Thursday, May 23, 2024

It’s Week 15 in the NFL, which means millions of Americans are sweating their fantasy football team’s playoff positioning because this is the week the playoffs begin in most leagues. Pride, cash and the dreaded last-place punishments all are on the line.

The Power Rankings is getting into the spirit with a fantasy focus for this week’s theme. We’re going to look at one notable fantasy football player (or unit) from each team and how he is helping — or hurting — the real-life team’s season. (We’re using the standard league scoring points accumulated by TruMedia.)

(Last week: 1)
Sunday: Beat Seattle Seahawks 28-16
Fantasy spotlight: Christian McCaffrey
Just like on the field, it’s tough to pick which 49er to highlight, but McCaffrey is the San Francisco MVP at least in fantasy (259.4 points) with the fourth-most points of any player in the NFL. The 49ers are the only team with two players in the top 10 (Brock Purdy is sixth at 249.9) and four players in the top 50 (add Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk). In real life, Purdy has passed for 368 yards, and McCaffrey, Samuel and Aiyuk all have had more than 100 as San Francisco inches closer to a first-round bye. Up next: at Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

(Last week: 3)
Sunday: Beat Philadelphia Eagles 33-13
Fantasy spotlight: Dak Prescott
The Cowboys quarterback strengthened his MVP candidacy Sunday night by leading Dallas to a resounding win over the Eagles. Thus far, this is the third-best fantasy season of Prescott’s career (20.98 points per game). On the field, it may be his best. He is second in the league in EPA per attempt (.29) and passer rating (107.5) and his touchdown-to-interception ratio (4.7) is the best of any quarterback with more than 250 attempts this season. Up next: at Buffalo Bills, Sunday, 4:25 p. m. ET GO DEEPER What we learned in NFL Week 14: The Cowboys make a statement, the Chiefs are frustrated and more

(Last week: 2)
Sunday: Beat Los Angeles Rams 37-31 (OT)
Fantasy spotlight: Odell Beckham Jr.
After a slow start, Beckham has had at least 9.6 fantasy points per game in four of his last five games. He had a season-high 15.7 on Sunday after posting 97 yards and catching four passes that resulted in either a first down or a touchdown. His ascendance has helped the Ravens overcome the loss of tight end Mark Andrews and stay in position for the top seed in the AFC. Up next: at Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, 8:20 p. m. ET ODELL BECKHAM JR. 📺: #LARvsBAL on FOX📱: Stream on #NFLPlus pic. twitter. com/jXBOn3VhvK — NFL (@NFL) December 10, 2023 4. Philadelphia Eagles (10-3)
(Last week: 5)
Sunday: Lost to Dallas Cowboys 33-13
Fantasy spotlight: A. J. Brown
In the last four weeks, a span in which Philadelphia is 2-2, the Eagles wide receiver is averaging 7.33 fantasy points per game. That’s after averaging 15.17 in Weeks 1-9. During that span, Brown was the second-leading receiver in the league (1,005 yards), and the Eagles had the third-most productive offense in the league (376.8) and an 8-1 record. As he has slumped, so have the Eagles, who are 21st in yards per game in Weeks 10-14 (318.3). Up next: at Seattle Seahawks, Monday, 8:15 p. m. ET

(Last week: 8)
Sunday: Beat Kansas City Chiefs 20-17
Fantasy spotlight: Josh Allen
Allen leads all players this season with 307.28 fantasy points. It’s his lowest points-per-game output of the last four years, and it’s still the 13th-best fantasy season of the last five seasons in the NFL. That’s how much of the offense Allen is carrying in Buffalo. He wasn’t spectacular against the Chiefs on Sunday (23-for-42 for 233 yards, one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown), but the Bills don’t win that game (or many games at all) without him. Up next: vs. Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, 4:25 p. m. ET Josh Allen helped the Bills keep their playoff hopes alive on Sunday with a win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. (Jamie Squire / Getty Images) 6. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5)(Last week: 7)
Sunday: Lost to Buffalo Bills 20-17
Fantasy spotlight: Kadarius Toney
All the NFL’s focus is on Toney this week after his offside penalty wiped out what would have been his game-winning touchdown against the Bills on Sunday night, and all the Chiefs freaked out about it. This is not what Kansas City expected when it traded a third- and a sixth-round pick for Toney last season. He is 106th among wide receivers in fantasy points (25.5) this season. In 22 games with the Chiefs, he has only two games with more than 50 receiving yards. This season, he has none with more than 35. Up next: at New England Patriots, Sunday, 1 p. m. ET GO DEEPER Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have a problem (and no, it’s not the refs): Sando’s Pick Six(Last week: 4)
Monday: Lost to Tennessee Titans 28-27
Fantasy spotlight: Tyreek Hill
This was going to be De’Von Achane, who is 68th among all players in fantasy points (122.6) despite playing in only seven games this year. That was before Hill’s health came into question after he suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter Monday night against the Titans. Hill was in and out of the lineup the rest of the night but finished with only four catches for 61 yards, his third-lowest total of the season and the first time in a month he’s been held under 100 yards. If Hill is not at full strength, Miami might not be in the top 10 long. He’s still the only wide receiver in the league in the top 20 in fantasy points (225.7) Up next: vs. New York Jets, Sunday, 1 p. m. ET(Last week: 6)
Sunday: Lost to Chicago Bears 28-13
Fantasy spotlight: The rookies Running back Jahmyr Gibbs and tight end Sam LaPorta are each top 11 in fantasy points among rookies this season. Only the Houston Texans also have multiple rookies in that group. Gibbs is fifth with 134, and LaPorta is 11th with 110.6. However, each was pedestrian Sunday as Detroit lost for the second time in three games, leaving the Vikings within striking distance of the division lead. Up next: vs. Denver Broncos, Saturday, 8:15 p. m. ET(Last week: 15)
Sunday: Beat Los Angeles Chargers 24-7
Fantasy spotlight: Courtland Sutton
In the last seven games, a stretch in which Denver has won six games, Sutton is 15th among wide receivers in fantasy points (10.91 per game), and he is carrying the Broncos’ passing game. Since Week 7, Sutton has accounted for 49.7 percent of Denver’s air yards. That ranks second in the NFL behind only Garrett Wilson. He had a 46-yard touchdown catch Sunday, his 10th of the season. Up next: at Detroit Lions, Saturday, 8:15 p. m. ET(Last week: 12)
Monday: Lost to New York Giants 24-22
Fantasy spotlight: Jordan Love
Since Week 9, Love is the sixth-best quarterback in fantasy football (110.58 points). That stretch coincides with Green Bay winning four of six games. Monday night was a step back as the Giants’ blitz-happy scheme harried him into a 76.7 passer rating (25-for-39 for 218 yards, one touchdown and one interception). Still, Love’s maturation in the last six weeks gives the Packers hope they have hit on a third straight quarterback. Up next: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, 1 p. m. ET(Last week: 10)
Sunday: Lost to Baltimore Ravens 37-31 (OT)
Fantasy spotlight: Kyren Williams
The No. 3 fantasy running back this season based on points per game (17.67), Williams is as responsible for the Rams’ success or failure as anyone on the roster. Sunday was the first time this season the Rams have lost when he topped 100 rushing yards. A fifth-round pick in 2022, Williams totaled 139 yards last season. This year, he is averaging 89 yards per game, which is second behind only Christian McCaffrey. Up next: vs. Washington Commanders, Sunday, 1 p. m. ET Kyren Williams balling out in his first game back in over a month 📺: #LARvsAZ on FOX📱: Stream on #NFLPlus pic. twitter. com/zn5zWAYKgr — NFL (@NFL) November 26, 2023 (Last week: 16)
Sunday: Beat Jacksonville Jaguars 31-27
Fantasy spotlight: The defense
Opponents are averaging 57.37 fantasy points per game against the Browns defense this season, which is the lowest total for the season and fourth-lowest total in the last five seasons. It’s also worth noting that Joe Flacco has more fantasy points than all but five quarterbacks in the last two weeks of this wacky NFL season. Up next: vs. Chicago Bears, Sunday, 1 p. m. ET GO DEEPER NFL Week 14 takeaways: Bills playoff bound? How far can Joe Flacco take the Browns? 13. Houston Texans (7-6) (Last week: 9)
Sunday: Lost to New York…

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