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Five players to avoid: Week 15

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I hope all of your fantasy weeks went better than mine. I went 0-3, ending my championship quests and furthering my dissolution into the respective Sacko/loser championships. If you followed our sit advice from last week you probably did OK, so we’re back for those of you who are still playing, to give you five players you may want to consider leaving on the bench in week 15 at this important juncture in the season.

David Johnson

Image credit: Don Wright/AP
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Mr. Molasses himself, David Johnson, has been one of the least sexy players to start all season. The team he plays for is 32nd in the league in rushing yards (there are only 32 teams…they’re the worst). Here are some other stats to consider for Johnson:

  • 27th in fantasy points per game
  • Only five runs of 15 yards or more on the season
  • 32nd in yards/touch

Indianapolis ranks fifth in rush defense, although it seems like they have faltered in that department in the last three weeks, allowing the ninth most yards allowed in that span (133 yards/game). This is a misleading stat, they played Derrick Henry and the Titans three weeks ago who went off for 238 yards. Look no further than the Texans-Colts matchup from two weeks ago, the running backs combined for 76 all-purpose yards. With the Colts playing great lately, only start DJ if you need seven points.

Irv Smith Jr.

Image credit: PFF
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How infuriating has the TE position been this year? Irv Smith Jr. rewarded desperate owners last week with 63 yards and a touchdown. He did that in a week where the rest of the Vikings‘ offense stalled, with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen posting their lowest outputs since week nine. That is not something that fantasy managers should count on to repeat twice in a row. Smith hasn’t had more than five targets in a game all year, and only has seven redzone targets on the season (tied for 25th amongst TEs in the league).

Curtis Samuel

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More than anything, this is a reminder that D.J. Moore is expected to come back this week. Curtis Samuel has actually been more effective with Moore in the lineup but just showed up on the injury report after Thursday’s practice, which is never a good sign, especially with their game happening on Saturday this week. Those two factors, along with the fact that the Green Bay Packers are giving up the seventh-fewest fantasy PPG to wide receivers this season are enough to give pause to having Samuel in your lineup this week.

Todd Gurley

Image Credit: SportsIllustrated
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Todd Gurley is the RB18 on the season, isn’t that wild? Atlanta is the 25th ranked rushing attack in the league in yards, and 28th in rushing DVOA. The Falcons had a bye in week 10 since then Gurley has scored 2.9, 2.0 & 3.1 points in standard leagues. What else needs to be spelled out here? He averages 3.1 yards per touch on the season, that’s 67th in the league. Don’t keep doing this to yourselves. Bench Todd.

Marvin Jones Jr.

Image Credit: RiggosRag.com
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Matt Stafford is out. Chase Daniels is in. Marvin Jones is coming off his second sub-50 receiving yards game in three weeks. Daniels came in at the end of the Vikings game earlier in the year and played 14 passing snaps, where he was blitzed only once, and he still scored a 45 point grade per PFF. The matchup against the Titans isn’t bad, but Jones’s worrying 62% catch rate (50th amongst WRs), probably won’t increase with a career backup at quarterback. In a pivotal week 15, Jones should probably be left on the bench.

Whether you’re fighting for glory or trying to avoid embarrassment, good luck in week 15.

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