It’s an interesting week of games, not only with the three usual primetime games all scheduled to play, but also a two-game Saturday slate — I’ll have you covered with a targets article there. That leaves an 11-gamer for Sunday, although after a nice balanced Week 14 of early and late games, we’re back to just three games in the late window. Here’s what jumps out in my first look at the Week 15 NFL main slate on DraftKings.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints ($7,900) — Tougher matchup against the Saints this week, but Mahomes still provides as safe a floor as any QB, especially with Aaron Rodgers on the Saturday slate. Mahomes threw 60% of his interceptions on the season last week in Miami (three of his five!) and still managed almost 400 yards and 25 DKFP. At a slight discount, compared to where we’ve seen Mahomes priced since Week 8, this should be a fine spot to go for cash or GPPs.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,500) — Jackson’s been more inconsistent this season, but this could be a massive ceiling game. The Ravens crept past the Browns in insane fashion on Monday. Lamar put forward his best fantasy effort of the season (37.92 DKFP), mostly thanks to a 9-124-2 line on the ground. Baltimore needs to keep piling up wins to get a Wild Card spot, and rolling over the Jags seems pretty likely in Week 15.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals ($5,900) — We went to Hurts here last week, and it paid off. The kid is poised, and able to make plays with his arm and legs — posting 23.28 DKFP in the upset over the Saints. The matchup gets much better this week in Arizona, and the rookie’s rushing ability gives him a very safe floor, as he had 18 carries for 106 yards against New Orleans.
Other Options: Nick Mullens ($5,100), Dwayne Haskins ($5,000)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions ($9,500) — We got Henry in the perfect spot in Week 14. Paying $8.7K was cheap by his standards against Jacksonville, and Henry rolled to a 26-215-2 line (39.2 DKFP). Now we have to pay up, but the matchup is worth it, facing another bottom of the barrel rush defense in the Lions. Detroit ranks 31st in DKFP allowed to RB, and Henry brings that same 40 DKFP upside into this contest. We know Tennessee likes to lean on the power back late in the season.
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans ($7,200) — The rookie has rushed for at least 90 yards in three-straight contests, and has been taking advantage of very good matchups lately. In his first game back from injury, Taylor rushed for 91 yards on just 13 carries against this Houston defense two weeks ago. He found his way to 22.5 DKFP with a 39-yard touchdown catch also added on. Last week, Indy trusted Taylor in a bigger way, feeding him 20 times on the ground for 150 yards and two scores (33.5 DKFP). We have to pay up for Taylor now, but this matchup is well worth it.
J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,900) — We’ll see if injuries help create some value as the week goes on, but targeting against Jacksonville, Detroit and Houston is how I’m operating right now. It would be nice to see Dobbins get a larger share of the carries, but Gus Edwards ($4,400) is factoring in as an even cheaper play, putting up big numbers on limited touches. The Jags rank 30th in DKFP allowed to RB, and Dobbins has three-straight games with 50-plus rushing yards and a touchdown.
Other Options: Nyheim Hines ($5,400), Gus Edwards ($4,400)
Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($8,200) — In cash and single entries it’s a completely different week. We don’t need to lock in Davante Adams, which opens up some room. Obviously, you can stack Tyreek Hill ($8,800) with Mahomes if you want to go that route, but with such strong top-tier RB plays, this could be a pay-down week at WR. It seems like Atlanta might keep Julio Jones ($6,900) sidelined down the stretch. If that’s the case, Ridley’s in a great spot against a secondary that ranks 26th in DKFP allowed to WR. Without Julio last week, Ridley finished with an 8-124-1 line (29.4 DKFP) on 12 targets against the Chargers.
A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions ($7,600) — Again, not a ton of spots I love tying up too much salary at WR this week, which is probably a good thing considering how the rest of the slate looks. But Detroit has close to nothing left in a secondary that already ranks bottom-five in DKFP allowed. Brown’s having a pretty consistent season, and is showing up in good matchups, usually good for one deep touchdown catch. Expecting something similar to the 7-112-1 (27.2 DKFP) we saw last week against Jacksonville is reasonable.
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys ($6,300) — There’s some good value at WR this week, and it’ll be much needed. I really like all the plays below, all benefiting from injuries ahead of them — besides Hilton, who’s finally just showing a pulse. Aiyuk has quietly been grinding out fantastic numbers as a rookie, as the perception is that San Francisco can’t throw the ball. Aiyuk’s essentially gone for 20-25 DKFP in five-straight contests, and this week he’ll face a Dallas secondary allowing the second-most DKFP to WR. On top of that, expect some more targets with Deebo Samuel (hamstring) shutdown for the season. The rookie saw a career-high 16 targets last week against Washington.
Other Options: T.Y Hilton ($5,500), Russell Gage ($4,700), Chad Hansen ($4,200), Lynn Bowden Jr. ($3,600)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints ($8,000) — Paying $8K at TE is extremely difficult to do. But you’ll probably differentiate yourself this way with a Mahomes-Kelce stack, though digging up the value at RB could prove difficult. You can’t argue with Kelce being a spectacular play, though, regardless of matchup. Kelce now has scored as least 27.9 DKFP in five of his last six games.
Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears ($3,600) — Smith hadn’t played since Week 11 due to injury, but returned to face the Bucs in Week 14 just as Kyle Rudolph (foot) was sidelined. Smith took full advantage, hauling in all four of his targets for 63 yards and a touchdown (16.3 DKFP). Look for Smith to maintain a significant role moving forward, but it’d certainly help if Rudolph remains sidelined. The Bears rank just 29th against the TE position, and Rudolph went for 63 yards in the first matchup against Chicago when Smith was out. TE is a mess as usual, so any cheap play that has an ounce of upside is very valuable.
Other Options: Rob Gronkowski ($4,200), Dan Arnold ($3,500), Jared Cook ($3,400)
Los Angeles Rams D/ST ($4,500) vs. New York Jets — I doubt I’ll be able to find the salary for Rams D/ST, but it’s the obvious pay-up spot this week. The Rams will be fresh after some time off at home since their Thursday night demolition of the Patriots. Rams D/ST scored 21 DKFP in that game, its fourth contest in the last five with double-digit DKFP. The Jets are in a tough spot, chilling in Los Angeles all week with their season completely over. Don’t expect them to be ready for this one.
Dallas Cowboys D/ST ($2,700) vs. San Francisco 49ers — I’m having some serious trouble finding the value D/ST play on this slate. It could be injury news that offers up the real value by Sunday. But for now, we’ve got a banged up Niners offense on the road. Dallas at least showed signs of life on the defensive side of the ball against the Bengals last week (18 DKFP).
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