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NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 15: Wide receivers

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'em

Brandon Aiyuk
San Francisco 49ers · WR
Dallas Cowboys
2020 · 4-9-0

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced this week that Deebo Samuel would miss the remainder of the regular season. Which should give more opportunity to Aiyuk. But make no mistake, he was already starting to take control of the receiver room for the 49ers. Brandon had 16 targets (and 10 receptions) against the FT and turned it into 119 yards. He’s had at least nine targets in four games starting in Week 8. Double-digit targets three times. I know he’s not going to get a lot of attention with how great this receiver class has been this season. But he’s certainly one of the top performers. It’s like being a part of the Second City when it had Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert. It’s going to be hard to stand out among that group. But Brandon is certainly giving that a go. The Cowboys have given up five receiving touchdowns to receivers over the past five weeks.

Diontae Johnson
Pittsburgh Steelers · WR
Cincinnati Bengals
2020 · 2-10-1

It’s painful watching DJ drop the football. You never want to see a player suffer the “yips” so badly. Like, did you know Hayden Hurst was a minor league pitcher who suffered the “yips” and left baseball to go play football at South Carolina. And now he’s on your fantasy team. So, I hope it doesn’t come to that point for Diontae, who has had five drops in the last two games. Although, if he can pitch, I would welcome him on the Angels. Instead, he’s likely going to use the Bengals as a get-right game. The NFL version of going to rookie mode and rage-beating an opponent. DJ had been on a streak of at least 12 fantasy points in five consecutive games before Buffalo. I would imagine he gets back there again.

Calvin Ridley
Atlanta Falcons · WR

I am making this one specifically for the person who tweeted Fantasy Live to tell us that he lost his matchup last week because he benched Ridley for Chris Godwin. Which, I guess, looking back now doesn’t need to be addressed since that person is now out of the fantasy playoffs. But I will put this out there just in case other people are worried about Ridley because he has a tough matchup this week against the Buccaneers. But I’m happy to report the Bucs have allowed six touchdowns to receivers over the last four weeks. The highest total during that stretch. Ridley has also scored 14-plus points in his last four games.

Mike Evans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · WR
Atlanta Falcons
2020 · 4-9-0

I know we sit here and dog the Falcons every week because they have given up a lot of production to receivers this year. But I watched their game against the Chargers and it was weird. Justin Herbert attempted seven passes against the Falcons farther than 10 yards. Everything was near the line of scrimmage, as they were afraid to go deep. They were skittish. Obviously after the way the Patriots handled him. Herbert was like Maverick after he lost Goose. I don’t anticipate that being a problem for Brady this week. Brady attempted seven passes beyond 10 yards, but on 23 attempts. More deep throws downfield should open it up for Evans. I’m confident he can take advantage of this matchup.

Justin Jefferson
Minnesota Vikings · WR
Chicago Bears
2020 · 6-7-0

Justin had a rare clunker against the Buccaneers. But we knew that was going to happen, right? Like you can’t take Kirk Cousins out in public. Cousins is a much different quarterback at home than he is on the road. And it cost Jefferson last week who had 9.9 fantasy points. And it wouldn’t have been that good unless he caught a two-point conversion. The matchup should be better this week against the Bears. Jaylon Johnson is battling a shoulder injury. But Jefferson had a lot of success against him in Week 10, hauling in four of his eight receptions for 87 yards against the rookie from Utah. I want to be a biased Bears fan and say Chicago will shut the Vikings down. But I’m just providing the information.

Allen Robinson
Chicago Bears · WR
Minnesota Vikings
2020 · 6-7-0

Robinson is one of a few Bears who can help get you a fantasy title in the next few weeks. Robinson scored 27.3 fantasy points on Sunday and it was the second time in the last three games that he’s had at least 27-plus fantasy points. His 39% target share was the highest it had been all season, as Mitch Trubisky likes to target Robinson. The Vikings have allowed the 11th-most YPG to receivers over the last month. And at some point we need to start talking about extending Robinson. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that if it hasn’t happened now, it might not ever happen. But I would really like to see it.

T.Y. Hilton
Indianapolis Colts · WR
Houston Texans
2020 · 4-9-0

The Texans have been tough against receivers recently, probably because teams have had so much success running against them. Hilton is one of those players who has had success against the Texans in recent weeks, however. Hilton has scored at least 18 fantasy points in three consecutive games. He’s had 25-plus fantasy points in back-to-back games. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this T.Y. Hilton. And it’s probably going to come back to bite us at some point. I just need to skate through one more week of playing this makeshift lineup I’m putting out in a lot of leagues; I don’t feel like it’s too much to ask. Or, more likely, we’ve asked so much through the past couple of weeks, it’s finally going to come due. It’s like being in Las Vegas and the first morning, you wake up without a hangover and think you’re invincible. And then, you know, the second day happens and that’s all she wrote. Which I know is probably not giving you a lot of confidence right now.  

Sit 'em

Terry McLaurin
Washington Football Team · WR
Seattle Seahawks
2020 · 9-4-0

This is a bold strategy. Because Terry has been one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL until the last couple of weeks. He did have a six-game streak with at least 13 points in every game. But he’s kind of fallen off the table in the last two weeks, scoring fewer than five points in back-to-back weeks. Which is like eating in a restaurant and not getting food poising for six consecutive weeks. But if you get sick in back-to-back visits, you’re going to be a little apprehensive. What makes this worse is Seattle has been great against receivers over the last month, allowing the third-fewest points to the position. You might not have better options. I understand. You don’t have to be completely literal with these designations. This is a tough one. Oh, and if the team’s Twitter handle is calling him a must-start, realize they might not be super objective.

K.J. Hamler
Denver Broncos · WR
Buffalo Bills
2020 · 10-3-0

Hamler was amazing against the Panthers on Sunday. Let’s not chase the points, however. Tim Patrick has been the Broncos most consistent receiver recently. Hamler was the WR8 after Sunday. Again, love him. But he did all of that on three targets and two receptions. They both just happened to go for touchdowns. But it’s kind of hard to duplicate that process. Do you want the guy who is going to shoot 103 on the course and have a couple of birdies. Or the guy who hits a bunch of pars and ends up with an 86. I’ve been both guys. The birdie guy is fun for stories. But it’s a lot more enjoyable to be more consistent.

Laviska Shenault Jr.
Jacksonville Jaguars · WR
Baltimore Ravens
2020 · 8-5-0

Shenault had 11 targets against the Titans and notched double-digit fantasy points for the second consecutive week. But let’s take a look at those targets. Because before Sunday, he had 11 combined targets in the four previous game. He’s third on the team this season in targets. And I’m not particularly fond of the matchup this week against the Ravens. Even though every receiver for the Browns scored fantasy points for the Browns last week. Even Andre Rison was out there with a touchdown. All right, Rison didn’t have a touchdown for the Browns this week. I understand I went too far. 

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