Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire
Welcome to Week Fifteen, dear reader, I am Brennen Gorman and I am in charge of our On the Bubble column. These articles will focus on bubble and bench players that could make an impact this week, even if they might not make an impact every week, and on bubble and bench players that might not make an impact this week.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens [ESPN Own: 48% / Start: 12%]: A match against Tampa Bay should allow Lamar Jackson to utilize his legs as well as his arm, with a strong possibility of breaking 200 yards passing for the first time in his career. Joe Flacco will be back on Sunday, but Jackson is listed as the starter and should continue to see all of the snaps as he has performed well since taking over for Flacco.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys [ESPN Own: 56% / Start: 21%]: Amari Cooper has done wonders for Dak Prescott‘s value with Week Fourteen the punctuation mark. So long as Prescott keeps his turnovers in check, he is a good get close to 300 yards passing and be to be a top 12 quarterback in Week Fifteen.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers [ESPN Own: 99% / Start: 65%]: Chicago’s defense has been a nightmare for opposing offenses this season and Aaron Rodgers has had a wildly underwhelming season (as has the Green Bay offense). Rodgers’ lack of turnovers has been the only support to his unstable value and chances are high he snaps his eight-game streak this week.
Start: Running Backs
Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs [ESPN Own: 28% / Start: 1%]: Spencer Ware is unlikely to play in Week 15, leaving the lead role to Damien Williams the team’s change-of-pace back. Williams should be in line for a full workload as well as most of the running back targets.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens [ESPN Own: 69% / Start: 32%]: Gus Edwards averaged 4.1 YPC in Week Fourteen and is still the lead back averaging 19 carries a game over the past four weeks. Tampa Bay has one of the worst run defenses so Edwards is a good bet to improve on his YPC in Week Fifteen.
Sit: Running Backs
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers [ESPN Own: 95% / Start: 82%]: As with Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones is a risky bet against the force that is Chicago’s defense. Jones has been on fire the past five weeks, but short of another touchdown, Jones may be in for a single digit game.
Start: Wide Receivers
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers [ESPN Own: 77% / Start: 41%]: DJ Moore is on the cusp of success and while it did not happen in Week Fourteen, Week Fifteen presents a soft matchup against New Orleans. Moore has no fewer than 8 targets over the past four weeks and is a good bet to get close to 10 targets this week, creating a high floor for Moore.
Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers [ESPN Own: 26% / Start: 7%]: Dante Pettis now has four touchdowns in three weeks and has had exactly seven targets in each of those weeks. He is the go-to receiver in San Francisco and while he carries significant risk, could be a stable Flex play in Week Fifteen.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos [ESPN Own: 1% / Start: 1%]: In the mess that is Denver’s receiving core, Tim Patrick tied for most receptions and targets in Week Fourteen. While DaeSean Hamilton will work out of the slot, Patrick seems to be the go-to guy on the outside ahead of the ailing Courtland Sutton.
Sit: Wide Receivers
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals [ESPN Own: 92% / Start: 49%]: Cincinnati’s offense has only continued on a downward slide and while Oakland may present a good matchup, Tyler Boyd has done little to instill confidence in his ability alone since season-ending injuries to A.J. Green and Andy Dalton. The chance of a bust is again high with Boyd.
Start: Tight Ends
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns [ESPN Own: 73% / Start: 36%]: David Njoku has the target share necessary to succeed as a star tight end, but has yet to convert enough to justify consistent use. A Week Fifteen matchup against a Denver defense that has let up six touchdowns and nearly 1,000 yards to opposing tight ends is a good bet for Njoku to succeed.
Sit: Tight Ends
Trey Burton, Chicago Bears [ESPN Ownership: 77% / Start: 31%]: For as poor as Green Bay’s defense has played, it has shut down tight ends ruthlessly all season. Trey Burton has not eclipsed 50 yards since Week Seven and is still starting in a third of leagues. Look elsewhere.
Detroit Lions D/ST [ESPN Own: 19% / Start: 14%]: Doubling down on last week’s success against Arizona, Buffalo’s poor offense should make for another low scoring matchup.
Los Angeles Chargers D/ST [ESPN Own: 79% / Start: 52%]: In their first matchup, Los Angeles failed to make a turnover and let up 38 points. While their defense has gotten more cohesive, it is still a risky proposition going against the Kansas City machine.