DRAFT.com Advice Week 15
Most of us that play daily fantasy sports do so via DraftKings and Fan Duel. However, this season I have ventured my way over to another platform and that is DRAFT. The site that hosts live daily fantasy football drafts that take just minutes to complete. The cool thing about DRAFT is the fact that you and only you own the player you draft in the contests you enter. So if you are confident on a guy, grab him, if you are sure a guy will be a bust that week, fade him and maybe your opponent will draft him. On DRAFT there’s no worrying about your opponent having the same player as you. But hey, there is a good chance you already know this about DRAFT and that is why you are reading this article, and if you didn’t, make sure you get over to draft.com and check it out. In this article, I will give you my top two targets on DRAFT at each of the three eligible position spots: QB, RB, and WR/TE.
We have reached Week 15 and by now, the reality is that most of you have been eliminated in some way, shape or form from your season-long fantasy leagues. There is not a better time to try out DRAFT. Because this article is released on a weekly basis on Saturday morning I am excluding players from the Bears/Lions and Chargers/Chiefs Saturday contests from consideration. So let’s take a look at this week’s head-to-head targets from the Sunday-Monday slate.
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Week 15 Quarterback
Packers vs. Panthers
- Draft Point Average: 18.5
- Gridiron Experts Week 15 Ranking: 6th
Really? There is nobody better to draft this week than a guy who is returning from a nine-week hiatus? Sure, Ben Roethlisberger is throwing on 72% of his snaps and goes against a defense that just let Jay Cutler dissect them on Monday night, sure Phillip Rivers is taking on a Kansas City secondary that has been putrid all season long, and heck Dak Prescott returned to glory and is taking on an Oakland secondary that is allowing the NFL’s highest passer rating (105.3) and highest completion rate (69.2). The fact of the matter is, I don’t care because it’s Aaron freaking Rodgers. If there’s one guy that is going play with a chip on his shoulder… or collarbone (sorry, I had to) in week 15 it’s him. The Packers need to “run the table” again to get into the playoffs and the rest of the NFC better hope that does not happen.
In all seriousness, in his return Rodgers gets a struggling Panthers pass defense that has allowed multiple touchdowns to four of the last five quarterbacks they have played. Chances are, Green Bay will need to score early and often, as their defense made Deshone Kizer look like a Pro Bowl QB for the majority of last week’s game in Cleveland. The shootout potential of this game heightens the fantasy ceiling for Rodgers, who is the greatest fantasy football QB to have ever played according to Pro-Football-Reference (21 points per game over 141 career starts). In his final three games before the injury, Rodgers passed for 10 touchdowns and produced top 9 fantasy finishes in each of those games.
Over the past five weeks, Carolina has allowed 276.4 passing yards per game and three QB1 scoring weeks. The Panthers rank 31st in DRAFT points allowed (20.25) to the QB during that span. If you can get Rodgers as your QB this week do not hesitate to pull the trigger.
Panthers vs. Packers
- Draft Point Average: 19.5
- Gridiron Experts Week 15 Ranking: 5th
This is my favorite game of this slate and like I said, it has a good chance to be a shootout. Cam Newton should have a day against a Packers pass defense that currently ranks 24th, has allowed 22 touchdowns and has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing signal callers since Week 9.
Eight of the last nine quarterbacks to face the Packers have logged top-16 fantasy results, including five top-ten scores. Matthew Stafford (361/2), Ben Roethlisberger (351/4), Jameis Winston (270/2), and DeShone Kizer (214 yards/3).
This is as good as it gets at home for Newton. On top of that we get the 2017 bonus of Ron Rivera allowing Cam to run again. He has rushed for 40-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 10 of his last 11 starts, a duel threat that keeps Newton’s floor higher than most. The Packers have allowed three different quarterbacks to rush for at least 25 rushing yards, and Superman just racked up 70 rushing yards against Minnesota last week. If your opponent picks Aaron, select Cam.
Non-head-to-head considerations in order:
- Russell Wilson
- Drew Brees
- Matt Ryan
- Jared Goff
- Derek Carr
- Tom Brady
Week 15 Running Back
Steelers vs. Patriots
- Draft Point Average: 19.7
- Gridiron Experts Week 15 Ranking: 1st
As I have talked about in this article on numerous occasions, Le’Veon Bell is historically a reverse home-road splits player. However, last week he snapped his home game scoreless streak by scoring three touchdowns in last Sunday night’s win over Baltimore. Usually, we may not like the fact that Bell is at home compared to playing on the road, but you have to like the fact that he gets a Patriots run defense that has allowed 4.95 yards per carry and the NFL’s third-most receiving yards (686) to enemy backs this season.
We saw what Miami RB Kenyan Drake did to the Patriots on Monday night racking up 193 total yards. If there is a RB on the planet that could top that you’d have to say Bell may be tops on the list. The matchup is even sweeter as NT Alan Branch (knee), an important piece to their run defense will likely be out.
With 22.30, 26.70, and 35.00 DRAFT points in his last three games and 20-plus touches in 12 straight games, Le’Veon has to be the number one RB in your pre-draft rankings. As I have often suggested this season, select Bell with your first pick this week.
Falcons @ Buccaneers
- Draft Point Average: 11.7
- Gridiron Experts Week 12 Ranking: 9th
Devonta Freeman has become a scary play for some fantasy players as he has been removed from a number of games this season due to injury. If there was any doubt that he was healthy, Freeman let the world know that he is good to go last week when he ran for 91 yards and scored a touchdown against New Orleans.[the_ad id=”71961″]Freeman matched his season high in touches (24) and out-snapped Tevin Coleman 69% to 32%. Coleman had played well in Freeman’s absence and this tells that Freeman is the clear lead back for the Falcons. Since he returned two games ago, Freeman is averaging 1.40 YPC more than Coleman (4.58 – 3.18) and has out-touched him 37 to 20.
The tables have turned heading into this week as Coleman is now recovering from a concussion himself and could be at risk to miss this week’s game. If Coleman plays there is a chance he will be limited. Either scenario bodes well for Freeman.
With Matt Ryan’s recent struggles and the fact that Atlanta is on the road, I expect offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to lean on Freeman much like he did last week. The Buccaneers have allowed six rushing touchdowns in their last three games and are 25th in rushing yards allowed during that span (133.3). On top of that, they will be without difference-maker DT Gerald McCoy who has a biceps injury. Expect Freeman to pound the rock and rack up fantasy points this week.
Other Considerations in order:
- Todd Gurley
- Alvin Kamara
- Kenyan Drake
- Jamaal Williams
- Alex Collins
- Christian McCaffrey
- Carlos Hyde
- Lamar Miller
Week 15 Wide Receiver/Tight End
Saints vs. Jets
- Draft Point Average: 12.8
- Gridiron Experts Week 15 Ranking: 4th
Michael Thomas has been one of the safest fantasy plays week in and week out. He has scored in his last two games and is coming off of a 22.70 DP performance against Atlanta. His touchdown trend could continue as this week’s opponent, the Jets have allowed 9.5 percent of the completions against them to be touchdowns, good for 31st in the NFL. The past three WR1s to face New York have gone for 108, 185 and 95 yards receiving.
While Thomas will see Morris Claiborne (allowed six catches on eight targets for 75 yards and a TD to Demaryius Thomas last week) for a portion of the game, he has spent the majority of his snaps as the left wide receiver. That projects him to line up against cornerback Darryl Roberts, who’s spent the majority of his coverage snaps as the right cornerback. This season, Roberts has allowed the 10th-most yards per snap in coverage, and his 5.6 cover snaps per target ties him for the 12th-most frequently targeted qualifying cornerback.
If the ball is coming Thomas’s way he will catch it, as he hasn’t dropped a pass since Week 4. His current 2.3% drop rate is third among the 32 wide receivers with at least 76 targets this season. Thomas has currently graded the number five overall receiver in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus.
Beyond all of that his consistent ways may lead him to some favoritism this week. He has five or more receptions in eight straight games. If Thomas catches five balls again this week he will tie the Saints’ franchise record.
In head-to-heads you may be able to draft Thomas late because the likes of Brown, Jones and Hopkins will most likely go ahead of him. Sit back and relax as you will get consistent point production out of Thomas with good chances of him finding pay dirt again this week.
Panthers vs. Packers
- Draft Point Average: 11.3
- Gridiron Experts Week 15 Ranking: 11th
If you select Cam as your QB, you will want to stack him with Funchess. The 6’4” new WR1 has led the Panthers in receiving yards for five consecutive games and has 85 or more yards and/or a touchdown in five straight games.
This week he gets a juicy matchup against the Packers secondary that will be without their top CB Davon House (back) and rookie CB Kevin King (shoulder), who was placed on injured reserve last week. They have already allowed the fourth most yards to WR (2,172) and have allowed 15 touchdowns to wideouts. Julio Jones (108 yards), A.J. Green (111 yards/1 touchdown), Adam Thielen (97 yards), Ted Ginn (141 yards), Marvin Jones (107 yards/2 touchdowns), Dontrelle Inman (88 yards), Antonio Brown (169 yards/2 touchdowns), and Josh Gordon (69 yards/1 touchdown) have all had their way with the Green Bay secondary in one way or another.
Funchess has been targeted on 28.3 percent of his routes since former WR1 Kelvin Benjamin was traded to Buffalo. He is a must-play in all formats.
Other considerations in order:
- Antonio Brown
- Julio Jones
- Davante Adams
- Rob Gronkowski
- Dez Bryant
- Brandin Cooks
- Mohamed Sanu
- DeAndre Hopkins
Thanks for Reading
Nick is a 15-year fantasy football veteran with countless season-long fantasy titles and championship trophies. He is a high school football coach in the state of Wisconsin and has also coached Championship semi-pro football teams. He is an offensive playcaller that lives for film study. Not only does he study his opponents in Wisconsin, he studies NFL film and accompanies that with data, analytics, and his scouting knowledge to make his fantasy decisions. He co-hosts the acclaimed fantasy football podcast “The Coach and Cole Show” on Blog Talk Radio with his lifelong friend and sports fanatic Cole Fouts. Beyond football, he writes on the St. Louis Blues for St.Louis Gametime and is an NHL DFS analyst.