Modifying a theme we do every April with NFL mock drafts, Sean Beazley and I collaborated (alternated picks) on putting together a GPP lineup for Week 15 DraftKings tournaments.
Below we both comment on all of the selections, but here is the final lineup:
QB: Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (at PHI), $7,000
RB: Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (at OAK), $5,200
RB: Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (vs. TEN), $3,200
WR: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (at JAX), $8,500
WR: Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs (at BAL), $5,500
WR: John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (at PHI), $4,900
TE: Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (at SEA), $5,000
Flex: DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. DEN), $6,600
DST: Arizona Cardinals DST (at PHI), $3,900
Here are our individual picks with comments in the order that we drafted our team:
Sean Beazley: Jeremy Maclin, $5,500
Sean: Maclin draws a great matchup vs. the Ravens, who just got torched by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks last week. Maclin has averaged 10 targets over his past three games, hauling in 24 catches during this time. Alex Smith has great chemistry with Maclin and I believe he has a field day and finishes north of 20 DK points.
Kevin: Given the style of the offense, Maclin's ceiling may not be as high as some other receivers in his price range, but he should easily exceed value given his recent level of production and the matchup.
Kevin Hanson: Carson Palmer, $7,000
Kevin: Palmer's ownership level should be relatively low this week considering that his salary is identical to that of Russell Wilson. Given Wilson's recent hot streak, I expect him to be the highest-owned quarterback of the week, which in turn should mean an ownership level of less than 10 percent for Palmer. With the third-most fantasy points scored this season, Palmer has 300-plus passing yards and/or multiple touchdowns in 12 of 13 games this season. Based on DK scoring, the Eagles have allowed the second-most fantasy points this season and they have allowed a total of 20 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in their past six games.
Sean: Palmer is in a great spot this week vs the Eagles, but I really like their RB David Johnson if Andre Ellington remains out this week. Johnson has averaged 23 touches the past week, and that's a ridiculous amount for the NFL's second highest scoring offense. A Palmer/Johnson/WR stack would definitely be contrarian. I'll have some exposure to Palmer, but more for Johnson.
Sean Beazley: Julio Jones, $8,500
Sean: Jones has disappointed owners the past three weeks. He has failed to hit value or reach 100 yards receiving during this span. Jones also has hasn't caught a TD pass since Week 8. Many DFS players tend to fade players that have burned them in the past. I think Julio will be the least owned of the top four WRs this week. Jones gets a good matchup vs. the Jags, who most teams attack via the air. I think Jones has a rebound game this week and will be the highest-scoring player of the week.
Kevin: Jones has not scored a touchdown in five consecutive games, but he still leads the NFL in both receptions and yards. In addition, he has double-digit targets in all but two games this season. With his volume of targets in a favorable matchup, Jones is my top-ranked receiver for Week 15.
Kevin Hanson: John Brown, $4,900
Kevin: Brown has a minimum of 14 DK points in eight of his past nine games so the consistent production has been there. In a matchup against the Eagles, who allow the most fantasy points to opposing receivers, the ceiling is high for the speedy wideout from Pittsburg State. I'll also have my fair share of Michael Floyd, who has exceeded 100 yards in three of his past four games, and Larry Fitzgerald stacked with Palmer as well this week.
Sean: Brown is my favorite Cardinals WR to stack with Palmer this week. The salary is perfect. I love deep threats vs. this defense who struggles with man coverage.
Sean Beazley: Brandon Bolden, $3,200
Sean: There are a lot of cheap RBs this week that you can target. I believe that teammate James White will be the highest-owned Patriots RB this week. One of the main reasons why I like Bolden is game flow. The last time Tennessee traveled to Foxboro, they lost 59-0. While I think this team is a little better, they should still get smoked this week and Vegas agrees since they are 14-point dogs. There is always risk rostering a Patriots RB, so Bolden is only a GPP play for me this week. I generally look for 4-5x from my punt value plays, so I'm looking for 14 points here. 15-50-1, 2-10 seems like a reasonable line to me in a game I expect the Patriots to score five-plus TDs.
Kevin: As Sean noted, it's hard to trust a Patriots running back in anything other than a GPP. But at slightly more than minimum salary, Bolden could easily get 15 touches and potentially some goal-line work in a game where they should score a lot of points. He's worth the roll of the dice here and gives us some salary-cap relief.
Kevin Hanson: Eddie Lacy, $5,200
Kevin: Over the past four weeks, who has the most 100-yard rushing games? Of course, the answer is Lacy (three). In fact, only three players have more than one during that span. Barring a game following a curfew mishap, Lacy has 20-plus touches in those three 100-yard games. Ownership levels shouldn't be too high given his Week 13 dud and early-season struggles, but he has 100-yard, two-TD type of upside at a reasonable price.
Sean: I'm on board with Lacy as a target this week. He's had 20 touches in three of four weeks.
Sean Beazley: Gary Barnidge, $5,000
Sean: Barnidge has been one of the biggest fantasy surprises this year. Everyone was on the TE narrative at the beginning of the year, and that was playing whoever is facing Oakland. Well in Week 3, it was Gary Barnidge. He was an unknown, and if you played him, you were rewarded with 25.5 DK points. Since then, Barnidge has scored 15-plus DK points in seven of 10 games. Barnidge is safe for cash, but safety for a GPP is also a plus, since many people usually try to punt this position with someone in the $2,700-$3,200 range. Seattle's defense has been pretty poor against TEs this season. Cleveland should be down in this one, so I expect Barnidge to see double-digit targets and hit 15-plus DK points again this week.
Kevin: On pace for 80/1,109/10, what a year it has been for Barnidge. I prefer him in cash games, but he's a fine choice in GPPs as well.
Kevin Hanson: DeAngelo Williams, $6,600
Kevin: While the Broncos have limited opposing passers and receivers to the fewest fantasy points, they have been middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs this season. In his seven starts this season, Williams has been highly productive: 891 YFS, 22 receptions and eight touchdowns. Based on DK scoring, he has averaged 24.16 fantasy points per start. In three of those seven starts, he has scored multiple touchdowns; only Chris Ivory (15) has more rush attempts inside the 5-yard line than Williams (12) this season. He's been consistent, but he has a high ceiling as well and I think he'll be fairly low-owned.
Sean: Kevin has a set of big ones with this play, and I like it. Williams should be extremely low owned in tournaments facing the Broncos who are third vs. the run this season. I think Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers can move the ball vs Denver this week, and that makes all Steelers offensive weapons great tournament plays.
Kevin Hanson: Arizona Cardinals DST, $3,900
Kevin: I think the Cardinals win this game comfortably and establish an early lead, forcing the Eagles to throw more often than they would like. Only the Panthers and Chiefs have more interceptions than the Cardinals (16) with three of those returned for touchdowns. In addition, they have multiple sacks in four of their past five games. And not only have the Cardinals D/ST scored positive points in all 13 games, but they have double-digit fantasy points in five games this season.
Sean: There are golden rules in yearly leagues like drafting defense and kicker in the last two rounds, and there are golden rules in daily leagues as well. I rarely ever target road defenses, and in the rare case I do the defense needs to be either elite or very cheap. The Cardinals do not fit this criteria. In a GPP however, I can get on board with the play for one reason. This is a great correlation play with Palmer/Brown. If you're expecting Palmer/Brown to go off, then you're probably expecting the Cardinals to be able to score some points and have a lead in the game. This could lead to some extra sacks, and potentially a pick-six.
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