After a pretty uncharacteristic Week 14 in fantasy football, things got back to normal for the most part in Week 15. That’s not to say there weren’t a few surprises along the way.
Not surprising was Drew Brees bouncing back from two straight weeks of poor production. He threw no touchdowns and six interceptions in that stretch before Sunday’s 389-yard, four-touchdown performance. Unfortunately, Brees owners may not have made it past last week’s first round of fantasy playoffs.
Brandin Cooks benefited the most from Brees’ play, catching seven passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns. His best play came on a 65-yard score, which likely equated to big-play bonus points in a lot of leagues.
After Brees, the week’s best, and most surprising, performance came from mediocre veteran Matt Moore. His 226 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday night were a welcome surprise for the playoff-minded Dolphins.
Moore cashed in on two big scoring plays with Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry. Landry took his 66 yards on the way to having his second straight 100-yard performance. True to reputation, Stills scored on a 52-yard play, his only catch of the game.
The biggest disappointment out of Saturday night’s game was Jay Ajayi, who had plenty of opportunities but managed just 51 yards on 19 carries.
The best running backs of the week were Devonta Freeman, Ty Montgomery, LeSean McCoy, Ezekiel Elliott and David Johnson.
Freeman’s success was expected as he faced the 49ers, the worst defense at limiting running backs. He rushed for 139 yards and three scores. Montgomery reasserted himself as the Packers’ best backfield option, gaining 162 yards on just 16 carries and scoring twice.
Johnson gained over 100 yards from scrimmage and scored twice. And McCoy cashed in on his great matchup with the Browns as he averaged 8.1 yards per carry on his way to 153 yards and two touchdowns.
The likely rookie of the year, Ezekiel Elliott, rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown. That makes seven 100-yard rushing games this season and 11 games of at least 90 yards.
Outside of expected performances from Odell Beckham Jr., Jordy Nelson and Michael Crabtree, things were a bit wacky when it came to other top performers.
Tyler Lockett got things started on Thursday night, recording his first 100-yard game this season as he caught seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Robby Anderson had his third straight productive game, catching four passes for 80 yards and a score. His backup rapport with Bryce Petty is the reason.
If you knew that three Bears receivers would gain at least 89 yards in their game against the Packers, good for you. Alshon Jeffery, back from injury, scored and gained 89 yards. Deonte Thompson and Cameron Meredith gained 110 and 104 yards. Matt Barkley does throw for a lot of yards, but he also had three picks.
Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr all may have contributed to fantasy losses this week.
It wasn’t totally unexpected that Brady wouldn’t have a great game since he faced the Broncos, but 188 yards and no scores is unacceptable. Rodgers wasn’t terrible, but needed to score against the Bears. Carr had a touchdown pass, but threw for just 213 yards and had an interception against the Chargers.
Adrian Peterson’s return was a dud, especially since he carried the ball just six times. Todd Gurley continued to disappoint, rushing for just 38 yards. If he was your first draft pick and you still made the playoffs, I’d like to see the rest of your lineup.
Amari Cooper and Sammy Watkins should have both done better with their matchups, but neither had more than one catch. Antonio Brown and Mike Evans each had at least 50 yards receiving, but you expect more from those fantasy stars.
Dion Sims, Cameron Brate and Charles Clay were the top tight ends of the week.
Waiver wire suggestions:
- Matt Moore, Dolphins
- Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
- Robby Anderson, Jets
- Cameron Meredith, Bears (available again in a lot of leagues)
- Dion Sims, Dolphins (4-31, 2 TDs)