NFL Week 15 schedule, predictions, injuries, and fantasy advice

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Deebo Samuel injury: 49ers WR suffers dealing with cramps in Week 11 -  DraftKings Network

There are a ton of exciting matches in the Week 15 NFL schedule for the 2023 season, and we’ve got all the information you need to prepare for the weekend. Every game’s most important details are provided by our NFL Nation writers, along with a daring prediction for every encounter.


Every game also features a betting nugget and a major stat to know from ESPN Stats & Information, and our Football Power Index (FPI) digs behind the stats with a game projection and a playoff picture analysis. Fantasy analyst Eric Moody provides useful fantasy football information, while analytics writer Seth Walder identifies the largest X factor for each matchup. Lastly, we get the final score predictions for each game from Walder and Moody. To help you prepare for an exciting weekend of NFL football, all the information you need is conveniently located in one place.

Let’s look at the entire Week 15 schedule, which includes three games on Saturday, a visit from the Dallas Cowboys to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night, and a Sunday night contest between Lamar Jackson and Trevor Lawrence. The Eagles and Seahawks game on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” will be the culmination of it all. (Unless otherwise specified, all playoff percentages are derived from ESPN’s FPI.)

NFL Week 15 picks, schedule, odds, injuries, fantasy tips - ESPN

Storyline to watch: This weekend’s game pits the Bengals offense, led by quarterback Jake Browning, against one of the league’s top defenses. The offensive is coming off back-to-back victories. Thanks in large part to their excellent red zone defense, the Vikings have led the NFL in fewest points allowed per drive (1.4) and fewest points allowed per game (15.3) over the last eight weeks. — Ben Baby

T.J. Hockenson of the Vikings, a tight end, is expected to grab at least eight receptions. Hockenson leads the NFL in catches by tight ends (85) and is second in yards (839) among opponents. The Bengals’ defense has given up more receptions (88) and yards (935) to opposing tight ends than any other team. Receiver Justin Jefferson’s injuries have contributed to some of that output, but quarterback Nick Mullens will still view Hockenson as his main target even with Jefferson back in the game in Cincinnati. — Kevin Seifert

Important fact: The Bengals are 4-0 this season versus NFC clubs and have won eight straight games against the conference. They are tied with the Ravens for the longest win streak in franchise history (eight straight from 2004 to 2005) and the longest win streak against nonconference opponents.

The Vikings’ Ivan Pace Jr. linebacker is the matchup X factor. Over the last three games in Minnesota, the undrafted rookie has participated in all defensive snaps for the Vikings and is performing admirably. This season, he leads all linebackers in run stop win percentage (39.9%), with 2.5 sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble. — Walder

What’s at stake: If the Bengals win, their chances of making the playoffs increase to 35%; if they lose, their chances drop to 10%. This is one of the biggest games of the week in terms of playoff swings. In the meantime, the Vikings are still in the running for the NFC North and are vying for an NFC wild-card position. If they win, they would have a 79% chance to qualify for the postseason and a 21% chance to win the division; if they lose, those odds drop to 51% and 8%, respectively. Continue reading.

Editor’s Selections

How the Cowboys, Eagles, or Niners may get the first seed in the NFC Divisional PlayoffsTodd Archer, plus two more

10 possible NFL head coach positions are ranked from worst to best in 22 hours.Bill Barnwell

Every team in the NFL playoff chase has these weaknesses: erratic QB play and inconsistent defenses
1 Aaron Schatz
Bengals | Vikings injuries

What fantasy managers should know: Hockenson should be trusted this week. The Bengals’ defense allows more fantasy points to tight ends than any other in the league. View the rankings for Week 15. — Moody’s

Nugget of wisdom for bettors: In their last four games as the underdog, the Vikings are 4-0 against the spread (ATS). Continue reading.

Moody’s prediction: Vikings 15, Bengals 23
Walder’s selection: Vikings 17, Bengals 24
FPI forecast: CIN, 56.5 percent (average difference of 2.2 points).

Must-reads for the matchup: Mullens makes Vikings history with an eye toward the postseason… The Bengals’ burrow-less offensive comeback is the result of more balance. Chase claims he will be playing on Saturday “100%.”

Colts (7-6) vs. Steelers (7-6)
4:30 p.m. on Saturday. ET | NFL Network | IND -1.5 (42.5) as the spread

Watch this storyline: The Steelers have defeated the Colts in eight straight games, both during the regular season and the postseason. With quarterback Peyton Manning at the controls, the Colts’ previous victory came in 2008. It’s an incredible run that started in 2011. Since taking over as Pittsburgh’s coach in 2007, Mike Tomlin has an 8-1 record against Indianapolis and a perfect record at Lucas Oil Stadium. — Holder, Stephen

Promising forecast: Will Mallory, the rookie tight end for the Colts, will score his first NFL touchdown. Among the four tight ends on the Colts, Mallory sees the fewest snaps. Last week, he recorded a career-high five receptions against the Bengals. The Steelers’ defense has allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in their last two games as New England and Arizona exploited mismatches in the secondary and the Steelers’ thin inside linebacker corps. Despite their inconsistent play, the Colts’ tight ends managed eight catches, 65 yards, and a touchdown against the Bengals, a defense the Steelers took advantage of earlier in the season when TE Pat Freiermuth had a career day. — Brooke Pryor

Michael Pittman Jr., a receiver for the Colts, has 982 receiving yards. With eight more yards, he would join Reggie Wayne (eight), Marvin Harrison (eight), and T.Y. Hilton (five) as the Colts players with multiple seasons with 1,000 yards receiving.

The Colts’ edge rusher Kwity Paye is the matchup X factor. Paye is second only to Micah Parsons (43.2%) in pass rush victory rate at edge since Week 10. Steelers OT Broderick Jones is ranked 50th out of 67 tackles during that same time period in terms of pass block victory percentage (85.4%). — Walder

Important things are at stake for the AFC wild-card race. If Indianapolis wins, its chances increase to 64%; if it loses, it reduces to 22%. Additionally, if the Steelers win this week, they would be at 48%; if they lose, their chances of making the playoffs drop to 10%. Continue reading.

Colts | Steelers injuries

Fantasy football note: The Colts allow running backs to score the third-most fantasy points per game. Jaylen Warren has had ten or more touches in a game, while Najee Harris has had fifteen in a row. Both players are trustworthy in lineups and are predicted to score 11 or more fantasy points. View the rankings for Week 15. — Moody’s

Nugget of wisdom for bettors: This season, the total has been hit in five of the six Colts home games. Go through


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