NFL Week 15 DFS Big Three. Stacks, key players, and values.

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Welcome to the NFL Big Three! This article is going to look at the NFL daily fantasy sports main slate and go over three different areas: Stacks, important players, and value pieces. There will be three additions to each area as we look to give you the best preparation for the week ahead. Hopefully, you find this info valuable no matter your skill level and we can find consistent success through the season!

Models and disclaimer

The majority of the information that I’m going to be using in these articles is based on freely available information that you can find yourself, but there will also be information and data that is pulled from the models at my daily fantasy sports site which look to use predictive algorithms to find valuable info in important stats.

Of those models, I’ll be looking at things like a range of outcomes dataset, expected touchdown rates, as well as aggregated yardage calculations which pull together a lot of predictive info to create more manageable statistics about every player in the league. Using a model that creates a range of outcomes rather than a single median projection is much more applicable to sports and is something that I encourage any stats or analytics nerd to pursue, and it’ll be the basis of a lot of the decisions I make here.

Stats from Paydirt

All in all, The data here tries to look forward and get an idea of the best spots to attack.

Three key stacks

Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins

Cardinals roster construction

We saw the Cardinals offense start humming a bit last week after a couple down performances due to Kyler’s shoulder injury. After practicing in full all week, he ran 15 times (more than the previous two games combined) and sparked the offense in a needed way. This week they are 6.5 point favorites over the Eagles and implied to score 28 points, the fifth highest on the slate, and the skinny-stack of Murray and Hopkins costs just $14,900 on Draftkings. We have seen this Eagles secondary getting absolutely torched by elite receivers in the recent weeks, and Hopkins should be able to feast as well. With a combined projection of 46.01 and a 66.85% chance that both these players score more than 20 fantasy points, you are in a situation with a great median projection and high ceiling at modest ownership levels. The hardest part is knowing if you should bring back a Philadelphia player or not, but with Hurts looking like a breath of fresh air it may be valuable to have a game stack involving Goedert or Reagor as those two had the best synergy with the new QB. However you approach it, this is a solid spot for the Cardinals and there’s going to be plenty of upside to be had.

Tennessee Titans: Ryan Tannehill, AJ Brown, Corey Davis

Titans roster construction

Derrick Henry is going to be very popular this week, so it’s important to look at the Titans as a passing stack to leverage the rest of the field in GPPs, because if the Titans end up falling behind early it won’t be the running game that brings them back. Even if they don’t fall behind, the Titans passing game has been fantastic this year and continues to shine in the redzone where they pass more than they run. This stack will cost you $20,100 on draftkings, which is only twice as much as Henry alone, and gets you access to nearly all the upside of the team. The projection of 51.17 is solid, but what we really like to see is the combined ownership of just 21% which is less than Henry alone! It helps that you can bring it back with TJ Hockenson from the Lions and not have to worry about the tight end position, and once you make that combination you can eat all the ownership in the world at the open spots since you are leveraging such a massive portion of the field with this stack alone. If you are going to have Derrick Henry exposures, it’s important that you hedge yourself with a Titans stack.

Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews

Ravens roster construction

We haven’t had the opportunity to play the Ravens on any main slates over the last couple of weeks as they have been relegated to primetime games thanks to COVID issues, but we get a chance to take advantage of them at likely very low ownership this week and they look to have figured out the problems that plagued them in the middle of the season. They face the Jaguars and are massive 13 point favorites with a team total of 30.25, a total that they have surpassed in their last two games. Jackson is back to running like a madman and projects for nearly 27 fantasy points, the most on the slate for a QB by a longshot, and you can pair him with one of his top options since they are all healthy at this point. Mark Andrews is the easiest pairing for me since he takes up the premium tight end position and gets plenty of redzone work when they decide to throw instead of run, but going with Marquise Brown or Willie Snead is a great way to get upside from the stack without taking on a bunch of ownership. Bringing the stack back with one of DJ Chark or Collin Johnson takes advantage of a likely catch up gamescript for the Jags and allows you to fill in the blanks with popular upside plays at other positions. This is an awesome spot to take advantage of a rejuvenated Ravens squad ready to finish the year strong.

DraftKings Locks

Three key players

Derrick Henry: Fade

Henry player opportunity

It must be the last couple weeks of the regular season because we have to talk about Derrick Henry once again, and will likely focus on him through the end of the year. There’s not much that I can say about Henry this week that makes him out to be a bad play: The Titans have the highest team total at 31.25 and are 11 point favorites over a Detroit team that has given up a lot of explosive running plays to opponents and Henry is averaging 25+ opportunities per game over the last five weeks. This is about the best spot that you can find for a running back, and he’s projected exceptionally well at 28.51 fantasy points. He has a 13.66% chance at being the top overall scoring player on the slate, which is the highest of any player on the main slate. The biggest issue with Henry in this spot is that the Titans have preferred to pass in the redzone over the second half of the season and are currently passing 69% of the time when it counts, so Henry isn’t getting all the redzone work in the world. He’s also not immune to gamescript issues, as he has shown to be a nonfactor in games that the Titans don’t have a comfortable lead. Because of the ownership and downside, I don’t think it’s a good idea to pay the absolute premium when there are other RBs that have similar medians and better routes to success. Fade.

Leonard Fournette: Play

Fournette player opportunity

Ronald Jones is going to be out for this game thanks to a finger injury, so it is likely to be all the Fournette that we can handle at a very low price of just $4,500 on Draftkings. He’s been up and down this year, but we have seen the upside that a running back can have in this offense all thanks to the bevy of redzone opportunities allowed. Fournette has been used a lot in high leverage spots this year thanks to Jones fumbling issues and he’s been able to cash in on them for the most part with four of his weeks being 10+ fantasy points and that was splitting work. This week we can reasonably expect him to have 17-22 opportunities as he takes on the bulk of the rushing work and maintains a role in the passing game, and with the Bucs being six point favorites and implied to score 27.75 points there is a lot of upside in those touches. The biggest thing here is the price, as Fournette allows you to afford the abhorrently expensive Derrick Henry with relative ease.There is going to be value in taking the Bucs passing game this week, but if you don’t take that route, you eat the chalk on Fournette and get different elsewhere. Play. 

Jonathan Taylor: Play

Taylor player opportuinty

The big thing with Jonathan Taylor this year has been simply this: Is he going to get the opportunity in the backfield? If the answer is no, then he’s been perpetually overpriced, and for the majority of the year, that’s been where we stood. Lately, however, they have been running him quite a bit with 20+ carries in two of the last three games along with a couple targets to boot. It resulted in some awesome fantasy performances, but we knew it would, because Taylor has been a 1.00+ fantasy point per touch guy all year, and all that was missing was the touches. The Colts are currently 7.5 point favorites over the Texans, which in theory gives a great game script for Taylor to continue to rack up touches and finish the year strong. With a median projection of 19.27 and that soft game script in a great matchup, there’s no reason to fade here. Play.

Three key values

Cole Kmet: Fade

Kmet is very cheap and projects reasonably well at 14.30 fantasy points. He has a 46.38% chance to reach five times his salary in fantasy points and a 15.80% chance to score 20+ points. However, he’s on the Bears who are implied with a team total of just 21.5 and is entirely touchdown dependent on reaching even the median projection from the models. Granted, they have been using him frequently this year in the redzone and he has had six and seven targets in the last two games, so it’s not the craziest thing to think he scores, but it’s hard to eat high ownership on a cheap tight end when there are much more attractive options across the board. He’s very likely the cash game tight end this week, but there are better ways to construct your lineup in GPPs. Fade.

TY Hilton: Play

There was a lot of concern for TY early in the year as his outcomes were terrible overall and he was getting out targeted and outworked by the likes of Michael Pittman and Zach Pascal, but over the last three games we have seen the Hilton of years past come through. He has had a yards per target over 10.00 in each game and fantasy outcomes of 18, 25, and 25 while having consistent redzone work on a Colts team that is surging to close out the season. His median projection for the slate sits at 14.50, but he has a 21.86% chance at hitting 20+ fantasy points and the Colts have one of the highest team totals on the slate at 29.25. There’s always a chance that we see him fall back down to earth, but the matchup and recent data that suggests he has taken over as the top dog in this offense is good enough for you to roster him in GPPs. Play.

Michael Gallup: Play

Ever since week eight Michael Gallup has really pushed forward in terms of opportunity and upside and the pricing just has not caught up with the opportunity he is getting with a decent QB at the helm. In that time frame, he has had an average depth of target of 10 or higher in three of the five games, a target share of over 20%, and has gotten over 30% of the air yards with 41% of them in their last game. He’s getting a lot of redzone work as well, with six redzone targets and five endzone targets, so the scoring upside is right up three with the big play upside. His median projection sits at just eight fantasy points, but that’s more a consequence of the Cowboys being projected for just 21 real life points, and the upside for Gallup lies in the team putting together a competent performance. Regardless, so long as the ownership doesn’t get past the 15% mark in large field tournaments, he’s an awesome play for the price. Play.

Check out our other NFL articles(coming soon)

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