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Slant Pattern: Wide Receiver Start/Sit Week 15 – Playoff Edition

Who ya got?! Dolphins receivers or Jets secondary? @THEtristancook thinks you should bench Jaylen Waddle this week as he breaks down your WR start/sit decisions in this week’s Slant Pattern!

Hello and welcome back, Nerds! The Dynasty Nerds writers are here to provide you with weekly starts and sits. I will be doing the WR starts and sits for the 2023 season! We, as a group, will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here is our squad and the position groups they will be covering to help you each week. Follow, DM, and Tweet us, we look forward to hearing from you!

QB: Mike Hicks (@dropthemikeff) – Changing the Call

RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback

WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern

TE: Steven Pintado (@CoachStevenP) – 12 Formation

FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Flex on ‘Em

IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit

One thing to keep in mind when making your start/sit decisions, it will ALWAYS depend on who your other options are. The players listed below are WRs that I expect to finish above/below their respective rankings. But it doesn’t mean you need to take them out of (or put them into) your lineup unless your alternatives are worth it.

NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.


Before we get into the recap of last week’s picks, let’s go over how I determine the success and failure of my picks:

  1. Regardless of whether I have a player listed as a start or sit, if they get injured during the game where it significantly impacts their fantasy output, it is ruled a no decision based upon injury.
  2. If a player finishes within a handful of spots of their ranking, either above or below, it is considered a push. 
  3. My goal is always to get all my picks correct. 

However, I consider above 50% a moderately successful week. Let’s get to it.

Week 14 was a much better week for my picks. Of the six picks I made, I hit on four of them and pushed on the other two. My best ‘start’ call was Drake London. He was ranked WR30 for the week and finished as WR2 overall. My best ‘sit’ call was Gabe Davis. He was ranked as WR33 on the week but failed to record a catch on two targets. That was good enough for WR111 on the week. The other two good calls were to ‘start’ Tyler Lockett and to ‘sit’ Calvin Ridley. Let’s get to the Week 15 picks.


Tyler Lockett, Seahawks – WR 29

Week 14 Stats | WR 17 | FPts: 14.9 | Tgts: 6 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 89 | TDs: 0 

Tyler Lockett is my first ‘start’ for Week 15. He is a holdover from last week’s ‘start’ list and should once again be in your lineup. He came into last week’s game ranked as the WR31 and rewarded fantasy managers with a WR17 performance. Lockett has been a solid, consistent contributor for most of this year. Last week, he showed what he can do despite not having Geno Smith throwing passes. His 93 targets through 14 weeks are tied for 23rd most among all receivers.

This week, Lockett and the Seahawks are taking on the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia allows the fifth-most passing yards per game and the most fantasy points to receivers. Lockett is a routinely undervalued fantasy option that can help you win your matchup. I am starting Tyler Lockett, and so should you.

Garrett Wilson, Jets – WR 22

Week 14 Stats | WR 7 | FPts: 20.1 | Tgts: 14 | Rec: 9 | Yds: 108 | TDs: 0

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 18: New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) during the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Detroit Lions on December 18, 2022 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Garrett Wilson is my other ‘start’ this week. His 9 catches for 108 yards helped lead the Jets to a surprise victory over the Houston Texans last week. Despite the poor quarterback play, Garrett Wilson has been a reliable fantasy option for managers this year. His 14 targets last week brought his season total up to 134, which is third most in the league through 14 weeks. His volume alone should make him a no-brainer fantasy ‘start’ each week. 

He comes into this matchup with the Dolphins ranked as WR22, which is too low. Garrett Wilson has six games this season with at least 12 or more targets and has been targeted at least eight times in all but three games. That kind of volume should always find a way into your lineup. The Dolphins have an average secondary, so that shouldn’t deter you. And this game should lend itself to a considerable amount of passing if the Jets can keep it competitive. Fire up Garrett Wilson.


Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins – WR 18

Week 14 Stats | WR 22 | FPts: 13.9 | Tgts: 8 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 79 | TDs: 0

Jaylen Waddle is my next ‘sit.’ This is entirely due to the matchup against the New York Jets. The Jets have been incredibly difficult to pass the ball against all season. Their 167.2 passing yards allowed per game is the second-fewest in the entire league. They also have been the toughest defense in terms of fantasy scoring given up to opposing receivers. This might be a really tough time to bench one of the players who likely helped bring you this far, but I expect a very disappointing week from Waddle.

Terry McLaurin, Commanders – WR 26

Week 14 Stats | WR x | FPts: x.x | Tgts: x | Rec: x | Yds: x | TDs: x (BYE) 

LANDOVER, MD – OCTOBER 10: Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) is tackled out of bounds by New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43) during the first half at a NFL game between the Washington Football Team and the New Orleans Saints on October 10, 2021 at the FedExField in Landover, MD. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

My first ‘sit’ for Week 15 is Terry McLaurin against the Rams. He has really struggled of late, not finishing inside the top-36 WRs since Week 9. We last saw McLaurin on the field for a forgettable 3-target, 0-catch performance against the Dolphins. That poor game was just an extension of what has been a disappointing season for Terry.

He has yet to eclipse 90 yards receiving in a single game and only has one game with more than 6 catches. His best weekly finish was way back in Week 4 when he finished as WR15. That means that he has yet to finish a week as a WR1. There’s no way I can trust McLaurin in the playoffs unless I have no other option.

Adam Thielen, Panthers – WR 30

Week 14 Stats | WR 29 | FPts: 12.4 | Tgts: 7 | Rec: 5 | Yds: 74 | TDs: 0 

My next ‘sit’ for Week 15 is Adam Thielen against the Falcons. Thielen has been all over the place as a fantasy option in 2023. He has three weeks with top-5 fantasy WR finishes. But he also has three weeks outside the top 50 WRs, including a season low WR118 finish in Week 12.

My concern this week for Adam Thielen is three-pronged. First, the Carolina Panthers are the second-worst passing offense in the NFL, at 165.7 yards per game. Second, the Falcons have a top-10 pass defense in terms of yards allowed per game. That’s concerning because Thielen may not have many opportunities to gain yards through the air. Finally, this game is expected to be played in poor weather conditions, making it harder to pass the ball successfully. So, we have a bad passing offense playing a good passing defense in rain and wind. Count me out on Thielen this week.

Amari Cooper, Browns – WR 23

Week 14 Stats | WR 28 | FPts: 12.7 | Tgts: 14 | Rec: 7 | Yds: 77 | TDs: 0 

LANDOVER, MD – JANUARY 01: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper (2) hauls in a pass then rushes up field eluding Washington Commanders safety Darrick Forrest (22) en route to scoring a touchdown during the Cleveland Browns game versus the Washington Commanders on January 01, 2023, at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire)

My final ‘sit’ for Week 15 is Amari Cooper against the Bears. If you started him last week, you were pleasantly surprised by the output with Joe Flacco slinging the ball around the field for Cleveland. His 14 targets were tied for the most amongst all receivers last week. Unfortunately, I think that performance is more likely a one-hit wonder than a continued trend.

There are two main reasons for my concern. First and foremost, it looks like this game will have high winds and rain throughout. That is not a recipe for fantasy success from quarterbacks or receivers. The current prediction has a 96% probability of rain with gusts at 25-30 mph. I’m not one to generally put too much weight into forecasts, but this deserves concern.

The other reason for concern is the style of offense these two teams like to play. The Browns and Bears are both in the top 10 for offensive rushing yards per game and the bottom 10 for passing yards per game. When you add that to the expected weather conditions, I expect a lot of running the ball—time to look elsewhere for the receiver position.

That’s it for Week 15. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@THEtristancook) if you have any specific questions about who I would start. 

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