Daily Fantasy Football Week 15: DraftKings, FanDuel Top Picks, Best Value Plays

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 13, 2019

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 24: Chris Godwin #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Kendall Sheffield #20 of the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be in for a wildly successful Week 15.

During its three-game winning streak, Bruce Arians' team put up 101 points, and it faces one of the NFL's worst defenses Sunday.

Quarterback Jameis Winston has one less weapon to work with, as Mike Evans is out injured, but he still has Chris Godwin at his disposal and O.J. Howard ready to break out at tight end.

Some of the other top daily fantasy football options are also facing struggling defenses, including Chris Carson against the Carolina Panthers and George Kittle versus the Atlanta Falcons.



Top Pick: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay

Price: DraftKings: $6,900; FanDuel: $8,200

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Winston may not be your first choice, and he does not seem like the best option because of his turnover problem, but he has turned in strong numbers of late.

The Tampa Bay quarterback is coming off a 456-yard, four-touchdown performance versus the Indianapolis Colts, and he has thrown for 300 yards in six of his past seven outings.

In the past four weeks, the Florida State product put up 300-yard showings against the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta and the Colts.

He is expected to thrive Sunday at Ford Field, as he is opposed by a Detroit secondary that has conceded 1,143 passing yards in the past month.

The Lions allow an average of 28.5 points per game on home soil, so the opportunities should be there for Winston to put up eye-popping numbers.

There could be concern that Evans' injury affects his production, but he can turn to Godwin, who has more receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns than his sidelined teammate.


Value Play: Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville

Price: DraftKings: $5,500; FanDuel: $6,900

Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

Gardner Minshew II's previous two outings have not been promising, but he could get back on track against the Oakland Raiders.

Sam Darnold and Ryan Tannehill gashed the Raiders for 300 passing yards in two of their past three contests. Jon Gruden's team has given up the fifth-most passing yards in the NFL, and its 30 aerial scores conceded is the third-worst total behind the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins.

In four road trips, the rookie out of Washington State has six touchdowns and zero interceptions, and in three of those matchups, he completed more than half of his passes.

Those statistics suggest he could play well while allowing you to spend chunks of your budget in other areas.


Running Back

Top Pick: Chris Carson, Seattle

Price: DraftKings: $7,500; FanDuel: $7,400

John Froschauer/Associated Press

Even in a 28-12 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14, Chris Carson totaled 76 yards on 15 carries.

He has been one of the more consistent running backs in the league, with five 100-yard days, two of which occurred on his travels. The 25-year-old has also found the end zone in three of the Seattle Seahawks' past five road games, and he could better that run against Carolina.

The Panthers have conceded the fourth-most rushing yards and are the only franchise to be gashed for more than 20 rushing scores. Since its Week 7 bye, the NFC South side has let up 100 yards on the ground to six of its seven opponents.

All of those statistics should point you in Carson's direction as Seattle tries to stay alive for NFC home-field advantage.


Value Play: James White, New England 

Price: DraftKings: $5,400; FanDuel: $6,800

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 1:  James White #28 of the New England Patriots runs in for a touchdown during the second half of a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 1, 2019 in Houston, Texas.  The Texans defeated the Patriots 28-22.  (Pho
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

New England Patriots running backs have been hard to trust in 2019 because of the up-and-down nature of their production.

In Week 15, James White seems poised to succeed versus a Cincinnati Bengals rushing defense that has given up a league-worst 2,037 yards. In the past two games, the Patriots running back has 20 carries for 112 yards, as well as 13 receptions on 18 targets. 

If Tom Brady continues to utilize him in the passing game, White could be a strong value play as a second running back. The 27-year-old should not be your top running back selection, but if you can't package two premier players together because of budget constraints, he is a solid pickup because of his matchup.


Wide Receiver

Top Pick: Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay 

Price: DraftKings: $7,700; FanDuel: $8,400

Jason Behnken/Associated Press

With Evans out of the lineup and Detroit's passing defense one of the worst in the NFL, Godwin is expected to receive a large amount of targets from Winston.

Even when his teammate was healthy, Godwin was receiving plenty of attention from his quarterback, and he is three weeks removed from a 184-yard, two-score outing versus Atlanta.

Four of his five 100-yard games have come away from Raymond James Stadium—as have all three of his multi-score performances.

In Detroit's most recent home game, it allowed 140 receiving yards to the Chicago Bears' Anthony Miller and an additional 86 to Allen Robinson. In the game before that at Ford Field, the Dallas Cowboys' Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb both earned triple-digit receiving days.

Although he comes at a high cost, there is no way to avoid Godwin in this matchup.


Value Play: Darius Slayton, New York Giants

Price: DraftKings: $4,700; FanDuel: $6,300

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 09:  Darius Slayton #86 of the New York Giants celebrates a touchdown reception with Sterling Shepard #87 during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 9, 2019 in Philadelphia,
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Darius Slayton has been an intriguing value play at wide receiver for most parts of the season, but over the past four weeks, his play has risen to another level.

The New York Giants wide receiver is coming off a 154-yard performance on five catches versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Monday marked the second time in four games in which Slayton had more than 100 receiving yards and two trips to the end zone.

In the past month, he has been targeted on 38 occasions by Daniel Jones and Eli Manning. Expect that production to continue against a Miami defense that has been gashed for at least 250 passing yards by its past four foes.


Tight End

Top Pick: George Kittle, San Francisco 

Price: DraftKings: $6,200; FanDuel: $7,200

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 8: George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers runs after making a reception during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 8, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 49ers defeated the Sa
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

In some situations, you can get by in daily fantasy football by not taking the best players at each position in favor of cheaper plays.

Don't do that with Kittle against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, as San Francisco looks to keep command of the NFC's No. 1 seed. The tight end has a touchdown catch in three of his past four games, and he earned six catches on eight targets in the Week 14 triumph in New Orleans.

The Falcons enter Levi's Stadium with 81 points allowed in their past three contests, which is much different form than the 12 points it conceded in Weeks 10 and 11. 

With Dan Quinn's team trending in the wrong direction, Kittle could thrive in the 49ers' first home game since Week 12.


Value Play: O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay 

Price: DraftKings: $3,500; FanDuel: $5,700

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Those who were critical of the Winston selection may be even more skeptical of Howard's inclusion on this list.

For most of the season, the Alabama product has frustrated fantasy owners with his inconsistent performances. However, he has played much better in the past two games, as he has nine receptions on 11 targets for 134 yards.

Howard is still lacking in touchdowns, but the back-to-back performances are a positive sign that he will be an active part of Tampa Bay's offensive game plan without Evans.

If you have full confidence in the Buccaneers, you may want to stack Winston, Godwin and Howard to maximize their projected success against a brutal defense.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.