NFL Week 15 – We’re getting into the twilight of the NFL regular season, and the games are really starting to matter each and every week. Whether you’re out of your fantasy league playoffs or looking to enjoy the games from as many different angles as possible, this daily fantasy slate has everything you need to keep the juices flowing.
Jalen Hurts $8200 @ Chicago Bears
When quarterbacks cross the $8,000 threshold in DraftKings pricing, we need to be very sure that they can return bang for their buck, and Jalen Hurts is certainly doing that this year with only two weekly finishes outside the top six fantasy quarterbacks. Since the Eagles’ Week 7 bye, Hurts has averaged 27.0 fantasy points and has either scored a rushing touchdown or gone over 100 rushing yards in each of his last five games. The Bears defense ranks 31st in DVOA and is unlikely to have many answers.
Usage Suggestions: With Hurts being so expensive, his rostership will be more subdued than it should be, and he’s an excellent play in tournaments. The Bears defense is weak all over the field, but particularly against WR1s, making A.J. Brown an excellent stacking partner, despite the steep price tag.
Justin Herbert $7200 vs. Tennessee Titans
The Chargers’ much-needed win over the Dolphins was the first time this year that Mike Williams and Keenan Allen both started and finished a game, and their health helped Herbert to his highest passing total of the season (367 yards). The Chargers now face a Titans team that is 31st against the pass in DVOA over the last four weeks and has allowed back-to-back quarterbacks to finish as the QB1 of the week.
Usage Suggestions: Herbert feels under-priced and should garner plenty of attention with there not being too many interesting pay-down options this week. As such, we can use Herbert in cash games (double up or 50/50 contests) as well as using him in tournaments where we’re mindful of his rostership. Herbert can be stacked with almost all of the Chargers pass-catchers, who all have good matchups this week.
James Conner $6900 @ Denver Broncos
Colt McCoy will again be the quarterback for the Cardinals, and in the three games he has played the majority of snaps, James Conner has averaged 20.3 touches and 20.1 PPR points. The Broncos passing defense is the team’s biggest strength, ranking third in DVOA, but their rushing defense is 17th and just allowed Jerick McKinnon 32.4 PPR points.
Usage Suggestions: With this game possibly featuring two backup quarterbacks, it’s a little ugly for cash games, but feels fine for tournaments. Conner can be correlated with Greg Dulcich, who has an excellent matchup.
Miles Sanders $6500 @ Chicago Bears
The 2021 season was a disappointment for both Miles Sanders and his fantasy managers, with zero touchdowns across the entire season. This year, however, the only running backs with more touchdowns than Sanders 11 are Nick Chubb and Jamaal Williams. Sanders ranks first in DYAR and second in effective yards and success rate. The Bears have allowed a league-high 21 rushing touchdowns this season and rank 26th in run defense DVOA over the last five weeks. The Eagles can win in a myriad of ways, and lately, Miles Sanders has been at the heart of things, with two top-three performances in his last three games.
Usage Suggestions: Sanders is a fine play in all formats and can be played either on his own or stacked with Jalen Hurts in a pairing that will be uncommon.
Isiah Pacheco $5900 @ Houston Texans
There are small signs that the Chiefs might like Jerick McKinnon to have a larger role down the stretch and into the playoffs, but McKinnon’s largest work will likely come in tight games if the Chiefs trail—which is unlikely to be the case against the Texans, who rank 27th in rushing defense DVOA and have allowed a league-leading 2156 rushing yards. Pacheco has had 15 or more touches in his last five games and has averaged 78.8 rushing yards in that period, which ranks seventh-highest amongst running backs who have played all of those games.
Usage Suggestions: At this price, Pacheco is a good play in cash games and will likely be a popular pick.
Keenan Allen $6800 vs. Tennessee Titans
You might be getting the feeling that I’m incredibly high on the Chargers this week, and you’d be very correct. In the last four games, the Titans have allowed the league’s most receptions (106) and joint-most touchdowns (nine) and only Chicago’s passing defense is worse in DVOA over that period. Over the last two weeks, Keenan Allen has seen a league-high 28 targets and has turned them into back-to-back 20-point performances. Since Allen returned from injury in Week 11, he has had three games over 85 yards and looks like the first option in the Chargers passing game.
Usage Suggestions: Allen will see enough volume in a good enough matchup that he’s in play for cash as well as tournaments, where he can be stacked with Justin Herbert.
Chris Olave $6500 vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have allowed the seventh-most receiving yards this year, with 3,407, and have allowed six wide receivers to put up over 100 in a game, as well as allowing four receivers to have multiple-touchdown performances. Chris Olave had a couple of quiet weeks against the 49ers and Bucs defenses before the Saints’ bye week, but this feels like the kind of matchup he can cut loose in.
Usage Suggestions: The Saints have a habit of being in low-scoring games, with four of their last six coming in under 35 points, so it’s not as much of a sure thing as we’d like for cash games. Instead Olave is best utilized in tournaments.
Zay Jones $4900 vs. Dallas Cowboys
Over the last three weeks, Zay Jones has twice finished as a top-eight receiver, but yet he’s still priced below $5,000 this week. The Cowboys passing defense is eighth best in DVOA over the last four games, but they struggle against WR2s, allowing the ninth-most yards per game to the position and ranking 24th in DVOA. Jones is 26th in effective yards and averages 56 yards per game this season.
Usage Suggestions: Jones is a little shaky for cash games due to the high-variance nature of his targets, but I like the idea of pairing him with either Tony Pollard or Dalton Schultz and hoping the game has shoot-out potential.
Drake London $4800 vs. New Orleans Saints
Marcus Mariota is out of the picture in Atlanta and the Falcons will now turn to rookie Desmond Ridder for the rest of the season, and despite them being a little disappointing for fantasy purposes this year, they’re still not out of the playoff hunt and will have to try and stay competitive. It seems likely that with Ridder under center, the Falcons will have to pass the ball slightly more often, and that should benefit Drake London. The Saints rank 28th against WR1s, giving up 8.8 targets per game to the position and having allowed 11 wide receivers to score 14 or more PPR points this year.
Usage Suggestions: The Falcons are a risky team to bet on, and as such this play is best left for tournaments, where London can be correlated with Chris Olave. Desmond Ridder is very much an unknown quantity, and in multi-entry settings, it makes sense to create at least one Falcons stack.
Chris Moore $4200 vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Moore has been a special teams player for much of his seven-year career, but he has had 40 or more yards in four of the last six games, and his 124 yards against the Cowboys were a career high. Moore’s 20 receptions in his last four games are more than he has ever recorded in a season before, and with Nico Collins still dealing with injuries and Brandin Cooks’ future up in the air, Moore seems to have carved himself a role in this offense. The Chiefs have allowed nine passing touchdowns in their last four games and are far from a scary defense. The best situation for fantasy purposes would be the Chiefs establishing an early lead and forcing the Texans to be pass-heavy.
Usage Suggestions: This is a very thin play and should be considered for tournaments only, and predominantly as a bring-back on Chiefs stacks.
Elijah Moore $3600 vs. Detroit Lions
Corey Davis exited Week 14 with a head injury and looks doubtful to play this week, which will open up more opportunities for Elijah Moore to stay on the field, having seen his snaps grow for three consecutive weeks. Six times this year the Lions have allowed 16 or more PPR points to receivers who played the majority of their snaps in the slot, and since returning to the starting lineup in Week 11, Moore has manned the slot on 66% of his snaps. It’s wheels-up for Moore.
Usage Suggestions: Moore is cheap enough and has a positive enough matchup that he is in play for all formats.
Dalton Schultz $4400 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Dalton Schultz has been a top-four tight end in three of the last five weeks. Since the Cowboys’ bye in Week 9, Schultz has averaged 6.6 targets per game and now faces a Jaguars defense that is 32nd against tight ends in DVOA, allowing the fifth-most yardage per game to the position (59.2). Over the last five weeks, the Jaguars rank 31st against the pass and have allowed four different tight ends to score a touchdown against them.
Usage Suggestions: Schultz is a fine play in both cash games and tournaments, where he can be game-stacked with a number of Cowboys and correlated with Zay Jones.
Gerald Everett $4300 vs. Tennessee Titans
Much of the focus will deservedly be on the fact that Justin Herbert has his top two receivers back and healthy, but it’s worth noting that Gerald Everett also has a positive matchup this week against a Titans defense that allows the second-most yards per game to tight ends (66.3) and has allowed the sixth-most adjusted fantasy points to the position.
Usage Suggestions: Everett is a less secure piece of his offense compared to Schultz, who is only $100 more, and I would lean toward Schultz for cash games. But Everett is a good play for tournaments, where he makes a great stacking partner with Justin Herbert.
Greg Dulcich $3600 vs. Arizona Cardinals
Death, taxes, and streaming tight ends against the Cardinals. We have been on this train for 14 weeks now, and we won’t be stopping any time soon. Since Greg Dulcich made his debut in Week 6, he leads all tight ends in deep targets with 11. No other tight end has more than seven, and only eight wide receivers have more. The Cardinals have allowed seven tight ends to have top-eight fantasy performances against them, and whether it’s Russell Wilson or Brett Rypien throwing the ball, Dulcich is in play this week.
Usage Suggestions: If Wilson is under center, then Dulcich is OK for cash games, but if that’s not the case I would keep this play for tournaments only.
As usual, this article will be updated until the games start on Sunday. If you have any questions, you can find me on Twitter @NFL_Tstrack or jump in the Football Outsiders Discord and ask them there.