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Week 15 fantasy football matchups, starts and sits

Struggling to set the perfect fantasy lineup? Let us be your guide. Each week the NFL Fantasy staff will provide you with game-by-game, player-by-player matchup breakdowns in this column to help you set a winning lineup. Think of this as the one-stop shop to crushing your opponent in fantasy football.

Now, onto the best and worst Week 15 fantasy matchups.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Aaron Rodgers, QB -- START: Rodgers has two-plus touchdown passes in eight straight games and hasn't thrown an interception in 137 consecutive pass attempts (the longest active streak in the league).

Ty Montgomery, RB -- FLEX: Montgomery is now officially a running back, and for good reason -- he's been the team's most productive back for weeks. With his playing time crossing 50 percent the last two weeks, Montgomery is a fine flex play with an added bump in PPR leagues.

Jordy Nelson, WR -- START: Nelson has a receiving touchdown in 10 of 13 games this year, and with one more from Rodgers they'll become the most prolific scoring tandem in Packers history. #Narrative alert!

Davante Adams, WR -- START: Adams has four 100-yard games in his last eight and has caught six touchdown passes in that span as well. This offense is too explosive to risk sitting these wideouts.

Randall Cobb, WR -- FLEX: Cobb tweaked his ankle in Week 14, but returned to the field. He's worth a roll of the dice in the flex, but don't be afraid to break ties against Cobb given his injury and recent usage (six targets in the last two games).

Packers D/ST -- START:Matt Barkley has thrown four interceptions and been sacked three times in minimal action. The Packers defense is trending up and worth streaming.


Matt Barkley, QB -- SIT: The Packers secondary is getting healthy and Barkley is too inconsistent to trust in the fantasy playoffs.

Jordan Howard, RB -- START: Howard is the lead back for the Bears, and even though his playing time dipped a bit in Week 14 (61 percent) he still owned 78 percent of the backfield opportunities (targets and carries).

Bears WRs -- SIT: Barkley had been distributing targets pretty evenly, but with Alshon Jeffery returning from his suspension things are about to get muddled. Jeffery would be the best of the bunch to start, but he's barely played with Barkley so the duo might not be on the same page.

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Browns QBs -- SIT: Not a chance.

Isaiah Crowell, RB -- FLEX: Crowell's 113 rushing yards in Week 14 marked the first time he'd crossed the century mark since Week 4. The Bills allow the most rushing yards in the league over the last month (560), and a 4.7 yards per carry average.

Browns WRs -- FLEX:Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor have each seen 10-plus targets in two of the last three games. The volume will be there while the Browns likely chase the Bills. Just now that the targets might not be of the highest quality, and there is boom-or-bust risk with each of these pass-catchers.

Gary Barnidge, TE -- SIT: Last year was fun. This is not last year.


Tyrod Taylor, QB -- START: Taylor has only scored 20-plus fantasy points once in the last month, but a date with the Browns who've allowed a league-worst 30 passing touchdowns should be just what the doctor ordered.

LeSean McCoy, RB -- START: The Browns allow the second-most yards per game (146.2) and a 4.6 yards per carry average, but you weren't benching Shady regardless.

Sammy Watkins, WR -- START: Watkins found the end zone for the first time this year last season, and is set to face one of the worst offenses in the league. Start him with confidence.

Bills D/ST -- START:Browns, yo.

Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Carson Wentz, QB -- SIT: Wentz isn't playing well from a fantasy perspective and is staring at a matchup with one of the league's elite defenses.

Ryan Mathews, RB -- FLEX: With Darren Sproles in concussion protocol and Wendell Smallwood on IR, Mathews should be in line for a huge workload. He did see 15 carries last week, after all. However, he'll have to try and do work against the league's top run defense, which allows the fewest yards per game (75.5) and yards per carry (3.4) to opposing backs.

Jordan Matthews, WR -- FLEX: Matthews has had double digit targets in five of his last six games, with the lone outlier being the game against Green Bay when he injured his ankle. He's a super safe floor play in PPR, but those needing a touchdown may want to look elsewhere.

Zach Ertz, TE -- START: It's Ertz season once again. The Stanford product has 19 catches on 28 targets for 191 yards and a touchdown in his last two games. That's impossible volume to ignore in fantasy, even if it's going to a player like Ertz.


Joe Flacco, QB -- SIT: Flacco has been wildly inconsistent in fantasy, so it'd be best to look elsewhere for a sure start in the playoffs.

Ravens RBs -- FLEX: It's looking like rookie Kenneth Dixon is overtaking this backfield, as he out-snapped, out-gained and out-touched Terrance West last week against the Patriots. West still has touchdown upside as the goal-line back, while Dixon gets a bump in PPR.

Ravens WRs/TEs -- SIT: The passing distribution is too even for any one player to be trustworthy from a fantasy sense. Seven different players saw four-plus targets last week. This could be Steve Smith's week, or Mike Wallace's, or Dennis Pitta's, or Breshad Perriman's or ... you get the point, right?

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Marcus Mariota, QB -- START: Look, Mariota had a bad week against Denver. But every quarterback does. He's still a red-zone scoring machine and can use his legs to pad his weekly floor. Mariota also has a favorable matchup against a Chiefs defense that has struggled against the pass.

DeMarco Murray, RB -- START: The Chiefs lost their best run defender, Derrick Johnson, last week to a ruptured Achilles. Murray, who's been running with a purpose all season, should have no trouble producing against what's already a leaky Kansas City run defense.

Delanie Walker, TE -- START: Per Next Gen Stats, the Chiefs have allowed the sixth-highest catch rate to opposing tight ends when they align in the slot and out wide. Walker is one of the best at his position in terms of production in space. He's a TE1.

Rishard Matthews, WR -- FLEX: Matthews saw just three targets last week against the Broncos, which isn't surprising. When he aligns wide, he's on the right side of the offense on over 57 percent of those snaps. That's means he'll likely face star corner Marcus Peters for most of his snaps, and as a result has to be downgraded to a flex play.

Derrick Henry, RB -- SIT: Same old story here. Henry isn't valuable as anything more than a handcuff, unless something happens to DeMarco Murray.


Alex Smith, QB -- SIT: Smith simply doesn't throw enough touchdown passes (four in his last five games) to warrant starting unless you play in a 14-team or deeper format. He might be able to take advantage of Tennessee's suspect secondary but he has little upside as a fantasy option.

Spencer Ware, RB -- FLEX: Ware is averaging just 73.6 scrimmage yards per game since Week 10. The Titans have allowed about 80 scrimmage yards per game and only a single touchdown to running backs in the last four weeks. Temper expectations for Ware, but you can still flex him.

Jeremy Maclin, WR -- SIT: In his return from injury, Maclin played 78 percent of his team's offensive snaps in Week 14, most among Chiefs wideouts. He was targeted just three times, and caught one pass. Congratulations, Jeremy Maclin, you've earned yourself a decisive "nah" wave.

Tyreek Hill, WR -- FLEX: The speedy rookie has incredible upside and can score in pretty much every way you could imagine. He also boasts the highest catch rate in the NFL (82.4) among receivers with a minimum of 50 targets. Get him in your lineup, whatever it takes.

Travis Kelce -- START: Kelce leads all tight ends with 70 receptions and 916 receiving yards this season. He's put up 100 yards in four straight games. What more do you need?

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Ben Roethlisberger, QB -- SIT: Roethlisberger is not the same quarterback when he's away from Heinz Field. He's averaging 100 fewer pass yards per game on the road this year and has zero touchdown passes and six picks in his last four December road starts.

Le'Veon Bell, RB -- START: Since Week 11, Bell has piled up 620 rushing yards, most in the NFL. He's also logged 57.5 percent of the Steelers offensive touches since Week 4. That is insanity.

Antonio Brown, WR -- START: You always start the best wide receiver in the league.

Ladarius Green, TE -- START: Green's usage has been unpredictable, but take last week's dud with a grain of salt. On just 38 percent of the snaps, Green still saw six targets. The Steelers might game plan for him against a Bengals defense that has allowed more yards to tight ends than any other team in the league this season.


Andy Dalton, QB -- START: Maybe not in a 10-team league, but Dalton has provided a safe floor all season long. His worst game was a 10-point outing in Week 3, the only game in which he didn't throw a touchdown pass. Dalton doesn't present crazy upside, but he's definitely safe.

Jeremy Hill, RB -- START: Hill is tied for fifth among running backs with 47 red-zone carries, seven of which have been touchdowns. When the Bengals get close, they're likely to feed Hill, and while he might not have the 100-plus yards he racked up last week, he's still a strong RB2 candidate.

A.J. Green, WR -- WAIT AND SEE: If Green (hamstring) gets the greenlight (no pun intended) on Sunday morning, he's a guy you can't leave on your bench. Just be ready with a backup plan if he can't suit up. Also keep in mind that he hasn't played in over a month.

Tyler Eifert, TE -- START: The tight end position is such a mess. It's a good thing Eifert is here to clean things up a bit. He's one of few players at the position you can confidently start every week.

Detroit Lions at New York Giants: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX


Matthew Stafford, QB -- SIT: Stafford has a bad matchup, and a finger injury. He'll be tough to trust in a week where it's win or go home for most fantasy owners. Winning sounds nice.

Lions RBs -- FLEX:Theo Riddick (wrist) was a surprise inactive last week and as of Wednesday he hadn't practiced ahead of Week 16. Zach Zenner suffered a concussion against the Bears and is in the league's protocol. Dwayne Washington, who had 16 carries a week ago, may be in line for an even bigger workload if Riddick and Zenner both miss time.

Marvin Jones, WR -- SIT: Jones hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 6. He has posted fewer than 70 yards in every game since Week 7. Don't start him ... please.

Golden Tate, WR -- FLEX: With the way the Lions spread the ball around, it's tough to trust any pass catcher on the team as anything more than a flex. Tate's had some huge games during the second half of the seaon, but the potential for a dud is always there too.

Anquan Boldin, WR -- FLEX: Some things get better with age. OK, maybe that's a stretch but Boldin leads the Lions in receiving touchdowns (seven) and is Stafford's favorite red-zone target this season. He's definitely worth flexing.

Eric Ebron, TE -- SIT: Ebron hasn't been a factor lately, with fewer than 40 yards in two straight games. He's a tough sell against a Giants defense that has allowed just three touchdowns to the position all season.


Eli Manning, QB -- SIT: Manning has not been #goodatfootball the last few games, with fewer than 200 yards passing in each of his last three. The Giants offense is lackluster, making it hard to trust Manning against Detroit's stingy pass defense (the Lions allow opponents a 72.9 completion rate, lowest in the NFL).

Giants RBs -- SIT:Rashad Jennings and Paul Perkins split the workload down the middle last week. There's absolutely no clarity as to which back will be the better play in a given week, so it's wise to just avoid the situation altogether.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR -- START: Duh.

Sterling Shepard, WR -- LOW-END FLEX: Shepard has scored in four of his last six games. But in games in which he doesn't score, he's not putting up the yardage to provide a safe floor. Consider him a touchdown-dependent low-end flex.

Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Andrew Luck, QB -- START: Although the matchup isn't the greatest, Luck should be considered a low-end QB1 this week against the Vikings. He's been quietly consistent all year throwing at least two touchdown passes in eight of 12 games. Don't expect a huge ceiling but 16 to 18 fantasy points are probably in the cards, especially with Harrison Smith (ankle) likely to sit.

Frank Gore, RB -- FLEX:Frank Gore has only one 100-yard rushing game all year, yet he ranks as the RB12 in standard scoring. That's because he's a threat as a pass-catcher too, which keeps his weekly floor at the high-end flex level at worst. And hey, if he punches in a touchdown, well then hell yeah old man!

T.Y. Hilton, WR -- START: Hilton has posted consecutive 100-yard games and is currently second in the NFL in total receiving yards with 1,203. The Vikings defense is formidable but it'd be silly to bench Hilton in a must-win week. Plus, with Donte Moncrief dealing with a hamstring injury, Hilton could enjoy a ton of targets.

Donte Moncrief, WR -- SIT: Moncrief left last week's game with a hamstring and his outlook for Week 15 is bleak. Keep an eye on the situation but it sounds like having a solid backup plan in place is a wise idea.

Colts TEs -- SIT: If Donte Moncrief can't suit up, Jack Doyle might see some added volume. He was actually the Colts' second-leading receiver last week. Dwayne Allen probably can't be started outside the extreme deepest of leagues. That three touchdown game he had a few weeks ago was basically some "Twilight Zone" stuff. Do not want.


Sam Bradford, QB -- SIT: Have you started Bradford in fantasy at all this season? No? Good. Let's keep it that way, because he's not good. Probably a nice guy though. Sad.

Vikings RBs -- SIT: It was already a true roll of the dice with Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata, but now that Adrian Peterson is back this situation is completely muddled and unusable in fantasy. Our analysts explain why you should approach starting Peterson with extreme caution.

Stefon Diggs, WR -- START: Diggs is in too good of a situation to leave on the bench this week. He is dealing with a knee injury, though, so there is some reason for concern that he's not 100 percent. Still, Diggs averages a ridiculous 7.1 receptions per game and should be able to get over on the Indy secondary.

Kyle Rudolph, TE -- START: Rudolph is second on the team with 98 targets this season including 18 in the red zone. With the tight end position as unpredictable as ever, Rudolph is a top-10 option on a weekly basis.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS


Blake Bortles, QB -- SIT: Are you in dire straits at the quarterback position? We're talking, like, really freaking desperate? Bortles is your guy.

T.J. Yeldon, RB -- LOW-END FLEX: With Chris Ivory out the past two games, Yeldon has shouldered the workload out of the Jaguars backfield. He's not posting great numbers and it's rare for him to score. But he's posted solid floors the last two weeks thanks to his work as a receiver. With 8.2 and 9.0 fantasy points in tough matchups the last two weeks, Yeldon deserves low-end flex consideration especially in PPR formats.

Allen Robinson, WR -- LOW-END FLEX: Unfortunately, Robinson's targets have diminished lately, with just one double-digit target game in the last month. The Texans have given up some huge games to wideouts the last few weeks, but Robinson is hard to trust as anything more than a low-end flex.

Marqise Lee, WR -- FLEX: Lee is the No. 1 receiver in Jacksonville. That's not a joke. Seriously stop laughing. Bro. OK, Lee has fewer targets and touchdowns than Robinson, but he has more total yards, which is something.


Brock Osweiler, QB -- SIT: Osweiler is a bad quarterback. The idea in fantasy is to start good players. Therefore, he's a sit.

Lamar Miller, RB -- START: Miller is the only real bright spot in terms of fantasy options on the Texans. He'll get the volume, red-zone looks and some targets as a receiver and can be considered a high-end RB2 in Week 15.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR -- FLEX: Hopkins has struggled to produce because his quarterback stinks. If you're starting him, just know that his range of outcomes in terms of fantasy output is absolutely atrocious to less-than-mediocre.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE -- START: The target volume is there each week for Fiedorowicz, it's just a matter of him gaining yards after the catch. He's a safer play in PPR formats because he hasn't scored since Week 8, but you can't ignore the volume. Just remember, his quarterback is bad.

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals: 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX


Drew Brees, QB -- SIT: Brees is in one of the bigger slumps in his career with no touchdowns and six interceptions in his last two games. That streak isn't likely to continue this week, but the Cardinals still won't do him any favors.

Mark Ingram, RB -- SIT: The Cardinals haven't given up many yards to running backs lately, which is bad news. It's even worse when you consider Ingram's lack of opportunities near the goal line.

Tim Hightower, RB -- SIT: The distribution of touches in New Orleans recently makes it incredibly hard to figure out which Saints rusher to start. The simple answer is to avoid them both.

Michael Thomas, WR -- FLEX: Thomas' targets are down from where they were earlier in the season, but he's still having plenty of balls thrown his way and is worth a look even against a tough defense.

Willie Snead, WR -- SIT: Snead hasn't done much to build upon some of his big early season work. His target share has remained pretty steady but the yards and touchdowns haven't been there. Stay away.

Brandin Cooks, WR -- FLEX: The reason you're playing Cooks is because you hope he hits his ceiling. If he lands on the floor, you probably land out of the fantasy playoffs.


Carson Palmer, QB -- SIT: Palmer has been bad this season and faces an improving defense. The risk does not outweigh the reward in this situation.

David Johnson, RB -- START: #NoMatterWhat

Larry Fitzgerald, WR -- FLEX: Fitzgerald remains the No. 1 receiver in the offense and is generally seeing enough targets to warrant a starting spot.

John Brown, WR -- SIT: Brown hasn't had more than four targets in a game since Week 6 and hasn't had more than two catches since Week 8. Makes it hard to count on any kind of production.

J.J. Nelson, WR -- SIT: Nelson sees more snaps with Michael Floyd gone, but with no real indication of how he'll be used, he's far too risky a start in Week 15.

Jermaine Gresham, TE -- SIT: Gresham is almost completely touchdown dependent, which is bad news for an offense that relies heavily on David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald near the goal line.

San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons: 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX


Colin Kaepernick, QB -- SIT: Kaepernick was never more than a streaming option during the back half of the season, but as his rushing numbers have decreased, he's become a less potent fantasy option.

Carlos Hyde, RB -- FLEX: Hyde is very quietly having a very good season. With a consistent number of touches and generally safe floor, he belongs in your lineup every week.

49ers WRs -- SIT: No.

Garrett Celek, TE -- SIT: Double no.


Matt Ryan, QB -- START: Start a good quarterback versus a bad defense ranks up there with "don't forget to breathe" as no-brainer advice.

Devonta Freeman, RB -- START: Forget last week's dud, Freeman should get plenty of work against a truly abominable run defense. Start him with confidence.

Tevin Coleman, RB -- START: If we've learned anything this year, it's that there's enough on the table for both Freeman and Coleman to eat.

Julio Jones, WR -- SIT: Jones (toe) has been ruled out.

Taylor Gabriel, WR -- FLEX: Gabriel has done a lot with a little, averaging just five targets per game in the past six games. His big play ability earns him a starting nod.

Falcons D/ST -- START: If you're looking for a streaming option, you could do far worse than a red-hot defense going against an abhorrent offense that gives up lots of sacks.

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers: 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS


Derek Carr, QB -- START: The Chargers won't offer the same challenges as the Chiefs defense did last week. Carr should get back on track in an important game for Oakland.

Latavius Murray, RB -- FLEX: San Diego's run defense has quietly improved as the season has progressed but Murray's usage almost mandates a spot in your lineup.

Jalen Richard, RB -- SIT: Richard has been a nice change-of-pace back for Oakland, but he's not seeing enough touches for you to start him with any confidence.

Amari Cooper, WR -- START: It's been nearly impossible to predict which Cooper will show up on a weekly basis, but it's hard to sit someone with his talent.

Michael Crabtree, WR -- START: Crabtree and Cooper have had nearly identical fantasy production this season and boast nearly identical outlooks this week. That is to say, we're not 100 percent sure what will happen but it's too hard to sit either of them.


Philip Rivers, QB -- SIT: 'Member all that talk about Rivers being a fantasy playoff hero? Yeah, you can scratch that. Rivers has been a turnover machine for the past month and a date with Khalil Mack's pass rush won't help.

Kenneth Farrow, RB -- FLEX: This is why we advocated handcuffing your top running backs. Farrow should see a pretty healthy workload with Melvin Gordon expected to miss this game.

Tyrell Williams, WR -- START: Despite Rivers' struggles, Williams has maintained a pretty safe floor all season. Nothing should change this week.

Dontrelle Inman, WR -- START: His performance the past three weeks has elevated to a solid WR2 option in all formats.

Antonio Gates, TE -- SIT: Realistically it's hard to sit Gates because the tight end position is thinner than an anorexic snake. But if you don't get a touchdown from him, you might not get much at all.

Hunter Henry, TE -- SIT: Henry has been even more touchdown dependent than Gates. Love his talent, but it's hard to start him with any confidence.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos: 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS


Tom Brady, QB -- START: The Patriots quarterback just thrashed one of the best defenses in the NFL last week with over 400 yards and three touchdowns. The Broncos will also be a tough draw as they've allowed the lowest passing yards in the NFL and come with a 10-to-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

LeGarrette Blount, RB -- START: Last week showed us (for about the 100th time) that regardless of matchup, you can't sit Blount because the touchdown potential is all too great. Denver's run defense can get trampled, regardless.

Patriots WRs -- FLEX:It's probably best to play it safe and break times against playing anyone against the "No Fly Zone" Broncos secondary. They've allowed the fewest yards and touchdowns to wide receivers.

Martellus Bennett, TE -- START: His usage has been super inconsistent but at least Bennett put up a strong line last week. The Broncos allow the highest yards per reception (13.4) to tight ends and running backs lined up in the slot so this could be a game where Bennett becomes a focal point of the game plan.


Trevor Siemian, QB -- SIT: The Patriots are well-known for their ability to take away what the opposition does best. Right now for Denver, that's passing the ball.

Broncos RBs -- SIT: If you're this desperate just quit fantasy.

Demaryius Thomas, WR -- FLEX: Thomas had a combined three catches for 48 yards in his two games against the Patriots last year. It's been a priority for them to take him away, and they may do so again. There's plenty of risk with Thomas this week.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR -- START: On the other hand, Sanders collected 11 catches for 175 yards in these teams' two meetings last year. There's plenty of noise in there, but Sanders could be the better play this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys: 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC


Jameis Winston, QB -- START: Both teams are among the highest ranked in time of possession on the year. This game will be slow-paced, which adds risk, but Winston should find passing success.

Doug Martin, RB -- FLEX: Martin may struggle to hit a 20-touch mark with the pace of this game but he has good touchdown upside every week.

Mike Evans, WR -- START: He'll bounce back from a slower game last week. If the Cowboys use Brandon Carr in shadow coverage like they did with Odell Beckham last week, the results won't be good for Dallas.

Cameron Brate, TE -- START: The tight end has target totals of three, five, nine and five over the last four weeks. Predictably, his only big fantasy game was the outing with five targets. That was also, by far, the highest scoring game of the bunch. If this game is slow-paced and low-scoring he might not hit his ceiling but he's still a great factor in the red zone.


Dak Prescott, QB -- SIT: The rookie passer may be hitting a wall as he has not thrown for more than 200 yards in any of his last three games. The Bucs defense is starting to put more heat on quarterbacks too. This isn't a week to chase Dak.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB -- START: The front seven in Tampa is getting much better, but Zeke has big-play potential even if he is bottled up most of the game.

Dez Bryant, WR -- FLEX: The floor with Dez is ghastly as he has some ugly games on his ledger. Nevertheless, multiple touchdown upside keeps him in your lineup against a bad secondary.

Jason Witten, TE -- SIT: After the goose-egg in Week 12, Witten saw seven targets last week but only collected 26 yards. He's tough to chase and this isn't a stellar spot.

Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins: 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN


Cam Newton, QB -- SIT: This game has shootout written all over it. However, Newton has completed just 42 percent of his passes the last four weeks and been worthless as a fantasy quarterback. It's hard to muster the confidence.

Jonathan Stewart, RB -- FLEX: There's a massive gap between his floor and ceiling, which is why he's not a clear-cut start. However, Washington allows the third-most touchdowns in the NFL to running backs, so it's OK to run after his ceiling this week.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR -- SIT: It's a reasonable spot for Benjamin but he's been losing snaps and targets of late. Likely to see plenty of Josh Norman's coverage, we're not touching this matchup.

Ted Ginn, WR -- FLEX: He's got a shot at a big play this week. Good luck in your endeavors.

Greg Olsen, TE -- START: Washington gets smashed by tight ends and Olsen actually had a decent day last week after a painfully quiet stretch.


Kirk Cousins, QB -- START: He's an every-week, set it and forget it top-12 quarterback at this point. Carolina offers plenty of room for passers to chuck it.

Rob Kelley, RB -- FLEX: The game script should feel natural for Kelly this week. Yet, Carolina is top-10 rushing defense and were dominant most of the season outside of their big game allowed to Thomas Rawls.

Redskins WRs -- START: You're going to want to pick on this secondary. Big-play receivers have feasted on them and earlier in the season slot receivers ripped through the middle of the defense. DeSean Jackson is streaky but you could miss out on a monster game if you bench him. Jamison Crowder has a solid floor, as always. Pierre Garcon has the most guaranteed volume and the best 1-on-1 corner matchup lining up at left wide receiver.

Jordan Reed, TE -- START: He was under 25 percent of the snaps last week, which is alarming. However, we're going to just have to hope he's set to play more being one week removed from his return from injury. Washington could push for 30 points as a team and Reed will be a factor if that's the case.

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks: 8:25 p.m. ET on NBC and NFL Network (Thursday)


Rams offense -- SIT: Don't be a fool.


Russell Wilson, QB -- START: Wilson's five-interception game against the Packers was more bad luck than it was bad play. The Rams have allowed 24 passing touchdowns to just six interceptions. Wilson can be trusted at home.

Thomas Rawls, RB -- START: Over the last four weeks the Rams are allowing the third-most total yards to running backs and an average of 4.92 yards per carry. Rawls has minimal competition for touches and the Seahawks should build a lead early here, creating more opportunities.

Doug Baldwin, WR -- START: Baldwin owns a 22 percent share of Wilson's targets and faces a secondary allowing the eighth-most yards per game to receivers. The Rams have also allowed 16 touchdown receptions to wideouts, and Baldwin hasn't scored since his three-touchdown explosion in Week 10.

Tyler Lockett, WR -- FLEX: The Seahawks are trying to put the ball in Lockett's hands more, as 50 percent of his rush attempts this season have come in the last two games. He's always a threat for a big play and offers nice upside in this matchup.

Jimmy Graham, TE -- START: Graham has only seen fewer than five targets twice since Week 3 -- last week and Baldwin's three-touchdown game in Week 10. He's a strong start against the Rams.

Seahawks D/ST -- START: A rookie quarterback with a new interm head coach on the road on a short week? Yes, please.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets: 1:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network (Saturday)


Matt Moore, QB -- SIT: Desperate owners could give Moore a look as the Jets' pass defense is bad, but this figures to be a game where the Dolphins establish the run and control the clock.

Jay Ajayi, RB -- START: That stuff we mentioned in Matt Moore's section about establishing the run and controlling the clock? That means tons of touches for Ajayi against a defense allowing 4.33 yards per carry the last two weeks.

Jarvis Landry, WR -- FLEX: When Matt Moore is forced to take to the air, it stands to reason that he would pummel Landry with targets, as the sure-handed wideout tends to roam near the line of scrimmage.

Kenny Stills & DeVante Parker, WRs -- SIT: The normal risk with these boom-or-bust players is exacerbated with Moore under center. Stills is the better start of the two, but we'd advise against rolling him out this week.

Dolphins D/ST -- START: This unit has 15 takeaways the last six games (tied-most in the league) and is facing one of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in the league.


Bryce Petty, QB -- SIT: Petty's 2.1 touchdown rate is the lowest in the NFL this season among passers with at least 90 attempts.

Matt Forte, RB -- SIT (INJURY): An MRI earlier in the week revealed Forte has a torn meniscus. Right now, he hopes to play. If he does, he comes with massive risk with Bilal Powell playing so well behind him.

Bilal Powell, RB -- START: Powell had a career game last week and will be running against a Miami defense allowing 5.5 yards per carry the last three weeks.

Brandon Marshall, WR -- SIT: Sure. there's a #revenge narrative here, but Marshall has 70 or fewer receiving yards in eight straight games and two of his three lowest target totals of the season have come in games Petty started.

Robby Anderson, WR -- FLEX: Anderson owns 36.7 percent of Petty's targets the last two weeks, and is the safest bet of this bunch to start in the passing game.

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