Team of the Week
QB: Jared Goff, DET
The Lions came out throwing on Saturday night, and Goff had his best game of the year with 278 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-17 victory—which also snapped a bit of a cold streak from a fantasy perspective. The next two weeks might be tough (@ MIN, @ DAL), but the dome environments can keep Goff on the QB1 radar.
RB: Christian McCaffrey, SF
McCaffrey has been the top fantasy football asset of 2023, and the start of the fantasy playoffs were no different with 39.2 fantasy points as he ripped apart Arizona’s defense for the second time. Look for another monster performance next week on Christmas Night.
RB: James Cook, BUF
Cowboys-Bills seemed to have the makings of a shootout, but Buffalo was able to ride Cook with a career day—turning 27 touches into 221 total yards and two scores. Next week, Cook will have a case to be a top-ten option at running back taking on a Chargers defense that just allowed 63 points last Thursday night.
WR: Jordan Addison, MIN
The Vikings turning to Nick Mullens under center was thought to be a boost for Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson, but it was Addison that starred on Saturday by catching six-of-six targets for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Addison had been limited to single-digit fantasy points in every game since the start of November before exploding for 26.1 points versus Cincinnati.
WR: Jaylen Waddle, MIA
No Tyreek Hill, no problem for Miami—as Waddle went off against the Jets with eight receptions, 142 yards, and a touchdown in the 30-0 win. It sounds like Hill (ankle) will be back this weekend for a huge matchup with the Cowboys, but Waddle should be a high-upside WR2 play.
TE: Sam LaPorta, DET
Denver’s struggles defending opposing tight ends have been well documented, and LaPorta was the latest to take advantage with a 5/56/3 line on just six targets. The historic season for the rookie has him up to 71 receptions, 758 yards, and nine touchdowns with three weeks to go.
FLEX: Jahmyr Gibbs, DET
Gibbs also went off for Detroit’s rookie class on Saturday night—predictably smoking Denver for 108 total yards and two scores on 13 touches. The Vikings will be a bigger challenge on Christmas Eve, but Gibbs has top-five upside every time he hits the field.
The Dolphins made a Sunday push by allowing just 103 yards and totaling four takeaways and six sacks, but Las Vegas started the week with 25.0 fantasy points thanks to a couple of highlight defensive scores. Although they probably won’t be a strong option next week in Kansas City, the Raiders have played solid defense most of the year.
K: Ka’imi Fairbairn, HOU
Fairbairn wasted no time producing in his return to the lineup after a five-game absence—hitting all four of his field goal attempts (including the game-winner in overtime) to put up 17.0 fantasy points. A return for C.J. Stroud (concussion) next week should boost Fairbairn’s outlook versus a stingy Cleveland squad.
Surprise of the Week: Aidan O’Connell
There was talk of the Raiders going with either Jimmy Garoppolo or Brian Hoyer in Week 15, but O’Connell drew the start and took full advantage of a collapsing LA defense by throwing for four touchdowns to finish as the overall QB3 with 25.92 fantasy points heading into Monday night. Like the Las Vegas defense, though, it might be wise to avoid the rookie in Week 16 lineups for a trip to Arrowhead.
Disappointment of the Week: Running backs
If you had McCaffrey, Cook, Gibbs or a few other top options, you should be extremely happy about the production; but if you had Bijan Robinson (-0.1 fantasy points), Najee Harris (1.3), Breece Hall (2.3), Derrick Henry (3.0), Saquon Barkley (4.7), or Austin Ekeler (5.8)—or worse yet, a combination of them—it might have been a crushing blow to a fantasy season.
Rookie of the Week: Jordan Addison
The Bengals have uncharacteristically struggled on defense this year, including a bunch of big plays allowed. Addison made sure that continued Saturday with two receptions of 35+ yards (one of which was a touchdown), and he also found the end zone from one yard out to cap off an excellent start to the fantasy playoffs.
Week 15 MVP: Christian McCaffrey
After a season-high 177 total yards (not to mention four touchdowns) in the first matchup versus the Cardinals, McCaffrey topped the yardage (187) and found the end zone three times—matching the NFL record for touchdowns against one team in a single season. The real-life and fantasy MVP candidate will be locked into the overall RB1 line next week with the Ravens coming to town.