And down the stretch they come!
Week 15 of the NFL season is upon us and the race to become the RotoWire Expert Champion is heating up. Of course, it's likely the semi-final matchup in your year-long leagues this week, so if you are not one of the final four, FanDuel is now your go to option to squeeze few more weeks of fantasy goodness out of this NFL season.
Christopher Olson (christop) eked out a 1.12 point victory in the Week 14 contest, riding the right arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick and studly performances from Doug Baldwin, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to victory.
The real story out of last week's contest, however, was Tate McEntyre's (tmac) continued excellence as he also took advantage of another Doug Baldwin masterpiece to finish second for the week and surge into first place overall in the season long championship. With thee weeks left to play, Tate holds an 11 point lead in the competition over Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) and Shannon McKeown (rotoshannon). Expect some drama within the top 10 over the final weeks of the season. You can also follow along with the full leaderboard.
- Tate McIntyre (tamc10) - 1,787.82
- Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) - 1,766.52
- Shannon McKeown (rotoshannon) - 1,765.90
- Peter Merrill (black26) - 1,731.52
- Josh Collacchi (JCollacchi) - 1,708.56
- Joel Bartilotta (joelbartilotta) - 1,706.92
- Ed Kensik (chicagoed) - 1,692.28
- Adam Wolf (rotosomething) - 1,689.66
- Chris Smith (smithca28) - 1,663.44
- Josh Fathollahi (jashfath) - 1,659.04
Turning to the action on the field in the weekend ahead, the Broncos-Steelers matchup highlights the action as Pittsburgh attempts to maintain its standing in the wild card race. The Bengals turn to backup quarterback AJ McCarron as they had to San Francisco with a chance to ice the division.
QB Alex Smith: Kansas City @ Baltimore
At an affordable $7,000 for the week, Alex Smith checks in as a fantastic value play against a reeling Baltimore secondary. The Ravens yielded a five-touchdown performance to the red-hot Russell Wilson last week and have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. At times, Smith's fantasy upside is limited by thew Chiefs' conservative offense, but the quarterback is playing efficient football as the team rallies towards the playoffs. Over the last three weeks, Smith has accounted for six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) while providing a nice floor with his rushing ability.
RBEddie Lacy: Green Bay @ Oakland
Though Lacy has been one of the most frustrating players to own is season long leagues, there is no way to ignore his dominant play down the stretch – whenever he is given carries. Lacy has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the past three games where he's been given a starter's workload while chipping in a couple of touchdowns along the way. After his Week 13 psuedo-benching, Lacy earned back my trust with a workhorse performance last week and is a bankable RB1 for this week's matchup with a beatable Raiders defense.
RBDenard Robinson: Jacksonville vs. Atlanta
Robinson was a popular name on the waiver wire this week, and for good reason. TJ Yeldon's knee injury opens the door for Shoelace to get starter's touches in a tasty matchup at home against Atlanta as the Jags try to hang in the AFC South race. If you're like me and enjoyed Denard's brief sting as an RB1 last season, you'll roll him out with full confidence once again in Week 15.
WRJeremy Maclin: Kansas City @ Baltimore
As noted above, the Cheifs' passing game is heading into a dream matchup against the Ravens this week. Maclin is the big play guy for Alex Smith and represents an affordable swing for the fences as you set your tournament lineup.
WRMichael Floyd: Arizona @ Philadelphia
Very quietly, Michael Floyd has re-emerged as an every week fantasy option. The Cardinal's offense continues to roll and Floyd has racked up 100+ yards in four of his last five games while scoring four times over that span.
TEDelanie Walker: Tennessee @ New England
The most consistent tight end doesn't flash the monster weeks that you may see from Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen or Jordan Reed, but Walker continues to get it done week in and week out. He's snared 6+ receptions for 70+ yards in each of his last four games. The continued absence of Kendall Wright leaves Walker as the main possession receiver in the Titan's offense, giving him a bankable floor at a second tier price point.
High Risk/High Reward
QB Cam Newton: Panthers @ Giants
Cam is the second priciest quarterback for Sunday's slate, so you are going to need a dominant performance to justify the cost. He's as good a start as any this week against New York's consistently burnable secondary while also potentially taking over a larger role in the red zone with Jonathan Stewart sidelined.
RB Deangelo Williams: Pittsburgh vs. Denver
Williams has performed as an No. 1 throughout the season, but faces a brutal matchup against Denver's top ranked defense as the Steelers host Denver in a must-win for Pittsburgh. Still, Deangelo's involvement in the passing game and goal-line touches keep him in the conversation as a tournament play this weekend. He's a discount play in Week 15 due to the matchup and could be a nice risk given his performance in recent weeks.
WROdell Beckham Jr. Giants vs. Panthers
What happens when the best defensive back in the league takes on the best wide receiver in the league? Josh Norman was able to "limit" Julio Jones to a 7-for-88 day last week, but may face an even bigger challenge this week as he tries to keep up with OBJ. The difference for Odell this week is that he's paired with a quarterback who is actually playing competent football and as the G-Men try to keep pace in the NFC East, they will again lean on their No. 1 playmaker.
TERob Gronkowski: New England vs. Tennessee
The price tag is the only thing making Gronk a risky play this week as he looked healthy and strong in his return from injury against Houston. Expect the snap count to rise and Gronk to once again be a focal point of the Pats' offense.