Week 15 flex ranks: Playoff pressure is on 

December, 12, 2013

The San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos get Week 15 started, but note this will be the final Thursday night game of the season. The flex rankings will continue for the final two weeks, but you’ll have a bit more time to process them before making final decisions for Sunday’s action. This is a good thing. We’re honored to play a role in those decisions, and while important players left and right leave fantasy rosters for various reasons -- health-related and perhaps not -- we wish you well (and health!) in the fantasy playoffs.

Best of luck to all in Week 15 and beyond!

[+] EnlargeJosh Gordon
David Butler II/USA TODAY SportsJosh Gordon has elevated himself to top-5 flex status and is Eric Karabell's top Week 15 wideout.

1. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles: Leading rusher in the NFL after his snow-fest explosion and the schedule doesn’t appear to be challenging.

2. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs: Leading scorer among non-quarterbacks in fantasy for the season and again, the schedule doesn’t appear to be challenging.

3. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks: Tougher schedule in theory, but you’re not sitting him.

4. Matt Forte, RB, Bears

5. Josh Gordon, WR, Browns: Has 109 standard fantasy points in four weeks. Think about just how many that is for a non-quarterback. It’s hard to believe.

6. Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions: Well, he’s pretty good, too. All indoors the next three weeks!

7. DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys

8. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans

9. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos

10. Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers: I have to think he will play against Dallas, and will play very well. No defense permits more fantasy points to running backs than the shell that is the Cowboys' defense.

11. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears: He’s not the one likely matched up with Cleveland’s Joe Haden.

12. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos: One single-digit fantasy game in his past 10. You’re thinking of sitting that?

13. DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles

14. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals

15. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys: One double-digit fantasy game in his past five, so you’re within your rights to question the rank. But man, the schedule is nice for him.

16. Reggie Bush, RB, Lions: Risky this week because he’s still hurting, and the Lions showed last week they’re capable of leaving him active and still not using him. And the game is on Monday night. Consider using a lesser-ranked yet safer player.

17. Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears

18. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers

19. Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins: Hasn’t done much the past three games, but honestly, the NFL’s No. 6 rusher for the season is good enough to explode in this tasty matchup this week. The fact the guy handing off to him has changed is irrelevant.

20. Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens

21. Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints: And then there was one tight end in the top tier. Farewell, Rob Gronkowski. Please stay healthy, Jimmy Graham!

22. Ben Tate, RB, Texans: You bet I thought he would be considerably better and more consistent than this if given full-time opportunity. Now he’s no sure thing.

23. Eric Decker, WR, Broncos: Absence of Wes Welker figures to aid him, but can’t see how his owners would be sitting him anyway.

24. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals

25. Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins: As with Morris, the change from Robert Griffin III to Kirk Cousins doesn’t alter my feelings on Garcon. He’s third in the NFL in receptions. Let’s assume Cousins knows how good Garcon is.

26. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers

[+] EnlargeShane Vereen
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesShane Vereen is the top-rated Patriots player this week, and he could be very dangerous catching passes.
27. Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots: Yes, he is awesome, the top Patriots player on this list. And in a PPR league, he’d be top-10 on this list. In a standard, he’s still good, but not top-10.

28. Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals: Ah, if he could be what Vereen is. Well, he mostly is.

29. Marques Colston, WR, Saints: How many of you didn’t play him for the multi-touchdown game against the Panthers? Feels like he’s bound to disappoint this week.

30. Vincent Jackson, WR, Buccaneers

31. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars: Not assured of playing, and one has to wonder why the Jaguars would force it.

32. Zac Stacy, RB, Rams: If his worst fantasy game is seven or eight points, we’ll take it.

33. Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers: No, to answer one of the most obvious questions out there, I do not think Aaron Rodgers will play this week. But against the Cowboys, I think Matt Flynn will do just fine. Nelson hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 8. That changes Sunday.

34. Riley Cooper, WR, Eagles

35. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

36. Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers

37. Steven Jackson, RB, Falcons: Have to admit he looks pretty good, and the Washington defense certainly does not.

38. Andre Brown, RB, Giants: Seattle is tough, but Brown is tough, too. Definitely a RB2 even if he loses goal-line touches, which hasn’t been officially established anyway.

39. Roddy White, WR, Falcons: Made my top 20 wide receivers this week, so clearly I’ve bought back in.

40. Chris Johnson, RB, Titans

41. Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers

42. Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars: Has scored touchdowns in consecutive weeks, and the Bills don’t do a great job stopping things like these.

43. Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings: Assuming he’s healthy and Adrian Peterson sits this one out, he’s definitely worth adding. Is he a top-20 RB? He’s close. But you cannot extrapolate his yards-per-carry over 20 rushing attempts and expect monster numbers!

44. Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers

45. Rashad Jennings, RB, Raiders: Says he’ll play, which is about one step up from a coach
saying the same thing, I suppose.

46. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

47. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs

48. Fred Jackson, RB, Bills: Quiet performance in Week 14, but he’s better than 12 rushing yards. Just don’t take the Jaguars' matchup and assume greatness.

49. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons

50. Julius Thomas, TE, Broncos

51. Victor Cruz, WR, Giants: Can’t recall the previous time he ranked outside the top 50 in flex rankings, if ever. But he’s not producing, bottom line.

52. Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals

[+] EnlargeRay Rice
Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesIt's still hard to believe Ray Rice is so far down the flex rankings, but he's been disappointing most of the season.
53. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens: Has 19 fantasy points in three games, and the Lions are generally pretty good about stopping the run, as long as there’s no snow on the ground.

54. Harry Douglas, WR, Falcons

55. C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills: Go ahead and rely on him, if you dare.

56. Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers

57. Montee Ball, RB, Broncos: Getting enough touches to be worth everyone’s while.

58. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts: Writing him off would be a mistake. Very talented player, Andrew Luck will find him.

59. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys: Not sure why Tony Romo doesn’t look his way more.

60. Steve Smith, WR, Panthers

61. Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins: Most people would note he’s not the high-upside wide receiver on his team, but each has four double-digit fantasy games, and Hartline more points for the season.

62. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Bengals

63. Joique Bell, RB, Lions: If he’s available in your league and you own Reggie Bush, add him now. Becomes a nice option if Bush sits on Monday.

64. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots

65. Mike Wallace, WR, Dolphins

66. Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots: You’re just guessing if you think you know which Tom Brady target gets the most love after Vereen. Against Dallas, you play 'em all. Against Miami, you do not.

67. Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers

68. Chris Ivory, RB, Jets

69. Bobby Rainey, RB, Buccaneers: Seems like he can play, at least when the matchup is really favorable. This week it is not. See his quiet games from weeks 12 and 13.

70. Steve Johnson, WR, Bills

71. Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals: Hey, he scored a touchdown last week! He hadn’t done so since Week 8 when everyone anointed him the next big thing. It’s been a time share all along.

72. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Cardinals: Meet the other part of the time share.

73. Golden Tate, WR, Seahawks

74. Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns: Don’t forget about his upside. He can still help you win.

75. Donald Brown, RB, Colts: Like a roller coaster with this guy, but he’s still getting touches.

76. Kendall Wright, WR, Titans

77. Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots: He’s back! I could see him getting 15 touches, so don’t write him off.

78. James Jones, WR, Packers

79. Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins: Apparently destined to disappoint, for any number of reasons.

80. Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints

81. Darren Sproles, RB, Saints: Almost seems like Saints don’t trust him. Or want to keep him healthy for January. Either way, he’s not a good fantasy option, even in PPR formats.

82. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers: Didn’t hear much about Ladarius Green invading his space in Week 14.

[+] EnlargeHakeem Nicks
Jim O'Connor/USA TODAY SportsIs this the week Hakeem Nicks catches his first touchdown of the season? Against the Seahawks, not likely.
83. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants: And you thought he was no longer playing. By the way, every wide receiver in the top 75 for standard fantasy scoring has scored a touchdown this season -- except Nicks.

84. Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Browns: Has a wonderful matchup, but there are no guarantees the team gives him enough touches to matter.

85. Coby Fleener, TE, Colts

86. Greg Jennings, WR, Vikings

87. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: He’s healthy enough to play and Jonathan Stewart is not, but on this offense, does it really matter? This rank says it does not.

88. Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders

89. Jarrett Boykin, WR, Packers

90. Willis McGahee, RB, Browns

91. Daniel Thomas, RB, Dolphins: Broke off a 55-yarder against the Steelers, which might say more about the Steelers, frankly. They also allowed QB Ryan Tannehill a 48-yarder. Thomas is no star.

92. Charles Clay, TE, Dolphins

93. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers

94. Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Steelers

95. James Starks, RB, Packers: If Lacy cannot play, move Starks up to close to RB2 status. That’s how bad the Cowboys are defensively.

96. Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers: That’s six receptions and 10 fantasy points in two weeks, in case you expected the 2012 version right away.

97. Rod Streater, WR, Raiders

98. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks

99. Marlon Brown, WR, Ravens

100. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings

Others: Delanie Walker, TE, Titans; LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots; Jeremy Kerley, WR, Jets; Bilal Powell, RB, Jets; Tavon Austin, WR, Rams; Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens; Rueben Randle, WR, Giants; Trent Richardson, RB, Colts; Brandon LaFell, WR, Panthers; Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Colts; Andre Holmes, WR, Raiders; Shonn Greene, RB, Titans; Marcel Reece, RB, Raiders; Nate Burleson, WR, Lions; Jordan Todman, RB, Jaguars; Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles