Stars of Week 15

QB: Matt Ryan, ATL: 22-36, 231 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs (3 carries, 18 yards, 1 TD)         

RB: Derrick Henry, TEN: 30 carries, 170 yards, 2 TDs 

WR: DeAndre Hopkins, HOU: 10 catches, 170 yards, 2 TDs

TE: Garrett Celek, SF: 2 catches, 61 yards, 1 TD

Week 15 was a semifinal playoff matchup for most fantasy leagues, and many of the season’s top performers failed to bring it – at least statistically. Scott Barrett of Pro Football Focus noted on Twitter that a lineup of:

QB: Jameis Winston

RB1: Saquon Barkley

RB2: Aaron Jones

WR1: Adam Thielen

WR2: Tyreek Hill

WR3: Keenan Allen

FLEX: Lamar Miller

TE: Eric Ebron

has had a combined average of 140.1 fantasy points per game when active, while the Week 15 total came to a paltry 29.3. The stars of the week above largely reflect the anticlimactic week that we had. Timing is a critical component of fantasy football success, and much of it is out of our hands.

In any event, Matt Ryan led QBs this week with two TD tosses and a rushing score. That’s a solid game for a QB, but very pedestrian as this week’s leader.

Derrick Henry has metamorphosed into Superman the last two weeks, following up last week’s 4 TD performance with 170 rushing yards and two more TDs against the Giants. I still consider Henry more of a RB3 long term, but perhaps his hot streak will continue next week. DeAndre Hopkins has a case to make as the best fantasy WR in football, and he should find himself drafted in the first round of next year’s drafts.

The 49ers’ tight end position has been on fire, but it was Garrett Celek who outscored George Kittle against the Seahawks this past Sunday. We had a very quiet day for tight ends. The interesting TE question for next year will be where Gronk lands in terms of draft boards, as he’s had a very quiet season. Have injuries and age caught up with Gronk? It’s likely that we’ve seen the best of him, but we’ll see. 

Week 15 Special – Projection of First Two Rounds of 2019 FFL Draft

Each week we’ve taken a close look at noteworthy performances and sorted out what they meant for the season and beyond. With the NFL regular season nearing its conclusion, I’m mixing it up this week and throwing in a way too early mock draft for 2019 – the first two rounds of a twelve-team league. 

Round 1

Team 1: Todd Gurley, RB - LAR

Team 2: Saquon Barkley, RB - NYG

Team 3: Alvin Kamara, RB - NO

Team 4: Christian McCaffrey, RB - Car

Team 5: Le’Veon Bell, RB – NYJ???

Team 6: Ezekiel Elliott, RB - Dal

Team 7: Michael Thomas, WR - NO

Team 8: Melvin Gordon, RB  - LAC

Team 9: David Johnson, RB – Ari

Team 10: DeAndre Hopkins, WR - Hou

Team 11: James Conner, RB - Pit

Team 12: Phillip Lindsay, RB - Den

Comments: Running backs dominate the first round, with only two WRs joining the fray. You can make a reasonable case for any of the first four guys to be the first overall pick. I’m going on record with a proclamation that Le’Veon Bell ends up joining Sam Darnold and the Jets. Two RBs little known prior to the 2018 season (James Conner and Phillip Lindsay) end up becoming 2019 first round picks. Note the assumption here that Kareem Hunt, with whomever he signs, will face a significant suspension to start the 2019 season and thus will fall out of the first two rounds.

Round 2

Team 12: Antonio Brown, WR - Pit

Team 11: Davante Adams, WR - GB

Team 10: Adam Thielen, WR - Min

Team 9: Odell Beckham Jr., WR - NYG

Team 8: Patrick Mahomes, QB - KC

Team 7: Nick Chubb, RB - Cle

Team 6: Joe Mixon, RB - Cin

Team 5: Julio Jones, WR - Atl

Team 4: Juju Smith-Schuster, WR - Pit

Team 3: Tyreek Hill, WR - KC

Team 2: Leonard Fournette, RB - Jax

Team 1: Dalvin Cook, RB – Min

Comments: Round 2 is dominated by wide receivers, while we also have our first QB selected. Antonio Brown falls to the top of the second round, and he’s joined by Odell Beckham and Julio Jones as prior first round picks who slip back a round. Patrick Mahomes has clearly established himself as the top QB option, and someone will grab him in round 2, if not in the first round. Keep an eye on Dalvin Cook over these last few weeks, as he’s quietly turned the corner despite running behind a subpar offensive line. The Vikings will surely look to upgrade their o-line in the offseason, and Cook will ascend up draft boards as a result.

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position, in each case a player available in more than fifty percent of leagues.

QB: Josh Allen, BUF

RB: Jamaal Williams, GB

RB: Kalen Ballage, MIA

WR: Robert Foster, BUF

WR: Robby Anderson, NYJ

TE: Dallas Goedert, PHI 

Final Note:

With Week 16 serving as the championship week for most leagues, this will be my last writeup and weekly ranking for the 2018 season. For those of you with your title matchup in Week 17, tweet me and I’ll give you my thoughts on whom to start/sit. Thanks to all of you for yet another great year and for engaging with me on Twitter – it’s been a blast connecting with so many of you and to see you do so well in your leagues! And to those of you competing for titles, I’m pulling for you! Best of luck and talk soon.

Week 16 Rankings 


  1. Patrick Mahomes, KC       @Sea
  2. Andrew Luck, Ind            NYG
  3. Drew Brees, NO               Pit
  4. Russell Wilson, Sea          KC
  5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pit     @NO
  6. Aaron Rodgers, GB          @NYJ
  7. Matt Ryan, Atl                 @Car
  8. Deshaun Watson, Hou     @Phi
  9. Kirk Cousins, Min            @Det
  10. Baker Mayfield, Cle         Cin
  11. Dak Prescott, Dal            TB
  12. Mitchell Trubisky, Chi       @SF
  13. Philip Rivers, LAC            Bal
  14. Jared Goff, LAR               @Ari
  15. Jameis Winston, TB         @Dal
  16. Tom Brady, NE                Buf
  17. Josh Allen, Buf                @NE
  18. Lamar Jackson, Bal         @LAC
  19. Nick Foles, Phi                Hou
  20. Marcus Mariota, Ten        Wsh

Running Backs:

  1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dal            TB 
  2. Christian McCaffrey, Car   Atl
  3. Todd Gurley, LAR             @Ari
  4. Alvin Kamara, NO            Pit
  5. Saquon Barkley, NYG       @Ind
  6. Nick Chubb, Cle               Cin
  7. Joe Mixon, Cin                 @Cle
  8. Dalvin Cook, Min             @Det
  9. David Johnson, Ari           LAR
  10. Melvin Gordon, LAC         Bal
  11. Phillip Lindsay, Den         @Oak
  12. Leonard Fournette, Jax    @Mia
  13. Chris Carson, Sea            KC
  14. Derrick Henry, Ten           Wsh
  15. Marlon Mack, Ind             NYG
  16. Tarik Cohen, Chi              @SF
  17. Jamaal Williams, GB        @NYJ
  18. Mark Ingram II, NO         Pit
  19. Lamar Miller, Hou            @Phi
  20. Sony Michel, NE              Buf
  21. James Conner, Pit            @NO
  22. Tevin Coleman, Atl           @Car
  23. Spencer Ware, KC            @Sea
  24. James White, NE              Buf
  25. Jaylen Samuels, Pit          @NO
  26. Elijah McGuire, NYJ          GB
  27. Matt Breida, SF                Chi
  28. Jordan Howard, Chi          @SF
  29. Gus Edwards, Bal             @LAC
  30. Kalen Ballage, Mia            Jax
  31. Adrian Peterson, Wsh       @Ten
  32. Peyton Barber, TB            @Dal
  33. LeSean McCoy, Buf          @NE
  34. Damien Williams, KC       @Sea
  35. Kenyan Drake, Mia          Jax
  36. Dion Lewis, Ten               Wsh
  37. Doug Martin, Oak            Den
  38. Josh Adams, Phi              Hou
  39. Theo Riddick, Det            Min
  40. Nyheim Hines, Ind           NYG

Wide Receivers:

  1. DeAndre Hopkins, Hou     @Phi
  2. Julio Jones, Atl                @Car
  3. Davante Adams, GB         @NYJ
  4. Antonio Brown, Pit           @NO
  5. Tyreek Hill, KC                 @Sea
  6. Michael Thomas, NO         Pit
  7. T.Y. Hilton, Ind                 NYG
  8. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG    @Ind
  9. Amari Cooper, Dal           TB
  10. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pit   @NO
  11. Keenan Allen, LAC           Bal
  12. Stefon Diggs, Min           @Det
  13. Adam Thielen, Min          @Det
  14. Mike Evans, TB               @Dal
  15. Robert Woods, LAR         @Ari
  16. Julian Edelman, NE         Buf
  17. Jarvis Landry, Cle           Cin
  18. Alshon Jeffery, Phi          Hou
  19. Brandin Cooks, LAR        @Ari
  20. Doug Baldwin, Sea          KC
  21. Allen Robinson, Chi         @SF
  22. Tyler Lockett, Sea           KC
  23. Josh Gordon, NE             Buf
  24. DJ Moore, Car                Atl
  25. Kenny Golladay, Det       Min
  26. Corey Davis, Ten            Wsh
  27. Larry Fitzgerald, Ari        LAR
  28. Adam Humphries, TB      @Dal
  29. Robby Anderson, NYJ      GB
  30. Dante Pettis, SF              Chi
  31. Robert Foster, Buf           @NE
  32. Calvin Ridley, Atl             @Car
  33. DaeSean Hamilton, Den   @Oak
  34. Josh Reynolds, LAR          @Ari
  35. D. Thomas, Hou               @Phi
  36. Tyler Boyd, Cin                @Cle
  37. Courtland Sutton, Den     @Oak
  38. Golden Tate, Phi              Hou
  39. Curtis Samuel, Car          Atl
  40. Mike Williams, LAC          Bal

Tight End:

  1. Travis Kelce, KC              @Sea
  2. Zach Ertz, Phi                  Hou
  3. George Kittle, SF             Chi
  4. Eric Ebron, Ind                NYG
  5. Rob Gronkowski, NE        Buf
  6. Jared Cook, Oak              Den
  7. Austin Hooper, Atl           @Car
  8. David Njoku, Cle             Cin
  9. Evan Engram, NYG          @Ind
  10. Jimmy Graham, GB         @NYJ
  11. Trey Burton, Chi              @SF
  12. Kyle Rudolph, Min           @Det
  13. Vance McDonald, Pit        @NO
  14. Cameron Brate, TB          @Dal
  15. Ian Thomas, Car              Atl
  16. C.J. Uzomah, Cin             @Cle
  17. Chris Herndon, NYJ          GB
  18. Benjamin Watson, NO      Pit
  19. Vernon Davis, Wsh          @Ten
  20. Gerald Everett, LAR         @Ari

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Chicago Bears                 @SF
  2. Tennessee Titans             Wsh
  3. Los Angeles Rams            @Ari
  4. Miami Dolphins                Jax
  5. Minnesota Vikings            @Det
  6. Jacksonville Jaguars         @Mia
  7. Denver Broncos               @Oak
  8. Los Angeles Chargers       Bal
  9. Dallas Cowboys               TB
  10. Houston Texans               @Phi
  11. New England Patriots       Buf
  12. Indianapolis Colts            NYG
  13. Cleveland Browns            Cin
  14. Washington Redskins       @Ten
  15. Baltimore Ravens            @LAC