The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 15 FIRST LOOK December 16, 2015  |  Doug Shain



The Huddle – Opening Statement

Is there anyone still healthy left to play at this point? Ah, the beauty of DFS, injuries just equal opportunity for your team. It should be a really interesting Week 15. Here’s your FIRST LOOK at what should be a wild week.

To take a look at a list of “musts” when building my GPP lineup, click here. Best of luck this week!


The Depth Chart – The Plays of the Week

I’m going to list 3 groups of players for each position (except K). These groups are going to be PUBLIC plays, EXPERT plays, and HuLo plays. For an explanation of what those plays mean, click here. They are not ranked in any order. I’ll give a little analysis after each position section, but I won’t necessarily give a narrative about each player.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Tom Brady – NE Matthew Stafford – DET Eli Manning – NYG
Drew Brees – NO Alex Smith – KC Brock Osweiler – DEN
Cam Newton – CAR Tyrod Taylor – BUF Matt Ryan – ATL
Ben Roethlisberger – PIT Ryan Fitzpatrick – NYJ Jay Cutler – CHI
Aaron Rodgers – GB Philip Rivers – SD
Blake Bortles – JAX AJ McCarron – CIN
Carson Palmer – ARI Kirk Cousins – WSH
Russell Wilson – SEA Derek Carr – OAK


– Is there any safer play out there right now than Cam Newton? For my money he’s the best fantasy QB out there for a cash game. Sadly, this is not a cash game article and I don’t really want to pay a premium for a QB that’s going to be very highly owned. I’d rather save a little bit of money and get the hottest QB in football, Russell Wilson, with a similar upside and ownership. Of course, I despise having highly owned players so I’m most likely going to avoid those two altogether in a GPP.

– So, if not Cam or Wilson, then who? Of the guys at the top end of the ownership spectrum I’d want to go with Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, or Blake Bortles. All three are playing well, aren’t too expensive, and have exploitable matchups.

– I really like Alex Smith this week and when you take into account expected ownership, price, and matchup, he might be my #1 GPP QB this week. I’d like to like Stafford, but he’s so unreliable…but that matchup against the Saints is just so juicy. I’ll probably throw him into a stack with Golden Tate and take my chances that he comes to play.

– If you want to really throw a really wild play out there then you could do a lot worse than AJ McCarron against the 49ers. AJ has got a ton of weapons to throw to and the 49ers can’t stop anyone. My biggest concern here, outside of the uncertainty of McCarron’s talent, is that Cincy is just going to ram the ball down SF’s throats with Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard. Another upside play I like is Brock Osweiler against the very weak Pittsburgh passing defense. Like McCarron, Brock has a lot of talent surrounding him. Unlike McCarron, he doesn’t have much of a running game to threaten his productivity.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Todd Gurley – STL Doug Martin – TB Frank Gore – IND
Adrian Peterson – MIN Denard Robinson – JAX Ameer Abdullah – DET
David Johnson – ARI Brandon Bolden – NE Bilal Powell – NYJ
DeAngelo Williams – PIT Lamar Miller – MIA Jeremy Hill – CIN
Matt Forte – CHI Eddie Lacy – GB Chris Polk – HOU
Devonta Freeman – ATL Fozzy Whittaker – CAR Mike Tolbert – CAR
Tim Hightower – NO
LeSean McCoy – BUF
Isaiah Crowell – CLE


– Even with all the injuries and time shares a stable of “obvious” plays has emerged from the pack. Not all of these plays will be productive this week (hello, Isaiah Crowell!), but you can be pretty sure that the guys from the Public list are going to be in a lot of lineups based on name value, situation, or recent success. Of those guys the ones I feel most comfortable with this week are Gurley, AP, and David Johnson.

– My favorite group of RB this week are the ones that you’re going to hear a lot about on social media and SXM radio. Doug Martin has a generous matchup and has been very consistent. He’s worth a look if you’re playing the Thursday slate. Lamar Miller’s ownership should be down a little with his confusing lack of usage on Monday night in the 2nd half after dominating the 1st half. I’m not shying away at all as the Dolphins face a terrible Chargers D. Even if Miller replicates his stats from Monday, you are hitting 3X value. Eddie Lacy seems safe again, but his inconsistency might scare some people off. If TJ Yeldon doesn’t play this week (and maybe even if he does), you should take a long look at Denard Robinson. Just be ready for his ownership to be a lot higher than you’d expect.  I’m staying away from the NE backfield.

– If you’re punting a 2nd RB position then you’re going to want to look for as high of a floor as you can find and that would come with a pass catching RB like Bilal Powell or Chris Polk. Both get carries mixed in with their catches and they have a nose for the end zone. I really like Powell this week against Dallas. I can totally see Cincy abandoning the passing game this week and just pounding the rock with Jeremy Hill.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Allen Robinson – JAX Eric Decker – NYJ Albert Wilson – KC
Antonio Brown – PIT Allen Hurns – JAX DeVante Parker – MIA
DeAndre Hopkins – HOU TY Hilton – IND Demaryius Thomas – DEN
Calvin Johnson – DET Sammy Watkins – BUF Seth Roberts – OAK
Odell Beckham – NYG Tyler Lockett – SEA Markus Wheaton – PIT
A.J. Green – CIN Randall Cobb – GB Michael Floyd – ARI
Larry Fitzgerald – ARI Doug Baldwin – SEA JJ Nelson – ARI
Julio Jones – ATL Jeremy Maclin – KC Kamar Aiken – BAL
Brandon Marshall – NYJ Jarvis Landry – MIA Brandin Cooks – NO
Ted Ginn Jr – CAR John Brown – ARI
Alshon Jeffery – CHI


– I still say that the best place to spend your fantasy dollar is at the WR position. I’m looking for solid matchups (AJ Green, Larry Fitzgerald) or target machines (Brandon Mashall, Alshon Jeffery). I’m probably going to stay away from Megatron (I like Golden Tate a lot more for his price) and Odell Beckham (I’m not messing with Josh Norman). The most interesting name on the Public list is definitely Ted Ginn Jr. A line of 2-120-2 will make a guy very popular amongst more inexperienced players. Hopefully you realize that Ginn could replicate that line or he could go 1-24-0 and be a total bust. The Giants pose a great matchup, but I just don’t love taking a guy who is this boom or bust (even in a GPP).

– A couple of plays that I am really excited about this week are Doug Baldwin and Jeremy Maclin. Both are playing weak passing D’s and both are playing well right now. Bladwin is on an historic run that could raise his ownership but with Tyler Lockett being an even sexier name you might get away with using Bladwin in this dream matchup.

– My biggest concern with using a Cardinals WR this week (in a great matchup) is that you don’t know which one is going to be the one Palmer locks on to. It’s even more difficult to peg down a play from ARI with the emergence of JJ Nelson. If I was playing a cash game I’d roll out Fitz and be done with it. In a GPP I’m more inclined to go with Floyd.

– I’ve got Demaryius as a HuLo play because I feel like the general public has lost some faith in him with his recent bout of the dropsies. He’s got about the best matchup you can have this week and I’d love to get him at a lower ownership. I’m going to monitor this situation over the week and update the activity I’m hearing with him over the weekend. I’m very interested to see what his Thursday ownership percentage is going to be.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Greg Olsen – CAR Eric Ebron – DET Benjamin Watson – NO
Rob Gronkowski – NE Delanie Walker – TEN Richard Rodgers – GB
Julius Thomas – JAX Gary Barnidge – CLE Ryan Griffin – HOU
Travis Kelce – KC Will Tye – NYG
Zach Ertz – PHI


– Among the most popular TE there is not a single bad play this week. If I’m willing to pay up, then I’d love to go with Olsen or Gronk, but if I want to save some money I see no reason to not play Thomas. Thomas is hot right now with a TD in four straight games.

– The Seattle matchup might scare people off of Barnidge, but the Seahawks aren’t great at defending the TE and who else is Manziel going to throw to? There’s the potential for a total bust here, but the upside is great considering the low ownership potential. Ebron and Ertz are also both under the radar plays with decent matchups who could pay off really well.

– Will Tye has been productive for three weeks straight and, even in a tough matchup at Carolina, he provides enough upside to be a decent punt play.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
New York Jets Cincinnati Bengals Saint Louis Rams
Kansas City Chiefs Green Bay Packers Jacksonville Jaguars
Seattle Seahawks Miami Dolphins San Francisco 49ers
Denver Broncos Washington
Carolina Panthers Houston Texans


– I’ve seen enough of Matt Cassel to know that if I’m playing a full week slate I want the Jets as my defense, no questions asked. If I’m playing a Sunday/Monday slate then I’m going to move to the top priced defense on the board and have a lot of Seattle at home against a very weak Cleveland Browns offense. I’d also be pretty happy with Kansas City against Jimmy Clausen and the Ravens.

– I’m going to stay away from some of the other big name defenses (DEN/CAR) because their matchups are not really ideal against explosive offenses.

– The Dolphins are going to be owned by nobody after their terrible performance on Monday night. The Chargers can’t score on anyone right now. It’s a boom or bust play for sure, but that’s what we do in a GPP.

– Jacksonville is quickly becoming like the Eagles’ defense in that they have an exciting special teams and they can get at the QB. Atlanta is playing so poorly right now that it wouldn’t be crazy at all to save some cap space and go with the Jags at home.

Make sure to check back on Saturday morning for my WEEKEND UPDATE.

Check out the Fake Football Cheat Sheets for my sample lineups. I do the DraftKings section, but the process of selecting the lineups is the same on all the sites.

Follow me on Twitter @bankster17 and good luck with your Hail Mary!

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