MATCHUP TO WATCH: 49ERS VS. FALCONS
Week 15 brings us a 13-game slate for the Sunday only games, which I’ll cover in this article. Let’s jump right into all the news and notes, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Highest Scoring Game
San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Projected Point Total – 52 points
The Falcons opened as a huge 13 points favorite with an implied team total of 32 points. Last week, the Falcons were without Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu, and they were still able to post up 41 points against the Rams. Granted, it’s the Rams, but that type of production without their number one and two WR scares me to think what they could do against this 49ers’ defense. Averaging 327 passing yards in six games at home this season, Matt Ryan is likely going to be a very popular pick even with his $7,300 price tag. The 49ers are truly as bad as it gets in terms of defense, allowing an average of around 30 points per game this season.
On the other side of the ball, Colin Kaepernick is in a fantastic bounce back spot at just $5,800. Prior to his back-to-back poor performances, Kaep was averaging 23.3 DK fantasy points per game with 10 touchdowns over six games. In a game where the 49ers will likely be behind, Kaep should be throwing often in this one, giving his wide receiver core plenty of opportunities against a beatable Falcons’ defense. Since taking over in Week 6, Kaepernick has targeted Jeremy Kerley and Quinton Patton the most. Don’t forget to include Carlos Hyde in your research, as he is coming off a stellar 193 yard performance against the Jets.
Lowest Scoring Game
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
Projected Point Total – 40 points
It’s hard to find something you love about a particular game when the two teams are only projected to score a combined 40 points. Both the Jaguars and the Texans have been good against the pass this year. The Jaguars have allowed the 4th fewest passing yards per game in the league (203.2), and Brock Osweiler isn’t an intimidating opponent for this underrated pass defense. The Texans’ defense has been great and is currently holding opposing quarterbacks to 224 passing yards on average per game this season. Taking on Blake Bortles, who hasn’t exceeded 260 passing yards since Week 8, Houston’s defense should not struggle to shut him down.
Worst QB Matchups
1. New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos – Tom Brady will matchup against the toughest defense in the league against opposing quarterbacks. The Broncos have held opposing QBs to just 10 passing touchdowns and have only allowed an average of 199 passing yards per game.
2. Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants – Matthew Stafford will take on a Giants’ D that is allowing a decent amount of passing yards per game (269). However, the Giants have held opposing quarterbacks to just 13 passing touchdowns on the season.
3. Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings – We all know how well the Vikings have defended against the pass, but they certainly will be tested against Andrew Luck this week. The Vikings have only allowed 15 passing touchdowns and an average of 222 passing yards against.
Best QB Matchups
1. San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons – Averaging 17.3 DK FPPG since Week 6, Kaep faces a defense that has allowed 26 passing touchdowns and an average of 289 passing yards per game to opposing QBs.
2. Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns – Tyrod Taylor is averaging less that 200 passing yards per game this year. This makes for an interesting matchup, as the Browns have allowed a league-leading 30 passing touchdowns and have given up an average of 261 yards per game to opposing QBs.
3. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans – Averaging 15.7 DK points over his last four starts, Alex Smith will take on a Titans’ defense thats given up 22 passing touchdowns and has allowed an average of 290 passing yards per game.
Worst RB Matchups
1. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens continue to be a force against the run as they look towards their matchup with the Eagles. Baltimore is holding opposing running backs to an average of 3.4 YPC and have only given up 4 touchdowns on the ground.
2. New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals have allowed opposed RBs to score 10 touchdowns on the season, which is a high number. However, opposing backs are gaining a mere 3.2 YPC on the season against them.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys – This Dallas defense has allowed only five rushing touchdowns and an average YPC of 4.1 to opposing RBs. Doug Martin will have his work cut out for him this week.
Best RB Matchups
1. Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers – This 49ers’ run defense was exploited last week by Bilal Powell when he ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns. San Fran has now allowed a league-leading 19 rushing touchdowns to go along with allowing an average of 5.1 YPC.
2. Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns – Even with the news that LeSean McCoy won’t be getting goal-line carries, I think he’s still a strong play here against the Browns. The Browns’ defense has allowed opposing RBs to score 14 rushing touchdowns and average 4.5 YPC.
3. San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons – Carlos Hyde is in another fantastic spot this week after rushing for an insane 193 yards last week against the Jets. The Falcons’ defense has given up 11 rushing touchdowns and 4.1 YPC.
Worst WR Matchups
1. New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos – Even with how well Brady has been playing, this certainly isn’t a favorable matchup for his wide receivers. The Broncos’ defense has allowed opposing WRs to score only six touchdowns and average 101 receiving yards per game.
2. Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings – We’ve seen the Vikings’ defense in this section almost the entire season, and for good reason. With 10 receiving touchdowns allowed, they’ve held opposing wide outs to an average of just 125 receiving yards per game.
3. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers have been fantastic against opposing wide receivers this season, holding them to 8 touchdowns and an average of 154 receiving yards per game.
Best WR Matchups
1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans – This Titans’ defense has been getting shredded by opposing wide receivers. On the season, they’ve allowed 16 touchdowns and an average of 193 yards per game to opposing WRs.
2. Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers – Well, no surprise here, as the 49ers defensive struggles have been well documented. The Falcons will have the luxury of facing a defense thats allowed WRs to score 20 touchdowns and average 171 yards per game this season.
3. Baltimore Ravens vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Joe Flacco has been putting in some work as of late, and this matchup bodes well for his wide receivers. Philly has given up 14 touchdowns to WRs and an average of 191 receiving yards per game.
WATCH: VALUE PLAY – CHARLES CLAY
Worst TE Matchups
1. New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals FINALLY allowed a touchdown to a tight end last week, ending their streak of being the only team that had not allowed an opposing TE to score. Arizona is allowing a minuscule average of 24 receiving yards per game to opposing TEs.
2. Baltimore Ravens vs. Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles have allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight ends, and are holding the position to an average of just 24 receiving yards per game.
3. Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs – The Titans utilize their tight end position often, accounting for 26% of their receptions, which is good for 7th in the league. They will match up against a Chiefs’ defense that’s only given up only one touchdown and an average of 38 yards per game to opposing TEs.
Best TE Matchups
1. Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns – If Buffalo had a tight end on their team I could trust, I’d be more excited for this matchup. Nonetheless, they face a Browns’ defense thats has allowed TEs to score a league-leading 11 touchdowns and average 63 receiving yards per game.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals have allowed opposing TEs to score seven touchdowns and average 71 receiving yards per game.
Last Week’s Leaders
|Name||Team||Last Week’s OPP||Targets|
Last Three Week Leaders
|Name||Team||Last 3 Weeks||Avg. Targets|
Lineup Quick Hits
QB To Build Lineups Around…
Derek Carr ($6,300) – Carr’s poor performance last week doesn’t scare me off of him in a matchup with the Chargers this week. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging 274 passing yards against the Chargers with 18 touchdowns. With Carr boasting only a $6,300 salary this week, I think he’s priced perfectly in this matchup to exceed his value and be worth a roster spot.
WR To Pair Him With…
Michael Crabtree ($5,900) – My first choice is to go with Michael Crabtree, assuming that his finger injury doesn’t keep him out of this week’s game. Offering a $1,200 discount from Amari Cooper, Crabtree has some really nice road splits that makes him an attractive option. In six road games, Crabtree is averaging 20.7 DK fantasy points, scoring 4 of his 7 touchdowns while averaging 11 targets per game. He doesn’t have the most friendly matchup on the slate, but his price point can’t be beat with the amount of targets he’s receiving as of late.
The Top RB Will Be…
LeSean McCoy ($8,900) – “But he isn’t getting the goal-line carries anymore!”. That’s the number one gripe with McCoy as of late and maybe that will keep the masses away. The fact of the matter is, McCoy doesn’t necessarily NEED those goal line carries to be effective. In games where he hasn’t scored a touchdown (omitting the game against the Dolphins where he was clearly injured and only carried the ball eight times), McCoy has averaged 20.3 fantasy points. In another week where everyone will likely be gravitating towards Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson, McCoy is in a fantastic spot against a VERY beatable Browns defense.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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.