FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 15 (Saturday Slate)

Saturday NFL football is here, and that gives us a fun and different way to play NFL DFS on FanDuel via smaller slates.

This Saturday's slate starts at 1 p.m. EST with a matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings (-4.5). That's followed by an AFC North clash as the Cleveland Browns (-2.5) host the Baltimore Ravens. The AFC East takes over in the nightcap, with the Buffalo Bills (-7.0) welcoming the Miami Dolphins to upstate New York.

As always, we recommend checking out all of numberFire's daily fantasy tools at your disposal. Our weekly projections can help you nail down who might be the slate's top scorers and best values -- you'll need to change the slate to Saturday only on the slate tab -- while the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals and every team's strengths and weaknesses.

Let's dive into each position and see which players stand out as good options.


Josh Allen ($9,000) is in his own tier at quarterback and will likely be the chalk play.

Allen hasn't been his usual self of late, but this is a get-right spot. The Dolphins have allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks (20.7). Allen has run for at least 47 yards in five of his past seven games, scoring four rushing touchdowns in that time. Despite Allen being $1,200 more than any other expected starter, he's worth prioritizing. Our model projects him to score 23.6 FanDuel points, 5.3 clear of the field at the position. We do need to keep our eyes on the weather as there could be heavy snow.

There are some viable alternatives, though. If I fade Allen, I like the idea of getting my passer from the trio of Deshaun Watson ($6,800), Kirk Cousins ($7,500) or Tyler Huntley ($6,700) -- all of whom offer a significant salary discount from Allen.

Cousins is in the game with the slate's highest total, as the Vikings-Colts clash has a 47.5-point over/under, which is 4.0 more than any other game's total. While Cousins offers very little as a runner, he has scored at least 22.86 FanDuel points in two of his past three outings, and his salary makes it easier to get to some of the slate's top non-quarterbacks, one of whom is his high-salaried star wideout. We have Cousins scoring 18.3 points, the second-most at the position.

Watson hasn't looked like the old Watson through two games. The Ravens' defense isn't the same old Ravens D, though, as Baltimore is surrendering the 11th-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks (17.4). We know what Watson's ceiling looks like when he's on, and he's gone for 54 total rushing yards over his two starts, giving him a chance to post a big score if his passing improves.

With Lamar Jackson sitting again, don't sleep on Huntley, who has been cleared to play. Huntley has racked up 19 carries over the last two games -- neither of which was a full game for him. That gives him a solid floor as well as a nice ceiling, and Cleveland sits seventh-worst in defense, per our metrics. Huntley is an enticing salary-saver.

It's weird to say this about a quarterback who is leading the NFL in adjusted yards per attempt (9.3), but Tua Tagovailoa ($7,500) might slip through the cracks on Saturday.

He hasn't topped 15.93 FanDuel points in any of his last three games and is fresh off an island-game dud in which he threw for just 145 yards versus a banged-up Los Angeles Chargers defense. Tua also has a difficult matchup at the Bills, a defense that has held signal-callers to just 14.1 FanDuel points per game, the sixth-fewest. However, with two big-play wideouts at his disposal, Tua is capable of having a good day, and if he does, it might come at a low draft percentage.

Running Back

Jonathan Taylor projects super well -- 18.6 FanDuel points, per our algorithm -- and is a great way to get in on the game with the slate's highest total.

Since Jeff Saturday took charge, Taylor has amassed 24, 26, 24 and 25 total opportunities (carries plus targets) across the past four games. He's getting fed, and that volume is tough to fade on a small slate. Despite having a salary that is a position-high clip by $800, Taylor is our model's best point-per-dollar play at running back.

I think I have more interest in the running back on the other sideline, though. While JT gets a pass-funnel Vikings D, Dalvin Cook ($8,200) is facing a run-funnel Colts defense. Indy has allowed the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to running backs (22.8), and although Cook's production has been lacking, the volume has mostly been there. He's seen 17, 23 and 27 opportunities the past three games. Our model projects Cook for 15.7 FanDuel points.

Nick Chubb ($8,000) probably won't see near the popularity of the two aforementioned running backs, but there are reasons to be into him despite a matchup with the stingy run defense of the Ravens. Chubb possesses elite big-play ability and can break the slate on any touch. He's also getting more pass-game work than he has in the past, recording at least three targets in three of the past five games. If Chubb was going to be chalk, I wouldn't be all that interested, but I doubt he's very popular, making him an attractive pivot off of Cook and Taylor.

After those three, it's not pretty at running back, and the salaries fall off a cliff. Miami, Buffalo and Baltimore are all utilizing split backfields.

There's a chance that's not the case for Miami this week if Jeff Wilson ($6,000) has to sit, and that would put Raheem Mostert ($6,200) in a position to see quality volume at a low salary, which would bring him to the forefront as one of the slate's better value plays.

The Browns' D has been torn apart by running backs, giving up the third-most FanDuel points per game to the position (25.1). I'm just not sure how to take advantage of that due to Gus Edwards ($5,900) and J.K. Dobbins ($6,600) playing 34% and 43% of the snaps, respectively, last week in Dobbins' first game back. Neither saw a target in the passing game, either. Dobbins looked great on the ground, turning 15 carries into 120 yards and a tud. Edwards wasn't bad, getting 66 rushing yards on 13 attempts. Both are viable value plays, but they're far from safe.

In terms of snaps, Devin Singletary ($6,500) and James Cook ($5,800) have split things pretty evenly for two straight games. But Singletary registered 10 opportunities last week while Cook got just 5. Using either is mostly a shot in the dark at a touchdown. Given that Cook has just one score this year while Singletary has four over the past five games, Singletary is who I'd rather roll the dice on.

Wide Receiver

Much like running back, the receiver position is loaded at the top on this three-gamer, as we have Justin Jefferson ($9,100), Tyreek Hill ($8,800) and Stefon Diggs at our disposal. All three are obviously top-notch options and possess slate-breaking upside. You can make a case for putting them in any order. Our model ranks them as they're salaried.

Jefferson had 27.8 FanDuel points last time out, and he did that without scoring a touchdown, which is insane. The Colts have allowed the second-fewest FanDuel points per game to receivers (21.4), but I'm not sure how much that matters. I don't think it'll impact his popularity much. Jefferson recently rocked the staunch pass defense of the New England Patriots for nine catches, 139 yards and a score.

Hill was held to two catches for 33 yards in the first meeting with Buffalo, and with Tua is a funk, I think Tyreek winds up as the least popular of these three. That makes me super interested. Hill hasn't suffered much during Tua's meh stretch, scoring 25.1 and 22.1 FanDuel points in the past two, benefitting from a fluke fumble recovery for a touchdown last week.

Diggs' role hasn't been as good as Hill's and Jefferson's of late. On the flip side, he has the best matchup of this trio because Miami is giving up the 13th-most FanDuel points per game to receivers (28.3). If Allen is the chalk quarterback, it stands to reason a lot of those who use Allen will also try to jam in Diggs.

Michael Pittman Jr. ($7,000) and Amari Cooper ($7,200) are good mid-range options who take on defenses that have struggled to contain wideouts. A Cooper-Watson stack won't be popular and brings some upside to the table. I don't have it in me to stack Pittman with Matt Ryan ($6,900), but I do like Pittman as a standalone play.

Donovan Peoples-Jones ($6,500) deserves a mention, too. He's playing a ton of snaps -- a snap rate of at least 95% in four straight -- and has seen 15 targets across Watson's two starts, including 12 last week.

In the value range, Gabriel Davis ($6,200) is who he is. He's played at least 81% of the snaps in every game this season but hasn't been able to turn that into consistent production. We know what he offers, though, and one big play could get him into the optimal lineup.

Demarcus Robinson ($6,000) has logged 14 targets over the past two games. Parris Campbell ($5,800) has a soft matchup and has been targeted 23 times in the four games since the Colts went back to Matty Ice. David Bell ($5,000) saw his highest snap rate of the season a week ago, getting in on 68% of Cleveland's plays. He's a viable shot in the dark.

Tight End

Given it's a three-game slate, tight end isn't that bad. However, we project just three tight ends for more than 5.0 FanDuel points, so it's not good, either.

Mark Andrews ($6,500) is the standout talent, but he's gone down with the Ravens' offense in recent weeks. Andrews has gone without a tuddy in six straight games, failing to top 9.3 FanDuel points in any game over that span. On the bright side, he's seen at least six looks in four consecutive games, including 13 over the past two. In a vacuum, T.J. Hockenson ($6,300) might be a better play at a slightly lower salary, which makes Andrews a fun pivot.

Speaking of Hockenson, he's recorded at least six targets in every game since being dealt to the Vikes. He's played at least 90% of the snaps in four of those six games. The role is absolutely there, and with him scoring just one touchdown as a Viking, Hockenson is due for some positive regression in the scoring department. His +174 anytime touchdown odds are a position-best mark on this slate.

As a salary just $300 less than Hockenson's, David Njoku ($6,000) might slip through the cracks on this slate, and he's had a nice role, getting 16 targets over his past two games, including 9 in his only outing alongside Watson. His snap rate got up to 96% last week, so he appears to be fully healthy.

Dawson Knox ($5,300), Jelani Woods ($4,500) and Mike Gesicki ($4,800) are on the dart-throw radar. Gesicki has some big-play ability and could get more run if Miami is playing from behind. But Miami has lost two straight, and Gesicki has amassed a total of three targets and zero catches in those two. Yuck.

Defense/Special Teams

There are no smash plays at D/ST on this slate, at least on paper, and that should keep draft percentages spread out at the position.

Taking the salary savings with the Miami D/ST ($3,200) -- the lowest-salaried option -- makes a lot of sense. Josh Allen has committed at least one turnover in 10 of 13 games this season, and he hasn't been the same lately, failing to top 253 passing yards in any of his previous four outings.

While the Minnesota D/ST ($3,900) hasn't been good, they're facing Matt Ryan. Any defense facing Ryan is in play on any slate. Through 11 starts, Ryan has a league-high 14 fumbles and has been sacked 35 times.

Our model projects the Cleveland D/ST ($4,000) for a slate-best 8.1 FanDuel points. If the Browns play with a lead, Cleveland's D/ST could eat against Huntley. But if Baltimore gets ahead, they'll likely run it a ton, which would be bad news for the Browns' D/ST.

If you think Tua's recent rough stretch is more than just a blip, the Buffalo D/ST ($4,800) is worth a look. At a position-high salary, they won't get much love on Saturday, but they could make life difficult for Tua and cause some turnovers, especially if the weather is an issue.