Fantasy Football Ride or Die Week 15


Due to time to restraints we are diving right into the Fantasy Football Ride or Die. Real quick, remember we use a standard format for our evaluations. We try to stay away from the obvious but sometimes want to hammer a point home.

Good luck this week and congratulations on making it this far in the season. Week 15.. What time to be alive!

You can check the Flex Rankings for any start/ sit question. This is a little more in depth than that.


Quarterbacks to Ride With:

Ben Roethlisberger, @Atl- Admit it. Two weeks ago this would have been a tough call. You were not absolutely sure you could trust him in such an obvious match up. Well, I am here to tell you you don’t need to fear him any longer. Besides the obvious top three of Rodgers, Manning and Luck, I could see a scenario were you would play Big Ben over anyone else you have on your roster. Starting in week seven he has had only one game under 15 points, but three games of 35 points or more.

Andrew Luck, vsHou- You know when you draft one of the truly elite QB’s for fantasy and in the playoffs they toss up one of their career lowest statistical games? *Cough, Peyton. *Ahem. Well, in Luck you can trust. He won’t do that to you. The Texans have been decent against quarterbacks lately. Mostly due to match ups against guys like Zach Mettenberger and Blake Bortles. The last QB to score more than 30 points against Houston? Short answer.. Luck.

Eli Manning, vsWas – Come on, admit it. You thought about it at least once since last Sunday. He hasn’t been a fantasy darling, that is for sure. He does have four games this year with 25 points or more. He faces the NFL’s worst pass rush, the Washington football club and even though he doesn’t have Victor Cruz, there’s this new guy Eli has to throw to. Odell something?

Jay Cutler, vsNO- I’m going to ignore the thought that these last two names are cringe worthy. That is, if you are putting the weight of a fantasy playoffs victory on either of their shoulders. Again, I am not suggesting you start them over Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers. Their are rosters out there were starting him might just be the best thing for him. The Bears are going to be throwing the ball, losing Brandon Marshall won’t stop them from tossing it to other targets. More on that later. The Saints on the other hand, have allowed the 5th most points to QB’s this season. He did have a 30+ point game against Dallas last week. One side note, this game is on Monday night. At least, going into the last day you can have a logistical shot at winning.

Johnny Manziel, vsInd- Here’s the thing. You probably don’t need him if you’ve made it this far. In the event you’ve made it this far but have truly been struggling at QB you could take a chance on him. There’s a good chance he is a top 10 QB this week and if I am in a two QB league I bet there’s an even better chance I am using him.

Quarterbacks to Die With:

Andy Dalton, @Cle – He surprised a few people with his 30+ point performance a week ago against Pittsburgh. The Cleveland Browns have a much more cohesive unit, it’s at least better than the Steelers. Dalton probably won’t have the same kind of performance this week against a defense who is only allowing the seventh fewest FP/G to passers. In week 10, at home Dalton put up a negative point performance in many leagues.

Tom Brady, vsMia- The one thing I am holding on to for a good performance out of him is that the game will be played in the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium. Other than that, I don’t feel too good about this match up. He is averaging less than 20 FP/G in his last five meetings with the Dolphins. On top of that, Miami is the 4th best defense in the league versus the pass. This should be a really tough and gritty game. I am not banking on the top notch type of game from him.

Matt Ryan, vsPit- I think many of the owner who made it into the playoffs with Matt Ryan as their QB did it despite of him, not because of. His games are so up and down, there’s better chance he cost you some weeks rather than help you win them. Even against a match up that looks tasty, say this weeks at home against the Steelers he isn’t sure to do anything. With Julio Jones not 100% there’s concern the team won’t be at full strength. The Falcons haven’t showed they can outlast many teams, division leading or not.

Running Backs to Ride With:

Mark Ingram, @Chi- He has been a little disappointing of late. That had to do more with the Saints than it does him. With that said, he’s facing a mediocre Chicago Bears defense who are as much of a raging tire fire as New Orleans is. He should see an normal games worth of use and in turn should generate more than a few fantasy points.

Jonathan Stewart, vsTB- He’s appears to be the healthiest he’s been in seven years. Rushed for 155 yards on 20 carries a week ago and that was with a healthy Cam Newton. This week Cam is out and may need some defensive driving courses. In either case, Stewart will see a lot of work this week. He faces the Buccaneers who are allowing almost 30 FP/G to opposing backs.

Le’Veon Bell, @Atl- In a season that has seen some bright backs go dim he has been one of the brightest bulbs. It has been a privilege having him on a few of my rosters. It feels like a reward every week. This week, against the leagues worst rushing defense should be the biggest reward of the year. He hasn’t scored less than 35 points in the last three weeks, all since the release of LeGerrette Blount.

LeGerrette Blount, vsMia- Miami is a good defense, don’t get me wrong. They are going to cause fits for New England this week, especially Brady. However, they don’t stop the run particularly well. They rank just outside the worst 10 rushing defenses in the league. Since arriving in New England Blount has been used, and used frequently. He scored two times in his return to the Pats, but hasn’t since. He has rushed 30 times for 124 yards. Me thinks he’s a top 10 or 15 play this week.

Running Backs to Die With:

Jamaal Charles, vsOak- This has almost nothing to do with the match up, although they did keep Peyton Manning under 200 yards. Really, this is about his health. The Chiefs are fighting to become one of the two wild card teams in the AFC. They are going to rely heavily on their rushing attack. Thing is, it might not be all JC. His ankle and knee are not 100% and even though he is expecting to play he could see a reduction in usage. Plus the chance for re-injury. You’re obviously not benching him but he could hurt you more than help you in one of your more critical match ups for the fantasy season.

Chris Ivory, @Ten- If you’re going to use a rusher off of the Jets you might want to consider Chris Johnson over Ivory. Through the season Ivory was the better back for fantasy purposes, although he hasn’t been that beneficial. Still, I like the redepmtion game and you know as well as I that CJ2K had this date circled on the calender. If anyone on the Jets has something to play for this week it’s going to be him. I don’t think he’s a complete ride, just the better Jet for week 15. I hope you’re not like me and are left with him this week. But if you are, there is a chance for something here.

Wide Receivers to Ride With:

Odell Beckham Jr., vsWas- There’s something to be said about having “the guy” in a particular offense. It doesn’t have to be a running back. OdB has bright future in the league and the future seems to be right now. Like, this very second. He is sizing up to be the best acquisition for many of you and saved many others season. Since week seven, he has scored less than ten points twice (but they were both nine), and more than 15 points a total of four times. Washington is the worst in the league against the pass and you’re already looking at Eli. Who do you think is going to see all those throws?

Dez Bryant, @Phi- Before a lot of drafts I do one thing. I look at the Sunday and Monday nights schedules. It’s in those prime time games where you will see a lot of studly performances. Well, I used this as a tie breaker in some situations while I was drafting. In one league, I had a late first round pick and was torn between Bryant and Brandon Marshall. They both have prime time match ups this week but thought Bryant in a divisional game had a better chance. Call it luck, call it skill but Marshall is injured and not playing and Dez i fully healthy and ready. Of course, he could have a terrible game..I just doubt it.

Antonio Brown, @Atl- This is one of the biggest reason Big Ben has been so good through the middle part of the season. Atlanta loves giving up big games to receivers. A lot of their opponents allow double digit fantasy points to both receivers on the offense so Martavis Bryant is a string play in some daily leagues. Real cheap, if ya know what I mean. Still, it’s going to be a big day for this passing game and many involved should benefit.

Wide Receivers to Die With:

Kendall Wright, vsNYJ – He’s sometimes a sneaky pick for your team. There are weeks he can come up with some big points. Those weeks are few and far between, and even though the Jets are one of the worst pass defenses in the league I can’t trust him, his injured hand or his sputtering at best offense. He did return to practice on Wednesday but I still don’t want to have to use him.

Julio Jones, @Pit- He didn’t practice Wednesday, he isn’t practicing on Thursday. Check again on Friday but hip injuries on wide outs don’t generally turn out so good. Pittsburgh isn’t the best on defense, especially in the secondary. He should do all of of us a favor and just say he’s out for this week, be back in week 16 for your fantasy championships. For now, take a chance on Harry Douglas. Nooooo.. Instead he, his coach and his QB have to say he looks like he’ll play. If he does, I’ll be playing him with a lot of prayers he’s 100%.

Josh Gordon, vsCin- Come on, you know you’re going to play him. You’re not really that worried that Manziel won’t be able to get him the ball. Yea, that is a real possibility. You may not want to accept it because you want to be the genius who held on to Gordon all season so you could use him in the playoffs and win. Well, there is a real chance he doesn’t. I could be wrong, but besides his first game back he’s scored 7, and 1 point respectively. Not very helpful this time of year.

Tight Ends to Ride With:

Greg Olsen, vsTB- In week one, and without Cam Newton he was able to score twice while having a total of 72 receiving yards. What? Did Tampa Bay final learn how to cover tight ends? They rank as the 12th worst defense in that regard. With Cam out again this week and Derek Anderson behind center I see a lot of targets for the veteran tight end.

Martellus Bennett, vsNO – With the absence of Brandon Marshall for the rest of the season somebody is going to have to eat up those targets. Alshon Jeffrey will see a bump as will Bennett. Marquess is the other guy who should see some action come his way. The guy stemming to benefit the most will be Bennett, as he becomes the most prolific red zone target on the team.

Jared Cook, vsAri- This is probably the only person I am considering outside of Tre Mason for this entire game. He had two of his only good games last season against them and this season the Cardinals game is the one of the two games he actually found the end zone. I just feel like, when you’re in a trend then ride it.

Tight Ends to Die With:

Travis Kelce, vsOak- His performance last weekin Arizona does only one thing.. It helps you make the Jared Cook decision. Other than that, he is of no use to me, a team trying to win in the second round of the playoffs. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s owned in 81% of leagues. That means, there’s roughly 20% of you out there who he’s not frustrating the crap out of. Good for you guys.

Dwayne Allen, vsHou- I don’t know what it is frankly. Is he not 100%? Does Luck just like him better? What ever it is, he only received three targets last week in his return for only one catch for five yards. I find it difficult to believe he’s going to help me win in the playoffs this way.

Zach Ertz, vsDal- So what, he scored last week. Doesn’t mean he does it again. In fact, the pattern through the season would indicate he doesn’t find the end zone again this year. He’s 61% owned and even that seems high.

Defense/ Special Teams to Ride With:

Baltimore, vsJax- Despite some recent success the fact remains that the Jaguars are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing defenses. Baltimore has its own issues at times, especially in the secondary but they are putting up points for fantasy. They have scored double digit points in over half of their match ups thus far. They are a match up play at least. This would be that match up.

New York Giants, vsWas- Some teams begin to unfold at this part of the season. The team from our nation’s capitol appears to be doing just that. We don’t even know who the QB is this Sunday and frankly, I don’t think it matters. The Giants have shown up in games like this before. If you’re streamlining defenses your picking has become slim, you might want to give them a go.

Philadelphia, vsDal- Believe it or not, Dallas isn’t a huge threat to dismantle a defense. Just two weeks ago, on Thanksgiving they scored over 15 points in most leagues. This week, at home against a still hobbling Tony Romo why not do even better?

Defense/ Special Teams to Die With:

Tampa Bay, @Car- You think it’s a dream match up because of Carolina’s situation. Cam Newton is out, Derek Anderson is in. It doesn’t really matter because Carolina can still score points against this defense. Anderson is going to protect the ball and hand it off a lot to Jonathan Stewart which is going to leave few opportunities for turnovers. Don’t be cute, Tampa Bay’s not the answer.

Houston, @Ind- Short answer: I’m out on any defense facing Andrew Luck. Long Answer: Do you need more than that?

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