Dede Westbrook's recent usage makes him a potential value play in DFS
There are bad weeks for the Daily Fantasy Football (DFS) picks and then there are the disasters like Week 14 that happen every now and again. For me that meant this past weekend was nothing but losses. DFS? Nightmare. Seasonal playoffs (advanced in all three leagues)? Bloodbath.
It was a week where Branden Bolden, Derrick Henry, Kenny Stills, Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott dominated. Meanwhile, staple studs — Todd Gurley and the entire Rams team, the entire Vikings team, Zach Ertz and Antonio Brown — either stunk it up or didn't even play (Melvin Gordon, James Conner were out with injuries, Odell Beckham Jr. was a late scratch on Saturday).
Either way, Week 15 is a new week and while I will still be part of the team that provides positional rankings that can be found here on AthlonSports.com, it will be nice to only be focused on the DFS aspect of my fantasy life this weekend.
There are four games on projected over 50 points this week, three of those taking place in primetime. The other is a late Sunday afternoon tasty treat of a matchup between New England and Pittsburgh. Thursday-Monday slates are mighty appealing to me this week, and a showdown slate will be popular and plenty busy too Thursday and Monday night.
Chargers at Chiefs — 52.5 pts
Patriots at Steelers — 52.5 pts
Eagles at Rams — 53.5 pts
Saints at Panthers — 52 pts
(Favored team in bold)
So let's see what Week 15 has to offer, shall we?
If this is one of your first times playing DFS feel free to check out my "10 Tips to Win at DFS."
As always any questions, arguments, or glowing praise can be sent to me via Twitter @fantsychillpony.
Week 15 Core Plays
These will be my top plays for the Sunday-Monday slate of games. These are players who I will try to have in as many lineups as possible. If I can, I will use three or all four in one lineup. A reminder that for cash games going with an elite quarterback is typically recommended. If you go value at quarterback he MUST meet value for your loaded lineup to be worth it.
QB: Tom Brady, New England at Pittsburgh ($7,900 FanDuel/$5,900 DraftKings)
Brady looked like a strapping young quarterback last weekend, and in a matchup like this hopefully he will have the same spring in his step. Having a healthy Rob Gronkowski certainly didn’t hurt, so in a playoff-caliber matchup Brady should be safe and have plenty of upside. He also is seventh in price at his position for the main slate this week so sign me up. The Steelers have been solid on defense, but these are the Patriots and it could even be a James White-catching-passes-from-the-backfield sort of game.
RB: Joe Mixon, Cincinnati vs. Oakland ($7,800 FanDuel/$6,100 DraftKings)
Mixon salvaged last week with a late touchdown but this week he should be in a fantastic spot. The Raiders have been getting crushed by running backs all season, ranking second to last in rushing defense and surrendering a total of 13 TDs thus far to the position. Mixon is cheap for an RB1 and is in a dreamy matchup so I am loading up.
WR: Julian Edelman, New England at Pittsburgh ($7,200 FanDuel/$7,200 DraftKings)
Edelman remains a target hog and since I am on Tom Brady he is my favorite target for floor and upside alone. The Steelers may not allow many deep plays this weekend, but Brady likes to dink and dunk plenty so Edelman is a fantastic safety net for him. This week lock both Patriots in.
WR: Adam Thielen, Minnesota vs. Miami ($8,200 FanDuel/$8,600 DraftKings)
The Vikings looked putrid Monday night and suffered another loss. The offense looks stale and lost, and with that came the firing of their offensive coordinator on Tuesday. Certainly the coaching staff will try to get this offense back on track and utilizing one of their top weapons should be a part of the game plan. The Dolphins are 25th in the NFL against the pass and don't let this past Sunday's miraculous upset of the Patriots deceive you. The Vikings need to be out for blood. Thielen will be a big part of it.
TE: George Kittle, San Francisco vs. Seattle ($7,400 FanDuel/$6,300 DraftKings)
Kittle is playing like he is the best tight end in the game right now, and is clearly among the top three at the position. This week with a few of the cheaper options in the core I am going for the top projected tight end since we can afford him. If you decide to go cheap, as I have most of the season, go for it, but I like Kittle to be a lock for double-digit points this week with that big-play upside.
Value Plays of the Week
QB: Dak Prescott, Dallas at Indianapolis ($7,300 FanDuel/$5,500 DraftKings)
Prescott had a very nice Week 14 thanks in large part to Amari Cooper, but also Ezekiel Elliott, who totaled 42 touches. Prescott remains dirt cheap for DraftKings and is in a favorable enough matchup that I am considering him in GPPs this weekend. The cost isn't as appealing on FanDuel, so spend a little bit more and pay for Tom Brady.
RB: Doug Martin, Oakland at Cincinnati ($6,300 FanDuel/$4,700 DraftKings)
Dirt cheap, and if he doesn’t play the other Oakland backs may benefit and cost even less. This game is a great matchup for running backs on either team (see, Joe Mixon). Both the Raiders and Bengals should their ways with these defenses, so why not have a piece of both backs this weekend?
WR: Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville vs. Washington ($5,400 FanDuel/$4,500 DraftKings)
Westbrook has been one of my favorite cheap receiver darts this season and his Week 15 matchup has him facing a defense that has been very generous to opposing WRs. Last week, Westbrook saw 10 targets, turning those into seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. That was good for 21.8 DraftKings points. He seems to be a fairly safe bet for four or more targets each week and hopefully a repeat performance along the lines of Week 14 isn’t a stretch.
— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.