WATCH: CONTRARIAN STACK – CARDINALS
This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite tournament plays for the upcoming NFL week. I’m going to be focusing on high upside plays and pairings that could pay off in a tournament.
Dak Prescott ($6,200) and Dez Bryant ($6,800) = Combined $13,000 total
As of writing, the Cowboys have an implied team total of 26.5 for their game against the Bucs. While Dallas has run the ball better than any team in the league this year, the Tampa defense has only given up one rushing TD (to an RB) in their last seven games. However, they have given up seven passing TDs to wide receivers during that same span. While some are making a big deal of it, Dak Prescott struggling on the road against two of the best defenses in the league should really not be that shocking. What is encouraging for Dak this week is the fact he will be at home, where he’s averaged exactly four DK points more per start than when on the road. Meanwhile, Dez Bryant will have a three-inch height advantage against Tampa’s 5’10 corner, Alterraun Verner, and should be ready to bounce back from a nightmarish Week 14. This duo has plenty of tournament upside in Week 15.
Bonus: Derek Carr ($6,300) and Michael Crabtree ($5,900)
Derek Carr ($6,300): Carr is coming off a lackluster Week 14, but he is in a nice spot here for a big game with a very affordable price tag. While Carr is still recovering from a dislocated pinky, no setbacks to his recovery have been announced, and this week’s game versus the Chargers will be played in much warmer temperatures. The Raiders have a 26-point implied team total as of writing and they will be facing a Chargers’ defense who have given up 261 passing yards per game, the seventh worst rate in the league. When you consider that the Chargers may also have issues running the ball in this game without Melvin Gordon, this also may mean a faster pace of play overall and more chances for Carr to rack up fantasy points. Either way, this matchup screams bounce back for Carr who will likely remain relatively under-owned in larger tournaments.
Bonus: Philip Rivers ($6,200)
Tevin Coleman ($5,000): Coleman has essentially worked his way back into an even split with Devonta Freeman and actually out touched him in last week’s blowout 10-8. What makes Coleman so intriguing this week, is that he’s also been more productive than Freeman on the year as he’s averaged 14.8 DK Points on just 8.7 carries a game (1.7 pts per), compared to Freeman who’s averaged 16 DK points on 13 carries a game (1.23 pts per). With the touches being nearly equal, Coleman just seems like the far better value at $1,700 less in a dream matchup against the 49ers who are allowing 170 yards rushing per game (last in the league).
Jerick McKinnon ($4,000): McKinnon has only averaged 3.13 yards per carry over the past couple of weeks, but he has converted 11 of 12 targets into catches and averaged 14.7 DK points over this same span. Against a weaker defense, like Indianapolis, I won’t be shocked if those reception totals continue, and it should be noted that the Colts have allowed five receiving TDs to RBs already this year (tied for most in the league).
Bonus: Latavius Murray ($5,800)
Mike Evans ($8,300): Evans is coming off two of his worst games of the year but he should be in decent spot to rebound here. The Cowboys’ pass defense has regressed since their solid start and have now allowed the second most receptions and fourth most receiving yards in the league to WRs. Tampa has been pushing more of a ball control approach of late but will likely have issues running the ball with success against Dallas who has only given up 83 rushing yards per game, the second best rate in the league. Tampa should be throwing a lot here, especially late, and that should mean a massive game for Evans, who will likely be somewhat ignored by DraftKings players, coming off his worst stretch of the year.
Mike Wallace ($4,800): Wallace gets a prime matchup this week against an Eagles’ secondary that has been getting torched. All told, the Eagles have allowed four 100 yard receiving games and six TDs to the WR position over their last five starts and look completely lost as a defensive unit. Wallace should be mainly matched up with Nolan Carroll, who is currently one of PFF’s worst rated corners and a player he is more than capable of beating for a big play or two in this game. The recent improved play of Wallace’s QB, Joe Flacco — who has completed 73% of his passes the past two weeks — should also help and makes him a prime tournament target in Week 15.
Bonus: Marqise Lee ($4,000)
Jermaine Gresham ($2,500): Michael Floyd has been cut from the team and John Brown is on a 20 snap limit (sickle cell). That leaves the Cardinals with Larry Fitzgerald and multiple players who are unfit to play on the outside in an every down receiving role. As this chaos has unfolded, Gresham has quietly evolved into a nice option for Carson Palmer as he’s averaged just under 8 targets and 11.4 DK points over his last three games. At the absolute bare minimum price on DraftKings, Gresham should be used a decent amount against the Saints in a game which has the second highest projected point total on this slate at 50.5. The savings he provides makes Gresham a viable play, but there is some big game upside here as well considering the opponent and injury situation for the Cards.
Bonus: Ladarius Green ($3,700)
Steelers ($2,800): The Steelers have quietly been coming on as a defense of late. On top of averaging 12.5 DK points over their last four games, they’ve also now recorded a stout 18 sacks as a team over that same span. This increased pressure on the QB could result in a massive game this week as the Bengals’ o-line has the fifth worst sack rate in the league at 2.77 per game. Andy Dalton has been solid against bad teams/defenses of late, but he’s struggled all season (and most of his career) against teams that can bring pressure. Pittsburgh should not only be able to pressure the QB this week, but they should be able to create turnovers as well in a game with a current forecast of around 24-degrees F. At under $3k, the Steelers look like an excellent value play with plenty of upside Week 15.
Bonus: Raiders ($2,700)
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.