Scott Engel of RotoExperts.com is in his seventh season of Fantasy Football analysis on Seahawks.com. Scott is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writer's Association's Hall of Fame and a former FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year Award Winner. He can be heard on FNTSY Radio every morning and seen on FNTSY Sports Network daily on CenturyLink's sports package and Dish Network.
In most Fantasy Football leagues, this week is the equivalent of the NFL Conference Championship games. One more victory, and you're going to the Super Bowl. As we previously advised you, don't let the added pressure of the Fantasy Football playoffs sway you into what could be questionable decisions. You may be extra anxious to make the right call, but don't overthink things. Start your best and most proven players for sure regardless of matchups, and make firm decisions based on the best information you have gathered. Keep in mind you can't fully control what happens after you set your lineup, and you have absolutely no control over who your opponent can start once waivers have run. Set the best possible lineup you can, and then you have done your best to put yourself in a position to win. When dealing with tight calls, lean to the player with the better matchup, or the one who is not a game-time call based on health. Keep a confident mindset and you may find yourself playing for the title next week. Here are some recommended starters to get you there.
Aaron Rodgers vs. CAR:He's only here because Rodgers has not played since Week 6, and you may be a bit hesitant in using him in his first game back from a collarbone injury. Don't think twice about using him unless your other option is Russell Wilson, the best QB in Fantasy Football. Start Rodgers over every other QB in the league. The Packers would not let their franchise player return before he is truly ready, and over the past four weeks, the Panthers have allowed 19.58 Fantasy Points Per Game to opposing QBs, the highest mark among NFC teams on NFL.com.
Case Keenum vs. CIN:As the Vikings have rode to a prime perch in the NFC, Keenum has arrived as a regular Fantasy starter and is set to take you to a championship game. He is aiming for his fourth consecutive game with two or more TD passes. Over the past four weeks, the Bengals have allowed 18.63 FFPG to QBs on NFL.com, the second highest total among AFC teams.
Blake Bortles vs. HOU:He is the ideal streamer this week, ranked inside the Top 10 at QB in my lineup rankings on RotoExperts.com. Bortles has scored 18-plus Fantasy points on NFL.com over his past three games. The Texans have allowed 18.77 FFPG to QBs this season, second most among AFC teams.
Mike Davis vs. LAR:The Seahawks' new starting running back has emerged as a viable Fantasy option just in time for your playoff push. He has 166 scrimmage yards in his past two games. The Rams have continually been vulnerable to opposing RBs this year, allowing 21.64 FFPG to the position, highest among NFC teams this season. Davis' versatility makes him a strong flex play, especially in PPR formats.
Jordan Howard vs. DET:He gets another crack at the Lions, after rushing for 125 yards and a TD against them in Week 11. Howard is also coming off a 147 yard, two TD outing in Week 14, one of his best games of the season. Only the Rams have allowed more FFPG among NFC teams than the Lions (20.93 per game). Detroit has allowed six rushing TDs to RBs over the past four games, most in the league during that span.
Latavius Murray vs. CIN:Sure, load up on some Vikings this week. Minnesota has two quality RBs, but when they are running the ball effectively, Murray is their lead option as a ball carrier. He has 208 rushing yards and three rushing TDs in his past two home games. The Bengals have allowed an AFC-high 533 rushing yards to opposing RBs over the past four games.
Christian McCaffrey vs. GB:Get the versatile rookie back into your lineup, as the Packers have been burned by pass-catching RBs all year, especially in recent weeks. Over the past four games, no team has allowed more receptions (37) and receiving yards (281) to the RB position. McCaffrey has four TDs overall in his past four home games.
Jordy Nelson vs. CAR:With Rodgers back, you at least have to consider using Nelson again as a third WR in your lineup. Nelson caught six TD passes in his first five games this year with Rodgers in the lineup. Carolina has allowed the most FFPG (30.77) and the second most TDs (five) to opposing WRs over the past four games.
Brandin Cooks vs. PIT:Look for the New England offense to rebound in a major AFC showdown with the Steelers this week. Over the past four weeks, Pittsburgh has allowed the most passing TDs to opposing WRs (six). Its 25.08 PPG is also the most allowed to WRs among all AFC teams during that span.
Mohamed Sanu vs. TB: Sanu has been a frequent source of quality Fantasy production this season in PPR formats. He caught eight passes for 64 yards against Tampa Bay in Week 12. The Buccaneers have been prone to giving up big numbers to WRs all year, and lead the league in FFPG allowed to the position (26.70).
Josh Gordon vs. BAL: He has 154 receiving yards in two games since returning to action this season. The athletic ability and playmaking skills have not gone away, and Gordon could actually surge for more production any time soon. The Ravens have allowed 863 receiving yards to WRs over the past four games, the highest total yielded by any AFC team during that span.
Tight Ends, Defenses and Kickers
Charles Clay is worth consideration at TE with Tyrod Taylor trending towards a return. … Tampa Bay's O.J. Howard is coming on as a starting TE option . … Washington could be a sneaky defensive play at home vs. Arizona, but it could be a lower-scoring battle in which the Arizona defense is also useful … Robbie Gould and Travis Coons have been trending upwards and can be nice Fantasy point boosters.
Seahawks Fantasy Focus
The Rams have allowed 1,080 passing yards over the past four games, fourth most among NFC teams. Wilson is gunning for his third consecutive game with three TD passes. He is once again No. 1 at QB in my lineup rankings for Week 15. … The Rams' 692 receiving yards to WRs is also fourth most allowed among NFC teams in the past four games. Doug Baldwin should be locked in as a Fantasy WR1 as he seeks to score vs. the Rams at home in his third consecutive game. … Paul Richardson is a good play for some deep catches and Tyler Lockett is worth deep league consideration… Jimmy Graham caught his first of nine TD receptions in Week 5 vs. the Rams and should be set to bounce back this week with another scoring catch.
For more in-depth Fantasy Football playoff analysis and tips, visit Scott Engel and his award-winning team over at RotoExperts.com. Here are his Lineup Rankings for Week 15.