DRAFT Week 15 Breakdown and Top Plays
Week 15 means we only have a handful of precious weeks left in the regular season. Hopefully, all you degenerates have advanced in the playoffs in your redraft leagues. If not, don’t fret, there’s still plenty of DFS left this season. Each week we’ll get different matchups, and a fresh set of players primed for your lineups.
DRAFT's weekly fantasy contests are not your typical salary cap format. Instead, they offer a series of snake-style draft contests with differing team amounts. You can choose from head-to-head, 3-team, 6-team, 8-team, or 10-team contests, with varying dollar amounts per contest. With each draft, players must select five position players: 1QB, 2RB, and 2WR/TEs. There are no salaries, no ownership percentages, and no large tourneys.
Below, I take a look at some of the best plays of the week, according to league size. You will see multiple references to aFPA, which is our schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric. By using aFPA, we remove bias so that we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an "apples-to-apples" manner. One more note: remember that DRAFT is a snake-style format, so you must plan accordingly in larger contest sizes.
With only two drafters involved, your cumulative score just has to be higher than that of your opponent. Since only 10 players are involved, stick to the elite DFS chalk here.
Russell Wilson (SEA) vs. LAR
Wilson is on a tear, posting over 24 DRAFT points in each of his last three games, and throwing at least one touchdown in every contest since Week 2. Despite a difficult matchup against the Rams, the Seahawks signal-caller is the highest-projected QB of the week on DRAFT and should be rostered in every contest, regardless of size.
Drew Brees (NO) vs. NYJ
Brees’ matchup is perhaps the juiciest of the week, as he gets the Jets in a home tilt on Sunday afternoon. New York’s defense sits dead last in QB aFPA, and Brees should shred their secondary, as he’s finally in synch with his star wideout Michael Thomas.
LeVeon Bell (PIT) vs. NE
Is there even a question of Bell being here, again? Nope. Draft him early, often and always, regardless of matchup. He does, however, have a good one this week. New England’s run defense is less than stellar, as they’ve allowed five of their last six opponents’ backfields to rush for over 100 yards.
Alvin Kamara (NO) vs. NYJ
Expected to return from a stint in concussion protocol, Kamara should be fired up and ready for a home game versus the Jets. The Saints rookie averaged 30.45 DRAFT points in the two weeks prior to exiting in Week 14 and should have another solid outing here. He’s become chalk this season and remains that way as long as he’s on the field.
Todd Gurley (LAR) @ SEA
Speaking of chalk, Gurley is always in the conversation. Seattle is a tough place to play, so Rams QB Jared Goff will need to rely on his bell cow as much as usual, if not more. Gurley is second behind Bell in touches this season, averaging 22.1 per game, and is DRAFT’s second-highest projected RB on the week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Julio Jones (ATL) @ TB
Three weeks ago, Jones torched the Bucs' secondary for 253 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, netting an insane 44.80 DRAFT points. While he may not do that again, he’s in good shape for a solid outing on Monday night. Tampa Bay ranks 31st in WR aFPA and is no match for Jones’ ridiculous talent.
Keenan Allen (LAC) @KC
Allen has posted at least 100 yards receiving in four straight games and has nearly four times the targets per game in that time frame than any other member of the Chargers’ offense. He’s Philip Rivers' clear go-to guy and faces a Chiefs defense ranked 30th in WR aFPA. Allen is in a fantastic spot to keep his streak alive.
Antonio Brown (PIT) vs. NE
Always matchup-proof, Brown is a must-draft in all contests. He has 1,509 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns on the season so far and will continue to produce every time he takes the field. DRAFT ranks him first this week in projected points with 17.80.
When you enter a contest with only three teams, you’re either picking two players at a time, or you’re in the middle of two drafters doing just that. Same studs apply here; draft accordingly.
6, 8 or 10-Person Draft
Below you’ll find a few more recommendations for Week 15 starters to assist in filling out five-player rosters when more players are involved. You’ll need to dig a bit deeper into the rankings to find a player or two who will out-produce the players your opponents draft.
Cam Newton (CAR) vs. GB
The Packers sit 29th in QB aFPA and have surrendered nine touchdowns to enemy QBs in their past three games. Newton is always a threat, both through the air and with his legs. This contest has the potential for a shootout with Aaron Rodgers returning, so look for Newton to be contributing down to the last whistle.
Dak Prescott (DAL) @ OAK
With his sophomore slump behind him—at least based on last week’s 26.58 DRAFT points performance, Prescott makes a solid QB choice in Week 15. The Cowboys head to the black hole for a Sunday night romp with the Raiders, a showdown with an over/under of 46 points. Oakland’s defense has just 2 interceptions this season and has allowed more points per drive than any other team in the NFL.
Philip Rivers (LAC) @ KC
Rivers is approaching chalk territory, which is just nuts. He’s strung together three games with over 300 passing yards and has averaged 22.39 DRAFT points in that same timeframe. The Chiefs are the second-worst in the league in QB aFPA and aren’t a big threat to the Chargers' surging offense. DRAFT has Rivers lower down on their projected points list than I think he should be with such a hot hand and a plus matchup.
Aaron Rodgers (GB) @ CAR
While none of us really need reasons to draft Rodgers in his first game back since Week 6, we have a few. He’s well rested and healthy, with no arm fatigue, bruises or scrapes. His arsenal of weapons must be pretty excited to have him tossing the rock, and are ready to test out his enormous arm. DRAFT ranks him as the second-highest projected QB in Week 15, so there’s that, too.
Kenyan Drake (MIA) @ BUF
In the past two weeks, Drake leads the NFL in touches, averaging 28 per game and has put up an impressive 21+ DRAFT points in each contest. He gets the basement dwelling Bills' run defense, who rank 32nd in RB aFPA, in what is predicted to be a cold, potentially snowy matchup. This is a recipe for a strong run day and Drake has proven he can handle the workload.
LeSean McCoy (BUF) vs. MIA
On the other side of this contest, McCoy is also a workhorse, who could be called upon often in a cold, snow-filled game. Weather aside, because we all know that can change quickly, the Dolphins defense ranks 26th in RB aFPA, surrendering 24.8 PPR points to opposing backfields each week. McCoy eats at home and makes a great play this week in any contest.
Jordan Howard (CHI) @ DET
Coming off a solid 28 DRAFT points performance in Week 14, Howard has a decent matchup versus Detroit’s 21st-ranked defense in RB aFPA. The Lions have allowed a rushing touchdown in eight straight contests this season, so there’s a good chance Howard reaches the end zone on Saturday afternoon. He’s DRAFT’s fourth-highest ranked RB this week with 16.2 projected points.
Alex Collins (BAL) @ CLE
Here’s your larger contest guy. Collins is a running back who has posted over 22 DRAFT points in the last two weeks, despite migraine issues. (As a 20+ year chronic migraine sufferer, I can’t fathom how he does it). Collins has emerged as the go-to back for the Ravens and is projected to post 13 DRAFT points on Sunday against the Browns.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Michael Thomas (NO) vs. NYJ
Thomas’ touchdown drought has ended, as the Saints wideout has found the end zone in back-to-back contests and has over 50 yards in eight straight games. The Jets are the fifth-worst at defending WRs, with an aFPA of 37.1 PPR points to the position. Pair him with Brees and you’ve got quite the stack in Week 15.
Devin Funchess (CAR) vs. GB
The Panthers' No. 1 WR has quietly put together a solid season with 762 receiving yards and 7 scores through the first 13 games. He’s averaging 11.28 DRAFT points an outing, with a projected 11.50 for Sunday’s tilt with the Packers. Green Bay owns the honor of the worst aFPA versus WRs in the league, earning Funchess a seat at this week’s DFS table.
Adam Thielen (MIN) vs. CIN
Thielen makes a great choice this week due to his perceived matchup. The Bengals were a tough defense versus the pass earlier in the season, but have allowed monster performances over the past two weeks, including surrendering 20.7 PPR points to Kendall Wright last week, and 24.1 to Antonio Brown in Week 13. While drafters are down on Vikings WRs this week, go ahead and grab Thielen with confidence as the volume is there, along with his big-play potential.
Robert Woods (LAR) @ SEA
With a healthy shoulder and a nice three-game rest, Woods is back and ready for on-field action. He averaged 22.1 DRAFT points in his last three games before the injury and was the highest-targeted player on the Rams offense in those three weeks. Seattle’s defense is ranked in the lower third of the NFL when it comes to defending WRs, so expect Woods to have a decent production upon return. He could be a bit under the radar, so he makes a great contrarian play in Week 15.
Michael Crabtree (OAK) vs. DAL
Sunday night’s showdown between the Raiders and the Cowboys has an over/under of 46 points, with 21.5 implied for Oakland. Crabtree is most likely Derek Carr’s sole option and should be a volume machine in this contest. Carr was a mess last week, which could deter some folks from drafting the Raiders WR, but he should be just fine against a porous Dallas pass defense.