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Week 15 Flex Rankings: Remember the Titans

Lineup decisions are often tough calls, so here are my Week 15 flex rankings, listing the top-100 PPR options at running back, wide receiver, and tight end. With a lot of injured players questionable to play, including big names like T.Y. Hilton, D.J. Chark, and more, make sure to check back for injury updates before finalizing lineups. Congrats if you’re still in the hunt, and best of luck in the fantasy semi-finals!

For more help getting ready for Week 15, check out our Waiver Wire Recommendations and our FAAB Guide.

Shooting for Shootouts

The Texans handed the Patriots an unexpected loss in Week 13 but then promptly got decimated by the Broncos in Week 14. So is Houston a bad team that got lucky against New England, or are they a good team that simply had an off week against Denver? Well, the answer lies somewhere in between. The most accurate evaluation of the Texans would be that they have a good but inconsistent offense paired with a pretty bad defense. They will be playing against a Tennessee team with similar strengths on offense and similar lapses on defense, leading to a potential shootout in Nashville this week. Vegas agrees, as this game has the highest projected point total of the week, with a combined 50 points expected to be scored.

Per Pro Football Focus, Houston allowed Drew Lock to complete seven of eight passes off play-action for 130 yards in Week 15. This week, they face Ryan Tannehill, who has a perfect passer rating on play-action passes in three of his last four games. It’s been well-documented that Tannehill has been the second-highest scoring quarterback in fantasy behind only Lamar Jackson since he became the Titans’ starter in Week 7. Tannehill is my fantasy QB8 this week and remains a strong start against a Houston defense ranked sixth-worst against the pass in terms of DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) per Football Outsiders. Likewise, Derrick Henry has been the second-highest scoring running back in fantasy behind only Christian McCaffrey since Tannehill took the reins to this offense. The Texans’ run defense is a bit better than their pass defense but still average at best, ranking 14th in rush defense in terms of DVOA. The Titans’ offensive line ranks seventh in run-blocking, and Henry is my No. 2 running back in fantasy behind only McCaffrey this week despite playing through a minor hamstring issue as of late.

The other two Titans players worth consideration in fantasy are A.J. Brown and Jonnu Smith. Brown is having a spectacular rookie season with 779 receiving yards thus far and is behind only D.K. Metcalf among all rookie wide receivers. With a good matchup against Houston, Brown is my WR21 this week ahead of more popular names like Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., and Tyler Lockett, all of whom have disappointed in recent weeks. And while Jonnu Smith is far from reliable with the targets spread out in Tennessee, he has the best shot at a touchdown among all Titans players not named Henry or Brown. Houston has allowed the 11th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, most recently a 113-yard day to Noah Fant this past week. Nearly half of Fant’s production came from a 48-yard catch and run off play action, and Tennessee’s offense is among the highest in the league when it comes to percentage of called passes off play-action. While Smith doesn’t crack the top-100 flex options for the week, he’s worth a look in deeper leagues and for daily fantasy.

On the Texans’ side, Deshaun Watson should be an excellent start and is my QB3 this week behind only Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. The Titans are nearly as bad against the pass as the Texans, ranking 23rd in pass defense in terms of DVOA. Though Houston’s offensive line has struggled in pass protection, Watson has found success both through the air as a runner, and he should do just fine against Tennessee. However, the run game may be more challenging with the Titans ranked fifth against the rush. Carlos Hyde is just a mediocre fantasy option at RB26 this week, as he’ll likely need to score a short touchdown to produce points.

With Houston’s run game unlikely to drive the offense in this game, they will turn to DeAndre Hopkins, who has high potential this week to lead all players in fantasy points scored. I mentioned in my Week 13 article that Hopkins’s fantasy production has been much better with Will Fuller out. This year, in eight games with Fuller active, Hopkins has averaged six receptions for 70 yards on nine targets per game. In the five games with Fuller out for most or all of the game, Hopkins’s per-game numbers have shot up to eight receptions for 93 yards on 12 targets. Against this soft Tennessee secondary, expect a big day for Hopkins, who is my no. 2 wide receiver in fantasy this week behind only Michael Thomas.

Behind Hopkins though, Houston’s receiving options are an amalgam of inconsistency and mediocrity. Keke Coutee was a healthy scratch against New England in Week 13, and he was nearly benched in Week 14 after fumbling early against Denver. He has some PPR upside if this game against Tennessee becomes a high-scoring affair, but Coutee remains just a fantasy WR4 and outside the top-100 flex options. None of the other receivers can really be trusted either. Kenny Stills has averaged under four targets per game since Houston’s Week 10 bye, and neither of the tight ends has seen reliable target volume. While Jordan Akins benefited from garbage time opportunities against the Broncos with four catches for 49 yards on nine targets, Darren Fells remains involved and has been Watson’s preferred red-zone target of the two.

Tennessee is coming into this game with a four-game win streak and all the momentum. Even though I expect Houston to keep things close, I am projecting the Titans to stay hot at home with a 34-27 victory over the Texans.

Benching Big Names?

I recommended fading Marlon Mack last week as just a touchdown-dependent RB4 to be avoided outside of deep leagues against Tampa Bay, the best-run defense in the league per rushing DVOA. Though Mack saved fantasy owners who started him with a short score, he logged just 38 rushing yards on 13 carries. He has another difficult matchup this week on Monday night against New Orleans, whose defense is ranked top-10 against the run. However, the Saints are expected to play without two of their starting defensive linemen, losing both Sheldon Rankins and Marcus Davenport to injury. This makes Mack a slightly safer start this week than he was last week, but his upside remains capped without usage in the passing game. He’s my RB27 this week and should be a serviceable flex option if the Colts can keep this game close, but there’s still risk that Mack will be phased out of the game plan if the Saints pull ahead by multiple scores in the second half.

Another name to be wary of this week is Robby Anderson. Even though Anderson has scored three touchdowns in the last four games and is the WR11 in fantasy over that span, the Jets’ last three contests have been against the Raiders, Bengals, and Dolphins, the three worst teams in the league in terms of pass defense DVOA. But on Thursday night, Anderson will face a far tougher test, as the Ravens boast the third-best defense against the pass behind only the Patriots and 49ers. Since trading for Marcus Peters in October, Baltimore has allowed just 175 passing yards per game over their last seven. Anderson is my WR41 in fantasy this week and should be avoided wherever possible. While he could break free for a long gain or maybe a touchdown, the odds are heavily against him.

Week 15 Flex Rankings (PPR)

Notable injured players currently assumed to be OUT for Week 15 include Damien Williams, Jordan Howard, Bo Scarbrough, T.Y. Hilton, D.J. Chark, Will Fuller, Evan Engram, and Gerald Everett. Rankings will be updated as injury news and practice updates are received.

Last updated on Saturday, December 14th at 5:15 PM CST. 

1Christian McCaffreyRB
2Michael ThomasWR
3Derrick HenryRB
4Chris CarsonRBWith Penny out, expect Carson to resume his workhorse role from earlier in the season vs a CAR def allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs.
5DeAndre HopkinsWRHopkins has averaged 12 targets per game this year in when Fuller is out, and HOU vs TEN projects to be one of the highest-scoring games this week.
6Saquon BarkleyRB
7Tyreek HillWREven facing off against Chris Harris Jr, Hill has a high floor and ceiling with Mahomes back healthy. He remains a top WR option despite the matchup.
8Melvin GordonRB
9D.J. MooreWR
10Zach ErtzTEErtz has averaged 11 targets per game in his last four and could see even more with Jeffery out. He's basically a WR1 playable at the TE position.
11Dalvin CookRB
12Davante AdamsWR
13Leonard FournetteRB
14Ezekiel ElliottRB
15DeVante ParkerWRParker has been the WR6 in fantasy since MIA's Week 5 bye and is a must-start WR1 now that he's cleared concussion protocol.
16Travis KelceTE
17George KittleTE
18Chris GodwinWRGodwin will see a lot of Darius Slay this week, but his target share could increase with Evans out, and DET has given up a lot of big plays this year.
19Todd GurleyRB
20Keenan AllenWR
21Allen RobinsonWR
22Nick ChubbRB
23Alvin KamaraRB
24Julian EdelmanWR
25Aaron JonesRBWith Akiem Hicks back, CHI will be much tougher to run on. Jamaal Williams's continued involvement also caps Jones's fantasy upside.
26Austin EkelerRB
27Julio JonesWR
28Jarvis LandryWR
29Robert WoodsWRWoods has been the most targeted WR and the most consistent in fantasy since the Rams' Week 9 bye. Expect his heavy target volume to continue.
30Raheem MostertRBMostert should again lead the SF backfield again in touches given his outstanding play. He should get a lot of work with SF favored by 11 points.
31Adam ThielenWR
32Amari CooperWR
33Josh JacobsRBIf Jacobs suits up, he should see a healthy workload against a JAX def that's collapsed and is giving up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing RBs.
34James ConnerRB
35Deebo SamuelWRATL's already depleted secondary is giving up the 12th most fantasy points to opposing WRs and has now lost starting CB Desmond Trufant for the year.
36Devin SingletaryRB
37Austin HooperTE
38Courtland SuttonWR
39Michael GallupWRAssuming Jalen Ramsey shadows Cooper, Gallup is likely to be Prescott's most-targeted receiver in this game despite a tough matchup.
40Tyler HigbeeTEHigbee has had back-to-back 100 yard games with Everett out and now faces a DAL def that's top-10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing TEs.
41Christian KirkWR
42Kareem HuntRB
43Stefon DiggsWR
44Sony MichelRBMichel is a risky start, but NE is favored by 10 points on the road, which should lead to a lot of carries vs CIN, a bottom-5 run defense in the league.
45Kenny GolladayWRGolladay should see a ton of targets with Jones and Hockenson out vs a TB secondary that gives up the most fantasy points to opposing WRs.
46Joe MixonRB
47James WhiteRB
48Darren WallerTE
49A.J. BrownWR
50Le'Veon BellRBBell's workload and receptions give him a fairly safe floor in PPR, but there's not much upside vs a BAL def allowing the 4th fewest fantasy points to RBs.
51Darius SlaytonWRSlayton leads the Giants' WRs in targets and yards since their Week 11 bye and gets a MIA def allowing the 4th most fantasy points to opposing WRs.
52Mark IngramRB
53Cooper KuppWRKupp's snaps have decreased drastically in the last few weeks. His rapport with Goff gives him TD upside, but the PPR volume is no longer there.
54Odell Beckham Jr.WRIt's hard to trust Beckham at this point. Clearly not 100% with a groin injury, he has a good matchup vs ARI, but his effectiveness remains questionable.
55Tyler BoydWR
56Tyler LockettWR
57Jared CookTE
58Miles SandersRB
59Mark AndrewsTE
60D.K. MetcalfWR
61Emmanuel SandersWR
62Hunter HenryTE
63John BrownWR
64Mike WilliamsWR
65Danny AmendolaWRThe targets can't all go to Golladay with Jones and Hockenson out. Amendola has a solid PPR floor and decent upside vs TB as well.
66Phillip LindsayRB
67Marquise BrownWRBrown has high upside vs a Jets def allowing the 9th most fantasy points to WRs, especially if he sees more targets with Andrews limited on Thurs night.
68Terry McLaurinWR
69Dallas GoedertTEThough Ertz remains PHI's top receiver, Goedert should see a big target share once again with Jeffery out and the other PHI WRs failing to impress.
70Dede WestbrookWRWith Chark likely out with a high ankle sprain, both Westbrook and Conley should see increased targets vs a poor OAK def giving up a lot of big plays.
71David NjokuTE
72Carlos HydeRB
73Russell GageWR
74Marlon MackRBMack will likely lead IND in carries vs a NO run defense that's much less intimidating with DE Marcus Davenport and DT Sheldon Rankins out hurt.
75Zach PascalWR
76David MontgomeryRB
77LeSean McCoyRB
78Greg OlsenTE
79Breshad PerrimanWRAssuming Evans is out, Perriman should step in at the outside receiver vs a DET defense giving up the 10th most fantasy points to opposing WRs.
80Chris ConleyWR
81Chris ThompsonRBWith Guice out, Thompson figures to resume his role as WAS's receiving back, giving him a decent PPR floor despite splitting time with Peterson.
82Kenyan DrakeRB
83Jamison CrowderWR
84Tarik CohenRB
85Cole BeasleyWR
86JuJu Smith-SchusterWR
87Devonta FreemanRB
88Matt BreidaRBMostert is likely to receive the most touches among the SF RBs, but Breida could see added work if SF is up multiple scores in the second half.
89Allen HurnsWRIf Parker and Wilson both miss this week due to concussions, Hurns and Ford would likely lead the team in targets again, giving both PPR upside.
90Robby AndersonWR
91Duke Johnson Jr.RB
92Brandin CooksWR
93Anthony MillerWR
94Jack DoyleTE
95Randall CobbWR
96Larry FitzgeraldWR
97Patrick LairdRB
98Golden TateWR
99Peyton BarberRBBarber is just a TD-dependent RB4, but his goal line role gives him upside vs a bad DET run defense, especially if Winston throws less with a thumb injury.
100Sterling ShepardWR

For more fantasy football content or specific questions about your lineup, follow me on Twitter @FFA_Meng.

For a look at how the rankings break down at each position, take a look at Mick Ciallela’s Week 15 Rankings.

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