Congratulations on making it to the semifinals of the Fantasy Playoffs! While you likely have assembled a strong contingent of players that have carried you this far, it never hurts to consider some advantageous fantasy football strategy play calls as you pursue a championship. After all, fantasy football in Week 15 is certainly not for the faint of heart. Hank’s Bank is coming at all you semifinalists with some players to embrace and avoid in your matchups this week. BANK THAT!
Hank’s Bank Vocabulary Key
Asset: Trade Target
Transfer: Trade Away
Invest: Free Agent Acquisition
Loan: Weekly Streamer
Week 15 Banking
Cash: Brandon Aiyuk | WR | San Francisco 49ers
The 2020 NFL Draft class was loaded with talented wide receivers, and Brandon Aiyuk could arguably be considered the best of the bunch at the end of his rookie season. For fantasy football owners chasing a league trophy, he is an ideal start and could easily finish as a WR1 this week. In a game that was dominated by the Washington Football Team defense last week, he pulled in 10 catches for 119 yards.
Aiyuk has an elevated fantasy floor as the favorite target of quarterback Nick Mullens. This will be even more pronounced the rest of the way with Deebo Samuel suffering another injury. Aiyuk is a fantasy football strategy lock this week facing a Dallas Cowboys pass defense that surrenders over 40 fantasy points (FPTS) per game to opposing wideouts.
Cash: Nyheim Hines | RB | Indianapolis Colts
The Houston Texans’ defense is so bad against opposing running backs that Nyheim Hines is a fantasy football strategy start in the same week that Jonathan Taylor has top-5 RB potential. The 31.1 PPR points Houston allows to the position is the second-most in the league behind only Detroit. In recent weeks, Taylor has assumed the lead role in the backfield that many in the fantasy community were hoping he would grab a lot sooner. Even so, there figure to be enough touches to go around this week for Hines to also be a sound play.
Hines has his fantasy day in the first matchup against Houston buoyed by a touchdown run. He has settled into a role that consistently offers 6-10 carries per game along with 3-5 targets. The Colts need to keep winning to keep pace in the AFC South race, while the Texans are clearly reeling after getting crushed by Chicago last week. Hines joins Taylor, Philip Rivers, T.Y. Hilton, and Michael Pittman Jr. as Colts players who all have high ceilings for the fantasy semis.
Deposit: Clyde Edwards-Helaire | RB | Kansas City Chiefs
Anyone who has Clyde Edwards-Helaire on their fantasy team assuredly had to spend some hefty draft capital to get him. Despite his top-15 ADP price coming into the season, I want nothing to do with the Chiefs’ rookie RB this week. Edwards-Helaire returned from illness to lead the Kansas City backfield last week with 16 carries and 5 receptions. His PPR output wasn’t bad, but an average of 2.00 yards per carry if far from appealing.
A matchup against the New Orleans Saints this week is brutal for Edwards-Helaire’s fantasy prospects. On the season, the Saints are allowing the second-fewest FPTS to opposing backs (17.34) and rank first in adjusted defensive efficiency against the run, per Football Outsiders. A lethal run defense combined with the Chiefs clearly being a pass-first offense spells trouble. Patrick Mahomes is too good not to have Edwards-Helaire involved in the receiving game, but the upside this week is slim to none.
Deposit: DeVante Parker | WR | Miami Dolphins
Bill Belichick-coached teams are 20-5 all-time against rookie quarterbacks. That record will change this weekend as the New England Patriots battle Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins. While I’m not here to say who I believe will win the game, I will say that the scenario is far from ideal for wideout DeVante Parker. Parker suffered an injury that forced him out of last week’s game. While he appears to be trending toward playing on Sunday, my fantasy football strategy decision would still be to sit him.
The over/under line for this game is one of the lowest on the Week 15 NFL slate. Points figure to be at a premium in this divisional contest between two defensive-minded teams. Concerning Parker’s specific matchup, the Patriots rank sixth against opposing wideouts this season, allowing just 33.5 FPTS per game. At less than 100%, Parker is a stay away for me. If he winds up being ruled out, rookie Lynn Bowden could be an interesting FLEX play in deeper leagues. With Jakeem Grant likely to be ruled out and the Dolphins’ backfield riddled with injuries as well, Bowden should garner enough volume to produce.
Invest: Willie Snead | WR | Baltimore Ravens
Fresh off of their thrilling Monday Night Football win over the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens were dealt an offensive blow this week when lead receiver Marquise Brown was placed on the virus list. Baltimore is clearly a run-first offense, but it would behoove the Ravens to take advantage of a weak Jacksonville Jaguars secondary on Sunday. Lamar Jackson can’t only throw to tight end Mark Andrews, which means Willie Snead (1.7% ownership in ESPN leagues) might have some value in deep leagues. If you are desperate for a fantasy football strategy FLEX play, I dare say you could do worse than the seven-year veteran.
Loan: Arizona Cardinals D/ST
Jalen Hurts was impressive in making his first career start for the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Am I going to say he’s a lock for similar success on the road against the Cardinals this week? No chance. One game can’t fix what has been a miserable season for the Eagles offense. While Hurts’ own fantasy value may have a stable floor thanks to his rushing ability, he’s still a rookie playing in an offense that has been prone to mistakes all year. The Cardinals defense should be able to make some hay in this matchup as Arizona fights to keep their playoff hopes alive. It’ll be hard to top last week’s output, but the Cardinals make sense if you are in need of a fantasy football strategy streamer for Week 15.