Week 15 is upon us. The semi-finals for most playoffs. If you're still alive, congratulations. Hopefully, the flex position woes of the fantasy managers below can help bring you peace and lineup nirvana. If you'd like to have your question featured in a future column, remember to use the hashtag #FixMyFlex on Twitter or to reply to the tweets from the @NFLFantasy handle or my personal handle @AlexGelhar.
I'm 100 percent with you on finding it hard to ignore D.J. Moore this week. He's been a reliable option over the last four weeks, ranking in the top 10 in receiving yards among all wideouts in that span. No team currently allows more fantasy points to wide receivers than the Saints. Corey Davis is a phenom in the making, but the Titans offense is really hit-or-miss, as is Davis' target share. He's had 18 targets the last four weeks compared to Moore's 33. Plus, the Giants have been strong against fantasy wideouts this season, and rank as one of the top-10 stingiest in terms of fantasy points allowed. As much as I love Larry Fitzgerald, I wouldn't even consider starting him at all. I'd roll with Moore in one of the week's projected highest scoring affairs.
This is a tough one. Spencer Ware is doubtful for Thursday night, so he's out. Matt Breida might return to action, lowering Jeff Wilson's ceiling. Alshon Jeffery had been pulling a disappearing act for about four weeks until he magically re-appeared last week. Which leaves Mike Williams. There's plenty of risk in starting Williams, as he's averaging about four targets per game over the last month. However, in a projected shootout between the Chiefs and Chargers, he could end up with much more volume than usual. If you're unwilling to take the risk, I'd probably wait out reports on Breida and roll with Wilson or Jeffery.
As awesome as Sony Michel has been this year, he's part of a crowded committee and isn't involved in the passing game. New England's game against Pittsburgh figures to be high-scoring, which might take Michel out of the game script. That makes this a Stefon Diggs v. Chris Carson matchup. Carson is certainly the safer of the two, especially in standard scoring. He's averaging about 75 rushing yards and just under a touchdown per game over his last four. My instinct would be to lean Diggs, but it's hard to say what exactly will be in store for Minnesota's offense after firing John DeFillipo. Diggs has had four-plus catches in each of his last five games, but his yardage totals and touchdown figures are all over the map. I think the deciding factors are your scoring format and what you need out of this flex position. Standard scoring and/or a safe amount of reliable points? Go Carson. PPR scoring and/or a need for week-winning upside? Go Diggs.
Melvin Gordon is a game-time decision, and even if he plays he could cede a ton of work to Justin Jackson. Marlon Mack is talented, but the Colts run game is stuck in neutral of late and facing a tough Dallas defense. With Spencer Ware doubtful, Damien Williams may end up as Kansas City's de facto workhorse back. With pass-catching chops, Williams' upside in a potential shootout is extremely high. I'd take the chance and roll the dice with Williams here.
If Melvin Gordon sits, Justin Jackson is the easy pick here. But since Gordon seems like he might play some snaps, our options turn to the pass-catchers. Samuel is a total boom-or-bust option, but his role in the Panthers offense is growing and his team will likely be playing catch up against the Saints. That same logic and approach favors Ian Thomas as well, who has posted 9-77-0 and 5-46-0 lines over the last two weeks filling in for Greg Olsen. Thomas feels like the safest option in PPR, with Samuel having the highest ceiling. DaeSean Hamilton is a sneaky option as well, though. Courtland Sutton is dealing with a thigh injury, and Hamilton is coming off a strong outing last week where he caught seven passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. However, the Broncos offense is tough to trust, with Case Keenum struggling and the whole unit missing the presence of Emmanuel Sanders. The Browns defense can be tough on wideouts as well. Personally, I'd go with Thomas for the floor or Samuel for the ceiling. Full disclosure, I might be starting Samuel against my own father in the playoffs of my most important league!
As long as T.Y. Hilton's ankle injury doesn't prevent him from playing Sunday (it's a new injury that kept him out of practice Wednesday), he's the choice here. Hilton's lowest target total over the last month is nine, and he's crossed the century mark in three of those contests. If he plays, Andrew Luck is going to look for him often. Doug Martin is touchdown-dependent, while Chris Carson offers a safe floor but little in the passing game. For me, the choice is clear.