The 2020-21 NFL season is in full swing and there are huge Week 15 DFS contests being offered on DraftKings with big prize money up for grabs.
In this weekly column, we will identify the best plays, values, and tournament options for your NFL DFS lineups. We’ll also offer the best “fades” at each position, indicating which players to avoid when building your lineups.
Keep in mind that some of the plays offered are better for “Cash” games, i.e. 50/50, H2H, and Double-Up formats that require a more conservative approach. Some plays are recommended for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where it’s necessary to take more risk in the hopes of separating from a large field. Those GPP plays can also be ideal for Best Ball formats where players with higher upside are valuable.
For those interested in the DFS Single-Game Slate contests, here’s a quick recap:
In the “Showdown” mode on DraftKings, there are five utility spots and a “Captain” slot, who receives 1.5x multiplier for all DK points accrued. Pricing differs for players when selected in the Captain spot versus the FLEX spots, with all players required to fit under a $50k salary cap. All options are in play from QBs, RBs and WRs, to kickers and D/ST from each team.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kickoff since things can change quickly in the NFL. Please note any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.
NFL DFS WEEK 15 DRAFTKINGS BEST CONTESTS
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First Down: $1 entry, $200k guaranteed
Best Play: Lamar Jackson ($7.5k)
The Ravens have no reliable WRs but Jackson is carrying his team back into playoff position with his legs. Since returning from the COVID/Reserve list, he’s run for 218 yards and 3 TDs at a 9.7 YPC clip. The Jaguars can be had on the ground and certainly are vulnerable through the air. They’re tied with the Jets for the most passing TDs (28) allowed this season and have no reliable pass rush with the third-lowest adjusted sack rate (3.4%) in football.
Value Play: Taysom Hill ($6.0k)
Quarterbacks facing the Chiefs have averaged the fourth-most DK PPG (20.2) and that production is mostly due to the fact that the Chiefs allow the third-highest completion rate (62.3%) and often force their opponents to throw by building a lead. Hill has completed over 73% of his passes with 523 yards and 4 passing TDs over his last 2 outings. Of course his DFS production is buoyed by his incredible rushing ability and the Chiefs have yielded 5 rushing scores to QBs this season.
GPP Play: Ryan Tannehill ($6.7k)
The public will be all over Derrick Henry ($9.5k) after his monster 200-yard day last week. Henry will be especially popular against a Lions team that’s allowed the second-most DK PPG to opposing RBs, but Detroit has been even worse against the pass lately. With Desmond Trufant (hamstring) and Jeff Okudah (shoulder) out, the Lions have allowed a league-high 9.2 YPA and the fourth-most passing YPG (282) over the past 3 weeks. The Titans have given up the second-most passing YPG (294.3) during that span. This game has sneaky shootout potential even if Matthew Stafford (ribs) is ultimately unable to go.
Fade: Russell Wilson ($7.3k)
Wilson has been under consistent pressure over the past several weeks and tends to struggle against athletic defensive lines. Led by Chase Young, Washington’s line ranks fourth in adjusted sack rate (8.5%) with the third-most sacks (36) on the year. Washington’s secondary ranks third in DVOA pass defense and allows just 193.2 passing YPG at home. Seattle’s secondary has come around and is allowing a league-low 132 passing YPG over their last 3 games, so Wilson’s guaranteed volume has evaporated.
Best Play: Jonathan Taylor ($7.2k)
The Colts finally have their running game on track and Taylor is thriving behind their elite offensive line. The rookie has only played on X% of offensive snaps over his last 2 games, but has turned 38 touches into 300 scrimmage yards and 3 TDs during that span. That includes a productive day at Houston, a team that happens to yield the most DK PPG (32.6) to opposing RBs. The Texans allow a league-high 5.6 YPC on the road and their defensive line allows the most RB Yards (5.19) per carry.
Value Play: Jeff Wilson Jr. ($5.1k)
Wilson is the most valuable RB to target on the Niners roster and it’s strange to see that Raheem Mostert ($5.8k) is still more expensive. Kyle Shanahan seems to be reducing Mostert’s workload in a lost season and is favoring Wilson in short yardage situations. Of Wilson’s 7 carries in Week 13 against the Bills, 3 came in the red zone. He also saw 5 targets (1 in the red zone) in that game and receiving back Jerick McKinnon didn’t play a snap last week. Now Wilson faces a Cowboys team that’s given up 13 rushing TDs this season and yields a league-high 166.3 rushing YPG at home.
GPP Play: Miles Sanders ($6.9k)
The biggest beneficiary of the switch to Jalen Hurts might just be Sanders. Last Sunday he became the first RB to top 100 yards in 55 games, producing 115 yards and 2 TDs on 14 carries. The Penn State product expressed excitement to play in a read-option based offense and that’s exactly what Hurts created in his first start. The tandem draws a much easier matchup this week against a Cardinals team that allows 115 rushing YPG at home at a 4.5 YPC clip. Sanders is a reliable receiver and should remain a key part of the Eagles offense regardless of game flow.
Fade: Dalvin Cook ($9.0k)
The Bears have had Cook’s number over the past couple of seasons. He’s averaged just 45.5 rushing YPG at a paltry 2.8 YPC clip over 4 career meetings with Chicago and was stonewalled by Akiem Hicks and company throughout most of their meeting in Week 9. Cook has been a usage monster with the second-most carries (253) in the NFL but he’s starting to break down with groin and ankle injuries.
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Best Play: Allen Robinson ($7.4k)
The Bears offense is experiencing sudden life with Mitchell Trubisky under center. Chicago racked up 410 yards of offense and produced 17 first downs through the air in a rout of Houston last week. Robinson has sustained value regardless of his team’s situation with the fourth-most targets (115) and sixth-most Air Yards (1,116) among WRs this year. Now he’s set to take off in a plus matchup against Minnesota’s young secondary. The Vikings have allowed the fifth-most DK PPG (42.9) to opposing WRs this season and are coughing up 294 passing YPG at home.
Value Play: Chad Hansen ($4.2k)
Volume is king in PPR formats and Hansen is bound to see a healthy amount of looks this week, especially if Brandin Cooks (foot/neck) remains out. The Texans are also without Randall Cobb (toe) and Keke Coutee (knee) is banged up, so Hansen has somehow gone from practice squad WR to Deshaun Watson’s primary target. The Colts are coughing up the third-most passing YPG (291) over the past 3 weeks and yielded 32 completions to the Raiders last week. If Watson is forced to dink and dime down the field in an effort to keep pace, Hansen should reap the benefits again after piling up 101 receiving yards against the Colts 2 weeks ago.
GPP Play: Terry McLaurin ($6.6k)
After consecutive quiet games, McLaurin might have low ownership this week even though he faces a Seahawks team that yields the most DK PPG (48.4) to opposing WRs this season. The second-year phenom is still commanding a 26% target share with the second-highest share of Air Yards (42.4%) among wideouts. Alex Smith (calf) is expected to start this week and provide far more stability for Washington’s offense than Dwayne Haskins did last week. Smith has favored TE Logan Thomas and RB J.D. McKissic, but Seattle’s star LBs can do a great job in coverage against those players, while McLaurin operates against their struggling corners.
Fade: Tyreek Hill ($8.8k)
Every week, Tyreek Hill somehow finds his way behind the opposing secondary for a game-breaking play. Yet after turning just 4 touches into 111 scrimmage yards and 2 TDs in a tough matchup at Miami last week, we can expect some possible regression at New Orleans this week. The Saints rank second in DVOA pass defense and are allowing just 147 passing YPG over their last 3 contests. Hill and Patrick Mahomes represent an entirely new challenge, but CBs Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins are capable of avoiding those big lapses and funneling more targets underneath to Travis Kelce and the Chiefs stable of wideouts.
Best Play: Travis Kelce ($8.0k)
Fading Hill and Kelce in the same week is basically DFS suicide right now. Both of those receivers have exceeded value in 5 of their last 6 outings and Kelce’s big lines are even more notable at a thin TE position. With 136 yards last week, Kelce is now atop the NFL with 1,250 receiving yards on the season. He’s second in YAC (510) and fifth in receptions (90) among all receivers and obviously leads TEs in most categories. The Saints are stingy on the perimeter, but allow roughly league average stats to TEs and were eviscerated by Darren Waller (12-105-TD) during a Week 2 loss. Waller is essentially the only TE who can mirror Kelce’s athleticism and receiving ability.
Value Play: Jared Cook ($3.4k)
As Taysom Hill becomes more comfortable in the pocket, Cook is slowly returning to fantasy relevance. He’s caught 6-of-9 targets for 65 yards and 2 TDs over the past 2 weeks and has a decent floor in this matchup since the Saints should throw to keep up with the Chiefs. Cook is a downfield threat with the fourth-highest average distance of target (10.4) among TEs and he’s getting the biggest average cushion (2.98 yards) from defenders. The Chiefs have been hurt by athletic TEs in Waller (7-88-TD) and Mike Gesicki (5-65-2TD), so Sean Payton should look to utilize Cook similarly when possible.
GPP Play: Tyler Higbee ($3.8k)
Opposing passing attacks have had their way with the Jets all year. The Jets have allowed the most DK PPG (17.6) and most TDs (12) to TEs and their defense seemed to give up entirely during a 40-3 drubbing in Seattle. Now they come to SoFI Stadium to face a surging Rams attack that is versatile and dangerous under Sean McVay. Higbee is rounding back into form after dealing with an elbow injury and ran 30 pass routes while playing on 84.6% of offensive snaps in Week 13 against the Cardinals, producing his first TD since he blew up for 3 scores back in Week 2.
Fade: Logan Thomas ($4.0k)
Seattle’s dynamic duo of LBs (K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner) are excellent in coverage and have helped the Seahawks hold opposing TEs to the third-fewest receptions (3.6) per game. Thomas led the team in targets once again with 6 catches for 43 yards in a tough matchup against the Niners last week and he’s unlikely to flash much upside against another NFC West foe. The Seahawks secondary has come around with Jamal Adams healthy and they’re actually allowing the fewest passing YPG (132) over the past 3 weeks.