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Daily Fantasy NFL: Week 15 Picks

We’re coming down to the final stretch of the fantasy season, and with big tournaments like the $5,000,000 Millionaire Maker on DraftKings and $1,200,000 Rush on FanDuel, DFS is as exciting as ever. These are my picks this week. Good luck with your lineups this weekend!

 

 

QB

Cam Newton

Newton isn’t exactly under the radar this week, he was the 3rd highest owned QB in FanDuel Thursday contests and has a good/great matchup against the Giants. But I think he’s absolutely exceptional this week. His rushing production should go up with the absence of Jonathan Stewart, and if the Panthers find themselves down in this game, I could envision him using his legs a lot to get his team back in it. It’s also the perfect matchup for Newton’s best weapon, Greg Olsen. The Giants have been horrible at covering the TE this season. We have Carolina at 26.75 projected points this week, and Newton should be responsible for almost all of that production.

Tom Brady

Adjusted for margin of victory, the Patriots are by far the most pass heavy team in the league, passing it 12.24% more than the average team. This is a full 4% ahead of the Lions, the second most pass heavy team in the league. So with a 31.75 point projection this week against the Titans, Brady is a no brainer top QB play despite his price. But what really puts Brady in the top spot for me is the benefits he should reap with the loss of Legarrette Blount for the season. Without Blount, the Patriots run game should not be as effective and we should see even more passing because of that. But the even bigger impact of Blount’s absence is the Patriots ability to run it in the red zone. While Blount was having a bad year, he still was a very effective red zone runner, with 5 TDs in only 31 red zone rushing attempts. Bolden shouldn’t be nearly as effective, so we should expect more Patriots TDs throw the air on top of an increased passing rate. All of these factors together make Brady undeniably amazing this week.

RB

Denard Robinson

Reading between the lines, I have no doubt in my mind that T.J. Yeldon will be out this week. That puts Robinson as the lone RB in an offense that is projected to score 26 points at home against the Falcons. Yes, Jacksonville does not run the ball at ton in the red zone (Yeldon and Robinson only have 3 combined rushing TDs this season), but for only $4,600 on DraftKings, I’ll take a flawed pass-catching RB all day. Robinson has high upside rushing and receiving. You won’t find a better option near his pricepoint.

Adrian Peterson

I’ve liked Adrian Peterson the whole season. He’s on a very run heavy team and is an extremely talented runner. But the biggest reason I love Adrian Peterson this week has to do with the matchup. In my mind, the Bears are the worst run defense in the league, and therefore the best matchup for RBs. The Bears are only middle of the road to FP allowed to RBs, but there are a lot of indications that they are theoretically the worst. First off, Football Outsiders ranks the Bears dead last in run defense. Even though their FP allowed looks decent, they have faced an extremely soft schedule of RBs which have made them look a lot better. They allowed the 3rd worst yards per carry in the league at 4.7. The icing on the cake is by far their best defensive player, Pernell McPhee, has been hobbled with injuries and will probably miss this week. Without McPhee, I expect their run defense to move into another level of awfulness. Just a perfect matchup for Peterson, who has the most upside of any RB.

WR

Julio Jones

The Falcons offense has been absolutely terrible the past several weeks and Matt Ryan has looked totally washed up, but I think this is the perfect matchup for the Falcons offense and Julio Jones. Jacksonville has been terrible against #1 WRs this season, and the last three games really illustrate their ineptitude.

Week 12 against the Chargers: Stevie Johnson 7 Rec, 92 yds, 1 TD.

Week 13 against the Titans: Dorial Green-Beckham 5 rec, 119 yards, 1 TD.

Week 14 against the Colts: T.Y. Hilton 4 rec, 132 yds, 0 TDs.
The numbers really speak for themselves, do we really have any doubt Julio exceeds this production?

A.J. Green

A.J. McCarron is going to start at QB this week, so I expect we should see a more conservative Bengals offense than usual, which means less passing. So that’s not good for A.J. McCarron’s first name buddy A.J. Green. But there are a few reasons to like Green. First off, Tyler Eifert is not going to play. Eifert has been a red zone machine this year, lowering Green’s TD expectation a lot. Without Eifert, we should see a boost in Green’s expected FP. McCarron is a young and inexperienced QB, so I expect a lot of simple plays in the passing game and McCarron to lock on to his top WR. We saw a great McCarron and Green rapport last week, and I think that continues.

TE

Rob Gronkowski

TE is absolutely barren this week, yet DFSers don’t seem to care to play Gronk against a Tennessee team that ranks 26th in DVOA against the TE and is projected to allow 30+ points to the Patriots. Some may point to his high price, but with cheap options elsewhere I think using Gronk is ideal for us to capture the best values at each position. As I stated earlier, without Legarrette Blount, the Pats should be much more pass heavy in the red zone and Gronk will absolutely be the Pats #1 target. Gronk’s upside is so much higher than any other TE this week not named Greg Olsen (who by the way, isn’t even that much cheaper than Gronk), I think it’s a massive mistake not to have him more than the field.  

Eric Ebron

Gronkowski is the best TE this week and has been for the entire season when he’s played. But I really like Ebron this week. The Saints give up the most FP to TEs in the league. And with Saints #1 CB Delvin Breaux’s incredible play in his past 3 games (he’s been thrown at only 7 times and has allowed 2 receptions), I expect Calvin Johnson to be shut down. The Saints are also a historically awful pass defense. The matchup really can’t get any better for Ebron. Ebron is a young, former 1st round pick with great size and speed. He hasn’t performed very well this season, partly because he doesn’t see full playing time. He will probably be forced into more playing time this week, as Detroit’s other main TE Brandon Pettigrew is out for the season. Most of Detroit’s passing production goes to Calvin Johnson, but he was held to 1 catch for 16 yards last week and hinted that he was banged up in an interview this week. With Ebron’s talent, increased playing time, increased targets, and incredible matchup, the stars are aligned for a great performance after a really disappointing season.

D/ST

Seahawks

This is the chalkiest of chalk on D/ST with the Browns projected to score 14.5 points with a young turnover prone QB in Johnny Manziel. But it’s special teams that really puts this D/ST over the top for me. Cleveland’s kickoff game is one of the worst in the league, with Travis Coons only converting 43% of his kicks for touchbacks, and that number should go down as he’s actually is slightly banged up this week with a groin injury. The Browns punt game has been subpar according to DVOA as well. With an awesome return specialist in Tyler Lockett, this is just a disaster for Cleveland and it does not seem unlikely that Lockett takes one to the house. I love the Lockett/Seahawks D pairing in GPPs.

 

View all posts by Daniel Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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