NFL fantasy week 15 sleepers, substitutions: Tyrod Taylor, Justin Forsett, Robby Anderson and more

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

At this point in the season, your bench should be put together differently. The circumstances of the fantasy playoffs demand that.

Drop all your upside players and anyone you’re not using in your lineup. Add handcuffs to your running back, backups to key starters, a spare quarterback and one extra tight end. Don’t get caught in a situation in which you’re left looking toward the waiver wire for a player to start for you. However, if you do find yourself in need of a substitute player, there are some decent alternatives.

Let’s look at who might be available to you for NFL fantasy Week 15.

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Bills coach Rex Ryan said Monday that Taylor gives the Bills the best chance to win, amid rumors that the team might consider starting Cardale Jones instead. The Bills face the NFL doormat Cleveland Browns in Week 15, and between Taylor’s running ability and the Browns’ inept defense, he could put up QB1 numbers if you’re desperate at quarterback.


Devontae Booker has played himself right out of the starting job mainly because he can’t protect the quarterback. Forsett knows coach Kubiak’s system and should be able to step in and perform well right away.


Melvin Gordon is day-to-day with a hip injury. Farrow managed 55 yards on 16 carries, and he caught six passes for 23 yards. The Chargers also have Ronnie Hillman on the bench but Farrow is clearly the next man up. If you’re depending on Gordon, Farrow is a must-own handcuff.


Matt Forte is nursing injured knees and Powell put up 179 yards from scrimmage along with a pair of touchdowns against the 49ers in Week 14. The Dolphins allow 4.8 yards per carry to running backs as the 31st ranked run defense in the NFL. Powell should be in for another big game if Forte is out.

CHARLES SIMS (RB, Buccaneers)

Sims played 15 snaps with seven touches for 50 yards in his first game back from injury. The Bucs will almost certainly utilize him more against Dallas in Week 15, making him a viable play in point per reception leagues. You could do worse if you need to replace either Gordon or Forte and don’t have their handcuffs.


Mitchell has been targeted 27 times and caught 21 passes for 263 yards and four touchdowns in his last four games. He’s become one of Tom Brady’s go-to receivers when a play has to be made, as 12 of his receptions have been for first downs. He’s become a reliable weekly producer for fantasy owners, so snag him if he’s available.


Lee leads all Jaguars receivers with 728 reception yards and he has double-digit fantasy points in three of the last four games in PPR leagues. He’s also the most targeted Jaguars receiver over that span with 31 targets. At this point, he’s more productive than Allen Robinson, who can’t be relied upon for fantasy production anymore this season.


When a rookie quarterback takes the helm, we often see a previously unproductive receiver suddenly become fantasy-relevant. That’s the case with Anderson, who is Bryce Petty’s first look receiver. Anderson was targeted 11 times this past week. However, given the poor status of the Jets offense overall, don’t count on Anderson to be anything more than a last-ditch flex play.


Inman has double-digit points in PPR formats in five of his last six games. He’s also caught a touchdown pass in each of the last three games and he’s average 80 receiving yards per game over that span. That’s solid WR2/3 production that’s probably sitting on your waiver wire.


The Falcons were without Julio Jones this past week and there is no guarantee he’ll play in Week 15. That leaves Gabriel as the de facto number one receiver. He’s caught four touchdowns over the last four games and averaged 69 receiving yards per game in that span. The Falcons face the league-worst defense of the 49ers next week. Even if Jones plays, Gabriel will very likely play a major role in the offense.


If you need a long shot at tight end for Week 15, Gresham may be the answer. He’s had five receptions in each of the past three games and he’s been targeted 23 times over that span. Only three teams have allowed more passing yards than the Saints this season. Guess who plays the Saints in Week 15?