Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you think, like I do, that the Bucs have an interest in getting Winston to 5,000-plus passing yards this season, he will need to average about 295 yards per game to accomplish that goal. So long as his thumb holds up, I think Winston not only gets those passing yards, I think he adds two or three passing touchdowns as well.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Tannehill continues to defy expectations and has put up terrific fantasy numbers all season. Las Vegas has this week’s over/under against Houston at 50 implied points, which is the highest point total of the week. Considering the Texans will be keyed in on stopping Titans RB Derrick Henry, look for Tannehill to have another huge week throwing the football. I also like how his rapport has improved with first-round draft pick WR A.J. Brown.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Watson is a great quarterback, but he becomes even greater when he has time to pass—and when WR Will Fuller is in the lineup. Both things are expected to happen in Week 15. The Titans' pass rush is good, but not good enough to force Watson to throw earlier than he wishes, plus Fuller is expected back from a hamstring injury. Look for Watson to have a huge week.
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
For weeks, we have seen that the Vikings' defense is stout against the run, but soft against the pass. This should play right into the hands of Philip Rivers. Rivers has many mismatches on the field including RB Austin Ekeler out of the backfield, WR Keen Allen in the slot, and WR Mike Williams on the outside. I can see all three players making a significant impact on this game's outcome.
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
What do you get when you put a running back on a team which likes to run 25-to-30 times a game against the worst run defense in the league? You get a lock-and-load start in seasonal and DFS formats! Carson might be the chalkiest play of Week 15, but he also should be the best play. The Seahawks want to run the ball often, and with Rashaad Penny’s injury, Carson will get all the carries he can handle. Start him with full confidence on Sunday.
Patrick Laird, Miami Dolphins
Laird has emerged as a late-season threat, particularly in PPR formats. In Week 15, look for Laird to once again get 15-to-20 touches, which could be way more valuable this week against the soft Giants' defense than it was against the Jets' second-ranked run defense. Laird is what I like to call a sneaky start—and one who might pay huge dividends to fantasy owners.
Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers
Mostert has picked up his play in recent games and has impressed the coaching staff so much that they admitted that he is the team’s new lead back. What makes Mostert special is that he not only has great power out of the backfield, he also catches the ball fluidly, and is big enough to stay on the field in short yardage situations. Mostert is not likely to get 20-plus touches in the 49ers' running back by committee offense, but I think he should be able to get 15 touches, which should still help his fantasy owners.
DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders
I am basing this selection on the thought that the Raiders will shut down starting RB Josh Jacobs with a shoulder injury. Jacobs was inactive in Week 14, and with the Raiders out of the playoff hunt, it makes little sense to risk their star player in a meaningless game. Washington should get the opportunity to be the early-down running back against a Jaguars defense which has obviously quit on the coach. Washington will split carries with Jalen Richard, but if there is a TD to be scored, Washington will have the best chance to score it.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
The Titans are without starting CBs Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson in what has become a must-win game for both teams. Deshaun Watson should have time to throw, which only makes Hopkins more deadly in the passing game. Look for him to have eight or nine catches for 100-plus receiving yards and a TD. You drafted Hopkins as the first or second overall wide receiver back in August for games like this—hopefully it pays off!
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
Landry has been getting the lion’s share of the targets from Mayfield over the past month (more than 30%), and the Cardinals are one of the worst team at covering slot receivers in the league. Landry should be well on his way to another fantastic game in Week 15.
Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions
Sometimes it pays to be contrarian and this week, Amendola is a great contrarian play. Most people will gravitate towards playing WR Kenny Golladay, but the Bucs will most likely double cover him, which should leave room for Amendola to navigate the middle of the field. With Marvin Jones on injured reserve, Amendola is the best weapon the Lions have to consistently move the chains.
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
Amari Cooper is going to draw Rams CB Jalen Ramsey in shadow coverage this week, leaving Gallup as Dak Prescott's main target in the passing game. Gallup has shown that he can handle the workload (he has two 100-plus yard receiving games in the past month) and he has terrific hands. Even better is that Gallup has failed to score a TD in the last four games, which makes him due to find the end zone if you believe in positive regression.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Kittle is a target-share monster (24%) who plays on practically every offensive snap. He is Jimmy G’s go-to guy, and he should be able to find plenty of room to operate against the Falcons this week.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
This week, the Cardinals (who are still the worst team in the league at covering opposing tight ends) play the Browns, which means that Njoku is in play. Njoku has always been a good red zone player and it seems likely that he will find pay dirt this week.
Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders
With Tyrell Williams dealing with a heel injury, and Hunter Renfroe still not healthy either, the Raiders have been featuring Waller for the past month. He has 21 catches on 28 targets in that time and has become Derek Carr’s first option in the passing game. The Jaguars' defense has looked like it has given up as of late, so I think that Waller is in a great position to make a few plays and find the end zone at least once.
Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers
I have a feeling that the Seahawks' lack of success in covering the tight end has been overlooked, but that is something that fantasy owners can take advantage of this week. Rams TE Tyler Higbee had seven catches for 116 yards against Seattle, and I am hoping that Ian Thomas follows suit with a similar week. With the Panthers' season winding down and the team failing to make the playoffs, Thomas should get every opportunity to show that he can take over for Greg Olsen and be next season’s starter.
More Advice From SI Fantasy
— Frankie Taddeo’s Week 15 streaming options: Darius Slayton, Jimmy G and more
— Jaime Eisner’s stock watch on the players trending up and down
— Jaime Eisner’s waiver wire, in case any of them are still available
— Mark Deming’s Target and Snap Report combs through the data for fantasy nuggets
— Dr. Roto's Week 15 Start / Sit column can help you with your tougher lineup decisions