NFL DFS DEEP DIVE: Week 15

Well, folks, some semblance of DFS is going ahead this week and between a busy week in my day job and all of the ever-changing news, it’s held my side of things up a bit. It’s key to pay attention to which slates you’re playing and adjust your strategies accordingly. Normally I like to backload my teams so I can adjust and make decisions on swapping players as the day unfolds, but with the way things are, it might be better to play players you definitely know will play. I’ll add in last week’s results below shortly and there will probably be many updates to come!

Week 15

Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo vs Atlanta Falcons – $5800

Sigh… this should have been Trey’s time… next year, Rodney. Next year. Anyhow, Jimmy G gets a cupcake matchup against a team with a poor defence who rank dead last in DVOA. The Falcons have allowed seven top 12 performances to QB’s, which is tied for the second-most in the league and over the last five games they’ve allowed three. Atlanta also allows the 29th most fantasy points to QB’s over the last five games. The Falcons are limping along just about staying alive but the Niners are legit playoff contenders and should wipe the floor with them on their home turf.

Tua Tagovailoa @ New York Jets – $5700

In the last five weeks, the Jets have allowed four of the five quarterbacks who faced them to rank in the top twelve that week. During that spell, the Jets defence has allowed a league-worst 0.59 fantasy points per passing attempt and on the season allowed a league-worst 30.5 real-life points to be put upon them. Simply put, they stink and are way worse than most expected with Robert Saleh having a defensive background. When these teams met in week 11 Tua went 33/27/273 and had two touchdowns. I’m happy to bank on a similar performance again.

Gardner Minshew vs Washington – $5200 – Tuesday game.

It sounds very much like Jalen Hurts is struggling through an ankle injury and if the game wasn’t postponed it seemed like a lock Minshew would get another start. Now that this game is off the main slate Minshew may not be as attractive but he faces the leagues worst defence against the position and in week thirteen’s game against the Jets Minshew showed that behind a better offensive line than Jacksonville he could show composure and manage a game well. This is without getting into what a mess the WFT are due to Covid. With the game set to be played on Tuesday, it’s hard to know who will return to the WFT team by then but I would play Minshew over any QB on the Washington side of the game. 

Running backs

James Robinson vs Houston Texans – $5400

This price looked interesting even before Urban Meyer became Urban Fired. Now with long time run establisher Darren Bevell at the wheel, James Robinson looks like a certified smash play and as such don’t be surprised if he ends up chalky at this price. With the Texans in full tank mode now Robinson will be facing a defence that is counting down the days to the end of the season, they currently give up the 27th most points to running backs over the last five weeks and on the season allow the third-most points to backs in the receiving game. Robinson is going to off here. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole of the Jaguars sees an uptick in performance now they’re free from the stress of Meyer, but for cash games, J-Rob is the man.

Chase Edmonds @ Detroit Lions – $5100 

Chase Edmonds returns to the Cardinals at an opportune time. Verified stud James Conner hasn’t practised all week due to an ankle injury and is listed as questionable. It would be a strange decision if the Cardinals play him after they have been so cautious with injuries this season and you know, it’s the Lions. Meanwhile, Edmonds is fresh coming off I.R after five weeks without a game. Perhaps Edmonds isn’t the same type of runner that Conner is but he will be preferred to Eno Benjamin. Conner should absorb a huge amount of the workload against the leagues 29th ranked run defence in points given up to the position. Over the last five games, Detroit has allowed six running backs to have top 24 performances. That’s more than once a week. The numbers don’t get any better for the Lions the further you dive. No team sees more rushing attempts against them (31.6) and no team allows more rushing yards per game (135.2).

D’onta Foreman @ Pittsburgh Steelers – $5200

Defensive performance year to year isn’t sticky and the Steelers have regressed somewhat whilst also being dinged with injuries but sob stories don’t win us matchups and both of these teams need a win. Foreman seems to have found a role as the Titans preferred ground and pound back, seeing 32 attempts across his last two games and turning that into 156 yards at a healthy 4.8 yards per carry. The Steelers have given up the leagues most points to running backs over the last five games and the Titans have shown they aren’t able to or willing to move away from the run game despite Derrick Henry’s absence. This could make a great correlated play with Pittsburgh pass catchers in a GPP lineup. 

Michael Carter vs Miami Dolphins – $4700

Watch the status of this one carefully but if Carter is cleared from IR as expected, he could be an interesting play against a fairly good run defence who have been susceptible to pass-catching backs. I always like to gamble and be early on returning players in GPP’s. 

Wide Receivers

Marquez Valdes-Scantling @ Baltimore Ravens – $4900

It always hurts to write up players against my Ravens but this one feels like an out and out smash play and I’ll be using MVS in almost any lineup I make. The Ravens are without every single starter in the secondary, decimated at cornerback and safety. The team lacks experienced players at those positions and is just hoping to put out warm bodies at this point. The Ravens have struggled against the pass all season and allow big plays at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, Randall Cobb looks set to miss a while on injured reserve and the Packers use their receivers at the sixth-highest rate. MVS had already established himself as the WR2 in this offence but now should see even more opportunities. As it is MVS has seen the third most air yards in the league over the last month (120), and now looks set to be in an eruption spot against the Ravens. 

Christian Kirk @ Detroit Lions – $5300

If you’re not wild on Chase Edmonds, perhaps you prefer this play, or maybe game stacking the hell out of the Cardinals puts the mince in your pies. Either way, Kirk now finds himself elevated in the pecking order with Hopkins headed to I.R. Whilst the Lions are a bad run defence, they’re also a terrible pass defence, with numerous options out for the season. Opponents average 290 passing yards per game against Detroit, the third-most in the league and Detroit allows a league-leading 9.31 yards per attempt, as well as allowing the third most actual points per game (27.2). In games that Hopkins missed, Kirk has averaged 88% of snaps, which led the team. Expect Kirk’s price to escalate over the next few weeks.

Robby Anderson @ Buffalo Bills – $4800

This one is a real play for the bold, it’s not pretty at all. Whilst it’s not pretty, even the ugly duckling had its day and Robby Anderson finds himself top of the tree with D.J Moore banged up. If Moore misses out, I like using Anderson in-game stacks of the Bills as a bring back. The matchup couldn’t be worse with the Bills being the leagues stingiest defence against WR’s. Anderson comes into this game off the back of season highs in receptions (7) and yards (84), and if Moore misses, I’ll give this a look. It is not a cash play or a play worth considering without a Bills stack. 

Tight End

Mike Gesicki @ New York Jets – $5000

Gesicki takes on the Jets who’ve allowed the 25th most points to the position this year and have allowed two top 12 performances in the last four weeks. With the Dolphins wide receivers and running backs still depleted I like Gesicki’s chances in this spot and he’s an easy stack with Tua.

James O’Shaugnessy vs Houston Texans – $3200

Over the last three games, James O has averaged 5.6 targets a game and now faces the Texans who rank 24th against the position. At this price, we’re just looking for a couple of catches and ideally a touchdown. If you’re looking for a TE punt, this is a good territory with consistent usage.

Josiah Degura @ Baltimore Ravens – $2700

Check your oxygen levels because we’re getting deep now. Whilst the Ravens have improved against this position as the season has gone on, we’ve already covered how banged up this secondary is and their 20th rank over the last five weeks only looks to drop further in the coming weeks. With Tonyan out for the season, Degura has seen steady usage with multiple targets every week since week eight. If you’re looking for a leverage play against the chalkier options in this game, or just looking to punt TE as cheaply as possible, this is the play against a Ravens defence that has allowed TE’s to score in two of their last three games. 

more updates will definitely follow as the weekend progresses!

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