As we roll into Week 15 of the NFL season things are starting to get interesting. We have some teams fighting for playoff spots or positioning and some teams tanking (I mean looking toward the future). We also have coaches and assistant coaches getting the boot and plenty of injuries to monitor.
With the college football season entering the bowl season, the NFL starts to spread out their schedule to include a couple of Saturday games into the mix this week. So, I’ll add a Saturday option to my article this week. Speaking of this week, I’m more interested in the plays on the primetime games with a bunch of fun, potentially high-scoring games kicking off with the Chargers and Chiefs on Thursday night.
The secret to winning college bowl pick’ems >>
Justin Jackson (RB – LAC): $4,900 @ KCThe Chargers backfield has a lot of injuries to monitor leading up to their game on Thursday night in Kansas City. Melvin Gordon has missed the last two weeks and although he is trying to get ready for a key divisional tilt, he seems unlikely to play. Austin Ekeler has filled in but suffered a concussion on Sunday and is doubtful to play. That leaves rookie Justin Jackson, who has shown some flashes over the last few weeks and is averaging 5.1 YPC on the season. The Chiefs have allowed the second-most fantasy points to RBs this season and the cool temps and windy conditions predicted for Kansas City could have the team featuring the running game a little more than usual on Thursday night.
Phillip Lindsay (RB – DEN): $6,700 vs. CLELindsay continues to shine for the Broncos. Even last week when he had just 51 total yards, he found a way to reach 15 DraftKings points by catching four balls and scoring a touchdown. That 15-point effort was Lindsay’s low water mark over the last four weeks which gives him a high floor for his matchup with the Browns on Saturday night. The Browns have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to RBs this season and rank 26th DVOA against the run according to FootballOutsiders.
Early Cash Game Core
Tom Brady (QB – NE): $5,900 @ PITThis is one of only two players in this article that actually play on the Sunday main slate. My cash game QB on Sunday is likely coming from the Patriots/Steelers clash in Pittsburgh with either Ben Roethlisberger ($6,600) or Brady. My early lean is Brady, partially due to the $700 saving he offers and partially because of his recent success. Over his last two games, Brady has averaged 335 passing yards and two TDs. The game also features the highest Vegas total on Sunday’s main slate and pits to experienced teams fighting for playoff positioning in what should be a close game.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO): $7,800 @ CARThe Saints offense isn’t clicking on all cylinders right now, which has also led to Kamara going three straight games without a touchdown. Look for that cold streak to come to an end on Monday night when the Saints visit the Panthers. The Panthers have allowed a rushing touchdown in five straight games and have the highest percentage of rushing attempts allowed inside the 10-yard line this season. Kamara’s salary has dropped under $8k which is a perfect time to buy low on the ultra-talented RB.
Brandin Cooks (WR – LAR): $7,300 vs. PHISticking with the players from primetime games trend, I’ll give you Cooks playing on Sunday night at home against the Eagles. We all saw what Amari Cooper was able to do against the Eagles last week putting up 10 receptions for 217 yards and three scores. Cooks has that same kind of potential against the weak Eagles secondary that has allowed an average of 15 receptions for 198 yards to opposing WRs this season with both rank second to last in the league. With the Rams coming off a loss and looking to get home-field advantage in the playoffs it could be a big “get right” spot for the entire offense including Cooks.
Players to Watch
Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN): $6,500 vs. MIAThey say you can have too many cooks in the kitchen, but you can’t have too many Cooks in a DFS article and lineup. The Vikings fired their offensive coordinator John DeFilippo following their poor offensive performance on Monday night and promoted Kevin Stefanski to the position. Look for the new OC to bring the offense back to what head coach Mike Zimmer probably wants, which is more focus on the running game.
The big beneficiary of that move will likely be Cook. He has seen 10 or fewer carries in six of his eight games this season, but look for him to set a season-high on Sunday besting the 16 he received in the Vikings’ opener. He’ll be at home with the Vikings as a touchdown favorite against the Dolphins, who have a league average run defense.
Elijah McGuire (RB – NYJ): $3,600 vs. HOUEverybody in the Jets backfield is banged up right now as they were all held out of practice on Tuesday. Isaiah Crowell seems the least likely to play on Saturday as he is currently wearing a walking boot. Meanwhile, McGuire had 20 touches last week for a total of 83 yards and a touchdown against the Bills. McGuire’s matchup against the Texans is far from ideal, but getting an under $4k RB that could get 20 touches and will be involved both on the ground and in the passing game is a rare occurrence.
Create Optimal DraftKings lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | TuneIn | RSS
Brad Richter is a featured writer and correspondent at FantasyPros and a contributor at DailyOverlay and GoingFor2. For more from Brad, you can view his archive or follow him @RotoPilot.