Week 15 is on the horizon, and for as much joy as the holiday season can bring, the fact that we have less than a month of regular season football is heartbreaking. While we only have three full daily fantasy football slates left on the docket, this one is exciting for a number of reasons. Nothing tilts me more than a weak slate of games after 4:00 p.m. ET, and the late-afternoon window in Week 15 brings us a whopping five games, some with direct playoff implications. We also have our first taste of playoff football with the Titans and Texans squaring off in Nashville for the lead in the AFC South. Below we’ll dive into RotoGrinders’ NFL DFS Projected Ownership numbers and how we can best take advantage in DraftKings and FanDuel contests, though we can use the wisdom of the crowd approach when making our sports betting picks too.
Now, let’s get into the Week 15 analysis…
Week 15 Projected NFL DFS Ownership: Quarterback
LOW: Jameis Winston, Buccaneers @ Lions (7.9% pOWN on FanDuel, 7.0% on DraftKings). We currently have Winston projected as the fourth-most popular QB on FanDuel and the fifth-most popular on DraftKings. I can see him coming in a bit below that mark in large part due to Mike Evans’ absence, but if the public looks more closely at the matchup instead of the fact that Winston is without his top pass-catcher, he should carry a decent ownership percentage. Winston has an enormous ceiling in this draw – he’s consistently been much better against man coverage, which the Lions usually play. Detroit has also had issues all season getting pressure on the quarterback, ranking dead last in quarterback hit rate. While the Lions aren’t that tough to beat on the ground either, the Bucs still profile as a pass-happy offense, and I don’t expect a sudden explosion from the run game even against a Detroit team that should struggle to move the ball offensively. Winston is most confidently stacked up with Chris Godwin, but Breshad Perriman, O.J. Howard, and Justin Watson all have appeal as GPP stacking mates.
HIGH: Ryan Tannehill, Titans vs. Texans (13.2% pOWN on FanDuel, 12.5% on DraftKings). Playing the full fade here is a little uncomfortable, but I think it’s where I’ll end up come Sunday. The Titans aerial attack has seen a complete resurgence since Tannehill came under center, and it’s quickly catapulted Tennessee into a great spot to make the postseason. The fact of the matter remains that the Titans best method of moving the ball offensively is with Derrick Henry, which is a big part of the reason Tannehill hasn’t exceeded 27 pass attempts in his past four games and has fallen under 20 attempts in two of those contests. He’s been incredibly efficient from a fantasy perspective given the volume he’s seeing, but I’m not sold that can continue. Sure, Drew Lock made the Texans defense look like a Division II college unit last week, but I’d expect a rebound in a huge divisional game. I’ll be underweight here on GPPs – Tannehill is currently projected to be the most popular QB on both major sites.
Other notable QBs at low ownership with a chance to boom: Eli Manning (vs. Dolphins), Baker Mayfield (@ Cardinals)
Other notable QBs that I think are being overvalued: Kyler Murray (vs. Browns)
Week 15 Projected NFL DFS Ownership: Running Back
I’m a little torn at this spot. It’s pretty rare, but this is a tough week to pick out a RB I’m confident in exceeding value that sits low in the pOWN rankings. There are a few options under the 10-percent pOWN mark that I’ll be overweight on. One is Kenyan Drake (vs. Browns), who saw David Johnson find the end zone on a receiving score despite Drake still seeing the lion’s share of the snaps and touches in the backfield yet again. Arizona has a winnable home draw with the Browns and unless this one gets away from the Cardinals, Drake should be an important part of the offensive attack. I’d assume he’ll go overlooked considering the Johnson TD last week and the lack of a true explosion game over the last few weeks.
Phillip Lindsey (@ Chiefs) is another back with some low-ownership upside given that he’s continued to handle the bulk of the work with Royce Freeman acting in more of a complementary role – the two had a more even split earlier in the year. Josh Jacobs (vs. Jaguars) is another back I’m eyeing. If he’s active, I’d expect low ownership due to him sitting out last week and the potential threat of aggravating his shoulder injury. However, if he’s out there I’d expect a normal workload, and with how poorly the Jags offense has looked lately, the Raiders could have more scoring chances than usual.
It’s tough to poke holes in almost all of the popular RBs in Week 15. Chris Carson (@ Panthers) is projected to be the most popular back on the main slate, and it’s sensible, as Carolina has been getting torched on the ground. With Russell Wilson’s underwhelming box scores of late, this could be a game Seattle controls on the ground. I’ll likely be underweight if he comes in at the ownership we have projected (29 percent). I do expect Wilson to bounce back soon, and Carson isn’t all that consistent of a contributor through the air, so there are certainly avenues to him being a disappointment.
Another RB that I think is being overvalued: Melvin Gordon (vs. Vikings)
Week 15 Projected NFL DFS Ownership: Wide Receiver
A.J. Brown, Titans vs. Texans (24.8% pOWN on FanDuel, 19% on DraftKings). My issue with Brown is similar to my issue with Tannehill – I don’t think the volume is enough here to warrant the ownership he’s going to receive. Brown is currently projected to be the most popular WR on both major sites, and given his boom-or-bust style, I’m perfectly content being well underweight on this one. Adam Humphries is still out, but he wasn’t playing much of a role with Tannehill under center, and the lack of passing attempts for this offense remains concerning. There are a number of suitable pivots in this price range, and I’ll be looking to differentiate there.
Chris Conley, Jaguars @ Raiders (7.0% pOWN on FanDuel, 8.3% on DraftKings). Speaking of suitable pivots off of Brown, Conley sets up as a nice GPP play that should still fly under the radar even with air-yards monster DJ Chark (foot) out of action. I’d expect most of the field to gravitate toward the better-known Dede Westbrook if choosing a Jags wideout, but Conley is more of a direct replacement for Chark given that he’s a better downfield threat and will play on the outside while Westbrook keeps his duties in the slot. We saw A.J. Brown destroy this secondary last week, and given his big-play capability, that isn’t surprising. The Raiders have allowed the most deep ball completions in the NFL. I’ll be well overweight on Conley.
Other notable WRs at a low ownership with a chance to boom: Justin Watson (@ Lions), Mike Williams (vs. Vikings), Terry McLaurin (vs. Eagles), Sterling Shepard (vs. Dolphins), Will Fuller (@ Tennessee), Breshad Perriman (@ Lions)
Other notable WRs that I think are being overvalued: Christian Kirk (vs. Browns), Greg Ward (@ Redskins)
Week 15 Projected NFL DFS Ownership: Tight end
O.J. Howard, Buccaneers @ Lions (6.5% pOWN on FanDuel, 7.35% on DraftKings). Oh boy, is this one scary. Howard was one of the biggest season-long DFS busts and really hasn’t had a true breakout performance this season. With Mike Evans (hamstring) out, we might finally have one on the horizon. I wouldn’t go anywhere near Howard in cash games due to what we’ve seen to this point, but I don’t see Watson/Perriman eating up all of what Evans left behind, plus Howard projects as a nice red-zone piece without Evans’ big body available. As I noted with Winston, the Lions don’t generate much pressure, which should alleviate some of Howard’s blocking and could get him into a few more routes. There is certainly risk here, but at his price Howard has an ample GPP ceiling.
Other notable TEs at a low ownership with a chance to boom: Mike Gesicki (@ Giants)
Notable TEs that I think are being overvalued: Dallas Goedert (@ Redskins)