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Fantasy Check: Week 15
3:53 | The MMQB
Fantasy Check: Week 15
Wednesday December 10th, 2014

NFL
Power Rankings: Seattle back in top three, Rams still NFL's hottest team

In a week filled with huge performances from star players, one stood out above the rest. Chances are if you own Le’Veon Bell, you’re now in your league’s semifinals.

Bell piled up 235 total yards and three touchdowns in Pittsburgh’s win over Cincinnati in Week 14. That comes out to 41.5 points in standard-scoring leagues. It’s awfully hard to lose when one player scores that much, and while it undoubtedly happened, somewhere in the neighborhood of 95 percent of Bell’s owners are now just one step away from the fantasy championship. The good news for them is that their star back could approach those numbers again this week.

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The Steelers head south this week to take on the Falcons, who have allowed the most points to running backs this year. Atlanta has surrendered a league-high 19 touchdowns to backs and has particularly struggled against pass-catchers out of the backfield. The Falcons have allowed the fifth-most receptions (75) and receiving yards (647) to running backs this season. Bell owners, you should be very excited.

Of course, Bell isn’t the only star likely to shine this week. Who else do we expect to excel? Find out in the SI.com stat projections for Week 15.

Fantasy team out of the playoffs? Then play FanNation's weekly game

Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons

QB: Ben Roethlisberger – 315 pass yards, 2 TD
RB: Le’Veon Bell – 120 rush yards, 1 TD, 5 receptions, 52 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Antonio Brown – 7 receptions, 102 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Martavis Bryant – 5 receptions, 93 rec yards
WR: Markus Wheaton – 2 receptions, 24 rec yards
TE: Heath Miller – 4 receptions, 37 rec yards
K: Shaun Suisham – 3 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Steelers – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 24 points allowed

QB: Matt Ryan – 293 pass yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
RB: Steven Jackson – 75 rush yards, 2 receptions, 13 rec yards
RB: Jacquizz Rodgers – 21 rush yards, 2 receptions, 10 rec yards
WR: Julio Jones – 7 receptions, 110 rec yards, 2 TD
WR: Roddy White – 6 receptions, 89 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Harry Douglas – 4 receptions, 47 rec yards
TE: Levine Toilolo – 2 receptions, 21 rec yards
K: Matt Bryant – 3 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Falcons – 1 sack, 30 points allowed

Bell won’t be the only Steeler to go off in this game. This is a dream matchup for fantasy owners. Jones’ owners have to be keeping their fingers crossed all week that he’ll be able to suit up and be something close to 100 percent on Sunday.

NFL playoff picture through Week 14: If the season ended today ...

Washington Redskins at New York Giants

QB: Robert Griffin – 247 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
RB: Alfred Morris – 92 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 20 rec yards
WR: DeSean Jackson – 5 receptions, 91 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Pierre Garcon – 4 receptions, 56 rec yards
TE: Jordan Reed – 6 receptions, 70 rec yards
K: Kai Forbath – 2 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Redskins – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 23 points allowed

QB: Eli Manning – 287 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB: Rashad Jennings – 55 rush yards, 2 receptions, 13 rec yards
RB: Andre Williams – 42 rush yards
WR: Odell Beckham Jr. – 6 receptions, 104 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Rueben Randle – 4 receptions, 52 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Preston Parker – 4 receptions, 36 rec yards
TE: Larry Donnell – 6 receptions, 78 rec yards
K: Josh Brown – 2 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Giants – 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 20 points allowed

Washington probably didn’t plan on having Griffin back under center so soon. Not many people would have bet at the beginning of the season that Beckham would be the biggest fantasy star in this game, though Morris is close.

BANKS: Snyder is common denominator in Redskins' problems

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

QB: Ryan Tannehill – 262 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 24 rush yards
RB: Lamar Miller – 70 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 21 rec yards
WR: Mike Wallace – 5 receptions, 76 rec yards
WR: Jarvis Landry – 6 receptions, 60 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Brian Hartline – 4 receptions, 48 rec yards
TE: Charles Clay – 4 receptions, 43 rec yards
K: Caleb Sturgis – 2 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Dolphins – 1 sack, 31 points allowed

QB: Tom Brady – 283 pass yards, 3 TD
RB: LeGarrette Blount – 75 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 14 rec yards
RB: Shane Vereen – 18 rush yards, 4 receptions, 26 rec yards
WR: Brandon LaFell – 4 receptions, 53 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Julian Edelman – 7 receptions, 80 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Rob Gronkowski – 6 receptions, 98 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Stephen Gostkowski – 4 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Patriots – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 17 points allowed

The Dolphins shut down Tom Brady and the New England offense in the second half to pull off an upset victory in Week 1, but this is a very different Patriots team than the one that took the field in September. The tables should be turned on Sunday.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

QB: Derek Carr – 220 pass yards, 1 INT
RB: Latavius Murray – 83 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 11 rec yards
RB: Darren McFadden – 12 rush yards
WR: James Jones – 4 receptions, 52 rec yards
WR: Andre Holmes – 5 receptions, 61 rec yards
TE: Mychal Rivera – 6 receptions, 72 rec yards
K: Sebastian Janikowski – 1 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Raiders – 2 sacks, 24 points allowed

QB: Alex Smith – 241 pass yards, 1 TD, 12 rush yards
RB: Jamaal Charles – 101 rush yards, 2 TD, 4 receptions, 42 rec yards
WR: Dwayne Bowe – 5 receptions, 53 rec yards
WR: Donnie Avery – 4 receptions, 56 rec yards
TE: Travis Kelce – 6 receptions, 84 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Cairo Santos – 3 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Chiefs – 3 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FR, 10 points allowed

So long as Charles can play through minor knee and ankle injuries, he should have a huge game against one of the league’s worst run defenses. Murray handled 23 touches last week and looks like the workhorse that Raiders interim coach Tony Sparano swore he wouldn’t be.

KAPLAN: Is there any hope left for Robert Griffin III?

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Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick – 256 pass yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
RB: Arian Foster – 94 rush yards, 2 TD, 3 receptions, 19 rec yards
RB: Alfred Blue – 32 rush yards
WR: DeAndre Hopkins – 6 receptions, 95 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Andre Johnson – 6 receptions, 70 rec yards
TE: Garrett Graham – 4 receptions, 38 rec yards
K: Randy Bullock – 3 PAT
DST: Texans – 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 31 points allowed

QB: Andrew Luck – 322 pass yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 15 rush yards
RB: Boom Herron – 46 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 18 rec yards
RB: Trent Richardson – 34 rush yards, 2 receptions, 12 rec yards
WR: T.Y. Hilton – 7 receptions, 104 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Reggie Wayne – 2 receptions, 21 rec yards
WR: Donte Moncrief – 5 receptions, 81 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Coby Fleener – 4 receptions, 51 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Dwayne Allen – 3 receptions, 24 rec yards
K: Adam Vinatieri – 4 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Colts – 2 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 21 points allowed

Wayne’s torn triceps helps to explain his lack of production and could mean more work for Moncrief this week. The Texans should lean heavily on Arian Foster against the Colts’ sub-standard run defense.

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Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens

QB: Blake Bortles – 259 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
RB: Denard Robinson – 38 rush yards, 2 receptions, 10 rec yards
RB: Toby Gerhart – 24 rush yards
WR: Cecil Shorts – 5 receptions, 72 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Allen Hurns – 3 receptions, 41 rec yards
WR: Marqise Lee – 6 receptions, 78 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Clay Harbor – 4 receptions, 50 rec yards
K: Josh Scobee – 2 PAT
DST: Jaguars – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 27 points allowed

QB: Joe Flacco – 279 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB: Justin Forsett – 82 rush yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 42 rec yards
RB: Lorenzo Taliaferro – 23 rush yards
RB: Bernard Pierce – 14 rush yards
WR: Torrey Smith – 5 receptions, 81 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Steve Smith – 6 receptions, 75 rec yards, 1 TD
TE: Owen Daniels – 5 receptions, 53 rec yards
K: Justin Tucker – 3 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Ravens – 3 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 14 points allowed

Flacco has had two big games in a row and now faces a very exploitable Jacksonville defense, but he’ll need a healthy Torrey Smith to take full advantage. This looms as a bad matchup for Robinson, who should be considered no better than an RB3 this week.

BURKE: Ravens' Dumervil closes in on sack title; more Week 14 winners

Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills

QB: Aaron Rodgers – 330 pass yards, 3 TD, 14 rush yards
RB: Eddie Lacy – 68 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 17 rec yards
RB: James Starks – 44 rush yards, 2 receptions, 12 rec yards
WR: Jordy Nelson – 7 receptions, 119 rec yards, 2 TD
WR: Randall Cobb – 6 receptions, 103 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Davante Adams – 4 receptions, 52 rec yards
TE: Andrew Quarless – 2 receptions, 21 rec yards
K: Mason Crosby – 4 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Packers – 3 sacks, 2 INT, 13 points allowed

QB: Kyle Orton – 244 pass yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
RB: Fred Jackson – 55 rush yards, 3 receptions, 22 rec yards
RB: Bryce Brown – 14 rush yards
RB: Anthony Dixon – 25 rush yards
WR: Sammy Watkins – 6 receptions, 88 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Robert Woods – 5 receptions, 53 rec yards
TE: Scott Chandler – 4 receptions, 58 rec yards
K: Dan Carpenter – 1 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Bills – 2 sacks, 34 points allowed

Rodgers is well on his way to his second MVP award, but this will be one of the best defenses he has faced this year, and Lacy is dealing with a hip pointer. The Bills will have to throw to keep up, meaning Watkins should be penciled into most lineups this week.

KING: An appreciation of Aaron Rodgers' career through 100 games

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

QB: Josh McCown – 275 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB: Doug Martin – 47 rush yards, 2 receptions, 10 rec yards
RB: Charles Sims – 22 rush yards, 2 receptions, 18 rec yards
WR: Mike Evans – 6 receptions, 101 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Vincent Jackson – 5 receptions, 90 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Louis Murphy – 2 receptions, 23 rec yards
TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins – 3 receptions, 21 rec yards
K: Patrick Murray – 2 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Buccaneers – 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 FR, 27 points allowed

QB: Cam Newton – 265 pass yards, 2 TD, 44 rush yards
RB: Jonathan Stewart – 89 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 12 rec yards
WR: Kelvin Benjamin – 5 receptions, 83 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Jerricho Cotchery – 5 receptions, 43 rec yards
WR: Philly Brown – 3 receptions, 40 rec yards
TE: Greg Olsen – 7 receptions, 84 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Graham Gano – 3 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Panthers – 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 20 points allowed

McCown is a sneaky play against Carolina's weak pass defense and should be started in most two-quarterback leagues. If Derek Anderson has to play in place of Cam Newton, which looks likely, downgrade all your Panthers.

Cam Newton released from hospital, not charged in auto accident

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

QB: Andy Dalton – 278 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB: Giovani Bernard – 49 rush yards, 4 receptions, 33 rec yards, 1 TD
RB: Jeremy Hill – 40 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 11 rec yards
WR: A.J. Green – 7 receptions, 121 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Mohamed Sanu – 4 receptions, 43 rec yards
WR: Brandon Tate – 3 receptions, 21 rec yards
TE: Jermaine Gresham – 3 receptions, 30 rec yards
K: Mike Nugent – 3 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Bengals – 3 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FR, 17 points allowed

QB: Johnny Manziel – 263 pass yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 26 rush yards
RB: Isaiah Crowell – 65 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 17 rec yards
RB: Terrance West – 54 rush yards, 2 receptions, 14 rec yards
WR: Josh Gordon – 6 receptions, 92 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Andrew Hawkins – 4 receptions, 60 rec yards
TE: Jordan Cameron – 5 receptions, 77 rec yards
K: Billy Cundiff – 2 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Browns – 1 sack, 1 INT, 24 points allowed

It’s time for Manziel Mania in Cleveland, and it only makes sense that he’ll get his first start at home. Let’s temper our expectations, though. There’s a reason he was on the bench for the first 13 games of the season. Bernard and Hill continue to get in each other’s way and should be thought of as low-end RB2s.

FARRAR: Finally the starter, Manziel has a chance to shine early

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

QB: Geno Smith – 207 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 12 rush yards
RB: Chris Johnson – 77 rush yards, 3 receptions, 20 rec yards
RB: Chris Ivory – 68 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 10 rec yards
WR: Percy Harvin – 4 receptions, 55 rec yards
WR: Eric Decker – 5 receptions, 60 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Jeremy Kerley – 3 receptions, 31 rec yards
TE: Jace Amaro – 3 receptions, 25 rec yards
K: Nick Folk – 2 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Jets – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 21 points allowed

QB: Jake Locker – 264 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 10 rush yards
RB: Bishop Sankey – 47 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 14 rec yards
WR: Kendall Wright – 6 receptions, 79 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Nate Washington – 4 receptions, 50 rec yards
TE: Delanie Walker – 7 receptions, 91 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Ryan Succop – 3 PAT
DST: Titans – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 20 points allowed

I mean, is there anything interesting about this game from a fantasy standpoint? Perhaps the great matchup for Walker, along with the Jets’ running backs, but they’re no better than low-end RB2s or flex plays. It’s safe to say anyone with options won’t be watching this one.

[pagebreak]

2:24 | The MMQB
The MMQB Extra

Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

QB: Peyton Manning – 280 pass yards, 2 TD
RB: C.J. Anderson – 87 rush yards, 2 TD, 2 receptions, 17 rec yards
RB: Juwan Thompson – 34 rush yards
WR: Demaryius Thomas – 6 receptions, 97 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Emmanuel Sanders – 6 receptions, 85 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Wes Welker – 3 receptions, 21 rec yards
TE: Julius Thomas – 4 receptions, 44 rec yards
K: Connor Barth – 4 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Broncos – 4 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 20 points allowed

QB: Philip Rivers – 281 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
RB: Ryan Mathews – 66 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 13 rec yards
RB: Branden Oliver – 22 rush yards
WR: Keenan Allen – 5 receptions, 80 rec yards
WR: Malcom Floyd – 5 receptions, 85 rec yards
WR: Eddie Royal – 4 receptions, 27 rec yards
TE: Antonio Gates – 5 receptions, 61 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Nick Novak – 2 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Chargers – 2 sacks, 1 FR, 31 points allowed

I’m not too alarmed about Manning, but he has come up short on some throws in the last few weeks that we are accustomed to seeing him drill in to his receivers. The Chargers simply have to get more out of Mathews this week if they are going to stay alive in the AFC West.

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Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

QB: Teddy Bridgewater – 233 pass yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 14 rush yards
RB: Matt Asiata – 38 rush yards, 4 receptions, 20 rec yards
RB: Ben Tate – 27 rush yards
WR: Charles Johnson – 5 receptions, 74 rec yards
WR: Greg Jennings – 5 receptions, 57 rec yards
WR: Cordarrelle Patterson – 3 receptions, 26 rec yards
TE: Kyle Rudolph – 4 receptions, 48 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Blair Walsh – 1 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Vikings – 3 sacks, 1 INT, 27 points allowed

QB: Matthew Stafford – 279 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB: Joique Bell – 86 rush yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 18 rec yards
RB: Reggie Bush – 25 rush yards, 4 receptions, 23 rec yards
WR: Calvin Johnson – 6 receptions, 120 rec yards, 2 TD
WR: Golden Tate – 5 receptions, 77 rec yards
TE: Eric Ebron – 3 receptions, 31 rec yards
K: Matt Prater – 3 PAT, 2 FG
DST: Lions – 4 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FR, 13 points allowed

Bridgewater had a great game a week ago, but this Detroit defense will be a much tougher test for him, especially since he figures to get little help from the run game. Bell has turned into a must-start for fantasy owners and is capable of RB1 numbers again this week.

BURKE: Sour Rankings: Fauria's TD dance leads Week 14 lowlights

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

QB: Colin Kaepernick – 236 pass yards, 2 INT, 20 rush yards
RB: Frank Gore – 68 rush yards
RB: Carlos Hyde – 37 rush yards
WR: Anquan Boldin – 5 receptions, 70 rec yards
WR: Michael Crabtree – 4 receptions, 57 rec yards
WR: Steve Johnson – 4 receptions, 45 rec yards
TE: Vernon Davis – 3 receptions, 31 rec yards
K: Phil Dawson – 3 FG
DST: 49ers – 2 sacks, 1 FR, 23 points allowed

QB: Russell Wilson – 241 pass yards, 49 rush yards, 1 rush TD
RB: Marshawn Lynch – 102 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 15 rec yards
RB: Robert Turbin – 32 rush yards
WR: Doug Baldwin – 6 receptions, 78 rec yards
WR: Jermaine Kearse – 4 receptions, 35 rec yards
WR: Paul Richardson – 3 receptions, 57 rec yards
TE: Tony Moeaki – 2 receptions, 25 rec yards
K: Steven Hauschka – 2 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Seahawks – 5 sacks, 2 INT, 2 FR, 9 points allowed

There’s not one 49er I would feel good about starting this week. Not a single one. It shows just how far this team has fallen this season. On the other side, Wilson and Lynch should be able to put a hurting on their division rivals and effectively end their season.

KLEMKO: Marshawn Lynch, as his teammates know him

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

QB: Tony Romo – 288 pass yards, 2 TD
RB: DeMarco Murray – 133 rush yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 31 rec yards
WR: Dez Bryant – 7 receptions, 109 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Terrance Williams – 4 receptions, 55 rec yards
WR: Cole Beasley – 4 receptions, 30 rec yards
TE: Jason Witten – 5 receptions, 62 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Dan Bailey – 3 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Cowboys – 3 sacks, 2 INT, 24 points allowed

QB: Mark Sanchez – 270 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
RB: LeSean McCoy – 91 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 11 rec yards
RB: Darren Sproles – 20 rush yards, 3 receptions, 28 rec yards
WR: Jeremy Maclin – 6 receptions, 89 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Jordan Matthews – 5 receptions, 70 rec yards
WR: Riley Cooper – 3 receptions, 22 rec yards
TE: Zach Ertz – 3 receptions, 46 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Cody Parkey – 3 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Eagles – 1 sack, 1 FR, 30 points allowed

I know the Eagles dominated this matchup just two weeks ago, but I still believe the Cowboys are the better team. That’s going to show up in real-life and fantasy contexts on Sunday night.

BANKS: Troy Aikman dishes on Cowboys, Watt, Joe Buck and more

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

QB: Drew Brees – 305 pass yards, 2 TD
RB: Mark Ingram – 75 rush yards, 1 TD, 2 receptions, 10 rec yards
RB: Pierre Thomas – 28 rush yards, 4 receptions, 40 rec yards
WR: Kenny Stills – 6 receptions, 80 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Marques Colston – 4 receptions, 54 rec yards
TE: Jimmy Graham – 7 receptions, 103 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Shayne Graham – 3 PAT, 3 FG
DST: Saints – 2 sacks, 1 INT, 31 points allowed

QB: Jay Cutler – 277 pass yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 12 rush yards
RB: Matt Forte – 120 rush yards, 2 TD, 4 receptions, 37 rec yards
WR: Alshon Jeffery – 6 receptions, 107 rec yards, 1 TD
WR: Marquess Wilson – 5 receptions, 68 rec yards
TE: Martellus Bennett – 5 receptions, 60 rec yards, 1 TD
K: Jay Feely – 4 PAT, 1 FG
DST: Bears – 1 sack, 1 FR, 30 points allowed

On Monday night, a national audience will be treated to a matchup between the two most disappointing teams in the NFL. While that may be the case, the two soft defenses involved should make this an exciting game from a fantasy perspective. Graham and Forte will be the stars here.

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