FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 15 Monday Night
Week 15 is just about the rearview mirror, but worry not because we still have a Monday Night Football game left to scratch that DFS itch. Tonight's game checks in with a 50.0 over/under in what should hopefully be a fantasy-friendly affair between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.
For those unfamiliar with the single-game format, scoring is identical to its full roster cousin, except lineups consist of five flex spots, and kickers (remember them?) are an option in place of defense/special teams. The one twist? One of the five roster spots is your designated "MVP," who receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points. Naturally, it's crucial that you choose your MVP carefully if you want to be at the top of the leaderboards when it's all said and done.
Let's run through some of tonight's top plays, starting with the best options to consider for your MVP slot.
Christian McCaffrey ($16,500 on FanDuel): Christian McCaffrey has been an absolute beast lately, and whether or not you designate him as your MVP, you'll want a lot of exposure to him. He's averaging 13.8 carries and 7.6 targets per game this season, and the touchdowns have been coming in bunches lately, as he's racked up 12 scores over the last 7 games, surpassing 25 FanDuel points five times over that span. He's now tied for fourth overall in red zone carries and third in rushes inside the 10-yard line. The Saints don't present an easy matchup, entering the weekend ranked ninth against the run by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, but we shouldn't let that sway us from having full confidence in McCaffrey putting up big numbers again tonight.
Drew Brees ($15,500): We typically prefer Drew Brees at home, as he's averaged 9.8 yards per pass attempt with 20 passing touchdowns in 6 home games, compared to 7.1 yards and 11 scores in 7 road starts. Still, Carolina is numberFire's 28th-ranked passing defense and has allowed the 6th-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks, so this is still a ripe spot for Brees to post a strong outing. Despite the modest road numbers, he's shown a robust ceiling, posting 40.54 and 28.9 FanDuel points in away games against Atlanta and Cincinnati, respectively. On the other hand, Brees' counterpart, Cam Newton ($16,000) continues to deal with a sore shoulder and has now thrown just two touchdowns to five interceptions over the last two games. It doesn't help that the Saints' defense appears to be trending upward as well, allowing 17 or fewer points in 5 straight games, and they've climbed to 13th in numberFire's pass defense rankings. While we all know Newton's ceiling, between his recent play and perhaps a harder than expected matchup, he could be a riskier play than usual.
Alvin Kamara ($13,500): and Michael Thomas ($13,000): Brees' top weapons are definitely viable for MVP consideration as well, with both Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas demonstrating slate-winning upside this year. Kamara isn't getting the same consistent volume as he was earlier in the year, with Mark Ingram ($11,000) now around, but he's still averaging 17.9 touches and 18.2 FanDuel points over his last eight games. Kamara ranks behind only Todd Gurley in red zone carries and carries inside the 10-yard line. Meanwhile, Thomas boasts a 27.9% target market share and will benefit from a plus matchup against a Panthers defense allowing the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to wideouts. Only DeAndre Hopkins has seen more targets inside the 10-yard line this year.
D.J. Moore ($11,000) and Curtis Samuel ($10,000): Sore shoulder or not, Newton has attempted over 40 passes in back-to-back games, and with the Panthers looking up at the Saints as 6.0-point home underdogs, the potential negative game script figures to keep that streak going. Even with the Saints' improvements on defense, it's worth noting they've still allowed the most FanDuel points per game to wideouts this season, so there's hope D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel can put up some points. Devin Funchess ($7,500) may be back, but it's clear Moore and Samuel are the top wideouts in this offense now, as Moore has seen eight or more targets in four straight games, while Samuel has seen 11 and 8 targets over the past couple weeks.
Wil Lutz ($9,500): When a team averages 34.4 points per game, that naturally means some nice results for the kicker here and there, and New Orleans has an appealing 28.0 implied total. Wil Lutz has scored 15 or more FanDuel points four times this year, all of which have come on the road.
Ian Thomas ($8,500): The main beneficiary to Greg Olsen being done for the year, Ian Thomas is coming off a team-high 11 targets for 9 receptions and 77 yards in Week 14, and based on that potential volume, he comes in as one of the evening's best values. However, it's worth noting the Saints have allowed the third-fewest FanDuel points per game to tight ends, allowing just 34.8 yards per game and three touchdowns all year. Still, it might be hard to pass on that usage at this price.
Tre'Quan Smith ($6,000): Tre'Quan Smith continues to be virtually nonexistent on the road, posting three straight goose eggs in away games, so it's understandable if you want nothing to do with him here. But if Brees has a big game, there's a reasonable shot he brings Smith along for the ride, and all it takes is one long score to make it worth your while. Although both of Smith's spike weeks have come at home (24.6 and 26.7 points), that's an absurd ceiling at this salary, and on a single-game slate, it might be worth the risk of that painful floor.
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.