NFL Challenge: Fantasy analyst Adam Rank's Week 15 picks
Last Updated: 19/12/18 4:35pm
Fantasy analyst expert Adam Rank takes on the NFL Challenge, picking his team for Week 15...
Each week you get to pick a passing offense, rushing attack, defense and special teams unit to pick up points for your team while, on top of that, you can select a quarterback, running back and wide receiver to score additional points. Register to play by clicking here.
Adam Rank: Week 14 points
|Packers passing offense||19|
|Chargers rushing offense||14|
|Cowboys special teams||13|
|Philip Rivers, QB (Captain)||28|
|Aaron Jones, RB||15|
|Amari Cooper, WR||39|
I'm going to just go ahead and assume that none of you played members of the Los Angeles Rams this past weekend against the mighty Chicago Bears defense. It was one of the more scintillating defensive performances I've seen in quite some time, especially given it was only a few weeks ago that Rams team put 54 points up on one of the best teams in the NFL. Here the Rams didn't even get into the end zone once. Well, I guess they did when the Bears defense sacked Jared Goff for a safety. But I think you know what I'm getting at.
Maybe we will just go ahead and avoid picking the Green Bay Packers this week, too. Although I will say this will be the true test of how good the Bears are, and if they are going to be able to make a run in the playoffs. Teams can rise to the occasion in prime time, but the consistency is what you need from week-to-week.
And, as a Bears fan, I've always kind of resented the way Aaron Rodgers has smirked at the Bears and believes he can just come into Soldier Field and boss this team around. Resented, but also kind of respected, because Rodgers really does understand the history of the rivalry. Which is great. Still want to beat him though.
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Let's get to some Week 15 recommendations:
Chargers offensive players, or at least Keenan Allen and Philip Rivers are on the table for sure. However, that game is on Friday morning, so I do want to have some other options available for you here. Also, the Philadelphia Eagles are a defense I want to pick on, especially against the pass. So start Jared Goff and the Rams liberally this week. I feel that's obvious enough that I don't have to tell you.
Be careful. Here are my picks...
Pittsburgh Steelers passing offense
You might want to go with the obvious picks if you can, but if you need something from the not-so-obvious realm, then this is your one for the week. The New England Patriots have struggled against passing offenses in recent weeks. The numbers are going to be skewed a little from last week because of Kenyan Drake's miracle play for the Miami Dolphins at the end of the game. But fantasy quarterbacks have been able to take advantage of New England. The Steelers are that team that will get down by a bunch of points and have to fight back, which they had to do against the Oakland Raiders last week. And the best part, the Steelers kicker falling on his face while attempting a field goal won't matter.
Cincinnati Bengals rushing offense
Let's get frisky down the stretch. I'm looking through the matchups and again, assuming a lot of the obvious picks are gone, I could get down with the Bengals. The team did pretty well against the Los Angeles Chargers last weekend, moving the ball on the ground well. Now they have a home matchup with the Raiders, who have struggled against running backs.
Baltimore Ravens defense
I really want to go with my friends down in Duval County, Florida - the Jacksonville Jaguars. But ever since Derrick Henry ruined them, I just can't do it. And really, Derrick, where did that come from? I want to warn all of you who play in traditional fantasy leagues, don't fall for the Derrick Henry trap next year. So, we are going with the Ravens this week. They did a nice job of making Patrick Mahomes travel at the speed limit last week, so they should be able to coerce a few turnovers out of Jameis Winston.
Minnesota Vikings special teams
High scoring game expected. Dome teams. This is what we are looking for. We got away with one last week when we picked the Dallas Cowboys.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns (Captain)
Ladies and gentlemen, in an effort to keep it real with you and always be 100 per cent transparent, I'm going change my quarterback selection for this week from my original pick of Josh Allen. Too many people are getting on the Bill QB hype train and, I'll be honest, it scares me. So I'm changing my pick to Baker Mayfield. I honestly don't know if Baker is really this good or if he's just so much better than what we've seen in Cleveland, anything is going to be an upgrade. Kind of like if you watched Star Wars on your phone. It's fine. But once you see it on a movie screen, it's going to be way better. Wait, that doesn't make sense. Star Wars is always going to be great. But you know what I mean. I just love Baker's matchup this week. The Broncos have allowed 358 passing yards per game since Week 11. That's the most in the NFL. So let's all ride!
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
I need to distance myself from any emotion I might have on this subject. Fournette cost me in at least one of my traditional leagues. I have the opportunity to go with him again this week and I think I'm going to do it. The Washington Redskins have been really rough against running backs over the past couple of weeks, but I'm a forgiving person (apparently) and I'm going to allow him to get one more chance this week (and I'm assuming you've used up Todd Gurley.) A fun risk might be on Thursday night with Justin Jackson of the Chargers. But that's a scary proposition.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
If you followed my advice to take Amari Cooper last week, well, I'm not going to be upset if you want to give him another opportunity this week. But I like Hopkins a lot in a game that will feature the Texans, who are still steamrolling into the playoffs against the New York Jets who, well, are the Jets. They have struggled against opposing offenses.