2012 Fantasy Football Week 15 Start Em, Sit Em: Colin Kaepernick, Reggie Bush, Tony Gonzalez and More
Colin Kaepernick (QB | San Francisco 49ers | Week 15: @ New England | FantasyPros.com rank: 14 | My rank: 10)
The Kaeptain has averaged just 216 yards passing in his four starts, which would rank 23rd among quarterbacks if he had enough attempts to qualify. But despite his lack of a big game through the air, Kaepernick has been a solid fantasy player with at least 14 points in each of his four starts and an average of 17 points per game (9th best in the league). Because he’s played like a top ten guy so far, there is no reason not to have him in the top ten against a below average New England pass defense.
Reggie Bush (RB | Miami Dolphins | Week 15: vs. Jacksonville | FantasyPros.com rank: 22 | My rank: 14)
Bush has settled in as a 15 or so touch per game guy the last few weeks while Daniel Thomas has steadily seen his workload decrease in each of the last three games. If that holds, Bush should be able to do some damage with 15+ touches against Jacksonville who allows the fourth most fantasy points to running backs.
Shonn Greene (RB | New York Jets | Week 15: @ Tennessee | FantasyPros.com rank: 23 | My rank: 19)
BiLOL PoweLOL has been anything but a joke in the last four weeks. He’s averaging 11.5 fantasy points per game and has four touchdowns in that span. That goal line work has made him a better fantasy play than Greene. But unfortunately for Powell, he will be limited at best this week with a fractured toe. So the workload and, most importantly, the goal line duties, could very well shift back to Greene this week. And his opponent, Tennessee, is top ten in terms of both rushing touchdowns allowed and fantasy points allowed to running backs.
Miles Austin (WR | Dallas Cowboys | Week 15: vs. Pittsburgh | FantasyPros.com rank: 21 | My rank: 15)
It is looking more and more like Dez Bryant is going to try and give it a go on Sunday. If we were sure Dez was not going to be limited by his finger injury in any way, there would be good reason to be concerned about Miles. But if Dez is ineffective yet drawing significant coverage, his presence might actually be beneficial to Austin's fantasy value. And with Ike Taylor out again this week, the entire value of the Dallas passing game is already elevated.
Mike Williams (WR | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Week 15: @ New Orleans | FantasyPros.com rank: 22 | My rank: 19)
This is a pure matchup play. The Saints allow the most fantasy points to quarterbacks (which is why I have Josh Freeman at #5 this week), the third most fantasy points to receivers, and the third most passing yards.
Dennis Pitta (TE | Denver Broncos | Week 15: vs. Denver | FantasyPros.com rank: 11 | My rank: 9)
It feels like every week you can just slot in the tight end playing Denver as your underrated tight end play of the week as Denver allows the second most points to tight ends. Coming off a nice game against the equally-bad-against-the-TE-Redskins, Pitta is a sneaky top ten play this week, and he’s available in about 70% of ESPN.com leagues.
Carolina Panthers (6.0% owned | Week 15: @ San Diego)
San Diego shocked just about everyone by not only beating the Steelers last week but by putting up 34 points. So it’s obviously a bit risky to roll with the Panthers if you’re a plug-and-play defense guy. But if other under owned defenses like Detroit, Cincinnati, and Miami aren’t available and you have to dig deep, San Diego still allows the 7th most fantasy points to opposing defenses.
Eli Manning (QB | New York Giants | Week 15: @ Atlanta | FantasyPros.com rank: 9 | My rank: 13)
Atlanta’s pass defense: 11th fewest fantasy points to QBs, 10th best according to footballoutsiders.com
Atlanta’s run defense: 7th most fantasy points to RBs, 6th worst according to footballoutsiders.com
It’s true that Eli has snapped out of his funk recently, but it’s really hard to depend on a guy who put up a combined 10 fantasy points in weeks 8-10. Especially against an opponent whose weakness defensively is up front, not in the secondary.
Andrew Luck (QB | Indianapolis Colts | Week 15: @ Houston | FantasyPros.com rank: 12 | My rank: 17)
In the last four weeks, Luck has games of 13, 13, and 7 fantasy points against the Patriots (11th most points to QBs), Bills (8th most), and Titans (9th most). So he’s let you down in good matchups recently. And this week his matchup is the opposite of good against the Texans. There’s just no way you can trust this guy on the road against a good team in your fantasy playoffs.
Ryan Mathews (RB | San Diego Chargers | Week 15: vs. Carolina | FantasyPros.com rank: 23 | My rank: 36)
The expert consensus rank of Mathews this week is as low as it has been all season at #23. But it’s still way too f***ing high. At #23, the experts are essentially saying Mathews is still startable in the RB slot in even 12 team leagues. And he’s nowhere close to that. We’re now at the point where Mathews has between four and eight fantasy points in ten of his eleven games. He is completely, 100% un-startable.
Hakeem Nicks (WR | New York Giants | Week 15: @ Atlanta | FantasyPros.com rank: 16 | My rank: 23)
See: Manning, Eli
Kenny Britt (WR | Tennessee Titans | Week 15: vs. New York Jets | FantasyPros.com rank: 31 | My rank: 41)
I got several questions last week asking if Britt was a startable option. I scoffed at the suggestion, but I was dead, dead wrong. However, footballoutsiders.com says the Jets are 6th best against the pass and 4th best against the opposing team’s #1 WR. And profootballfocus.com rates Antonio Cromartie as the 4th best corner in coverage this year. I’ll admit that I don’t know if the Jets leave Cromartie on one side of the field or if he’ll trail one receiver all day. And I also don’t know for sure if Britt would be the guy he’d follow. But that’s my assumption about what will happen. So I’d stay away from Britt.
Tony Gonzalez (TE | Atlanta Falcons | Week 15: vs. New York Giants | FantasyPros.com rank: 3 | My rank: 10)
Gonzalez hasn’t scored a touchdown against a team not named the Saints since week 5. And since week 5, in the six of his eight games in which he hasn’t played the Saints, Gonzalez is averaging less than six points per game. Admittedly, you’d have to have some serious balls to sit Gonzalez in favor of someone like the aforementioned Pitta, or someone like Jermaine Gresham or Martellus Bennett. But those guys have done much more recently and have better matchups. I’d roll the dice.
Written by Brett Talley exclusively for thefantasyfix.com. If you have any further questions about this particular topic, feel free to ask him on Twitter (@TheRealTAL) or email him at email@example.com.