Fantasy Flex Sleepers
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s semifinal week! Start these players with confidence and move one step closer to glory. When it all works out like it should, it will be you bragging at the company water cooler come Monday.
Flex Sleepers: Quarterback
Johnny Manziel vs. Cincinnati – If you have access to Manziel this week, he should be in your QB2 position. If you remember Tim Tebow or Terrelle Pryor, you’ll know that running quarterbacks always offer a safe fantasy floor, even if passing isn’t their best asset. If Manziel manages to throw for at least one score this week, he’s going to be money. I am using him as a cheap upside play in daily leagues. It’s showtime in Cleveland.
Derek Anderson vs. Tampa Bay – I have surveyed the other QB2 options and I see flaws with them all. I realize the Tampa defense has tightened up a bit in recent weeks, but they just got chewed up by Matthew Stafford in Week 14 and the quarterbacks they faced before that were Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler and Robert Griffin III. So who was really doing the holding back, honestly? Anderson had two scores against this defense in Week 1 and that seems a reasonable forecast for him in this one. With Kelvin Benjamin, Greg Olsen, and a healthy-looking Jonathan Stewart at his disposal, Anderson has QB1 upside in Week 15.
Flex Sleepers: Running Back
@ Kansas City – Murray roasted the Chiefs on the ground in Week 12, totaling 112 yards and 2 touchdowns (on only 4 carries). He received 23 carries last week against San Francisco, a clear sign that the Niners are giving the ballyhooed young runner a real chance at the starting job. Murray oozes talent and is a top-notch flex option for Week 15. He offers floor and upside, something that is difficult to find at this stage of the season.
Chris Ivory @ Tennessee – The Titans allowed Andre Williams (touted in last week’s article) to rush for 131 yards and a score in Week 14. Ivory is an identical sort of runner; a hard-nosed guy who runs in a line and is difficult to tackle. Accept the Chris Johnson revenge narrative at your own risk, as it is Ivory who gets the goal-line touches in this offense. With a carry-count in the high teens very likely against this Tennessee defense, Ivory is a strong flex play for semifinal week. He has an excellent chance to score in this one.
Flex Sleepers: Wide Receiver
Donte Moncrief vs. Houston – I wrote in preseason that the only thing standing in Moncrief’s way in 2014 was playing time. Well, here we sit in Week 15 and Moncrief is now ahead of Hakeem Nicks on the depth chart while Reggie Wayne battles age and injury. Against Houston’s burnable secondary, he is a legitimate WR3 candidate this week. Due to lack of volume, he does carry some added risk, but he’s been productive on limited touches thus far. These high variance types are just fine as your third wideout or flex player. Just one touchdown reception against this leaky secondary could be enough to make this pick worthwhile and that’s why you take a chance on the super-talented Moncrief.
Marqise Lee @ Baltimore – Lee is beginning to cement his status as a flex play in our game, particularly in PPR leagues. He had 8 targets apiece in each of the last two weeks and turned that opportunity into 6 and 5 receptions. In short, he’s getting chances and he is making the most of them. That’s good news for us in Week 15. The Ravens have a secondary that is the most generous to opposing wide receivers. With only Cecil Shorts and Allen Hurns as competition, Lee is a solid bet for catches, yardage and a score in Week 15.
Flex Sleepers: Tight End
Larry Donnell vs. Washington – If you recall, Donnell roasted the Redskins with a hat-trick in late September and he’s still seeing the same amount of volume in the passing game now as he was then (6-8 targets per game). After the Bears, the Redskins are the most vulnerable defense to opposing tight ends. There’s no better time to try Donnell in your flex spot than this very week. Aside from Odell Beckham Jr., Donnell offers solid scoring potential in this clash of division rivals.
Charles Clay @ New England – Clay was eased back into action in his return from injury last week, only seeing 30 snaps total. However, he did manage 2 catches for 41 yards. Clay has had a forgettable season due to a rash of injuries, but if he sees 5-8 targets against this defense, he is capable of doing damage worthy of a spot on your deepest roster. The Patriots give up the 9th most points to opposing tight ends, so this game isn’t as scary for Clay as it may appear. With Jarvis Landry beginning to command some attention alongside Mike Wallace, Clay could be a key component of the Miami passing game in Week 15.
That’s all she wrote folks. Now go bring home those trophies!