Fantasy Football Week 15: Start or Sit Mariota, Winston, or Cousins?

Start or Sit Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, or Kirk Cousins?

It’s the fantasy football semifinals, and every start or sit decision could mean the last fantasy decision you make for the 2018 season. We certainly hope you’ll join us again next week, and the only way to do that is to make sure we give you good start or sit advice this week. We do that by highlighting three players in marginal positions who you might regret starting this week.

Start or Sit Marcus Mariota at New York Giants

Marcus Mariota had a good couple of weeks there, he really did. Then he followed it up with a big ol’ dud on Thursday Night Football for his fantasy football owners. That tends to happen when your running back won’t stop running the ball until he hits the end zone. That would be something that I would put off as a one-time fluke if it hadn’t been Mariota’s MO all season. He’s been overwhelmingly inconsistent, as he’s put up four 20+ games in his last six games, but he has six games of single-digit fantasy points this season. The Giants defense is a bad matchup (twelfth-fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs), who have done a great job of stopping every quarterback that’s started against them since their week nine bye (Jameis Winston topped out against them at 16.56 fantasy points). He’s been too inconsistent this year to trust him outside of slam dunk matchups, and if you’re deciding whether you should start or sit Mariota, here’s the short of it: this isn’t a slam dunk matchup. Sit Mariota this week.

Start or Sit Jameis Winston at Baltimore

I recommended starting Jameis Winston last week, and he turned in his third-straight 20+ point fantasy game, and his fourth-straight multi-touchdown game. He also had an insanely public blowup with his offensive line on the bench and lost to the Saints. His yardage dropped for the third-straight game and did it all while throwing the ball 38 times. He’s been good lately, and I don’t want to take that away from him. Unfortunately for those deciding if they should start or sit Winston, he’s facing the defensive buzzsaw Baltimore Ravens this week. They’ve allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last five weeks, and they’ve done it without depressing values with an inordinately high amount of interceptions. They do it with just good, old-fashioned production suppression. The six touchdowns over the last five weeks are tied for sixth-fewest, and the 913 passing yards since week ten ranks fourth-lowest. They just… stop the quarterback, and they do it well. Throw in Winston’s penchant for meltdowns, and it’s not a good formula for success this week. If you want to start Jameis Winston, go for it, but know that you are a worse decision maker than Jameis Winston. If you are in a position to decide whether you should start or sit Jameis this week, sit him.

Start or Sit Kirk Cousins versus Miami

Look, we all saw what happened to Kirk Cousins on Monday Night Football this week. It wasn’t pretty, and the 10.82 fantasy points and thousands of wasted fantasy teams bounced out of the playoffs on his watch can attest to that fact. What of those of you who survived with Cousins on your fantasy team in the semifinals? Should you start or sit Kirk Cousins? Well, let’s just say that Monday’s performance isn’t an isolated incident. He has multiple interceptions in two of his last four games, and he has thrown for just one touchdown in three of his last five games. He’s failed to top 262 passing yards in four of his last five games, as well. It’s been bleak for Cousins fantasy owners, and those who are still alive should consider themselves lucky. This week, he gets a Miami Dolphins team that is middling against opposing fantasy football quarterbacks, so it’s not going to be a matchup that Cousins is likely to exploit. He’s been too inconsistent and too poor to trust him with a start. If you can get away with it, sit Kirk Cousins this weekend.

None of these guys are likely to end up inside the top-ten this week. However, some of us don’t have a choice and need to decide who to start and sit among them. Personally, I would start them in this order:

  1. Jameis Winston
  2. Kirk Cousins
  3. Marcus Mariota

And good luck in your fantasy semi-finals!

Looking for more week fifteen start or sit advice? Check out our additional pieces below!
Start or Sit Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, or Lamar Jackson?
Start or Sit Adrian Peterson, Kenyan Drake, or Josh Adams?
Start or Sit Jaylen Samuels, Doug Martin, Gus Edwards, or Elijah McGuire?
Start or Sit Curtis Samuel, Tyler Lockett, or Allen Robinson?
Start or Sit Calvin Ridley, Kenny Golladay, or Kenny Stills?
Start or Sit Gerald Everett, Dallas Goedert, or Chris Herndon?
Start or Sit Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, or Blake Jarwin?

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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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