As soon as we were getting used to no longer having bye weeks, we are back again to shortened Sundays for DFS lineups. In week 15, there are two games on Saturday. These contests, in addition to the ones on Thursday and Monday Night, are not eligible in the main Sunday slate on Yahoo. Even so, there are still many great options available for DFS players in Yahoo’s format. Let us explore those players.

Scoring settings

1 point for 25 passing yards                     1 point for 10 rushing/receiving yards

0.5 points for a reception

4 points for passing touchdown                6 points for rushing/receiving/return touchdowns

-1 point for an interception                       -2 points for a fumble lost

 

Lineup requirements

1 QB       2RB        3WR       1TE         1Flex(R/W/T)     1 DEF                     $200 budget

 

Home and Dome

There are a few elements that I look at in order to find the most desired matchups. There is what I call Home and Dome, teams that are playing at home with an indoor stadium. Wind can be a factor that can negatively impact passing offenses and as December rolls along, we may even see some snow. There are three teams that play Home and Dome in week 15:

Atlanta Falcons vs Arizona Cardinals

Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys

Minnesota Vikings vs Miami Dolphins

NFL Stats are via StatRoute.com Use Promo Code G42FF to save 25%

 

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson BAL, $25 vs TB
Thomas J. Russo / USA Today Sports

This week, my strategy will be to take cheaper options at QB in order to spend up at other positions. What helps with the profitability of that approach is the fact that QBs who can rack up the rushing yards are so cheap this week. We begin with Lamar Jackson who undoubtedly comes with some risk. The Ravens announced that Jackson would be the week 15 starter but that Joe Flacco would be active and serve as the backup. Jackson has a 3-1 record as a starter, but he did struggle to pass the football at times. While they almost beat the Chiefs last week, Jackson did have a critical fumble late in the 4th quarter that almost cost them the game. Ultimately, Kansas City won in OT, but not before a missed field goal immediately after the Jackson fumble forced the extra frame. There is a chance that Jackson could get benched if he makes a similar mistake in week 15. Fortunately for him, Baltimore takes on the Buccaneers who have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to QBs in 2018. The Ravens have the 5th highest implied total on the Sunday slate with 26.5 points. Even with the risk, Jackson’s upside makes him a strong play this week, especially at his Yahoo price of $25.

Josh Johnson WAS, $21 @ JAX

When talking about risk, there may be no matchup that encompasses this more than the Jaguars defense. The unit has struggled at times, but they have also dominated for portions of the season. In week 15 they take on Josh Johnson who is making his first start of 2018. You may be asking why I am selecting Johnson in this article and the reason is a particular vulnerability demonstrated by Jacksonville this season. The Jaguars have actually allowed the most rushing yards per game to QBs in 2018. Last week, Johnson put up 25.3 fantasy points even though he only played in the 2nd half of the game. Most of those points were due to his rushing production. I expect Washington to tailor the offensive play-calling to Johnson’s skill set and design several rushing plays for him. For both Jackson and Johnson, I would play them, but due to their low-volume passing attacks, I would not stack them with any receivers.

 

Running Back

Todd Gurley LAR, $39 vs PHI

This seems like somewhat of an odd time for Todd Gurley‘s price to rise to $39. He has just experienced his two least productive games of 2018 in 2 of the last 3 weeks. Those games bookended a 132 yard, 2 TD performance, demonstrating that Gurley has not lost anything. Last week especially, the Rams played a great defense (Bears) in a cold environment. In week 15, they return home to California to take on the Eagles. While Philadelphia has only allowed the 20th most fantasy points to RBs in PPR (point per reception) formats, this matchup still sets up well for Gurley. The Eagles have actually allowed the 7th most receiving yards to the position in 2018. Gurley can get it done both on the ground and through the air. Coming off their worst performance of the Sean McVay era, the Rams will look to get back on track with a heavy dose of their best player.

Dalvin Cook MIN, $26 vs MIA
Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports

In the wake of John DeFilippo‘s removal as Vikings offensive coordinator, head coach Mike Zimmer will have more input in the play-calling. That will probably mean more rushing plays, which should increase the overall usage of Dalvin Cook. A run-heavy approach would probably be the best way to attack the Dolphins defense. This season, they have allowed the 7th most fantasy points to RBs in 0.5 PPR (point per reception) formats. While it is always tempting to select Stefon Diggs or Adam Thielen in DFS, I think Cook is the best play on the Minnesota roster. Vegas is projecting the Vikings to put up 25.75 points, which would probably give Cook a healthy fantasy output.

Joe Mixon CIN, $23 vs OAK

This season the way to attack the Chargers excellent defense and sustain success has been to run the football. The Bengals did just that last week as Joe Mixon ended both a 100-yard and TD drought. In week 15, Cincinnati faces yet another AFC West team that is similarly vulnerable to rushing production. The Raiders have allowed the 9th most fantasy points to RBs in 0.5 PPR settings. Mixon’s usage appears to be on the up as his 31 touches last week were a season-high. At only $23, Mixon is perfectly priced to pair with another prime player or two.

 

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams GB, $30 @ CHI

I had already referenced the Rams’ struggles in the cold Chicago air last week. In week 15 however, the Bears opponent is used to playing in frigid environments. Aaron Rodgers does not seem to be negatively affected by the brisk nature of December football in the NFC North. That bodes well for his top target, Davante Adams, who has been consistent as any player in 2018. Adams has scored double-digit fantasy totals in every game this season. Last time he played Chicago, Adams caught 5 of 8 targets for 88 yards and 1 TD. That was with Geronimo Allison, who is now on injured reserve, receiving 8 targets. With no other consistent receiving options for the Packers, I expect Adams to see even more targets this time around. Yes, Aaron Jones has given Green Bay some run-pass balance, the Bears may prevent him from producing. Chicago has given up the 3rd fewest fantasy points to RBs in 0.5 PPR settings.

Philip G. Pavely / USA TODAY Sports
JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT, $27 vs NE

Among the cliches that we hear about the Patriots, there is Bill Belichick‘s ability to neutralize opponents top offensive weapon. Strangely enough, it was something that has been said about the Raiders pass defense this year. What do you know, Antonio Brown had a disappointing performance in Oakland last week, scoring only 6 fantasy points. Meanwhile, JuJu Smith-Schuster exploded for 130 yards and 2 TDs on 8 receptions. I suspect that a similar result could occur in week 15. The Steelers have an implied total of 25.7 points which is tied with the Viking as the 6th highest on the Sunday slate. However, Pittsburgh will be more inclined to pass the football more than Minnesota since James Conner is expected to miss another game. If the Steelers match their projected total, it will probably come from production curtsey of Smith-Schuster.

Robert Woods LAR, $27 vs PHI

Speaking of implied totals, the Rams top week 15 at 32.5 points. Yes, I have already expressed my elevated expectations for Todd Gurley. That being said, in a get-right game for the Rams, it is possible that they pour the points on the Eagles defense that has given up the 2nd most points to WRs in 0.5 PPR formats. With a rash of injuries to their secondary in the middle of the season, Philadelphia has not been able to recover at the benefit of opposing receivers. Robert Woods has established himself as the Rams top receiver with 13 targets last week, almost double what any of his teammates received. While RB-WR stacks can be dangerous, the Rams are the only team that I would trust with that situation.

Amari Cooper DAL, $23 @ IND

One situation that I have not yet written about are Home and Dome games. Unfortunately, the teams playing at home and indoors either have bad matchups or are the Cardinals. Either way, those are teams that I do not trust to produce. That being said, I do like targeting a Road and Dome team, specifically the Cowboys. Dallas clearly has two skill positions players that are favored: Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott. Both of them received 13 targets apiece last week. Cooper caught 10 of them for 217 yards and 2 TDs. Surprisingly, his price dropped by $5 after that monster performance. That makes him somewhat of a bargain that I am all the more ready to accept.

 

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski NE, $18 @ PIT
Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

It appears that Rob Gronkowski is as healthy as he will be this season. Even be his injury absence, Gronkowski hadn’t been his usually dominant self, with only 1 TD in his first 7 games. Since returning, however, he has scored twice. Coming off of a season-best 20.7 fantasy point performance, Gronkowski’s price is at a season-low $18. His price makes him a virtual must-play considering that the Steelers have given up the 4th most points to TEs in 0.5 PPR formats. Furthermore, the Patriots are tied for the 2nd highest implied total on the Sunday slate with 27.75 points.

C.J. Uzomah CIN, $13 vs OAK

With the rash of injuries to the Bengals receiving corps, C.J. Uzomah has been one of the few consistent presences. He has averaged just under 97% of the offensive snaps over the last 6 weeks. Snap counts with TEs can be tricky since they may be asked to block. Uzomah however, receives an abundance of targets when the matchup calls for a TE-led attack. Three weeks ago, Cincinnati played the Browns, a team that has given up the 9th most fantasy points to TEs in 0.5 PPR settings. Uzomah got 12 targets in that game, leading the team. This week, the Bengals bring the Raiders to town and they have allowed the most fantasy points to the position. Even with Jeff Driskel under center, he should be able to find Uzomah in order to exploit this matchup.

Flex RB

Chris Carson SEA, $18 @ SF

Even with the emergence of Rashaad Penny, and the productivity of Mike Davis, Chris Carson is still the lead back in Seattle. Carson has played in at least 41.5% of offensive snaps in all but 2 games this season. That includes over half of the snaps in 3 straight games. The Seahawks have had a run-heavy approach most of the season, but especially in the last 2 weeks. A prime example is a game against their week 15 opponent the 49ers where they only threw the ball 17 times. One of the biggest beneficiaries of this development is Carson who has had at least 16 touches in for 4 weeks in a row. That type of volume gives him a decent floor. Carson also has had 3 red zone carries in each of the last 3 weeks. By consistently touches the ball around the goal-line, Carson has TD upside against San Francisco that is difficult to find for only $18. With the news that Penny will miss week 15, Carson’s usage should rise.

Ito Smith ATL, $14 vs ARI

Tevin Coleman has out snapped Ito Smith in every game this season. Last week, however, Coleman only played in 1 offensive snap more than Smith. Even with Coleman on the field more often, Smith has out-touched him 22-18 over the last 2 weeks. With Coleman likely leaving via free agency next season, the Falcons may want to give Smith additional touches down the stretch in order to see what they have in him. A matchup with the Cardinals will be a great opportunity for Smith to prove himself. Arizona has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs in 0.5 PPR formats. With enough potential volume for both RBs, either Smith or Coleman (at $13) are great options for Yahoo’s NFL DFS in week 15.

Flex WR

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images
Allen Robinson CHI, $19 vs GB

Since his 133-yard, 2 TD performance against the Lions a few ago, Allen Robinson has been held out of the end zone. A matchup against the Packers might be exactly what he needs in order to get on track. Green Bay has given up the 4th most fantasy points to WRs in 0.5 PPR formats. Robinson has been dominating playing time on the Bears with no less than a snap count of 84.3% in any game that he was not injured. Therefore, he should be on the field and in a position to produce often in week 15. There is a minor injury concern with Robinson as he was held out of practice on Wednesday with a hip injury. Fortunately, he did return to practice on Thursday. This is something to monitor, but Robinson’s potential upside makes him worth the risk.

Dante Pettis SF, $12 vs SEA

Allow me to repeat myself. Last week I selected Dante Pettis in this article. Although the yardage wasn’t the greatest, he managed to get into the end zone for the 4th time in 3 games. Pettis will certainly aim for a repeat performance against the Seahawks who he torched for 129 and 2 TDs. The downside for the rookie receiver is that he has yet to top 5 catches in a game. That risk, however, is baked into his $12 price tag. Pettis has upside that is difficult to find at his cost.

 

Defense

Jacksonville Jaguars $14 vs WAS

In the QB section of this article, I selected Washington’s signal caller Josh Johnson. In week 15, he will be making only his 6th career NFL start and his first since 2011. While the rushing upside is why I would choose to play him in DFS, I understand any hesitation. For those unconvinced that Johnson will be able to produce, then the defense that he is playing would be a great choice. The Jaguars have not been their dominant self that we saw in 2017. No longer do they have a price tag of between $17-20 as they did in the early-going of 2018. Jacksonville can, however, still put pressure on the QB. They have at least 1 sack in all but 2 games this season. That type of pass-rush can force QBs into mistakes, even if they do not get home for the sack. They have at least 1 INT in 6 of the last 7 games. Going against a Washington offensive line that has been dealing with injuries, the Jaguars should be a great play in DFS.

Detroit Lions $13 @ BUF

Josh Allen‘s rushing ability has been a revelation for the Bills as he has either won games for them or kept them close in contests. He actually set a Super Bowl era record for most rushing yards by a QB over a 3-game span. There is, however, a decent chance that the ground production does not continue in week 15. The Lions have allowed the fewest rushing yards to QBs on the season. If they can manage to stop Allen from running all over them, Detroit will neutralize the biggest offensive threat. As they have gotten healthier (especially the return of Ezekiel Ansah) the pass rush has gotten more consistent. The Lions have actually produced at least 3 sacks in 3 of the last 4 games. They have also forced at least 1 turnover in 5 of the last 6 weeks. I selected the Detroit defense on the road last week, and they managed to produce 18 fantasy points. Here is hoping for a repeat performance. I think I am repeating that phrase.

Thank you for reading. For any comments or questions, I can be found on Twitter @nyama_ks. For more great DFS content, be sure to check out Going for 2 daily.

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