Here comes the second extra batch of people who got kicked out of their season long Fantasy playoffs. I hope to have a few more people this week taking a look at the Week 15 DFS Sleepers and Busts piece.
As I reminded many of you last week to make sure you check the weather reports prior to setting your DFS lineups, again, make sure you check the weather reports! The snow helped LeVeon Bell in that Buffalo blizzard, but not so much for Ben Roethlisberger or Antonio Brown owners.
It is that time of year, check forecasts! Lets take a look at how last week turned out.
|DeSean Jackson, 22.2 DK, 17.7 FD||Drew Brees, 7.5 DK & FD|
|Tevin Coleman, 19.5 DK, 18.5 FD||Marcus Mariota, 7.3 DK & FD|
|Packers Defense, 19 DK & FD||Allen Robinson, 2.7 DK, 2.2 FD|
Solid Buys and Fades
|Aaron Rodgers, 21.2 DK & FD||Delanie Walker, 5.8 DK, 4.8 FD|
|Dontrelle Inman, 19.1 DK, 16.1 FD||Jets Defense, 3 DK & FD|
Swing and Miss
|Eli Manning, 8.5 DK, 6.5 FD||Doug Martin, 16.5 DK, 15.5 FD|
|Jason Witten, 6.6 DK, 4.6 FD|
Before getting into this week’s DFS Sleepers and Busts, I want to thank everyone who has taken a few minutes out of their day to skim through my articles. I also want to remind people as well that there is a Saturday night game which features the Miami Dolphins taking on the New York Jets at 8:25 PM Eastern time. Get your lineups in! Alright, lets get into my Week 15 DFS Sleepers and Busts piece.
Week 15 DFS Sleepers and Busts
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (5,000 DK, 6,500 FD)
Laugh at me all you want with having Blake Bortles on the sleepers list but hear me out. You may not know that Bortles is the 11th best Fantasy quarterback this year. One of the major examples in how we examine Fantasy compared to actual quarterback play on the field and how it is very different. Somehow, some way he is putting up points on teams.
Game flow pretty much sums up Bortles’ season, as the Jaguars defense has not be great this year, which allows him to throw 35-plus times a game. He is third in attempts this season, only behind Joe Flacco and Drew Brees. The Jaguars also have no run game at all.
What Bortles’ Achilles heel this season has been the amount of turnovers. The Texans are tied for the fourth worst in terms of interceptions forced with just eight all year long. Since Week 10, the Texans have given up the second most touchdowns at 10 in just four games. One of those games featured Blake Bortles where he threw for 265 yards, 2 touchdowns and a pick. Good for 20-plus Fantasy points. We haven’t even gotten to the price yet. He is surprisingly a DraftKing’s minimum and close to it on FanDuel. The price drives value.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns (5,700 DK, 7,600 FD)
Cleveland Browns. Cleveland Browns. Cleveland Browns. Cleveland Browns. Cleveland Browns.
Hey guys, Tyrod Taylor is taking on the winless Cleveland Browns. Start him.
It has been a tough year Browns fans. Well I guess it’s been a rough decade. We all know the Browns have been ‘turrible’ (Charles Barkley voice) but I will rumble off some stats real quick. They are worst in the league in passing touchdowns allowed at 30 in 13 games, second worst in rushing yards allowed, and fourth worst in rushing yards per attempt. Since Week 10, they have given up eight passing touchdowns to just two interceptions.
In Week 6 against the Tennessee Titans, Marcus Mariota rushed the ball seven times for 64 yards. I could absolutely see the same stat line from Taylor. Take out last week’s game in the snow against the Steelers and Taylor had rushed for 30-plus yards in seven straight games. He is a solid guy because you know the rushing yards will be there in the end and the price is very reasonable. I am in on Tyrod Taylor.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (6,600 DK, 8,000 FD)
A Top 6 option based off of price in both DraftKings and FanDuel which I simply can’t roll with here. On the road against a revived Bengals defense is not a good spot for Roethlisberger. I’ll start off by saying ‘on the road’ because his home/road splits this year are something we really need to be talking about. Take a look at the table below.
Just look at those numbers since 2014. They are truly unbelievable. Some split stats can be a bit skewed and hard to judge because every year is different but this is a large enough sample that we need to start viewing Roethlisberger differently here.
People may look at the Bengals and say, ‘lost season, fraud defense, lets roll with big ben!’ Don’t fall into the trap! Since Week 10, they have given up two passing touchdowns and managed six interceptions. The average quarterback rating in that span is the best in the league at 63.1 QBR. The splits against are also in favor of the Bengals. In 25 regular season games, Ben has 33 touchdowns to 27 interceptions. More than an interception per game. In DFS where we have plenty of quarterback options available to us, Big Ben will not be on any of my rosters this week. In this case, he is for this week, the big no.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings (6,400 DK, 8,100 FD)
The Minnesota Vikings defense gives up the third fewest Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. One of the more interesting things I found from looking into the Vikings defense is their ability to not give up passing yards. The most yards through the air that they have allowed this season came in Week 1 against Marcus Mariota, where he threw for 271 yards. That also includes holding Aaron Rodgers to just 213 yards. Pretty impressive stuff.
The Vikings are also tied for fourth in the NFL in regards to passing touchdowns allowed at 15 total in 13 games. The touchdown to interception ratio is very nice as well, sitting at 15-12. Well, it’s not so nice for Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. No Bueno on Luck.
Running Back Sleepers
James White, New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (3,600 DK, 4,500 FD)
James White comes in on DraftKings and FanDuel at a cheaper price than his other pass catching teammate, Dion Lewis. This is a bit surprising given that since Lewis’ return, he has been out snapped by White. I wouldn’t be scared about this matchup, rather I would exploit it more than anything.
Since 2014, in the games between the Patriots and Broncos, including playoffs, no running back saw less than five targets. The last time these two teams faced off, James White actually led the team in targets with 16! I think the way to beat the Broncos is with the pass catching backs. We saw both Lewis and White on the field together on Monday night. I believe we see that look again Sunday evening.
In that span, only one game, we saw the Patriots run the ball more than 10 times with a running back and that was when they had Jonas Gray (12 attempts). In that same game, Shane Vereen saw 11 attempts. Most of the attempts came later when the game was out of hand. 18 of the 25 rushing attempts came in the second half. Expect lots and lots of James White, trust me on this one.
Kenneth Farrow, San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders (4,400 DK, 6,000 FD)
The gap between prices on DraftKings and FanDuel is a pretty decent one but we’re talking about a starting running back on a Chargers team who fed the ball to Melvin Gordon 254 times, which was the second most only behind Ezekiel Elliott.
Kenneth Farrow’s ownership will be high, especially on DraftKings with that price, but I want to be one who rosters him. Ronnie Hillman will see some work, as Michael Gehlken has reported, but Farrow will get the first crack. Once Gordon left, Farrow had 16 carries for 55 yards and saw six targets and caught them all. That is the one thing I love about this offense, Philip Rivers loves to dump it off to his running backs. In a DFS league, you love to see that!
Running Back Busts
DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (6,900 DK, 7,400 FD)
A Top 7 option in Week 15 on both DraftKings and FanDuel based on price. I get it, DeMarco Murray has been phenomenal all season. I will say this; I wish I had him this week in an important league. A few things I don’t like about Murray for this weekend is the matchup isn’t great. It’s not terrible, but this Chiefs defense gets up at home. The Chiefs pass defense is much better than their run defense, but they do a good job of buckling down in the red zone, particularly against running backs. While they are in the Top 10 in yards per attempt, they do an exceptional job at keeping running backs from scoring. Thye have allowed only seven rushing touchdowns all season which is the third least in the NFL.
The other reason why I am shying away from Murray is he may be wearing down late in the season. The 28-year-old back had 392 carries just two seasons prior and has already seen 250 carries this season. I think it is safe to say that he is getting tired. Over his last three games, here are his standard scoring Fantasy point totals: 13.9, 8.4 and 15.2. Good but not 6,900 DK and 7,400 FD worthy.
Wide Receiver Sleepers
Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens vs. Philadelphia Eagles (4,800 DK, 5,900 FD)
One of the things you have to love about Mike Wallace is how consistent he has been this season. In seasons past, if you typed ‘consistent’ and ‘Mike Wallace’ in Google, I don’t think you would get much in return.
Instead of the boom or bust receiver he used to be, he has had 50 or more yards in NINE straight games. In 12 out of 14 games, he has also seen six or more targets. What we need to see is a bomb touchdown that we used to get from Wallace in his early days and I think we get that this weekend, against a now suspect Eagles secondary.
In their last four games, the Eagles are 0-4 and have allowed eight touchdowns to just one interception and have allowed the opposing quarterback on average to complete 69.9% of passes which is third worst in that span. Total QBR is the worst in the league at 118.1 and the next closest is the Los Angeles Rams which are about six points lower on that scale.
We also saw DeSean Jackson, a big play receiver, total 102 yards and a touchdown against them. It is a nice price for one of the most consistent wide receivers this season.
Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (4,000 DK, 5,700 FD)
If you were to tell me that on DraftKings, Lee would be priced $400 less than his teammate, Allen Robinson, this season, I would have told you that your out of your mind and a bit crazy. The Fantasy world is pretty wild, as that crazy person I just spoke of would have been right because that is the case this week.
Robinson has gotten targets all season but has failed to haul them in. Lee has been given his opportunity in recent weeks and has delivered. As is the case for Mike Wallace, in 12 of 14 games, Lee has seen six or more targets. He played well against a tough Vikings defense (five catches on eight targets for 113 yards).
This week he gets a Houston Texans defense that has not looked good in its last four games against the pass. They have allowed the second most passing touchdowns this season and as I mentioned above, Blake Bortles has thrown the third most passes this season. Look for Lee to continue that streak of six or more targets.
Wide Receiver Busts
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings (7,200 DK, 7,300 FD)
It is a steep price for a guy who’s going up against that Vikings defense. Having Andrew Luck on the bust list only makes it fair that I put one of his wide receivers on it as well. I don’t want to leave him hanging, you know?
I think game flow has a lot to do with this game. I see the Vikings holding onto the ball and doing whatever they want against this poor Colts defense and forcing Luck to make some tough decisions. The Vikings are sporting a very good 15-12 touchdown to interception ratio. As I talked about earlier, Xavier Rhodes will likely shadow T.Y. Hilton. Not for the whole game, but for most of it. It is tough to roll with Hilton here for that price.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals vs. New Orleans Saints (7,000 DK, 7,200 FD)
Wow, has the Cardinals season gone down the drain real quick, dragging Larry Fitzgerald’s stats with them. We have not seen a Fitz touchdown since Week 5. Since Week 11, his highest yardage total came in Week 13 (78 yards). It is hard to put the blame on one of the best wide receivers to ever play the game and I will not do that.
Carson Palmer has been the real problem here. The guy has the sixth most interceptions with 13 of them. As I have said for the last few weeks, this Saints defense isn’t terrible anymore. They are middle of the pack in about every defensive category. They are sitting at 16th in Fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. In their last four games, they are 13th best in passing yards allowed and completion percentage. They are tied for fifth best in passing touchdowns allowed in that span. I don’t see Carson Palmer finding Fitzgerald enough to guarantee the return based on his price.
Tight End Sleeper
Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders (2,900 DK, 5,200 FD)
Henry is touchdown dependent, but who isn’t at the tight end position? Hunter Henry has scored in three of his last four games and is hovering around the same amount of snaps as teammate Antonio Gates.
With Melvin Gordon out for this week, we may see more of the two tight end sets. Once Gordon left the game, Henry had an uptick in targets compared to recent weeks. The Oakland Raiders do give up the 11th most Fantasy points to tight ends and they did allow Henry to go off on them, as he saw just four targets but caught 3 for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Tight End Bust
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (3,900 DK, 6,100 FD)
This is simply based off matchup. The Chiefs have allowed the third fewest Fantasy points to the tight end position. They have only allowed two touchdowns and the most yards to a tight end this year was 44 yards by Coby Fleener. I had him on the bust list last week and it worked out well. This is a tough matchup again for Mr. Walker which is the main reason why he makes it on the list once again.
Baltimore Ravens Defense vs. Philadelphia Eagles (3,100 DK, 4,700 FD)
I just don’t get how the price is so low for one of the top defenses in the league going against a turnover prone quarterback that will likely be with just Ryan Matthews in this game. Carson Wentz was on quite the roll early in the season but man have things turned on him quick (13-12 touchdown to interception ratio). Seven of those 12 interceptions have come in his last four games as well. The Ravens will stop the run, no doubt about that, which will make Wentz chuck the ball down field. Not a good formula as we have seen in the last few weeks.
Houston Texans Defense vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (3,800 DK, 5,000 FD)
The Houston Texans are the second most in DraftKings and third most in FanDuel and I am just not buying it this week. I get how many turnovers Blake Bortles has committed this season but I expect them to put up points. In their last four games, the Texans have given up the second most passing touchdowns. Blake Bortles will throw on them and that is what you need to do against this Texans defense.
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