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Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Matthew Stafford in Week 15?

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Coming into this season, I was a big proponent of Matthew Stafford. After all, he had ended last season on a tear, and it was all due to Jim Bob Cooter’s promotion and drastic change in offensive philosophy. Despite being relatively undrafted, Stafford currently has the eighth-most fantasy football points among quarterbacks this season, making him an amazing draft day value. The Cooter offense has Stafford making a ton of quick, accurate passes that limit his turnovers and accentuate his playmakers’ abilities to get yards after the catch.

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While Stafford has the eighth-most fantasy points this year, he has struggled lately. A good week for a starting quarterback is twenty fantasy points, which is a number Stafford has passed just once since week six. He’s turned into a rich man’s Alex Smith, posting an average of just about 250 yards and a score and a half, weekly. He limited turnovers and just matriculated the ball downfield. He’s developed into a nice, solid fantasy contributor who has a limited upside but doesn’t destroy your team weekly.

However, last week he injured his hand and while the Lions are optimistic he will be able to play through it, he admitted he could not properly grip the football last week through the tape on his middle finger. This explains his more off-base passes and his tied season-high in interceptions last week. He brings that same finger injury to week fifteen and a matchup with the New York Giants.

The Giants are a terrible matchup for Stafford, as they quietly have put together the second-best season against opposing fantasy quarterbacks this season. They have four games with multiple interceptions this season, and only three games this season allowing multiple touchdowns. The next quarterback to go for over 300 yards against them will be only the fourth, which is an incredible feat. They are incredibly stifling and obliterated Dak Prescott last week even without Jason Pierre-Paul, who went on IR with a sports hernia.

Matthew Stafford has been a great late-round or undrafted fantasy football commodity. He has been incredibly consistent this season and he could be had for a song. However, he hasn’t been prone to big games lately, and he injured his throwing hand last week. Combine this with a matchup this week that finds him going up against the second-best quarterback defense in the league and you have a recipe for disaster. It might be a tough pill to swallow, given how much work he’s done to get you to this point, but Matthew Stafford is a firm sit and should stay glued to your bench this week.

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