Daily Fantasy Week 15: Shootouts and Defensive Struggles
Hi Daily Fantasy Veterans and Rookies,
Wow…the strategy of looking at the high over/under games certainly paid off this week as the highest game with a 56 O/U between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers paid off big time they put 80 total points on the scoreboard. Look at some of these fantasy point totals: Aaron Rodgers – 31; Matt Ryan – 35; Eddie Lacy – 28; Julio Jones – 46!!!; Jordy Nelson – 38; and even Steven Jackson was relevant at his $3,900 salary with 15.6 points.
This week Draft Kings is having a huge $3,000,000 Millionaire Maker contest for only $27 to enter. First place is a cool $1,000,000 with second place getting $150,000 and third place, $75,000. To help you set the optimal team (and hopefully take home one of these major cash prizes), just like every week this season, we look for those games that the odds makers in Vegas see as high scoring affairs, which means a lot of fantasy points should be racked up just like last week’s Falcons/Packers game, and which should be low scoring games where the points will be hard to come by.
To check out the first article of this series for a complete description of the strategy: CLICK HERE
With no byes and only one game on Thursday Night, we have players from 30 teams available to us. It’s nice isn’t it? Hopefully the below analysis can help you make the tough choices and provide some tie-breaking info as you put your lineup together.
Here we go: Looking at Week 15, there are five games that meet our 50 point over/under threshold.
Over/Under with Positive Impact on Value: TARGET PLAYERS ON THESE TEAMS THIS WEEK
For our negative game(s) we look for games under 42 points.
Over/Under with Negative Impact on Value: AVOID PLAYERS ON THESE TEAMS THIS WEEK
Note: If you play contests that include the Thursday Night game, the over/under for the game between the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams is 39 ½ so sit all of your offensive players here, but look strongly at both D/STs.
Basic strategy with the above information is to look for studs and lower priced value in the “POSITIVE” games and look to avoid most but not all of the players in the “NEGATIVE” games.
Now with our tools (FFC Strength of Schedule, FF Champs Defense Stats Allowed , The FFCPI and the FFC Daily Fantasy Rank Tool) primed and ready to go, we can now review our target games and make some decisions and look for value:
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Atlanta Falcons:
This week the Falcons showed what kind of defense they have, terrible! They were gashed by Green Bay’s running backs and Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson just made them look foolish. This week, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Big Ben Roethlisberger come to town.
Le’Veon Bell has proved unstoppable recently and is having a career year. In his last three games, Bell posted 33, 42 and last week 51 fantasy points. The Falcons are giving up the 2nd most points to RBs; even at his top DK salary of $9,600 it is hard to imagine a lineup without Bell in it.
Antonio Brown is also expensive at $8,700 but also looks very attractive versus the Falcons’ defense. Last week while Bell put up 50 points, Brown was still able to post 24 fantasy points.
Big Ben at $7,900 is a nice value as he has posted 31 points in each of his last two games and should be in line for another productive day. Martavis Bryant got back on track this week posting 24 points on 4 receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown. He is definitely up and down but Roethlisberger does look for him deep and at $4,800 he could be good flex.
On Atlanta’s side of the ball, the Steelers defense is giving up the 5th most points to QBs, the 14th most to WR and the 16th most to RBs. All of this makes Matt Ryan at only $6,600 very interesting (35 points last week versus Green Bay). If Julio can’t go this week, downgrade Ryan a bit.
Julio Jones is a flat out stud and if he plays (and reports later this week indicate that he will be close to 100%) at only $7,800, Julio is an absolute steal. Roddy White is relatively inexpensive at $5,800. While he only had 5 targets versus the Packers, Julio sucked up all the targets, if Julio Jones is a no go on Sunday, Roddy is a must start at $5,800. Also very interesting if Julio does not start or is limited, is Harry Douglas at only $4,200, in week 13 with Roddy White on the sidelines, Douglas moved into the WR2 slot and posted 24 fantasy points. If Julio is out, Douglas again will be Ryan’s number two target and is a very solid WR3 or Flex play at his salary level.
Finally, if you are putting together a “cash game” lineup, Steven Jackson is a solid flex play at only $3,800, he will not get you 25 points, but you can pencil him in for 13-16 points versus the Steelers and that is good for your cash game lineups.
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles:
It’s a showdown for the NFC East top spot, it’s in primetime and it should be a barn burner. The last time they played was just two weeks ago and the Eagles embarrassed the Cowboys in their own building. This week the Cowboys will be out for blood.
Neither defense is anything to be scared of: The Dallas Cowboys are 25th versus the pass and 17th versus the run; while the Eagles are 26th versus the pass and 16th versus the run. All of the offense stars should be in consideration for your lineups.
At QB, both Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez are well priced at $7,300 and $6,500, respectively and both should be good for over 20 fantasy points, putting their cost per point under the $375 level.
At RB, DeMarco Murray is just a beast, just realize that is you want to “pay-up” for him at $9,500, you will have to find some real bargains at other positions. LeSean McCoy on the other hand is inexpensive at $6,600. While he only had 4 fantasy points versus the Seahawks defense last week, the Cowboys are not the Seahawks, and McCoy should bounce back in this huge game for his team.
At WR, this game presents huge value, with Dez Bryant at $7,900, Jeremy Maclin at $6,100 and Jordan Matthews at $5,600. These salaries are just too good to pass up and provide a great way to save cap space to spend on some of the higher priced running backs this week.
At TE, I don’t trust the Eagles Ertz and Celek and even with their low prices there is other value out there. After several good weeks in the middle of the season, the last two weeks have seen Witten’s fantasy points drop to 1.8 and 4.6. He is back in his blocking roll and with Romo back healthy he is not looking to dump the ball off as quickly.
New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears:
With a 54 point over/under, the Vegas boys do not seem too concerned with Brandon Marshall’s absence or Drew Brees’ stinker versus the Carolina Panthers last week.
Brees has been totally up and down this year, posting 30 fantasy points at Pittsburgh with five touchdowns two weeks ago, followed up by a single touchdown game versus the Panthers with a completion percentage below 60%. At $8,400 versus the Bears (giving up the most points to QBs) on Monday night, I am looking for Brees to have an up week and justify his salary.
Mark Ingram has definitely slowed down a bit, and the Bears are middle of the pack versus RBs in the run game, so even at a relatively inexpensive $6,000, Ingram should be considered, but is not a no brainer.
At WR, Kenny Stills ($5,700) & Marques Colston ($4,600) are facing a Bears defense giving up the 6th most points to WRs. Stills is probably my choice, but Colston also has solid value.
Now we come to the great conundrum of the last few weeks. What is wrong with Jimmy Graham? In the last four weeks he has scored more than 6 fantasy points only once, including a great big goose egg. Any other TE with this production would be a lot cheaper than $6,300, and the price is incredibly attractive for “Jimmy Graham”, the question is: Is Jimmy Graham, Jimmy Graham right now?
For the Bears, the Saints are just awful on defense. Stewart and the Panthers totally gashed them last week and Matt Forte is a definite start this week. At $9,000, of course he is expensive, but of the top RBs (including Murray and Bell), he is the cheapest and perhaps could provide the best value.
Brandon Marshall’s absence could have an impact on Jay Cutler’s value, as his main target and security blanket will not be on the field, at $7,500 versus the weak Saints defense however, he should still have a good game and could blow up as he tries to keep pace with Brees.
At WR, Marshall’s absence is a double edged sword for Alshon Jeffrey; he will obviously see more targets but should also see more coverage. For $8,200, I am banking on the benefit of more targets versus increased coverage. More coverage by a bad defense doesn’t necessarily mean the Saints will be able to stop him.
Further impact of Marshall’s injury is to Martellus Bennett. He has posted 22 and 26 fantasy points the last two games and without Marshall, Cutler may have to depend on his TE more and at $5,900, Bennett should be in line to produce to justify this salary number.
Finally, the Bears are going to need at least one other WR and it looks like it will be Marquess Wilson. At $3,000 this a complete and total flyer as he really has not done much as the number three guy and it’s much more likely that Bennett in truth becomes the #2 receiver option, with Forte also receiving a good deal more action in the passing game.
Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers:
Will the real Philip Rivers please stand up? The Denver Broncos are giving up the 9th most points to QBs, making Rivers at only $6,200 very interesting. At the same time the Broncos are giving up the fewest points to RB, making the Charger RBs (Mathews and Oliver) total fades this week. After two good weeks, the Patriots pretty much shut out Keenan Allen (2.3 fantasy points); however the Broncos are giving up the 5th most points to WRs making Allen solid value at $6,000. As for Malcolm Floyd and Eddie Royal, both are totally TD dependent and it’s difficult to predict which if either will score. I would fade these guys this week.
Ok, who stole the Broncos and are they going to give them back. The last few weeks have seen the Broncos ride CJ Anderson and the running game to victory, while making fantasy players crazy. However, with the Chargers giving up the 9th fewest points to RBs, it might be time for the pass happy Broncos to make a return and for CJ Anderson to slow down a bit. At $7,800, Anderson may have finally reached the point where he is priced correctly and is ok value, but not great. At $8,900, Peyton Manning looks like a steal this week. In the pleasant weather in San Diego, Peyton should return to the passing attack and in addition to his own value makes Demaryius at $8,300 and Emmanuel Sanders at $7,500 must starts as well.
At TE, if Julius Thomas ($5,100) will actually be on the field he is a must start in the wasteland that is the TE position, as is Antonio Gates at $4,500 versus the Broncos defense giving up the 4th most points to TEs.
Green Bay Packers @ Buffalo Bills:
What do you want me to say? You are playing as many Green Bay Packers as you can get in your lineup. They are a freaking point scoring machine!! Rodgers is affordable at $9,200. Jordy and Cobb, priced at $7,800 and $7,300, respectively are just too well-priced to pass up. Eddie Lacy is also affordable at $7,500 but he must be watched closely on the injury report. If he is looking less than 100% an interesting play would be James Starks at $3,000. Even if Lacy plays, Starks will still get some carries and if the Packers get up big, Lacy would probably come off the field proving Starks with some nice garbage time opportunities.
For the Bills, who will definitely be in catchup mode, Orton could be a cheap QB option at only $5,500, and Sammy Watkins at $5,600 should definitely get some consideration, especially since the Packers are giving up the 15th most points to WRs.
Now, on to the games to avoid:
NEGATIVE GAMES: (Remember, a negative game does not mean that all players will stink and not put up fantasy numbers, it just means that there is generally better value to be had elsewhere)
Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs:
Some points (around 40) will be score in this game and Jamaal Charles will score them. At $8,700 he is not a bad play. Aside from Charles, I am fading the rest of the players in this matchup. Kansas City’s offense aside from Charles is really non-existent, and Kansas City’s defense and “Arrowhead” should keep Oakland wrapped up tight.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks:
The Legion of Boom seems to be back, especially in the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field, the home of the “12th Man”. With a 49ers offense that could only managed to score 13 points versus the Oakland Raiders last week, and has not scored more than 17 points since week 10, playing any of the offense players on the Niners is not a way to win a daily fantasy contest.
The 49ers defense is also strong, making Marshawn Lynch play problematic. He did rush for 104 yards versus the Niners in week 13, but did not get into the end zone, the 15 Fantasy Points he posted in that game do not justify his $7,300 salary. After his four touchdown performance versus the Giants in week 10, Lynch has only gotten into the end zone once. Keep Lynch on the bench this week. Similarly, at $8,000, Russell Wilson is priced a bit high this week going against the Niners defense which is giving up the 9th fewest points to QBs and has only allowed quarterbacks to rush for 110 yards all year on 35 attempts.
Well, that is it for this week, remember to do your research and look for more daily fantasy articles in the upcoming days.
If you have any questions, comments or just want to talk fantasy, hit me up on Twitter (@Beaudog2).
Good luck this weekend!!!