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Fantasy Football: Best and worst DFS targets in Week 15

Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Sony Michel (25) runs against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 15 of the NFL DFS slate features a potential tournament-winning play in Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who gets an incredibly exciting matchup against the Washington Football Team.

Let’s dive into the best and worst Week 15 DFS plays at every position, based on matchup, opportunity, salary and roster projections.

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Quarterback

Best: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
DK: $6,600 | FD: $7,800

Hurts is no longer a top-five quarterback in fantasy points scored, though most of that is down to the fact that he's played only 12 games compared to 13 for everyone ahead of him. The second-year quarterback is still averaging 0.62 fantasy points per dropback, which is good for third at the position.

The Eagles are coming off a bye week, and their quarterback just put up a season-low 7.0 fantasy points, but that’s good news for those looking to build a contrarian lineup. Hurts arguably boasts the matchup of the week against a Washington defense that ranks 25th in passing yards and 32nd in passing touchdowns allowed.

Washington’s defense has fared quite well against running backs, which gives Philly all the more reason to revert to a pass-heavy attack in Week 15. He has tournament-winning upside at a reduced cost against a defense that’s been beaten for the most fantasy points by the position all season.

Worst: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
DK: $6,400 | FD: $7,200

Wilson injured his finger against the Los Angeles Rams way back in Week 5 and has had stretches of terrible and great play ever since. He generated fewer than 10 fantasy points in each of his first two contests back but topped 16 points in all three games since then. 

While it seems like things are on the up, I wouldn’t be so quick to pay up for Wilson, who once again gets the same Rams team that injured him in the first place.

I’m not suggesting an injury is on the horizon, but the matchup isn’t a great one — this is a defense that’s surrendered the second-fewest passing touchdowns and 10th-lowest explosive pass percentage this year.

Wilson should put together a decent contest, landing somewhere in the range of 10-15 fantasy points by way of cheap and easy yardage. Still, there are much better matchups to target if you're looking to pay up at the position.

Running Back

Best: Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams
DK: $5,800 | FD: $6,800

The Rams appear to have found a new lead back in Michel, and that’s part of the reason why he’s the biggest hit at the position this week. Since taking over the team’s RB1 role two weeks ago, his 29.8 fantasy points rank 14th among running backs over that span, while his 44 rushing attempts rank first.

Former starter Darrell Henderson is currently navigating through the NFL's COVID-19 protocols and could miss this game. However, his return shouldn’t affect Michel much anyway — the Rams have always preferred a bell-cow style of back, and Sony’s 92% rushing share and 98.3% snap share over the past two weeks are the kind of figures managers should be looking to target.

Seattle Seahawks defense vs. running backs | 2021
Category Number (Rank)
Rushing yards 1,277 (22nd)
Rushing touchdowns 10 (22nd)
EPA per play against rushers -0.90 (12th)
Receiving yards 841 (32nd)
Receiving touchdowns 3 (19th)
EPA per play against targeted RBs 0.332 (28th)
Average fantasy points allowed to RBs 30.3 (31st)

The Hawks haven’t been as bad in terms of their efficiency metrics against the run. However, teams have experienced a ton of success in sheer volume, and the Rams are committed to feeding Michel. There’s a very high floor and near-guarantee Michel is headed for an RB1 finish on this slate.

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Worst: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
DK: $6,500 | FD: $7,300

Barkley is an elite talent on a terrible football team nobody can trust right now. Sure, he scored 18.5 points this past week, though most of his production came from an 18-yard touchdown reception in garbage time against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Barkley is so talented that he’s a safe bet for 8.0-plus PPR points every week, but he and the Giants have a herculean challenge with the Dallas Cowboys next on the schedule. Barkley already played one game against them earlier this season but got just two touches for nine yards before getting hurt.

In my opinion, Barkley is one of the bigger fades at the position this week. Not only are the Giants terrible, but starting quarterback Daniel Jones won’t play and the Giants intend on rotating between quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm. Aside from that decision being … let's say questionable … the Cowboys are a top-third defense when it comes to defending running backs as both rushers and receivers.

There is non-existent upside in this matchup, and the Giants might not even reach the red zone in this game, limiting Barkley’s touchdown upside, too.

Wide Receiver

Best: Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
DK: $5,500 | FD: $6,000

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