Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 15: Saints vs. Rams

Stacy Revere

The Saints have their eyes on a first-round bye. The Rams have their eyes on the Redskins' first-round draft pick.

At 10-3, and having just beaten their primary division rival, the New Orleans Saints have their sights set on a first-round NFC playoff bye. To get there, they can't afford to lose any more games, especially not with a Carolina Panthers rematch looming in Week 16. Sunday, they travel to St. Louis for a 4:25 p.m. ET game against the St. Louis Rams. Just like the real world, the majority of the fantasy-interesting players rest on the New Orleans side of the football:

Saints

Start in every league: Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas, Jimmy Graham

Start if you're desperate: Darren Sproles, Marques Colston, Garrett Hartley, Defense/special teams

Bench: Mark Ingram, Kenny Stills, Lance Moore

It's true that Brees has been significantly more successful in home games than road games. But the 12-point difference in his home and road performances doesn't take him from "start" to "not start"; it just takes him from "super-duper mega-start" to "yeah, you're still starting him." ... Thomas has unseated Sproles as the team's top running-back option; he only has two points per game in his last two, but against a defense that struggles against the run, he should be fine. ... Graham is the biggest must-start in all of football, and it's not even really up for debate.

Sproles hasn't had a big game in a month, and only has one since Week 4. He still has his same potential, same ability, but the consistency is gone. ... Colston looks good coming off of a 24-point outing Sunday, but that is on the heels of 14 total points in the preceding three games. If you have him, he's probably worth starting, but be aware he might deliver a goose-egg. ... Hartley has only made two field goals in his last three games, and has missed four in his last seven. On the other hand, he's scored double-digit fantasy points five times this season. ... The Saints' defense is in the top 10 on the league, though it has yet to have one of those huge games that the top defenses occasionally have.

Each of Ingram, Stills, and Moore has had moments on the year, but they haven't come recently, and they're not even close to reliable.

Rams

Start in every league: Zac Stacy

Start if you're desperate: Defense/special teams

Bench: Kellen Clemens, Tavon Austin, Austin Pettis, Chris Givens, Jared Cook, Greg Zuerlein

Did you know Sam Bradford, who hasn't played since Week 7, is still, at least through Sunday's game, the highest-scoring St. Louis Ram in fantasy? It's not a bad team, but man there's no fantasy intrigue here. Anyway, Stacy was held to 25 rushing yards a week ago at Arizona, but that was against one of the best run defenses in the game; against a merely good defense, not a great one, he'll be fine.

The Rams' defense has been the seventh-best unit in the NFL, but that is buoyed largely by a pair of wholly unexpected 25-point games in Weeks 6 and 10; by and large, they're only mediocre, and Sunday they face a top-flight offense.

Welcome to the Clemens section. Do not use Clemens. Thank you for reading the Clemens section. ... If you're a St. Louis pass-catcher, you probably miss Bradford, but it is impossible to expect any significant performance out of Austin, Pettis, Givens, or Cook at this point. ... Zuerlein has only made more than two field goals in a game twice this year, and only once since Week 1. Tread lightly.

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