Each week, above our full fantasy rankings, SI.com fantasy writer Michael Beller and 4for4 writer John Paulsen will have a brief discussion about some of the most intriguing rankings questions. Scroll down for our full rankings at every position.
Michael Beller: It's Week 15, John. The semifinals in most fantasy leagues. There's an understandable impulse to dance with who brung you at this point of the season. After all, it was an authority no lesser than Abraham Lincoln himself who advised against swapping horses midstream. And yet, fantasy owners may be tempted to do just that considering a few late-season emergences across the league. At this stage of the season, how do you typically handle players like Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries and Josh Allen? Do you take their recent performance at face value, or do you lean more on their track records?
John Paulsen: I don’t really believe in the philosophy of starting your studs, specifically if those studs aren’t playing like studs at this time of year. At one point, Larry Fitzgerald and Demaryius Thomas were unbenchable fantasy studs, but this week, I would strongly consider benching both for players like Samuel, Dante Pettis and D.J. Moore, to name a few up-and-coming wideouts who are simply producing at a better rate at this point in the year. If Doug Baldwin sits again, I’d start Tyler Lockett over Mike Evans, due to their respective matchups with the 49ers and the Ravens. Every situation is different, so here’s what I tell people who are struggling with benching a stud or starting two receivers from the same team—start your best starts.
Beller: There’s definitely a time when fantasy owners need to realize that some of the stars of the past, even the recent past, are stars no longer, and that day certainly has arrived for Fitzgerald and Thomas. I’m with you on treating Week 15 like it’s Week 1. Play your best starts, no matter who they are. In fact, in one league where I’m still alive, I will be starting Samuel with a ton of confidence this week, alongside the likes of Alvin Kamara and Patrick Mahomes.
With that, let’s get to our Week 15 rankings.