Between the Bankroll and Me: Fanduel Week 15

Jordy Nelson

Welcome to Fanduel week 15! With two games coming on Saturday, we’re left with only 11 games on the Sunday main slate. In addition to that, we have some big names that may or may not be returning to lineups (*cough* Aaron Rodgers *cough*), and a big name leaving us in Carson Wentz. The possible addition of one and the loss of the other is sure to send shock waves through the industry, and could open up some nice value as we get later in the week. Either way, this should be an interesting slate so let’s get right to it.

 

Quarterback

Quarterback is the most interesting position to decipher this week. As I mentioned above, if Rodgers does suit up, what do you do with him? He gets a nice matchup against a Carolina secondary that is getting torched as of late. But do you want to risk him with so many other top level signal callers in great spots?Hence why I’m not hitching my wagon to anyone in the top tier. Tom Brady ($8,800) visits Big Ben ($8,000) in the highest projected scoring game on the slate and likely shootout, while you also have the likely MVP in Russell Wilson ($8,400) at home against the Rams. Plus, you can throw Cam Newton ($7,900) on top of all that, who is at home against perhaps the worst secondary in the league right now. All are in play.

Case Keenum ($7,400) vs. Cincinnati

If you’re looking to drop down some, how do you not continue to love Keenum. The dude hasn’t scored less than 17 fantasy points in six straight games. The matchup against Cincinnati looks rough on paper, but they have been banged up lately and have not been as consistent as they were earlier in the season. The upside probably isn’t as high as the other gentleman listed above, but he’s been super steady and will come at an extremely lower ownership rate than any of the big names.

Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,300) vs. Tennessee

How good has Jimmy G looked? Okay, he’s tossed a couple picks but the yardage has been there each of the last two games, and then this last week he finally found the end zone. Things are trending up for the the former Patriot, and he could be in for an eruption spot at home against the 23rd ranked Tennessee secondary. Additionally, San Francisco plays at the highest rate in the league so you know the opportunity is always going to be there. Hard not to love him for cash games this week.

Nick Foles ($6,000) @ New York Giants

Foles is a tournament-only dart throw this week, and it’s purely due to the matchup. The Giants have been equally as bad against the run as they have the pass (they rank 25th in each per DVOA), and I could easily see Philly try to establish the run more this week as they try and cruise into the playoffs. But Foles could easily throw for a couple scores here and blow right by his salary.

 

Running Back

Le’Veon Bell ($9,400) vs. New England

Getting exposure to the New England/Pittsburgh game is probably going to be a must this week, but it won’t come easy as most if not all the playable players are priced up. That of course includes the best running back in the game. At this price I’m not sure there’s much upside to be had making him fade-worthy in tournaments, but it’s hard to look the other way on Bell in cash games. With the exception of week one where he was being eased back into the offense after holding out all summer, he’s seen 20 or more touches in every game, and has gone over 30 in six. You know the workload will be there in what amounts to be the biggest game of the year for Pittsburgh. Roster with confidence.

Mark Ingram ($8,300) vs. New York Jets

I will say first and foremost that in the event Alvin Kamara doesn’t clear concussion protocol (at this point it looks like he will), Ingram becomes a stone cold lock. Having said that, I still love Ingram as a play this week. Sure his touch ceiling with Kamara in the lineup likely isn’t more than 15, but those should be 15-ish highly productive touches in what should be a blowout by New Orleans.

Alex Collins ($6,600) @ Cleveland

Here’s a name I never thought I’d be writing up this year, but with 17-plus touches in four straight, including two 20-plus fantasy point outings, here I am with Mr. Collins. Baltimore is a solid seven-point road favorite against the lowly Browns this week, and although they’ve been tough most of the year against the run, they’ve been gashed in recent weeks so I expect Collins to keep the train rolling. I love him in all formats this week, though with his price tag and recent form he could be rather chalky.

Kenyan Drake ($6,500) @ Buffalo

Speaking of someone I never thought I’d be talking about. For as good as Collins has looked over the past two games, Drake has looked even better and might have secured himself a starting job heading into next season. Given his recent form he, too, will likely be rather chalky, but the price is hard to ignore. For the record, although on paper the Bills weakness is against the run (24th in DVOA), this feels like a let down spot for Drake as Miami will be coming off of a short week and I think the Bills will focus all their efforts into containing him and make Jay Cutler beat them. I have no data to back this up, this just feels like a fade to me.

Jay Ajayi ($6,100) @ NYG

As I touched on earlier, with Foles now at the helm I could easily see the Eagles deploying a run-first attack against the helpless Giants rush defense. If that comes to pass, this could be an eruption spot for Ajayi who the team finally began to commit to last week against the Rams. He saw his carry total jump all the to 15, and should easily surpass that this week. I love the price, which makes him enticing for cash, but due to the uncertainty in that backfield he probably makes a better tournament play.

 

Wide Receiver

Antonio Brown ($9,300) vs. New England

Not a lot to touch on here. Like Bell, he’s hard to ignore in cash due to the very likely high floor, but he could be a fade in tournaments as his price doesn’t allow for much upside – and he’ll be extremely popular. And why not? The dude is un-coverable and is actually garnering some dark horse MVP discussion.

Michael Thomas ($8,100) vs. NYJ

I love Thomas for tournaments this week, as many who will be targeting Saints players in this matchup are likely to side with Kamara and/or Ingram. A sharp move, then, in tourney’s is to target Brees’ favorite receiver and leverage the passing game instead. He hasn’t seen less than eight targets in eight straight games.

Devin Funchess ($7,300)

Funchess gets a dream matchup here against a Green Bay team that has surrendered 20 or more points in four straight, and will now be without their top two corner backs. He’s seen six or more targets in every game but week one, and has really taken off since the team parted ways with Kelvin Benjamin, scoring double digit fantasy points in every game since the trade. With Carolina having their own struggles defensively and Rodgers now suiting up for Green Bay, points should abound in this game and Funchess should be at the forefront of Carolina’s attack. I love him in all formats.

Jordy Nelson ($7,200) @ Carolina

Sticking in that same game, there may not be a better tournament play on the board than Jorday Nelson this week. With Brett Hundley at the helm, Nelson’s stock took an absolute nose dive, but as we all know he thrives with ARod slinging him the rock. Most will likely be skiddish on him and roster Davante Adams (who’s a strong play in his own right) instead, making Nelson a terrific tournament target.

JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,700) vs. New England

Fresh off his ridiculous one-game suspension, JuJu drops right back into fantasy consideration in the biggest game of the week. The Patriots will likely (good luck) try to limit Antonio Brown, making JuJu a candidate to possibly receive more targets. He’s averaging just north of five per game, which, coupled with the price, really takes him out of cash game consideration, but his propensity for finding the end zone (five touchdowns already) and projected increase in workload make him a strong tournament look. As a quick note, he did get added to the injury report on Thursday so you’ll want to monitor that as we near game time.

 

Tight End

Zach Ertz ($7,900) @ NYG

Gronk is, of course, in play this week, but Ertz is probably as high as I’m looking for cash games. The second half of the year hasn’t been kind to him as injuries have taken their toll, but now healthy and out of concussion protocol Ertz returns to a smash spot against the ever-generous Giants tight end defense, who has become notorious for surrendering touchdowns to the position. Expect Foles to look for Ertz early and often.

Greg Olsen ($5,600) vs. Green Bay

The fantasy numbers haven’t been there yet, but the playing time has been trending in the right direction for Olsen since returning from injury two weeks ago. Last week against a stout Minnesota defense he played on 59 of 64 offensive snaps, signaling his foot is no longer a bother. As I’ve stated several times thus far, the Green Bay/Carolina game projects to be one of the highest scoring games on the slate with a 47-point over/under, and Olsen should find room to roam against a mediocre Packers tight end defense.

Benjamin Watson ($4,900) @ Cleveland

Watson is hard to trust given his up and down target totals, but the matchup screams streamer/tournament play this week, as the Browns rank dead last in tight end defense. In week two against Cleveland he hauled in all eight of his targets for 91 yards and 13.1 fantasy points.

 

Defense

Jacksonville ($5,600) vs. Houston

If you’re spending up for defense this week, look no further than #Sacksonville. They are a whopping 11.5-point home favorite against a now TJ Yates-led Houston offense. The Jags are in the top five in basically every defensive counting stat.

Minnesota ($4,800) vs. Cincinnati

Looking down the list, it’s hard not love the Vikings who play host to Cincinnati team that’s in shambles right now. The Vikings are currently a 10.5-point favorite. The Bengals have one of the worst offensive lines, which plays right into the strength of the Vikings stout pass rush. Getting to the quarterback means turnovers, and turnovers means points and the potential for return touchdowns.

 

Kicker

Chris Boswell ($4,800) vs. New England

Cheap. In a game with the highest over/under (54). Has scored double digit points in three out of the last four.

 

 

 

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