Tennessee, especially if Patrick Mahomes does indeed play. And if George Kittle is healed enough to play for the 49ers against the Seahawks Monday night, it’s a great matchup for him, but right now he looks really risky. My top pick this week is Atlanta’s Austin Hooper, especially if Matt Ryan is back at quarterback. New Orleans has allowed the sixth most yards per catch to tight ends this year.
Defenses: The obvious three are Indianapolis (vs. Miami), Baltimore (vs. Cincinnati) and New Orleans (vs. Atlanta). The Bears at home against the Lions are a good call, too. Look for them to get a pick six.
Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (thumb) is officially active for Week 15 against the Detroit Lions. Winston wasn't able to throw a football in practice until Friday, though he was able to finish off last week's 456-yard, four-touchdown performance with the injury. Winston has a great chance to stay hot against Detroit's suspect pass defense. Fantasy owners must beware the risk- Winston can be erratic even without a fractured thumb.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (ribs, illness) is inactive for Week 15 against the Denver Broncos. Darwin Thompson, LeSean McCoy and Spencer Ware will shoulder the load for Kansas City. The Chiefs backfield isn't an ideal fantasy situation, though McCoy, who's had success running in snowy conditions, and Thompson are probably the safest choices.
Detroit Lions running back Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is officially inactive for Week 15 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Scarbrough wasn't able to practice on Thursday or Friday, so it was likely a longshot for him to play anyway. Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic, and practice-squad call-up Wes Hills will lead the backfield in Scarbrough's absence. All are shaky plays, considering Tampa Bay possesses the league's best run defense.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) is officially active for Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans. When healthy, Fuller has been a difference-maker, averaging 7.6 targets and 74 receiving yards per game. He possesses considerable upside and could be worth a start in what should be a competitive divisional game. Fuller's presence is also a boost to quarterback Deshaun Watson's stock for this contest.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) is active for Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Edelman was optimistic about playing, though it's nice to get the official word. He's a must-start considering his eight-game streak with double-digit targets and the fact that Tom Brady doesn't seem to trust any other receiver in this offense right now.
The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Lane Johnson, DL Shareef Miller, OG Sua Opeta, DE Derek Barnett, QB Nate Sudfeld, RB Jordan Howard and WR Nelson Agholor inactive for Week 15.
Detroit Lions RB Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is not active for Week 15's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry (hamstring) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.
Fantasy Spin: Henry should receive his normal workload this week and has been one of the top running backs in the NFL during the second half of the season. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.
Fantasy Spin: Fuller will return to the lineup after missing some time because of his hamstring injury. He should see a handful of targets in the passing game but may not be more than a flex option in leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (rib) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 15 game.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) is officially active for the team's Week 15 game.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman should be the main option in the passing game for the Patriots this week and can be a No. 2 receiver in fantasy leagues.
According to a report by NFL's Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns plan to retain Freddie Kitchens as their head coach after the season ends. Kitchens has gone through some growing pains as a first-time head coach, struggling with play calling at times while trying to manage some big egos in the Cleveland locker room. Despite the rough year, Kitchens is said to have support from the front office barring a late-season disaster. In what has seemed like a lost season at times, Kitchens and the Browns still have a chance to finish with a winning record, which would be just the third time that has happened since the team came back in 1999.
The New York Giants have declared TE Rhett Ellison, TE Evan Engram, OG Kevin Zeitler, QB Daniel Jones, OG Chad Slade and RB Wayne Gallman inactive for Week 15.
The Carolina Panthers have declared LB Christian Miller, OT Garrett McGhin, CB Corn Elder, TE Greg Olsen, DE Marquis Haynes, DL Woodrow Hamilton and LB Ramik Wilson inactive for Week 15.
The Tennessee Titans have declared WR Adam Humphries, CB Adoree' Jackson, LB Daren Bates, LB Sharif Finch, DE Matt Dickerson, DT Isaiah Mack and OG Kevin Pamphile inactive for Week 15.
The Washington Redskins have declared OG Brandon Scherff, TE Caleb Wilson, WR Trey Quinn, CB Quinton Dunbar, SS Josh Harvey-Clemons, OG Ross Pierschbacher and QB Colt McCoy inactive for Week 15.
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is not planning on requesting a trade this offseason. This is a change from what Fox's Jay Glazer reported last week when he broke that Beckham has been telling opposing coaches and players to trade for him on-field before games. While it now appears that Beckham will stay in Cleveland, he is among a group of veterans who are hoping the team makes a few adjustments to the coaching staff and how roles are delegated for the 2020 season. Beckham is also said to be playing through a hernia injury although no decisions have been made in regards to his offseason plans just yet. A source told LaCanfora that the injury is not a major one and that surgery may not be a requirement this offseason.
The Denver Broncos have declared DL Adam Gotsis, OG Ronald Leary, CB Shakial Taylor, OT Ja'Wuan James, DE DeMarcus Walker, OT Calvin Anderson and DT Dre'Mont Jones inactive for Week 15.
The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Chad Henne, CB Morris Claiborne, OG Nick Allegretti, CB Rashad Fenton, RB Damien Williams, OT Jackson Barton and TE Deon Yelder inactive for Week 15.