We’ve reached Week 15, and I believe this will be my last NFL write up of the regular season. I will be on vacation next week and will likely take the week off from playing NFL DFS. What that really means is that I’ll have one too many drinks Saturday night and enter my normal volume with much less research. I may end up writing up something for Week 17 and the playoffs, but we’ll see how those slates shake out. I don’t usually like playing the playoff slates, and Week 17 can be a crap shoot.
The good news is this will allow me to fully transition to NBA DFS (which I’ve already been playing every day), and I’ll be able to start sharing my thoughts a couple of times a week on the big NBA slates.
With all of that said, I do appreciate all four of you who read this every week and I hope that you have found some success certain week’s with some of these plays. Below are my condensed thoughts on Week 15 and who I am focusing on. This is the week I will be more than likely to take some chances with high upside plays in tournaments.
Ben Roethlisberger – He’s at home, and he’s in the highest scoring game on the slate. He has a massive ceiling. There’s not a lot of downside here, other than his likely high ownership.
Kirk Cousins – Something tells me this is going to be a bounce back game after everyone bashed him for a poor Monday night showing. This Miami defense is not good whatsoever. I started the week with Cousins locked into my early builds, but the offensive coordinator change, along with Mike Zimmer barking about how the Vikings need to run more, has me somewhat less excited.
Josh Allen – Allen has been super fun to watch. After not watching a Bills game all season, I’ve seen every play the past two weeks and it’s a fun team. I’ll definitely make it three weeks in a row, as they face off with my Detroit Lions. If there’s one thing I’m not afraid of, it is rostering players against my Lions. Their pass defense has major holes and I wouldn’t mind seeing a shootout here. Not sure the Lions are capable of it at this point, but it would be fun. Last week I rolled with Allen and two of his cheap receivers in my main lineup, because it allowed me to get up to all of the stud pieces. It paid off, as I cashed in all of my tournaments across the board. I may go back to that strategy here.
Nick Mullens – I wanted to stop at the three guys above, but as I dive more and more into my research, I find myself giving Mullens a harder look. He’s really cheap, and it allows you to get a lot of strong pieces at skill positions. He just threw for over 400 yards and two scores against this Seattle defense two weeks ago. And now he’s coming off of a 332 yards, two touchdown game against Denver. He’s serviceable.
Saquon Barkley – Not my favorite at the high-end this week, but he’s a stud and the volume is there. Haven’t decided what to do with him yet, but locking in two to three guaranteed heavy workloads at RB might be the way to go again.
Ezekiel Elliott – Elliott is my favorite at the top end of the salary chart. His workload is insane right now. The matchup isn’t super exciting, but we do know that he’ll have the ball in his hands a lot, one way or another. He will be popular, which would be one of the few reasons I’d consider going elsewhere. I could see this game end up being a 17-13 final with average production across the board.
Dalvin Cook – Cook is my favorite RB play on FanDuel. He’s only $6,200 and that’s too cheap. He’s coming off of his most touches since his first game of the season and now Zimmer is pounding his chest saying they need to run more. He’s looked really good the last couple weeks and gets Miami, who struggles to stop anyone.
Joe Mixon – Mixon seems like a strong pivot from one of the top two studs. He’s facing Oakland, who continues to get gashed by running backs. Mixon saw 32 touches last week, and while I don’t think we can expect that many again, 20-25 is reasonable and would be more than enough to top 100 yards and get in the end zone multiple times.
Jaylen Samuels – Samuels is a guy I’m locking in at this point, if Conner is out of course. I think New England is going to do everything they can to limit both Brown and Smith-Schuster, leaving a lot of dump offs coming Samuels way.
Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster – I haven’t decided what to do here yet. One of these two will likely have a strong day, but who knows which one. I think Juju is going to much higher owned, so I’m leaning Brown right now. Of course there is always a chance I don’t play either, but that is scary. In that case, I would just hope everything funnels through Samuels.
Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs – Another wide receiver duo and another situation where I think we’ll see one of them post a solid line. Also another situation where I’m likely to roster the Vikings running back, so not sure I’ll roster one of the receivers with him, unless I go with Cousins too.
Bills Wide Receivers – Isaiah McKenzie and Robert Foster are my favorites here. Zay Jones is in play too, but he was bumped outside last game, leaving McKenzie in the slot. Jones will likely get Darius Slay treatment this week, one week removed from NFC Defensive Player of the Week. McKenzie has also been getting the ball on the ground, which helps his floor and upside. Detroit’s slot coverage has been bad all year and you can attack the second and third options against their weak coverage corners. Foster has been the most consistent of the three and has shown great rapport with Allen the past few weeks. He’s topped 94 yards three times in the past four weeks. The Lions give up the deep ball and Allen is among the top of deepest ADOT.
Julian Edelman – Edelman is one of my favorite plays at the position and I think he will be locked into my roster. This game should be really fun and I think we see Edelman see around 10 targets and post a nice line.
Tyler Lockett – IF DOUG BALDWIN IS OUT, I really like Lockett, who would see a big boost in the number of routes ran from the slot. The 49ers are bad against slot receivers and Lockett has had a nose for the end zone this season.
Dante Pettis – Pettis has stepped up as Mullens’ favorite wide receiver target. If I play Mullens, I’ll likely pair him with Pettis. He has 255 yards and four touchdowns over the past three weeks, including a line of 5-129-2 against these same Seahawks in that game a couple of weeks back. He’s still really cheap considering his fantasy output over the three game span.
George Kittle – If I roster Mullen, I would likely make it a San Fran stack with Pettis and Kittle. There’s so much upside there, as we saw last week. They combined for 77 DraftKings points, and their current combined price is $15,500, which is just 31% of your salary. Two weeks ago against Seattle, they combined for 71 DK points. Kittle is averaging 100 receiving yards per game at home on the season.
Eric Ebron – What’s not to like about Ebron? He is a huge red zone threat and is seeing a lot of targets. The only reason you don’t play him is if you’re going with the narrative that this game will be a boring defensive battle. But even in a 17-13 type game, Ebron could find pay dirt twice.
Anthony Firkser – Firkser is your cheap TE play of the week if you want to go there. With Jonnu Smith going down with injury, he will step into the top tight end role for the Titans. The thing I really like is that he’s already been involved, so he’s not coming in with no volume. He’s caught at least three balls in each of his last four games. Five or more catches here wouldn’t be unreasonable, and if one of those happens to be in the end zone, he’s going to smash his DraftKings price.
That’s it for this week. If you have any input about what you like or don’t like about the format, feel free to let me know on twitter @mrclutchdfs. Best of luck this weekend!
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