Exclusive Week 15 fantasy tips

Carson Palmer has fallen apart over the past two weeks, so should I sit him in Week 15 and start Philip Rivers? -- C. King, N/A

M.F.: Palmer has been brutal in starts against Pittsburgh and St. Louis, but the weather was awful in both contests. Rain and wind were an obvious issue, and Palmer had less-than-attractive stat lines as a result. The Cincinnati quarterback has a favorable matchup on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET, NFL Network) against what can be a vulnerable San Francisco defense, and the weather calls for just a 10 percent chance of precipitation. Rivers, who is expected to start against Detroit despite an injured knee, has six touchdown passes in his past three starts but has been inconsistent overall, so I'd stick with Palmer this week.

I need to start three players from Joseph Addai, Earnest Graham, Travis Henry, Edgerrin James, Thomas Jones and Selvin Young. Also, which defense should I start: Dallas, San Diego or Seattle? -- M. Milner, Pensacola, Fla.

M.F.: Addai and Graham are must-start backs regardless of the opponent, so the decision boils down to Henry, James, Jones and Young. I'd avoid Jones based on his matchup in New England and take a chance on Young. He started and outrushed Henry in last week's win over Kansas City, and this week he faces a Houston defense on Thursday night (8 p.m. ET, NFL Network) that ranks 23rd against the run. James might be a safer option if you'd rather not risk the wrath of Mike Shanahan, but he has one touchdown in his past five starts and has one 100-yard performance since Week 2.

Which two running backs should I start in Week 15: Ryan Grant, Rudi Johnson, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson or Fred Taylor? -- L. Van George, Little Rock, Ark.

M.F.: Peterson was brutal in last week's win over San Francisco, but I think he's still a must-start back against a Chicago defense that ranks 25th against the run. The second back to start is Grant, who has been phenomenal in recent weeks and faces a St. Louis defense that ranks 21st against the run and has allowed 13 rushing touchdowns.

I need to start three wide receivers from Arnaz Battle, Dwayne Bowe, Greg Jennings, Chad Johnson, Torry Holt and Reggie Williams. I am sick of Ocho Stinko this season, but do I dare reserve him? -- B. Daldron, Philadelphia, Pa.

M.F.: You might be sick of Ocho Stinko, but I'd still have to start him on Saturday night in San Francisco. I also think Jennings, who has more fantasy points on NFL.com in the past three weeks than all other wideouts, has to be considered a must-start option. That leaves the third choice between Battle, Bowe, Holt and Williams. I realize the loss of Marc Bulger hurts and the Rams face a tough Green Bay defense, but I'd still take a chance on Holt. Battle, Bowe and Williams simply aren't on his level even with the potential for Brock Berlin to start, so stick with the St. Louis wideout.

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