NFL Fantasy 2018: Love or Hate Week 15

14 Dec 2018 - 1:34pm | Pigskin Ninja | Updated: 14 Dec 2018 - 1:34pm | Likes: 28 Like 
Baker Mayfield - Cleveland Browns

Depending on your league structure you are either deep into the fantasy playoffs (most likely) or your playoffs begin this weekend. At this point in the season, the objective is as simple as it comes and the games are must win. That means it is important to maximize the production of every spot in your lineup, choosing wisely between two players of a similar production level who have been on and off with their output all year.

That is what this column is here for. Put these guys in your team and ride them to victory:


Love – Baker Mayfield @ Broncos

Mayfield has been hot for the Browns ever since Hue Jackson was fired and the keys to the offense were handed over to Freddie Kitchens. With Kitchens as his offensive coordinator, Mayfield has thrown for over 1,400 yards with 11 touchdowns and four picks, building up his confidence and generally looking like the player many expected him to be two or three seasons from now.

Playing in Denver is never easy, but the Browns are a team on the rise and a nationally televised slot on Saturday night will give Mayfield a platform to shine.

Hate – Josh Allen vs. Lions

Allen has been a smoke and mirrors quarterback over his last three starts for the Bills. Over that stretch, he has passed for an average of fewer than 200 yards, one touchdown, and over an interception per game. These are hardly numbers worth risking your fantasy season on.

Where Allen has been effective is with his legs where he has rushed for 335 total yards and two touchdowns over the same stretch. The issue here is that the Lions have been beasts defensively against running quarterbacks (Russell Wilson 15 yards, Cam Newton two yards) and if Allen can’t run the ball he won’t win a fantasy title with his arm.

Running Back

Love – Dalvin Cook vs. Dolphins

Cook was impressive in a bad game for the Vikings last time out against Seattle when he rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 18 touches in the defeat. It was the kind of performance late in the season that vaults a player into a position to increase his workload the following week, a great sign for Cook owners as he takes on a Dolphins defense that has had some serious issues against running backs in 2018.

The Bills, Texans, Lions, and Bears all went for over 160 yards against Miami on the ground at 5.4 yards per carry or better. Cook has the potential and the matchup to go off for his owners this weekend.

Hate – Adrian Peterson vs. Jaguars

Peterson might be the only Redskins player that is still healthy at this point in the season. Washington will be without its two best quarterbacks, three starting offensive linemen, its starting tight end, and at least two of its top four receivers against the Jaguars.

When Washington wins Peterson has been outstanding as he has picked up over 22 touches per game with positive yardage and touchdown totals. When they lose he averages 11.7 touches per game and the numbers trail off. Washington will see a large dose of Leonard Fournette and struggle to get the Jags off of the field. Peterson is an easy player to sit this weekend.

Wide Receiver

Love – D.J. Moore vs. Saints

It is never a bad idea to plug in a wide receiver playing against the Saints. The New Orleans defensive unit gives up the most points on average to opposing wideouts, with seemingly every game Drew Brees plays eventually turning into a shootout that provides huge points to players on both teams.

Moore has had some monster games in 2018 and this feels like a spot for another one. While the Panthers have fallen apart over the last month, Moore has still seen at least eight targets in each of his last four games. The rookie figures to see double-digit targets this weekend and the Panthers try to keep up with the Saints scoring pace.

Hate - Mike Evans vs. Ravens

Evans has been a yardage monster in 2018 even if his touchdown numbers aren’t quite where fantasy owners would like them to be. On the year Evans has 1m207 yards and five touchdowns, making 70 catches on an impressive 111 targets. Basically, no matter who the quarterback has been in Tampa, they have always gone to Evans as their weapon of choice.

The problem this weekend is that Evans is facing a Baltimore defense that just gave Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs fits for almost five quarters. The Ravens pass rush is outstanding and they allow just 55.6 yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers. Baltimore is going to take away Tampa’s best option, which is bad news for Evans’ owners.

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