4 NFL DraftKings Studs to Target in Week 15
Week 12 of the NFL season is here, so let's see which high-priced studs stand out on DraftKings and project to be high-end performers, according to our models.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
DraftKings Price: $6,100
Projected Points: 19.1
We all had questions surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo and if he could get the job done, and I think he put that to rest with last week’s performance. He has steadily improved as the season has moved along, and over his last seven games, he has thrown 18 touchdowns compared to five interceptions, while averaging 22 DraftKings points. Garoppolo is currently having an under the radar season, as he ranks third in passing touchdowns (25) and ranks seventh in Passing Net Expected Points per drop back. This week the San Francisco 49ers own the highest implied team total on the main slate at 28.75, which should correlate to Garoppolo continuing to find success.
The matchup for the 49ers signal-caller is ideal, as the Atlanta Falcons currently rank 28th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. They have allowed the seventh-most passing touchdowns, and opposing quarterbacks are averaging 23.6 DraftKings points against them this year. Pace could play a factor in this game as both San Francisco and Atlanta rank in the top 11 in terms of plays per game. Garoppolo sets up nicely for a strong performance in Week 15.
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
DraftKings Price: $10,000
Projected Points: 24.8
There was some pause last week on Christian McCaffrey after Ron Rivera was let go, but the interim coach continued the heavy usage. He played on 70/71 (98.6%) offensive snaps and handled 22 of the 23 backfield touches. There was even a point last week where the Carolina Panthers were trailing by 27 with 3 minutes left and he was still on the field. I think it is safe to say his elite usage will continue for the rest of the season. McCaffrey has seen insane involvement in the passing game over the last four weeks, owning a 27.8% target share and leading the NFL in both targets (48) and receptions (38). When adding that to roughly 15 rushing attempts per game, there is truly no other volume role that even compares to him.
Carolina are six-point underdogs against the Seattle Seahawks this week, and as we have seen all season, match-ups and spreads really don't impact McCaffrey, he has averaged 27.7 DraftKings points in losses this season. Seattle ranks middle of the pack in both run and pass defensive statistics but are tied for allowing the third-most rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs. McCaffrey has consistently been the most valuable fantasy asset week in week out as evident by leading the NFL in Total NEP. Just play McCaffrey until you can’t anymore.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
DraftKings Price: $8,000
Projected Points: 20.9
The decision between DeAndre Hopkins and Chris Godwin is a tough one this week, but Hopkins has the slight lean. We have a legitimate sample size for Hopkins without Will Fuller, and it is quite impressive. Since 2017, Hopkins has played 16 games with Deshaun Watson, while without Fuller. His per-game averages include 11.4 targets, 7.8 receptions, 88.9 receiving yards, and 0.5 touchdowns. In those games, Hopkins owns a 35.2% target share.
Hopkins will face the red-hot Tennessee Titans in Week 15, and the game owns the highest total on the main slate. While the Titans rank 16th in passing defense, they have given up some big stat lines to upper echelon wide receivers: Tyreek Hill 11/157/1, D.J. Moore7/101/0, and Mike Evans 11/198/2. Hopkins looks poised to be amongst the leaders in fantasy points this week at any position.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
DraftKings Price: $6,000
Projected Points: 14.2
The Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers are dropping like flies, and in Week 15 they will run out minimal inexperienced bodies at that position. That should only improve the outlook for Zach Ertz who has an established connection with Carson Wentz. Ertz has seen a 25% target share and five end zone targets over the last five games.
Philadelphia is currently a four-point road favorite against the Washington Redskins. The statistics against tight ends look decent for Washington, however, they haven’t faced too many teams that feature that position. They have allowed the ninth-most DraftKings points per game and are tied for allowing fourth-most touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Ertz stands out as a top tight end play this week with all of the expected volume.
Adam Nessel is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Nessel also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ANessel01. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.