So while we recommend you take time to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" this weekend, don't forget that the fantasy season is still far from over. Most leagues are currently in their semi finals, with a trip to the championship on the line. Quick aside -- if your league is playing for anything other than fun in Week 17, stop it. Make sure that is changed in 2016. Anyway, it has been a wild weekend full of gangbuster fantasy performances (Cam Newton, Kirk Cousins, Sammy Watkins) and some duds as well. Regardless, there is one HUGE game remaining in the Week 15 slate, we break it down in our player-by-player preview below.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
Stafford is the epitome of a matchup-based starter and this is a matchup that very much favors him. Even with a change at defensive coordinator, New Orleans still has a significant lack of talent on the defensive side of the football. Considering the way the Lions passing game carved up the Eagles on Thanksgiving Day, you should be plenty confident that Stafford can have a solid performance this week.
Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick (and yeah, Joique Bell too) have looked somewhat better in the past few weeks, but there's not a lot of cause for forcing any of them into your lineup this week unless you're incredibly thin at the running back position. Riddick at least offers PPR value, but the othere are far too inconsistent to reasonably trust.
This hasn't exactly been a Megatron-type season but when the matchup is right he has performed. This week, the matchup is definitely right against one of the worst defenses in the league. As long as Stafford avoids throwing interceptions, there should be plenty of targets for Johnson to post decent yardage totals this week.
Tate has been a targets machine recently with double-digit passes thrown his way in three of the last four games. His totals in standard leagues might underwhelm this week, but he should continue to have nice value in PPR formats considering he's had seven-plus receptions in four straight games.
Ebron's inability to consistently catch the football has been a source of frustration for plenty of people. But with the Saints on the docket for the week and the tight end position being as thin as it is, there's reason to consider Ebron as a streaming option for the week.
New Orleans Saints:
Brees has traditionally been much better at home than on the road, but his generally depressed numbers this season have made him a risk no matter the location. Coming off back-to-back 20-point games, Brees now welcomes in a Lions defense that has had a bit more bite to it in recent weeks. Brees could have a decent game, but there are also better streaming options available like Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tyrod Taylor.
This isn't a great matchup for Hightower, but after he saw 29 touches last week it's hard to go against any running back with that kind of volume. Keep in mind that he might not post crazy numbers, but you can feel pretty confident that the opportunities for production will be there.
Cooks has been up and down most of the season and the past month is a microcosm of it. The wideout has had two games of 16-plus points worked in between two games with 3.5 or fewer points. Things are shaping up for Cooks to be on the downside against the team that has been fifth-best against wideouts in the past month.
Watson has been good, but not great for much of this season. He could perk up this week against Detroit's defense, which is allowing nearly 10 fantasy points per game over the past four contests to tight ends. Watson has good streaming appeal.