Roundtable Week 15

The Footballguys Roundtable panel discusses and debates difficult Week 15 scenarios, free-agent quarterbacks with viable fantasy QB1 potential, players we're excited about next year, and our riskiest Week 15 decisions for our playoff matchups. 

Welcome to Week 15 of the 2020 Footballguys' Roundtable. Our intrepid and oddball panel of fantasy pundits discuss and debate difficult Week 15 scenarios, the recent carousel of quarterbacks with viable fantasy QB1 potential, players we're excited about next year, and our riskiest Week 15 decisions for our playoff matchups.

Let's roll...

Difficult Week 15 Scenarios

Matt Waldman: Injuries to pivotal players can generate difficult scenarios for GMs. Here are some that appear difficult to me.

  • The Lions are pessimistic about Matt Stafford playing against Tennessee this weekend.
  • James Conner has a quad injury and the Steelers ground game has been awful since October.
  • Gardner Minshew returns to the starting lineup. D.J. Chark Jr and Mike Glennon had no rapport. Minshew had a lot more with Chark last year and prior to his hand injury.
  • Brandin Cooks is scheduled to return to the Texans lineup this week. Keke Coutee and Chad Hansen were decent plays in some leagues while Cooks was out.

Chose one of the scenarios above--OR PICK YOUR OWN--and answer the following questions:

  1. Which player(s) benefit from this scenario on the team or the opposing team that offer fantasy value(s)?
  2. Which player(s) are hurt from this scenario on the team or the opposing team that decreases their fantasy value(s).

Give us the goods.

Maurile Tremblay: If Brandon Cooks returns to the Texans lineup this week, the primary beneficiary will be Brandin Cooks. Deshaun Watson will also be happy.

Despite spending most weekdays on the practice squad, Chad Hansen will likely be active again on Sunday whether or not Cooks returns. But he won't have fantasy value. He's gotten seven targets in each of the past two weeks; I wouldn't expect that to continue even if Cooks misses another game.

Keke Coutee was abnormally quiet last week (considering that Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks, and Randall Cobb were all out, and Kenny Stills is gone). But if we replay Week 14 a hundred times, I'd expect Coutee to lead the Texans' wide receivers in targets more often than not.

Chad Hansen and Steven Mitchell Jr. would normally fall in behind him. With Brandin Cooks back in the lineup, Cooks and Coutee will dominate snaps in two-WR sets, with Chad Hansen and Steve Mitchell getting some reps here and there, but not enough to warrant starting consideration in fantasy leagues.

I don't see Cooks' return affecting Jordin Akins or David Johnson much. They'll be on the field the same amount as normal.

Dan Hindery: The Raheem Mostert injury situation is one I am watching closely because if he is out then Jeff Wilson becomes one of the most interesting plays of the week and the question would then become just how high do you push Wilson up the rankings and who should you bench to get him into your lineup. Mostert has been dealing with the lingering effects of an ankle injury and said he didn’t feel right last week. He had an MRI Monday and is still awaiting the results.

Mostert’s absence would put Wilson in a position to dominate the touches in the 49ers' backfield.

"We've gotten all our backs back and we've been trying to go with Jeff Wilson and Raheem as our one-two," Kyle Shanahan said recently. "That's why Tevin hasn't gotten in much either. Raheem and Jeff have kind of earned that, and they've been our top guys here, especially with Tevin not fully back."

In Week 15, that lead role for the 49ers could be very productive. Dallas has allowed the second-most rushing yards to opposing running backs and we have seen 49ers backs have monster fantasy games seemingly out of nowhere on a regular basis over the last few years.

Wilson would be a good play if Mostert is out but the question then becomes just how strong an option he is. For example, I have a league where I will be deciding between Jeff Wilson and J.K. Dobbins as my RB2. Wilson and Dobbins are also the exact same price on FanDuel Sunday and look like two of the top bargain options on the slate, which again means I may find myself picking between the two in that format as well.

Overall, I would be bullish on Wilson’s fantasy prospects this weekend if Mostert ends up being out. If you are hard up for a starting back this week and Wilson is available, you should jump on him in waivers. You should also strongly consider rolling with him as a flex or RB2 over middling options like Devin Singletary, David Johnson, and the like. He has 100-yard, multiple-touchdown upside if Mostert is out.

Jeff Haseley: Matthew Stafford's possible absence this week due to a painful rib injury means Chase Daniel would take over for the Lions in their game at Tennessee. Detroit is 1-1 under interim head coach Darrell Bevell. At 5-8, they are all but out of the playoff race with only a glimmer of hope remaining with games at Tennessee and home for Tampa Bay and Minnesota. While the playoffs look bleak for Detroit, I can see how Chase Daniel could be an interesting, sneaky play this week, especially in two-quarterback leagues.

Chase Daniel's career yards per attempt is 6.55 so expect a lot of passes behind the line of scrimmage and in front of the sticks. Kenny Golladay may be back in this game. He was close last week but was held out. His return would elevate the offense, but I can see this game being more beneficial for T.J. Hockenson, D'Andre Swift, and Danny Amendola. They are the ones who will benefit the most from short-ranged passes, especially if Detroit finds themselves trailing in this game. The game script heavily favors the dump-off and it could result in positive fantasy outings for all mentioned above.

Waldman: I completely agree with you about who benefits from working with Daniel, Jeff. Swift seems like a good option this week as a receiver, alone.

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