NFL DFS: Week 15 DraftKings Plays
We’re hitting the home stretch. How have you been doing in your cash games this season?
If you’re playing cash games on DraftKings, your goal for each player on your roster should be to score three times his salary.
For example, Kenneth Dixon is $3,800 on DraftKings this week. For Dixon to score three times his salary, he would need to produce 11.4 points (3.800 x 3).
Finding players who will score three times their salary can be difficult, but a stable set of projections should be your starting point.
Last year, Gridiron Experts’ projections were very efficient in finding these players — we’ll call them our Gridiron 3X.
Our projections are posted every Tuesday morning by Jody Smith — you can find them here.
In the table below, you’ll see how often the average player surpassed 3X his salary last season — only players who were projected for more than 5.0 points were included to remove injured players and those with minor roles. Next to it, you’ll see how often our Gridiron 3X guys surpassed 3X their salary. The difference between the two is in the final column:
So who fits the criteria in Week 15?
Sam Bradford, $5000, Projected 4.0x: In the last month of the season, we can generally find profitable plays at the quarterback position by avoiding divisional matchups and targeting games in dome or warm weather environments. There are six divisional games this weekend and another two with sub-10 degree temperatures, so if we’re keeping it simple, that’s 16 QBs to strike off our short list for Week 15. Sam Bradford is playing in a game with one of the highest Vegas totals the Vikings have seen all season (45.5) against a Colts’ defense that is struggling with injuries and suspensions. Bradford is the minimum price on DraftKings, which means he’ll need just 15 DK points to hit 3X value on Sunday. In what is one of his best matchups of the season, he’s a no-brainer play at this price.
Andy Dalton, $5500, Projected 3.7x: If there is one quarterback from a divisional game to consider this weekend, it’s Andy Dalton. The biggest reason is that he’s a lot cheaper this week — his salary has dropped $600 since last week, so he’ll need just 16.5 DK points to reach cash game value, a number he’s hit in all but four games this season. The Bengals’ 20.5 implied team total may not seem like a lot, but 12 teams are actually implied to score fewer points in Week 15. With the aforementioned divisional matchups and weather issues, it should be a low scoring week across the NFL outside of a few dome games. There’s also an outside chance that A.J. Green will return this weekend, which would significantly boost Dalton’s outlook against the Steelers.
Matt Ryan, $7300, Projected 3.1x: Matt Ryan is in an incredible situation in Week 15. His Falcons currently possess the highest Vegas team total on the board with a whopping 32.5 points, which is nearly 5 points higher than the next closest team. Since the line opened, the Falcons have also jumped from an 11.5-point favorite to a 13-point favorite against the 49ers, who are traveling across the country after an overtime game in Week 14.
San Francisco has allowed the third-most DraftKings points to opposing quarterbacks this season, so this is a dream matchup for Matt Ryan. If he doesn’t score 3X his salary this week, it will be a major surprise.
Other Gridiron 3X QBs: Everyone except Matt Barkley
Justin Forsett, $3000, Projected 4.5x: Despite only being on the roster for less than a week and fumbling on his first carry as a Bronco, Justin Forsett led Denver’s backfield with nine touches on 27 snaps in Week 14. He’s unlikely to provide a tremendous rushing performance or score multiple touchdowns, but his volume and passing game work will make him fantasy relevant for the rest of the season. At the minimum price, he needs just 9 DK points to be useful in your cash game lineups. Over the last three years, RBs projected for 3X their salary have hit that number 68.5 percent of the time (compared to just 53 percent for the average running back). Forsett is an excellent source of salary cap relief this week.
Kenneth Dixon, $3800, Projected 4.1x: Week 15 prices were released before the Monday night game, so Kenneth Dixon’s $3800 salary doesn’t account for his 19-touch, one touchdown performance against the Patriots. Dixon out-snapped former starter Terrance West 42-14 and out-touched him 19-6, signaling a changing of the guard in the Ravens’ backfield. He’ll face the Eagles in Week 15, who have been trending in the wrong direction — they’ve given up five touchdowns to running backs in their last four games. It’s still early in the week, but the weather forecast is also calling for 1-4 inches of precipitation on Sunday in Baltimore. If that’s the case, expect even more work for Dixon on the ground and in the short passing game.
Bilal Powell, $5600, Projected 3.4x: Jets’ starting running back Matt Forte was injured on the second series of the game against the 49ers and did not return. Afterward, he described it as a hyperextension with some “clicking and popping” in his knee. That usually signals a meniscus injury, so it’s unlikely we see him suit up in Week 15 (and perhaps for the rest of the season). With Forte out, Bilal Powell will handle a majority of the RB work, and despite being projected as a top-10 RB this week, his salary sits at just $5600. Powell was fantastic after Forte went down last week, piling up 179 total yards and two touchdowns on 34 touches. While he likely won’t see 34 touches against the Dolphins, 20-plus is reasonable — and that will be enough for him to reach 3X value.
Other Gridiron 3X RBs: Ryan Mathews, Isaiah Crowell, Jerick McKinnon, Todd Gurley, Jeremy Hill, Ronnie Hillman, Frank Gore, Thomas Rawls, Matt Asiata, Carlos Hyde, Kenneth Farrow, Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell, Mark Ingram, Jordan Howard, Rex Burkhead
Allen Robinson, $4400, Projected 4.2x: Allen Robinson started the 2016 season priced at $8300. Fourteen weeks later, who would have thought his salary would be a measly $4400? With Blake Bortles’ incompetency and some drops from Robinson, we haven’t come close to a repeat of Robinson’s awesome 2015 campaign. But this is the week to take advantage of his sinking price, as he’ll face a Houston Texans’ defense that has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in five straight games (including a two touchdown effort from Bortles in Week 10). In their Week 10 matchup, Robinson finished with 9-107-1. That type of production would result in 7X salary this week, which means we just need less than half of his Week 10 performance for cash game value on Sunday.
Rishard Matthews, $4600, Projected 3.3x: Rishard Matthews may go overlooked this week after a Week 13 bye and a tough Week 14 matchup with the Denver Broncos. With his salary peaking at $5800 in Week 12 after four straight games of 15-plus DK points (including two games with more than 20 points), his price has inexplicably dropped to $4600 against the Chiefs on Sunday. Don’t let the week off and impossible matchup fool your perception, Matthews has been very productive in this offense since taking over as a starter. Kansas City has allowed a WR to score 15 or more DK points in five of their last six games, and that trend should continue in Week 15 in a bounceback spot for the Tennessee offense.
Marqise Lee, $4000, Projected 3.2x: If I had told you that Marqise Lee would have more yards Allen Robinson this season, you would have told me I was crazy and never read any of my articles ever again. Fortunately, I didn’t say that, and you’re still reading this. Unfortunately, however, that fictitious prediction has rung true. Despite seeing 32 fewer targets than Robinson, Lee has outgained him by 89 yards this season, including a 100-yard effort in Week 14 against the Vikings. Lee has looked the part, too — it’s not like he’s been littered with garbage time targets. He’s in the same situation as Robinson against a porous Texans’ defense, but you’ll have the benefit of a $400 discount. With Lee and Robinson being preferred plays this weekend, a double stack with Bortles makes sense in tournaments.
Other Gridiron 3X WRs: Tavon Austin, Will Fuller, Dontrelle Inman, Mike Wallace, Jamison Crowder, Kenny Britt, Seth Roberts, Doug Baldwin, Michael Crabtree, Tyler Lockett, Jarvis Landry, Robby Anderson, Emmanuel Sanders, Odell Beckham, Jr.
Jermaine Gresham, $2500, Projected 4.9x: *Checks DraftKings pricing* Nope, Jermaine Gresham is still minimum price. It hasn’t changed all season, even after another game with five receptions. He’s received at least five targets in five of his last six games as Cardinals’ receivers outside of Larry Fitzgerald continue to be marred with inconsistency. This game has one of the highest totals of the weekend (50), so scoring should be aplenty — don’t overthink it, just save some cap space and lock in Gresham’s 3X.
Delanie Walker, $3900, Projected 3.6x: Delanie Walker is in the same boat as Rishard Matthews — after a tough matchup against Denver and a bye week, his salary has plummeted to $3900. This is the cheapest Walker has been all season, which doesn’t make sense given that he’s one of the few tight ends who can score 20 DK points in a week (he’s done it three times this season). $3900 is just insanely cheap for a guy with one of the highest ceilings at his position. Play him this week before his salary normalizes in Week 16.
Trey Burton, $2500, Projected: 3.6x: If you’re looking for a minimum-priced tight end that has more upside, or if you just want to pivot away from Gresham, consider Trey Burton. Despite being behind Zach Ertz on the depth chart, Burton played 47 percent of the snaps last week as a slot/move tight end. Injuries have limited or removed Jordan Matthews and Dorial Green-Beckham from the offense, so Burton has played a larger role as a pass-catcher. He’s now had back-to-back weeks with at least nine targets, five catches, and 50 yards. As long as he remains this involved in this offense, he’s a steal at his current salary.
Other Gridiron 3X TEs: Charles Clay, Cameron Brate, Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry, Kyle Rudolph, Mychal Rivera, Zach Ertz, A.J. Derby, Martellus Bennett, Jordan Reed, Jared Cook, Tyler Eifert, Jimmy Graham
Good Luck this Week!
Brian has been playing fantasy football for 16 years and commissioned his first fantasy league at age 12. When he’s not writing about sports, you can find him playing every daily fantasy sport and participating in high stakes fantasy football contests. Brian won more than 1,000 NFL contests on FanDuel last season and has won multiple league championships in the Footballguys Player Championship contest. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Brian usually spends his winters agonizing over Terrapins basketball. When the weather is warmer, Brian is known for his receiving prowess in flag football leagues on the National Mall in Washington, DC.