FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 15 Sunday Night (Browns at Giants)
On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Cleveland Browns are 6.5-point road favorites over the New York Giants. The total is set at just 44.0 points, which implies a 25.25-18.75 win for Cleveland. Per our oddsFire tool, the betting public is taking the Browns. Of bets in on the spread, 76% of the wagers and 79% of the money is on Cleveland.
For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.
This past offseason, our Brandon Gdula did a deep dive on single-game strategy. It's worth checking out before you make your lineups.
Baker Mayfield, Browns ($16,000)
With Colt McCoy ($14,500) getting the start for New York and the total sitting at only 44.0, this is shaping up to be an ugly game from a fantasy perspective. Of the two signal callers, Baker Mayfield is much easier to like, and while it's not an easy matchup, the absence of James Bradberry definitely helps Cleveland's passing game.
Mayfield is coming off a superb performance against the Baltimore Ravens and is red-hot right now. He torched Baltimore for 343 yards and two scores last week, resulting in a season-high 31.02 FanDuel points. In Week 13, he rocked the Tennessee Titans for 334 yards and four tuddies on his way to 28.96 FanDuel points.
The big games will likely make Baker a chalk MVP pick for this one, so I'll probably fade him in the MVP spot. Cleveland has attempted more runs than passes this season, and even though Bradburry is out, the Big Blue defense has been solid overall this year, giving up the fifth-fewest FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks (16.5). New York has been much worse against the run, which doesn't bode well for Mayfield's passing volume or upside tonight.
If you want to get weird, I think you can make a case for having some lineups in which you outright fade both quarterbacks in a game where each squad will likely look to run the ball as much as they can. We project Mayfield for 16.3 FanDuel points, tops on the slate.
Nick Chubb, Browns ($15,000)
Nick Chubb has a salary up in the quarterback range, and his projection is up there, too, as we forecast him to total 14.3 FanDuel points -- better than McCoy's projection of 14.0. As I mentioned a minute ago, the Browns have been a run-funnel defense, and they've surrendered the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to running backs (21.7).
Chubb has between 17 and 20 carries in each of his last five outings, and he's put up at least 17.1 FanDuel points in four of those games, with the exception being a respectable 11.4-point effort.
The flaws with Chubb are that he's been in basically a 50-50 snap share split with Kareem Hunt ($12,500) over those five games, and his lack of pass-game work -- six total catches across said five-game stretch -- dings both his floor and his upside. Chubb has hit for 20-plus FanDuel points four times this year, and it's taken him two tuds to get there in three of those instances.
But make no mistake -- Chubb is firmly on the MVP radar for this slate. He should see plenty of carries and has big-play chops.
Wayne Gallman, Giants ($12,000)
Wayne Gallman has been pretty darn good for the G-Men, and I expect them to try to follow a similarly run-heavy game-plan to the one they used in McCoy's last start, which got them an impressive road win at the Seattle Seahawks. In that game, McCoy attempted only 22 passes and threw for just 105 yards while Gallman carried it 16 times for 135 yards.
The Browns haven't been very good against the run -- eighth-worst by our schedule-adjusted metrics -- so New York should be able to find some success on the ground. If the Giants fall behind, that won't be ideal for Gallman, but he isn't a zero in the passing game, getting nine targets over the last three weeks.
We project Gallman for 11.5 FanDuel points. It won't feel warm and cozy to put him in the MVP spot, but he warrants MVP consideration.
Jarvis Landry, Browns ($13,500)
Jarvis Landry has accounted for a 28% target share over the past four weeks while no other Cleveland wideout is above an 18% clip, per AirYards.com. He's averaging 10.0 targets per game across the last three. The floor should be there, and while floors don't normally win single-game slates, it may be more valuable than usual if this game is super low scoring.
Landry's slot role caps his big-play ceiling, but he has seen plenty of red zone targets to prop up his fantasy upside. He owns a 26.5% red zone target share, the fifth-best rate among all wideouts.
Our model projects him for 11.1 FanDuel points, a slate-best clip for receivers.
Rashard Higgins, Browns ($11,000)
Rashard Higgins is my favorite kinda-weird-but-not-crazy-weird MVP pick on this slate. His recent role makes him an appealing target on a single-game slate, and he's likely the biggest beneficiary of Bradberry sitting.
Over the last two games, when Cleveland's passing attack has taken off, Higgins has been a big-play weapon. He's gobbled up a massive 51% air yards share in that time along with a 28% target share that is close to Landry's 31% clip. He's turned it into outings of 15.8 and 18.5 FanDuel points, making six catches in each game.
More so than Landry, Higgins' volume may take a hit if the Browns jump out to a positive game script, but if the downfield targets keep coming, he could hit as a contrarian MVP play. We project him for only 7.2 FanDuel points, but that doesn't fully capture the upside he's offered of late.
Sterling Shepard, Giants ($8,500)
Sterling Shepard looks a little under-salaried given his role and the salaries for the other Giants' receivers. In the past five games, Shepard holds a team-high 23% target share with a decent 23% air yards share.
Shepard's outlook would get a boost if Browns corner Denzel Ward -- who is questionable -- sits. But even if Ward suits up, Shepard can avoid him some by going to the slot. Ward has traveled to the slot on just 2.1% of his snaps this season, according to PlayerProfiler.
We don't want to put too much stock into a one-game sample, but if we look at the target distribution from McCoy's one start, things look rosy for Shepard. In the Seattle game, Shepard recorded a 36% target share and 44% air yards share.
Our projections have Shepard going for 9.1 FanDuel points, and we have him as the best point-per-dollar play on the slate.