INDIANAPOLIS --- All business this week, as we try to get you to the fantasy championship week 16 (or out of the last place game).
If your league doesn't have a prize/punishment for finishing last in the consolation bracket, I would highly recommend it. It keeps most of the league involved through the end of the season.
In one league I'm in, if you come in last place, you have to go get your picture taken with Santa at the mall holding a sign that says, "All I want for Christmas is a new fantasy football team." Then, the loser has to post it on the league page.
So, get in the holiday spirit...and kick your opponent's butt this week:
QB: Mark Sanchez (Philadelphia QB, vs. Dallas) --- Two games ago Sanchez played at Dallas on Thanksgiving and threw for more than 200 yards in the first half, the most he's ever thrown in the first two quarters. The Eagles being up big in the 2nd half made it so he didn't have to throw much more after that, but he still finished with 20 fantasy points. Don't even look at the Seattle game last week. Nobody should be starting most any fantasy QB against the Seahawks at this point. If Romo and company can keep this one a little closer, there's no reason Sanchez can't make the Cowboys secondary pay again with Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews. It's also projected to be one of the highest scoring games of the week. I'm seriously considering starting Sanchez in my league of record over Matthew Stafford this week. I'd also start the Sanchize over Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, and Matt Ryan if Julio Jones doesn't play.
WR: Martavis Bryant (Pittsburgh WR, at Atlanta) --- This is also projected to be one of the highest scoring games of the weekend. Yes, Bryant has been inconsistent, but there should be plenty of balls to go around with Ben Roethlisberger facing the Falcons' 32nd ranked pass defense. If you have more reliable options, then obviously don't take a chance on Bryant. However, if you find yourself a big underdog in the fantasy semifinals and need a WR or FLEX with a high ceiling, Bryant is your guy. Since week 8, he has 19 points or more in PPR four of the past six weeks.
Other WRs you could gamble on that have with high ceilings: Saints WR Kenny Stills, Colts WR Donte Moncrief, Bills WR Robert Woods, Jaguars WR Marqise Lee
RBs you could gamble on that have high ceilings (if you lost a guy like Andre Ellington to injury, etc): Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (only if DeAngelo Williams is out), Colts RB Dan Herron, Raiders RB Latavius Murray, Jets RBs Chris Johnson (revenge game at Tennessee?)
D/ST: Bengals D (vs. Cleveland) --- The ultimate contrarian zag play from Colts.com beat writer Kevin Bowen when everybody else is zigging with Johnny Manziel. Cincinnati gave up 42 points at home last week to Pittsburgh, but the Steelers have a really good offense. In the two weeks prior to that, Cincinnati had 10 and 8 points against Houston and Tampa Bay. Kevin Bowen believes...or maybe he just doesn't believe in John F. Football.
QB: Ryan Tannehill (Miami QB, at New England) --- Tannehill only had 14 points at home against the Patriots week 1, and our Sit 'Em picks for QBs means we think he'll score under 15 points. In the past two weeks, Tannehill had 9 and 13 points against the Jets & Ravens, not exactly a murderers row of secondaries. I'd start Mark Sanchez over Tannehill without even blinking.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins (Houston WR, at Indianapolis) --- How do you bench a WR that is top-15 at his position this year in the fantasy playoffs? When that WR had just 1 catch for 12 yards at home week 6 against the same team he's facing this week. Yes, I know he had 238 yards and two touchdowns two weeks ago. He also only had 4 receptions for 49 yards last week at Jacksonville, and Vontae Davis is back at CB for the Colts. Did we also mention fellow WR Andre Johnson might be out too with a concussion? Listen, I know you may not have better options than Hopkins this week, but don't say I didn't warn you. He has a very low floor week 15.
Other WRs with low floors this week: Dolphins WR Mike Wallace, Browns WR Josh Gordon, Lions WR Golden Tate, Ravens WRs Torrey Smith and Steve Smith, 49ers WRs Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree, Bengals WR Mohamed Sanu
RBs with low floors this week: Jaguars RBs (don't care that Denard Robinson is out), Patriots RB Shane Vereen, Vikings RB Matt Asiata, Chargers RB Ryan Mathews, Bengals RB Giovani Bernard, Packers RB Eddie Lacy (tough match-up, lingering hip issue this week)
D/ST: Bills D (vs. Green Bay) --- This one isn't rocket science. Fantasy defenses are all about the match-ups, even when we're talking about Buffalo top-3 ranked defense. It's the same reason we benched the Chiefs defense against the Broncos last year. The Bills defense fantasy point totals against good offenses this year: 5 vs. Chicago, 2 vs. San Diego, -2 vs. New England, 6 at Denver. Now they face the front-runner for the MVP and Aaron Rodgers. The Ravens D facing the Jaguars are available in 46% of NFL.com leagues. You might try the Chiefs against the Raiders or Panthers against the Buccaneers as well.