DRAFT Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 15
Just because the NFL season is underway doesn't mean you can't enjoy fantasy football drafts.
Over at DRAFT.com, you can get the experience of a fantasy draft while building your daily fantasy rosters, and the format is quite simple.
You roster one quarterback, two running backs, and two wide receiver/tight ends, while drafting against opponents in real-time. That means the typical "value" aspect of daily fantasy is different, as you're not worrying about salary cap and instead just playing your opponents for your preferred picks of the week.
What stands out for Week 15's main slate?
When considering running backs in the DRAFT format, you are required to draft two, but the difference between the top options and the next grouping can be a big drop-off.
Our projections have only three running backs projected for 19.7 points or more, while the third running back is projected for 17.4 fantasy points. This might not seem massive, but in fantasy football or DFS, every point matters. In your head-to-head matches, you will 100% be grabbing at least one of these top running backs, but as you move on to 4-person, 6-person, and 10-person DRAFTS, things can change dramatically.
Let's take a look at a few players by tiers, so you can get a clear picture of where you should be targeting each player.
1. Christian McCaffrey (RB1) - The Carolina Panthers are 6.5-point home underdogs and facing the Seattle Seahawks, who are allowing over 20 FanDuel points per game to running backs. McCaffrey continues to dominate the touches for the Panthers and is projected for 18 carries and eight targets this week. If they are leading, he will see the ball. If they are behind, he will see the ball. He's the clear number one running back for what seems to be the 15th straight week.
2. Saquon Barkley (RB2) - Barkley and the New York Giants are actually favorited this week! Well, it's only because they are playing the Miami Dolphins, but that is good news for Barkley, who is in the midst of a very mediocre season. Hopefully, that can change for him this week since the Dolphins are allowing the eighth-most FanDuel points per game -- 23.6 -- to running backs this season.
3. Dalvin Cook (RB3) - Cook and the Minnesota Vikings are on the road and hold a decent 23.50 implied team total against the Los Angeles Chargers. Cook has been an elite running back for most of the season -- up until the most recent three games. He has failed to record more than 70 rushing yards in any game in that span but has found the end zone in each one. He's a step behind the top two options.
4. Ezekiel Elliott (RB4) - The Dallas Cowboys have lost three straight games and are still in a spot to win their division. They certainly are capable of winning a weak NFC East, but they have to pick up a win against the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams are allowing the 11th fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs, making this a tougher matchup for Zeke.
5. Leonard Fournette (RB5) - Fournette is projected for just under 18 carries as well as more than seven targets in the passing game, and he's facing the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing nearly 23 FanDuel points per game running backs. We have an over/under set at 45.5 points, but with both teams being so weak on defense, it could easily hit the over.
6. Derrick Henry (RB6) - Henry has looked amazing this season and comes in with more than 100 yards in four straight games and two rushing touchdowns in three of those four games. He looks like a true fantasy RB1 and now finds himself against the Houston Texans, where the over/under is set at 51.5 -- the highest on the slate. He is consistent, he scores touchdowns, and that will continue this week.
7. Josh Jacobs (RB7) - Jacobs missed last week's game but is expected to return this week, according to Ian Rapoport. If Jacobs is a full-go, he should be a consistent option to look toward since the Raiders are hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are allowing the third-most FanDuel points per game to running backs.
8. Chris Carson (RB8) - I don't remember a week when Carson wasn't projected to be among the leaders in rushing attempts, but that shouldn't be a surprise as the running back of the Seahawks. This week he should see all of those 21 projected carries since he is facing the Panthers, who are the worst team in the league versus the run. Bring a 6.5-point favorite should put him in a spot for production.
9. Aaron Jones (RB9) - It's projected to a be classic NFC North game this week as the Green Bay Packers are hosting the Chicago Bears, where the temperature is set to be 15 degrees. This game has a very unappealing over/under set at 40.5 points, but we have Jones projected for over 18 total touches. The volume is there, but the game environment isn't.
1. Tyreek Hill (WR1) - Hill comes in with a 17.1-point projection -- which is tied for the highest on the slate -- and makes for a great stacking partner with Mahomes. The Kansas City Chiefs hold a 27.50 implied team total this week -- the second-highest on the slate -- and are facing the Denver Broncos, who are allowing 24 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers.
2. DeAndre Hopkins (WR2) - Hopkins is the other receiver tied for the highest projection on the slate, and he also makes a great stacking option this week. Pair him with Deshaun Watson in a game where the over/under is set at 51.5 points against the Tennessee Titans. Hopkins also has our highest target projection (11.22) this week.
3. Chris Godwin (WR3) - It's actually Chris Godwin Week for real this time! With Mike Evans out for the year, Godwin is the clear number-one receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We have him projected for the third-most FanDuel points this week -- 16.3 -- and a bit more than 10 targets. He's a clear elite option in Week 15.
4. Kenny Golladay (WR4) - Golladay is going up against the league's worst pass defense in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are allowing 38.9 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers this season, a full five points more than the next closest team.
5. Travis Kelce (TE1) - Kelce is also an option to stack with Mahomes and might be easier to get on DRAFT compared to Tyreek Hill. Kelce comes in with a 15.3-point projection this week, nearly two full points higher than the next tight end.
6. Julio Jones (WR5) - The Atlanta Falcons lost Calvin Ridley for the season, giving Jones our second-highest target projection of the week. Atlanta is on the road to take on a tough San Francisco 49ers defense, which has them as 10.5-point underdogs. That should lead to Atlanta passing the ball a ton, presenting upside for Jones.
7. Davante Adams (WR6) - Adams has 10 targets or more in four of his past five games and has found the end zone three times in that span. The volume is great, but as noted above with Jones, the game environment versus the Bears isn't ideal for fantasy production.
8. Amari Cooper (WR7) - Cooper has been held to fewer than 100 receiving yards in three straight games, but he has a chance to break that against the Los Angeles Rams in a game in which the over/under is set at 48.5 points. I like this game to hit the over and be a bit of a shootout, so consider adding some options from this one.
9. Christian Kirk (WR8) - Kirk has an average depth of target of 9.6 yards, always presenting a threat for a big-play. Up against a middle of the road Cleveland Browns defense, he is a fine option for deeper DRAFTs.
We all know you should be prioritizing elite running backs and receivers over taking a quarterback in season-long fantasy, and that should be the same here. This week, there are six quarterbacks who we have projected to score from 20.6 to 23.5 FanDuel points, and another three projected at 18.2 to 19.2. At a certain point, it can be splitting hairs, and it essentially comes down to personal preference, but know that you will be in a good spot at quarterback this week.
1. Patrick Mahomes (QB1) - With the second-highest implied team total on the slate -- 27.50 -- it's never a good idea to fade Mahomes. He is great when stack with Hill or Kelce, but can also be used solo if you aren't able to pair him. It's no surprise, but he has our highest projection on the week.
2. Deshaun Watson (QB2) - Watson is right behind Mahomes and has our second-highest projection. Frankly, he might be the better overall option. The Texans-Titans game has a spread of only three points and has a higher over/under than the Chiefs-Denver Broncos game in which KC is a 9.5-point favorite.
3. Russell Wilson (QB3) - Wilson hasn't posted the best numbers as of late, but the Seahawks have an implied team total of 27.50 this week and take on a Panthers' defense that is giving up points to everyone. He is in a spot to rebound and can be played without pairing.
4. Kyler Murray (QB4) - Murray and the Arizona Cardinals have had some growing pains in their first year, but he is still a viable fantasy quarterback. A 49.0-point over/under against the Browns should set us up for plenty of scoring.
5. Dak Prescott (QB5) - As mentioned above with Cooper, I like this game for a potential shootout as both defenses have shown inconsistencies as of late. I would only look toward Prescott in deeper DRAFTs and if I could get him with Cooper.
6. Jameis Winston (QB6) - Winston is set to play after suffering a hand injury last week and has another opportunity to go for 300 yards, which he seemingly does every week. The Lions are allowing 20.5 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season, the eighth-most in the league.
7. Jimmy Garoppolo (QB7) - Jimmy G and the 49ers have the highest implied team total on the board, sitting at 29.50, but they are -10.5-point home favorites. We could see their defense and running game put up points this week, which will limit his upside even though he is facing a very weak Falcons pass defense.
8. Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB8) - Fitzpatrick has shown to be a viable fantasy quarterback in recent weeks, with two passing touchdowns or more in two of his last three games. He is up against the Giants, who are allowing the seventh-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season.
9. Ryan Tannehill (QB10) - What else can we say about Tannehill? He has looked amazing since becoming the starter for the Titans, who are in the game with the highest over/under -- 51 points -- on the slate. Multiple touchdowns are in his future, and look to grab him in deeper DRAFTs.