Daily Fantasy Football Week 15: Top Picks, Value Plays for DraftKings, FanDuel
Even if you didn't make the playoffs of your fantasy football league, there's still the opportunity to get some fantasy action over the final few weeks of the NFL regular season. Daily fantasy provides the option to win some cash, particularly if you make smart lineup decisions.
Sometimes, it's worth using a bit more of your daily fantasy budget to get a top player who has a favorable matchup. But there will also be worthwhile value players in Week 15 you may be able to play, freeing up your budget to address other positions.
Here's some advice for your daily fantasy lineups in Week 15.
Top Pick: Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6,600 DraftKings; $7,900 FanDuel)
Brady has been a bit inconsistent this season, which has led to some down fantasy weeks. That includes Week 14, when he passed for 196 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Minnesota Vikings. But he still has the potential to put up big numbers when he has favorable matchups.
The Bucs are taking on the Atlanta Falcons two of the next three weeks, with the first matchup coming Sunday. The Falcons not only have a beatable passing defense (they rank 30th in the NFL with 281.8 passing yards allowed per game), but they also have an offense that may keep up with the Buccaneers, who could be forced to throw more than they did a week ago, when Brady attempted a season-low 23 passes.
Tampa Bay has the offensive weapons to exploit Atlanta's secondary, and the veteran signal-caller should capitalize for a big day, making him one of the top options in Week 15.
Value Play: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,900 DraftKings; $6,900 FanDuel)
Hurts will be making only his second career NFL start on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, but the potential is there for the rookie to have a huge game.
Last week, he passed for 167 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 106 yards in the Eagles' upset win over the New Orleans Saints.
The Eagles and Cardinals are both making a push for the playoffs, and each has an offense capable of putting up a lot of yardage and points.
Hurts should have no trouble having a standout fantasy day, especially if he continues to be a big part of Philadelphia's running game, and don't be surprised if he gets into the end zone on the ground for the first time.
Top Pick: Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams ($6,600 DraftKings; $6,700 FanDuel)
Akers has established his role as the Rams' lead running back the past two weeks.
He had 21 carries for 72 yards in Week 13 against the Cardinals, then 29 carries for 171 yards last week against the New England Patriots. Before that, he hadn't had more than 10 rushing attempts in a game since Week 1.
Now, the 21-year-old will look to keep producing at a high level against the winless New York Jets, who are allowing 399.6 total yards per game, the third most in the NFL.
Expect Akers to put up big numbers in a game the Rams should easily win, giving them plenty of opportunities to hand the ball to their rookie running back.
Value Play: J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team ($5,700 DraftKings; $5,800 FanDuel)
If Antonio Gibson is out again this week due to a toe injury, McKissic is likely to continue to have an expanded role on the ground.
Last week, he set season highs in carries (11) and rushing yards (68) against the San Francisco 49ers, and he's been a favorite target of quarterback Alex Smith in the passing game for much of the season.
Smith could end up not playing due to a calf strain, but McKissic should have a solid performance even if Dwayne Haskins Jr. is under center.
Washington is facing the Seattle Seahawks, who rank 27th in the NFL with 390.3 total yards allowed per game.
Top Pick: Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers ($6,300 DraftKings; $6,900 FanDuel)
Aiyuk has emerged as the 49ers' top receiving option while several key players (including wide receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle) continue to battle injuries.
Last week, the 22-year-old had 10 receptions for 119 yards (both career highs for the rookie) against Washington, and he had scored a touchdown in San Francisco's three previous games.
San Francisco should have a solid offensive performance this week against the Dallas Cowboys, and Aiyuk will remain a key reason for that as the 49ers continue to miss injured players.
The Arizona State product continues to get better as the season gets deeper, and he's showing no signs of slowing down.
Value Play: Lynn Bowden Jr., Miami Dolphins ($3,600 DraftKings; $5,000 FanDuel)
With wide receiver DeVante Parker (hamstring) and tight end Mike Gesicki (shoulder) both questionable for Sunday's game against the Patriots, the Miami Dolphins may have to find some other ways to generate offense this week. Enter Bowden, a rookie who may be on the cusp of breaking out.
Last week, the 23-year-old had seven receptions for 82 yards and was targeted nine times, all of which were season highs.
If Bowden gets that volume again this week, he could be poised for another strong showing (perhaps even getting into the end zone), even though the matchup against New England isn't great. Still, he could be a high-risk, high-reward play in daily fantasy.
Top Pick: Evan Engram, New York Giants ($4,100 DraftKings; $5,500 FanDuel)
Engram's inconsistent season continued last week, when he had only two receptions for 18 yards against the Cardinals. And he still has only one receiving touchdown this year, which came in Week 9 against Washington. But the 26-year-old may be poised to return to the end zone in Week 15.
The Giants are facing the Cleveland Browns, who have given up nine touchdowns to tight ends this season, five of which have come since Week 10.
There's also the potential for plenty of offense in this matchup, which should bode well for Engram as he's likely to be a key part of New York's passing attack.
Value Play: Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings ($3,600 DraftKings; $5,400 FanDuel)
Last week, Smith had four receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay, as Minnesota was without starter Kyle Rudolph, who continues to deal with a foot injury.
As long as Rudolph is out, Smith becomes an intriguing option in daily fantasy, including this week against the Chicago Bears.
Chicago's passing defense played well early in the season, but it has been beatable in recent weeks. Also, it has given up six touchdowns to tight ends over their past seven games.
So, there should be a decent chance that Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins connects with Smith for a score again this week.
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