News & Analysis

Week 15 DFS locks of the week

By Tyler Loechner
Dec 13, 2017

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Nov 13, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess (17) celebrates a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season is winding down, but there’s still nearly a month left to enjoy some regular-season DFS before the postseason kicks in. For those of you still chugging through the DFS grind, welcome to Week 15.

Here’s the list of players you can lock into your Week 15 DFS lineups.

Note: There’s always a case to be made for playing any player in tournaments. This list of “locks” is cash game focused, but I typically like these players across all contest types.

Quarterbacks

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers

Rivers plays Saturday evening, so he’s not a main slate option, but he has a great matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, who have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Rivers has been hot, throwing for 300-plus yards in three straight games with six touchdowns and no interceptions.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

It’s hard not to like Prescott’s matchup against the Raiders, who have given up 20 passing touchdowns this year while intercepting just two balls. After a month-long slump, Prescott righted the ship last week, throwing for 332 yards and three scores. He’s fine.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Newton has fewer than 200 passing yards in five of his past six games, a surprising stat no doubt, but the Packers (his Week 15 opponent) has been hemorrhaging touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks, ceding nine scores in their past three outings. This game has shootout potential with Aaron Rodgers’ looming return.

Running backs

Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

The unrivaled Bell gets a juicy matchup against a Patriots defense that has allowed opposing backfields to top 100 yards on them in five of their past six games. New England has also given up 686 receiving yards to opposing running backs, third-most in the NFL.

LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

Unstoppable at home, McCoy has another Buffalo-based date in Week 15, this time with the Miami Dolphins, who have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing backfields this year.

Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins

Drake has turned into an Alvin Kamara-type player who produces both on the ground and through the air with a handful of splash plays to boot. He’s only $5,800 on DraftKings and he’s $6,500 on FanDuel despite touching the ball 56 times (28 per game) since taking over as a lead back. And his matchup (against the Bills) is literally the best in the NFL for running backs this year.

Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

Howard, a Saturday-slate option, gets a great matchup against the Detroit Lions, who have given up at least one rushing score to running backs in eight straight games this year (and in 11 of 13 games total). Opposing backfields have also topped 100 yards against the Lions in five straight.

Wide receivers

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

Jones played this same team just three weeks ago and posted a 12-253-2 line on them. He (probably) won’t put up those numbers again, but another big game is a virtual certainty.

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

Allen has at least 100 receiving yards in four straight games, and this week he gets the Chiefs, who have allowed the second-most passing yards to opposing receivers this year. His hot streak will extend at least another week.

Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers

Funchess has at least 59 yards and/or a touchdown in five straight games. His odds of making it six in a row are great against the Packers, who have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this year.

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

Thomas has at least five catches and 50-plus yards in eight straight games, and he has started scoring too, with touchdowns in two straight games. He’s a lock for production against the Jets, who have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts this year.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

Green is just way too cheap to ignore, at least on DraftKings, where he’s only $6,500 — $300 cheaper than Josh Gordon and only $300 more than Cooper Kupp. The matchup against the Vikings isn’t amazing, but Green is a lock for five catches, 60 yards, and a better-than-50-percent shot at scoring. And that’s a bad game for him.

Tight ends

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

No Carson Wentz is obviously a downer, but Ertz should still produce against the Giants, who continue to just give away fantasy points to opposing tight ends like it’s their job. The Giants have given up the most yards (870) and touchdowns (11) to the position this year.

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills

Clay is only $3,000 on DraftKings and only $5,300 on FanDuel this week despite the fact it’s a plus draw against the Dolphins (sixth-most fantasy points given up to tight ends) and the fact the Bills have been decimated by injury, with Jordan Matthews now on IR and Kelvin Benjamin injury his knee in Week 14’s snow game.

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Witten’s matchup against the Raiders can’t be ignored. Oakland has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to the position this year, including exactly eight receptions against in four of their past five. The Raiders have given up 50-plus receiving yards to opposing tight ends in all but three games this year.

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