NFL Quarterback Analysis Week 15

Week 15 is already upon us although it feels like the NFL season has just begun. There are 26 teams taking the field on Sunday, which means there are plenty of directions we can go with our lineups. Quarterback ownership should be spread out this week as there are many viable options. This blog will use a data-driven approach to look at several quarterbacks that I am targeting this week for both cash games and tournaments.

NOTE: Make sure to check weather updates throughout the week as there may be some unfavorable conditions in some games.

Top Quarterback Plays Week 15:

  • Matt Ryan (FD:$8500; DK:$7300)
    Opening with a massive 32.25 implied team total, the Falcons are in a prime spot at home against the 49ers. San Francisco ranks 29th in DVOA against the pass and have allowed two touchdown passes per game this season. Outside of Matt Barkley and Bryce Petty (Not exactly “good” players ), San Francisco has recently given up huge lines to players such as Ryan Tannehill (285/3), Tom Brady (280/4), Carson Palmer (376/1), Drew Brees (323/3), and Jameis Winston (269/3). Matt Ryan has been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks throughout season, averaging 22 fantasy points per game, and he may get his top two targets back this week in Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Brutal weather conditions play a huge factor at this point in the season, but Matt Ryan should be slinging the ball early and often in perfect conditions as this game is played inside the Georgia Dome. He is the most expensive quarterback on the board, but Matt Ryan is a strong play in both cash games and tournaments this week.
  • Philip Rivers (FD:$7800; DK:$6200)
    The Chargers have been decimated with injuries all season long and that trend continued last week with Melvin Gordon going down. Gordon is doubtful to play this week with a hip injury, which should give a boost of production to Philip Rivers. Gordon leads the league with 50 rushing attempts in the red zone and has scored 10 rushing touchdowns inside the 10 yard line. We can not expect Kenneth Farrow (Gordon’s backup) to duplicate that kind of production, which should open the door to more passes inside the red zone for Rivers. Rivers has thrown multiple touchdown passes in six straight games which including games against tough pass defenses such as Carolina (16th in pass DVOA), Tampa Bay (6th in pass DVOA), Houston (12th in pass DVOA), and Denver (1st in pass DVOA). Luckily for Rivers, he gets a much easier draw this week against Oakland who rank 21st in DVOA against the pass. This game checks in with the fourth highest over under on the week at 49.5 and the Chargers are 3 point underdogs, which should lead to plenty of passing by Rivers. With a fair price across the industry, Philip Rivers is viable in all formats this week.
  • Tyrod Taylor (FD:$7600; DK:$5700)
    Tyrod Taylor has been a huge disappointment for both the Bills and for us fantasy football players all season long. He is averaging a measly 193.85 passing yards and 1 touchdown pass per game on the season. Taylor is in a get well spot this week at home against the winless Cleveland Browns. It goes without say that the Browns have been abysmal on defense this season. Cleveland ranks 31st in DVOA against the pass and allows 2.31 touchdowns per game through the air. The part of Taylor’s skill set that is most appealing for fantasy purposes is his ability to run. He has ran for at least 25 yards in each game this season except two, and has scored a rushing touchdown in 5 of his last 7 games. Taylor’s ability to run gives him an elevated floor and a potentially large ceiling, especially in this dream match up. Buffalo is expected to score some points in this game according to Vegas, who have given the Bills an implied team total of 25.50 points. Taylor may also be playing for his job next season as some rumors have surfaced about the Bills possibly benching him. This could add some added motivation to his play on Sunday. Taylor is an elite tournament play across the industry this week, but seems a bit too risky in cash games due to his recent play.

Fade of the Week:

  • Matthew Stafford (FD:$7800; DK:$6300)
    Matthew Stafford dislocated his middle finger on his throwing hand during last weeks game against the Bears. Reports say that he has practiced in full all week and is expected to play with a modified glove. Injury aside, this is simply a tough spot for Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense. The Giants rank 5th in DVOA against the pass and held the red hot Dak Prescott to just 165 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions last week. The Giants defense have forced multiple turnovers in three straight games, and have 22 sacks over their last 8 games. Stafford has been a disappointment lately, having thrown for just 8 touchdown passes over the last seven weeks and just one 300 yard game during that span. There is also the potential for wet and windy conditions in New Jersey this weekend which could negatively impact the passing game. Combining the injury, matchup, recent performance, and potential weather, Matthew Stafford appears to be an easy fade in all formats this week.

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