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Week 15 Fantasy Football Stock Watch

Bryan Armetta breaks down players rising and falling in fantasy football as we head into Week 15 and the fantasy playoffs.

Bryan Armetta breaks down players rising and falling in fantasy football as we head into Week 15 and the fantasy playoffs.

After weeks of planning, scheming and strategizing, the fantasy playoffs are finally here. While the culmination of a months-long campaign is exciting, it’s also cruel. All the regular season logic of making moves with an eye on the future now goes out the window. The month of December is all that matters now, and a championship truly depends on which players are surging at the right time. With so much on the line, here are some risers and fallers to consider before setting your lineups.

Stock Up: RB Zonovan Knight, New York Jets

Fantasy can be a total crapshoot, and Zonovan Knight is living proof. No sane person could have seen any potential value for the Jets’ third-string RB in a redraft league, but now he’s starting games for a suddenly competent offense. The undrafted rookie has had an impressive first three games, averaging just under 100 yards from scrimmage on the season. Much of that has coincided with the ascension of Mike White, a.k.a. the check-down king, as New York’s starting quarterback. However, Knight has been impressive on the ground as well, rushing for five yards per carry. 

How long can this level of fantasy production sustain itself? Although Michael Carter is healthy, Robert Saleh has always opted to have a stable of ‘backs in his offense. Barring White being held out of action due to a rib injury, the Jets’ offense should give both running backs quality looks. It doesn’t get much better than this Sunday against the Lions’ porous defense. Facing the Jaguars and Seahawks over the next two weeks makes Knight an RB2 for the postseason; don’t be afraid to ride the hot hand.

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Does Knight crack Chris Kennedy’s top-20 RBs for Week 15? Find out here from the best rankings on the planet!!

Stock Up: WR Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers

Aiyuk has been fine as of late, although certainly not spectacular; the 49ers wide receiver has been the PPR WR18 since Week 10. Since backup quarterback Brock Purdy replaced Jimmy Garoppolo, things have been worse; Aiyuk has averaged just 51.5 receiving yards over the past two weeks. However, the opportunity is there for Aiyuk now that Deebo Samuel is set to miss San Francisco’s next three contests with an ankle sprain. Over eight career games played without Samuel, Aiyuk has posted solid averages of over five catches and 60 yards receiving.

Expecting a ton of passing volume with Purdy behind center might be wishful thinking, but the 49ers never throw the ball often; they’re 24th in pass attempts this season. With defenses honing in on Christian McCaffrey and the running game, there should be plenty of room for Aiyuk to operate, and there is limited competition for targets outside of George Kittle. A generous playoff schedule against Seattle, Washington and Las Vegas only adds to Aiyuk’s fantasy appeal.

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Stock Down: RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

The indestructible force that is Nick Chubb has looked mortal in recent weeks. Deshaun Watson‘s debut two weeks ago as Browns quarterback was expected to open up the Cleveland offense. The reality has been a string of disappointing performances accompanied by a limited amount of carries compared to earlier in the year. Since Week 13, paltry averages of 15 carries and under four yards per carry, along with zero touchdowns, have dampened the enthusiasm for Chubb. Over the past five weeks, Chubb has recorded under 10 PPR points in three different games, something he did once over the season’s first three weeks.

Can we expect a bounce-back performance against the Ravens on Saturday? In nine career games against Baltimore, Chubb has run for over 80 yards just three times. The Ravens’ defense has also surrendered the sixth-fewest points to opposing running backs. Chubb’s talent is too immense to even consider sitting him, but managers have to hope that Cleveland’s offense can finally get going against their division rivals.

Stock Down: WR Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills

Gabe Davis‘ disappointing fantasy season is coming to an end, but there’s a chance he manages to trick managers one last time. It’s been three straight weeks of sub-10-point performances, even with a touchdown grab in Week 13. Although a few “boom” games have boosted Davis’ value, he’s still a WR3/Flex at best in spite of his role in Buffalo’s dynamic offense. In recent weeks, Isaiah McKenzie has begun to see an increase in targets, and the reacquisition of Cole Beasley gives Josh Allen yet another target.

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On paper, a home matchup against the Dolphins and their lackluster secondary should act as a boon for Davis. However, the prospect of snow and heavy winds could force Buffalo into a more conservative offensive game plan. For a receiver who has never boasted much in terms of volume, that’s a scary proposition. A wideout off waivers with a more favorable matchup, such as Chris Moore or Elijah Moore, might warrant a start over the inconsistent Davis.