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Fantasy Football: Rostership report and pivot plays from the highest-owned DFS targets in Week 15

Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (25) runs the ball in the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 fantasy football season rolls on with Week 15. Trends are becoming clear, but so is confidence in the chalk plays each week in DFS. Using PFF metrics, we can exploit the projected rostership numbers to identify value for DFS lineups.

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This report helps identify pivot players to target if you are looking to avoid highly rostered players in GPP tournaments. Optimizing cost and rostership percentage is what creates strong yet unique lineups crucial to winning large-field tournaments.

DraftKings Top 20 Players in Projected Rostership

Player Team OPP POS Salary Rostership%
Cooper Kupp LAR SEA WR 9000 28.6
DeVante Parker MIA NYJ WR 4300 25.9
Deebo Samuel SF ATL WR 8200 22.3
Stefon Diggs BUF CAR WR 7700 19.3
Davante Adams GB BAL WR 8900 17.9
Elijah Mitchell SF ATL RB 6200 15.2
Dak Prescott DAL NYG QB 6500 14.9
Ezekiel Elliott DAL NYG RB 7300 13.7
DeAndre Hopkins ARI DET WR 6900 13.5
Kyler Murray ARI DET QB 7900 13
James Conner ARI DET RB 6400 12.4
James Robinson JAC HOU RB 5400 11.6
Najee Harris PIT TEN RB 7800 11.5
George Kittle SF ATL TE 7500 11.3
CeeDee Lamb DAL NYG WR 7400 11.1
Saquon Barkley NYG DAL RB 6500 10.6
Jaylen Waddle MIA NYJ WR 6600 9.9
Michael Carter NYJ MIA RB 4700 9.6
Buffalo Bills BUF CAR D 3100 9.6
Matthew Stafford LAR SEA QB 7000 9.5

FanDuel Top 20 Players in Projected Rostership

Player Team OPP POS Salary Rostership%
Cooper Kupp LAR SEA WR 9000 29.8
Deebo Samuel SF ATL WR 8200 24.7
DeVante Parker MIA NYJ WR 5800 20.6
Stefon Diggs BUF CAR WR 7800 20
Davante Adams GB BAL WR 8500 19.9
Ezekiel Elliott DAL NYG RB 6700 18.8
Elijah Mitchell SF ATL RB 7800 15.8
Dak Prescott DAL NYG QB 7500 14.5
Kyler Murray ARI DET QB 8800 13.8
DeAndre Hopkins ARI DET WR 7600 13.3
James Conner ARI DET RB 8000 13.2
James Robinson JAC HOU RB 6300 12.6
Najee Harris PIT TEN RB 8800 12.6
George Kittle SF ATL TE 7800 12.2
CeeDee Lamb DAL NYG WR 7400 12
Saquon Barkley NYG DAL RB 7300 11.6
Darrell Henderson Jr. LAR SEA RB 6800 10.1
Josh Allen BUF CAR QB 8700 10
Matthew Stafford LAR SEA QB 7700 9.8
Michael Carter NYJ MIA RB 5900 9.7

Pivot Plays for Week 15

QB: AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS
Platform Salary Rostership
DraftKings $7,500 3.6%
FanDuel $7,600 4.1%

There is warranted concern for Rodger this week after the talk of potential surgery on his injured toe. But if Rodgers is active and starting, he’s still easily worth a top-three salary. He was dealing with this injury last week and still threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns.

Lamar Jackson is also questionable for this game, but it sounds like he'll suit up. Even if he doesn’t, Tyler Huntley is more likely to throw the ball than run it relative to Jackson. Despite the Ravens’ low-scoring games recently, their defense has allowed two passing touchdowns in three of their last five contests. It's safe to fire Rodgers up here. 

QB: RUSSELL WILSON, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Platform Salary Rostership
DraftKings $6,400 2.7%
FanDuel $7,200 2.7%

Wilson shook off his rust and is back to slinging — he's thrown for at least 231 yards and two touchdowns in three straight games. His 74.0 passing grade is eighth-best among quarterbacks during this period. Mr. Unlimited is back… sort of. We still haven’t seen the type of upside he showed in Week 1, partially because D.K. Metcalf seems to have lost his rhythm lately. If they reconnect, watch out.

The Seahawks need everything to go right this week against the Los Angeles Rams. Wilson was knocked out with the hand injury the last time these teams played. This time around, the Rams are favored by 4.5 points — that should create a positive game script for Wilson and the Seahawks' passing attack.

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RB: MELVIN GORDON, DENVER BRONCOS
Platform Salary Rostership
DraftKings $5,900 4.5%
FanDuel $7,000 4.8%

Gordon has been playing really well for the Broncos this year even though so many fans are calling for Javonte Williams to take the lead. The reason to take Gordon this week is arbitrage due to Williams’ slightly higher salary  on DraftKings. Last week, Gordon ripped off 111 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 24 attempts. He has quietly put up the sixth-best rushing grade among backs with at least 100 carries this year. 

Send him into this week’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, even if it looks bad on paper. Surprisingly, the Bengals land at eighth in rate of rushing attempts that go for touchdowns, and their nine rushing touchdowns allowed is tied for 13th in the league. The Broncos passing attack hasn’t been getting things done lately, so expect heavy usage of both Denver backs.

RB: DAVID JOHNSON, HOUSTON TEXANS
Platform Salary Rostership
DraftKings $4,900 3.5%
FanDuel $5,500 3.9%

Johnson provides some fantasy intrigue this week as a cheaper pivot away from Michael Carter. It's a slightly tough sell considering the state of the Houston Texans rushing game, but let’s peel things back a bit. First, it was already announced that Rex Burkhead is going to miss this game just as Johnson returns from the covid/IR list. Before hitting IR Johnson had handled at least 13 opportunities in two straight games. 

If Johnson sees 12-13 rushing attempts and 4-5 targets, that is plenty of opportunity to exploit a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has allowed a whopping 111 rush yards per game and five rushing touchdowns over the last five weeks. Opposing running backs also averaged seven targets per game. Johnson is in a solid spot for a budget back.

WR: NICO COLLINS, HOUSTON TEXANS
Platform Salary Rostership
DraftKings $3,500 2.9%
FanDuel $5,300 2.0%

Lineup builders looking for a pivot away from DeVante Parker might want to look Collins' way. The rookie caught five of nine targets last week for 69 yards, showing a connection with fellow rookie quarterback Davis Mills. It’s clear that Mills is more likely to air the ball out than Tyrod Taylor. That's a positive development, on top of the fact that Collins' snap count has slowly increased throughout the season — he hasn’t played fewer than 62% of the teams’ offensive snaps since Week 11.

The Texans pass defense has allowed more than 150 yards to wide receivers in eight of their 13 matchups this season. Collins will likely see coverage from Tyson Campbell, who gives up a team-leading 0.3 fantasy points per route and 1.53 yards per route. Mills could be looking Collins’ way often in this contest.

TE: MIKE GESICKI, MIAMI DOLPHINS
Platform Salary Rostership
DraftKings $5,000 6.4%
FanDuel $6,200 5.7%

The tight end position is a tough nut to crack from a rostership perspective. Gesicki sticks out this week as a player who probably should be one of the top three plays, especially at his reduced price tag. The Dolphins are coming off their bye week and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been running pure lately. Prior to the bye, Gesicki racked up 11 targets against the Giants, catching seven for 46 yards.

PFF’s TE Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between the Matchup Advantage column or advanced stats like targets, catch rate and yards per route run.

The matchup gets easier this week as the Dolphins take on the hapless New York Jets at home. On the year, the Jets have given up the seventh-most points to opposing tight ends and an average of 5.8 receptions and 73.3 yards per game over their last four games. The Dolphins are looking to make a last-chance playoff push, and that starts with cruising over the Jets in Week 15. Gesicki should be in line for a ton of targets, especially if Jaylen Waddle misses the game after a trip to the covid/IR list.

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