NFL Fantasy Forecast Week 15: Busts, Breakouts, Sleepers, and More
The NFL Week 15 slate is upon us, meaning there are no more bye weeks and we get pro football on Saturday! As for fantasy football, the playoffs are now here in most leagues. The regular season is now over, and if you are lucky enough to still be playing, it is officially money time.
As we do every week, the NFL experts at Sportscasting are here to help you set your fantasy football lineups on Sunday (and Thursday, Saturday, and Monday). We’ll give you our expert opinion on the quarterbacks to avoid, the player prop that will pop, the rookie who will break out, the defense to stay away from, and the kicker to play.
Sportscasting’s NFL Week 15 Fantasy Football Forecast
Quarterback Bust of the Week: Geno Smith
Luke Norris: The San Francisco 49ers’ defense has been making life miserable for quarterbacks but quite easy for me as I just take the guy they’re playing against in a given week and throw him in here.
This week’s victim will be Geno Smith, who’s had quite the renaissance campaign for the Seattle Seahawks and leads the league in completion percentage. He connected on 80% of his targets against the Niners back in Week 2, but also threw for just 197 yards with no touchdowns and a pick.
And while Smith has certainly upped his game since then, so has the Niners’ defense. Just ask Tom Brady how much fun it was playing against that unit. Or Tua Tagovailoa. Or just about every other quarterback who San Francisco has wreaked havoc upon this year.
Player Prop of the Week: Brock Purdy under 16.2 PPR points
Jack Dougherty: Brock Purdy couldn’t have asked for a better start to his NFL career. Not only did he throw for 185 yards and score three total touchdowns in a win, but he did so against the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady.
Purdy was impressive, sure, but I don’t expect that to continue in Week 15. This will be the rookie’s first career start on the road, plus it’s a short week of practice ahead of Thursday Night Football. He’ll also be playing through an oblique/rib injury against the Seattle Seahawks.
I wouldn’t trust Purdy in the first week of the fantasy playoffs.
Breakout Rookie of the Week: Isiah Pacheco
Tim Crean: I picked the Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco as the breakout rookie back in Week 5, and it was not only his worst game of the year, it was my worst pick as well. Now, as the season winds down, I’m back to make up for it with the former Rutgers runner.
Pacheco is on a roll with over 65 rushing yards in all of his last five games and touchdowns in two of his last three. In Week 15, He’ll face a Texans rush defense that has given up the most yards on the ground in the NFL this season. That’s a recipe for a breakout game.
Defensive Disaster of the Week: Tennessee Titans
Mike Thomas: The Los Angeles Chargers continue their strong playoff push at home against a Tennessee Titans team that surrendered 36 points to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
The Chargers are getting healthy and they’re getting confident. Last week’s win against the Miami Dolphins showed they’re more than capable of beating playoff-caliber teams. This week will be no different. Look for quarterback Justin Herbert to have a big day against the reeling Titans.
Kicker Sleeper of the Week: Riley Patterson
Adam Fromal: Here come the Jacksonville Jaguars!
Still alive on the periphery of the AFC playoff picture, the Jags have seen their offense spring to life in recent weeks, averaging 26 points per game since returning from their Week 11 bye. A matchup with the Dallas Cowboys may see them fail to reach that tally — America’s Team ranks third in scoring defense — but that’s good news for Riley Patterson, who can capitalize on Trevor Lawrence-led drives that reach Dallas territory but fall short of paydirt.
Patterson, rostered in just 3.1% of ESPN leagues, has averaged 9.3 fantasy points during that same stretch, and the Cowboys have given up the seventh-most points to kickers. Throw in a high-50s, sunny day in Florida, and you have no excuses for leaving the overlooked Memphis product on the wire.