Week 15 of the Page 2 Fantasy Football Challenge is upon us. Each week, a guest picker chooses a quarterback, wide receiver and running back. The only players off-limits are those selected by the previous week’s guest picker. The guest — Eric Thompson, who lives in St. Paul and is a writer for the Vikings blog Daily Norseman — will go head-to-head against Star Tribune writer Michael Rand, who is not allowed to pick anyone projected by NFL.com experts to score in the top 10 this week at their respective positions:
eric thompson’S WEEK 15 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Peyton Manning, Broncos
NFL.com QB projection: No. 3
Yeah, I know, really going out on a limb here. But judging from last week’s game, Manning is determined to prove that throwing it 95 times in the Denver cold doesn’t bother him. Thursday night games have the tendency to be sloppy, but San Diego’s pass defense is sloppier.
RB: Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
NFL.com RB projection: No. 1
His matchup against Oakland isn’t as ideal as Manning’s, but I’d feel bad if I didn’t choose the guy who carried me to the most overall points in one of my leagues. He is a 15+ fantasy point machine.
WR: Calvin Johnson, Lions
NFL.com WR projection: No. 4
(I’m making such racy choices!) He was held to only three catches in the Snow Globe Game last week in Philadelphia. Expect a big performance after Cordarrelle Patterson shredded Baltimore.
MICHAEL RAND’s WEEK 15 FANTASY PICKS
QB: Drew Brees, Saints
NFL.com QB projection: No. 12
I’m a little stunned that Brees is ranked outside the top 10 and is therefore eligible to be picked, but I’m not about to complain since I have to go up against the TD machine in Denver. Brees might not be as prolific, but if he can top 300 yards and throw at least two touchdown passes, that will do.
RB: Rashad Jennings, Raiders
NFL.com RB projection: No. 12
Jennings has sneakily become a pretty nice fantasy play, with at least 10 points in each of his past five games and 15 or more in his last three. Let’s hope he keeps up that pace.
WR: Dez Bryant, Cowboys
NFL.com WR projection: No. 16
Judging by the Monday night game against the Bears, the Cowboys will have to put up a bunch of points to win. Enter Bryant, who could feast on the Packers’ secondary.
SCOREBOARD WEEK 14 FANTASY RECAP (USING NFL.COM DEFAULT SCORING METHOD)
Winner: Michael Rand — Nick Foles (19.5), C.J. Spiller (4.8), Andre Johnson (15.4). Total: 39.7
Loser: Paul Lambert — Tom Brady (22.8), Ray Rice (10.9), Victor Cruz (4.2). Total: 37.9
Overall standings: Guest pickers 9-5.