There’s good news for those lucky enough to still be in the fantasy football playoffs, as highly favorable matchups are in store for some of the league’s superstars in Week 15.
While a few of the NFL‘s elite players are regulars atop the weekly rankings, the rest of the top players fluctuate from week to week, based on matchups and trends.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the top fantasy players at every position, along with projected scores.
Note: Fantasy stats and information courtesy of ESPN.com (standard scoring).
|1||Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||28|
|2||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||St. Louis Rams||25|
|3||Nick Foles||Philadelphia Eagles||Minnesota Vikings||23|
|4||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers||New York Jets||21|
|5||Philip Rivers||San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||18|
|6||Tony Romo||Dallas Cowboys||Green Bay Packers||17|
|7||Matt Ryan||Atlanta Falcons||Washington||16|
|8||Alex Smith||Kansas City Chiefs||Oakland Raiders||14|
|9||Matthew Stafford||Detroit Lions||Baltimore Ravens||13|
|10||Andrew Luck||Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||13|
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are hosting San Diego on Thursday night to get Week 15 kicked off. He’s easily the top fantasy producer this season—at any position—and will be a permanent resident atop these rankings until further notice.
The Chargers come into the game featuring the league’s No. 26-ranked fantasy defense against opposing quarterbacks. The last time Manning faced this team was in Week 10, when he shredded San Diego’s secondary for 330 yards and four touchdowns.
At home, with Kansas City breathing down Denver’s neck for the AFC West crown, Manning will have another fabulous game.
Thanks to Manning’s historically brilliant season, Drew Brees is flying under the radar for what he’s done for New Orleans. He’s the No. 2-ranked fantasy scorer this season and has a decent matchup in Week 15 against the No. 12-ranked (vs. fantasy quarterbacks) St. Louis Rams.
Brees recently became the fastest player in the history of the league to hit 50,000 yards passing, as shown by the NFL on Twitter:
Drew Brees becomes the 5th player in NFL history to reach 50,000 career passing yards!
— NFL (@nfl) December 9, 2013
After getting creamed on the road by Seattle, Brees bounced back with a 28-point fantasy performance against Carolina in Week 14. The Panthers feature one of the league’s toughest defenses, and he shredded them like it was nothing.
|1||Jamaal Charles||Kansas City Chiefs||Oakland Raiders||22|
|2||LeSean McCoy||Philadelphia Eagles||Minnesota Vikings||21|
|3||Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks||New York Giants||19|
|4||Alfred Morris||Washington||Atlanta Falcons||18|
|5||Eddie Lacy||Green Bay Packers||Dallas Cowboys||17|
|6||Knowshon Moreno||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||15|
|7||DeMarco Murray||Dallas Cowboys||Green Bay Packers||14|
|8||Reggie Bush||Detroit Lions||Baltimore Ravens||12|
|9||Ryan Mathews||San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||11|
|10||Frank Gore||San Francisco 49ers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11|
Jamaal Charles has been the most consistent fantasy running back in 2013, and he’s coming off a phenomenal three-game stretch in which he scored 27, 17, and 27 points, scoring five total touchdowns.
The Kansas City Chiefs are on the road in Week 15 to take on the Oakland Raiders.
Who’ll have a bigger game in Week 15?
Who’ll have a bigger game in Week 15?
Oakland’s defense ranks No. 16 against fantasy running backs, but the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets recently abused it, scoring 36 and 16 fantasy points, respectively. Charles had a big game against the Raiders back in Week 6, scoring 24 points, and he’ll do the same on Sunday.
Charles is No. 1 in these rankings, but LeSean McCoy isn’t far behind.
The Minnesota Vikings haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown in two weeks, allowing a respectable 25 fantasy points in those two games. But this is still the league’s No. 26-ranked defense against fantasy running backs, and McCoy is coming off a huge performance at home in the snow (33 points).
“Shady” seems to be heating up as playoffs loom.
|1||Demaryius Thomas||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||18|
|2||Andre Johnson||Houston Texans||Indianapolis Colts||17|
|3||Josh Gordon||Cleveland Browns||Chicago Bears||16|
|4||Calvin Johnson||Detroit Lions||Baltimore Ravens||16|
|5||DeSean Jackson||Philadelphia Eagles||Minnesota Vikings||15|
|6||Alshon Jeffery||Chicago Bears||Cleveland Browns||15|
|7||A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||14|
|8||Eric Decker||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||13|
|9||Marques Colston||New Orleans Saints||St. Louis Rams||12|
|10||Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona Cardinals||Tennessee Titans||12|
Demaryius Thomas gave San Diego fits the last time the Broncos faced the Chargers.
He scored three touchdowns and earned 28 fantasy points in that game. Nobody on San Diego’s roster is big enough, strong enough or fast enough to handle him, and he’s due for another huge performance at home on Thursday Night Football.
Josh Gordon and Calvin Johnson both have difficult matchups in Week 15. If not for that, they’d be up for the top spot, and it’s likely both will still make fantasy owners happy with their production.
Houston’s Andre Johnson has been putting up huge numbers lately, no matter who plays quarterback for the Texans these days. He caught 21 passes for 275 yards the past two games, and he put up 40 points against his next opponent back in Week 9.
The Indianapolis Colts had no answer for Johnson in that game. He caught nine passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns. Nobody should expect another three-touchdown performance, but Indy’s defense still doesn’t have anyone who can cover him.
|1||Jimmy Graham||New Orleans Saints||St. Louis Rams||15|
|2||Delanie Walker||Tennessee Titans||Arizona Cardinals||14|
|3||Julius Thomas||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||13|
|4||Tony Gonzalez||Atlanta Falcons||Washington||12|
|5||Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys||Green Bay Packers||11|
|6||Vernon Davis||San Francisco 49ers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11|
|7||Jordan Cameron||Cleveland Browns||Chicago Bears||10|
|8||Logan Paulsen||Washington||Atlanta Falcons||8|
|9||Greg Olsen||Carolina Panthers||New York Jets||8|
|10||Antonio Gates||San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||7|
Jimmy Graham is the undisputed king of fantasy tight ends in 2013.
The talented former basketball star from Miami has caught 14 touchdown passes this season, which is more than any other non-quarterback in the NFL. He’s coming off a two-touchdown performance against Carolina’s formidable defense.
The No. 5-ranked defense against fantasy tight ends will surely test Graham in Week 15, but the St. Louis Rams will fail in their quest to shut him down. Graham has scored at least one touchdown in each of his last three games, and he’ll add another one on Sunday.
Someone who’s been out of the mix for a couple of weeks is about to make a grand reappearance on fantasy football’s stage. Delanie Walker of the Tennessee Titans has missed the team’s last two games while he recovered from a concussion, but Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports the tight end is expected to play in Week 15:
TE Delanie Walker also practiced again today and is expected to play for #Titans on Sunday vs Ariz
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) December 12, 2013
Before his injury, Walker had started to click with backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, scoring double-digit fantasy points in two straight games.
The Titans are hosting Arizona on Sunday, and the Cardinals feature the league’s worst fantasy defense against tight ends, allowing an astonishing 14 points on average per game.
|1||Seattle Seahawks||New York Giants||16|
|2||Carolina Panthers||New York Jets||14|
|3||Arizona Cardinals||Tennessee Titans||12|
|4||Buffalo Bills||Jacksonville Jaguars||10|
|5||San Francisco 49ers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9|
|6||Chicago Bears||Cleveland Browns||8|
|7||New Orleans Saints||St. Louis Rams||7|
|8||Kansas City Chiefs||Oakland Raiders||7|
|9||New England Patriots||Miami Dolphins||6|
|10||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||6|
The Seahawks (No. 2) and Panthers (No. 4) have produced two of the most consistent fantasy defenses of the 2013 campaign. Both teams have excellent matchups in Week 15.
Seattle is on the road taking on the New York Giants. New York has allowed 33 sacks this year and has turned the ball over 34 times. After getting hammered by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 14, the Seahawks will absolutely abuse the Giants.
Carolina is hosting the New York Jets. Thanks to a porous offensive line and zero talent at the skill positions, rookie quarterback Geno Smith has struggled in 2013—putting it mildly. New York has allowed 43 sacks and has given away 28 turnovers—the perfect victim for the Panthers’ next meal.
|1||Matt Prater||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||15|
|2||Stephen Gostkowski||New England Patriots||Miami Dolphins||12|
|3||Adam Vinatieri||Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||11|
|4||David Akers||Detroit Lions||Baltimore Ravens||11|
|5||Matt Bryant||Atlanta Falcons||Washington||10|
|6||Dan Carpenter||Buffalo Bills||Jacksonville Jaguars||10|
|7||Blair Walsh||Minnesota Vikings||Philadelphia Eagles||9|
|8||Steven Hauschka||Seattle Seahawks||New York Giants||9|
|9||Ryan Succop||Kansas City Chiefs||Oakland Raiders||9|
|10||Dan Bailey||Dallas Cowboys||Green Bay Packers||8|
Denver is going to get into scoring position early and often against San Diego’s Swiss-Cheese defense. As such, Matt Prater will be a busy man, and he’s the top fantasy kicker in Week 15 as a result.
Stephen Gostkowski will also be a man in demand this weekend when the Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins.
Rob Gronkowski‘s knee injury will make it much more difficult for Tom Brady and his offense to punch the ball into the end zone, meaning Gostkowski will likely provide much of New England’s scoring in the weeks to come.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78