FantasyPros Over/Under Challenge Advice: Week 15
Good luck to those of you who reached the semifinals in your fantasy football leagues! Below are my picks for Week 15 of the Over/Under Challenge sponsored by BetMGM.
Kyler Murray (QB – ARI) vs PHI – Over 21.2
Since shocking the football world with his Nuclear Warhead Hail Mary connection to DeAndre Hopkins at the buzzer of Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills, Murray, and the Cardinals have been on quite the tailspin. After dropping three of their last four, Arizona’s struggles with Kliff Kingsbury’s Arizona Raid offense can largely be attributed to Murray’s inability to effectively scramble, totaling 108 yards and without any scores to show for it over the past four games. Now, that’s not to say we can let Murray off the hook with his arm either, having compiled a passer rating of 87.5 over that same span. But after 13 carries for a measly 47 yards last week against the Giants, Murray appears to have regained the health necessary to unleash his twitchy rushing capabilities. Going up against a depleted Eagles secondary that will be missing Darius Slay, Murray races back into the good graces of his fantasy managers, just in time for them to make a serious push for their league title(s). Murray finds the end zone with his legs for the first time since Week 10, on top of two scores through the air.
Tom Brady (QB – TB) @ ATL – Under 19.4
Tom Brady’s performance against the Minnesota Vikings last week was much more impactful for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Bruce Arians than in the fantasy community. On paper, the matchup against Mike Zimmer’s bottom-feeder pass defense (ranked 25th in the NFL) screamed smash potential, but it, unfortunately, resulted in the fewest pass attempts of Brady’s season (23) with Tampa Bay getting up by three scores early in the third quarter. With Atlanta being without Julio Jones for the second straight week, Brady and the Bucs won’t find themselves needing to put the ball in the air too often in this one. Matt Ryan, fresh off a hat trick interception performance against the Los Angeles Chargers, will continue his abysmal play without his game breaking wideout. Arians and the Bucs can put their 43-year-old quarterback on ice for another week as the objective is to get out of Atlanta with an easy victory and with their key players healthy for the playoffs.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO) vs KC – Over 16.3
Can you believe it? I’m having a difficult time coming to grips with it myself: The sun actually rose and despite all odds, Alvin Kamara still managed to maintain his RB1 status during the four-game stretch of Taysom Hill leading this New Orleans Saints offense. It’s utterly unfathomable to think that Kamara could find the end zone in three of those four games.
While playing with a quarterback who just so happened to complete over 70% of his passes and achieve a passer rating of over 100 in every single game when he wasn’t forced to go up against a practice squad wide receiver moonlighting as a starting NFL quarterback, Kamara wasn’t relied upon in the Saints passing game. Instead, Hill had the audacity to force-feed one of the best receivers on the planet, Michael Thomas, 37 targets across his four starts. Playing with a quarterback who is capable of throwing the ball 10-plus yards downfield on a consistent basis will throw the occasional wrench in Kamara’s receiving workload.
But luckily for Kamara, his noodle-armed, geezer quarterback makes his Herculean return for a Week 15 showdown against the world champion Kansas City Chiefs. While the Saints offense will be considerably easier to defend with a senior citizen statue at quarterback, Kamara’s fantasy value, especially in PPR, will see an uptick. Buckle up for 60 minutes worth of fireworks in this clash of the titans between Andy Reid and Sean Payton. And for Pete’s sake, can we please get the Chiefs in the all-white road uniforms? Is that too much to ask?
Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND) vs HOU – Over 14.3
Following a three week stinker stint from Week 8 to Week 10, the rookie running back has regained control of Frank Reich’s Indianapolis Colts backfield. Averaging just over 21 touches per game over the past three weeks, fantasy managers appear to be out of the woods with their former Wisconsin Badgers runner. Going up against the same Houston Texans defense that he torched just two weeks ago (135 scrimmage yards and a receiving score on 16 touches), you can get your bottom dollar that Taylor throws his bib on continues to eat in this AFC South divisional matchup. Houston’s 31st ranked rushing defense hasn’t gotten any better since the last time Taylor lit them up.
Cam Akers (RB – LAR) vs NYJ – Over 13.9
Sean McVay backfield truthers unite! After waiting on the edge of our seat for pretty much the entire season, McVay has officially handed the keys of his backfield to the second round rookie out of Florida State. Coming off back-to-back weeks with over 22 or more touches, Akers gets yet another mouth-watering matchup against the winless, Gregg Williams-less New York Jets. Akers and the Rams will make quick work of Fireman Ed’s beloved J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets! Getting themselves that much closer to Trevor Lawrence and that #1 draft pick. Akers explodes with triple-digit scrimmage yards and his first career game with multiple scores.
Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)@ DAL – Over 13.0
Is defensive coordinator Mike Nolan still getting a check from Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys? Check.
Has Brandon Aiyuk exceeded this projection every single time over his last five games? Check.
Is Nick Mullens‘ mediocre play the equivalent to Jimmy Garappolo in this offense? Check.
Is Aiyuk going to continue to be spoon-fed targets for 60 minutes? Check.
Should Jerry Jones kidnap Lincoln Riley and only allow him to leave Jerry’s World after he becomes the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys? Check.
Don’t waste your time giving this one too much thought.
Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS)vs SEA – Over 12.3
In a disappointing turn of events, Alex “All I Do Is Win” Smith is forced to return to the sidelines after injuring his calf in Week 14’s victory “at” San Francisco. With Dwayne Haskins getting the call from Riverboat Ron Rivera’s bullpen, McLaurin should see his fantasy value spike against the league’s most accommodating pass defense. With Seattle ranking dead last at stopping the pass, I’m expecting McLaurin to break out of his two week blunder and get back on the right side of things. Not only is the matchup pristine for McLaurin, but his splits with Haskins are considerably better. The second-year wideout out of Ohio State averaged nearly 10 targets, 6.5 receptions, and 97 receiving yards per game with Haskins under center for the first four games of the season.
Mike Evans (WR – TB) @ ATL – Under 11.7
As I alluded to earlier in the Tom Brady bit, I’d be shocked if Tampa Bay found themselves having to throw the ball more than 25 times against a Falcons team that will be without Julio Jones. It’s the worst kept secret this side of the Mississippi: Julio Jones makes this Falcons offense go. Without him, they’re a glorified semi-pro club. Tom Brady and Mike Evans better hook up for a first half touchdown, because this one will be over by halftime. Leonard Fournette gets to have himself a day operating as the Buccaneers’ clear-cut RB1 sans Ronald Jones.
Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE) @ NYG – Under 11.5
With all signs pointing to Colt McCoy getting the nod for the second time in three weeks, I’m expecting the Browns to run the ball early and often. As we saw during McCoy’s Week 13 start against Seattle’s league-worst pass defense (105 passing yards on 22 attempts), the former Longhorn doesn’t pose a threat whatsoever to the Browns getting back on track on a short week following Monday night’s instant classic against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. No third quarter trip to the can — I mean, IV treatment for cramps — will be necessary in this Sunday Night Football snooze fest. Cleveland takes care of business and leans on its two-headed monster at running back with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, winning by three scores.
T.J. Hockenson (TE – DET) @ TEN – Under 10.0
Since Kenny Golladay exited the Detroit lineup back in Week 8, Hockenson has established himself as Matthew Stafford‘s most reliable target. Averaging just over eight targets per game over this stretch, Hockenson has left a little to be desired having only crossed the end zone two times over the past seven weeks. Even though the second-year tight end out of Iowa found pay dirt just a week ago against Green Bay, my money is Mike Vrabel corralling Detroit’s top weapon. Hockenson just narrowly misses the over in Week 15, as he’ll continue to gobble up yardage through his steady diet of targets courtesy of Stafford.
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