As both the NFL and our world continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, football can be a healthy distraction, and daily fantasy sport (DFS) sites offer a fun way to get skin in the game. Let’s break down the Week 15 slate at DraftKings.
If you want to fire up some studs in your DFS lineups, you’ll have to find cheaper options somewhere who can return value. By “value,” I mean a player who offers some upside but won’t bust for zero points. To hit value, a player should get between three to four times their salary in fantasy points. I’ll look at quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers under $6K, and at tight ends under $4.5K.
Check back next week for another slate of picks — and for my results from the week before!
Last Week’s Picks
Mike Glennon (JAC): 2.4 points (0.47x)
Jordan Akins (HOU): 5.0 points (1.72x)
Oof. Glennon got benched, Akins dropped a wide-open touchdown, and the rest of these guys just failed to deliver. Misses happen, but I’ll do my best to be more on-target this week.
This Week’s Value Plays
Chase Daniel (DET): $5,000 at TEN
With Matthew Stafford unlikely to play, Daniel should get the nod against the Titans. Tennessee gives up the sixth-most DraftKings points per game (DKPPG) to opposing quarterbacks (23.1), so Daniel should hit value here. He probably won’t have Kenny Golladay, but a supporting cast of Marvin Jones, D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson, and Danny Amendola should be enough for him to post respectable numbers. He has completed 57.9% of his passes for 123 yards, a score, and an interception in relief of Stafford already this season, which is fairly pedestrian, but he doesn’t need to score a ton to pay off his low-end price point. Daniel scored 15.4 points in his most recent start (Week 5, 2019), so I’m comfortable about projecting him to hit value (15 points) this week.
Honorable mention: If he starts, Alex Smith (WAS): $5,000 vs. SEA.
David Johnson (HOU): $5,100 at IND
The Colts have been rock-solid on defense this year, but they’ve been somewhat vulnerable to opposing rushers. They’ve allowed the 11th-fewest DKPPG to the position (22.6), but that includes the 10th-most receiving touchdowns (4) given up to the position. The Texans are quite banged-up on offense; Brandin Cooks should be back this week, but he’ll likely draw Xavier Rhodes in coverage. Aside from him, Deshaun Watson will have Keke Coutee, Chad Hansen, and Jordan Akins to target, none of which seem like great options. Johnson should have an expanded role in the passing game. Two weeks ago, Johnson ran the ball for 44 yards and a score against the Colts, and he added six catches for 24 yards. He should post similar numbers again this week.
Leonard Fournette (TB): $4,500 at ATL
This might be a controversial take, but Fournette is quite appealing now that Ronald Jones is on the COVID-19/reserve list and is dealing with a broken pinky. Sure, Bruce Arians just made him a healthy scratch last week. And sure, the Buccaneers have upstart rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn on the roster, too. But Arians said the decision was “nothing against Leonard,” and added that Fournette would start if Jones can’t play. So as long as Jones can’t go, you should fire up Fournette as a value play. That said, Arians has often told the press one thing and done another (see: Antonio Brown), so throwing LeSean McCoy ($4,000) into a lineup or two wouldn’t be a bad decision.
Honorable mention: Jeffrey Wilson (SF): $5,100 at DAL.
Keke Coutee (HOU): $5,100 at IND
Coutee led the Texans in receiving the last time that they played the Colts. He totaled eight receptions for 141 yards, drawing an impressive 30.7% of Watson’s targets. My only concern with Coutee was that Randall Cobb would replace him in the slot once he got back, but Cobb isn’t expected to return this year, so Coutee should control the slot work moving forward. With Brandin Cooks once again drawing Xavier Rhodes in coverage, I expect Coutee to have another strong performance against the Colts.
Darnell Mooney (CHI): $3,900 at MIN
Mooney has been a boom-or-bust option this year, and he’s in a big boom spot this week against the Vikings. His average depth of target (aDOT) comes 13.4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, in between other high-speed wideouts like Tyreek Hill (13.7) and Marvin Jones (13.2). Meanwhile, the Vikings give up the fifth-most DKPPG to the position (42.9) and surrender a league-high explosive pass rate (10%). While Mooney disappointed against Minnesota back in Week 10, that was with a banged-up Nick Foles throwing him the ball, so every Bears receiver suffered. Mooney should make up for the dud performance this week, and at just $3,900, he’s a fantastic low-price flier to throw into your lineup.
Honorable mention: Antonio Brown (TB): $5,400 at ATL.
Irv Smith (MIN): $3,600 vs. CHI
As of Wednesday, Kyle Rudolph hadn’t practiced since Week 13. With him sidelined last week, Smith led the Vikings in receiving yards (63) and receiving touchdowns (1). The sophomore tight end also caught all four of his targets. He’ll face the Bears this week, and their defense has been fantastic against almost every position this year — except tight ends. They give up the fifth-most DKPPG to the position (15.6), including the third-most touchdowns. Although Smith missed Minnesota’s last game against Chicago, Rudolph caught four of five targets for 63 yards, so Smith has a solid floor here.
Honorable mention: Logan Thomas (WAS): $4,000 vs. SEA.
Beyond our daily fantasy football content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Football Tools. From our Value Plays – which allows you to identify players who are projected to outperform their salaries – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.