FanDuel NFL Lineup Advice: Week 15 (Full Slate)
We’re looking at the Thursday NFL slate on FanDuel in this article. Every game from Thursday to Monday is on the slate we’re playing, starting tomorrow with LAC @ KC. Keep in mind that there are two games on Saturday this week, HOU @ NYJ and DEN @ CLE. It shouldn’t affect overall strategy, but be sure to keep an eye on lineups Saturday if you’re waiting on injury news.
One important thing to note when playing the all-week slate is how the Thursday and Monday games affect ownership. Often when fantasy players choose to play the all-week slate, it’s because they like a player or players in the Thursday or Monday game. That can make Thursday or Monday players a little more chalky than they usually would be if the game occurred on a Sunday. As a result, sometimes we can get more favorable ownership on Sunday chalk.
Philip Rivers (LAC @ KC): $8,300
The Thursday night game at Arrowhead could be a back-and-forth offensive battle, and Rivers challenges a Chiefs defense that has allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Rivers put up 30 FanDuel points when these teams met earlier in the season and could repeat that performance in a big game for the Chargers.
Christian McCaffery (CAR vs. NO): $9,100
Despite the Panthers’ five-game slide, McCaffery is arguably the hottest player in the NFL. He is averaging 28.57 points per game over his last six games, which puts most quarterbacks to shame. Carolina is up against a wall, and with a 51.5 O/U in their matchup against the Saints, expect McCaffery to be heavily involved in what should be a high-scoring game.
Doug Martin (OAK @ CIN): $6,300
The Muscle Hamster was something of a walking (or limping) joke coming into the season. There isn’t a fantasy owner with five or more years of experience that hasn’t been burned by Martin. But he’s been given a second chance in Oakland, and unlike some other people that have squandered their second chance with the Raiders, Martin is putting up solid fantasy numbers. He’s a lock for double-digit carries every week and has scored a touchdown in his last three games.
Cincinnati has been atrocious against the run this season, having allowed the most rush yards, second-most rushing touchdowns, and seventh-most yards per carry against rushers in 2018. They have also allowed the most FanDuel points to running backs this season. With three defensive tackles on injured reserve, help is not on the way for the Bengals, and Martin could be in for a nice game on the road against a banged up and lifeless defense.
Keenan Allen (LAC @ KC): $8,000
Allen is relatively cheap considering the matchup and his recent performance. He’s scored a touchdown in five straight games, and while touchdowns aren’t necessarily predictive of future performance, the 11.2 targets per game he’s gotten over that five-game stretch is great to see. We can stack a WR1 in Allen with a QB1 in Philip Rivers for just 27% of our budget, a great value considering the matchup and scoring potential.
Amari Cooper (DAL @ IND): $6,600
Cooper had a dominant 44.7-point performance last week against Philadelphia, but still isn’t getting his due as a WR1 from FanDuel. Maybe his numbers in Oakland are factored into his price tag, keeping it low, but we’ll happily take advantage of this inefficiency. Now, a smart person, which you dear reader certainly are, will look at the matchup and think, “But the Colts defense is good. They’ve allowed the sixth-fewest points to wide receivers and the 18th-most passing yards this season.” And that is a very astute observation to make, but let’s contextualize their performance this season, because, in this writer’s opinion, Indianapolis has benefited from facing perhaps the easiest/worst string of quarterbacks in modern NFL history, at least.
Between getting shredded by Tom Brady in Week 5 and taking on Deshaun Watson last week, the Colts faced the following quarterbacks: Sam Darnold, Derek Anderson, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, (mostly) Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Tannehill, and Cody Kessler. After facing those quarterbacks, and I use that term loosely, the Colts’ defense has inflated numbers. There is no reason to fear them with how Cooper has been playing.
Zay Jones (BUF vs. DET): $5,100
Josh Allen may not be polished yet, but unlike other Bills quarterbacks, he isn’t afraid to throw the ball downfield. That is great for a deep threat like Jones, who has embraced the boom-or-bust play style as of late. He has scored either greater than 19 points or fewer than four over his last four games. While some may consider cutting Kelvin Benjamin addition by subtraction, it at least clears up more targets for Jones, who is the Bills’ only playmaker in the passing game.
Rob Gronkowski (NE @ PIT): $6,900
Pathetic tackle attempt on the last play notwithstanding, Gronk had his best game of the season last week and will take that momentum against a defense that has struggled against tight ends in 2018. The Steelers have allowed the fifth-most points to opposing tight ends this season and were dominated by Jared Cook last week for 116 yards. Normally it’s wise to go cheap at tight end, but with Gronkowski as only the fourth-most expensive tight end on this slate in a great matchup, the value is too good to pass up.
Jaylen Samuels (PIT vs. NE): $5,500
James Conner’s health seems iffy, and Stevan Ridley’s talent also seems iffy, which puts Samuels in line for a heavy workload against the Patriots. This game has a 52.0 O/U and one of the main backs is under $6,000. If Conner doesn’t play, Samuels is a no-brainer. Samuels was sort of underwhelming last week, which hopefully keeps his ownership down. His pass-catching ability should guarantee at least 15 touches for him in a close, high-scoring game.
Buffalo Bills D/ST (BUF vs. DET): $4,200
This game has the second-lowest total on the slate with a 38.5 O/U, and Buffalo is actually a -2.5-point favorite in this one after the game opened as a pick ’em. Detroit has scored the eighth-fewest points this season, committed the 12th-most turnovers, and allowed the 12th-most sacks in the NFL. They haven’t scored more than 20 points in the last three games, and haven’t scored over 22 in their last seven. The Lions reek of a team that has given up and the Bills could take advantage at home.