4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 15
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high-salary players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
The season is winding down, but the studs we’ve been riding keep going in an effort to close the season strong. Let’s look at a player with high salaries that we’ll want to target at each position this week.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
FanDuel Salary: $8,200
Projected Points 23.7
Lamar Jackson has not been at the top of minds for daily fantasy players, as he hasn't been on the main slate in four weeks. He also hasn't been producing at nearly the same level we saw last season. However, over the past two games, we saw something resembling the fantasy player of 2019, as he ran for 218 yards and 3 touchdowns. That rushing production plus three passing touchdowns have led him to be the QB1 over the past two weeks, averaging more points than he did last season. It is only a two-game sample, but if there ever was an opponent that would allow him to continue this, it's the one he's facing this week.
The Baltimore Ravens are at home this week against the dreadful Jacksonville Jaguars. Taking a look at numberFire's daily fantasy matchup heat map, we see that the Ravens have the second-highest implied team total on the main slate this week, sitting above 30 points. The Jaguars have been bad all season long at nearly every phase of the game of football, including the 28th-ranked schedule-adjusted run defense, according to numberFire's metrics. This means that Jackson is likely to be able to beat them on the ground, which is what we want him to do in fantasy.
It may be surprising when you look at our projections at the quarterback position that Lamar sits at the top above Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. Since he comes with a lower salary than both of them, Lamar also offers the best value at the position as well. If you got off the Lamar-train earlier this season, now is the perfect time to get back on.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
FanDuel Salary: $10,200
Projected Points: 23.0
Derrick Henry has been the running back stud the past two weeks in this space, and it's tough to make a case for anyone other than him this week. He leads the league in rushing yards with 1532, nearly 200 more than second-placed Dalvin Cook. He's also tied for the most rushing touchdowns in the league with 14. It's tough for a running back to have a ton of value on FanDuel with limited pass game work, but Henry has done so through rushing volume, efficiency, and scoring touchdowns. He has a great chance of doing those things again this week.
The Tennessee Titans are 10.5-point home favorites this week against the Detroit Lions. The Titans also have the highest implied team total on the main slate with 31 points. The Lions do not match up well against a player like Derrick Henry at all. They have the 29th-ranked schedule-adjusted run defense this season. They've also allowed the most FanDuel points per game to running backs, and backs have scored 16 rushing touchdowns against them, according to Pro Football Reference. The game script should favor Henry in this game, and if he's getting a bunch of carries at the end of the game against a weak defense, he could go off like he did last week.
Henry is projecting as the best running back by far, 2.5 points ahead of all other backs. The $10,200 salary could be tough to stomach, but it's difficult to match the upside that Henry brings with any other running back on this slate.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Salary: $9,300
Projected Points: 16.6
This is the first appearance for Tyreek Hill in this column, which is surprising given that he's the number one wide receiver this season in half PPR scoring. He's being used in a slightly different way this season, which has led to increased target volume. The only issue with Tyreek in the past was that he didn't see the volume of elite wide receivers, but that has changed. Since Week 9, Hill has seen a 31% target share, the third-highest in the league. When you get that kind of volume from a quarterback as good as Patrick Mahomes, the fantasy points are sure to follow.
The Kansas City Chiefs play against a tough New Orleans Saints team this week, but still have a few things going in their favor. They are three-point favorites on the road, with an implied team total of 27.25. This game will be played in a dome, something that helps players with game-breaking speed like Hill. The Saints defense has been very good this season, but we saw Hill dismantle the fourth-ranked Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass defense for 51 FanDuel points. Matchups really aren't a big factor for the Chiefs, and if the game is close like the spread indicates it will be, that's a bigger factor than the defense they are facing.
Hill is our top wide receiver in our projections, with 16.6 points. The thing about Hill is that he has outlier performances that other wide receivers just aren't capable of reaching. With this offense, Hill can just explode at any time, making him a great play to spend up for in tournaments.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
Projected Points: 14.5
There is basically one tight end worth spending up for on each main slate, and it's usually Travis Kelce. Kelce leads the entire league in receiving yards, something unheard of for a tight end. He dwarves the field at tight end, averaging nearly five points more than anyone else. It's almost unfair to consider him a tight end with the usage he gets, as his 25% target share is comparable to number one wide receivers. It's a consideration whether or not to spend up for Kelce on every slate he's on, and there are a few reasons to do it this week.
The Chiefs game against the Saints is tied for the highest over/under on the slate, with 51.5-point total. Kansas City has slightly adjusted the way they have run their offense of late, focusing more on passing. Mahomes has attempted at least 40 passes in six of the last seven games, and the Chiefs are now up to seventh in pass-to-run ratio. Considering the fact that the Chiefs are often winning, that ratio shows they much prefer to pass when they need to put their foot on the gas. With Kelce receiving a 25% target share and Hill getting 24%, playing them both is viable, especially if the game is close and the Chiefs need to pass more than usual.
To no one's surprise, Kelce is projected for the most points at tight end. The reason to play him in tournaments is because he could put up a score at tight end that you will need to compete at the top of tournament leaderboards. And it's hard to pinpoint another tight end that can do the same.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.