Point/Counterpoint: Week 15 DraftKings Strategies
By Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup:
Every week of the season for daily fantasy brings new debates about core plays, fades, game stacks, and more. For fantasy purposes, it is best to read about both sides of the argument and decide which side, data, and analysis YOU agree with.
For the NFL season, our series of Point/Counterpoint will be a back-and-forth discussion between siblings Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup about the slate strategy, stacks, core plays, and fades for that week.
So let’s get to Week 15 strategy talk!
With 3 NFL games on Saturday, and of course Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games, there are only 10 games on the main slate Sunday. As has been the case most of the season with scoring down, no total is above 49 points.
So which games do you like targeting the most on DraftKings this week? Which QBs stand out to you and will likely be your core plays at QB?
At first glance, there are a few games that I really like this week. Eagles vs Bears will probably be pretty popular as both Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields have shown that they can break slates. I like the Eagles’ side of the game, but Fields does offer crazy upside and I’m guessing he won’t be owned this week given his price. If I’m playing the Eagles though, I am not really worried about bringing it back in this game.
Cowboys vs Jaguars is another game that could turn into a fantasy bonanza. Yes, the Cowboys’ defense can be dominant, but they also take chances. So this game could end up more of a shootout than people would think. We know the Cowboys’ side is strong with Dak, Lamb, Schultz, and either RB in play. For the Jags Lawrence, Etienne, Kirk, Zay Jones, and Engram are all worth taking shots on.
The next game that really stands out is the Lions vs the Jets. We know that the Lions’ offense is legitimate and one of the best fantasy producers of the season. While the match-up vs the Jets is tough and we typically would rather target the Lions at home, we can’t ignore just how good they have been. The Lions have only scored under 24 points three times this season, and have 7 games of 30 or more points. On the other side, I don’t know how he is still standing, but Mike White is likely to play this week against a Lions defense that gives up a few points as well. Garrett Wilson, Zonovan Knight, and even Elijah Moore all are worth taking.
The final game I like this week and the player that will be my number 1 QB is Justin Herbert and the Chargers against the Titans’ awful defense. Tennessee’s secondary has been picked on all season, and now we have Justin Herbert who averages about 45 attempts a game, with all his weapons finally healthy. Sign…me…up! On the other side, we have Derrick Henry against one of the worst run defenses in the league. Sign…me…up!
Haha, I do not know how Mike White is still standing, but very impressive that he is likely to play this week against the Lions. I definitely have an interest in that game and all the games you mentioned. I think at this point, I’m mostly interested in Justin Fields, Jalen Hurts, Dak Prescott, Mike White, and mostly Justin Herbert. That is just the pass funnel situation against the Titans secondary that I honestly haven’t targeted enough this season. Do you have any interest in rookie Desmond Ridder starting for the Falcons vs the Saints? He could provide a rushing floor, right?
Then, who are your core plays at RB, WR, and TE?
Ridder is someone I am going to be interested in for sure as a cheap pivot. I also like that he could make Drake London a thing as well, and he’s super cheap. London is extremely talented but he’s not been really fantasy viable with Mariota at QB. I don’t think it will be the same impact as going from Zach Wilson to Mike White, but we saw that change help Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore. If London could get 8-10 targets he could have a big day.
This week I’m going to focus on players from the games I mentioned. At running back I love Ekler, Henry, Miles Sanders, the Cowboys’ backs, and Travis Etienne. The one that I want to highlight is Zonovan Knight. He’s now kinda taken over the lead-back role, and he’s even getting some usage in the passing game. Knight hasn’t broken 20 DK points yet, but the underlying usage suggests it’s coming. Detroit has been better against the run lately, but I don’t mind Knight here.
Receiver wise give me two of the Chargers’ top trio of Williams, Allen, and Palmer. Lamb I think is also in a great spot, as the Jaguars have given up some big games to top WRs. The Eagles combo of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith will be able to do whatever they want to do in this match-up against Chicago. I probably wouldn’t double-stack them, but I like to have both in my player pool. Zay Jones has had a couple of big games in the past couple of weeks, but I want to go back to Christian Kirk. He’s still the top option on the team, and I think his speed could create some big plays against Dallas. Both Jets receivers are very much in play for me, as both feel vastly underpriced. My big question right now is what to do with the Lions’ receivers? Do we trust them against this Jets secondary?
TE is very easy for me this week. I will do one Kelce line-up because he is Travis Kelce and can blow up a slate. Other than that though I like Schultz and Everett in the mid-tier. Lower than that I don’t mind going back to Evan Engram, also think Dulcich, and Tyler Conklin are in good spots. For a cheaper option, I like Trey McBride, who saw multiple targets Monday night.
That’s a great point about what Ridder may be able to do for London. I like that call!
I agree with your running backs outside of Etienne. I’ve mostly faded him this year and been fine and I’m going to do so against this Dallas defense. I love the other running backs you mentioned and it feels like a “pay up for RB” slate. I’ll also add James Conner, whose usage has been huge lately and the best bet on the Cardinals to find the endzone.
For receivers, I agree with your core and I would add Ja’Marr Chase (though maybe that’s my best ball interests talking). I’d also add Chris Olave, which is a great runback from Ridder/London. I don’t mind cheaper guys with upside like George Pickens or DJ Moore. I’m struggling with the Lions’ receivers too. We know Goff has been better at home than on the road and the Jets’ secondary is tough. Have we seen receivers really get there against the Jets’ secondary? I don’t recall many if so.
I agree with the core of Kelce, Schultz, Everett, Engram, Dulchich, Conklin, and McBride. I also will go back to Chig Okonko this week. He showed his athleticism last week and they are finally getting him more involved, which makes sense since the Titans receivers stink!
Now that we discussed core plays, any major lineup construction strategies this week?
I’ll definitely look to sprinkle some top guys like Chase, Olave, etc. just not sure if I want to jam them in. I do think Conner is a good call, despite a tough match-up against the Broncos. He is getting enough of a workload to still warrant consideration, and his price hasn’t gotten crazy.
The Goff/ASB/Chark situation is tough because I can see this game becoming a shootout, but as you said no one really has pushed the Jets defense. I actually think this will make guys like Goff and ASB more contrarian plays this week and I think I want to take a shot or two. Maybe I will focus more on that for the shorter slate.
I think my big strategy will be to mainly just focus on these four games. When I do stray from them, I want to take pieces from good offenses like say Kelce from the Chiefs, or Chase from the Bengals. I will consider some other situations, but I just don’t want to have too much exposure to bad offenses. They have sunk too many good fantasy line-ups for me this season and I need to stop letting these bad teams hurt me. Is there anything you see this week that could be an edge?
I agree with enough targeting bad offenses just for value and sticking with games and just sprinkling in some other core plays. I think I’ll be paying up for running back a good bit so I’ll need some lineups will have a cheaper TE or receivers.
What do you think of these strategies for Week 15 DFS on DraftKings? Who are your main game stacks and core plays?