Week 15 fantasy football rankings: Chasing a championship

Steven Psihogios
·18-min read

You’ve made it this far in your fantasy football league, which means you’ve got a good idea of what to do. My rankings will offer you some insight and an informed viewpoint, but make sure you feel good about how your lineup looks before locking it in.

That said, here we go:

QB

1) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. Carolina Panthers)

2) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

3) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (at Denver Broncos)

4) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (at New Orleans Saints)

5) Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Atlanta Falcons)

Brady once again finds himself in my top-5 fantasy football QBs this week. Although the result in Week 14 was disappointing as he finished the week as QB20, I’m willing to bet he’ll be much better in Week 15. He gets a matchup against the Falcons, and although Atlanta has been better against opposing passers since Raheem Morris took over as head coach (tied for allowing the 13th-fewest fantasy points to QB), it’s still allowed three quarterbacks to top 23 fantasy points over the last five games. With Ronald Jones dealing with an injury and being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Tampa Bay will likely be without him and in a situation where they will have to lean on the passing attack.

6) Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (at Las Vegas Raiders) Played on Thursday

After topping 20 fantasy points in eight of his first nine starts, Herbert hasn’t topped that mark once over the past three weeks. Lucky for him, he gets a matchup against the Raiders defense, which has made a strong case to be considered the worst in the league of late. Las Vegas has allowed 28 points or more in four-straight games, and one of those games was against the Jets. There’s no bigger indictment on a defense then letting the Jets move the ball on you.

7) Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)

8) Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at Washington Football Team)

9) Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

10) Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)

Over the past four weeks, Carr has amassed the sixth-most fantasy points amongst all quarterbacks. Over this stretch, his adjusted completion percentage is seventh in the NFL while his 1,187 passing yards are third. In Week 15, he gets a date with a very exploitable Chargers defense that has conceded the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing passers this season.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 13: Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr #4 scrambles against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at Allegiant Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Against all AFC West rivals, Carr’s career 93.8 passer rating against Los Angeles is his best mark. (Getty)

11) Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles (at Arizona Cardinals)

Hurts was extremely impressive in his starting QB debut in Week 14. Leading his team to a win over the Saints, Hurts completed 17-of-30 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown while adding 106 yards and a fumble on 18 carries. Overall, it was one of the better performances from a rookie quarterback this season as New Orleans had only allowed 61 rushing yards to opposing passers all season entering the contest. In Week 15, Hurts should be able to rack up the fantasy points on the ground once again as his opponent, the Cardinals, have allowed the second-most rushing yards to quarterbacks since Week 7.

12) Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (at Indianapolis Colts)

I know we’ve joked all season about how Watson and the Texans could use somebody like DeAndre Hopkins, but now he really needs somebody, anybody, to step up. Houston will likely have Brandin Cooks back in the lineup this week, but his passing-game options remain poor. Watson was somewhat successful against Indianapolis in Week 13, finishing the week as QB14, but it’s hard to expect much better as the Colts have been one of the tougher matchups for quarterbacks this season, currently tied for allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position.

13) Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

14) Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Houston Texans)

15) Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

16) Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears (at Minnesota Vikings)

17) Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Chicago Bears)

18) Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (at New York Giants)

19) Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (vs. New York Jets)

20) Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (at Green Bay Packers)

21) Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

22) Daniel Jones, New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)

23) Cam Newton, New England Patriots (at Miami Dolphins)

24) Alex Smith, Washington Football Team (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

25) Drew Lock, Denver Broncos (vs. Buffalo Bills)

26) Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

27) Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers (at Dallas Cowboys)

28) Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (vs. New England Patriots)

One week after finishing as Week 14’s QB4, Tagovailoa ranks as a bottom-5 option for me in fantasy football. For starters, his team endured some pretty impactful injuries in its loss to the Chiefs, highlighted by DeVante Parker, Jakeem Grant and Mike Gesicki. While it seems like all will be active for the match, it appears likely that they’ll be at less than 100%, which doesn’t bode well in a tough matchup against a mean Patriots secondary. Over the past three weeks, New England has allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Additionally, head coach Bill Belichick is 21-5 against rookie quarterbacks in his career, including a recent 45-0 win over Justin Herbert and the Chargers.

29) Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Baltimore Ravens)

30) Chase Daniel, Detroit Lions (at Tennessee Titans)

31) Sam Darnold, New York Jets (at Los Angeles Rams)

32) Ryan Finley, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

RB

1) Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)

2) Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (vs. Carolina Panthers)

3) Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

4) Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Chicago Bears)

5) Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (at Las Vegas Raiders) Played on Thursday

6) Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (at New York Giants)

7) Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Houston Texans)

If you drafted Taylor and were able to field a competitive team while the rookie adjusted to the NFL, you’re likely looking very good in the fantasy football playoffs. Over the past two weeks, no running back has scored more fantasy points than Taylor, and in Week 15 he gets another plus matchup against the Texans. Over the past two weeks, Taylor has played 51.5% of the Colts’ offensive snaps which is up from his year-long total of 45.7%. Against Houston, who has surrendered the most fantasy points to running backs this season, he’s an RB1. In Week 13 against the Texans, Taylor turned 13 carries into 91 yards and added three receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown.

8) Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (vs. New York Jets)

I had Akers ranked as an RB2 last week, but after receiving an absolutely insane 29 carries in Week 14, he’s earned RB1 status. It wasn’t just that he got 29 carries, it was that he absolutely dominated the Patriots on the ground as well, racking up 171 rushing yards while adding two receptions for 23 yards. Since Week 12, his 16 red-zone carries rank second in the NFL while his 50.7 fantasy points are the sixth-most amongst running backs. The Rams, who run the ball the eighth-most frequently of any team in the NFL, should find themselves in a run-heavy game script as 17.5-point favourites against the lowly Jets.

9) Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers (at Green Bay Packers)

10) Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (at Arizona Cardinals)

Sanders bounced back in a huge way in Week 14 against the Saints, absolutely torching one of the league’s best run defenses en route to 27.60 fantasy points in half-point PPR. Having Jalen Hurts under centre, a quarterback capable of rushing effectively, instantly opened up the team’s run game. I expect Sanders to have more weeks like Week 14 moving forward. The matchup against the Cardinals in Week 15 isn’t one that should scare fantasy managers off either, as Arizona has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to the position since Week 11.

11) Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Los Angeles Chargers) Played on Thursday

12) J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

13) James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Baltimore Ravens)

I’m low on Robinson this week as he gets a tough date against the Ravens who, prior to last week, were a bottom-10 matchup for opposing running backs. My concern stems from the blowout potential of this game as Baltimore is currently a 12.5-point favourite. Surprisingly, the Jaguars have played in a lot of tight games recently, as four of their last six have been decided by one score. In those two games that were blowouts, however, Robinson averaged just 10.35 fantasy points per-game. The worry is that if this game gets out of hand, the Jaguars may abandon the run and Robinson may have a quiet day.

14) D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (at Tennessee Titans)

15) David Montgomery, Chicago Bears (at Minnesota Vikings)

16) Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (at Washington Football Team)

17) James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

18) Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

19) Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)

20) Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns (at New York Giants)

21) Melvin Gordon III, Denver Broncos (vs. Buffalo Bills)

22) Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

In some cases, your first-round pick will be sitting on your bench in Week 15 as Elliott is very hard to trust. Since Week 6, Elliott has scored just one touchdown and is RB25 in fantasy football, sitting behind players like Jamaal Williams and J.D. McKissic. His opponent this week, the 49ers, have conceded just six rushing touchdowns this season, which is tied for the third-lowest number of any team. At this point, you have to remove draft capital from your decisions and look at the numbers, and unfortunately for Elliott, they haven’t been great.

23) Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (at New Orleans Saints)

24) Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers (at Dallas Cowboys)

25) J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

26) Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Houston Texans)

27) Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Atlanta Falcons)

28) Damien Harris, New England Patriots (at Miami Dolphins)

29) Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (at Denver Broncos)

30) Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers (at Dallas Cowboys)

WR

1) Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (vs. Carolina Panthers)

2) Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (at New Orleans Saints)

3) A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)

4) Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (at Denver Broncos)

5) D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (at Washington Football Team)

6) DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

7) Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (at Minnesota Vikings)

8) Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (vs. New York Jets)

9) Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Atlanta Falcons)

I’m very high on Evans this week in fantasy football, as the talented Bucs wide receiver will likely see a lot of Falcons corner A.J. Terrell in coverage. Terrell has struggled during his rookie campaign as he’s allowed 50 receiving yards or more in 10 of the 11 games he’s played. Evans, who is typically a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive backs, should have success against the inexperienced Falcons defender. In 11 career games against Atlanta, Evans has averaged 5.5 receptions, 82.3 receiving yards, and 9.34 yards per target while scoring eight touchdowns, so he’s been historically successful against the Falcons.

10) Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

11) Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (at Dallas Cowboys)

In each of Aiyuk’s last five games, he has topped 14 fantasy points and over the last two weeks, he’s WR6 in fantasy points while leading the NFL with 25 targets. Simply put, if you’re still alive in your league and you have Aiyuk, he’s starting. San Fran’s opponent this week, Dallas, is tied for conceding the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year.

12) Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Chicago Bears)

13) Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Chicago Bears)

14) Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Atlanta Falcons)

15) Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (vs. New York Jets)

16) Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)

17) Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

McLaurin fantasy football managers may be a little concerned about the star receiver after a pair of poor performances. Despite seeing 12 targets over the past two weeks, Mclaurin has only been able to post four receptions for 38 yards. McLaurin could be someone who falls down my rankings later in the week if Dwayne Haskins starts at quarterback over Alex Smith, who is dealing with a leg injury. Having Smith under centre would really add to his appeal, as McLaurin gets to square off against a Seahawks defense that is allowing the most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2020.

18) Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (at Denver Broncos)

19) T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Houston Texans)

Hilton is absolutely rolling right now and it seems that he and Philip Rivers are on the same page entering the fantasy semifinals. Since Week 12, he is WR3 in fantasy football and his upcoming matchup against the Texans, is one that he’s historically dominated.

20) Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers (at Green Bay Packers)

21) Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (at Washington Football Team)

22) Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

Johnson leads all wide receivers with 12 drops this season and his inability to secure the football cost him playing time in Week 14 against the Bills, as he played just 49% of the offensive snaps despite playing on over 75% of the offensive snaps in the previous seven games. In Week 15, however, I have confidence in Johnson as a WR2 against the Bengals. Although Cincinnati has actually played well against opposing wide receivers lately — giving up the third-fewest fantasy points to the position over the past four weeks — they’ve faced Dallas, Miami, Washington and the New York Giants during that stretch, which is not a great group of passing offenses. I think Johnson, along with the rest of the Steelers offense, get right in this divisional game.

23) Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Atlanta Falcons)

24) Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (at Las Vegas Raiders) Played on Thursday

Allen (hamstring) is a true game-time decision for Thursday night’s matchup against the Raiders. The veteran receiver hasn’t posted the same receiving yardage totals since Austin Ekeler made his return to the team’s lineup, as he’s failed to reach 60 yards in a game since Week 12. In the five games prior to Ekeler’s return, he had topped that mark four times. Exercise caution in starting Allen this week.

25) Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (at Green Bay Packers)

26) Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

27) Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

28) JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

29) Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns (at New York Giants)

30) Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Los Angeles Chargers) Played on Thursday

TE

1) Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (at New Orleans Saints)

2) Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Los Angeles Chargers) Played on Thursday

3) Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

4) T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (at Tennessee Titans)

I haven’t written much about Hockenson this season, but his consistency should be applauded. Over the last eight weeks, he’s reached double-digit fantasy points six times. His 83 targets and 657 receiving yards are the third-most at tight end in each category this year. At a position that’s been so depleted for solid options, Hockenson has provided fantasy managers some stability. His fantasy prospects may take a hit this week if Chase Daniel is starting at quarterback for the Lions, but he’s still a premier option at tight end.

5) Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (vs. Carolina Panthers)

6) Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (at Arizona Cardinals)

7) Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Atlanta Falcons)

8) Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers (at Las Vegas Raiders)

9) Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings (vs. Chicago Bears)

Smith Jr. looked good last week with Kyle Rudolph out of the lineup, securing all four of his targets for 63 yards and a touchdown while actually leading the Vikings in receiving yards. The one issue, unfortunately, is that he only played on 35% of the team’s offensive snaps. That could’ve been due to the groin injury he had been dealing with in the lead up to the game, which

10) Evan Engram, New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)

Engram, who I’m typically low on, cracks my top-10 this week as the matchup against the Browns is one of the true plusses for tight ends. Cleveland has surrendered the second-most fantasy points to tight ends and has allowed 10+ fantasy points in each of its past five games to the position. Despite having the fourth-most targets (81) at tight end, Engram is TE14 in fantasy points on the season. It hasn’t been a very efficient year, but in a good matchup, there’s likely not a better option available to you.

11) Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

12) Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (vs. New England Patriots)

13) Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (vs. Buffalo Bills)

14) Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

15) Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

16) Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)

17) Jordan Reed, San Francisco 49ers (at Dallas Cowboys)

18) Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

19) Jordan Akins, Houston Texans (at Indianapolis Colts)

Akins can be considered a little unlucky as over the last four weeks, his three end-zone targets are tied for the most amongst tight ends, but he has zero touchdowns to show for it. Obviously some of that incorporates the absolutely brutal drop he had last week, but he’s clearly being targeted by Deshaun Watson near the goal line, which is a good thing for fantasy. The Texans remain short on receiving options, so Akins should see enough volume to be considered in the deepest of leagues.

20) Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

DEF

1) Los Angeles Rams (vs. New York Jets)

2) Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

3) Baltimore Ravens (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

4) Seattle Seahawks (at Washington Football Team)

5) Buffalo Bills (at Denver Broncos)

6) Cleveland Browns (at New York Giants)

7) New England Patriots (at Miami Dolphins)

8) Miami Dolphins (vs. New England Patriots)

9) Indianapolis Colts (vs. Houston Texans)

10) Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)

11) San Francisco 49ers (at Dallas Cowboys)

12) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Atlanta Falcons)

13) Chicago Bears (at Minnesota Vikings)

14) Minnesota Vikings (vs. Chicago Bears)

15) Philadelphia Eagles (at Arizona Cardinals)

16) Dallas Cowboys (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

17) Arizona Cardinals (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

18) New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)

19) Atlanta Falcons (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

20) Los Angeles Chargers (at Las Vegas Raiders)

K

1) Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

2) Rodrigo Blankenship, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Houston Texans)

3) Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

4) Tyler Bass, Buffalo Bills (at Denver Broncos)

5) Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs (at New Orleans Saints)

6) Matt Gay, Los Angeles Rams (vs. New York Jets)

7) Daniel Carlson, Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)

8) Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

9) Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers (vs. Carolina Panthers)

10) Jason Myers, Seattle Seahawks (at Washington Football Team)

11) Stephen Gostkowski, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)

12) Michael Badgley, Los Angeles Chargers (at Las Vegas Raiders)

13) Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals)

14) Ryan Succop, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Atlanta Falcons)

15) Greg Zuerlein, Dallas Cowboys (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

16) Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins (vs. New England Patriots)

17) Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (at Tennessee Titans)

18) Joey Slye, Carolina Panthers (at Green Bay Packers)

19) Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers (at Dallas Cowboys)

20) Mike Nugent, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

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