Scott Engel is in his 11th season as the official Fantasy Football writer and analyst for Seahawks.com. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 10-time nominee, including being a finalist for the 2020 FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year Award, which he won previously. Scott was the No. 1 fantasy football draft accuracy ranker at tight end and No. 6 at running back on fantasypros.com in 2021. You can find more of his fantasy football analysis at The Game Day including additional lineup and roster tips for fantasy football Week 15.
Scott was the No. 2 overall fantasy football accuracy ranker for Week 9 on fantasypros.com.
The playoff push in the NFL coincides with the beginning of the fantasy playoffs. Most leagues will start their playoffs in NFL Week 15. While the Seahawks aim to nab an NFC postseason berth, we are entering the most important weeks of the fantasy football schedule.
We help you get ready for your next fantasy football playoff matchup with some essential tips and key starting lineup choices.
Fantasy Football Playoff Tips
Optimize Your Roster: Now is the time to get rid of players that you will never start from your bench and utilize your reserve spots for prime backups. At running back, make sure you have the top NFL backups to your regular starters. If you start Josh Jacobs, for instance, make sure to roster or add Zamir White. It is also is advisable to carry a backup QB that you can start comfortably if needed. Those who have been depending on Geno Smith as a starter should roster or add a quality backup such as Mike White or Daniel Jones.
At wide receiver, keep maintaining good depth, and try to carry two tight ends that can be streamed if you don't roster a must-start TE such as Travis Kelce or T.J. Hockenson. Many experienced fantasy players roster two defenses during the playoffs for ideal streaming usage.
Get Defensive on Free Agency: During the regular season, you need to be concerned with your own roster only, as we must stash players, deal with bye weeks and other roster challenges. In the playoffs, don't hesitate to keep tabs on your opponent's roster, and block them from getting who they want on waivers or free agency whenever you can. If the team you are playing needs an injury fill-in or streaming option, use a waiver move or free agency pickup to grab the best player they might be targeting. These sorts of defensive moves can obviously hurt your opponent's outlook.
Don't Always Lean on Matchups: Do not bench your top players based on a seemingly difficult matchup for a reserve who is not in the same fantasy range for value or proven production. Yes, Geno Smith faces the 49ers this week, but you should not reserve him for a QB who has not ranked in the top 15 range this season. Smith has delivered fantasy QB1 performances in each of his past five games. Matchups should only be used to help make tight decisions on similarly valued or projected players. Defenses don't always win the matchup and Smith has played so well that he should be started regardless of opponent.
Make Firm Decisions: We all struggle over close lineup calls, and the pressure increases when the fantasy playoffs arrive. Stick with the approach that took you this far, and if you are faced with a tight lineup decision, go off the best information gathered and make a firm decision. Very often, your first inclination will turn out to be the more ideal choice. Ask a fantasy expert his or her advice to help make that decision or get a consensus from two or three. I am always available for questions and answers in such scenarios @scotteTheKing.
Once you have made an informed choice, set your lineup and be done with it. As fantasy players, the best we can do is make the most informed decisions possible. That is the most we can control, and once the games start, we must sit back and watch the players do their part. Always remember that we can't control what happens after lineups are set, and if the ideal decisions were made based on the best info available, then you did everything needed to win.
Be confident in your ability to advance: If your team has made it this far, then you are in the mix to win it all, and try to take a "one game at a time" approach, sticking to the old cliché. It is a significant accomplishment to make the fantasy playoffs and validation that you have pushed many of the right buttons to be in the postseason bracket. Continue to lean on the methods that you have utilized to advance to the playoffs, and they can guide you to a fantasy championship.
Week 15 Fantasy Football Lineup Picks
Analysis leans to Points Per Reception (PPR) formats. We feature many players that should get the nod in some tight lineup calls this week, or should be streamed as complements to your top starters.
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James Conner: Despite the unfortunate loss of Kyler Murray, Conner showed that his fantasy outlook would not be weakened without Arizona's top QB guiding the offense. He had 114 scrimmage yards, six receptions and a rushing TD in Week 14. This week, he faces the Broncos, who rank 26th in rushing yards allowed to RBs over the past four weeks.
D'Onta Foreman: Carolina veered to using more of a committee approach recently, but Foreman remains the certain No. 1 RB for carries. The Steelers rank 29th in rushing yards allowed to running backs over the last four weeks, and the Panthers will likely continue to rely heavily on their ground game. Foreman is a good fantasy RB2 or flex starter for Week 15.
Brian Robinson: The rookie has rushed for 201 yards in his last two games, including 96 yards on 21 attempts in his last game played against the Giants, who he faces this week. New York has allowed the most rushing yards and TDs (eight) to opposing RBs over the past four weeks. The Giants rank 29th in rushing yards allowed to RBs over the full season.
Isiah Pacheco: Any time a running back faces the Texans, he must get strong fantasy lineup consideration. Houston has allowed the most Fantasy Points Per Game, rushing yards and rushing TDs to the position this season. Pacheco is the lead ball carrier for the NFL's top-ranked offense and he has rushed for TDs in two of his past three games.
Mike Williams: The Chargers WR should be locked into fantasy lineups after returning to action last week. He caught all six of his targets for 116 yards and a TD in Week 14. Williams is a natural lineup choice for savvy fantasy players. But his return may lead to some tough lineup decisions involving him, so we are encouraging you to consider starting Williams over any other less consistent options. The Titans have allowed the second-most FFPG to WRs over the past four weeks and the full season.
Michael Pittman Jr: The Vikings have the worst pass defense in the league, and have allowed the most FFPG to WRs among NFC teams. Pittman can post satisfactory fantasy totals whether the Colts are staying close to the Vikings or attempting to orchestrate a comeback. Prior to his last game played, Pittman had 27 targets in three games.
Donovan Peoples-Jones: The Cleveland WR had his best game of the season in Week 14, catching eight passes on 12 targets for 114 yards. Deshaun Watson is showing signs of regaining his better form, and he is going to continue to connect frequently with People-Jones, who is a big target with downfield playmaking promise. The Ravens rank 28th in FFPG allowed to WRs.
Marquise Goodwin: He is worthy of lineup consideration in deeper leagues. Goodwin has shown he can be a timely playmaker for Geno Smith this season, and he scored 20.3 fantasy points in Week 14, catching five of his six targets for 96 yards and a TD. The 49ers rank 30th in receiving yards allowed to WRs over the past four weeks.
Quarterbacks And Tight Ends
Dak Prescott: Some fantasy players may be faced with a close lineup call involving Prescott, yet he does have a good matchup this week and he has finished as a top 10 fantasy QB in four of his past six games. Jacksonville ranks 25th in FFPG allowed to QBs.
Mike White: The Lions have allowed the most FFPG to QBs this season. White has averaged 317.3 passing yards per game in three starts this season and he is a strong streaming option for Week 15.
Dalton Schultz: In many weeks, Schultz has been the subject of many tight lineup decisions at TE. He should be started this week as he faces the Jaguars, who rank 24th in FFPG allowed to TEs.
Greg Dulcich: Tight ends that face the Cardinals are always quality starting options, as Arizona has allowed the most FFPG to TEs throughout the season. If you have been streaming TEs, Dulcich should be considered for your lineup in Week 15.
For more fantasy football analysis from Scott Engel, visit The Game Day for his weekly sleepers and additional waiver recommendations.
The Seahawks got back to work on a short week, practicing on Tuesday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in preparation for Thursday Night Football vs. the 49ers. Seahawks practice photos are presented by Gatorade.