No matter how you did in Week 14, that all gets erased as of today. We start to prepare for Week 15, and I have you covered from top to bottom. Let’s get right to all the information and get you ready to build those lineups. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
The Vegas Lines
Highest Scoring Games
Below are the three highest scoring projected games and individual teams based on Vegas Lines.
1) Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
Over/Under: 50.5 points
Line: New Orleans -3
I’m still feeling all sorts of dirty after that shockingly bad performance by the Buccaneers against the Saints last week. I mean sure, if you wanted to go against the grain, it was the obvious fade of the week. If you play the chalk, it was most certainly the chalk. Next up, we have the Lions on tap to take on this poor Saints defense. Coming into this matchup, Stafford has been looking much better since the Lions week nine bye. Since then, Stafford is throwing for an average of 265 yards per game with an 11:2 TD: INT ratio. It’s worth noting that Staffords most recent successful performance was against another poor defense in the Eagles. In that game, Stafford completed 27/38 passes for 337 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Even with Calvin Johnson playing at less than 100%, Golden Tate and Theo Riddick have proven to be more than viable options in the passing game. Stafford should be in a great spot here in week 15.
As for the Saints, Brees is coming off a nice performance, on the road nonetheless. Brees completed 31/41 passes for 312 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. His play has been wildly inconsistent this season and he’s been hard pressed to trust this season. On paper, he does have a favorable matchup against a Lions defense that is allowing the 10th most passing yards per game at 232. Brees certainly has plenty of targets to hit with Brandin Cooks and Ben Watson his two favorites.
2) Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles
Over/Under: 50.5 points
Line: Arizona -3.5
Carson Palmer has to be the chalk play of the week in my opinion. It’s going to be hard to stay away with such a juicy matchup ahead of him against the Eagles defense. Palmer has been about as consistent as you get this season. He’s thrown for over 300 yards in eight of his 13 matchups this season and has thrown for a touchdown in all but one of them. To have a matchup against the Eagles, who rank as one of the worst against quarterbacks and wide receivers, you have to love this spot for the Cardinals offense. I don’t do it very often, but this feels like one of those weeks where you could get away with a three-man stack with a combination of Palmer with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown. Palmer likes to spread the ball around and there should be plenty of opportunities in this one.
On the Eagles side, I don’t know how much I really like anyone in this one. Sam Bradford hasn’t been what Philly was expecting, but then again, what has gone right for the Eagles? In his past two games, Bradford has completed 37/62 passes for 367 yards with three touchdowns and one interception against the Patriots and Bills. In a matchup against a good Cardinals defense, this won’t get much easier. The only plus side here is that we should see plenty of garbage time and Bradford airing the ball out from start to finish. All things considered, I’ll be staying away from the Eagles in this one.
3) Carolina Panthers at New York Giants
Over/Under: 48.5 Points
Line: Carolina -6
I’m a bit surprised this game isn’t projected a bit higher in term of total points. With Carolina almost a touchdown favorite in this one, we should see plenty of chances for everyone’s favorite wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham Jr. is coming off another ridiculous week of production, scoring 38.6 points against the Miami Dolphins. Beckham has rarely been held in check this season, with the exception of three games. Two of them came against Dallas and one against Buffalo. In those three games, Beckham was held to under 10 points, which is a rare occasion to say the least. Over the last three weeks, the Panthers are in the middle of the pack against wide receivers, allowing a 60% completion rate on 83 targets with four touchdowns. They’re a good defense for sure, but one that can be beaten with the right talent.
As for the Panthers, I mean, what more is there to say other than they are on absolute fire. Cam Newton is coming off another nice performance against the Falcons where he completed 15/21 passes for 265 yards with three touchdowns. Newton was extremely quiet on the rushing front, gaining only four yards on three attempts. For what it’s worth, the Giants have only allowed 123 rushing yards by a quarterback this season, but hasn’t really faced a quarterback that rushes on a normal basis with the exception of Colin Kaepernick (remember that guy?), who rushed for 23 yards on three attempts. I wouldn’t take too much stock into how little of yards the Giants have allowed. With this matchup against the Giants on tap, who are the worst teams against the pass, another stellar week should be expected for Newton.
Worst DvP Matchups – QB
1) Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – This game is going to be a real good one, in my opinion. We have the highly powerful offense of the Steelers going up against one of the best defenses in the league. As they have all season, the Broncos have a stranglehold against opposing quarterbacks. They’ve allowed 13 passing touchdowns this season, which is the second least amount in the league while also grabbing 11 interceptions. The Broncos have allowed a 58% completion rate on 448 targets.
2) Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants – Coming off a rare shutout, you know the Carolina defense is going to shoot up the ranks here against almost every offensive position. Against the quarterback position, the Panthers have allowed 16 passing touchdowns while grabbing a league leading 21 interceptions. They’re allowing a 58% completion rate on 527 targets.
3) Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers – Going against a weak 49ers team, you have to like this spot for the Cincinnati defense. On the season, they’ve allowed 15 passing touchdowns while grabbing 16 interceptions. The Bengals are allowing a 65% completion rate on 501 targets.
Best DvP Matchups – QB
1) New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions – Coming off a disappointing performance from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Saint remain the worst defense against the quarterback position. The Saints have allowed a league leading 36 passing touchdowns this season, which leads the second-place Philadelphia Eagles by seven. Throw in the fact that they’re tied with two other teams with only six interceptions and you really have a defense that’s struggling. The Saints have allowed a 66% completion rate on 448 targets.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Atlanta Falcons – After being left off the scoreboard last week, Matt Ryan and company are most certainly looking forward to this matchup in week 15. The Jaguars have allowed 24 passing touchdowns while only intercepting seven. The Jaguars are allowing a 64% completion rate on 490 targets. Even though Ryan isn’t exactly a mobile quarterback, it should also be noted that the Jaguars allow the second most rushing yards to a quarterback with 286.
3) Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals– The Eagles are consistently struggling to contain opposing quarterbacks while Carson Palmer consistently feasts on these types of matchups. The Eagles have allowed the second-most passing touchdowns this season with 29 while grabbing a respectable 15 interceptions. They’re allowing a 62% completion rate on 510 targets. Huge spot here for Palmer.
Worst DvP Matchups – RB
1) Seattle Seahawks vs. Cleveland Browns – The Seahawks are not a team you want to try your running game against. Ranked as the top at defending against the run, the Seahawks have only allowed four rushing touchdowns this season while holding opposing running backs to an average of 3.4 YPC.
2) New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys – 15 weeks into the season and the Jets have remarkably only allowed one rushing touchdown this season. The Jets are also holding opposing running backs to an average of 3.4 YPC. If Darren McFadden has any success this week, it could be in the passing game as the Jets are allowing a 70% completion rate on 92 targets with four touchdowns scored.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos – The strength of the Steelers defense certainly comes against the run. On the season, the Steelers have allowed three rushing touchdowns, which is tied for the second least amount in the league with the Eagles. The Steelers are holding opposing running backs to an average of 3.8 YPC.
Best DvP Matchups – RB
1) San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals – With a tough matchup last week and their quarterback position very much in question, this should be a great spot for Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard. The 49ers rank as the worst defense against the run, as they’ve allowed 14 rushing touchdowns, which is the second-most in the league. The 1557 yards rushed are the second-most in the league and opposing running backs are averaging 4.4 YPC.
2) Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – An injury to T.J. Yeldon on the Jaguars has forced Denard Robinson into the starting role and he now has a great matchup against the Falcons this week. This Falcons team has allowed a league leading 15 rushing touchdowns which are tied with the Detroit Lions. The Falcons are allowing 3.9 YPC on average to opposing running backs.
3) New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions – The Lions don’t really have much of a run game, but regardless, they face an extremely leaky Saints defense this week. On the season, the Saints have allowed eight rushing touchdowns this season and an average of 5.1 YPC, which is just insane. They also struggle in the passing aspect to running backs, which is a nice boost for Theo Riddick, they opposing running backs are catching 72% of their 102 targets with five touchdowns.
Worst DvP Matchups – WR
1) Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – If you’re shutting down opposing quarterbacks, you have a good chance of doing that to their wide receivers as well, take the Broncos as a perfect example. On the season, the Broncos have only allowed two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers while keeping them to a 56% completion rate on a league-low 205 targets.
2) Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles is coming off a huge game against the Indianapolis Colts where they put up 51 points. He should be a popular pick this week, but the Falcons have been giving opposing wide receivers lots of issues this season. The Falcons have allowed six touchdowns to wide receivers this season while holding them to a 58% completion rate on 219 targets. The 1685 receiving yards allowed is the second-lowest in the league besides the Broncos with 1316.
3) St. Louis Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – After an extremely disappointing performance against the Saints, it’s a bit tough to feel good about the Bucs as they go into a tough defensive matchup with the Rams. On the season, the Rams have allowed nine passing touchdowns on the season to opposing wide receivers. The 65% completion rate on 254 targets is a bit high, but the 1718 receiving yards is one of the lowest in the league.
Best DvP Matchups – WR
1) Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs – The Ravens are most certainly the team you want to face when you are an opposing wide receiver. On the year, the Ravens have allowed 24 touchdowns to wide receivers, which leads the second-place Eagles by three. The Ravens are seeing 60% of the 291 targets go for completions on the season. Great spot for Jeremy Maclin this week at $5500.
2) Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals – Again, another spot for Carson Palmer and company to succeed this week. The Eagles have been brutal against wide receivers and the Cardinals have plenty of those. The Eagles have allowed 21 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season with a 60% completion rate. The 2414 receiving yards is ranked as the sixth most on the season.
3) Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens – I would love this spot so much more for the Ravens if, you know, they actually had people on this team to throw to. The Chiefs have allowed 17 touchdowns to wide receivers this season with a 58% completion rate on 316 targets. The 2503 receiving yards are the second most in the league trailing only the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Worst DvP Matchups – TE
1) Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals – The one position the Eagles seem to have a lot of success against is the tight end position. On the year, the Eagles have allowed only three touchdowns to opposing tight ends while holding them to a 66% completion rate on 84 targets
2) Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens – The Chiefs have been great against opposing tight ends almost the entire season. They’ve allowed three touchdowns to this position with only a 52% completion rate on 98 targets.
3) Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs– So, maybe we aren’t going to roster tight ends in this game? The Ravens have contained opposing tight ends as of late, holding them to just two touchdowns on the year with a 60% completion rate on 86 targets.
Best DvP Matchups – TE
1) New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions – No surprise here, the Saints struggle against any offensive position. On the season, the Saints have allowed 10 touchdowns to this position with an absurd 75% completion rate on 108 targets and a league-leading 1063 receiving yards.
2) Oakland Raiders vs. Green Bay Packers – It’s really too bad that the Raiders have such a bad reputation against the tight end position. It was brutal to begin the season, but they’ve really tightened it up as of late. Regardless, they’ve allowed 11 touchdowns to this position with a 63% completion rate on 112 targets.
3) New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers – As long as Greg Olsen is healthy, this should be a great spot for him against the Giants. On the season, the Giants have allowed seven touchdowns to this position with a 70% completion rate on 115 targets.
Last Week’s Target Leaders
Last Three Week’s Target Leaders
Lineup Quick Hits
One Quarterback You Should Build Lineups Around…
Alex Smith ($5,100) – Not what you expected, is it? Starting Carson Palmer? Don’t blame you. How about Cam Newton? Totally get it. But let me pump the tires on Alex Smith a bit here. First and foremost, he has an extremely favorable matchup against the Baltimore Ravens this week. This is the same Ravens defense that allowed five touchdowns to Russell Wilson last week. I know no matter what I say this won’t come out correctly, but I think when comparing Wilson and Smith, they do have their similarities. Both quarterbacks have the ability to rush when needed and throw in the mid 200’s per game. On the season, Smith is throwing an average of 233 yards per game and rushing for an average of 28 yards. For comparison, Wilson is at 253 passing yards per game and 35 rushing yards. With Smith, you’re getting a quarterback at almost the stone minimum price and an owned percent that will certainly be low. Projecting Smith to score 18-20 points feels extremely doable and I think something that would be welcomed at his price.
And the Wide Receiver You Should Pair Him With…
Jeremy Maclin ($5,500) Maclin has been the primary beneficiary in targets with Smith lately. Over his past four games, Maclin has seen 36 targets catching 27 of those for 352 yards with three touchdowns. His performance last week was on the downside, but with heavy rains in that game against San Diego, that was expected. However, it will certainly help us this week as people will be turning to other options. At just $5,500, the combo of Maclin and Smith is only going to run you for 10,600, leaving you an average of $5,628 per player to fill out the rest of your roster. I love this spot for both guys and I think will be one of the sneakier plays in week 15.
The Highest Scoring Running Back This Week Will Be…
Adrian Peterson ($7,100) – Going with a little bit of a more obvious pick here at the running back position. Peterson faces a Bears defense that allows 125 rushing yards per game, which ranks 25th in the league. After two straight weeks of tough matchups, I feel as though Peterson might be a bit overlooked as his 21 combined points over the last two weeks certainly weren’t anything stealer. But, that’s what happens when you face the Seahawks and Cardinals back to back. In their previous meeting this season, Peterson rushed for 103 yards on 20 carries for 15.9 DraftKings points. Fire him up for a favorable matchup in week 15.
The Biggest Bust Of This Week Will Be…
DeAngelo Williams ($6,600) – After three straight weeks of scoring over 20 DK points, Williams faces the stone wall defense known as the Denver Broncos. On the season, the Broncos allow an average of 84.3 yards per game, which ranks 3rd in the league. While Williams will certainly get the volume this week, I don’t know how much I’ll be inclined to roster Williams at $6,600 this week. The Broncos are fantastic against the pass, so the Steelers will most certainly be running a run heavy offense this week. This pick could honestly go either way, but it’s one that I’ll personally be staying off of.