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Fantasy Football Fun: Week 15

Derrick Henry

How good was Derrick Henry?

Well, in Week 14 he had the biggest game of the year regardless of position in the fantasy scoring system - only to not be picked by any of our panelists. But a couple of our esteemed contestants were hanging with Mr. Cooper, benefiting from Amari Cooper putting up the most points for a wide receiver all season.

Cooper's 39.7 points for Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer and Panthers and WBT announcer Jim Szoke were more than two entire lineups scored. Spectrum News sports director Mike Solarte established a new contest-low 37.0 points, just below the 37.3 points posted by Bill Voth of

Cooper helped Rodrigue rise from last place to seventh overall and push Bill back to the cellar. Solarte had been the only competitor not to finish in last place this season.

That's cool and all, but this is supposed to be about those of us at the top of the heap. Josh Klein of the Riot Report maintained the top spot in what most likely will be a three-person race over the final three weeks between the three competitors to post the top weekly score three times – Klein, myself and fantasy football analyst John Halpin.

Bryan Strickland
Max Henson
Bill Voth
Jordan Gross
Jim Szoke
Total Pts (rank) 1,123.90 (2nd) 1,021.74 (8th) 956.08 (10th) 1,059.34 (5th) 1,054.76 (6th)
Last week 72.74 (5th) 79.02 (3rd) 37.30 (9th) 50.30 (8th) 91.14 (2nd)
QB C. Newton R. Wilson B. Mayfield L. Jackson C. Newton
RB D. Cook D. Cook M. Ingram D. Martin L. Fournette
RB D. Williams D. Martin C. Carson J. Jackson D. Henry
WR D. Hopkins J. Jones T.Y. Hilton C. Samuel Smith-Schuster
WR J. Edelman A. Cooper S. Diggs D. Pettis J. Landry
TE T. Kelce I. Thomas I. Thomas V. Davis C.J. Uzomah
Jourdan Rodrigue
Mike Solarte
Kelsey Riggs
Josh Klein
John Halpin
Total Pts (rank) 1,023.08 (7th) 979.64 (9th) 1,074.74 (4th) 1,144.70 (1st) 1,113.68 (3rd)
Last week 100.62 (1st) 37.00 (10th) 74.78 (4th) 66.10 (7th) 72.50 (6th)
QB M. Trubisky D. Watson A. Rodgers C. Newton C. Newton
RB D. Henry K. Drake C. McCaffrey D. Cook J. Mixon
RB D. Williams K. Johnson T. Cohen J. Jackson P. Lindsay
WR J. Landry D. Funchess M. Evans D. Baldwin J. Gordon
WR D. Hamilton A. Cooper L. Fitzgerald T. Lockett T. Lockett
TE I. Thomas E. Engram J. Graham M. Andrews J. Cook

While Klein had already selected Henry earlier this season in this survivor-style contest, both Halpin and I still have him but opted to pass in Week 15. Nine of the 10 combatants in fact had Henry as an option, but just two chose to take him. On the other hand, just three people had Cooper left but two did choose to take him.

What gives? (And by the way, this applies to daily fantasy football strategy.) A straw poll echoed my logic on Henry, that people wanted to avoid the potential trap of asking an inconsistent fantasy factor back to put together back-to-back strong weeks. Cooper, by contrast, has been a consistent factor since joining the Cowboys, and folks want to cash in before the season is over (I'm the one who has him left but will get him off my bench soon).

What helps me hold onto Cooper for another week is the presence of DeAndre Hopkins among my available options. I still have one card to play at tight end as well, with position leader Travis Kelce in my lineup. My other receiver this week is Julian Edelman as I play the "which Patriot will be targeted the most this week" guessing game.

At running back is where things get a little dicey. I'm rolling the dice with Chiefs fill-in Damian Williams – likely to fill in for Spencer Ware this week who is filling in for Kareem Hunt. I'm also going with Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who has gotten lots of touches the last month but hasn't consistently done a lot with them.

I have lots of options left at quarterback, where of course we only pick one a week, and I'm going with Cam Newton for his third and final usage – right along with Klein, Halpin and Szoke. Only Jordan Gross in fifth place overall has Newton left now. WCNC-TV sports anchor Kelsey Riggs in fourth place overall is using Christian McCaffrey this week for the third and final time, leaving me as the only championship contender that can still select McCaffrey, who had risen to third in scoring among running backs behind only Todd Gurley and Saquon Barkley.