DFS Optimal Values, Locks and Fades: Week 15

Dec 17, 2021
DFS Optimal Values, Locks and Fades: Week 15

In this article, we walk through the process of constructing an optimal lineup that will dominate your cash games on the main slate of Week 15. We start with the optimal lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings determined by the Lineup Generator. Then, we identify the players that are irreplaceable and should be locked into your lineup. For the remaining players, we discuss the main alternatives that you can swap in to make a winning team that best fits your own style.

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FanDuel Week 15 Optimal Plays


UPDATE: With Darrell Henderson active, Sony Michel is replaced by Cordarelle Patterson as a lock and Devonta Freeman is the other recommended running back option.

Potential Build

Cordarrelle Patterson ($7,000) is our top value play at running back but he gets a tough matchup against the 49ers who rank ninth in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to running backs. They are also allowing the 10th-fewest rushing yards per game when playing at home. However, he could still pay off as the 49ers are allowing the fifth-most red zone trips and fourth-most rushing touchdowns when playing at home. Another option in this price range is Antonio Gibson ($6,900) if he plays. When Washington plays on the road they run the ball at the eighth-highest rate and are averaging the eighth-most rushing yards per game. He'll have to overcome a tough matchup and depleted Washington roster, though, as the Eagles defense has allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game over the last three weeks.

James Robinson ($6,300) has received single-digit touches in back-to-back games but he's finally free from Urban Meyer and gets a great matchup to bounce back. Over the last three weeks, the Texans have allowed 70% of their opponent's touchdowns to come on the ground. This season the Texans are being run on at the second-highest rate and are allowing the most rushing yards per game.

Diontae Johnson ($7,200) is pretty much a lock play every week if you can fit him in. He has received double-digit targets in five straight games and hasn't been held under 50 receiving yards since week one.

DeVante Parker ($5,800) has established a fairly solid floor as he hasn't had fewer than four receptions and 40 receiving yards in any game. With Jaylen Waddle on the COVID list, he has a chance to hit his ceiling against a Jets defense that ranks 29th in aFPA to wide receivers. The Jets are allowing the highest yards per pass attempt in the league and Parker has received 35% of the Dolphins air yards this season.

Zach Ertz ($5,300) is coming off of a seven-target game and gets the Lions who rank 20th in aFPA to tight ends. When playing at home, the Lions' defense has allowed the 10th-most passing yards and passing touchdowns per game. The Cardinals implied point total is also one of the highest on the slate at 29.5 points. Another option in this price range is Pat Freiermuth ($5,300). Freiermuth hasn't topped 60 receiving yards in a game all season but has totaled six touchdowns over the last seven games. He also leads the Steelers in red zone targets (17) and the Titans are allowing the second-most red zone trips per game when playing on the road.

DraftKings Week 15 Optimal Plays


Potential Build

Jalen Hurts ($6,600) is expected to start coming out of the bye and gets a Washington defense allowing the most passing touchdowns per game. Hurts's ceiling is questionable considering he hadn't thrown for 200 yards in five straight games but he did have over 50 rushing yards in those games. A cheaper option is Tua Tagovailoa ($5,700) who gets the best possible matchup for quarterbacks. When playing on the road the Jets defense is allowing the fifth-most passing yards per game.

I mentioned James Robinson ($5,400) in the FanDuel section but he's worth a look on DraftKings as well. He was averaging four targets per game before getting blanked last week. It's hard to know how the Jets will handle Michael Carter ($4,700) coming off of injured reserve but he was averaging 19 touches per game in the four games prior to getting hurt. Miami is allowing under 100 rushing yards per game when playing at home, although some of that is due to being passed on at the fourth-highest rate.

I discussed DeVante Parker ($4,300) and his high ceiling earlier but there are some cheaper options if you're just looking for a high floor. Last week the snap counts for Gabriel Davis ($3,700) and Emmanuel Sanders essentially flipped with Manny getting injured. Davis received 15% of the targets and air yards last week and caught a touchdown for the second week in a row. Tyler Lockett was receiving 25% of the Seahawks targets and averaging seven targets per game. Now that he's been placed on the COVID list, Freddie Swain ($3,000) should step into a full-time role on one of the league's most condensed offenses. It's also a good matchup as the Rams rank 29th in aFPA to wide receivers.

George Kittle ($7,500) has been on a tear lately, going over 150 yards in consecutive games. He also has the seventh-highest amount of total air yards over the last two weeks. This week he gets a Falcons defense that ranks 25th in aFPA to tight ends and is allowing the third-most passing touchdowns per game.

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