Expert Fantasy Quarterback Start/Sit Advice: Start Justin Fields, Jalen Hurts & Sit Lamar Jackson, Carson Wentz
Getty Images. Pictured: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and Colts QB Carson Wentz
Setting your lineups can be difficult, especially with the fantasy football playoffs upon us.
Below you will find some quarterbacks I like, as well as some I don’t like for Week 15 based on matchups, injuries, trends and more.
Fantasy QBs To Start/Sit In Week 15
Jalen Hurts, Eagles vs. Washington
Some managers may be understandably hesitant to roll Hurts out in the first round of the fantasy playoffs. The last time we saw Hurts was in Week 12 when he delivered his worst game of the year. He completed 14 of 31 attempts for 129 yards, zero touchdowns, three interceptions and tacked on eight rushes for 77 yards in the effort. Gardner Minshew replaced him in Week 13 ahead of the Eagles’ Week 14 bye. Now, Hurts will have had two weeks of rest heading into this soft divisional matchup against Washington, whose defense has given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. The Football Team has also been decimated by a COVID-19 outbreak — primarily to their defense — with a total of 21 players on the COVID-19/reserve list. Hurts will likely be facing many of Washington’s second-stringers and practice squad members, which should make him a solid QB1 this week.
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins vs. Jets
Tagovailoa was one of my favorite waiver wire pickups. Since Week 6 when he returned from injury, he is the QB10 for fantasy on a per-game basis, averaging more points per game than Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. His rest-of-season matchups are sweet, starting with the Jets at home this week. Gang Green has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points this year to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed an NFL-high 30.5 points per game. Tagovailoa is a borderline QB1 this week.
Justin Fields, Bears vs. Vikings
Fields posted a solid game in Green Bay after missing two weeks due to broken ribs he suffered against the Ravens. This was his second-best fantasy performance to date, and he has been trending upwards. Fields has finished top 10 in each of his last three starts (excluding Week 11 vs. the Ravens where he was injured early and did not finish the game) and is averaging 74 rushing yards per game. He has top-12 potential this week as he faces a permeable Vikings defense, which has allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and were just lit up for 308 yards and three touchdowns by Ben Roethlisberger.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens vs. Packers
As of writing this midday on Thursday, we still don’t know if Jackson or Tyler Huntley will get the start come Sunday. Jackson was knocked out in the first quarter of last week’s game in Cleveland with an ankle sprain. Head coach John Harbaugh made a point to emphasize that his QB1 had not suffered a high-ankle sprain, which is generally considered a more severe, multi-week injury. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said it could be a game-time decision, but even if Jackson is a last-minute go, I’m not sure most would feel excited to start him. He is QB9 on a per-game basis this year and hasn’t scored more than 19 fantasy points since Week 9 against a leaky Vikings defense. One of his best attributes for fantasy is his rushing ability, which could be limited given the injury. The matchup isn’t great either, as the Packers are tied for the sixth-most interceptions and ninth-fewest passing yards per game this year. Jackson is a risky play even if he suits up.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington at Eagles
Heinicke is banged up dealing with elbow and knee injuries that required an MRI on Monday. He did practice in full on Wednesday and will likely start in Week 15 against the Eagles. That said, he has been very shaky of late, tallying just nine fantasy points against Dallas in Week 14. His rushing production — which was a major selling point for fantasy — has decreased over the past three weeks, averaging just seven rushing yards per game in that span. He is a firm sit for me, especially with many Football Teamers on the COVID-19/reserve list.
Carson Wentz, Colts vs. Patriots
Many wrote off the Colts ahead of the season, but Wentz has been a pleasant surprise for the team and for fantasy. He is currently QB16 on a per-game basis with five weeks above the 20-point threshold over the last nine games. That said, he has struggled of late, tallying just seven points against the Jaguars, 10 points against the Bills and 11 points against the Texans. He has a very difficult matchup on deck this week against the Patriots, who are allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and an NFL-low 15.4 points per game this year. Wentz is a QB2 this week with downside.