Week 15 NFL FanDuel Late Afternoon Slate Breakdown
The Week 15 late afternoon slate (4:05pm ET) on FanDuel features just two games. The New England Patriots head on the road to take on a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is looking to end a three game losing streak and stay atop the AFC North standings.
|Matchup (Implied Team Total)||Game Total|
|New England Patriots (27.25) at Pittsburgh Steelers (24.75)||52|
|Seattle Seahawks (23.75) at San Francisco 49ers (20.25)||44|
Entering this slate, the big injury news surrounds James Conner. Conner has yet to practice this week, although he could still play on Sunday. Should Conner miss his second straight game, Jaylen Samuels ($5,500) and Stevan Ridley ($4,900) will be two enticing value plays.
Among the tournaments available on FanDuel this week are the $200,000 NFL Rush, which costs $7.77 to enter and pays out $40,000 to first. The $35,000 NFL Bomb is a $33 entry with a first prize of $6,000. On the single entry side, the $25,000 NFL Spike is $5 to play and pays out $3,000 to first.
Since it's only a two-game slate, there's not many players to avoid, so this week we'll highlight some high-priced and value plays to target.
Lock: Ben Roethlisberger ($9,000) - Roethlisberger is fully expected to play this week after suffering a rib injury against the Oakland Raiders last week, an injury that forced him to miss about a third of the game. Roethlisberger now faces a Patriots pass defense that has given up the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Despite sitting on the bench for a good chunk of last week's game, Roethlisberger still finished with 282 yards and 2 touchdowns. He's thrown for multiple scores in six of the last seven games. In a game that could be a shootout, both Roethlisberger and Tom Brady have sky-high ceilings.
Sleeper: Nick Mullens ($7,100) - Mullens is by far the cheapest starter on the slate, $1,900 cheaper than Roethlisberger. Over the past two weeks, Mullens is averaging 373 passing yards per game while tossing 2 touchdowns in each game. In catchup mode against the Seahawks two weeks ago, Mullens threw for over 400 yards, his only 400-yard game through 5 starts. Back at home, Mullens and the 49ers are 3.5-point underdogs, so the rookie could be forced to throw often again. On a slate where all four quarterbacks carry some appeal, Mullens is a nice salary saver.
Lock: Chris Carson ($6,500) - There's a lot of uncertainty at running back this week with James Conner iffy for the Steelers, the Patriots using three running backs again, and Matt Breida potentially returning for the 49ers. One certainty, though, is that the Seahawks will be a run-heavy team as usual. No team runs the ball more per game than Seattle (32.5 attempts per game) and over the past three games, Carson has handled 51.52% of the team's carries, averaging 17 carries per game. Against the 49ers two weeks ago, Carson totaled 108 yards, but didn't find the end zone. He has scored in three out of the past four games, though.
Sleeper: Rex Burkhead ($4,800) - Since Burkhead returned to action two weeks ago, he's played in about 20% of the Patriots offensive snaps in each of his first two games back. He's totaled 11 carries and 3 receptions over that span, which puts him well behind Sony Michel (38 touches) and James White (19 touches). There's never many options on a two-game slate, but Burkhead is appealing since he's near-minimum priced, and he'll be involved in what will presumably the highest scoring game.
Lock: Julian Edelman ($7,400) - Priced lower than both Pittsburgh receivers, Edelman has drawn 25% of the Patriots targets since their Week 11 bye. He has 25 targets over those three games, including two games with at least 80 yards and a touchdown. Despite missing the first four games of the season, Edelman is second on the Patriots in red zone targets (17), trailing only James White (18). Tom Brady's top receiver in a possible shootout, Edelman is a strong play.
Sleeper: David Moore ($6,300) - Moore is coming off two games in which he has put up zero points, but he'll be especially interesting should Doug Baldwin sit this game out. With Baldwin out of the lineup last week, Moore played a season-high 79% of the snaps and saw 5 targets from Russell Wilson, just 1 fewer than Tyler Lockett (6). The 49ers pass defense ranks as the league's seventh-worst and two weeks ago, Wilson torched the secondary for four passing touchdowns. Moore will be tougher to trust if Baldwin is active, but if he sits, Moore should be one of Wilson's top targets.
Lock: George Kittle ($7,500) - Kittle exploded for 210 yards and a touchdown in Week 14, but he's strung together a series of nice games over Nick Mullens' five starts. Over the last 5 weeks, Kittle has been Mullens' top option with 45 targets. Kittle has come through with that opportunity, posting 70 yards and/or a touchdown in 4 of his last 5 games. Recently against the Seahawks, Kittle had 6 catches for 70 yards.
Sleeper: Vance McDonald ($5,500) - With the Seahawks running a committee at tight end involving Nick Vannett and Ed Dickson, if you're not willing to pay for Kittle or Rob Gronkowski ($6,900), McDonald is the best option. Over the past three weeks, McDonald has drawn more targets than teammate Jesse James (16 to 9) and he's also been on the field more often than James. Over the past four weeks, McDonald has played more than 60% of offensive snaps in all but one game compared to James who topped the 60% mark just once over that span. The Patriots have given up the 14th-most points to opposing tight ends this season and the high-scoring potential of this matchup makes McDonald appealing.
Blair Ames is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Blair Ames also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Bames31. 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.