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Must Pickups

Mike Boone, Alexander Mattison – Mike Zimmer said Dalvin Cook can play through his shoulder injury, even after he re-aggravated it this past week. Adam Schefter reports that it’s unlikely Cook plays again in the regular season. Cook might be active, but I’m not sure they will risk playing him before the playoffs when they have two good back behind him. Mattison didn’t practice at all last week, so the chances he suits up this week isn’t high. Boone would be the preferred pickup, since he’s the only healthy back and has the upside of being a bell cow. He looked good in his opportunity this past week and in the preseason. Keep in mind that this game is on Monday night, so Mattison and Cook will have an extra day to get right. Until we have more information, I’m picking Boone up first, then Mattison… but both have to be rostered if you can. Block your opponent from any scenario.

Breshad Perriman – Hope you scooped him up last week… and played him. He caught 5 of 6 for 113 yards and 3 TDs, and now the Bucs will likely be out Chris Godwin and Mike Evans for Week 16. Perriman has lined up where Evans has over the last game and a half (60% of perimeter snaps on left side), and that’s where AJ Brown lined up on 65% of his perimeter snaps. Brown caught 114 yards and a TD on 8 catches last week. Tampa is 2nd in attempts per game, and is leading the league in passing yards per game. Over the last three games, they’ve averaged 385 passing yards… the next highest team is at 326. Perriman will be a WR2 play this week.

Tyler Higbee – Tyler Higbee is winning people fantasy championships this year. He caught another 12 passes for 111 yards on 14 targets on Sunday. Over his last three games, he’s averaging almost 9 catches for 111 yards. Keep starting him even in a tough matchup… just hope Gerald Everett doesn’t make it back.

Anthony Miller – Miller might not be a must play, but he has to be rostered so your opponent can’t use him… you want to avoid anyone but yourself to use high ceiling players. Miller has a great matchup this week against Kansas City; he runs 82% of his routes from the slot, and Kansas City’s pass defense funnels production to slot WRs. They’re stout on the perimeter, giving up the 2nd least amount of fantasy points, while they give up the 8th most to slot WRs, both of those numbers coming are coming into Week 15. The matchup lines up with the usage; Miller is averaging 10.4 targets over his last 4 games, and is a confident WR2 play as long as Taylor Gabriel is out, in which case he’ll be a boom/bust WR2 play. Game flow should help these two against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. It doesn’t hurt that Miller was #3 overall in air yards in Week 15.

Will Fuller – He’s about 70% rostered in Yahoo, but we don’t want to take chances. Don’t let him sit on the wire if he’s out there, even if you don’t want to play him. His ceiling is serious against a Bucs secondary giving up the most fantasy points to WRs. Fuller can win you a week, but he’s also bust-capable. I won’t be scared to play him, though… as long as he doesn’t get hurt, he shouldn’t kill you in this matchup.

Mike Williams – He’s also been dropped in a few leagues (~75% rostered), especially with a 3 target game in Week 14. Those targets went up to 9 in Week 15, and he has an advantage on the outside against Oakland this week. Coming into Week 15, the Raiders have given up the 8th most fantasy points to perimeter WRs over the previous 8 weeks. If he’s available and you don’t want to play him, put him on your bench. You might not remember Week 15 of last season against the Chiefs.

Terry McLaurin – McLaurin (73% rostered) has a chance to blow up in this matchup, and you don’t want that sitting out there on the wire if you don’t want to play him this week. Leave no room for your opponent to gain an edge. DeVante Parker came down with two TDs this past week, Allen Lazard caught 3 balls for 103 and a TD in Week 13, Allen Robinson caught 6 for 131 and a TD in Week 12, Demaryius Thomas (!) caught 6 for 84 in Week 10 (Week 11 was Giants bye, so they caught a break), Amari Cooper the week before, Kenny Golladay the week before that, etc, etc. McLaurin has upside as a WR3 this week.

RB Pickups

Boston Scott – In case Howard isn’t back, Scott will likely be used in the passing game again, so he’s in play as a PPR flex. He caught 6 of 6 in Week 14 (43% of snaps) and 7 of 7 in Week 15 (45% of snaps).

Adrian Peterson – Peterson got volume over the last two weeks and scored, so you can start him as a TD dependent flex option. It’s a neutral matchup without much of a threat of being blown out, so he has a good chance at getting at least 15-20 carries.

Tony Pollard – Only if you play in Week 17. Zeke might be rested if they have the division won after this week.

WR Pickups

Greg Ward – Nelson Agholor might not make his way back this week, and without Alshon Jeffery playing either, there aren’t too many options in the passing game. It’s basically Ertz, Goedert, Sanders/Scott, and Ward out of the slot. The Cowboys’ pass defense funnel is through the slot; they have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to slot WRs over the 4 weeks coming into Week 15. He’ll also spend more time away from Byron Jones when he’s on the outside. Ward’s 9 targets in each of the last two games is good enough sample size to label him a low-end PPR WR3 if Agholor misses. If Agholor gets full practices in this week and plays, he’ll have the matchup advantage and preferred play.

Danny Amendola – Danny Amendola led the Lions in targets last week in the absence of Marvin Jones. Kenny Golladay will likely be shadowed by Chris Harris this week, so it’s likely Amendola gets peppered once again. He’ll be a boom/bust WR3, and gets a bump in PPR leagues.

James Washington – James Washington led the Steelers with 11 targets, and he’s in play for upside if you need it against the Jets this week. This is Washington’s 4th 80+ yard receiving game in his last 6 games. Juju might be back (practiced in full on Tuesday), so that would throw a wrench into your plans.

Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Golden Tate- Washington has been pretty tough against opposing perimeter WRs, and that added to the ambiguity over which Giants WR to go with this week, it’ll be tough for me to play either guy unless you’re in a deep league. Golden Tate actually has the best matchup of the three Giants WRs, but he’s a dart throw for upside if Eli Manning starts.

Tight End Streams

Tyler Higbee – Mentioned him up top as a must pickup.

Jacob Hollister – Hollister is going up against Arizona this week, and while he had four straight sub par performances, he’s staying involved in the best matchup for tight ends. You would have to hope Lockett’s volume goes back to normal and Hollister’s volume goes back up to the 6-8 he was seeing before last week. He’s a back-end TE1.

OJ Howard – Without Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, OJ Howard is the next best option alongside Breshad Perriman. He had 8 targets last week, and that can turn into serious production if him and Jameis connect against Houston. The Texans are giving up the 8th most fantasy points to tight ends this year.

Dallas Goedert – The Eagles are running out of options to throw to, so Goedert will stay involved. He’s averaged 6-7 targets over the last 5 weeks. He caught 5 of 6 for 55 yards this past week, and has a good matchup against Dallas, who’s given up the 7th most fantasy points to tight ends.

Jonnu Smith – It’s not the best matchup in the world against New Orleans, but Smith is an option if you’re desperate. 4 and 5 targets over the last 2 weeks.

QB Streams

Ryan Tannehill – What has Tannehill done that doesn’t warrant an every-week start? If he’s available, play him. He’s been the QB4 since Week 7 when he took over as the starter. He’s thrown at least 2 TDs in every game he’s started except one… but he ran one in that game.

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Fitz has been getting it done lately, and while it’s actually not the easiest matchup in the world against Cincinnati, but it’s a neutral one at worse, which we’ll take. He’s averaging just under 300 passing yards per game and doesn’t hesitate to use his legs. Like I mentioned last week, Fitzpatrick is QB5 since he took over as the starter in Week 7.

Phillip Rivers – It’s getting dicey if you’re rolling out Phillip Rivers to get you a championship, but desperate times might call for desperate measure. Rivers has been very inconsistent, but he does have a good matchup against Oakland. Grab a drink and hope for the best.

Mitch Trubisky – His favorite targets have good matchups out of the slot (Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller), and he might be able to depend on the run game moving the ball a bit. He’s risky as hell, but he’s provided four straight solid fantasy performances and gives you a chance at his high ceiling in case he decides to run the ball.

DEF Streams

Hope you were able to stash a defense before this week.

KC Chiefs @ Chicago Bears – Chiefs have provided four great fantasy performances in a row, and Mitch Trubisky can be turnover prone. Yes, he’s a streamer as well… one doesn’t have to be false for the other to be true.

Seattle vs Arizona – Even though they’ve been giving up points, Seattle’s defense has been turning the ball over regularly… which gives them a chance to score on defense. They’ve provided solid defensive (fantasy) outings over their past 5 games.

Indianapolis vs Carolina – Will Grier will likely get his first start this week in Indy, so the Colts are a good start regardless of who’s under QB. Drew Brees dissected them on Monday night, but that’s irrespective of this matchup. They have been putting up solid defensive fantasy outings, and the Panthers can’t stop turning the ball over. We’ll see if Grier can control the ball more than Kyle Allen could.

Denver vs Detroit – Denver’s defense has been solid, and they’ve gotten to the QB pretty consistently lately. Detroit has turned the ball over 5 times in the last 2 games, and you would hope that continues against Denver this week.