THE BLOG
12/12/2014 02:33 pm ET Updated Feb 11, 2015

Week 15 Fantasy Football Focus

The Predictalator has run every Week 15 2014 NFL game 50,000 times. Below we present the up-to-date top three at each fantasy position for the week, a sleeper likely to have a breakout game (generally chosen as the best $/FP value on daily fantasy sites), a player to avoid (the worst $/FP value) and some injury situations to monitor heading into the week. Also, check out free projections for every player in every future week in our Rest of Season Fantasy Football Rankings.

Quarterbacks

1. Andrew Luck 29.8 FPs (IND vs. HOU) – Luck is the most owned player on teams that won fantasy regular seasons and he may continue to help those teams win in the playoffs this week while some other top passers like Aaron Rodgers have tougher matchups.

2. Peyton Manning 28.2 FPs (DEN @ SD) – Peyton man have seen his consecutive games with a touchdown streak end last week, but that does not mean it is time to abandon ship. San Diego has allowed five more fantasy points per game on average to opposing quarterbacks than the Broncos' Week 14 opponent, Buffalo.

3. Drew Brees 26.1 FPs (NO @ CHI) – Brees has unfortunately been inconsistent as of late, yet should excel on Monday night against a Bears' defense that ranks in the bottom five in pass and run efficiency. With Brandon Marshall out (in addition to Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs, Lamarr Houston and others from that porous defense), Chicago could struggle to move the ball as well, which could give Brees even more chances.

Breakout Candidate: Eli Manning 20.7 FPs (NYG vs. WAS) - Both Mannings could be playoff relevant this week as Peyton ranks #2 and Eli #4 in our projections. Washington has allowed a league-high 24.9 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks. Last time Eli faced Washington, he put up 300 passing yards and four touchdowns. And remember, touchdowns help far more than interceptions hurt (in most leagues at least).

Must Avoid: Andy Dalton 12.3 FPs (CIN @ CLE) – Those who played Andy Dalton last week could very well be still alive in their leagues. Those who have him and did not play him may be kicking themselves for not inserting him in the lineup. Fight the urge to put him this week given what we saw last week. He has only topped 270 passing yards three times all season and has as many games (four) with multiple interceptions as he does multiple touchdown throws (not to mention he only had 86 passing yards on 33 attempts last time these teams met).

Running Backs

1. Matt Forte 19.8 FPs (CHI @ NO) – In a rare week of running back dominance, eight running backs project to top 15 fantasy points in standard leagues with nine topping 100 total yards. With Marshall out and a shootout on Monday expected, Forte tops the list of high performing running backs for Week 15.

2. Jamaal Charles 19.4 FPs (KC vs. OAK) – Jamaal Charles has been limited in practice this week... based on an injury he suffered early against the Cardinals last week. In that game, he totaled 111 yards and had two touchdowns. He should be good for a solid matchup against the Raiders. When they played just less than a month ago, Charles put up 122 yards and a touchdown in Oakland.

3. DeMarco Murray 19.0 FPs (DAL @ PHI) – Though it was not a great performance for the Cowboys' offense against Philadelphia on Thanksgiving Day, Murray still had 113 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles. In this game, BOTH running backs project to top 110 rushing yards.

Breakout Candidate: Toby Gerhart 9.9 FPs (JAC @ BAL) - There is a notable drop off in projected points after the top 15 this week, but not every team can have multiple running backs ranked that high. At #26, Gerhart may be a desperate RB or OK Flex play in many leagues. With Denard Robinson out for the year, Gerhart is worth owning.

Must Avoid: New York Giants (NYG vs. WAS) – Rashad Jennings should see more than the three touches he had last week, but that actually complicates the backfield situation for the Giants. It's a pretty good matchup against the Redskins, but neither Jennings or Andre Williams can be trusted in fantasy right now.

Wide Receiver

1. Antonio Brown 15.4 FPs (PIT @ ATL) – Brown is known for a streak of five-plus catches in every game since the start of last season. That is impressive, but he actually has a seven game streak of catching at least eight passes in each game... Oh, and the Falcons have the worst pass defense in the NFL.

2. T.Y. Hilton 15.1 FPs (IND vs. HOU) – With Reggie Wayne banged up and fading, Hilton continues to shine. After last week's ten catch, 150 yard, two touchdown performance, Hilton has five 100+ yard games in his last eight contests and is averaging 16.7 fantasy points a game in standard scoring leagues over that stretch.

3. Odell Beckham Jr. 14.9 FPs (NYG vs. WAS) – Eli Manning posted gaudy numbers the last time he faced Washington earlier this season and Beckham did not even play in that game. Beckham has become Manning's go-to weapon with 68 targets in his last six games and at least eight targets in each of those games.

Breakout Candidate: Kamar Aiken 9.9 FPs (BAL vs. JAC) – Who? Aiken had only recently secured the Ravens' third receiver duties before he became one of Joe Flacco's top targets as Torrey Smith sat out last week. On the season, Aiken has caught 76% of his targets and is poised to replicate last week's solid outing. Aiken ranks #20 among receivers for the week. It's another top heavy week, so it's not a huge breakout, but there are far worse options owned and started in most leagues (assuming Torrey Smith misses this week again).

Must Avoid: Keenan Allen 6.8 FPs (SD @ DEN) – Even though the Broncos' offense is adept at scoring quickly, Denver's defense has still looked great against opposing receivers on the season. The Denver opposition is averaging just 149 receiving yards a game. Allen has been inconsistent, which is tough to deal with in must win fantasy games this late in the season. He has four games with eight or more catches, yet five with fewer than five receptions - and he has only scored touchdowns in three total contests.

Tight End

1. Rob Gronkowski 12.6 FPs (NE vs. MIA)

2. Martellus Bennett 10.8 FPs (CHI vs. NO)

3. Greg Olsen 10.3 FPs (CAR vs. TB))

Breakout Candidate: Jordan Reed 9.4 FPs (WAS @ NYG)

Must Avoid: Marcedes Lewis 5.6 FPs (JAC @ BAL)

Kickers

1. Cody Parkey 11.4 FPs (PHI vs. DAL)

2. Justin Tucker 11.1 FPs (BAL vs. JAC)

3. Shuan Suisham 10.1 FPs (PIT @ ATL)

Breakout Candidate: Matt Bryant 8.8 FPs (ATL vs. PIT)

Must Avoid: Phil Dawson 6.0 FPs (SF @ SEA)

Defense

1. Seattle Seahawks 12.7 FPs (SEA vs. SF)

2. Detroit Lions 12.5 FPs (DET vs. MIN)

3. Baltimore Ravens 10.7 FPs (BAL vs. JAC)

Breakout Candidate: Kansas City Chiefs 10.3 FPs (KC vs. OAK)

Must Avoid: Miami Dolphins 0.0 FPs (MIA @ NE)

Injuries to Watch

1. Eddie Lacy- Though Lacy's benching late in the second half of the Monday night game against the Falcons was deemed to be "precautionary" due to a minor hip injury, he recently hinted that he may miss this week against Buffalo. The Bills have the NFL's best overall pass defense so a solid running game against them is critical. Taking his usual snaps, Lacy is our #14 running back for the week. If he misses time, James Starks would quickly become a top 15 play in standard leagues and a top ten running back in PPR leagues.

2. Falcons Receivers - Harry Douglas, Roddy White and Julio Jones have all been limited in practice this week, which is certainly of note considering how the Steelers have been torched by the likes of T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Kenny Stills and A.J. Green as of late. Julio Jones is a top five wide receiver if he plays. That can only improve if Douglas or White miss time. Douglas and White are #36 and #54 for the week, but would each become startable if any of the three misses the game.

3. Broncos Stars - Partially due to lofty expectations, the Broncos are oddly a bit of a mess right now in fantasy. Julius has not played since November 16 and Demaryius Thomas missed practice through Wednesday after getting injured in the Week 14 win over Buffalo. Add to that the return to practice of Ronnie Hillman, a missed practice by Wes Welker and a questionable tag for Jacob Tamme and it's tough to get a total read on this situation. Assuming everyone is healty, Anderson and both Thomases are top ten players at their respective positions. Monitor closely.

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