Prime Picks W15

Each week I’ll bring you a mix of DFS value plays that I like for cash and tournament games. I won’t be focusing too much on the elite plays such as Christian McCaffery, Lamar Jackson and Michael Thomas instead, I’ll look for value in matchups that have the potential to be high scoring and return good points to dollar ratio. If we can find that we can open up our lineups to be built better. Through the season I’ll also review my previous weeks plays so you can judge for yourself how good my takes are. 

Tom Strachan


Week 14 Review

Not quite as strong a week as we’ve had recently. The theme of the slate seemed to be to play your studs. I had a nice lineup with the likes of Rodgers, Henry, Ridley and Ekeler that took down an eighty person tournament. I only got to those studs by paying down elsewhere, but across the board, value picks seemed to be difficult choosing this week. I’m never going to sit here and tell you to play Derek Henry or Tyreek Hill because so much of the rest of the industry dedicate time to making it obvious when they’re in even bigger than usual smash spots. If each week we can find a handful of names that offer you two or three times dollar to points value, then that will enable the rest. 

Quarterback started well with Taysom Hill, finally reaching 3x value late in the game. Andy Dalton came close to that value with 15.3 DK points, but even with a $5500 salary, you’d hope for a bit more. Unfortunately, Tannehill (16.48) didn’t quite get it done as Derek Henry took over. I mentioned that I thought both Henry and Tannehill could get there against a bad Jags defence, but we were a few points away from where we’d want to be. Aaron Jones was a bad call, and I’ll own that. It seems pretty clear now Jones has an easier time when Adams isn’t playing. Ekeler redeemed us with 23.6 points, Montgomery smashed at 27.5 for back-to-back weeks and rewarded our continuing faith. CEH hit 14.9 points at 5900 and came so close to a bigger game at low ownership. Unfortunately, Gio Bernard, Corey Davis and Allen Lazard all flamed out. My guy of the season, Curtis Samuel, smashed at 16 points and rewarded what was a good call based on obvious points. Rounding out, we had average calls on Perriman, Schultz and a bad call on Tyler Eifert. So a mixed bag really, but we’ve been in red hot form and regression will always catch up to you. Week 15 looks pretty murky a few days out, so be thoughtful with your plays and be sure to check in on my Twitter to see what additional thoughts I throw out.  

Plays so far this season (based on price to points ratios):

Great plays: 83 (45%)

Good plays: 61 (32.5%)

Bad plays: 42 (22.5%)

Week 15 Picks

This week feels quite murky. Despite having fourteen weeks behind us, we enter week 15 with a lot of straight forward looking match-ups and that only serves to make DFS more confusing. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on Twitter. 


Jared Goff – $6300 vs NYJ

Rams -18 favourites

43.0 over/under

The chances of the Jets getting a win look pretty slim as we roll into the last three games. For the Rams, they couldn’t ask for a much easier game, with the Jets travelling cross country and being -18 underdogs. The Jets give up an average of 32.6 points in 2020 road games and it’s hard to see anything other than an L.A rout. So far this year Goff has averaged 19.1 DK points per game and has managed five games over 24 points. The Jets defence gives up an average of 2.15 passing touchdowns per game and that combined with McVay’s offence gives me a reasonable amount of confidence in Goff. 

Taysom Hill – $6000 vs Chiefs

Chiefs -3 favourites

51.5 over/under

I liked this play with Hill starting but now Brees has been declared starter it’s too risky at the price and I’m not wild about Brees either.

Jalen Hurts – $5900 @ Cardinals

Cardinals -6.5 favourites

Over/under 49.0

This play has grown on me as the weeks went on. The Cardinals defence runs more man defence coverage than any team in the league and time and time again we’ve seen how this can spell big games for rushing quarterbacks. With the defenders eyes on their assignments it makes life easy for a quarterback to take off. Given Hurts lack of experience, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still playing a lot of one to two read plays, that if he doesn’t see anything quick, time to take off. The Cardinals give up the 6th most rushing yards per game to the QB (24.31), and the 4th most yardage per attempt (5.45). Hurts put up 106 yards on the ground against a very good Saints defence and unless the Cardinals change their scheme dramatically, I like his chances to do similar here. 

Phillip Rivers – $5900 vs Texans

Colts -7 favourites

51.0 over/under

I’ll hold my hands up and say I thought Rivers was washed coming into this season and I’m still not quite ready to believe he can take them to the Superbowl, but I have been surprised by his play at times this year. The one downside lately has been Jacoby Brissett’s usage. Over Rivers’ last four games he’s hovered close to the 300-yard passing mark in three of them. We’d love to see him surpassing that as on Draftkings it activates the 3pt bonus. In the reverse of this fixture in week 13 Rivers threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns. It’s hard to envisage Rivers hitting 25 or more points, but he has averaged 19.5 points per game over his last five and might be the safe floor and cheaper option needed to open up salary elsewhere. It can be tricky playing the Colts receivers as Rivers spreads the ball around so much, but if you believe in Indy this week, Rivers and Hilton might be a good tournament pairing.

Dwayne Haskins Jr. – $5000 vs Seahawks

Seahawks -5.5 favourites

44.5 over/under

Haskins failed to light the world on fire as he took over from the injured Alex Smith in week thirteen’s win over San Francisco, completing seven of twelve passing attempts and they were all relatively short throws. As of Wednesday, there has been no news suggesting Smith can play in week 14. If that’s the case and Haskins gets the start with a game plan and a full week of practice as the starter, there may be an argument for starting him against this terrible Seahawks defence which ranks 28th against the position. Admittedly the Seahawks defence has played much better of lately allowing an average of 14.5 points across their last four. That average is slightly skewed by facing the Jets who only managed three points if we take that out the average rises to 17.5 over the previous four. So I’m not exactly selling this as a great play, and in truth, it’s all about opening up money elsewhere. If Haskins gets you 12-15 points has he done enough to justify his inclusion if it opens up $1000-2000 for players elsewhere… that’s a decision you’ll have to make as you build your rosters, but I’m not averse to it in tournaments and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see McLaurin be more productive than he has been lately. 

Update: Haskins has now been named the starter with Smith ruled out.

Running Backs

J.K Dobbins – $5900/Gus Edwards – $4400 vs Jaguars

Ravens -12.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

The Ravens reappear on the main slate for the first time since week 11 and they are in far better form than the last few times they were playable here. The backfield has cleared up somewhat in that time with Mark Ingram playing just one snap against Cleveland. J.K Dobbins has vaulted himself into the main role in this backfield, playing on 61% of snaps against Cleveland, whilst Edwards featured on 27%. Edwards’ transformation from a downhill runner to a more quick-footed back with sneaky lateral movement has kept this from being entirely Dobbins’ backfield but against the Jaguars I have no problem playing either. The Jaguars run defence ranks 28th overall, 31st in attempts allowed per game (26.0), 30th in allowed rushing yardage (118.0), 23rd in rush yards per attempt (4.54) and 25th in touchdowns allowed to running backs (0.92). There will always be an element of murkiness with this backfield, but that allows us to play these backs with lower ownership.

Kenyan Drake – $5500 vs Eagles

Cardinals -6.5 favourites

49.0 over/under

Since Drake’s return from injury, it has been clear that Kliff Kingsbury sees Drake as the RB1 for the Cardinals. No matter what my 31% share of Chase Edmonds in best ball drafts thinks. In those five games, Drake averaged 16.8 DraftKings points per game, scoring five touchdowns to take his season total to nine. To add to that, Drake is the RB5 in the last four weeks, only being outscored by Cook, Montgomery, Chubb and Henry. Importantly in that time Drake has seen an uptick in targets and has the seventh most running back receptions, over the last four weeks. To get a running back in this form, with such a clear workload, at this price, is something we have to look to take advantage of. Even though the Eagles defence is ranked well against the position (9th overall), they give up the joint second-worst rate of touchdowns to the position (1.0).

Jeff Wilson – $5100 @ Dallas

49ers -3 favourites

45.0 over/under

Jeff wilson update

Update: Until Friday night it sounded like Mostert would miss this game, but when the injury reports came out Mostert was listed as a full participant. That makes it really hard to like this play despite Wilson’s goal line work and I’d only consider it for tournaments.

As of Wednesday, it sounds like Raheem Mostert will miss Sunday’s game in Dallas with an ankle injury. Earlier in the season, the 49ers leaned on Jerrick McKinnon when injuries piled up but in recent weeks Wilson has seen an increase in workload. On Sunday McKinnon played no snaps on offence, whilst Wilson had 12 touches for a total of 44 yards. Over his last two games, serving as the backup, Wilson has seen eight targets and a goal-line carry for a touchdown. These are all high-value touches and could add up to a good fantasy output if Wilson is given the lead back role in a scenario where Raheem misses out against the 27th worst rush defence of the league. 

Leonard Fournette – $4500 @ Atlanta Falcons 

Buccs -5.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

Leonard Fournette is not a good running back, I want to make sure everybody knows that before we go any further. In half PPR Fournette is the RB45 on the season, one spot below Christian McCaffery who has played just three games this season. However, we’re in the business of value and Ronald Jones had surgery on Monday to insert a screw into his left pinky before being placed on the covid19-/reserve list on Wednesday. Serial liar, Bruce Arians, has stated if Jones missed out, Fournette would assume his role against the Falcons. The Falcons are a poor defence, but mainly so through the air where they allow a league-worst 296.23 yards per game. On the ground however they allow the second-fewest yards per game, 70.0. It’s not all terrible news for Fournette though, as the Falcons rank bottom eight against running back receptions. It’s easy to construct a narrative where the 5.5 points favoured Buccaneers go ahead and decide to run the ball to drain the clock and we know opportunity and touches can mean everything for running backs. I won’t be playing Fournette in cash, regardless of workload and price, but I will look to him in tournaments. 

David Johnson – $5100 @ Colts

Colts -7 favourites

51.0 over/under

Earlier in the week I liked Johnson’s price but wasn’t fully convinced of his workload, as the weeks gone on things have swung in his favour. Both options behind him, Duke Johnson and C.J Prosise, haven’t been practicing on Thursday or Friday and are listed questionable for the game. If Johnson is the out and out only choice at the position I’m happy to play him. He gets an average matchup against the 17th ranked run defence, who haven’t allowed more than one hundred yard game in their last eight. This play is opportunity over matchup, and I’d be happy with it in tournaments. 

Wide Receivers

Chris Godwin – $6200 @ Falcons

Buccs -5.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

Godwin has been relatively quiet recently. Putting up just 17-175-1 in his last three games. As I mentioned in the Leonard Fournette section, the Falcons are a pass funnel defence. Doing well against the rush, but terrible against the pass, allowing a league-worst 296.23 yards per game. On average wide receivers, all score higher than their averages against this defence. This feels like a get-right spot for Godwin who will be playing his second game since having screws removed from his finger and might catch low ownership due to recency bias. Both Tampa and Atlanta rank highly in a neutral game script, and with the reliable Ronald Jones missing out, short passes to Godwin could help us rack up a large point total. 

Marquise Brown – $5600 vs Jaguars

Ravens -12.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

If you’re unaware, I’m a Ravens fan, so you can disregard this play if you feel like I’m sniffing the glue. Brown has struggled with drops, totalling six on the season, and the breakout so many hoped for hasn’t materialised. What’s gone under the radar a little is the fact that Brown has scored touchdowns in his last three games, averaging 54.6 yards per game in that period. The Jaguars have allowed a 100+ yard game to an opposing receiver on nine straight games this year. On Wednesday evening Brown landed on the Covid19/Reserve list due to a close contact. If he continues to test negative, he’ll be able to play on Sunday. Hollywood would be in a good spot against a Jaguars defence that has given up the eighth-most completions of 20-plus-yards and averages an extra 2.5pts above expectation to WR1’s. If however, Marquise Brown can’t play….

Devin Duvernay – $3200 vs Jaguars

Ravens -12.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

On Wednesday evening the Ravens placed Hollywood, Boykin and Proche on the covid-19/reserve list. This leaves them with just Willie Snead ($4300), Dez Bryant ($3000) and Duvernay as their active receivers. Duvernay and Snead both predominantly play out of the slot and with Snead’s reliability being needed at times it has eaten into Duvernay’s opportunities. This was evidenced on Monday night when Snead returned to the team and Duvernay failed to see a target. However, if Boykin or Hollywood were to miss the game the Ravens may be left with little choice but to scheme more plays for Duvernay. Snead is a fine play and at a stone minimum so is Bryant, but if I have to pick one it will be the more explosive and exciting Duvernay. If Hollywood, Boykin and Proche are activated to play in this game, I would be removing Duvernay from lineups unless looking for a super-low owned differential.

T.Y Hilton – $5500 vs Texans

Colts -7 favourites

51.0 over/under

The ghost of T.Y Hilton rose from the fantasy football grave to knock me out of my home league playoffs this week. Hilton had become an afterthought for many and was completely droppable in redraft formats until his week 12 matchup against Tennessee. In that game and since he has put up 4-81-1, 8-110-1 and 5-86-2, rocketing to WR3 over that spell. Sandwiched in the middle of those three is the reverse of this fixture when the Colts were on the road at the Texans. Hilton has typically gone off against the Texans totalling 30-516-2 over his last five games against them. The Colts may choose to try and dominate this game through the ground attack against the league’s second-worst run defence and that may be where the majority of ownership goes, but I believe there’s something to be said for Hilton going up against a defence that allows the third-most touchdowns per game to receivers (1.38) and just lost safety, Justin Reid, for the season.

D.J Chark – $5000 @ Ravens

Ravens -12.5 favourites

47.0 over/under

D.J Chark Update:

Update: On Friday Peters was ruled out and Smith is listed as doubtful, most likely it will be Humphrey and practice squad CB’s.

The Ravens secondary is one of the best in the league, but they do give up receptions. Despite ranking top eight in nearly all metrics, they rank 24th in most receptions allowed to receivers per game, (14.31). Marlon Humphrey will deservedly get his second pro bowl vote this season, but Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith are dealing with injuries and have struggled to stay on the field at times. When they’re out of the game a host of journeymen corners replace them and if Chark can match up with them, he’ll be in business. Since their Week 8 bye, Chark has averaged 8.2 targets per game, as the clear alpha of the passing attack. Minshew has made Chark fantasy gold before, with seven games over their shared nineteen starts, resulting in Chark totalling 15 or more fantasy points. I doubt I’d consider this play unless it was correlated against Ravens running backs, or a bring back as part of stacks, but it’s worth mentioning at such a cheap price. 

Russell Gage – $4700 vs Buccaneers

Buccs -5.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

On Friday Julio Jones was ruled out for a second consecutive week and that gives us another opportunity to roll out Gage, who has shined at times this year and tends to see an uptick in volume when Julio doesn’t play. The Buccs defence allows the 10th most targets per game to the position (21.15), and the 7th most yards per reception (14.46). As a slot receiver Gage can be in position for a high volume of safe targets and at this price I like it a lot. He makes for a good bring back option in Buccs stacks. 

Tight ends

Rob Gronkowski – $4200 @ Falcons

Buccs -5.5 favourites

50.0 over/under

The Falcons rank bottom three in points given up to the tight end. Averaging a very Gronk friendly 0.69 touchdowns per game to the position, which also ranks bottom three. If you’ve made it this far into this column, you’ll probably be well aware of the Falcons deficiencies as this is our third recommendation to play against them. I’m not ready to stack this game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if not all of Godwin, Fournette and Gronk return value. There are only so many plays to go around after all but I’m here to try and flag value and help you pick the plays you like as you construct lineups. With Gronk going up against such a friendly matchup he would be my preferred play on the Buccs side. If I had to rank the three, it would go, Gronk, Godwin, Lenny. 

Tyler Higbee – $3800 vs Jets

Rams -18 favourites

43.0 over/under

My weekly research can normally begin with taking a glance at who the Jets play and taking it from there. The Jets allow the most fantasy points per game to the position with 11.54. The next closest is the Bengals a full two points less (9.38). This is partly a product of the Jets haemorrhaging touchdowns to the position, with a league-worst 0.92 per game, again a large amount more than the next worst (0.77 by the Jaguars – Hello, Mark Andrews!). Since their Week 10 bye, they have allowed Hunter Henry (14.8), Mike Gesicki (11.5), Darren Waller (48.0) and Will Dissly (10.3) all to have big DraftKings hauls. Whilst Gerald Everett has done well for us at times this year, he has been out-snapped by Higbee, who has had 78% to Everett’s 67% in the last three games. 

Dan Arnold – $3500 vs Eagles

Cardinals -6.5 favourites

49.0 over/under

Two weeks ago when Dan Arnold went 2-61-2 against the Rams I told myself to stay calm and not chase the points. Last weekend he followed that up with a 2-27-1 total and forced me to take notice. The targets haven’t crept over four per game all season and it’s far from ideal to rely on touchdowns, but if you’re down to this price range in the tight end market, you’re doing it to open up plays elsewhere. Kyler Murray looked better last weekend than he has in the previous few. Putting up 244 yards, compared with the previous two weeks totalling 343 yards combined. If Kyler is turning the corner on his fitness issues and feeling able to throw the ball better again then I’ll be looking to play pieces from that offence, and none are cheaper than Arnold. If you’re looking to stack Kyler and Hopkins, adding Arnold could give you a real differential from the crowd. 

Adam Shaheen – $3300 vs Patriots

Dolphins -2.5 favourites

42.0 over/under

Adam Shaheen update:

Update: Mike Gesicki Practiced on Friday and if he plays, I would avoid this play. 

In Tua’s six starts he’s averaged 9.6 targets per game to the tight end position. Totalling 58 to Mike Gesicki, Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe. Gesicki has seen the majority of those (38) but will miss out this week due to a shoulder injury. The Patriots rank 2nd best against the position and are by no means an easy matchup, but Tua has shown a propensity to pass to the position and Gesicki led the team in red-zone targets (12). This matchup won’t be an easy one to stomach, but if you’re looking for an almost minimum price tight end, Shaheen might be the guy. 

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