By Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor
Must Start Options
Quarterback - None
Running Back - None
Wide Receiver - A.J. Green (Cin)
Tight End -None
Others to Consider
Quarterback – Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton is a borderline QB1 this week, taking on an Eagles defense that has completely fallen apart. Over the past four weeks we have seen the following performances against them:
- Week 11 – Robert Griffin III – 14-15 for 200 yards and 4 TD
- Week 12 – Cam Newton – 18-28 for 300 yards and 2 TD
- Week 13 – Tony Romo – 22-27 for 303 yards and 3 TD
- Week 14 – Josh Freeman – 14-34 for 189 yards and 2 TD
So, they did do a good job on Freeman, but in general the TD have been plentiful. The thing with Dalton is that he hasn’t thrown for more than 230 yards in the past five weeks. Obviously, if he can hook up for two or three touchdowns there’s no issue, but that is a bit of a risk.
He’s usable, depending on your other options, but his recent play (including 2 TD vs. 3 INT in his past two games) make him a risk and a preferable QB2.
Quarterback – Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles
He was tremendous in Week 14, but that performance also came against the worst pass defense in the league and that has to be accounted for. In contrast to Tampa Bay (311.6 yards/game, 23 TD), the Bengals are allowing just 222.5 passing yards per game and 14 TD. It’s a much different matchup this week and, unless you are in a two-quarterback league, one you don’t want to mess with. There’s just too much risk involved in trusting a rookie quarterback still trying to find his footing.
Running Back – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Cincinnati Bengals
He is close to being a must use option, but this is the playoffs so we don’t want to be hasty. However, his biggest issue is finding the end zone as he has rushed for at least 89 yards in four straight games (including three over 100). Having scored five touchdowns hurts his appeal, as does his inability in the passing game. While I would use him under most circumstances, he’s not a given. That’s especially true considering the Eagles leaky pass defense and the fact that they have only allowed seven rushing touchdowns on the season.
Running Back – Bryce Brown – Philadelphia Eagles
He was awful in Week 14, but that was against a stout running defense who was porous against the pass. These are slightly different circumstances, as the Bengals have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns this season. With LeSean McCoy already ruled out you would think that Brown will get ample opportunity. Don’t write him off based on the tough matchup, because you don’t accidentally put up the numbers he did in Weeks 12 & 13. He’s a RB2/FLEX, depending on your options.
Wide Receiver – Andrew Hawkins – Cincinnati Bengals
He is the clear second receiver and he has received eight targets in each of the past two games. As defenses focus on Green, that should provide other receivers a chance and he is the best of the group. That said, he’s a huge risk and could easily put up a goose egg. He’s a desperation WR3, at best.
Wide Receiver – Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles
Without DeSean Jackson he is the clear top receiver in Philadelphia. That said, he’s shown the ability to have a big game (like in Week 14 with nine receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown), but also seemingly disappear at times. There’s a lot of risk, especially with a rookie QB throwing him the ball, so I would consider him more of a WR3.
Wide Receiver – Jason Avant/Riley Cooper – Philadelphia Eagles
Could either of these two make a splash? Absolutely… Would I bet on it this early in the week with my fantasy title hanging in the balance? Not likely… If you are desperate and in the deepest of leagues, Avant could hold value. However, it’s a huge gamble at this time.
Tight End – Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals
Similar to his quarterback, he is right on the fence and it solely depends on your other options if you use him or not. He’s going to have big days and has at least four receptions in each of his past four games. He also ranks second on the team in receiving touchdowns, with five, and with the way the Eagles are going that adds to his appeal. Tight end can be a tricky position, but I wouldn’t be opposed to using him.
Tight End – Clay Harbor – Philadelphia Eagles
He’s coming off a big game, with six receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. Of course, he’s been targeted 35 times all season and had a total of three yards in the previous three weeks. Don’t bother taking the risk off of one good game.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 15 rankings: