Every week, our Yahoo fantasy crew will unveil their boldest predictions for the action ahead. With a trip to fantasy title games on the line, our group of experts think several overlooked pass catchers will deliver. Now, on to the Week 15 predictions!
Unsung Watson reaches double-figure fantasy points
With my more athletic cousin, Mike Evans, done for the remainder of the season due to a hamstring injury, Justin Watson, a fifth-round pick from Penn, is set to throw the book at the competition. Stepping in for Evans in the second quarter last week versus Indy, he enticed eight targets, catching five passes for 59 yards and a score. His size/speed combo and versatility will be showcased against Detroit. The Lions have allowed the highest aDOT (10.0) and most air yards of any defense. If you’re willing to roll the dice, he could be a soothing points source in these high-anxiety times. Breshaud Perriman or Scotty Miller could easily duplicate the following forecast, but Watson is a strong bet for 65-plus yards and another TD. — Brad Evans
O.J. Howard makes up for lost season when it counts
Howard is one of this season’s biggest busts and obviously isn’t without risk, but he’s been busier lately and saw his snaps increase even further after Mike Evans left last week’s game (only a handful of tight ends ran more routes last week). Evans is out again Sunday, and the Bucs’ setup usually calls for a ton of passes. This week should be no different in a dome against a Detroit secondary that’s been ripped for 7.8 YPA and a 26:5 TD:INT ratio this season. Howard still has the talent that saw him finish third among all tight ends in yards per route run as a sophomore last year, and he’ll help fantasy managers reach their championship with a big Week 15. — Dalton Del Don
Jonnu Smith outproduces “stream supreme” David Njoku
With Delanie Walker showing signs of decline over the past two seasons and currently on injured reserve, Jonnu Smith has flashed, but his opportunities have been limited. However, with slot man Adam Humphries additionally out of the lineup in Week 14, Smith ran more routes (22) and drew more looks. Finding the end zone for the second time in 2019, the Florida International product was the 11th most productive player at the position. Assuming Humphries (ankle) remains sidelined this coming Sunday, Smith is in line for another top-12 outing. He’ll host a Texans defense that’s fallen apart recently, allowing the second-most fantasy points and 3 TDs to opposing tight ends over the past four weeks. (FF: 4-51-1) — Liz Loza
Mike Williams scores again, finishes as a Top-10 WR
At long last, the Chargers hulking wideout made his way into the end zone. The targets had been there. He’s pushed the top-10 among wide receivers in total air yards all season. He’s been north of 20 yards per catch. It just hadn’t amounted to one single score. The regression finally hit on one of his two catches last week and it’s going to continue here in Week 15.
Don’t confuse the name for the game here. This is a good matchup. The Vikings give up the seventh-highest yards per attempt figure since Week 8 and rank 24th in sack rate. Time in the pocket for Philip Rivers and a leaky secondary is good news for a player of Williams’ skill set. While he’s tough to trust, he’s the ideal ceiling play in the fantasy postseason. — Matt Harmon
Darius Slayton stays in flight
It’s been a remarkable rookie class for wideouts, and that’s particularly useful to note at this time of the year when the experience kicks in. If you’ve been playing most of the season, you’re really not a rookie now. We knew Darius Slayton was too big to fail after Week 14; not even Eli Manning could take him down. I expect Slayton to get either 80 yards or a touchdown against Miami’s leaky secondary, and he likely could do both. I’ve ranked him inside the WR2 cutline. — Scott Pianowski
Mitch does the thing again, has a day at Green Bay
Mitchell Trubisky has thrown 11 touchdown passes and run for two additional scores over his last five games, so perhaps this isn’t so bold. Green Bay’s defense hasn’t been anything special this season; the Packers allow 7.9 Y/A and 4.7 YPC. Trubisky’s willingness to (finally) run frequently and aggressively was a key to his Week 14 value. More of that, please. It helps that Allen Robinson has been a machine. Expect another multi-TD performance from Mitch in a critical game for Chicago. (Yes, I’m trying to will this to happen.) —Andy Behrens