I wanted to mix it up this week and step away from a standard write-up. Instead, I am going to use the NFL Game Logs to run analysis on what it takes to finish the week as a Top 15 player. As you can imagine, rostering as many Top 15 guys as possible, is going to win you a lot of money. A Top 15 player is being defined as having the one of the 15 best DraftKings scores on a given week in the NFL. That ends up being 155 different games (with ties) by 103 different player. I hope this helps to start a discussion on roster construction and identifying the best plays. Give me a shout on Twitter and let me know what you think.

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Studs Help, But Aren’t Necessary

It’s fairly obvious that the better the player, the more often he will finish in the Top 15 in fantasy scoring for that week and we see that in the numbers. Here’s the list of all the players who have finished in the T15 on 3+ occasions:

top15

There are a few potential surprises on that list, but for the most part, it’s exactly who you’d expect. Eight of those 11 players rank inside the T15 of season average. Those eight players are consistently playing up to your expectations, making them better cash game players. For guys like Theo Riddick, T.Y. Hilton and Marcus Mariota, they tend to be a little more volatile. With their season rank being lower, it’s clear that they have had some big games surrounded by sub-par contests. That style would be better for GPPs. Of those three guys, Mariota is the only one who will be playing this week as the Packers will come to Tennessee. He could be a nice GPP target against an injury riddled Packers secondary in a game that is projected to score 49.5 points.

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Unlike basketball, the other end of that list is just as compelling. Football is an extremely volatile game, which means that seemingly random players can explode for a T15 game. There are 24 different players who are ranked outside the top 100 for the season, who have posted a T15 game. Just a few of those names include Dontrelle Inman, Adam Thielen, J.J. Nelson, John Brown and Jeremy Kerley. I encourage you to embrace the volatility, especially at the WR position where a player is only ever a big play away incredible value.

Fun Facts

  • The average T15 game is DraftKings 31.2 points and 26.4 Fanduel points.
  • The average T15 player salary is $6,105 on DraftKings and $7,218 on Fanduel
  • 57% of all T15 games come from players on the home team.
  • The New York Giants are the only team in the league to not allow a T15 game against.

Matchups Matter

Oh man, there are some bad defenses in the NFL and they allow a ton of fantasy points. San Francisco and Cleveland top the list, but here are all the teams that have allowed at least seven T15 games:

to152

Remember, this is Week 10 and SF has already has a bye! That means they’ve allowed 11 T15 performances in only eight games. What you’ll notice is that I also added in the team’s rank in terms of how many yards per game they allow. I did this because of the clear correlation between yards allowed and T15 games. SFO and CLE are the two worst teams in the league in yards allowed per game and are also giving up the most T15 games.

This week, the Niners have to face with Arizona Cardinals and running back David Johnson. DJ is almost a certain lock for a T15 game. Indy and Oakland are on BYE this week, so no targets there. The Bills and Jets are interesting because they are middle of the road in yards allowed but giving up a lot of T15 games. That should indicate they are running worse than expectation in number of TDs allowed. I’d expect them to have a better second half in terms of T15 games. Worth noting, there is only ONE team in the league that hasn’t allowed a T15 game and it’s….the New York Giants.

Listen To Vegas

Make sure to consider the Las Vegas over/under when trying to find T15 games. Games with a total of 48 or higher accounted for 38% of all T15 games. That’s notable because only 28% of all NFL games have a total above that mark. For this week, the games currently with a 48+ total are DEN/NO, ATL/PHI, GB/TEN, MIA/SD, SF/ARI, DAL/PIT, SEA/NE.

There is also a strong correlation with games over 50. Such games make up 19% of all T15 games while being only 13% of all games. That would narrow us down to DAL/PIT and maybe ATL/PHI this week. The latter game has a line hovering around 50 depending on where you get it.

Value Guys

I figured these guys would be mostly WRs but I was shocked to see that WRs and RBs are dead even below the $5,000 mark. Each position has racked up 18 T15 games while TEs have only account for six value T15 games. There isn’t a bunch of correlation between any other predicative factors. I’d continue to lean towards guys in high total games if you’re looking for value.

Looking For More?

This is the tip of the iceberg. I use the NFL Game Logs to run all this analysis and there’s much deeper you can dig. If you are a Pro Member, you get the logs updated daily. If you are not a Pro Member yet, you can sign up here.