This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite weekly tournament plays. I’m going to be focusing on high-upside, likely low-owned plays and stacks from the main Sunday slate that (hopefully) can pay off big for you in a large-field tournament.
Ben Roethlisberger ($6,600) – Antonio Brown ($8,500) – Rob Gronkowski ($5,800) – Vance McDonald ($3,900)
The Steelers/Patriots game features the biggest over-under on the main slate, a 52.5 total as of writing. Roethlisberger and Brown have both put up massive splits in six home games this year, with Ben averaging a robust 25.9 DKFP at home and Brown averaging 20 more yards and 5.5 more DKFP per game when playing at Heinz Field. Brown’s production might have slowed a bit, but his upside remains in tact. He’s recorded six games with 24 or more DKFP in 2018. If Roethlisberger is going to have a big day, it’s possible McDonald will get in on some of the action. The Patriots’ defense has allowed the sixth-most TDs to opposing TEs and have allowed six different TEs to record games of at least four catches and 50 yards. McDonald has out-targeted teammate Jesse James ($2,600) in their past five games and could be in for a big week given the matchup.
On the flip side, Gronkowski is also in a great spot. He’s scored four times and is averaging 118 yards per game in his past three regular season meetings with Pittsburgh — a defense yielding 16.0 DKFP per game to opposing TEs (third-most in the league). This big game requires a big-time stack and attacking with it with both TEs and a Brown-Ben combo should give you some leverage possibilities in big-field GPPs.
Just Missed: Aaron Rodgers ($5,700) – Davante Adams ($7,900) – Tarik Cohen ($6,300)
Mitch Trubisky ($6,000)
With ownership likely to be condensed on the names below him in the DraftKings salary range, Trubisky has the potential to be very low-owned in the big DraftKings tournaments for Week 15. Despite struggling last week, the second-year QB enters this week’s game against the Packers already having eclipsed the 30-point mark on DraftKings four times this season. When speaking about potentially limiting Trubisky’s running ability going forward, coach Matt Nagy stated this week they “don’t want to take away a strength of his,” which suggests he might be freer to use his feet in his second game back from a shoulder injury.
The weather this week in Chicago also projects to be warmer (low 40s), which should help the offenses out a touch on both sides. Given Chicago’s healthy 25.75 implied team total as of writing, and the fact the Bears can clinch the NFC North with a win, a big game form Trubisky isn’t out of the question. His upside is second to none at the QB position this year.
Just Missed: Josh Johnson ($4,300)
Leonard Fournette ($7,500)
Fournette and the entire Jaguars organization had a horrible Week 14, but a home game this week against a wounded opponent suggests a pride-saving bounce-back is coming. The Redskins’ run defense has been brutal of late, and Washington enters this week having ceded over 120 yards rushing to opposing RBs in five of its past six games. Fournette has scored a TD in all but one game since his return from injury and played on 77 percent of the snaps last week, his highest percentage of the year. Given the Jaguars’ inability to move the ball through the air — and the fact the Jags are 7-point home favorites in this matchup — this is a potential high-volume spot for Fournette, who easily could account for all the Jacksonville scoring this week.
Dalvin Cook ($6,500)
The Vikings fired OC John DeFilippo last week, and it was suggested at least part of the reason why was his propensity for the passing game. The Vikings enter Week 15 having attempted the third-most passes in the league thus far but might look to employ a more run-heavy approach under former QB coach Kevin Stefanski. Cook has exceeded 16 DKFP in three straight games and faces a Miami run defense that has allowed the seventh-most DKFP per game to opposing RBs. The Vikings are 7-point home favorites as of writing, so there’s good potential for Cook, who has played on over 77 percent of the snaps the last two weeks, to see more carries late in the game and put up his first monster game of the season for fantasy purposes.
Just Missed: Tevin Coleman ($4,200), Jordan Howard ($3,900)
Jordy Nelson ($4,200)
Despite an up-and-down season, the combo of Derek Carr ($5,400) and Nelson is coming on a bit of late, with Nelson now having turned 18 targets in his past two games into 16 catches for 145 yards. The veteran is playing nearly every snap for the Raiders and faces a Bengals secondary that has given up at least 50 yards and a TD to an opposing wideout on 11 different occasions so far this season. Oakland also comes in a bit of a roll having just beaten Pittsburgh and having scored 21 or more points in three of its past four games. Nelson looks like solid value this week for a suddenly decent Oakland passing game.
Taywan Taylor ($3,800)
Since his return from injury in Week 13, Taylor has seen 12 targets in the passing game and accumulated 163 yards receiving. The second-year player also out-snapped fellow wideout Tajae Sharpe ($3,300) last week, who remains questionable to play in Week 15 with an ankle issue. Even if Sharpe is active, his injury could mean Taylor will see a higher volume of snaps once again, potentially setting him up for a big day against a Giants secondary that has given up more than its fair share of big plays to wideouts this year. Taylor’s in a good spot to pay-off his sub-$4k salary on volume alone, but his 4.5 speed and after-the-catch ability makes him a potential GPP-winning value play this week.
Just Missed: Allen Robinson ($5,500)
Vernon Davis ($3,200)
The Redskins look destined to be without Jordan Reed (toe) this week, which would leave Vernon Davis as their lead TE. Davis played on over 75 percent of the snaps last week and hauled in all four of his targets. He also brought in a two-point conversion, which he was targeted on by new starter Josh Johnson ($4,400). Johnson should view Davis as a nice security blanket next week against a Jacksonville defense that has allowed the sixth-most TDs to the TE position in the league thus far. The 34-year-old Davis might have been a bit player for Washington most of the year, but he’s proven to still have some big-play ability left in the tank. He enters this week with five catches on the year of 20 or more yards. Given that he seems headed towards a near every-down role in Week 15, Davis’ $3,200 price tag makes him an excellent value target for big-field GPPs.
Just Missed: Vance McDonald ($3,900), Kyle Rudolph ($3,500)
Minnesota Vikings ($3,100)
The Vikings are coming off a poor loss on Monday Night Football last week, but most of the blame for that falls on the shoulders of the offense, which only could muster seven points. The Vikings’ defense held the Seahawks to just 274 yards total last week and still enters this week’s game with Miami eighth in the league in sacks as a unit. There’s also the fact this week’s matchup is a home game for Minnesota, and the Vikings’ DST has flourished when playing in Minnesota recording an average of 10.7 DKFP in six home games this year. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill ($4,900) has played well of late but enters this game banged up (ankle), and it’s quite likely his mobility will be limited, with re-injury in game also not out of the question (hello, Brock Oswieler ($4,300)). The Vikings enter this game in do-or-die mode, and given the opponent and the way they’ve performed at home this year, their DST has a chance to really go off for fantasy purposes, making them a nice upside play in big-field tournaments for Week 15.
Just Missed: Detroit Lions ($2,500)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) 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.