DFS Early Look: Week 15


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DFS Early Look: Week 15

Week 14 of the NFL regular season just wrapped up, and that means Week 15 is just around the corner. As my readers likely know, DFS is the best version of fantasy football, and since DraftKings and FanDuel have released their Week 15 prices, it’s time to track down the obvious values and best plays.

Here are the plays that jump out to me for Week 15 DFS:

Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears (VS. PHI)

DraftKings: $7,400 (QB3) | FanDuel: $7,900 (QB5)

Justin Fields is the QB1 over his last 6 games, averaging 28.9 FPG and an insane 103.8 rushing YPG on 12.3 carries per game. He’s the most extreme version of a Konami Code QB – and it’s paid dividends for fantasy owners in the latter half of the season.

For Week 15, Fields draws a poor (on paper) matchup against an Eagles defense that’s been the 3rd-toughest against opposing QBs through the air (-3.1 passing FPG); but poor passing matchups shouldn’t be taken as a huge knock to a QB who’s scored 56% of his total fantasy points on the ground this season.

What’s far more important is the 3rd-best total on the slate (48.5) and the Bears being listed as 9.0-point underdogs. Not only should this be one of the most productive offensive games of the slate, but Fields should be forced to drop back far more than usual if the Bears get down early, as the current spread implies. And extra dropbacks will surely translate to extra fantasy points for Fields – given 63% of his total rushing yards have come on scrambles this season.

Expect Fields to be chalk in one of the most exciting fantasy QB matchups of the season.

Mike White, QB, New York Jets (VS. DET)

DraftKings: $5,400 (QB12) | FanDuel: $7,000 (QB11)

Mike White has played five fully healthy starts, scoring 31.1, 27.8, 22.5, 10.1, and 6.0 DraftKings points in those games. He’s either finished as a mid- to high-end QB1, or posted a useless score. While White carries significant risk, he’s shown the upside needed to win DFS tournaments (especially at his current price).

And White’s Week 15 matchup is close to perfect. He draws Detroit defense that’s been exploited by opposing passing attacks, ranking as the single-softest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing QBs (+5.7 FPG), while allowing a league-leading completion percentage above expectation (+4.9%), the 2nd-highest aDOT (8.4), and the most fantasy points per dropback (0.50). This is the perfect matchup for White, who is too cheap given his upside. He’s a great salary-saving option at QB in Week 15.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (@ LAC)

DraftKings: $8,000 (RB3) | FanDuel: $8,900 (RB2)

Henry has scored more than 20.0 fantasy points on seven occasions this season, and five of those games have come against bottom-12 defenses against RBs by schedule-adjusted FPG. If Henry is prone to great performances in the best matchups, then we should expect fireworks in Week 15 as he draws a Chargers’ defense that’s been the 2nd-softest matchup for opposing RBs on the ground (+4.1 FPG) and allowed the most yards after contact per attempt (3.2) and highest YPC (5.4) this season.

But a great matchup is only part of the equation with Henry. He’s also massively gamescript dependent, averaging 24.7 FPG in wins but just 13.3 FPG in losses since 2019. The Titans are listed as 3.0-point underdogs, but their implied win probability in this spot is still 43.5% – suggesting ample opportunity for Tennessee to build a lead, feed Henry, and win this game. Outside of gamescript concerns, it’s going to be tough to fade Tractorcito in this elite matchup.

Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (VS. DAL)

DraftKings: $6,000 (RB12) | FanDuel: $7,000 (RB13)

Etienne has earned a bell cow workload in back-to-back weeks, yet he’s scored just 7.6 and 3.2 fantasy points. Still, if there’s one thing we know with RBs, it’s to chase workload rather than results, especially with a player as talented as Etienne.

His Week 15 matchup with Dallas doesn’t look great on paper, but the Cowboys are the 2nd-toughest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing QBs (-4.9 FPG) and a plus matchup for opposing RBs on the ground, allowing +0.7 schedule-adjusted FPG (11th-softest). That could lead to Jacksonville wanting to put the ball in Etienne’s hands more so than their passing offense, at least based on matchups.

And the real bottom line with Etienne is that he’s simply too cheap given his workload. The 18.4 XFP/G he’s averaged over his last five healthy games before Week 14 would rank 3rd-best among slate-eligible RBs over the full season. I love Etienne as a usage-based value at his cheapest DraftKings price point since Week 8.

Isiah Pacheco, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (@ HOU)

DraftKings: $5,900 (RB13) | FanDuel: $7,600 (RB8)

The Kansas City backfield has become significantly more condensed since Clyde Edwards-Helaire was placed on Injured Reserve, leading to Isiah Pacheco averaging 16.0 carries per game and 78.8 rushing YPG since Week 10.

Pacheco’s best game from a volume perspective (22 carries, 19.5 XFP) came in a 16-point win over the Rams in Week 12, as he’s the clear backfield beneficiary of positive gamescript given Jerick McKinnon’s stranglehold over backfield the receiving role.

If Pacheco benefits from positive gamescript, he should have a great chance at a ceiling performance in Week 15 as 14.0-point favorites against one of the league’s worst run defenses. Houston has been the softest schedule-adjusted defense for opposing RBs on the ground (+5.5 FPG, +38% worse than the 2nd-worst rush defense), allowing the 2nd-most yards after contact (1,174) and the 4th-most yards before contact per attempt (1.7).

If this game gets out of hand as oddsmakers expect, queue up Pacheco as one of the best sub-$6k RB options on DraftKings in an outstanding matchup.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions (@ NYJ)

DraftKings: $7,800 (WR3) | FanDuel: $8,400 (WR4)

Excluding games where Amon-Ra St. Brown suffered an injury or was on the injury report listed as questionable, he’s averaging 10.8 targets and 23.8 FPG over his last 13 games. He’s hit at least 15.0 fantasy points in 12 of 14 and double-digit targets in 11 of 14. Over the full season, 23.8 FPG would lead all WRs (by 1.0 FPG), and 10.8 targets per game would rank 4th.

There is an incredibly strong argument to be made that Amon-Ra St. Brown is this year’s Cooper Kupp. Last season, Kupp’s average DraftKings price in his final eight games was $9,300 – $1,500 more than St. Brown’s Week 14 price tag. At least based on volume, he’s a clear value for seemingly the 10th week in a row.

This matchup should be conducive to volume heading St. Brown’s way as the Jets rank as the 2nd-toughest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing outside WRs (-5.3 FPG), but much closer to neutral for opposing slots (-0.4 FPG). St. Brown has arguably the highest target expectation of the slate, but he’s not priced like it in a slot funnel matchup. He’s one of the top plays of Week 15.

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (VS. CIN)

DraftKings: $6,700 (WR9) | FanDuel: $7,000 (WR16)

Since Week 4, Godwin has averaged 10.5 targets per game and 17.9 XFP/G, yet he’s only cracked 20.0 fantasy points once. Among slate-eligible WRs over the full season, 10.5 targets per game and 17.9 XFP/G would both rank 4th-best. Usage-wise, Godwin is right there with Amon-Ra St. Brown as one of the top values of the slate, especially on FanDuel, where he’s confusingly priced as the WR16.

And matchup and gamescript should both help Godwin continue his elite volume streak. The Bengals are the 6th-toughest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing outside WRs (-3.5 FPG), but the 10th-softest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing slots (+1.5 FPG) – suggesting volume should be funneled Godwin’s way.

Plus, Tampa Bay is a 3.5-point underdog in what is close to a must-win game for their division lead to remain intact. A pass-happy approach is the most likely outcome here, and Godwin should reap the rewards of such an approach given his team-leading 25% target share.

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (VS. TEN)

DraftKings: $6,300 (WR13) | FanDuel: $7,200 (WR12)

Mike Williams had a strong return from injury, pacing the Chargers with 116 receiving yards and scoring 23.6 fantasy points, granted he wasn’t a true full-time player, logging a 65% snap share in his first game since Week 11.

We know Williams has GPP-winning upside, scoring at least 21.6 fantasy points in 50% of his healthy games this season. And it’s easy to see another ceiling performance on the horizon in arguably the best possible matchup for outside WRs.

The Titans have allowed +7.4 schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing outside WRs this season, which easily leads the NFL. They’ve been extremely vulnerable to the deep ball, allowing a league-leading 80.0 YPG and 10.9 FPG on deep passes this season. Williams leads the Chargers in deep targets (18) despite playing just eight fully healthy games, and he’s scored half his TDs (2) and earned 26% of his total receiving yards (160) on deep passes. In other words, this is the ideal matchup for Williams – who is massively underpriced given the Chargers' pass-heavy tendencies in recent weeks.

Elijah Moore, WR, New York Jets (VS. DET)

DraftKings: $3,600 (WR52) | FanDuel: $5,600 (WR39)

In his nine career games without Zach Wilson, Elijah Moore averages 14.1 FPG and 6.7 targets per game – marks that rank 20th- and 39th-best among all WRs over the full season. And over the last two weeks, Moore is back to being a full-time player, earning 16 total targets on a route share of 84%.

A WR playing as much as Moore is, earning the volume Moore is, should not be priced below $4,000 on DraftKings – especially in a great matchup. The Lions are the 2nd-softest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing slot WRs (+3.1 FPG), allowing the 3rd-most YPA (7.7) and the highest completion percentage over expectation (+4.9%). This is the ideal matchup for the massively-mispriced Moore.

And he gets an added boost in Week 15, with veteran WR Corey Davis appearing likely to miss this contest with a concussion. Should Davis sit, that frees up 4.8 targets per game and 8.2 XFP/G – creating arguably the best pass game setup for Moore this season.

Greg Dulcich, TE, Denver Broncos (VS. ARI)

DraftKings: $3,600 (TE9) | FanDuel: $5,600 (TE6)

Dulcich leads all TEs in deep targets per game (1.7) and ranks 2nd among slate-eligible TEs in air yards per game (67.1) and 5th in XFP/G (9.5). So, his current workload already presents value relative to his TE9 price tag on DraftKings ($3,600).

But what makes Dulcich stand out in Week 15 is his incredible matchup. The Cardinals allow the most schedule-adjusted FPG (+6.0) – 40% more than the 2nd-worst team against TEs. Dulcich has hit 8 targets in back-to-back games, and it isn’t too hard to argue that could be his floor in the best possible matchup for TEs.

Jake Tribbey is the 2022 FSWA Football Writer of the Year and the leading Spring Football expert in the fantasy industry. He is a lifelong football fan obsessed with extracting every edge possible from DFS, Best Ball, and player props/futures.