The fantasy playoffs may be winding down, but there’s still Daily Fantasy Football (DFS) and Week 15 offers plenty of matchups to look at and exploit.
Once agian, I used some of the tools over on lineups.com/nfl again for my preliminary research. This site is free and offers data that other sites may not have access to or provide. Checking box scores alone isn’t always enough. If a player is getting more touches or targets in the red zone for example they are more appealing than players who had one huge play and outscored others.
So, now that my synopsis is out of the way let’s get into my Week 15 DFS Picks 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 of the week. These are players who I will try to have in as many lineups of mine 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: Cam Newton, Carolina vs. Green Bay ($7,900 FanDuel/$6,400 DraftKings)
Cam was serviceable against the stout Vikings defense, and this week he happens to face the soft Packers defense. Both teams are playing for something now, and Green Bay should have Aaron Rodgers back so the Panthers could find themselves playing catch up or this one could be close throughout and come down to the wire. Newton has been running a little more this season and that combined with decent passing numbers should help him perform him in line with this purchase point this week.
RB: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh vs. New England ($9,400 FanDuel/$9,300 DraftKings)
Bell is a lock for me and no one should have doubts on using this guy, especially in cash contests. Bell has been right near, or exceeded 30 DraftKings points over his past three weeks. The Steelers will be ready to try and slow the Patriots and the only way to stay in the game will be using their top weapons. Bell won’t come cheap, but I trust him. He is averaging 23.6 DraftKings points this season, and has put up nearly 30 over his past three games. Play with confidence.
WR: Michael Thomas, New Orleans vs. New York Jets ($8,100 FanDuel/$7,400 DraftKings)
Thomas was a target hog with 14 in Week 14, and unless he is tired or hurt we should see more of the same this Sunday. The Saints are more of a run-first team with their dynamic RB duo, but when the ball is getting thrown Thomas is the clear-cut No. 1, and he should still see double-digit targets against a Jets defense that has struggled vs. the pass. Thomas also has touchdowns in back-to-back games so let’s see if the streak continues.
WR: Adam Thielen, Minnesota vs. Cincinnati ($7,600 FanDuel/$7,600 DraftKings)
Thielen ended up having a nice Week 14 even though he only had six catches on 13 targets. A few drops and an overturned touchdown prevented a huge day for the speedy receiver. He is lined up with another good matchup, so he and Stefon Diggs could put up big numbers once again. Thielen is clearly the No. 1 for Minnesota and the Vikings should be motivated after last week’s loss in Carolina.
TE: Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati at Minnesota ($5,500 FanDuel/$2,800 DraftKings)
Tough matchup for sure, and Kroft is not a lock-and-load play by any stretch. In fact he is a dart throw with just seven total targets over his last three games. However this week the Bengals could be trying to target their tight end more in the red zone, especially having to deal with the Vikings’ formidable pass rush. This play is risky, but allows the option of going top-heavy at other positions.
Value Plays of the Week
QB: Marcus Mariota, Tennessee at San Francisco ($7,600 FanDuel/$5,900 DraftKings)
This has been my riskiest pick the entire season. Mariota has been a disappointment and I will be using him only in a small percentage of lineups this week. However, if he is going to return to 2016 form this would be the game. If he can stop turning the ball over, he could be sneaky 4X play this week or it could be more of the same and we get a 10-point DraftKings performance. I am thinking he has a good week, but there’s also plenty of risk so consider yourself warned!
RB: Carlos Hyde, San Francisco vs. Tennessee ($6,900 FanDuel/$5,500 DraftKings)
Serviceable and affordable are the keys in this pick. Hyde is getting 14-plus carries, and even though the Titans have been effective against the run, he should be a low-owned running back who will get a bunch of carries as well as chances in the red zone. If you simply don’t want to trust Hyde, consider using Dion Lewis, who adds PPR appeal.
WR: Will Fuller, Houston at Jacksonville ($5,600 FanDuel/$3,500 DraftKings)
Fuller returned from injury last week and had three catches on five targets. However, he could see his production take a huge step forward if Jacksonville focuses its defensive attention on slowing down DeAndre Hopkins. Fuller is not in a dreamy matchup here, and his price matches that as the Jags are tops in the league against the pass. This is a dart throw that could easily meet value if Fuller finds the end zone.
— 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.