Patrick Daugherty


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Week 15 Rankings

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Updated 12/16 at 12:00 PM ET. Removed LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory, added Marcus Murphy and Keith Ford. Moved T.Y. Hilton down. Moved Evan Engram up. Removed Josh Lambo and added Kai Forbath. 

Joe Mixon notched a career-high 31 touches in a surprisingly hard-fought Week 14 showdown with the Chargers. He gets to follow it up at home against the Raiders’ lead-footed defense. Only Mixon’s own Bengals are serving up more rushing yards. Enemy backs are averaging 4.84 yards every time they carry the ball versus the Silver and Black. With the Bengals three-point home favorites, game flow will not get away from them the way it so often has down the stretch. Mixon is the perfect marriage of volume and big-play ability for the second week of the fantasy playoffs.

Week 15 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Patrick Mahomes vs. LAC -
2 Ben Roethlisberger vs. NE Questionable (ribs)
3 Jared Goff vs. PHI -
4 Philip Rivers at KC -
5 Drew Brees at CAR -
6 Tom Brady at PIT -
7 Andrew Luck vs. DAL -
8 Dak Prescott at IND -
9 Deshaun Watson at NYJ -
10 Kirk Cousins vs. MIA -
11 Russell Wilson at SF -
12 Cam Newton vs. NO -
13 Aaron Rodgers at CHI -
14 Mitchell Trubisky vs. GB -
15 Matt Ryan vs. ARZ -
16 Baker Mayfield at DEN -
17 Jameis Winston at BAL -
18 Lamar Jackson vs. TB -
19 Derek Carr at CIN -
20 Josh Allen vs. DET -
21 Nick Mullens vs. SEA -
22 Marcus Mariota at NYG -
23 Nick Foles at LAR -
24 Eli Manning vs. TEN -
25 Ryan Tannehill at MIN -
26 Jeff Driskel vs. OAK -
27 Matthew Stafford at BUF Questionable (back)
28 Case Keenum vs. CLE -
29 Josh Rosen at ATL -
30 Cody Kessler vs. WAS -
31 Sam Darnold vs. HOU -
32 Josh Johnson at JAC -
33 Joe Flacco vs. TB -

QB Notes: Patrick Mahomes got 2018 started by ripping the Chargers on the road. Now he gets them on a short week at home. The MVP favorite is on pace for 5,292 yards and 53 touchdowns. … Ben Roethlisberger missed four Week 14 series with a rib injury. Turns out, it was due in part to a faulty X-ray machine in Oakland. Headed home for just the second time since Nov. 8 to a certain shootout with the Patriots, Big Ben should post a minimum of 300 yards and two scores. … Coming off an ugly two-game road trip where he posted a 1:5 TD:INT total and averaged 194 yards, Jared Goff gets the Eagles’ increasingly-injured defense. Goff is averaging 9.82 yards per attempt at home to go along with an 18:2 TD:INT total compared to 7.42/9:9 on the road. … Speaking of home/road splits, there is Drew Brees, who has cleared 217 yards in only one of his past six road appearances. Even including a Week 12 home date with the Falcons, Brees is averaging just 166 yards over his past three games. The Panthers are a rippable defense, but so were the Bucs last Sunday. I still feel no choice but to put my trust in an elite player against a crumbled Panthers D.

Philip Rivers has had some epic meltdowns in Kansas City, last year’s must-win game included. He simply cannot be faded against the league’s No. 32 pass defense (by yards) in a contest with a 53 over/under. … Tom Brady looked as good as he has all year against the Dolphins in Week 14, uncorking some beautiful throws. The stats were his best in some time, as well. Pittsburgh is a tougher place to play than Miami, but Brady can be counted on in a game with a 52 over/under. … The Cowboys’ defense has been a genuinely elite unit of late, taming Drew Brees and Carson Wentz in back-to-back weeks. I’m still not going to fade Andrew Luck at home, a place where he has posted three touchdowns in 5-of-6 starts, with the sixth being a two-score Week 1. … Repeating a stat I shared last week, Dak Prescott is averaging 286 yards with Amari Cooper in the lineup compared to 202 without him. Even if you throw out last week’s 455, that number is 252. … Deshaun Watson is coming off back-to-back 30-attempt games for the first time since Weeks 4 and 5. Three might not be in the cards against the Jets, who despite their overall struggles have remained stout against the pass.  

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The Dolphins are a prime spot for Kirk Cousins. The worry is the Vikings’ likely run-game commitment following the firing of OC John DeFilippo. The Dolphins are extremely vulnerable on the ground. It still stands to reason that Cousins will have a QB1 day. … Russell Wilson comes off a laughably-bad MNF performance to a road date with a 49ers defense that has served up 28 touchdowns while intercepting only two passes. I should probably have him higher. The lack of volume is just so conspicuous. Working in Wilson’s favor is sneaky shootout potential in Santa Clara. … Something has gone drastically wrong with Cam Newton’s shoulder. His lack of arm strength was alarming in Week 15. Newton maintains upside in what could be a high-scoring affair, but the Saints have been shutting down quarterbacks. … It’s tempting to implement a deeper fade of Aaron Rodgers. This might actually be a reckless ranking. At the risk of sounding stone age, I simply cannot have Rodgers behind Mitchell Trubisky for the fantasy semifinals. It’s a tough matchup, but Rodgers had one of his best games against the Bears in Week 1.

With one start coming before his injury and one start after, Mitchell Trubisky is coming off his worst two-game stretch of the season, tossing only two scores compared to five picks. Even without Mike Daniels, the Packers’ defense is not a pushover versus the pass. … Playing highly uneven football over the past six weeks, Matt Ryan must deal with a genuinely elite Cardinals pass defense. Only the Bills have permitted fewer QB fantasy points. … When Baker Mayfield has been good, he’s been so good that he’s been unable to rack up volume, limiting his fantasy production. Week 14 was such an effort. Really banged up on defense, the Broncos are not a shy-away spot. … Jameis Winston comes off a dud against the Saints to a rough spot in the Ravens. If nothing else, volume should be there, keeping Winston’s QB2 floor intact with a shot at QB1 numbers. … Lamar Jackson remains the Ravens’ starter following Joe Flacco’s (hip) return, but his play suggests he will be on a short leash. Nevertheless, the Bucs are Jackson’s fifth plus matchup in five games under center. Although Tampa’s defense has stiffened of late, it has been routinely gutted on the road.

Playing watchable football for the first time in ages, Derek Carr could have himself a top-18 day against the Bengals’ league-worst defense. Carr crumbles when he faces pressure, but the Bengals have a bottom-10 pass rush. … If there’s one thing Matt Patricia’s defense has done this year, it is confuse young signal callers. It has also permitted a league-low 62 quarterback rushing yards. This is looking like crazy legs Josh Allen’s Waterloo. … The Seahawks’ defense had been backsliding before Monday’s erasure of Kirk Cousins. A revived Nick Mullens could volume his way to QB1 numbers at home. He passed for 414 yards in Seattle two weeks ago. … The Rams’ defense is back on the up and up after bottoming out in November. It’s always hard to guess which Nick Foles will show up. He will be equal parts upside and downside in Los Angeles. ... Draining the life out of opposing signal callers, the Vikes are a foreboding road opponent for Ryan Tannehill. … The Titans are a top-five defense. Prayers for Eli Manning, though getting Odell Beckham back would answer at least one. … Josh Johnson in a GPP.   

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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