‘The Queen’s Journal’ vs ‘Western Gazette’: Fantasy Football series—Week 15

The Journal’s picks for start 'em sit ’em Week 14

This is the eighth week of an ongoing ’start ‘em, sit ’em’ fantasy football competition between The Journal and Western Gazette’s sports sections.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo
Well, we have an official comeback in the works. We beat Western last week in dominant fashion, scoring 42 net points to their pitiful three points. After losing the first two matchups of the series, we have finally evened things up with two weeks to go. That means this week is crucial—if we come away with a third straight win, we can’t lose, and the worst we would do is end in a draw. But who wants that? Below is our roster to hit the three-peat. 
 
Start ‘em:
 
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will play the Carolina Panthers this week. The Panthers have been mediocre at best all season on both sides of the football. The same can’t be said for the Packers, who have been dominant—especially in the latter half of the season. That dominance has been led by Aaron Rodgers and his top receiver, Davante Adams. Look for Rodgers to keep rolling this week in what should be an easy win against Carolina.
 
Derrick Henry’s Tennessee Titans will face off against the Detroit Lions this week. This is a dream matchup for Henry owners, one that comes at a perfect time for the semi-finals week of the fantasy playoffs. The Lions’ defence is putrid, giving up the most fantasy points to running backs in the NFL. It also happens that Henry has the second-most fantasy points among running backs this season. Henry is a must-start this week because realistically, matchups just don’t get any better than this.
 
Keenan Allen and the L.A. Chargers will play their rival Oakland Raiders this week on Thursday night football. Allen has been a consistent performer all season long and should continue his success against a below-average Raiders pass defence. The Raiders defence has been awful over the past three games in which they’ve surrendered over 40 points twice. Meanwhile, Keenan Allen has eight touchdowns this season and only one game below 10 fantasy points. Allen is an easy start this week.
 
 
We go back to the Chargers and Raiders Thursday night rivalry game because Darren Waller should be phenomenal again. The tight end has cemented himself as the second-best player at the position this year. Waller has also established himself as the premier target in this Raiders offence, where he has drawn less than seven targets only three times this season. At this point, Waller is a must-start every week.
 

The L.A. Rams will take on the New York Jets this week on Sunday afternoon. At this point in the season, it’s clear that whichever defence is facing the Jets must be started. This week, however, that’s even more true because they’re playing a Rams defence that ranks fourth in the NFL in fantasy points. The Rams have a stifling defence led by Aaron Donald, and they should make quick work of the Jets this week. The Rams are a must-start.

Sit ‘em:

Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans take on the Indianapolis Colts this week as the Texans look to snap a two-game losing streak and finish the season strong. Watson has played well but has yet to beat a team with a winning record, with his last win coming against the basement-dwelling Detroit Lions. The Texans’ offensive line has continued to offer scant protection for their franchise cornerstone, with Watson taking 13 sacks over the past three weeks. Coupled with a matchup against a dominant Colts defence and with an offence depleted of its usual weapons—Will Fuller has been suspended for a PED violation—Watson’s prospects for a big showing look pretty unlikely.  

Ezekiel Elliot and the Dallas Cowboys take on the San Francisco 49ers this week as the Cowboys look to build momentum coming off a win over Cincinnati last week. Ezekiel Elliot is also a name that has appeared in this section of the article week after week, and for good reason. The touchdown drought has continued, and Elliot has only rushed for over 100 yards once this season and not for over 80 in seven of the past eight weeks. Elliot has yet to establish himself in the post-Dak Prescott period this season. The 49ers have experienced a lacklustre season riddled with injuries, but should still be able to hold Elliot to another low scoring week.

Alex Erickson and the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this week. The Steelers, who were aiming for the first perfect season since 1972, have been humbled by back-to-back losses and will be eager to regain their chops against a hapless Bengals offence. They remain the number one defence in the league and should have a field day against Bengals wide receiver Erickson, who got his first start of the season last week against the Cowboys, catching one pass for nine yards. Erickson’s kick-return duties have been steadier, though his average return remains below the 25 yards that would be expected if he called for a fair catch every time. As such, Erickson should have a quiet game against a team whose defence remains tough. 

Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Arizona Cardinals this week after an unexpected win against the Saints alongside rookie Jalen Hurts’ first start over Carson Wentz. Regardless of which of the two quarterbacks the Eagles start on Sunday, Ertz should remain a ghost. The tight end hasn’t scored since a Week Four two-point conversion and has not gone above 40 receiving yards since Week Three. With the Cardinals fighting for a playoff spot, expect a tough game that should prove challenging for Ertz.

The Detroit Lions take on the Tennessee Titans this week in Nashville, a tough road game for a pitiful Lions defence this late in the season. The Titans have been firing on all cylinders behind the talents of Derrick Henry and a rushing defence ranked second in the league. Expect a determined Titans team to ambush a dazed Lions defence with rushing touchdown after rushing touchdown. 

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