Welcome back, Rush Nation. DFS NFL Week 15 is upon us. Astonishingly, it is the week before Christmas week. Thankfully, the schedule is packed full of games for us to sink our teeth into.
I mentioned a few weeks ago, that when you construct your line ups going forward, give some consideration to the position that said player/team finds themselves in. Is the team competing? Are they chasing a divisional championship, or a wildcard place? Are they treading water and have given up on the season? Is their 2021 Draft position pretty much set?
All questions you should be asking when building your line ups. This is the time of the season now where we get clarity. We finally see which teams are in the hunt, and which teams have fallen away. The key to this when constructing your line ups is that you may get an extra 10-20% out of certain selections. Especially if that player represents a team on the cusp of a playoff berth. Teams and players may be pushing just that bit more to get their desired result.
The Week 14 Review
Some late news in week 14 forced me into a lineup change. I wasn’t certain of Jamison Crowder’s status, so chose to pivot to Brandon Aiyuk. This turned out to be a great decision all things considered, as Aiyuk finished his day with 24.90 Draft King points. Crowder, on the other hand, only managed 2.70.
Outside of Brandon Aiyuk, our best performer was David Montgomery. It is just as well he had an early touchdown on an 80 yard run, because the remainder of his game was rather lacklustre. Nevertheless, he finished the game with 27.50 Draft King points.
Keenan Allen also continued his impressive campaign, with a touchdown on 9 receptions for 52 receiving yards. He was priced at $7,700, so managed to return 2.5x his value. Can’t ask for more than that.
Not so Mr Reliable
The remainder of our lineup was disappointing to say the least. We had very little productivity out of Tyler Boyd and Michael Pittman, who i had thought would return well against ideal opponents. Jordan Reed had a quiet game, with only 2 receptions on 5 targets for 13 receiving yards.
Our biggest disappointment of the week came in the form of the reliable (or so we thought), James Robinson. He finished the week with 12.30 Draft Kings points. This doesn’t deter me, though. I’m expecting a good week this week from Robinson, as he has a great matchup against the Titans Defense. They’ve not dealt very well with teams running the ball all season, so this could be a prime opportunity for a rebound performance. Robinson’s ownership may also fall due to his poor showing in week 14. If he balls out, and you get him on a lower ownership share, you’re laughing!
DFS NFL Week 15 picks
Onto my DFS NFL week 15 recommendations we go! The aim as always will be to seek out those players at a bargain price. The players who are potentially underpriced but could over perform their price tag.
As was the case in previous weeks, player prices will reflect Draft Kings prices. The points scored will also reflect Draft Kings point scoring, which differs slightly from standard Fantasy points.
This is one I’m a little apprehensive about. The reason being, the Detroit Lions are bad everywhere on defense. They don’t defend against the run with any level of success. They don’t defend against the pass with any level of success. They’re just a bad defense all-round.
This could very well be a game which is dictated by the Titans handing the ball off to Derrick Henry. We know how effective and impactful he can be. I suspect this game may be the same. However, I’m holding onto the hope that Tannehill’s arm will be utilised and the Titans will air the ball out.
The good thing about Tannehill is he doesn’t have to throw the ball a lot to still put up points. He can throw the ball 20-25 times and still put up a respectable score. He has big play receivers at his disposal, which always helps. Translated, this means that Tannehill could still have a good score against a poor defense, whilst not needing to throw the ball that often. His receivers can and do tend to make huge plays.
I am taking a chance on that being the case, and the Lions making this one respectable. If they can’t do that, then the game script will likely favour a big day for Derrick Henry. However, if they can keep the score close, then Tannehill may be asked to throw it 25-30 times, and he’s capable of a very good score with that kind of workload.
This is hardly a bargain. In fact, it flat out isn’t. Taylor enters as the third most expensive Running Back this week.
Overlook him at your peril, though. In recent weeks, Taylor has appeared more and more comfortable in his team’s offense. The Colts have finally been giving Taylor the carries we all wanted to see him get. This has resulted in scores of 15.40, 22.50 and most recently in week 14, 33.50 Draft King points.
His usage continues to climb. As does his price, unfortunately. Do not, under any circumstance, let that deter you from selecting Taylor this week. He is facing the Texans, who he scored 22.50 points against in week 13. The Texans are the League’s worst defensive team against Running Backs statistically, giving up an average of 32.40 Draft King points per game. When he played the Texans last, he had a receiving touchdown, but no rushing scores. He has a great chance to right the wrong in week 15, though. The Texans have allowed 16 rushing touchdowns on the season. That’s the most in the League.
This is Taylor’s highest price since week 3, but if you can fit him in your line up, you absolutely should. Again, do not let the price put you off here. Put him in your lineup and forget about it until the game starts on Sunday!
Seeing as we have Taylor in the lineup, why not partner him with T.Y. Hilton for a nice WR-RB stack!?
In recent weeks, Hilton has looked like the T.Y. of old. He’s put up two consecutive 25+ Draft King points performances, and has scored 4 touchdowns in his last 3 games. In week 15, he faces a Texans Defense that’s given up 18 receiving touchdowns to the position this season. That’s the third most in the League. They also give up on average 40.90 Draft King points per game to Wide Receivers. That average puts them amongst defenses like Dallas and Jacksonville. Not great company to be in this season, at least.
Maybe the early-mid season performances were due to getting acclimated with Rivers under center. Maybe, Hilton was still feeling the effects of his injury. Either way, he’s starting to produce now, and is still very reasonably priced at $5,500.
Cole Kmet was seen as one of the top Tight End prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. We are starting to see why, based on his recent performances.
Early this season, Chicago were leaning on Jimmy Graham at the Tight End position. However, since week 10, Kmet has had the much greater share of offensive snaps. In week 13 and 14, Kmet appeared in 78% and 85% of his team’s offensive snaps. Graham still seems to be deployed in around 50% of the Bears offensive snaps, but the targets are seemingly finding their way to Kmet now instead. In the last two games, Kmet has had 14 targets, and managed to find the endzone in week 13.
Increased snap share percentage, increased targets. I like the trend. The Vikings also give up an average of 12.40 Draft King points per game to the position. Far from the worst, but nowhere close to the best either.
Given the Tight End position doesn’t tend to be a high scorer across the board, Kmet is a great option this week. At $3,000, he allows you to spread your budget elsewhere. He’s a nice, cheap play. You only need Kmet to bring in 4 or 5 of his targets here for reasonable yardage for him to be a worthwhile asset at this price. If he finds the endzone again, then even better!
D/ST – Seahawks ($3,100) vs Washington Football Team
The Seattle Seahawks have had a historically bad year defensively this season.
They have steadily been improving, though. To put this into context, they were at one point surrendering over 60 Draft King points on average per week to Wide Receivers. They’ve managed to reduce this average in recent weeks to 48.4 for the season now. That may not seem a huge drop, but it shows progression within this unit.
This week they face the Washington Football Team. Their offense has had its own struggles in recent weeks. Terry McLaurin seems to be a marked man. The quality of Quarterback play is very inconsistent, to say the least. Alex Smith may be good to go this week, but is still listed as questionable. Not that it will make a huge difference at this stage!
In the last 3 weeks, the Seahawks have had defensive scores of 9 (twice) and 12. More than respectable scores for a defense in this format, especially at the price. Their opponents haven’t been anything to write home about, facing the Eagles, Giants and Jets. There isn’t a gulf in difference between two of those teams and the Washington football team. With that in mind, i’m going with the Seahawks Defense this week!
Introducing the starting lineup for DFS NFL week 15…
Finally, to round out the picks, here is my initial team for DFS NFL Week 15. As always, this is subject to change come gameday:
QB – Ryan Tannehill ($6,700) vs Lions
RB1 – Jonathan Taylor ($7,200) vs Texans
RB2 – James Robinson ($7,100) @ Ravens
WR1 – Mike Evans ($7,400) @ Falcons
WR2 – T.Y. Hilton ($5,500) vs Texans
WR3 – Brandon Aiyuk ($6,300) @ Cowboys
TE – Cole Kmet ($3,000) @ Vikings
Flex – Leonard Fournette ($4,500) @ Falcons
D/ST – Seahawks ($3,100) @ Washington Football Team
Budget remaining – $100
Stay up to date
It is absolutely imperative that you stay up to date with news. Players are entering the COVID Protocol every week. The last thing you want is to go into your lineup and find you have someone locked in who isn’t playing. Make sure you check before the game, and if in doubt, switch your player out.
This week I have again included James Robinson. He’s currently listed as questionable, but hopefully he will be good to go come game time. If he isn’t he’s easy to pivot off of, because he is fairly pricey at $7,100. Hopefully, we get a rebound week from the Jaguars Running Back.
Also, keep an eye on the status of Ronald Jones. If he isn’t ready come game time, Leonard Fournette becomes a very cheap and viable option for either your starting Running Back slots, or your flex. I have him included in my lineup as it stands.
Continuing to impress
For a second week, I have included Brandon Aiyuk. Last week, Crowder made way for Aiyuk, and boy did he perform! He’s looking like he will be a staple of this offense for years to come, and is more than justifying why the 49ers used a first round pick on him. Great evaluation of talent from the 49ers, it has to be said! Aiyuk hasn’t scored less than 19 Draft King points in his last 5 outings.
Best of luck with your DFS NFL Week 15 picks, Rush Nation. Be sure to listen to our Daily Fantasy Sport podcast here at 5-Yard Rush! We will be bringing you even more picks and opinions on the best player picks of the week.