3 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 15

We have a lot of pieces on numberFire geared toward helping you figure out which players you should roster in your DFS contests on FanDuel, but an important aspect of the DFS process is figuring out who you shouldn't play.

Narrowing down your list of potential plays by avoiding those who are destined to underwhelm can go a long way toward helping you create winning lineups.

Zigging when the masses zag is part of giving yourself an edge in DFS, so you'll sometimes be able to make a case for using a player in this piece in an effort to be contrarian -- especially if said player is really good. Inevitably, some of the players I feature in this article will blow up and pop for a big game, but that comes with the territory of doing a piece like this one -- unless I'm going to tell you to avoid playing dudes like Jared Goff. I'm not going to do that. I want this piece to be useful.

Here are some players I'm avoiding this week.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

FanDuel Salary: $7,600

Aaron Rodgers is playing his best ball of the year right now, and he's fresh off a shellacking of the Chicago Bears in an island game on Sunday night. But I'm not going to be using him this week in a matchup at the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens' D isn't anything special, but this game being on the road hurts Rodgers' outlook. In six road games this year, Rodgers has thrown for 250.3 yards per game, compared to 286.2 yards per game in six home affairs.

While Rodgers has scored 29.64, 26.28 and 33.50 FanDuel points over his last three, those games account for three of his four outings of more than 26.0 FanDuel points this year. During his hot three-game run, he's been boosted by an 8.7 % touchdown rate. Across his first nine games this year, his touchdown rate was 5.7%.

Also, Rodgers -- who had a setback last week with his toe injury -- is averaging just 6.3 rushing yards per game. He doesn't offer the rushing upside you can get from guys like Kyler Murray, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts -- who are the top-three signal-callers on the slate, per our projections.

Among the six highest-salaried quarterbacks who are expected to play, Rodgers is the second-worst point-per-dollar play of the bunch, according to our model, as we forecast him to score 19.4 FanDuel points.

Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Joe Mixon is having a fantastic season and leads the slate's running backs in FanDuel points per game (16.9) for the year. With Mixon averaging 21.0 total touches per game --18.8 carries and 2.2 catches -- volume isn't going to be a question, and he needs to be in your GPP player pool every week.

But in a tough matchup at the Denver Broncos, Mixon isn't a priority for me on this slate.

Denver sits 8th in overall defense, per our metrics, and they're allowing the 10th-fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs (19.0). A running back hasn't run for more than 83 yards against the Broncos since D'Ernest Johnson did it in Week 7, and that was also the last time Denver permitted a rushing touchdown.

The Broncos are 2.5-point home favorites -- a line that has moved 1.5 points toward Denver throughout the week -- and that's important to note for Mixon, who has stark win/loss splits in 2021. In losses, he's averaging just 71.5 total yards, including 51.8 rushing yards. In wins, he's racked up 115.6 total yards per game (103.6 rushing).

The top end of the running back pool isn't very good this week. Of the four guys salaried above $7,500 -- Mixon, Najee Harris, Elijah Mitchell, and James Conner -- two of them (Conner and Mitchell) are banged up while Mixon, despite carrying the second-highest salary at the position, is just the 13th-best point-per-dollar play by our numbers.

If you're dropping big coin at running back, Harris ($8,800) is the route to take in a home matchup with the Tennessee Titans.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

FanDuel Salary: $6,700

At first glance, Ezekiel Elliott at $6,700 got my attention, especially with the Dallas Cowboys favored by 10.5 points over the New York Giants. This is a back who was salaried at $8,400 for Weeks 12 and 13. Then I remembered how bad Zeke has been and how much his role stinks, even for a back at $6,700.

In short, Zeke's salary is where it is for a reason. He has scored 8.5 and 5.7 FanDuel points over his past two games. He hasn't put up more than 80 total yards in a game since Week 6 and hasn't scored more than 20 FanDuel points since Week 5.

While the results have been wholly underwhelming, Elliott's role is just as worrying.

Elliott hasn't played more than 69% of the snaps since Week 8. He's logged a snap rate of 64% in three straight games. Tony Pollard was out last week, and Dallas still didn't let Elliott have a workhorse role, giving Corey Clement 36% of the snaps and 14 touches.

Despite Elliott not being on the injury report last week, something is clearly going on here. Plus, Pollard practiced on Thursday, so he should be back into his usual role, which has led to an average of 13 touches per game over his last two healthy contests.

On top of all that, left tackle Tyron Smith is looking unlikely to play. That dings the entire Dallas offense.

With Dallas a heavy favorite, Zeke is capable of cashing in a goal-line carry or two. But at this point, with Zeke's diminished role and utter lack of explosiveness, he'll need at least one tuddie to have a solid fantasy day and likely two scores to really hit for a big one. If Pollard plays, Zeke is a total fade for me.