Must Starts and Sits | NFL Week 15

by Aditya Fuldeore · Matchups Start/Sit
Start Sit Week 15

Playoff Chase

Every week of the NFL season, fantasy gamers juggle players to insert into lineups at each position. Are you questioning which players face easy matchups and which players face tougher paths to production? You are in the right place! This si Start Sit Week 15, which means playoffs for most of us and no more byes. Every team plays this week, meaning a larger player pool from which to select a lineup. Between key injuries and matchup questions, the race to the championship is in full swing. For seasonal leagues, DFS, and more, this week’s must start and sit picks give guidance on setting lineups. Good luck!


Start: Russell Wilson

Establishing himself as a high-end QB2, Russell Wilson has five top-12 finishes this season. He averages 0.54 (No. 7) Fantasy Points Per Dropback in the Broncos’ low-volume passing offense. The Broncos face the Lions’ susceptible pass defense in Week 15. Detroit yields more than 33 pass attempts per game, resulting in the eighth-most quarterback fantasy points allowed through the air. The Lions also allow the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks via the rush. The 35-year-old Wilson has still flashed dual threat ability and will take on rushing production while the Lions limit running backs. Due to Detroit’s strength against the run, fire up Wilson in what will be a more pass-heavy game.

Sit: Desmond Ridder

Desmond Ridder just threw for 347 yards in Week 14, totaling 26.4 fantasy points. On the season, he averages 13.7 (No. 22) Fantasy Points Per Game, firmly in the QB2 range. While on the surface Ridder had a good performance last week, he had multiple turnover-worthy plays, adding to his total of 26 (No. 5) Danger Plays on the season.

Ridder faces the Panthers in Week 15, who have allowed under 200 passing yards per game this season. Teams have better success running the ball against the Panthers, with opponents often faced with a run-heavy Game Script against them. Opposing quarterbacks are No. 30 in rushing fantasy points and No. 28 in passing fantasy points against Carolina. Ridder is a sit for this NFC South showdown.

Running Back

Start: Jaylen Warren

The Steelers’ backfield tandem continues to skew in Najee Harris’ favor, but Jaylen Warren is still getting significant looks. Warren has seen at least three targets in seven straight games and double-digit touches in six straight games. Harris is also nursing a knee injury that will keep his efficiency on the low end, making Warren the Steeler running back play.

The Steelers face a Colts team allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. With Mitchell Trubisky likely the quarterback again, the Steelers offense will not get much going through the air and will have to use its change-of-pace-back. Warren fits the bill as an upside start this week.

Sit: Javonte Williams

The Broncos offense has had an up-and-down season, as has Javonte Williams. He has three top-12 finishes and seven outside the top-24 this year. Williams has seen a 60.1-percent (No. 20) Opportunity Share but converted 0.64 (No. 56) Fantasy Points Per Opportunity. This week, he faces the Lions, who allow the least fantasy points to running backs. They yield under 65 rushing yards per game on 3.5 yards per carry. The Broncos have found success at times through the air and will need to do it against Detroit. Williams has lesser touchdown upside with a tough efficiency matchup for Week 15. Sit him where you can.

Wide Receiver

Start: Devonta Smith

The Seahawks secondary has been a mixed bag this season, most recently giving up 275 receiving yards to 49ers receivers in Week 14. Devon Witherspoon is now hurt, and while he may play in Week 15, he won’t be at full health. Enter Devonta Smith. As a top-four option for the Eagles, Smith is seeing a 98.3-percent (No. 1) Snap Share and continues to see volume, even with Dallas Goedert back.

A.J. Brown has become a no-brainer start, despite not booming recently in fantasy. Smith has seen at least eight targets in six games this season, including four in a row. He has been the No. 2 receiver all season, but facing a weakened secondary, Smith’s upside will be helpful for a playoff push.

Sit: Jameson Williams

The Lions offense has found some successful spots, with a few coming via splash plays to Jameson Williams. He has “spiked” in three double-digit fantasy point games, out of a total of nine games this season. Williams has seen eight Deep Targets and a 16.5-yard Average Target Distance. His best games have featured long plays and touchdowns, things that will be difficult against the Broncos. Opposing wide receivers have one touchdown on the Broncos secondary since Week 8. Patrick Surtain and company have been bend-don’t-break lately, limiting receiver production outside an offense’s top options. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Sam LaPorta, and the Detroit running backs will dominate touches. Williams has boom-or-bust flex consideration, but is more likely to hit the bust end of his range in Week 15.

Tight End

Start: Logan Thomas

In a pass-happy Commanders offense, Logan Thomas has a 14.2-perecent (No. 20) Target Share. He has a medium slice of a large pie, propelling him to four top-12 finishes this season. Thomas has been on the fence between being a weekly starter and a matchup-based stream. He has two receptions over his last two games but had four straight four-plus reception games prior to that.

This week, Thomas gets a Rams defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. They give up just over five tight end receptions per game, with big games from Trey McBride, David Njoku, and Isaiah Likely recently. Thomas is the next man up and in a high-volume Sam Howell barrage, Thomas is a good back-end TE1 start for Week 15.

Sit: Trey McBride

Making his case for best mid-season riser, Trey McBride has three top-three finishes since Week 8. He has been a near-weekly starter but is not bulletproof just yet. Michael Wilson is close to a return for Week 15 and is set to take back his 4.3 targets per game. Additionally, McBride faces a tough 49ers defense. San Francisco has allowed two tight end touchdowns all year, yielding under 40 tight end receiving yards per game. They are a top-tier defense set to come after Kyler Murray and limit the Cardinals’ offensive ceiling. McBride faces a tough opponent with potential added competition this week. Sit him where you can.

Race to the Finish

There are just a few weeks left in the 2023 fantasy season. You’ve made it through  injuries, bye weeks, lineup decisions, and crazy finishes to make it to the fantasy postseason. It’s time to set your best lineup and prepare to take home a championship.

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