Week 15 of the NFL season is upon us and what better way to complement yearly leagues than by playing daily leagues as well? Assuming your opponent’s team is stacked and you’re fighting a losing battle, DFS is a way to still monetize your football knowledge on a lost week in yearly leagues. However, there is a bit of a strategy difference due to the weekly salary cap. In this article, fantasy expert Ricky Sanders will walk you through the thought process of putting together the best possible FantasyDraft DFS lineup for the upcoming weekend slate:
Tyrod Taylor, Bills, $11,200 – Last week, the weather did not hold up for Tyrod Taylor and yet he still posted one of the more respectable scores of the week amongst QBs in what turned out to be a brutal week at the position. The weather report looks a lot more promising this week with minor snow flurries seeming to be the worst case scenario. Therefore, it is time to immediately go back to the well with Taylor against one of the worst defenses in the league. In fact, the Browns are the only team in the league to rank in the bottom two of Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric against both the run and the pass. Considering Taylor leads the position in terms of rushing yardage and TDs, he should be able to take advantage of both aspects of the defense. With elite players worth spending up on at both the RB and WR positions (Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, Mike Evans, etc.), the salary relief Taylor provides a lineup (combined with his safe floor) is incredibly helpful.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons, $12,600 – People are going to look at last week’s flop and then look at Tevin Coleman’s monster two TD performance and will have a difficult time choosing between the two. The decision is easy in my opinion as Devonta Freeman had been coming off of two straight 20-plus fantasy point performances before last week’s epic fail. To be fair, Freeman touched the ball eight total times to Coleman’s 10 so it was not like he was dominated in touches…Coleman just happened to find the end zone twice. Prior to Week 14, Freeman had scored four total TDs in his last two games so last week was just an unfortunate case of him not receiving meaningful carries that led to scores. Against by far the worst rushing defense in the league, Freeman is undoubtedly going to enjoy some positive regression. He had averaged 15.5 carries per game over his last two prior to the Rams gams so that seems like a reasonable expectation against the 49ers. Freeman is also active in the passing game and the 49ers rank 22nd in DVOA against RBs in the passing game. Against a defense that has allowed the most rushing yards, rushing TDs and total TDs to opposing backs, Freeman should bounce back in a big way even though he will be splitting the workload with Coleman once again.
LeGarrette Blount, Patriots, $9,800 – The blueprint to beat the Broncos is simple: run the football. For the season, the Broncos rate as the league’s top passing defense according to DVOA and they have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. Meanwhile, they also rank 26th in DVOA against the run and Coach Bill Belichick is the king of the offensive game plan. Since he is not stupid, he is inevitably going to rely on his workhorse back LeGarrette Blount who has rushed for either 100-plus yards or a TD in all but two games so far this season. Although he has been volatile in season’s past due to his lack of contributions to the passing game, he has proven to be remarkably consistent this year. At a sub-$10,000 cost, Blount should be a lock to either rush for 100 yards, score or both once again in a matchup where he will be needed by the offense. Throwing at the Broncos corners is like banging your head into a brick wall so Blount should be the focus of the Patriots offensive game plan this week.
Jamison Crowder, Redskins, $10,600 – Kirk Cousins and the Redskins passing offense are in a fantastic spot on Monday Night against a subpar Panthers passing defense. Sure they rank 16th in passing DVOA but they have allowed the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs and rank 29th in DVOA to third WRs and beyond. In terms of individual matchups, Jamison Crowder draws one of the best of the entire week against Leonard Johnson who has graded as one of the six worst corners this season, per Pro Football Focus. Crowder has only caught five passes over the past two games but he has been targeted 13 times during that span. Additionally, Crowder has scored in four of his last six games and has drawn some unfavorable one-on-one matchups as of late. This week, things will change, and he should be the one beating his man like a drum. When he gets open, Cousins finds him, so look for him to rack up the receptions at a reasonable price tag this week.
Ladarius Green, Steelers, $7,300 – “Athletic freak” is a phrase that accurately describes Ladarius Green who stands 6’6”, 238 lbs and still ran the second quickest 40-yard dash in his draft class at the position (4.53). The Steelers offenses of old always functioned as well-oiled machines partially due to having a reliable target over the middle like Heath Miller. The offense had been lacking that sort of real threat (Jesse James is simply mediocre) to complement Bell and Antonio Brown prior to Green’s return from injury. While he struggled last week in the snow, he caught six passes for 110 yards and a TD the week before. In Week 15, the team will face a Bengals team that has allowed the third most fantasy points to TEs including the most receiving yards (926) and the fourth most TDs (seven). With Green’s speed, he should be able to rack up the yards in this elite matchup on the road (where Brown has struggled).
Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on to FantasyDraft as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: FanVice, RotoCurve and Daily Fantasy Cafe. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.
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