While many are counting down the shopping days, the NFL regular season is quickly winding down, as well, so there are just three more weeks of big slate fantasy football goodness before we head into the offseason. In Week 15, there are an impressive 13 games on the main slate. The two windows are a little more balanced than they have been the past few weeks with eight games starting early and five in the later window. Some of the most watchable matchups include the Titans hosting the Texans in a vital AFC South contest and the Eagles take on the Redskins while the Cowboys host the Rams in their ongoing battle for the NFC East.
With bye weeks behind us, there are plenty of great options to consider for your lineup from the 26 teams in action on the main slate. After selecting your favorite top-priced stars, here are some options you can consider as you round out your roster with players from more affordable price points.
QUARTERBACK($6,000 and under)
Drew Lock, DEN at KC, $5,700 – Lock came through for my value picks last week as he led the Broncos to a 38-24 road win in Houston while producing 27.86 DKFP on 309 yards and three touchdowns. He piled up most of that production early as Denver built a 31-3 halftime lead and coasted a bit in the second half. This week, he’ll get an improving Chiefs defense, but catches them at a good time in a possible letdown spot after winning on the road in New England. Lock will have to keep the offense going the whole game if he wants to keep up with Patrick Mahomes ($7,100), and could also excel in garbage time if the Chiefs run away with things early. Lock did throw a pick for the second straight week, but the rookie is loaded with upside and has some solid receiving options to work with including the emerging WR1 Courtland Sutton ($5,900) and a solid TE in rookie Noah Fant ($4,100; hip).
Kyle Allen, CAR vs. SEA, $5,400 – Allen had over 20 DKFP for the third straight week and continues to put up good numbers even while the Panthers sink further in the standings, having dropped five straight. Allen ran for a touchdown and threw for a touchdown while totaling 293 yards passing and 24 yards rushing. He did have an ugly three turnovers that derailed Carolina in real life but still managed to put up good enough numbers to keep his fantasy investors afloat. Allen has over 250 yards passing in five straight games and will look to extend that streak against the Seahawks, who are an aggressive defense that will probably force turnovers but also allow some big plays. Seattle got beat up on Sunday Night Football by Jared Goff ($6,100) and the Rams and will be on a short week going from the West Coast to the East Coast.
RUNNING BACK($5,000 and under)
Patrick Laird, MIA at NYG, $4,500 – Laird took over as the Dolphins’ top RB in Week 14 against the Jets and should get plenty of work in a favorable matchup against the Giants. Laird took 15 carries for 48 yards and caught four passes for 38 yards on his way to 12.6 DKFP. He got into the end zone in Week 13 against the Eagles and had 16.8 DKFP. Laird got plenty of buzz coming into last week, but he’ll be a great play under $5K and has a very high floor since he gets so much work as a receiver.
Adrian Peterson, WAS vs. PHI, $4,400 – Peterson will be the Redskins’ lead back against the Eagles with Derrius Guice (knee) already ruled out with a sprained MCL. Last week, Peterson took over after Guice left and finished with 20 carries for 76 yards, a touchdown and 13.6 DKFP. Peterson has gotten more than 15 carries four times this season and has over 75 yards in each of those contests. With a boost in volume and a decent matchup, look for Peterson to continue to be a solid fantasy option. He has 718 rushing yards on the season, so he still has a shot to get to 1,000 yards for the second straight season if he can put together a big game or two in the next three weeks.
WIDE RECEIVER($5,000 and under)
Darius Slayton, NYG vs. MIA, $4,700 – Slayton had his third multi-touchdown in his past six contests on Monday Night Football against the Eagles and finished with 35.4 DKFP by hauling in five catches for 154 yards. He has double-digit DKFP in five of his past six games while averaging 73.7 yards and 8.0 targets per contest. Those averages include a stinker with just one catch for six yards against the Cowboys, which shows how strong the rest of his results have been. Even the change to Eli Manning ($5,200) didn’t slow him down, so Slayton makes a high-upside play against the Dolphins regardless of who is under center.
Mike Williams, LAC vs. MIN, $4,600 – Despite their reputation as a strong defense, the Vikings have allowed the third-most DKFP to opposing WRs this season, so Williams is in a more favorable matchup this week than you might initially think. The third-year receiver has already set a career-high with 841 yards this season and finally found the end zone last week for the first time as part of a 14.3-DKFP performance against the Jaguars. Williams has over 9.5 DKFP in three straight games and five of his past six and is a solid play against the Vikings given his role in the Los Angeles’ offense.
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI vs. CLE, $4,300 – Fitzgerald is going through a bit of a touchdown drought of his own, having not hit paydirt since Week 3. He has been targeted at least five times in four straight games, though, and had double-digit DKFP in three straight before being held to just 5.0 DKFP by the Steelers last Sunday. Fitzgerald and the Cardinals should be able to bounce back after a couple of rough weeks against the Browns’ defense.
Isaiah Ford, MIA at NYG, $3,700 – Ford stepped up for Miami after DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson both left last week’s game against the Giants with concussions. Even though he only had two catches for nine yards all season, the third-year WR hauled in 6-of-9 targets for 92 yards and 15.2 DKFP. He led the team in targets, catches and receiving yards which should earn him some playing time against the Giants, regardless of the health of the Dolphins other WRs. If Parker and/or Wilson are unable to clear the concussion protocol in time, Ford will be an even stronger play.
TIGHT END($4,000 and under)
Tyler Higbee, LAR at DAL, $3,900 – Higbee posted a second straight monster game on Sunday Night Football and has been a big part of the Rams’ recent offensive turnaround. He caught 7-of-8 targets for 107 yards, a touchdown and 26.7 DKFP against the Cardinals in Week 13 and followed that by catching 7-of-11 targets for 116 yards and 21.6 DKFP against the Seahawks in Week 14. He gets a great matchup to keep it rolling against the Cowboys this week, who have allowed the sixth-most DKFP to TEs this season. With Brandin Cooks ($4,500) falling off the map, there are targets available and Higbee has been making the most of them lately.
Ian Thomas, CAR vs. SEA, $3,100 – There is a chance Greg Olsen ($3,900) returns from his concussion for this matchup, but there isn’t much reason for the veteran to rush back with the Panthers out of playoff contention. Thomas filled in very nicely last week with five catches, 57 yards, a touchdown and 16.7 DKFP. He has shown he can be a reliable option when Olsen is out and will get a great matchup with the Seahawks, who Higbee tore up last week and have allowed the second-most DKFP to TE this season.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS($2,800 and under)
TEN vs. HOU, $2,800 – While Ryan Tannehill ($6,500) is getting a lot of well-deserved credit for the Titans resurgence, Tennessee’s defense has been a huge part of their push for a playoff spot. They have posted double-digit DKFP in three of their past four games and have racked up multiple sacks in six straight contests. At home with a chance to take control of the division, they should get a boost from the crowd. Houston’s offense can be potent but can also struggle at times, and the Titans defense is well-stocked with playmakers and has allowed just 24 points in the second half over their past three games combined. I usually try to pick a second bargain defense, but the Titans are significantly better than any other option under $3K.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.