Fantasy Football: Who to start in Week 15

Pete Davidson
December 14, 2019 - 11:59 am
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Week 15 is upon us!  And, for the folks who are not playing in their seasonal semifinal, perhaps chasing some glory on Draftkings is the way to go.  It's not a tough week to put a good lineup together, so let's dig in.

Looking for seasonal advice instead?  It's a huge playoff week for those of us still in the mix.  For my take on every relevant skill player for Week 15 fantasy purposes, check out my lineup rankings at Rotobahn.com.  It’s completely free.  No registration.  No signing in.  Just follow the link and enjoy.  They get updated on Saturday evening.

Additionally, if you are looking for more Week 15 DFS information, the Rotobahn DFS Podcast will go up later today.  It's easily found on my Twitter feed and it's free every week.

All pricing in this article was sourced from DraftKings.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans at Titans, $6,800

The matchup is not as relevant, when deciding whether or not to roster Watson, as it would be with many other quarterbacks.  I care more about the game environment, because Watson can win versus most any type of defense as we saw with his games versus New England, the Chargers and the Saints.  I like this game because it's the first matchup between these two divisional opponents, who play again Week 17.  First matchups tend to be more opened up than second meetings.  This will also be the Texans first look at the new Arthur Smith (the Titan's OC) offense, which has been a smashing success since they made the switch to Ryan Tannehill at quarterback.  Some other things we like about this game.

  • It has the highest projected game total on the Sunday slate at about 51.5.
  • Both teams have implied totals of over 24 points, so we expect a high scoring game, but also a competitive game.
  • While Bill O'Brien likes to run, the Titans defense is far more beatable with the pass, especially with all the injuries in their secondary.
  • The Titans are well set up for success against a Texans defense that has been straight bad lately.  They have the ground game going strong and Tannehill has given them an air attack to match.  In short, we have game conditions that give us shootout potential.

So there is a lot to like here.  The big decision we have is how to stack with Deshaun.  For me, unless I'm doing a lot of entries based around this game, I'm going with the direct route.  Will Fuller is key here because his presence has been impactful in terms of target flow, with DeAndre Hopkins seeing large target gains when he sits out.  So by the numbers, we should like Hopkins more if Fuller sits.  I'm not feeling that this week.  The game is too enormous for them to go away from Hopkins.  Fuller could easily be part decoy this week.  I'll get to my GPP (tournament play, not cash play) stacking pieces in just a bit.  Keep reading.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers vs. Seahawks, $10,000

He's been in this space almost every week so I don't need to bore you with the same old particulars.  He is tough to fit into certain lineup constructions, but where you have the cap space, his point floor is always a welcomed element.  I plan on having 40-60 percent exposure this week.  Seattle's defense does not frighten me.  This is actually the cheapest McCaffrey has been in over a month.

Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants vs. Dolphins, $7700 

You play great talent in get-well situations.  In this scenario, Barkley is the great player and Miami is the equivalent of a fantasy Hospital.  Saquon has shown a lack of explosivity in the wake of his high-ankle sprain, but he's getting healthier and his volume is beyond question.  In the most basic terms, a dynamic player with a 20 touch floor against the Dolphins, is easily worth 7,700 units.

Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks at Panthers, $7,500

It would be borderline malpractice for me to not include Carson in this space this week.  Let's itemize the reasons.

  • Carolina is as good as it gets in terms of run matchups.  They are just awful.
  • Rashaad Penny's season-ending knee injury puts Carson in full control of the Seattle backfield, with a locked-in workload.
  • The Panthers are unlikely to keep pace here as a 6-point road dog.  The matchup and projected game flow are in your favor.
  • Even with a big lead, Seattle will lean on Carson, because this game is huge for them after last week's loss.

So play Carson in any and all situations.  If you play on FanDuel, he's priced more favorably over there.  But again, what we love here is the raw points that are available due to all that I listed above.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans at Titans, $8,000

He's my primary stacking piece with Watson and that's how I'm inclined to use DeAndre this week.  Watson's my favorite quarterback play so the idea of playing Hopkins away from Watson doesn't make much sense to me.  This will probably be my most-used Week 15 stack.

A.J. Brown, WR, Titans vs. Texans, $6,000

He's been priced-up after last week's big game, which came with Brown playing on a bad leg.  He's off the injury report this week, which is obviously a good thing.  Brown has finally ascended to the top of the food chain in Tennessee's air attack.  This makes him an outstanding correlation stack (where we buy into the overall game flow) when using Deshaun Watson.  With Watson, Hopkins and Brown, we've spent 20,800 units, leaving us 29,200 for the rest of our squad.  Jim Hackett and I will talk about how to fill out the rest of that lineup on tomorrow's show.  We'll also talk about which tight ends to consider this week.  Hint.  Zach Ertz's name will be discussed as well as Tyler Higbee's.

Lastly, please remember to play within your own comfort level.  You can have loads of fun playing DFS without spending more than a few bucks a week, so please play responsibly.

As I said, Jimmy Hackett and I will get into some more lineup construction and all of our favorite Week 15 plays on the Fantasy Football Hour, live on 93.7 at 8 a.m. on Sundays.  We'll also be answering your texts, so send them in!  Join us!