Who is ready for Week 15? We get a well rounded 11 game slate this week with a lot of different ways you can attack it. I have narrowed it down to the best targets and fades before any crucial information drops this weekend.
This is a source for you to get all the necessary information that you might not recognize quickly looking through the slate early in the week. The goal of this first look is to help leave no stone unturned before the week kicks off. Being able to project for different potential outcomes of players and games is a crucial trait to have as a DFS player. Here is my first look and deep dive on the Week 15 slate:
Game Script Targets
Rams -17.5 (vs. NYJ)
RB Cam Akers (LAR, vs. NYJ)
Cam Akers checked all the boxes in the eye test Thursday night against the Patriots as the lead back. The vision looked very mature for a rookie and should make Sean McVay not hesitate to ride him again in a positive game script versus the Jets.
Over the past two games, Akers has seen 63% and 79% of the RB snaps to go along with 22 and 31 touches. That is bellcow type usage and tough to ignore.
Colts -3 (@ LV)
RB Jonathan Taylor (IND, vs. HOU)
Jonathan Taylor is starting to figure it out. In his past two games he has looked like a different running back showing the explosiveness that we saw in college. He is averaging 7.9 yards per touch in the last two games including a game against these same Texans. His highest yards after contact per rush have come all in the last three games. He has had at least 3.3 yards after contact in each game. PFF has him as the top graded running back in that three game stretch.
The matchup against the Texans is one he can easily expose again. They allow the second most schedule adjusted FPPG to RBs. No defense has allowed a higher YPC to RBs (5.28) and more FPTS/Carry (0.8). In a positive game script (3-point favorites), Taylor has a great chance to hit his upside again.
49ers -3 (@ DAL)
WR Brandon Aiyuk (SF, @ DAL)
There has not been an easier matchup for the WR1 of the opposing offense than the Cowboys. They are allowing the most schedule adjusted FPPG to WR1s. This week Brandon Aiyuk gets an early Christmas gift with this matchup. Aiyuk has been the clear go-to guy for Nick Mullens and the injury to Deebo Samuel magnifies that. He has 90+ receiving yards in four of his last five games and 11.2 targets/game in that stretch. His 30% target share since Week 7 is 3rd highest among all WRs.
WR Russell Gage (ATL, vs. TB)
As Cooper Kupp and Tyreek Hill showed, the Buccaneers can certainly be beaten in the slot. Hill was able to go for 116 yards out of the slot against them on 7 targets. Kupp was not as productive but still finished Top 10 in slot yards in Week 11 against the Bucs with 52 of his yards coming in the slot. Russell Gage is a receiver who plays primarily in the slot and has an added opportunity for targets in this game script (6-point underdogs) and with Julio Jones seeming Doubtful to play. In three of his last four games, Gage has seen at least seven targets. On top of the positive game script for Gage is the fact that the Bucs have one of the best run defenses. Todd Gurley has basically struggled to get going in every matchup this year and it is tough to imagine this is the week the run game for the Falcons is productive. They will be forced to be pass heavy on offense.
QB Tom Brady (TB, @ ATL)
Ronald Jones is battling a finger injury and was placed on the COVID-19 list. It seems likely he misses the game this week. This should result in the Bucs being more aggressive on offense and attacking a Falcons secondary that is allowing the most schedule adjusted FPPG to QBs. The Bucs have a healthy team total of 28.25. Brady is a good bounce back candidate after facing a bad game environment last week against the Vikings. They were limited to 52 plays but this week against a Falcons faster pace offense they will have more plays.
Another possibly overlooked aspect of this game is that the status of the Buccaneers’ punter and kicker are in question. The Bucs have reason to be more aggressive on 4th down if both are forced to miss the game.
TE Cole Kmet (CHI, @ MIN)
The Bears have come to their senses and started to use 2nd round pick Cole Kmet over 34-year-old Jimmy Graham.
Since Week 11 Bye, Cole Kmet has:
Routes run: 33/20/24
He is $3,000 on DraftKings giving lineups a ton of flexibility and we have him projected as the 5th best TE value (2.63 FPTS/$). If the Bears fall behind and play into a positive game script for Kmet, he could hit over 4x value.
RB David Montgomery (CHI, @ MIN)
David Montgomery has been extremely effective over the past few weeks but can be attributed to the soft run defenses he faced. The Texans, Lions, and Packers are all Top 5 in schedule adjusted FPPG allowed to RBs. Even with the Bears leading the whole game against the Texans, Montgomery saw 11 carries. They do not seem willing to commit to him with a full workload and his efficiency should wane in his toughest matchup in some time.
RB Kenyan Drake (ARI, vs. PHI)
A limited Kyler Murray helped Kenyan Drake be a bigger part of the offense and find the end zone five times in his last four games. However it looks like Kyler has gotten over the hill with the injury and got back to his typically rushing usage with 13 carries. The previous three games he was limited to 5 carries in each game. The threat of Kyler designed runs in the red zone obviously handicaps Drake’s scoring ability. He has seen over three targets in two games this year and has one game with over 15 receiving yards. If we can avoid a Drake TD, there is a great chance he does not hit value.
WR Cooper Kupp (LAR, vs. NYJ)
Cooper Kupp is looking down the scope of a terrible game script. The Rams sit as 17.5-point favorites and the Jets offense is severely outmanned against the Rams defense. When ahead by 7+ points this year, the Rams have a 45% pass rate. In a game against a Patriots offense that struggled to move the ball, the Rams threw the ball 25 times and Kupp had 11.6 XFP. That is below his season average XFP of 13.8 and could fall to the same fate this week.
Pace of Play
Eagles (vs. ARI) - Cardinals fastest neutral game script pace
Saints (vs. KC) - Chiefs 8th fastest neutral game pace -> Saints slowest
Falcons (vs. TB) - Bucs 5th fastest pace and may be more pass heavy with RoJo status in question
Bears (@ MIN) - Vikings 7th slowest neutral pace -> Bears 15th fastest
Football Team (vs. SEA) - Football Team 2nd fastest neutral pace -> Seahawks 19th fastest
Projected Fast Pace Game:
Titans vs Lions - Both teams are Top 10 in neutral game pace of play