Don’t second guess yourself. I was able to miraculously win a playoff matchup after swapping Jameis Winston out with about 15 seconds until game time. I didn’t really think Christian Kirk was going to have a good week against the stingy Steelers defense, so I swapped him right before that game in favor of the Monday night showdown between the Giants and the Eagles, inserting Sterling Shepard into my lineup in hopes that he’d rekindle the chemistry between him and Eli. And because of these two near-fatal errors, I won my matchup by .3 thanks to a late-change by my opponent to start Kirk Cousins over Matt Ryan. Decisiveness and sticking with your gut is your best friend in fantasy, and the same can apply to daily fantasy.
As the season nears the close, there’s still a chance to win some serious money. Let’s hope Week 15 is a bountiful one.
The following are not recommendations for you entire lineup, as I attempt to avoid the most expensive and obvious candidates. It should also be noted, as usual, that the DraftKings and FanDuel pricing and budget systems are different, and that the prices for each app are listed in the above order in parentheses.
Kyler Murray ($5,600/$7,600)
The Browns are about league-average against the quarterback in fantasy football. However, quarterbacks who move their feet and get out of the pocket have been able to reach the end zone at a pretty high rate. Russell Wilson scored a rushing touchdown in Week 6, Josh Allen scored two in Week 10, and Ryan Fitzpatrick had one in Week 12. Even though Lamar Jackson didn’t score a touchdown, he averaged 7.3 yards per carry. And as Murray has had two tough outings and subsequent disappointing performances the past two weeks, his price has dropped to a very, very friendly level. Buy low on Murray in Week 15.
Drew Brees ($6,900/$8,200)
Brees is a competitor, and a Monday night matchup late in the season that gives his Saints a serious chance at gaining leverage in the race for a first round bye makes me think that he’ll elevate his performance to a really high level. Besides, the Saints seem to be relying less and less on Alvin Kamara, and more and more on potential MVP-candidate Michael Thomas. The passing game will be the focal point against a Colts defense that has done pretty well at defending the run.
Ronald Jones II ($4,600/$5,800)
The Lions can’t defend the run… they just can’t do it. They especially struggle against pass-catching backs, allowing eight touchdowns through the air to running backs. And so Jones, the more versatile option between him and Peyton Barber, should be able to exploit the holes in this defense. Without Mike Evans, Chris Godwin will definitely be busy, but Jameis Winston targeted Jones a good amount last game after the injury. With Winston’s hand still a little weaker due to injury, Jones could find himself heavily involved in the offense.
Todd Gurley ($6,000/$7,600)
Sean McVay has had an epiphany recently. I think he realizes that the key to Goff’s success last year, to the receiving corps’ success last year, and to the whole offense’s rhythm and flow, it to use that guy named Todd Gurley. Although he’s recently voiced his frustration with the team indirectly, this could work to only fuel his performance against the Cowboys, a team that is exploitable on the ground and will look to be a tough, grind-it-out opponent for the playoff-seeking Rams.
Other options: Philip Lindsay ($5,600/$6,400); Saquon Barkley ($7,700/$8,300 – but be aware of extremely high ownership)
Christian Kirk ($5,500/$6,100)
Kirk and Murray seems to be the ideal inexpensive stack. They’ve been in sync recently, and though the Browns do well against wide receivers, I expect this game to take the form of a shootout early. The total, which started at 46.5, has move up to 49 and is continually looking to climb. Without a reliable running game or tight end, Kirk should be in for a busy day to follow up last week’s performance. He’s topped seven targets in five of the last six weeks, with the one exception coming against Richard Sherman and the 49ers.
Golden Tate ($5,900/$6,300)
Though Darius Slayton may have the hot hand and Sterling Shepard may have the stronger rapport with Eli Manning, Tate is the most experienced of the three and is in New York for the long haul after his four-year, $23 million guaranteed signing this offseason. The Giants want to get their money’s worth, and the Dolphins are a great opponent to jumpstart Tate’s unexciting career at the Meadowlands into a bright one. He will likely be the least selected option of the three, as well.
David Njoku ($4,200/$5,500)
He’s baaaaaaack. And what a time to return against the lowly Cardinals defense, who I’ve resorted to over and over and over again this season as my streaming TE defense of choice. A good stack with Baker that’s inexpensive, not highly-touted, and with upside of a multi-touchdown game.
Other options: Cameron Brate ($3,400/$5,200 – more worth it on DraftKings)
Pittsburgh D/ST ($3,200/$4,400)
The Steelers still have the best defense in football… nothing’s changed. And so it comes as a surprise that they’re priced so moderately against a turnover-prone quarterback and an unexciting offense as a whole. Sure, it’s an easy pick (and a pretty god one, too) to go with the Patriots against the Bungles, but if you want to conserve some of your budget, roll with the Steelers. They have two MVP-caliber players in TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick, and still don’t get the recognition they deserve. This offense looks like it would be leading a 2-11 team… not an 8-5 one. And it’s all thanks to the defense.