Adding a pair of Saturday games to the Monday and Thursday night matchups limits the talent pool for Sunday’s slate. After nailing three of my sleepers from last weekend, I’m loving the four I got for Week 15 so let’s go win some contests!
As always, hit me up with any fantasy football questions on Twitter @AndyMc81 using #AskAndy.
Anthony Firkser, TE, Titans ($2,900)
Just like Homer Simpson trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans, the eternal struggle to find value at tight end for fantasy owners is all too real in 2018.
Replacing an injured Greg Olsen, Carolina’s Ian Thomas ($3,400) was in my sleepers article last week and delivered a successful double-digit DKFP performance. I’m going with that same strategy this Sunday as Firkser takes over main pass catching duties for the IR-bound Jonnu Smith.
Never heard of Anthony Firkser? You’re not alone. He’s an undrafted rookie out of Harvard that is undersized at 6-foot-2. Even if his name sounds more like an accountant than NFL player, Firkser makes a lot of sense in your DraftKings lineup.
I always say it — in fantasy football opportunity equals success. The New Jersey native will get that as Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel stated that he wants to get the first-year player involved more regardless of who’s healthy. Fun fact — the guy doesn’t drop passes. He’s inhaled all 16 of the balls tossed his way, and has caught at least three receptions in every game since Nov. 18.
The Titans face a middle of the pack Giants defense when it comes to DKFP allowed versus TEs. Firkser’s ridiculously low salary makes him worth a flier with a chance at producing a big afternoon.
Ito Smith, RB, Falcons ($3,700)
Similar to his team, Ito Smith’s season has become inconsistent and frustrating. A non-fantasy factor since Week 9, this Sunday is lining up to be a return to relevance. The Falcons’ 2018 fourth-round pick out snapped starting running back Tevin Coleman ($4,200) this past weekend, and also scooped up more DKFP (10.4 to 5.1).
That’s an encouraging sign as Atlanta awaits the train wreck that is the Arizona Cardinals. The visitor’s defense is giving up the third-most fantasy points to RBs, and Smith’s dual threat capabilities makes this a juicy matchup. Coleman’s been underwhelming for a month, so if Smith can get the hot hand early he’s got a chance to dominate the workload not just against the Cards, but for the rest of the season.
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders ($5,400)
You have to feel for Derek Carr. It seemed like his Raiders were on the cusp of greatness before Jon Gruden cam down out of the broadcast booth and gutted the club of playmakers. However, coming off an upset victory over Pittsburgh and facing an imploding Bengals squad shuffles the young quarterback into the under the radar scene.
Now Oakland is on the road and there’s that negative stigma of warm weather QBs traveling to play in cold climates. Early weather reports have Cincinnati at a balmy 42 degrees and sunny, which in mid-December is about as good as it gets out in that part of the country.
Due to Oakland’s gong show reputation, it’s easy to overlook Carr, but he’s been hot on the field. The last two weeks he’s completed 75% of his passes and produced more than 22 DKFP in each of those outings. On top of that, he hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 5!
The fifth-year veteran also makes a great stacking option in DraftKings contests to go alongside a Jared Cook ($5,600) or Seth Roberts ($3,700). The Bengals are near the bottom of almost every defensive category so take advantage.
Kenneth Dixon, RB, Ravens ($3,500)
It’s possibly the most dreaded phrase in fantasy football — “running back by committee.” The mere mention sends chills down owners spines, and Baltimore possesses a muddled three-man backfield. Sometimes one rusher can separate himself from the pack, even if it’s just temporarily, and for the Ravens that man is Dixon.
Dixon has shown flashes in the past, and is rounding into form two games after returning from injured reserve. Lead RB Gus Edwards ($4,400) is good, not great, with only one touchdown all year and single-digit fantasy points the past couple of games. Ty Montgomery ($3,600) is the other snap vulture, but he hasn’t been much of a factor since joining the team.
A positive push to go with Dixon is that head coach John Harbaugh mentioned to the media that he expects the Louisiana Tech alum to have an increased role moving forward. Hopefully that means an uptick in touches for Sunday’s battle versus the 30th-ranked Tampa Bay run defense.
We all know committees can be risky plays. However, Dixon’s explosiveness, fresh legs and weak opponent allows for a terrific opportunity to cash in on some differential points in Draft Kings lineups.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is AndyMc81) 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.