NFL DFS: Week 15 Picks (DraftKings)
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Welcome to week 15 of the NFL season! Playoffs are winding down in season-long leagues, but we're still going strong playing daily fantasy sports.
Each week, we’ll be previewing the main slate on DraftKings. Our philosophy with these selections is to provide you with solid floor plays with some upside to start your roster construction, with potential GPP pivots for even further upside in tournaments.
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If you're new to DFS, I'd recommend checking out our DFS 101 article before getting started, as it can give this column a lot more context.
If you'd like to see how I did in previous weeks, you can find that here: Week 14 | Week 13 | Week 12 | Week 11 | Week 10 | Week 9 | Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1
Please note that the authors of this post are also players of daily fantasy sports, and the selections they make when creating their rosters may or may not include players listed below. You can find Derek Devereaux on DraftKings via the username DerekDevereaux.
This week’s lineup building beer of choice
Phase Three Brewing Company - Warmest Wishes
So let me preface this by saying I actually want to write about the Peppermint variant of this beer, because yes, it is phenomenal. But this oatmeal milk stout is solid standing alone, too. If you're reading this, brewers at Phase Three, please get more of the Peppermint variety up to Wisconsin. Signed, Derek.
All lines via Bovada, current as of Saturday morning.
Houston at Indianapolis -6.5, 51 total
Detroit at Tennessee -9, 51.5 total (opened at 54.5)
Chicago at Minnesota -3, 47 total
Tampa Bay -6.5 at Atlanta, 48.5 total (opened at 50.5)
Seattle -6.5 at Washington, 43.5 total (opened at 49.5)
Jacksonville at Baltimore -13, 48 total (opened at 49.5)
New England at Miami -1.5, 41.5 total (opened at 42.5)
San Francisco -3 at Dallas, 45 total
NY Jets at LA Rams -17, 43.5 total (opened at 44.5)
Philadelphia at Arizona -6.5, 49 total (opened at 46.5)
Kansas City -3 at New Orleans, 52.5 total (opened at 50.5)
Favorite games to target
Ownership might get a bit funky this slate. I think Kansas City and New Orleans will garner it pretty heavily, given it's a massive matchup and Drew Brees is back (albeit without Michael Thomas). I really hope Philly and Arizona goes under the radar because it opened low and the Eagles have been bad, because these two games will probably make up most of my GPP exposure. I expect two running backs to be very popular in the other two games above 50 totals, which could lead to some nice chances for leverage by playing the passing components instead.
Kyler Murray, $7000, ARI (vs. PHI)
That shoulder looks fine! I was on him last week, and the stat line looks much worse than he actually did. 35 pass attempts and 13 rushes might be buried by people looking at the end results being terrible for four weeks straight. Don't be afraid to get on before the train leaves the station again.
Ryan Tannehill, $6700, TEN (vs. DET)
As hinted at above, I expect Derrick Henry to be massive chalk this week, and he obviously is in a really great spot, too. But this game is a 51.5 total, and there's nothing stopping the passing game to being the path that takes most of the scoring at much lower ownership. Even in blowouts, it's possible for this to happen (hello, week 5 against Buffalo). What happens if Henry only gets to 20 DK points and the Titans win by two or more touchdowns? It either came through the defense or through Tannehill. You choose what possibility you think makes sense.
Philip Rivers, $5900, IND (at HOU)
See above. Jonathan Taylor is also going to be massive chalk, although it might be lessened by Alvin Kamara's probable rise in popularity. But the same concept applies. I don't think he has quite the upside Tannehill does, but he's also $800 cheaper and his weapons are also much cheaper.
Potential GPP pivots: Lamar Jackson ($7500, vs. JAX), Drew Brees ($5900, vs. KC), Jalen Hurts ($5900, at ARI)
Derrick Henry, $9500, TEN (vs. DET)
The thing that makes me hesitate when seeing Derrick Henry as chalk at this price is he needs to score to pay off his value - and probably score twice. Of course, he did that last week while rushing for 215 (!) yards. He's got a similar matchup this week against a poor Lions team that may not even have Matthew Stafford (currently listed as questionable, although I think he does end up playing). It seems like such an obvious spot for him to gather plenty of raw points and even feel safe enough for cash, but is he necessary in GPPs? I'm not as sure on that.
Alvin Kamara, $7400, NO (vs. KC)
Kamara is obviously priced as if Taysom Hill was still the quarterback, which was thought to be the case until late this week. Now we get news that Brees is back, and he loves finding Kamara. Then we get additional news that Michael Thomas is being put on IR. This feels so obvious that it'll be a ten target game for Kamara. The Chiefs have allowed over 600 receiving yards to running backs this season. I think his ownership will come up. The only question I'm asking myself is whether or not it's a mistake to put him in over half of my GPP lineups (even pairing him with Brees). He's in the highest total game on the slate, at home in the dome. I don't think it will be.
Leonard Fournette, $4500, TB (at ATL)
How does a guy who was a healthy scratch the week prior end up falling into this article? Well, the starter has to be out with an injury, for one. Check! Then, you have to look at the other running backs that were healthy and determine whether they were just change of pace backs or guys that would take on volume if called upon. Welp, we know that answer. Check! Then, we'd like to see some vote of confidence from the coach calling him the starter. Check! Check! Check! AND THEN, we'd like to see the matchup against a below average defense. We have a winner! It should be important to note that Fournette, in the three games that he saw double-digit touches while splitting time, only topped 60 yards once, so it's not like this is a sure-fire play, but it does feel like one of the best cheap options.
Potential GPP pivots: Cam Akers ($6600, vs. NYJ), David Johnson ($5100, at IND), Salvon Ahmed (if he is active, $4700, vs. MIA), Sony Michel ($4300, at MIA)
DeAndre Hopkins ($7900, vs. PHI)
See Murray, Kyler. Also of note, besides the fact that Hopkins is a bonafide stud, the Eagles secondary is depleted, which may be part of the reason this total keeps rising. I expect another double-digit target game, and we're looking for the 100 yard bonus and/or a touchdown to get the upside we need. Either one is in play here.
Brandon Aiyuk, $6300, SF (at DAL)
We have been on him for a couple of weeks now, and I think ownership will finally catch up to him that he might be almost overowned in GPPs. But he still feels underpriced if his output is still going to include nearly double digit targets every game with big-play ability. Dallas isn't a matchup to fear, but Nick Mullens at QB still isn't ideal.
Michael Gallup, $3500, DAL (vs. SF)
And on the opposite side of the game, Gallup is still really cheap for the targets that he's getting in this passing game. He's seen at least five targets in every game since Week 7, including double digits twice. Sure, you can throw a dart at anyone down here at much lower ownership, but you're trading 10% of ownership for 50% of the theoretical targets. I don't see much else that intrigues me below him unless we get some late-breaking injury news.
Potential GPP pivots: Allen Robinson ($7400, at MIN), Brandin Cooks ($6000, at IND), Russell Gage ($4700, vs. TB), Emmanuel Sanders ($4200, vs. KC)
Travis Kelce, $8000, KC (at NO)
Is $8000 too expensive for a tight end? Not if that tight end is leading the league in receiving yards, sixth in receptions and sixth in touchdowns. Would you play him at $8000 if he was a wide receiver? Of course you would. I don't normally play two tight ends in lineups, but if that second tight end gets me that, why not?
Cole Kmet, $3000, CHI (at MIN)
Kmet appears to have taken over the primary tight end duties in Chicago, and in fact, he's outperforming what Jimmy Graham was doing prior to the takeover. People might look at his points per game and see the miniscule 3.9 number, as he's surrounded by guys with much higher numbers (including the guy he passed!), and pass him up. Two straight games with seven targets, a touchdown in there as well. There's a floor here that's exceeding his price tag if it continues, and the touchdown can get him to 5x his price.
Potential GPP pivots: Dallas Goedert ($3900, at ARI), Jared Cook ($3400, vs. KC)
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Good luck, and may your screens be green!