4 NFL DraftKings Values for Week 15
Fantasy value can be defined in so many ways. In season-long leagues, one might determine value by looking at output compared to draft position. In daily leagues, we're often looking at output per $1,000 in salary.
Finding cheap players who can bust out for big games is pivotal to fitting in high-priced players such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey, and it is a key component of tournament-winning lineups.
Everyone has their own idea of where the salary cutoff for a value player is. For DraftKings, this article looks at quarterbacks who are priced at or under $6,000, running backs and wide receivers priced at or under $5,000, and tight ends priced at or under $4,000.
Some value players jump out and will have wildly high ownership, while others aren't as obvious. To make your decisions easier, we're here to crunch the numbers and do our best to point out those bargains to you.
So, what are we waiting for? Let's go digging for value!
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
DraftKings Price: $5,200
Projected Points: 17.5
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 3.36
It looks like Daniel Jones will end up missing his second game in a row this week. If he does indeed sit out, it will be veteran Eli Manning to once again step in as the New York Giants' signal caller, this time in a favorable home matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Eli wasn't great last week, completing just 50% of his passes for 203 yards in a 23-17 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He didn't turn the ball over, however, and found the end zone twice, leading to a serviceable 16.0 DraftKings points on a then-$5,100 salary.
Our models project him to take a step forward this week in terms of on-field and fantasy production, and it's not too hard to see why. The Dolphins have been a choice matchup for quarterbacks for much of the season. They've giving up the third-most DraftKings points per game to opposing passers on the season and the seventh-most over the past three weeks.
Over their past four games, Miami has given up an average of 290.8 passing yards (256 minimum), and 12 total touchdowns (two minimum) to opposing passers; we have Eli projected for 273.4 yards and 1.7 passing touchdowns.
While he's not likely to get you anywhere close to top-level production this week, Manning is still a viable play on DraftKings if you're looking to punt the quarterback position and load up elsewhere. We have him returning a baseline value of nearly 3.4 DraftKings points per $1,000 with a projected value upside of 6.3.
J.D. McKissic, RB, Detroit Lions
DraftKings Price: $3,300
Projected Points: 10.4
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 3.16
If there's one team who can this year rival the running back merry-go-round of the Miami Dolphins, it's the Detroit Lions. The Lions, of course, began the year with a pretty solid foundation at the position, but that all started to crack when Kerryon Johnson went down due to injury.
Ty Johnson looked like the immediate successor -- and people were making FAAB rain trying to get him -- but he sputtered. Tra Carson was a thing. Heck, the team even tried to resurrect Paul Perkins. In Week 11, however, they found their answer in Bo Scarbrough.
Bo stepped in at started and rushed for 55 yards and a score in his first game. He didn't find the end zone over the next three weeks but totaled at least 65 yards on the ground in each game and was a steady source of production. Unfortunately for the Lions, Bo didn't practice Thursday with a rib injury.
Kerryon is close to coming back, but it won't be this week. If Bo sits, Ty Johnson will likely start. It's far from an ideal matchup against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team who has allowed an average of just 51.2 yards on the ground to opposing backs. The Bucs can be exploited through the air, however, and J.D. McKissic is in a perfect position to take advantage.
Throughout the merry-go-round in Detroit, McKissic has been a constant, at least in the receiving game. Since Kerryon went down, McKissing has at least three receptions in all but one game.
Over the past five weeks, the Bucs have allowed 39 receptions to opposing backs, the second-most in the NFL over that time. If the Lions want to take advantage, McKissic is the way to do it, and our models think he'll come through, at least for his $3,300 price tag.
In the two weeks before Scarbrough took over the backfield, McKissic scored at 11.5 and 16.2 DraftKings points. We project McKissic to finish with a baseline of 10.4 DraftKings points in Week 15 with an upside of 21.9.
Isaiah Ford, WR, Miami Dolphins
DraftKings Price: $3,700
Projected Points: 6.4
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 1.73
Looking for a dart throw in tournaments this week? If all of the injury dominoes fall as expected, then Dolphins receiver Isaiah Ford could be that guy.
A last-round 2017 draft pick, Ford has spent most of his time since being drafted on the practice squad. That more than changed last week. Having been promoted to the 53-man roster a week before, Ford saw more opportunity when both DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson went down with concussions.
Parker and Wilson remain in concussion protocol. If they are out, Ford will get another opportunity to showcase his skills, this time against a Giants defense that has been generous to opposing wideouts this year.
Their numbers against the position looked good in Week 14, but that's because Carson Wentz and the Eagles decided to tear them apart with Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and Boston Scott. In their previous six games, the Giants allowed 10 touchdowns to wide receivers and 11 double-digit PPR performances to the position.
Now, we don't currently have Ford projected for much in the way of fantasy production (currently just 6.4 DraftKings points), but that's also because of the uncertainty of Parker's and Wilson's status. If they are out, expect our projections to rise. The matchup is right. The opportunity is there. And the Dolphins and Fitzmagic have absolutely nothing to lose by targeting their young receiver heavily for the second game in a row. It's a major dart throw but not an unfounded one if you have a taste for risk.
O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DraftKings Price: $3.500
Projected Points: 7.8
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 2.23
I can't trust O.J. Howard. Who in fantasy can? Bruce Arians has rendered him nothing more than a roll of the dice this season, but if Howard is able to put together one more solid week, we may have to stop saying that.
Until Week 13, Howard's season had looked like a roller coaster with few worthy climbs. He busted out for a solid week against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10, but even then, that didn't change his outlook, because what tight end doesn't perform well against the Cards?
The Cards game was, until that point, the only double-digit DraftKings outing for Howard. He then put up a 0.0 the following week against the New Orleans Saints, and a 2.0 spot the week after against the Atlanta Falcons.
Something changed in Week 13, however. Arians started to get him more involved. He caught five of six passes for 61 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars and followed that up with four catches on five targets for 73 yards.
It was the first time that Howard had seen five or more targets and double-digit fantasy production in back-to-back weeks this season, and if he does it again this week, we'll have a trend on our hands, folks.
While the opportunity is clearly there for him to succeed, we can't trust him with the way he's been used this year. The last two weeks are encouraging but not enough so for you to throw him into your cash lineups. You know better. Instead, use him sparingly in tournaments, where his upside could help you and his downside (at this price) won't kill your lineup. We project him for a baseline of 7.8 DraftKings points with upside for 17.8.