Welcome back to 5 Thrive, 5 to Dive. In this weekly write-up, we try to predict which players will outperform their weekly FantasyPros rank (Thrives) and those who will underperform (Dives). This isn’t a start-sit piece. It’s simply telling you who has a chance to do what this week. Good luck to everyone in their fantasy playoffs!
Kirk Cousins, QB Minnesota Vikings (FantasyPros Week 15 Rank: 12)
Now I know what you’re probably saying right now. Did you watch the game Monday night? Have you watched Cousins this year? Are you hammered right now? And the answer to all of those questions is yes but hear me out with this call. The Vikings are taking on Miami this weekend in Minnesota where they’ve been much better. The Dolphins have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs in the last 4 weeks and will be without star Cornerback Xavien Howard on Sunday. Now, the Vikings might try to run the ball more under their new OC Kevin Stefanski but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be successful. The Vikings strength lies with their two playmakers on the outside in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. I like Captain Kirk to have a bounceback game this week and finish in the Top 10.
Jaylen Samuels, RB Pittsburgh Steelers (FantasyPros Week 15 Rank: 20)
In a game that could be a shootout, the rookie from NC State figures to play a very large role. The Steelers need to establish a little bit more of a run game than they did last week and Samuels should be the back to do that after playing 80% of the snaps last week. The former Tight End is a very reliable asset in the passing game as well. Last week in Oakland, Samuels hauled in all 7 of his targets with his kitten mittens and figures to have a role through the air this week against a New England defense that has struggled against RBs this season. If you play in Yahoo! leagues, jam this mothertrucker into your Tight End spot and reap all of the rewards.
Doug Martin, RB Oakland Raiders (FantasyPros Week 15 Rank: 27)
If you thought I was drunk earlier with my Cousins call, you might think I’m on some of that good shit with this Doug Martin call. I mean who picks a Raider to have a great game? Especially Doug Martin? Surprisingly enough, Martin has looked semi-competent this year after taking over for the injured Marshawn Lynch and has only faced an 8 man box 14% of the time, which is the 12th fewest out of all RBs according to NFL NextGenStats. You would think that teams would put every guy in the box and dare Derek Carr to beat them but hey, what the hell do I know? This week, Oakland travels to Cincinnati to take on a Bengals defense that is comically bad against the run. The Bungles have given up 148 yards/game on the ground and have surrendered the most fantasy points to RBs on the season. Yeah, they suck. Plus they hired Hue Jackson so they’re dumb as shit too. Martin could be a high-end RB2 this week.
Brandin Cooks, WR Los Angeles Rams (FantasyPros Week 15 Rank: 12)
Everything is aligning for Brandin Cooks and the Rams to have a huge rebound game this week against the Eagles who are literally pulling guys off the street to play in their secondary. Los Angeles was embarrassed by the Bears defense last week on Sunday Night Football so I’m expecting them to come out this week and just go scorched earth motherfucker all over Philly. The Eagles have given up 277 yards/game passing and the 3rd most fantasy points on the season to WRs and it’s only going to get worse this week. Last week, Amari Cooper was the one who was punishing the sphincters of this poor defense, and this week that job will belong to Brandin Cooks. This could get ugly.
Tyler Boyd, WR Cincinnati Bengals (FantasyPros Week 15 Rank: 18)
It’s normally against personal policy to choose a WR attached to a backup QB, especially a damn O’Driskel (shoutout RDR2) to be a Thrive, but I’m feeling frisky this week. The former Pitt star has a B E A utiful matchup this week going against Oakland’s slot corner Marcus Gilchrist and the quick passing game should be something that the Bengals emphasize to make things a little simpler for the inexperienced QB. On the season, Boyd has a 23% target share and that’s including when AJ Green was still balling out. With Green and the Red Rocket, er Red Rifle done for the season, the Driskel-Boyd connection should be something that we see a lot of. This game has sneaky shootout potential and I see Boyd as a high-end WR2/low-end WR1 on the week.
I’m just going to be writing up the Thrives this week. Things have been pretty hectic here for old Hank. The Dives will be tweeted out @HankDoesFantasy. Follow me and good luck everyone.
Thanks for reading!