Fantasy Football 2012: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week 15

Jeremy Alpert@@pyroman1acSenior Analyst IIDecember 14, 2012

Every week, there are certain fantasy studs who you simply have to start no matter what. Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson fall into that category, to name a few.

There are also a good number of players you should probably sit each week as well. But then, there are those players whom you have no idea whether to start or sit.

Here are a few not-so-obvious guys at each major fantasy position who you might not know what to do with, but for whom the stats and other information dictates one way or the other.


Start 'Em: Quarterbacks

Josh Freeman (at NO)

Big Josh Freeman has come back down to Earth a bit lately tossing up just four TDs, one INT and an average of 229 yards in the last three weeks.

His completion percentage has been awful as well throwing at just a 49.5 percent clip in that time, but he’s never been known for his accuracy anyway.

This week, none of that will matter.

Freeman had his best game of the season against the Saints back in Week 7, and though I don’t believe he’ll be able to match 420 yards and three touchdowns, he should be able to have a QB1 type of day anyway. 



Cam Newton (at SD)

There’s nothing like finding yourself in the fantasy playoffs with a running quarterback on a roll.

Cam Newton put up the most fantasy points in the league over the last six weeks and has been the top point-getter in each of the last three.

In that time, he’s thrown for 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions while also rushing for 330 yards and another four TDs.

He’s averaged a massive 34.5 fantasy points (standard scoring) in his last three games and has all the confidence in the world right now.

San Diego has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last five weeks so there’s no reason to believe Newton won’t be able to keep up his torrid pace. 


Write-Ups for Other Start 'Em QBs


Others with QB1 Potential:

  • Andy Dalton (at Phi, Thursday night)
  • Robert Griffin III (at Cle)
  • Eli Manning (at Atl)
  • Carson Palmer (vs. KC)
  • Matthew Stafford (at Ari)
  • Colin Kaepernick (at NE, Sunday night)





Start 'Em: Running Backs 

Jamaal Charles (at Oak)

After last weekend’s 165-yard outburst against the Cleveland Browns, Jamaal Charles now has three straight 100-yard games, four in his last five games and a total of six on the season.

The bonus last week, however, was that Charles was able to find the end zone for the fifth time this season (four rushing, one receiving) on a delicious 80-yard, highlight speed-run on the first play of the game.

This week he’ll be taking on the Oakland Raiders, a defense that has allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns and second-most fantasy points to running backs this season, as well as two 100-yard rushers in the last three weeks alone.

He’s fun to watch as is, but you won’t want to miss the “Ostrich” this weekend. 



C.J. Spiller (vs. Sea)

C.J. Spiller and his 6.6 yards per carry will for sure have the backfield all to himself this weekend, which is something fantasy owners have been waiting for ever since the minor tease of it happening earlier in the season.

This time, however, Jackson is on IR, so there’s no chance Spiller doesn’t carry the load.

The only reason I don’t have Spiller higher in my rankings is because the Seattle Seahawks have been one of the best teams against the run for most of the season.

They did, however, allow five running backs in a four-game stretch recently to put up double-digit fantasy points against them, so there’s no reason to think an explosive player like C.J. won’t do the same. 


Write-Ups for Other Start 'Em RBs


Others with RB1 Potential:

  • Alfred Morris (at Cle)
  • Trent Richardson (vs. Was)
  • Darren McFadden (vs. KC)
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis (at Phi, Thursday night)
  • David Wilson (at Atl)
  • Bryce Brown (vs. Cin, Thursday night)
  • Frank Gore (at NE, Sunday night)
  • Ryan Mathews (vs. Car) 
  • Steven Jackson (vs. Min)




  • Reggie Bush (vs. Jax)
  • Shonn Greene (at Ten, Monday night) 
  • Bilal Powell (at Ten, Monday night)
  • Matt Forte (vs. GB) 
  • Darren Sproles (vs. TB)
  • Mikel Leshoure (at Ari) 
  • Ben Tate (vs. Ind)
  • LaMichael James (at NE, Sunday night)


Start 'Em: Wide Receivers 

Josh Gordon (vs. Was)

There was never a doubt about Josh Gordon’s talent, that’s for sure. However, it was a major question as to how long it would take for his understanding of the professional game to catch up to his dominating skills.

Not very long at all is the correct answer.

Gordon is in the top 15 in fantasy points over the last three weeks as well as the top 10 in both receiving yards and receptions.

This week, fantasy owners have the joy of watching him face a bottom-three pass defense with the Browns welcoming the Redskins to town.

Washington doesn’t have a single man in their secondary with either the size or speed to cover Gordon, so it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see the 21-year-old phenom to put up his best fantasy numbers of the year here. 



Vincent Jackson (at NO)

Because it rang true again last week versus the Eagles decrepit pass D, I’ll say it one more time—if there’s one thing Vincent Jackson does super-duper well for his fantasy owners, it’s that he destroys poor pass defenses.

The pass D he’ll be facing this week, the New Orleans Saints, had been progressing nicely over the last handful of games—that is, until they ran into Eli Manning and the Giants wide receiver corps last weekend.

Assuming he saw the game, V-Jax should be chomping at the bit to inflict his own damage on the Saints this Sunday, especially since he knows he can after putting up 216 yards and a touchdown against them in their first meeting.

A repeat of those numbers isn’t likely, but I wouldn’t bet against it either. 


Write-Ups for Other Start 'Em WRs


Others with WR1 Potential:

  • Roddy White (vs. NYG)
  • Marques Colston (vs. TB)
  • Victor Cruz (at Atl)
  • Julio Jones (vs. NYG)
  • Danario Alexander (vs. Car)
  • Cecil Shorts (at Mia)
  • Wes Welker (vs. SF, Sunday night)
  • Dez Bryant (vs. Pit)
  • Steve Smith (at SD)




  • Lance Moore (vs. TB)
  • Mike Wallace (at Dal)
  • Michael Crabtree (at NE, Sunday night)
  • Mike Williams (at NO)
  • T.Y. Hilton (at Hou)
  • Chris Givens (vs. Min)
  • Denarius Moore (vs. KC)
  • Jeremy Kerley (at Ten, Monday night)
  • Marvin Jones (at Phi, Thursday night)
  • Alshon Jeffery (vs. GB)
  • Rod Streater (vs. KC)


Start 'Em: Tight Ends 

Dennis Pitta (vs. Den)

Dennis Pitta started the season out hot catching 18 balls and two touchdowns through the Ravens first three games. After a major lull between Weeks 4 and 9, Pitta has gotten hot again nabbing three TDs in his last five games.

This week might be a little strange with Baltimore firing their offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, but I believe this will actually be a good thing for Mr. Pitta.

The team’s new offensive coordinator, Jim Caldwell, has vowed to go back to the no-huddle offense which is precisely the scheme that put Dennis on the map early in the first place.


He also happens to be going against a Broncos squad that has allowed the most touchdowns and second most fantasy points to tight ends this season, so things are looking pretty good for the Ravens’ TE in Week 15. 


Vernon Davis (at NE, Sunday night)

I know it’s strange to see his name up here since he’s been nearly invisible in the stat column for almost a month now, but things change quickly in this crazy game we call fantasy football.

The tight end position has been the most fickle of them all this season seeing anyone from Brandon Myers to Garrett Graham go off in any given week.

At this point, all you can do is play the matchup game, and Vernon Davis certainly has a good one to look at here in Week 15.

The New England Patriots have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to tight ends this season, with the best fantasy scores coming to tight ends on teams with a great running game.

Obviously, the 49ers are included in that category, so even though it might be hard to trust Davis at this point, this might be the time to take a chance on him again.


Write-Ups for Other Start 'Em TEs



Others with TE1 Potential:

  • Martellus Bennett (at Atl)
  • Brandon Myers (vs. KC)
  • Jermaine Gresham (at Phi, Thursday night)
  • Jason Witten (vs. Pit)
  • Heath Miller (at Dal)
  • Greg Olsen (at SD)
  • Dallas Clark (at NO)



  • Tony Scheffler (at Ari)
  • Kyle Rudolph (at StL)
  • Antonio Gates (vs. Car)
  • Jermichael Finley (at Chi)
  • Ben Watson (vs. Was)
  • Craig Stevens (vs. NYJ)
  • Clay Harbor (vs. Cin, Thursday night)
  • Jeff Cumberland (at Ten, Monday night)


Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks

Andrew Luck (at Hou)

Joe Flacco (vs. Den)

Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Sea)


Jay Cutler (vs. GB) 


Sit 'Em: Running Backs

Stevan Ridley (vs. SF, Sunday night)

Michael Turner (vs. NYG)

Jonathan Dwyer (at Dal)

Beanie Wells (vs. Det)

Montell Owens (at Mia) 


Sit 'Em: Wide Receivers

Larry Fitzgerald (vs. Det)

Torrey Smith (vs. Den)


Kenny Britt (vs. NYJ, Monday night)

Miles Austin (vs. Pit)

Jeremy Maclin (vs. Cin, Thursday night)

Antonio Brown (at Dal) 


Sit 'Em: Tight Ends

Scott Chandler (vs. Sea)

Marcedes Lewis (at Mia)

Dwayne Allen (at Hou)


NFL injury report.


For rankings at every position: Pyro® Rankings

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