Daily Fantasy Football Quarterback Primer: Week 15
Welcome to another edition of my weekly NFL DFS quarterback primer article. Each week I will be looking to find an edge at the quarterback position for daily fantasy football contests.
In this weekly column, you will find the best value quarterbacks for tournaments and head-to-head cash games. Additionally, I will highlight one or two quarterbacks to avoid in the upcoming week.
Last week was another strong week fort this column. Our play of the week, Deshaun Watson, finished as the fourth-best QB of the week while Jameis Winston, our top tournament play, finished as the second-best QB of the week. We also smartly avoided Kyler Murray who finished outside the top-24 at the position last week.
Let's keep the success going in Week 15.
Best Overall Play of the Week
Patrick Mahomes ($8,300) -- Mahomes price drops $100 after playing on the road against the best defense in the league last week. This week, he gets a home matchup against the Detroit Lions , who rank as the 10th worst passing defense according to our power rankings which adjust for strength of opponent. When these two teams faced off in Week 4, Mahomes threw for over 300 yards but no passing touchdowns. That is the only game this season Mahomes failed to throw a touchdown.
As mentioned last week, nobody has thrown the ball deep more than Patrick Mahomes this season. Mahomes offers maximum upside in tournaments and a solid floor in cash-games. He has only scored below 15 points twice this season. The former MVP is the best value play of the week across all positions according to our models. Fire him up with confidence in Week 15.
Deshaun Watson ($8,200) -- Watson came through for us last week as our play of the week, and we should be riding with him again in Week 15. This week, he gets a date with the Tennessee Titans, who have a passing defense ranked in the middle of the league according to our power rankings. Since Week 2, Joe Flacco is the only quarterback to score less than 14 points against the Titans defense. We can view 14 points as Watson's floor this week.
The dynamic quarterback has a solid chance to finish as a top-5 fantasy quarterback for the third straight week in a game with the Texans coming in as 3-point underdogs on the road. That type of upside is exactly what we want in tournaments. Watson is the second-best value play across all positions according to our projections for Week 15.
Baker Mayfield ($7,700) -- Baker Mayfield has not had the season everyone was hoping for. He has failed to surpass 25 points in any game this season and he has thrown one or fewer touchdown passes in 77% of his games. However, there is reason for optimism in Week 15. Mayfield gets a matchup with the Arizona Cardinals who have the second-worst passing defense according to our power rankings. The Cardinals' defense has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. No quarterback has scored less than 13 fantasy points against this defense.
This type of floor is exactly what we are looking for in cash. The Browns have run the ball on 46% of their plays over the last three weeks, good for the 8th highest percentage over that time span. This limits Mayfield's upside as a passer, making him a less attractive option in tournaments. However, our models still believe there is upside for Mayfield in this matchup, projecting him for the 5th most passing touchdowns this week. With a solid floor and sneaky upside, Mayfield is a great option in Week 15.
Eli Manning ($6,800) -- I know starting a 38-year-old backup quarterback is never the comfortable thing to do, but we need to be considering Eli Manning in cash this week. Manning gets a matchup with the Miami Dolphins this week, who rank as the worst passing defense in the league according to our power rankings. Only one quarterback has scored less than 13 points against this defense this season.
The Dolphins have allowed at least two passing touchdowns in 77% of their games this season. That type of floor at such a cheap price is hard to ignore. It might not be pretty, but paying down for Manning in cash could be the optimal path to success in Week 15. Our models have Manning as the 6th best value play at the quarterback position this week.
Quarterback to Avoid
Drew Lock ($7,400) -- Drew Lock is coming off the best game of his young career. The rookie threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns last week en route to upsetting the Houston Texans. However, Lock gets a much more difficult matchup this week against the Kansas City Chiefs on the road. The Texans defense has the 7th worst secondary in the league according to our power rankings while the Chiefs have the 5th best passing defense. Priced only $300 less than Mayfield and $600 more than Manning, Lock is simply not worth the risk at his cost this week. We should be fading the hype surrounding the rookie in Week 15.
Samuel Factor is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Samuel Factor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Samfact2. 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.