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The best fantasy football gamble of Week 15

by Guest Blogger

Every week, at least one player becomes my fascination of whether he’s worthy of a fantasy football start as a streamer. The decision can be a mental wrestling match, but for the purpose of brevity, only one player can be chosen as my favorite fantasy football gamble of the week.

The players chosen in this series are meant to be fliers for fantasy owners in desperate situations or those willing to take an intentional risk. No player is intended to be a lineup lock for guaranteed results, hence the name of the series.

The best fantasy football gamble for Week 15

Tracking my 2023 predictions: 6-8-0
All-time record: 25-39-3 (39.7%)

Win: Player produces ≥ 75% of projected fantasy points
Loss: Player produces >75% of projected fantasy points
Tie: Player is ejected, leaves with an injury, or is ruled out after publishing

This year, we’ll also track the accuracy on a percentage basis to show relative results, since sometimes calling a player a loss doesn’t actually hurt gamers. An example would be if a projection narrowly falls short of the 75 percent threshold, the player is still of use in a lineup.

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Wk 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
% 55 74 41 20 150 66 16 25 88 121 138 80 87 64%
Grade E C F- F- A+ D F- F- B+ A+ A+ B- B+ D

I went with Los Angeles Chargers tight end Gerald Everett last week, projecting a modest 13.9 points. He finished with 8.9 even after the Chargers lost Justin Herbert (finger). The Bolts had the ball in the red zone late in the contest, and backup quarterback Easton Stick bypassed a wide-open Everett for a short touchdown, instead zipping an unnecessary fastball toward Austin Ekeler that led to an incompletion.

While frustrating, I can’t get too worked up about it. This one was within reach until the waning moments, even with one of the least capable No. 2 quarterbacks in the league on the field.

This week, we turn to a veteran ball carrier whose season has been a tale of two halves thus far.

Philadelphia Eagles RB D’Andre Swift at Seattle Seahawks

From Week 2 — when injury thrust him into the lineup — through Week 8, Swift dominated the backfield and posted at least 10.5 PPR points in each contest. During that stretch, he topped 15 points four times and solidified himself as one of the best fantasy surprises the position has offered in 2023.

But over the last five games, Swift’s season has gone sideways. He has seen two fewer targets, on average, scored only once, and has posted more than 9.4 PPR points a single time, which came three contests ago. Swift has been only fractionally less efficient in terms of his yardage per touch, but the lack of scoring has crippled his fantasy value. In the seven-game hot streak, he found the end zone once every 35.8 touches, and that number has nearly doubled to a TD every 69 handles in the last five appearances.

Philadelphia, losers of consecutive games for the first time since midway into the 2021 season, will look to get on track vs. an inconsistent Seattle defense. While fireworks from the passing game come to mind when thinking about this offense, make no mistake, the Eagles thrive when the ground attack is clicking. Expect a rededicated approach to the rushing game.

The Seahawks have allowed running backs to post top-10 stats in nearly every meaningful category related to fantasy success. Since Week 9, the position has averaged the 10th-most rushing yards (105.2), eighth-most receptions (5.6), fifth-most aerial yards (50), fifth-most total yards (155.2), second-highest efficiency rating, fourth-most standard fantasy points (23.9), and second-most PPR points (29.5) against this defense. All of that sorts out to Seattle being 34% easier to exploit than the league average.

On the year, that figure is 19%, which is mostly powered by the position scoring 14 rushing touchdowns and a pair more through the air. Long story short, versatile RBs have done the most damage. Fifteen backs have posted double-digit PPR results, and nine of those efforts were good for at least 15 points.

The Seahawks have done a better job of limiting wide receivers, and while there’s always the possibility Philadelphia unleashes its pent-up frustration on this secondary in such a way that Swift isn’t needed as much, there’s still enough to like from an efficiency perspective. It’s understandable if owners in the postseason are ready to cut bait for a safer option, but sticking with the former Detroit Lion one more week is a worthwhile risk to take.

My projection: 14 carries, 66 rushing yards, 1 TD, 4 targets, 4 receptions, 33 yards (19.9 PPR fantasy points)

Read the original article and other awesome content published from our friends at The Huddle.

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