Welcome to week 15 of the NFL! Only three more weeks before playoffs in one of the more wild seasons, ever. For some of you, season-long fantasy play-offs are in full swing. For others, like me, we’ve been eliminated and trying to cash any way possible. Luckily, we have DFS.
I have mentioned this before, but I want to reiterate. My articles are more tournament and GPP focused. The players I recommend are generally going to be lower-owned and have a little more risk than most other DFS write-ups out there. For me, double ups and 50/50’s have become too difficult to see a consistent return. There is so much great content available and the field of players are extremely sharp in 2020. Winning more than 50% of the time is very difficult, which is what you need to do, to turn a profit over the course of the season. For tournaments, you only need to win once. It is not easy, but hopefully I can help you get there. Let’s break it down.
Patrick Mahomes $7,900 @ NOS – Top Tier
At the quarterback position, we are going to see a lot of diversity. With so many interesting plays at different prices, give me the best quarterback in the league in a shootout. Lamar Jackson is going to garner the most ownership. He is a great play. Going up against the Jaguars, coming off a 37.92 fantasy performance, I get it. What gives me pause is the game-script and the fact that Baltimore do have running back options to steal the touchdown equity. If we are going to pay up at the position, go to the top. New Orleans is getting Drew Brees back and the Saints should hang with this explosive Chiefs team. This game has a projected total of 52.5, second highest on the slate, with the Chiefs as a 3 point favourite.
Tom Brady $6,600 @ ATL – Mid Tier
Right now, I have Brady projected at around 3% ownership this Sunday, against the worst pass defense in the league. With Ronald Jones out, Lenard Fournette is projected to be the fourth highest owned running back on the slate. Rostering Tom Brady will give you massive leverage over the field. The Atlanta Falcons are a true pass-funnel defence who are actually quite stout against the run. Ranking 6th in DvP-RB and 32nd DvP-QB, it is clear how opposing teams find success. This game ranks 1st on the slate for Pace of Play with both the Bucs and Falcons ranking top 10 in seconds/play. Both teams will struggle to run the ball and pivot to airing it out all day.
Jalen Hurts $5,900 @ ARI – Low Tier
Even though I made a statement earlier about writing for GPP’s and tournaments, Hurts is a fantastic option in all formats. He will be one of the higher owned quarterbacks on the slate, no-doubt. However, the rushing upside gives Hurts a fantasy production floor that is hard to compete with at his price. In his first start last week against the Saints, the Philly QB popped off for 106 rushing yards. Arizona is a much easier matchup. Look for Hurts to provide some salary relief for the remainder of your roster construction.
Others to consider: Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Jared Goff, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan
Derrick Henry $9,500 vs. DET – Top Tier
This is an interesting situation. Leading up to lineup lock, Alvin Kamara has been talked up more and more since the news about Drew Brees starting, has come out. Kamara is projected to be the highest owned RB on the slate. At a $2,100 discount, the Saints elusive back is certainly in consideration as the top point-per-dollar option. However, there are so many narratives pointing to Henry having another monstrous outing. First, the matchup. Detroit ranks as the 31st best defence against the running back position. Second is the game-script. A banged up Matthew Stafford and no Kenny Golladay, should result in an easy path to victory for Tennessee. Last, the 2,000 yard club. Derrick Henry needs to average 156 yards per game to hit this exclusive milestone. He checks all of the boxes this week, with the exception of price, as the best running back on the day.
Cam Akers $6,600 vs. NYJ – Mid Tier
Unfortunately, the running back position is a little difficult to navigate this week. There are good plays at the top, but in the mid and lower tier, things get a little dicey. I am going to try to get different with low-owned receivers and eat the chalk at running back, for that reason. Akers is going to be heavily owned this week as well. Given the fact that the Rams are 17 point home favorites, Los Angeles should be able to control the game on the ground for the better part of the day. Sure, New York has a pretty solid run defence. For me, it doesn’t really matter. I think the entirety of the second half will be run focused by the Rams. Load up on the rookie, Akers, who is clearly taking the right step into a bell-cow role.
Leonard Fournette $4,500 @ ATL – Low Tier
Again, sticking with the field and playing cheap chalk. This time, I think it is good chalk. Fournette is only $500 more than minimum salary and will be in-line for a big workload. Atlanta is good against the run. However, they are horrible at stopping pass-catching running backs. I think you can stack Brady with Fournette to create a unique lineup from the other 20% who are looking to roster the Bucs back. In a game that should see a lot of points, getting cheap pieces will help open salary for the Derrick Henry’s or Travis Kelce’s of the world.
Others to consider: Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Johnathon Taylor, David Montgomery, Miles Sanders, D’Andre Swift, J.D. McKissic, David Johnson
Tyreek Hill $8,800 @ NO – Top Tier
Trying to fit a game stack, or even a team stack of Mahomes/Hill/Kamara/Kelce, is almost impossible. It is something I am going to try out though. These are two of the best teams in the league and I fully expect a shootout. There is no defensive player who can stop Tyreek Hill and I anticipate one of his patented 40+ yard TD bombs at some point in the game. With most paying up at the running back position, roster construction will generally consist of finding value at wide receiver. If you build a lineup with expensive wide-outs, you will instantly have a contrarian lineup, shooting you up the leaderboard.
Terry McLaurin $6,600 vs. SEA– Mid Tier
It’s been a minute since our guy Terry McLaurin has been focused on in the fantasy community. He was hyped a lot for the Thanksgiving slate of games and then put up a couple of pedestrian outings. Alex Smith is now out and Washington will look to Haskins. The Football Team is in need of a win to keep their playoff hopes alive and will be in tough against a good Seattle team. We all know the weakness of Seattle is through the air though. The Seahawks rank 32nd in DvP-WR. And Haskins is actually an upgrade from Smith, in terms of fantasy production to McLaurin. He targets him close to 9% more often than Smith did. McLaurin is one of the better young talents in the game and should be consider at a great price in a fantastic matchup.
Russell Gage $4,700 vs. TB – Low Tier
I am going to continue hammering these two games. With Julio Jones out, Russell Gage will have additional opportunity in a potential shootout game. Calvin Ridley is the obvious alpha for Atlanta and should also be considered, however at nearly half the price and ownership, taking a confident shot at Gage is worth looking at. Gage is being used a lot more in the Falcons offence and will have plenty of opportunity against a pass-funnel defence.
Others to consider: DK Metcalf, Calvin Ridley, De’Andre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, Justin Jefferson, Mike Evans, Brandon Aiyuk, Chris Godwin, T.Y. Hilton, Emanuel Sanders
Travis Kelce $8,000 @ NO
Not going to be easy to fit in. I get it. This is a rare week, though, that I think playing two tight ends could be in the optimal lineup construction. It is a strategy that will, once again, differentiate your roster. Travis Kelce is projected so far ahead of any other tight end, considering position opportunity loss becomes an important factor. Kelce leads the league in receiving yards with 1,250 (second to Diggs now actually). He shouldn’t be considered a traditional tight end, but more of a top tier receiver. For reference, Calvin Ridley is $200 more expensive, but has 221 less receiving yards, one less TD and 23 less receptions. Lock in Kelce and look for a cheap option such as Cole Kmet at the FLEX slot.
Others to consider: Mark Andrews, TJ Hockenson, Mike Gesicki, Rob Gronkowski, Jared Cook, Hayden Hurst, Cole Kmet