DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 15
The daily fantasy football games offered on FanDuel and DraftKings have many similarities, but one distinct difference is that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. Much like it would in season-long leagues, that means we must evaluate players slightly differently on each site. In this space, we'll help you on the DraftKings side of the equation.
Be sure to pay attention to inactives prior to Sunday's games. Similar to late scratches in the NBA, injuries can have a huge impact on playing time, and great values can open up for you at the last minute. At a position like running back, a low-priced backup can suddenly find his way into a feature role and become an excellent play.
Also, check out numberFire's premium tools at your disposal. In particular, the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through this week's top plays on the DraftKings main slate.
Russell Wilson ($7,300): Russell Wilson went toe-to-toe with the toughest defense in the land in the Jacksonville Jaguars and still came away with 24.84 DraftKings points. If Wilson can pull that off against the Jaguars, then we shouldn't be afraid to fire him up at home against a tough Los Angeles Rams pass defense, as well. Not much more needs to be said at this point as Wilson leads all quarterbacks with 24.9 DraftKings points per game, and he's not even the most expensive one on the board. The MVP candidate continues to function as the entire Seattle Seahawks offense, leading the team in both passing and rushing yards, giving him both a high floor and ceiling.
Ben Roethlisberger ($6,700): "Maybe I don't have it anymore" were the words uttered by a shell-shocked Ben Roethlisberger following a five-interception game against the Jaguars back in Week 5. Well, it's fair to say he still has it, coming off a ridiculous 506-yard, 2-touchdown performance against the Baltimore Ravens last week. Due in part to the recent struggles of the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense, they've needed Big Ben to chuck it more often to win games. He's put up pass attempt totals of 45, 45, 40, and 66 over his last four while averaging a ridiculous 361.5 yards and 3 touchdowns. It's hard to see that pass-heavy formula changing in an AFC showdown with the New England Patriots, which has by far the highest over/under of the week (54.0).
Blake Bortles ($5,700): Blake Bortles still isn't a name that elicits much confidence, but if you check the box scores, he's actually had a steadier floor than you might think. He's averaging 16.6 DraftKings points a game -- quite respectable in this price range -- and has had fewer than 14 just once in the last eight games. He's accounted for multiple touchdowns in three straight, and while he won't be mistaken for Wilson or Cam Newton, he can occasionally find some extra points on the ground with 282 rushing yards on the year. The Houston Texans rank just 21st against the pass by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, and the always-tough Jags defense should provide plenty of short fields for Bortles.
Le'Veon Bell ($9,300): It feels like the Steelers haven't been on the main slate in forever, so this is our first chance to use Le'Veon Bell in several weeks. He continues to be the class of the running back position, seeing a league-high 44.3% market share of targets and carries and reaching 29-plus DraftKings points in three consecutive games. With Big Ben airing it out so much lately, Bell has also seen an uptick in targets, averaging 10.3 targets per game over his last four, further solidifying his high floor. For all of the Patriots' improvements on defense over the course of the season, they're numberFire's worst defense against the run. In what is expected to be a back-and-forth shootout, the stars are aligned for Bell this week.
Kenyan Drake ($5,800): Maybe this is why the Miami Dolphins were fine with dealing away Jay Ajayi? With Damien Williams sidelined the last two weeks, Kenyan Drake has thrived in a feature role, putting up 141 total yards and a score against the Denver Broncos and then 193 yards versus the Patriots. He's averaged 24 carries and 4 receptions over that span, and that kind of volume and production is an absolute steal at this price. Drake gets a cupcake matchup against the Buffalo Bills -- who rank 31st against the run by numberFire's marks -- and even if Williams returns this week, it's hard to see the Dolphins taking away much of Drake's massive workload.
Mike Davis ($4,000): Mike Davis practiced in full on Thursday, so he should be good to go in a plus matchup against the Rams, numberFire's 28th-ranked rush defense. Despite missing a good chunk of last week's game with a rib injury, Davis still reached 16 touches and saw 20 the week prior. Dominating the carries and staying involved in the pass game, Davis offers reasonable savings as a home favorite and finally appears to be a lead back who will stick in this Seattle backfield.
Antonio Brown ($9,100): Barring some last-minute injuries, we don't have a ton of obvious value emerging on the slate, so you'll have to make some tough decisions if you want to fit in Bell or Antonio Brown. Still, it can't be overstated how ridiculous Brown has been during Big Ben's four-game passing binge, averaging 14.8 targets and 37.9 (!!!) DraftKings points per game. On the season, Brown leads all wide receivers in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and air yards. Needless to say, you're going to want to squeeze him into some lineups this week.
Marquise Goodwin ($6,000): Marquise Goodwin has been the primary beneficiary of the Jimmy Garoppolo era, catching 14-of-20 targets for 205 yards over Garoppolo's two starts while seeing 41% of the air yards. With this new-found volume and rapport with his new quarterback, Goodwin looks appealing at this price point and is in an ideal spot against a Tennessee Titans defense that ranks 26th against the pass by numberFire's metrics.
Dede Westbrook ($5,100): The salary is slowly ticking up, but Dede Westbrook remains a solid value considering his consistent weekly volume. Over the last three games, Westbrook has seen target totals of 10, 9, and 8, with his yardage total rising every week. He may be starting to give Marqise Lee a run as the Jags' number one wide receiver and makes for a strong cost-saving stack with Bortles against a beatable Texans defense.
Zach Ertz ($6,000): Zach Ertz has cleared the concussion protocol, paving the way for him to face a New York Giants defense that has been a punching bag for tight ends all season. Although new quarterback Nick Foles may give you some pause, Ertz is at his lowest price since Week 3, and it's hard to see his usage suddenly dropping off in such a dream spot.
Jesse James ($2,900): The tight end position gets ugly really fast, and if you're looking for a punt, the cupboard is looking awfully bare. But with Vance McDonald missing practice this week and JuJu Smith-Schuster dealing with a hamstring issue, that could mean a bigger role for James. Given his inconsistent volume all year, we shouldn't expect another 12 targets like last week, but considering the lack of value on the slate, you could do worse than to take the savings for some cheap exposure to what should be the highest-scoring game of the week.
Jacksonville D/ST ($4,500): The salary may be back over $4,000, but the Jags' defense continues to be a strong play every week, even more so when up against a Texans team that's starting T.J. Yates at quarterback. Despite performing reasonably well in last week's relief appearance, prior to that, Yates hadn't attempted an NFL pass since 2015, and he's only made two NFL starts since 2012. Jacksonville leads the league in sacks (47) and remains numberFire's top overall defense.
Washington D/ST ($2,800): For a second there, Blaine Gabbert looked like an intriguing fantasy quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, but instead, he's quickly regressed into a guy we should attack with opposing defenses. Over the past two games, Gabbert has taken a whopping 15 sacks, and Washington ranks seventh in Football Outsiders' adjusted sack rate.
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.