Welcome to Week 15 of the NFL! Last week’s article got a nice reaction (thanks to all who reached out) so I will continue with the “high, medium, low” column. That means we go position by position to break down different salary ranges, providing you flexibility in your lineups.
Matt Ryan, the chalk, checks in as one of the top QB options this week. Matt Ryan has cooled a bit from his torrid start but is still averaging 23.3 DraftKings PPG this season. You know his exquisite home record and this matchup with San Francisco is sublime. The Niners have allowed at least 20 DraftKings points to opposing QBs in six of their last eight games. Ryan has been rather pedestrian the last four weeks, but all of of his matchups have been against teams ranked in the top half of the league in defense against opposing QBs. As Ryan enters this week, expect a much better performance.
Derek Carr is coming off a miserable 4.98 DraftKings point game against Kansas City last Thursday night. Prior to that, he checked in with games of 20.8, 22.4 and 22.6 DK points. Outside of a few duds, Carr has been awesome this season. He’s 8th in the league in both passing yards and TDs. Vegas thinks this is going to be a shootout in San Diego. The Raiders are a three point favorite in a game with a 51 point total. That would project Oakland to score 26.75 points this week, one of the highest totals on the board.
If you’re looking for value, consider Trevor Siemian. He missed Week 13 with a foot injury, but book-ended that week with two solid performances. Week 12 was worth 32.02 DraftKings points and Week 14 was 20.36 against Tennessee. He tossed for at least 334 yards in both games. When the Broncos get down, they ask Siemian to throw the ball a ton (51 times last week). It’s reasonable to think Denver will need to score a lot of points to hang with New England this week. Quarterbacks have also done fairly well against the Pats this season, scoring the 11th most fantasy points.
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The running back position is an absolute powerhouse at the top. David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell are the pure studs on this slate, but for a little discount, you can get LeSean McCoy who has RB1 upside this week. McCoy has scored at least 20 DraftKings points in seven of his last ten and is averaging 28.1 DK PPG in his last three. McCoy is obviously an accomplished runner who gets the ideal matchup with Cleveland this week. What’s noteworthy is that McCoy has been heavily involved in the pass game the last two weeks. He’s caught 13 of his 14 targets which is making him a monster play on full PPR sites. If you like the home/road splits, McCoy is averaging 26.8 DK PPG at home and only 17 on the road this season.
Without having to share carries with Giovani Bernard, it’s the Jeremy Hill show in Cincy at this point. Hill has rushed 23 and 25 times in the last two weeks, with varying results. He was stuffed by Philadelphia for only 33 yards, but scored Cleveland for 111 yards. He did find the endzone in both games and should continue to see the goal-line work. Hill is in-line for another excellent game this week as the Steelers are allowing the third most fantasy points to opposing RBs. It’s going to be tough to find a guy who will see nearly 30 touches at this price.
Well, Kenneth Farrow is the beneficiary of an influx of opportunity. It’s likely that Farrow will take over the workload if (and when) Melvin Gordon is ruled out. Technically, Gordon has not been ruled out for this week, but it seems highly unlikely he suits up. Farrow was serviceable in relief of Gordon last week, gaining 55 yards on 16 carries. He also showed some nice hands, catching all six of his targets. I already mentioned this game with Oakland should provide fantasy fireworks. Expect Farrow to be heavily owned.
The top of the WR pool actually has some question marks. Antonio Brown in a tough matchup and he hasn’t been his WR1 self this month. Mike Evan in a great matchup but coming off two duds in a row. And Julio Jones in the world’s premier matchup but sat out last week and is highly questionable for this week. So what do you do? I think Evans is still the premier play, despite 17 total DraftKings points in the last two weeks. This guy is still in the midst of a monster season and he’s really the only option for the Bucs right now. Their pass catchers are essentially non-existent with the likes of Russell Shepard, Adam Humphries and Josh Huff. Dallas has been shredded lately by opposing WRs. In the last five weeks, they’ve allowed 43.76 DK PPG to that position, the third most in the league.
Remember when I said that Denver QB Trevor Siemian played well in weeks 12 and 14 (his last two appearances)? Well Emmanuel Sanders has been thriving as well. Sanders has actually averaged the most DraftKings PPG of any receiver in the last four weeks. In those two games with Siemian under center, Sanders has seen 24 total targets and eclipsed 100 yards in each contest. Those two games have produced 32.2 and 30 DraftKings points. When the Broncos get down to the redzone, they throw the rock. Both Sanders and teammate Demaryius Thomas are top 5 in redzone targets in the league.
It’s not pretty, but you have to consider Dorial Green-Beckham as a weekly flier. Since Week 11, DGB has seen 8, 10 and 10 targets which is significantly more than many of his peers in this price range. He did miss the game last week with an abdomen injury, but has been back at practice this week. Expect that to drive his ownership down in the 1-2% range. Baltimore is known for their stout defense, but has allowed the 7th most fantasy points to opposing WRs this season.
Travis Kelce is the highest scoring TE over the last four weeks and he’s the 12th highest scoring player overall, ahead of both Jordy Nelson and Odell Beckham Jr. Kelce has turned in five of 18+ DraftKings points in his last seven. The scary part is that Kelce has not caught a TD since in the last six weeks. That means he probably hasn’t hit his ceiling yet! his four straight games of 100+ receiving yards has vaulted him up the TE ranks where he sits atop this week.
The always solid Kyle Rudolph checks in at $4,300 this week on DraftKings which is very reasonable. This guy has hit double digit DK points in three straight (15.4, 10.5 and 16) and four of five. His 30 total totals in the last three weeks is a big number for someone in this price range who has already found the endzone six times this season. Rudolph should find plenty of soft spots in this Indy defense that ranks in the bottom third against TEs.
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