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Fantasy Football: Start Julian Edelman vs. Steelers

Pete Davidson
December 15, 2018 - 5:20 pm
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Week 15 is here, and unless you made it to the semifinals in your seasonal league, you might want to jump into a few DraftKings contests to scratch your fantasy itch. If you’ve never tried it, I recommend entering a few $3 dollar tournaments to, as my buddy Jim Hackett says, “dip your beak.”

For those of you who do have lineup concerns in seasonal leagues, please feel free to consult my free lineup rankings at rotobahn.com. You’ll find a ranking for every relevant Week 15 fantasy player.

For the freshest insights on all the Week 15 action, tune in to the Fantasy Football Hour, this Sunday morning right here on 93.7. Jim Hackett and I will take your questions (via text) and get you ready for Sunday!

All player pricing for this article was sourced from DraftKings.

Saquon Barkley, Giants vs. Titans, $9,400

His workload is beyond assured and now the Giants are without Odell Beckham, who is the only other Giant player who demands the football. This is a game that will be slow-paced, but Barkley is a lock to get his touches anyway. He should carry the ball about 15-20 times and should see 5-10 targets in the pass game. It’s hard to resist a player with Barkley’s dynamic skill set when he has that kind of touch floor. The rookie has been north of 20 DraftKings points in all but one game this season. He’s been over 32 points in three out of his last four games. The Titans play reasonably good run defense, but it won’t matter. I’d be surprised if my overall exposure to Saquon is less than 50 percent this week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys at Colts, $9,000

Zeke has amassed 100 carries over the last four games and has averaged 4.3 yards per tote during that time. He’s hit the 100-yard mark (a 3-point bonus on DK) three times in that span. That’d be enough to get my attention, but there’s more, Elliott has 30 receptions over that span for an additional 240 yards. DraftKings uses full PPR scoring, so that’s huge. Zeke has been dominating lately and unless you think Dallas will suddenly go away from him, he’s a great bet to have another strong game. Yes, the Colts have a good run defense, but Elliott faced New Orleans and Washington during his hot streak so this is nothing new nor something to fear. He’s definitely worthy of some exposure this week. I have him just a tiny bit behind Barkley.

Joe Mixon, Bengals vs. Raiders, $6,100

Mixon is going to be very chalky this week. This is partially due to his big game last week but also due to his low cost and plus matchup at home versus the Raiders. Mixon’s talent is unquestionable, and the Bengals finally opened up his workload in Week 14 with 26 rushes for 111 yards and five receptions for another 27. Mixon also found the end zone once. He can post those digits and more against a Raiders team that traveled far this week, but with very little to play for. Unless the Bengals scale his workload back, he’s a very likely bet to return value this week, relative to cost. He’s in my Week 15 cash lineup and I’ll have tournament exposure as well.

Julian Edelman, Patriots at Steelers, $7,200

If you’ve watched the Steelers play lately, you’d probably agree that the best place to attack them is in the middle of the field. They have been torched the last two weeks by Philip Rivers and then by Derek Carr in last week’s pathetic loss to the Raiders in Oakland. Rotoworld’s Evan Silva points out that Tom Brady has had issues with teams that blitz in road situations. The Steelers bring quality heat and they do it frequently at a rate of 35 percent, which is good for top five in the NFL. To me, this sets up really well for both Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Both are in my sights this week on DraftKings. I’ll have more exposure to Edelman, because I think he’ll be the first option on a lot of routes due to the Steelers’ aforementioned blitzing prowess. That in combination with his strong red zone role makes him a good buy if I can find a way to afford his price tag. That’s the challenge. 7,200 units is north of what I want to spend on the position this week, so certain RB-heavy lineup constructions will make him impossible to roster. Gronk’s easier to fit in this week at 5,800 units.

Tyler Boyd, Bengals vs. Raiders, $5,700

This recommendation is emblematic of my approach to Week 15. I want to play it as safe as I can at receiver, and that means finding affordable floor plays who also have some theoretical upside. Enter Boyd, who is clearly the lead receiver for the Bengals with A.J. Green gone for the season. This gives him a solid target floor and that, combined with a plus matchup against slot corner Nick Nelson, gives Boyd a floor worth buying. The Raiders will certainly take some measures to slow him down, but Boyd is worth some exposure on a week with so much uncertainty.

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