Fantasy Focus – Week 15 Matchups
Managed to scrape through “Bye-mageddon” with yet another two from three predictions. Tua and his Fins were the only blemish on the record. Going into week 15 now and one should assume your fantasy seasons are either about to start their playoff schedule or are firmly in it already. Get that Fantasy Focus, as full strength squads, and a number of intriguing matchups that will have NFL Playoff ramifications, lie ahead.
49ers (9-4) @ Seahawks (7-6)
The 49ers went into their game last weekend with Mr Irrelevant, Brock Purdy. Not only did Purdy announce himself to the Santa Clara faithful, he heroically defeated a star-studded Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. The Deebo Samuel injury will unfortunately knock this elite offence for the time he is out. However, they have plenty of options on offence, and should have sufficient depth to cope with Deebo being out. As for the Seahawks, it was a disappointing result to the Panthers. This has left them needing a win against their divisional rivals to keep their wildcard playoff prospects alive.
Mr Irrelevant with one less weapon
Brock Purdy had a pretty special starting debut in the NFL. The “GOAT” was no match for this 49ers team, coaching staff and Mr Irrelevant. It was a shame to lose Deebo to injury, but this team has shown resilience already when it comes to injuries. Purdy takes this team to Seattle over the weekend in a crucial divisional battle. Purdy will lean heavily on CMC and Aiyuk and we should expect big contributions from both players. The 9ers will be expecting to put daylight between them and the Seahawks in the NFC West division.
Can Geno keep up the pace in the NFC race?
For the last few seasons, Pete Carroll has prided himself on a strong run game in Seattle. Unfortunately in the past few weeks the Running Back depth for the Seahawks has been exposed due to untimely injuries. This is also no coincidence that with the weakened rushing offence, it has forced Geno to throw more and he has been intercepted twice.Hopefully Deejay Dallas will return from injury this week to help this offence. But if the squad remains short at running back, this could be a repeat offence and result with what they had in week 14 versus the Panthers.
- Purdy and the 9ers continue to march towards a divisional title. 9ers win by 6+ points
- CMC 150+ scrimmage yards, Aiyuk 100+ receiving yards
- Lockett 100+ receiving yards, Geno back to back 2 pick games
Lions (6-7) @ Jets (7-6)
Dan Campbell has got this Detroit team on a roll! The Lions are 4-1 from their last five games and are firmly in the hunt for an NFC Wildcard place. The Jets are in the same boat although with a different recent form at 2-3 from their last five. The Jets will be monitoring the recovery of Mike White following his hit this weekend. Should he be ruled out, it will leave Saleh with a very difficult decision of who to start under centre. That Jets defence will need to match a firing Lions offence in order to try get a result for the home team.
Lions fear no one
The Lions are roaring forward and their offence is purring. The play last week to set up Penei Sewell, their first round tackle on a sweep as a receiver, is the perfect example of what the Lions are all about at the moment. They are a team playing with confidence and cohesion. The Jets pose a different challenge this week. The Jets have one of the stronger secondary groups and a very good pass defence. The Lions will have to earn the right to sling it down field and will need to lean on the run game to keep the Jets defence honest.
Jets on the backfoot, who will be under centre?
The Jets have stuttered of late, and will see this game at home against the Lions as a must win game to get their season back on track. It won’t be easy with Mike White seeming to have picked up a knock. So the uncertainty under centre will cause a little disruption to their preparations. Regardless of who starts at quarterback the emergence of Garrett Wilson as the number one is clear for all to see. The offence will run through him, whilst the Jets will be desperate for Knight to continue his late season break out from the backfield.
- Jets defence show they still in the hunt, in narrow win over the Lions, <6 points
- Swift 100+ rushing yards, Goff two interceptions
- Garrett Wilson 100+ receiving yards, Knight rushing TD
Giants (7-5-1) @ Commanders (7-5-1)
The Giants are struggling for form at the moment as they were blown away by the high flying Eagles this last weekend. The Giants defence has been unable to keep them in games recently. And with the overworked legs of Barkley, they have struggled to diversify their offence efficiently. The Commanders are coming off a bye week. They should be well rested and prepared for this crucial inter divisional matchup. The Commanders currently occupy a wildcard playoff spot and will focus on finishing the regular season well, in order to secure a playoff berth.
What is going wrong for the Giants?
The Giants have run into bad form over the last five weeks. And this could be as a result of the drop off in efficiency from Saquon Barkley. He had a career high in volume through the first eight weeks, but whether this is injury or workload related, his volume is being capped. The Giants passing game is not strong enough to carry them to victories, and with an out of form defence. Their woes look set to continue unless they ride Saquon again.
Commanders to keep their playoff hopes alive
The Commanders are defying expectations at the moment as they currently occupy a playoff spot. A win would go a long way for them in securing a playoff position. They have leaned efficiently on their two punch run game with Robinson and Gibson. And this has resulted in them controlling both the time of possession and keeping opposition defences focused on the run. Heinicke has led well, and with McLaurin as the lead receiver the Commanders will like their chances this weekend.
- Commanders blow out Giants in double digit win margin
- Saquon held to under 50 yards rushing, Washington defence 3 sacks
- Gibson and Robinson combine for 150+ rushing yards, Logan Thomas TD reception