Chargers running back Ryan Mathews already has a solid performance against his Week 15 opponent -- he scored 11 Fantasy points (in standard leagues) on 59 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Broncos in Week 10.
Since that game, Mathews has run for over 100 yards twice, scoring two touchdowns and averaging 22.3 receiving yards. In that four-game span, Mathews has averaged 13.3 Fantasy points per game in standard leagues.
Denver, meanwhile, has allowed five touchdowns over those last four games to opposing running backs, as well as 41 receiving yards per game. They've caused four fumbles in that run, which might be a bit of a concern for Mathews, who has encountered fumble issues in the past, but Mathews has fumbled just once this season and could carry momentum forward from his 29-carry game in Week 14.
There's still some risk involved with Mathews -- a quick turnaround after a heavy workload, the presence of Danny Woodhead, and the past fumble issues -- but he's solid enough of an option to be used in most Fantasy formats this week.
49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree hasn't posted signficant numbers since making his season debut Week 13, but can that be really shocking since he's coming off a major injury. Therefore, with key Fantasy playoff games on the docket Week 15, are you going to trust Crabtree in a matchup at Tampa Bay?
Despite the presence of shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis in the secondary, wide receivers have fared well against Tampa Bay this season. They are averaging 160.5 receiving yards and 22.9 Fantasy points per week. Wide receivers have also totaled 16 touchdowns in 13 games.
The good news for Crabtree is that Revis might spend a good deal of the afternoon covering Anquan Boldin, which could free up some opportunities for him. But you are definitely taking a gamble by starting Crabtree in Fantasy by just playing the matchup.
It was encouraging to see him get eight targets last week against the Seahawks, but he posted just four catches for 40 yards. He's definitely not fully back to the receiver he was late last season during the 49ers' march to the Super Bowl.
Philip Rivers looking to improve on earlier game against Broncos
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has been a bit erratic lately, with three games of 20-plus Fantasy points and three of 15 or fewer over his last six. One of those sub-15 games came against his Week 15 opponent, the Broncos -- Rivers threw for 281 yards and a touchdown in Week 10, for 14 Fantasy points.
The Broncos have been equally unpredictable against the pass lately, allowing quarterbacks to score 25 or more Fantasy points in three games, while allowing fewer than 15 in another three, over their last six. Only one quarterback (Tom Brady) went over 300 yards in that span, while three failed to hit the 250-yard mark.
An up-and-down string of performances from both sides make Rivers less than a sure thing. If you've been riding this roller coaster all season, he's still a risky, high-upside start. But if you're looking for a matchup streamer, it may be best to leave him on the bench.
49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin will be the next receiver taking a trip to Revis Island, as a showdown is looming with Tampa Bay cornerback Darrelle Revis Week 15. Fantasy owners are hopeful, however, Boldin doesn't get stuck there.
Boldin has been pretty good for Fantasy owners lately, managing at least nine Fantasy points in four straight games. He's averaging 12.5 Fantasy points per week in that span.
Despite Revis' presence in the secondary, wide receivers have fared well against Tampa Bay this season. They are averaging 160.5 receiving yards and 22.9 Fantasy points per week. Wide receivers have also totaled 16 touchdowns in 13 games.
As far as No. 1 receivers, however, there haven't been a ton of great performances. Larry Fitzgerald had 12 Fantasy points Week 4, DeSean Jackson had 18 Fantasy points Week 6, Harry Douglas had 20 Fantasy points Week 7 and Calvin Johnson had 11 Fantasy points Week 12, which is pretty much it for top performances from No. 1 receivers.
Boldin did post six catches for 93 yards against a very good Seattle defense in Week 14, so perhaps Boldin will be able to hold his own Week 15. It's worth tempering expectations, but Boldin could be used as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy receiver.
49ers running back Frank Gore has been a disappointing Fantasy option since San Francisco returned from its Week 9 bye. Gore was averaging 13.3 Fantasy points per week heading into the bye, and he's averaged just 7.2 Fantasy points since Week 10.
Fantasy owners are surely hoping the pre-bye Gore shows up Week 15 at Tampa Bay, especially with key playoff matchups on the docket. Though, the bad news for Gore is that running backs have not fared well against Tampa Bay this season.
Running backs average 13 Fantasy points per week against the Bucs, which is the sixth-lowest average. Running backs have totaled just five touchdowns (two rushing), while averaging 85.2 rushing yards and 39.5 receiving yards in 13 games.
If you made it this far in your Fantasy league, you definitely leaned on Gore to help get you here, so benching him Week 15 is a tough call. All he needs is a touchdown and it's a productive day. Also, he rushed for 110 yards last week against a good Seattle defense, so it's not hard to believe Gore could come through Week 15.
It's just Gore is shaping up to be more of a No. 2 Fantasy running back because of limited upside. Only six running backs have totaled at least 10 Fantasy points and none have had more than 17 against Tampa Bay. The only elite Fantasy running backs to reach the 10-point plateau against Tampa Bay have been LeSean McCoy (14 points in Week 6) and Marshawn Lynch (13 points Week 9).
Colin Kaepernick an option for two-QB leagues Week 15
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
After posting 36 Fantasy points in Week 1, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has posted 20-plus points just twice in his last 12 games and has pretty much been a disappointing Fantasy option in 2013. So with a key Fantasy playoff matchup on the horizon Week 15, are you going to trust Kaepernick in a matchup at Tampa Bay?
The matchup indicates Kaepernick might be a trustworthy option. Up until EJ Manuel's disaster of a performance last week, quarterbacks were thriving against Tampa Bay. In fact, quarterbacks totaled at least two passing touchdowns in eight straight games before Manuel recorded no touchdowns Week 14.
Quarterbacks are averaging 20.7 Fantasy points per week against Tampa Bay. One of the big potential pitfalls, however, is that quarterbacks have thrown 21 interceptions against Tampa Bay, including 15 in the last six games.
Kaepernick has thrown multiple interceptions just once this season, so he might be saved from the turnover machine the Bucs defense has been in recent weeks. However, it's still a gamble to start Kaepernick outside of two-quarterback leagues because he just hasn't been reliable for Fantasy owners this season.
A club official confirmed to the Pioneer Press that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will not need surgery for his sprained foot. However, his playing status for Week 15 vs. Philadelphia will be determined if and when he no longer needs a walking boot.
Buccaneers tight end Timothy Wright put an end to his scoring slump Week 14 vs. Buffalo, recording a touchdown for the first time in five games and third time this season. Will Wright be able to score in consecutive games Week 15 vs. San Francisco?
It could be viewed as encouraging that two of Wright's three touchdowns have come at home. The disappointing stat, however, is tight ends average just 5.2 Fantasy points per week against San Francisco, which is the lowest average. Tight ends have totaled just five touchdowns and average 39.1 receiving yards per game against San Francisco.
Wright was a decent Fantasy option earlier in the season when quarterback Mike Glennon leaned on him as a safety net as he was acclimating to the starting quarterback role. But Wright hasn't been a very reliable option lately. He's totaled just one Fantasy point in three of his last five games and hasn't surpassed 10 Fantasy points in that five-game span.
Fantasy owners should view Wright as more of a desperation Fantasy start Week 15. With his recent production and the tough matchup, he's not an ideal candidate to start this week.
Will Vincent Jackson's history vs. 49ers matter Week 15?
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was held to three or fewer catches for the fifth time in six games Week 14 vs. Buffalo, but he still made an impact for Fantasy owners with 70 yards and one touchdown. Will Fantasy owners be able to count on Jackson again in Week 15 vs. San Francisco?
If Jackson's history against the 49ers repeats itself, then things could be looking up. Jackson has scored at least one touchdown in each of his two career games against the 49ers, including a career-high three touchdowns against the 49ers in a 2010 matchup.
The 49ers have one of the better defenses in the NFL, so it's no surprise wide receivers don't have great numbers against them. Wide receivers average 150.2 receiving yards and 17.5 Fantasy points per week, which is tied for the eighth-lowest average. Wide receivers have totaled just six touchdowns in 13 games against San Francisco, netting just one in the last five games.
Only six wide receivers have totaled at least 10 Fantasy points against San Francisco, with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Larry Fitzgerald being the only elite Fantasy receivers to reach that plateau.
It's definitely tough to bench a player like Jackson, who you have relied on for most of the season. But he might not have a lot of high-end upside Week 15, so if you have another viable option with a better matchup, then maybe this is a week to use another option with so much on the line in Fantasy playoff matchups.
Home game could keep Bobby Rainey in mix as starting option
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey came through in a big way for Fantasy owners in Week 14, totaling 18 Fantasy points as he rushed for 127 yards and one touchdown against the Bills. Now the question beckons: Do you leave Rainey in active lineups or bench him for Tampa's showdown with the 49ers Week 15?
Rainey has totaled at least 11 Fantasy points in three of his last five games. Though, it could be tough for him to get to double-digit Fantasy points in Week 15 since the 49ers have played well against the run.
For the season, running backs average just 15.6 Fantasy points per week against San Francisco, which is the ninth-lowest average. However, running backs have averaged just 83.3 rushing yards, 7.7 receiving yards and 10 Fantasy points per game in the last three weeks. Running backs have totaled nine rushing touchdowns in 13 games and just one in the last three games against San Francisco.
Rainey struggled Week 12 against the Lions and Week 13 against the Panthers, which are two teams that have good run defenses. Though, those games were on the road and this one will be at home. In his last three home games, Rainey is averaging 21 Fantasy points and 111.6 rushing yards per game.
It might not be the easiest matchup, but since Rainey does play well at home, he could be considered a No. 2 Fantasy running back Week 15.