The Perfect Lineup: Week 15's Fantasy Score Team
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If you've never played before and aren't sure who to pick, our fancy algorithms have you covered for Week 14. Take a look at this week's FantasyScore Perfect Lineup.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
The Saints' defense has been by far the worst in football this season. They rank dead last in the NFL in both our schedule-adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric (156.87) and overall schedule-adjusted Defensive NEP (189.87) by wide margins, and have allowed 30.5 points per game, a full three points per game more than any other team in the league. This week, the Saints face off against the Lions, which means Stafford should be in prime position for a monster outing this week in a game that Vegas expects to be the highest scoring matchup on this week's slate. The Lions' signal-caller is an absolute as the 16th most expensive quarterback on the board this week.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
Following a controversial and tumultuous 2014 season, the former NFL MVP has bounced back in a big way this season. Peterson currently leads the league in rushing with 1,251 yards on an impressive 4.7 yards per carry and has already converted nine rushing touchdowns this season, which is tied for the most in the NFL with Devonta Freeman. He draws a spectacular matchup against a Bears' rush defense that ranks 32nd in the league in schedule-adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP and could see more than 25 touches in a game where the Vikings are significant favorites. The Vikings' star is our top overall projected running back on the board this week.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
With both Andre Ellington and Chris Johnson on the shelf, the Cardinals' rookie running back has had a massive workload in each of the past two games. Johnson has looked spectacular over that span, averaging 95.5 yards on 4.7 yards per carry while totaling 7 catches for 52 yards and a touchdown through the air. Despite the fact that Ellington may return to action this week, Johnson has more than likely secured the workhorse running back role for the foreseeable future and should see another 20-plus touches against a struggling Eagles' defense that has given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs over the past three weeks. Johnson is a talented runner who is frequently targeted in the pass game and can still be had for a very reasonable $6,300 price tag. He makes a strong play in all formats this week.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Jones has struggled to stay healthy in the past, but he has not missed a single game this season and it really shows on the stat sheet. The Falcons' star leads the league in receptions (109), targets (169) and receiving yards (1,426) while ranking fourth in the league in Reception NEP (109.08) behind only superstars Odell Beckham, DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown despite less-than-stellar quarterback play from Matt Ryan. With all that said, many people may be skeptical to play Jones this week considering he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 8, however, a matchup against a porous Jaguars' secondary could be exactly what the fifth-year receiver needs to break out of this slump. Jones provides on of the highest floors among all wide receivers given his sheer volume of targets and should have little trouble reaching value in PPR formats in a great matchup this week.
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
As I already mentioned, the Saints' defense has been absolutely horrific this season. Their secondary has struggled to slow down nearly every passing attack they have faced, and this week should be no different. Although Megatron may be coming off of one of his worst games of his career with just one catch for 16 yards against St. Louis last week, he had exceeded 12 PPR points in each of seven weeks before his game against the Rams, and he's in prime position to bounce back this week against the worst defense in football. Don't hesitate to plug Johnson into your lineups in all formats this week despite his performance a week ago.
Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens
Aiken has been an absolute target monster since Steve Smith went down with an Achilles injury six weeks ago. Over that span, the Ravens' sophomore receiver has converted 35 of his whopping 56 targets for 403 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has caught at least 5 passes every week since becoming Baltimore's number one wide receiver and is coming off of an impressive 5-catch, 90-yard performance against Seattle's Legion of Boom. Although a matchup with the Chiefs is less-than-ideal, Aiken's $4,600 price tag is extremely hard to resist for a receiver who is averaging 9.3 targets per game, especially considering Fantasy Score's PPR scoring.
Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints
With Jimmy Graham now in Seattle, there was a lot of offseason hype surrounding Josh Hill as a preseason sleeper tight end, however, it's been Watson not Hill who has reaped the benefits of being the starting tight end in a Sean Payton offense. The Saints' veteran has now hauled in 61 receptions for 712 yards and 4 touchdowns on the year and should continue to see a high volume of targets on a weekly basis with the Saints often playing catchup due to their horrific defensive play. He gets a plus matchup against the Lions in a game that is expected to be a shootout and can be had for the low price of just $3,500. Watson is dollar for dollar one of my favorite plays on the board this week.
Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots
With LeGarrette Blount lost for the season, the Patriots will now be forced to turn to Bolden to fill their early down rushing role. He toted the rock 16 times after Blount went down last week against Houston, and should be in store for close to 20 touches again this week in a game where the Patriots are two-touchdown favorites. While it's tough to trust Patriots' running backs given how Coach Belichick uses his running backs differently each week depending on game plan, Bolden comes with minimal risk at just $2,900 with solid upside in the best offense in football.
The Steelers' defense has quietly been among the best in all of football this season, ranking eighth in overall Defensive NEP and first in Defensive Rushing NEP on the year. Meanwhile, the Broncos' offense has scored more than 17 points just once in the last five weeks and hasn't scored a single touchdown in three weeks, despite cushy matchups against the Raiders and Chargers. Pittsburgh should have little trouble holding Brock Osweiler and the Denver offense in check this week and should provide excellent value as the 16th most expensive defense on the board this week.