For many leagues, the playoffs are finally here. The homemade trophies and automated championship presentations are now up for grabs. With the all marbles on the table in single-season leagues, every starting decision pays double compared to the regular season. Now with a weird COVID week, many decisions have become even tougher based on the game’s availability. In your fight to the finale, I will leave you with one piece of advice: trust the guys that got you here. While it may be intriguing to take a large risk, there are some picks that will likely send you home early. Here are my picks for Week 15.
Two players you should start this week:
• CeeDee Lamb – One week after the near disaster against Washington, the Cowboys’ offense seems to be trending down. What seemed to be a potential 48-0 blowout turned into a 27-20 barnburner. With that being said, this week’s matchup is much more favorable against the division rival Giants. Based off their Week 5 bout in Dallas, the Giants will likely step up the coverage down the field to prevent long passing plays. Look for Lamb to get a lot of the short pass work and continue a great PPR season in Week 15.
• Cordarrelle Patterson – As one of the most surprising standouts this season, #84 is only one of two players this season with at least 500 rushing and 500 receiving yards (Austin Ekeler). The Falcons’ weapon has been utilized in almost every offensive scheme. Facing the 49ers can be a tough bout, but there is one thing San Francisco struggles with: allowing rushing touchdowns. Their 12 given TDs are the sixth most in the NFL. With this allure and Patterson’s consistent volume, start him with confidence this week in a playoff opener.
Two players you should sit this week:
• CJ Uzomah – After a hot start to the year, the former Auburn Tiger has slowed down slightly over the past few weeks. In four of the last five games, Uzomah has been held under 25 yards and five catches. The biggest issue with Cincinnati isn’t getting the offense rolling. With weapons like standout rookie Ja’Marr Chase, top 11 all-purpose back Joe Mixon, and WR tandem in Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, the ball is being distributing to everyone on the field. Considering this fact, I am hesitant to start Uzomah facing the #1 defense against tight ends in Denver.
• Trevor Lawrence – I know what you are probably thinking. Why would Trevor Lawrence be in this conversation? Simple, they have a chance to produce against a depleted Texans team. While this may be alluring, there are multiple reasons to sit him this week. One, Lawrence has averaged only 11.8 points per game at home this season. Two, the Texans have the eighth-most interceptions against quarterbacks this season. Three, the potential start of James Robinson will likely cause a high-volume, run-early game plan. While Urban Meyer’s exit could bring a spark to this Jacksonville team, I don’t think he’s worthy of a start in standard 12-team leagues.
One player you could stream this week:
• Allen Lazard – Now with a fully healed shoulder, the Packers’ WR3 has been on the rise over the last two weeks. Lazard has gotten 13 targets over his last two contests from Aaron Rodgers. With the Ravens’ loss of top tier quarterback Marlon Humphrey, the secondary has become weaker overall. The Ravens will likely try to blitz Rodgers quite a bit Sunday, so a quick, short passing gameplan will support an increase in touches for Lazard. With his 89% availability in ESPN leagues, #13 could be a nice option for teams needing security in this weird COVID week.