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Top FanDuel NFL DFS Upside Picks: Week 15 (2020)

Dec 18, 2020

Welcome back to Ball Street DFS, where finance and fantasy meet. In this weekly article, I apply financial metrics to the fantasy football world to give you an edge when building your FanDuel lineups. 

In Week 14, a handful of Ball Street DFS picks popped off. Mid-Cap plays David Montgomery (RB7 overall, 23.0 FanDuel points) and Mike Gesicki (TE2, 21.0) put up elite performances, and T.Y. Hilton (WR3, 23.1) was a week-winner at the Penny Stock level. While Justin Herbert (QB17, 16.72), James Robinson (RB21, 10.3), and Diontae Johnson (WR64, 6.0) all disappointed, Penny Stock plays Jalen Hurts (QB13, 19.28) and Logan Thomas (TE15, 7.3) picked up the slack by outperforming their price tags. While outperformance is nice, we seek week-winning upside here on Ball Street. Here’s to a few more Hiltons and Gesickis in Week 15.

Today, I’ll be highlighting 12 players who, based on investment metrics, are oozing with upside and need to be plugged into your Week 15 DFS lineups.

Before we dive in, let me break down the lingo we use on “Ball Street.” First, the focus of this article is a value I coined “Upside per Dollar,” which will be referred to as UPD. “UPD” is the product of a modified financial formula that determines how much “blowup potential” a given player offers you per dollar of your investment (his FanDuel price). In short, UPD tells you which players present the most potential bang for your buck. Below, I will highlight the 12 players who boast exceptionally high UPD scores for Week 15. 

Each position group is broken down as follows: 

  • Blue Chips: the studs presenting massive upside that come with a higher price tag
  • Mid-Caps: the more affordable upside picks
  • Penny Stocks: the cheapest upside plays FanDuel has to offer
  • *Cash Cow: The one must-start UPD standout among all 12 listed players

Lastly, if you’re looking to go all-in on this week’s upside picks, you can check out Ball Street’s “All-Upside Lineup” at the bottom of the article. Follow me on Twitter @ballstreetff to track the results from Week 15 and beyond!

Create Optimal FanDuel lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>


Blue Chip: Lamar Jackson (BAL) vs. Jacksonville ($8,200): Week 14 saw Lamar Jackson’s return to form, as he ran his way to a 34.92-point, overall QB1 finish. The 2019 MVP now has 218 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in his last two outings. I fully expect more of the same against the Jaguars, who rank in the league’s bottom-five defenses against both quarterbacks and running backs.

Mid-Cap: Ryan Tannehill (TEN) vs. Detroit ($7,700): While Tannehill didn’t have to do much last week, he should see plenty of scoring opportunities against a vulnerable Lions defense in Week 15. Averaging over 2 passing touchdowns per game, Tannehill could exceed that number as the Titans sport a league-high implied point total of 31.25.

Penny Stock: Jalen Hurts (PHI) vs. Arizona ($6,900): While Hurts wasn’t exceptional through the air in his first start, he put up over 100 yards on the ground against a tough New Orleans defense. This week, I expect him to build on his Week 14 success as the Eagles offense will need to keep pace with the Cardinals’ air raid attack. 

Running Backs 

Blue Chip: Derrick Henry (TEN) vs. Detroit ($10,200): Coming off a sensational 200-yard, two-score performance against the Jaguars, Henry is justifiably priced as the overall RB1 entering Week 15. Still, he offers tantalizing upside against a Lions defense that has given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs. This won’t be pretty.

Mid-Cap: D’Andre Swift (DET) vs. Tennessee ($6,700): After missing three weeks with a concussion, the elusive rookie returned to a prominent role in the Lions’ backfield. With five targets in each of his last three outings, Swift offers boom potential in a game where Detroit will need to throw the ball early and often. 

Penny Stock: Wayne Gallman (NYG) vs. Cleveland ($5,800): Since Week 7, Gallman is averaging 15 carries and nearly 3 targets per game. While that volume did not amount to much in Week 14, he carries immense upside against a Browns defense that was gashed on the ground by Baltimore in primetime.

Wide Receivers 

Blue Chip: Calvin Ridley (ATL) vs. Tampa Bay ($8,400): With Julio Jones officially out, Ridley will maintain the alpha wide receiver role in the Falcons’ offense. Averaging 10 targets per game over the last month, the sky is the limit for Ridley against a middle-of-the-pack Bucs secondary.

*Mid-Cap: Brandon Aiyuk (SF) vs. Dallas ($6,900): Since earning more snaps for the 49ers in Week 7, Aiyuk has averaged a seven-catch, 99-yard stat line per game. In that time, he has also scored three touchdowns. He should not be this cheap, and you can start the man confidently. *Aiyuk is this week’s Cash Cow play. Get him in your lineups!

Penny Stock: Cole Beasley (BUF) vs. Denver ($5,800): Over the past month, Beasley has averaged over 9 targets from Josh Allen per game. While that amounted to a meager 5/41 stat line in Week 14, he’ll see plenty of opportunities in a game where Vegas projects the Bills to score 27.75 points.

Tight Ends 

Blue Chip: Robert Tonyan (GB) vs. Carolina Panthers ($6,500): Quietly fantasy football’s overall TE4, Tonyan has seen five targets AND one touchdown in each of his last four games. Given the consistent volume, I love his upside in what could be a high-scoring affair with the Panthers.

Mid-Cap: Logan Thomas (WAS) vs. Seattle ($5,600): While Alex Smith remains a question mark for Week 15, Thomas has become an unavoidable focal point of Washington’s offense. With 19 receptions and two touchdowns over his last three games, Thomas is a great play in what should be a pass-heavy attack against the Seahawks. 

Penny Stock: Irv Smith Jr. (MIN) vs. Chicago ($5,400): With Kyle Rudolph out of the lineup last week, we saw Smith Jr. put up a strong 4-63-1 stat line. Rudolph is yet to practice this week, so Smith Jr. is looking like an absolute steal at his price tag. On top of that, Chicago has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. If Rudolph is out for this one, lock Smith Jr. into your FanDuel lineups and don’t look back. 

 Ball Street’s Week 15 All-Upside Lineup

  • QB – Jalen Hurts, $6,900
  • RB – Derrick Henry, $10,200
  • RB – D’Andre Swift, $6,700
  • WR – Calvin Ridley, $8,400
  • WR – Brandon Aiyuk, $6,900
  • WR – Cole Beasley, $5,800
  • TE – Logan Thomas, $5,600
  • FLEX – Wayne Gallman, $5,800
  • DEF – New York Giants, $3,700

Create Optimal FanDuel lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>

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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.

Stephen Krupka is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Stephen, check out his archive or follow him @ballstreetff.

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