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Fantasy Fix Podcast + Week 15 Values

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I jumped on the RotoGrinders Fantasy Fix podcast with Dan Back, and we talked about my new daily fantasy book and some Week 15 values. Give it a listen right here.

At 4for4, I posted optimal values for DraftKings:

QB Kirk Cousins @ATL $5400

Is everyone on the entire site going to be playing Cousins? Maybe, but I’ll be one of them. If you’re playing multiple tournament lineups, you can diversify a bit just to hedge, but the idea that you need to go against the grain just for the sake of being contrarian is silly. You should bypass players you know will be highly owned only when there’s comparable value.

Cousins costs $100 less than Matt Flynn. He’s an unknown, but he’s been efficient in his limited NFL work and he has an enticing matchup. With Pierre Garcon as one of the top wide receiver values, the Cousins-Garcon connection makes for perhaps the top DraftKings stack, and one that will allow for plenty of flexibility elsewhere.

 

RB Le’Veon Bell vs. CIN $6200

Chris Ogabannaya is a popular choice right now, but I don’t think he’s going to see the necessary workload to give you a legitimate return. It’s difficult to find low-priced running backs with sizeable workloads when there aren’t injuries. We had Joique Bell and Marcel Reece last week, so keep an eye out for late-game scratches.

As of now, though, the most favorable price-workload combo player is probably Le’Veon Bell. At $6200, he’s a mid-tier option, not a bottom-dweller, but the other backs in that range either don’t have comparable projected workloads or they have much worse matchups.

Bell’s matchup isn’t ideal, but that’s priced into his salary. He’s been producing as a receiver lately with 12 catches in the Steelers’ past two games.

And for FanDuel:

WR Torrey Smith @DET $6000

I love Smith as a tournament play because of his big-play ability. Averaging 17.5 YPC this year, Smith is now finding the end zone with a touchdown in three of the past five games. He has four games with at least 10 targets and three with at least 12. Is he a risk? Yes. Don’t put him into your head-to-head leagues, but Smith is an awesome tournament play with a great matchup, especially at his FanDuel price tag.

 

TE Jimmy Graham @STL $8200

Sometimes, the best players to use in tournaments are studs with poor matchups. Players like Graham and Charles can go off no matter who they’re playing. But when they have unfavorable matchups, they aren’t as heavily owned as normal.

Graham is facing a Rams defense that 4for4 has rated as the fourth-stingiest against tight ends. Playing indoors, though, the potential for the Brees-Graham connection is other-worldly. Regardless of his cost—which isn’t unreasonable on FanDuel, which traditionally underprices elite players—you aren’t going to come close to matching Graham’s upside, especially with Rob Gronkowski out for the year.

In my Staking Bales Week 15 article, I looked at some high-floor plays:

QB Tony Romo vs. GB

If you’re going elite at quarterback, I don’t think you can get any safer than Matthew Stafford. That’s the direction I’d head—even over Drew Brees—in many head-to-head leagues. There’s value in his incredible consistency.

If you’re spending a little bit less on a quarterback, though, I think Romo is about as safe as anyone in his price range. It’s popular to argue that Romo is a volatile quarterback just waiting to blow up, but theCowboys have really changed their offensive philosophy this year such that Romo isn’t taking many chances. He has 27 touchdowns to only seven picks.

The downside is that he’s not necessarily the same high-upside play he used to be. His efficiency is down because he’s playing too conservatively—bad for the Cowboys, but good for you if you need a high-floor passer.

 

RB Matt Forte @CLE

Running back is a position at which you often need to pay up for a high floor since their production is so closely linked to their workload and low-priced backs rarely see many carries. The exception, as we saw last week with Marcel Reece and Joique Bell, is when there’s an injury to a starter. Those are highly advantageous situations you always need to monitor on game day.

Otherwise, I think you need to look for pass-catching backs in heads-up leagues. Backs who can contribute as receivers aren’t as susceptible to unfavorable game situations, so they’re less volatile on a week-to-week basis.

Forte, who has at least 16 carries in the Bears’ past eight games with 38 catches over that stretch, is one of those players.

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