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Week 15 DraftKings Tournament Picks

By Jared Smola 8:53pm EST 12/18/21


This Sunday’s main slate is a difficult and uncertain one. We have numerous teams dealing with intensive COVID protocols, which caused WAS/PHI and LAR/SEA to be moved, leaving only 9 games on the main slate.The slate is also projected to be lower scoring. We have 0 games with an over/under of greater than 50 points and only 2 games over 45 points. The key to being successful in tournaments this week will be finding ceilings in unexpected places.

Let’s ride.


QBs

Aaron Rodgers ($7,500)

4.0% Projected Ownership

The Ravens’ defense has suddenly become one of the most favorable spots in the NFL for fantasy production, especially since losing their top corner Marlon Humphrey. They rank 6th worst in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs and 26th in pass defense DVOA.

Rodgers may see suppressed ownership this week with Tyler Huntley potentially starting. Some may shy away from Rodgers and lean towards the RBs with a positive game script.

Dak Prescott ($6,500)

11.1% Projected Ownership

The Cowboys' offense pops as a smart tournament play for a few reasons this week.

  1. The Cowboys have a 27.75-point implied team total (2nd highest on the main slate)
  2. Both teams rank top 8 in neutral script pace of play (fastest game on the main slate)
  3. Despite the Giants allowing only the 25th most adjusted fantasy points to QBs, elite offenses have produced against them: 23.3 DraftKings points to Tom Brady, 26.2 DK points to Matthew Stafford, and 25.7 DK points to Dak Prescott himself back in Week 5
Ryan Tannehill ($5,900)

1.4% Projected Ownership

In Football Outsiders’ weighted DVOA, which weights recent defensive performances heaviest, the Steelers are a bottom 5 NFL defense. Tannehill and the Titans offense is difficult to read, but Tannehill himself is a solid contrarian play if you need some ownership relief this week.

Tannehill currently has 6 rushing TDs in 2021. Julio Jones had a down game last week, but it was his first back from a multi-week injury.Expect better on Sunday.

Cheaper plays: Tua Tagovailoa ($5,700) & Davis Mills ($5,400)


RBs

After a few plentiful weeks at the RB position, this week presents very few enticing plays. Deciphering which RBs will hit this week will be the key to unlocking this slate.

Joe Mixon ($7,200)

5.0% Projected Ownership

In 2 straight weeks, we’ve seen Joe Mixon taken off the field in favor of Samaje Perine with the Bengals down big.This game against Denver projects to be much closer than the Chargers and 49ers games.The Bengals are currently 3-point underdogs on the road. The “recency bias discount” ensures that Mixon’s ownership will be low despite the elite workload (top 5 in weighted opportunities) we know he’s capable of.

Javonte Williams ($6,100)

15.4% Projected Ownership

Melvin Gordon made his presence felt with 24 carries last week, but Williams still garners the valuable receiving work for the Broncos backfield, including the majority of 2-minute drills and long down and distance plays.

In Week 12:

  • Javonte ran 59% of the routes and commanded 27% targets per route
  • Melvin ran 24% of the routes and commanded 14% targets per route

Melvin was out in week 13.

In week 14:

  • Javonte ran 54% of the routes and commanded 14% targets per route
  • Melvin ran 29% of the routes and commanded 0% targets per route

Against a depleted Detroit team, the Broncos were able to run the ball and control the game.The Bengals should be more competitive, leaving Williams with the more valuable touches.

Devonta Freeman ($5,500)

4.3% Projected Ownership

Freeman has seen surprisingly good usage the past 2 games, running nearly 60% of the Ravens’ routes, commanding 13 targets, and carrying the ball 14 and 13 times respectively.QB Tyler Huntley is likely starting this week, which may lead to increased receiving usage.

Freeman is a perfect option if you’re looking to diversify your lineup because he provides leverage against popular options in his price range like Myles Gaskin and James Robinson, despite similar workloads.

Michael Carter ($4,700)

12.8% Projected Ownership

Robert Saleh has emphatically stated that Carter will return to his full workload following a 3-week absence. Despite Tevin Coleman also making a return from a concussion, Carter projects for 15-20 touches at a price tag that allows you to spend up at the other positions.

High ownership but good plays: James Robinson ($5,400) & Myles Gaskin ($5,600)


WRs

With very few elite RB options, many GPP players will opt to spend up for Davante Adams, Deebo Samuel and Diontae Johnson.

Davante Adams ($8,900)

17.4% Projected Ownership

Without Marlon Humphrey, Adams is worth this price. Ownership will be condensed on Adams with all 3 of the Ravens corners having sub 60 PFF coverage grades. Green Bay currently is second only to Baltimore in time of possession this season.With Tyler Huntley likely starting this game, the Packers should run among the most offensive plays on the slate.

CeeDee Lamb ($7,400)

7.7% Projected Ownership

Everything mentioned above for Dak Prescott benefits Lamb as well. High implied team total, fast-paced game environment, and James Bradberry expected to shadow Amari Cooper. Last week, Mike Williams took Bradberry out of the equation, allowing Josh Palmer and Jaylen Guyton to produce. Lamb has two straight games with 10+ targets and 7 catches and has the best matchup on the field this week.

Brandin Cooks ($5,800)

13.8% Projected Ownership

Cooks now has 5 games this season with double-digit targets.Four of them came with Davis Mills as the starting QB. He faces a Jacksonville defense he tallied 132 yards against in Week 1 and that is currently ranked 31st in pass defense DVOA.

Marvin Jones ($4,600)

6.4% Projected Ownership

The common narrative after Urban Meyer was fired this week is “Feed James Robinson.”So, I expect Robinson to garner 20-30% ownership.Jones presents a great pivot option. It was reported that Jones was involved in a heated exchange with Meyer.Maybe we’ll see his target share return to the heights it was at in the early portion of the season.

High ownership but good salary relief: Devante Parker ($4,300) & Gabriel Davis ($3,700)


TEs

Mark Andrews ($6,400)

5.0% Projected Ownership

Many will gravitate towards Mike Gesicki and Dawson Knox in the mid-range of pricing this week, which draws me towards spending up at TE. Andrews had no issues producing with Tyler Huntley at QB last week when he eclipsed 100 yards, scored and caught 11 of 11 targets. Andrews had 2 receptions for 4 yards when Lamar left the game — the rest of his production came with Huntley.

Kyle Pitts ($5,500)

4.0% Projected Ownership

Pitts has played nearly 70% of his snaps either out wide or in the slot and San Francisco is still without multiple pieces in their secondary. Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase took advantage of this secondary last week.This could be an opportunity for Pitts to make an impact.

Punt plays: Evan Engram ($3,100) & Brevin Jordan ($2,800)


DSTs

Panthers ($2,400)

2.5% Projected Ownership

The stone min defense on the slate gives you leverage away from the Josh Allen teams. Carolina isn’t great against the run, but Buffalo is a passing team and the Panthers rank top 6 in pass defense DVOA. They have playmakers that can take advantage of Josh Allen, who quietly ranks top 6 in interceptable passes this season.

If you have the salary: Packers ($3,300)


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