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DraftKings Fantasy Football: Week 15 Value Plays

Jerry Donabedian

Donabedian is an Assistant Football Editor at RotoWire. He writes and edits articles and covers breaking news. A Baltimore native, Donabedian roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.

Here are my favorite DraftKings tournament plays for Week 15, picking from the main slate that only includes games on Sunday afternoon. The focus here is on value more so than projected ownership, but itís still a nice bonus if a player doesnít figure to be a popular choice.


Tom Brady
, NE (at PIT), $7,600 - While the Steelers did an excellent job defending the pass earlier this season, a combination of coverage breakdowns and poor tackling has left them vulnerable to long gains the past six games, with opponents managing nine pass plays of 40-plus yards (and six more in the 30-39 range) during that stretch. The struggles largely coincide with Joe Hadenís absence due to a fractured fibula, and while thereís some chance the cornerback returns this weekend, the unfortunate absence of linebacker Ryan Shazier (spine) looms even larger. With Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola all healthy and available, Brady shouldnít have much trouble picking the Steelers apart in a game that features the highest over/under (54) of the week by a wide margin. It obviously isnít a cheap game to stack if you want the biggest names, but a trio of Brady, Hogan ($5,500) and JuJu Smith-Schuster ($5,400) offers major upside without breaking the bank. Hogan was a total flop last week in his return from a lengthy absence, but he previously scored 17 or more DraftKings points in four straight games Weeks 2-5.

Other options: Russell Wilson, SEA (vs. LAR), $7,300; Aaron Rodgers GB (at CAR), $6,800; Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. NE), $6,700; Cam Newton, CAR (vs. GB), $6,400; Jared Goff, LAR (at SEA), $6,200; Tyrod Taylor, BUF (vs. MIA), $5,400

Running Back

Samaje Perine
, WAS (vs. ARI), $4,800 - With passing-down specialist Byron Marshall (hamstring) placed on injured reserve earlier this week, undrafted rookie LeShun Daniels (signed Nov. 21) and veteran journeyman Kapri Bibbs (signed Tuesday) are the only players behind Perine on the Washington depth chart. The former Sooner was drafted for his power and wasnít expected to do much in the passing game, but circumstances seem to dictate a three-down role this coming Sunday. Perine actually has been surprisingly competent as a receiver, catching 17 of 19 targets for 132 yards and a touchdown, with at least three catches each of the past three weeks. He probably wonít be too efficient on the ground against an Arizona defense thatís held running backs to 3.4 yards per carry, but the likelihood of at least 15 touches is still highly attractive at this price, particularly with the Redskins listed as four-point favorites.

Mike Davis, SEA (vs. LAR), $4,000 - The Seahawks finally discovered a rushing attack the past two weeks as Davis ran for 130 yards on 31 carries (4.2 average) against the Eagles and Jaguars. J.D. McKissic still handled passing downs, but Eddie Lacy (healthy scratch) and Thomas Rawls (one snap) were complete non-factors in last weekís 30-24 loss in Jacksonville. This matchup may initially sound difficult due to the Ramsí 9-4 record as well as the presence of superstar DT Aaron Donald, but only three teams have allowed more DK points to running backs and only two have given up more yards per carry (4.7). As was the case in Denver last season, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips doesnít seem to mind giving up yards on the ground, so long as his unit holds up against the pass. Of course, such an approach makes even more sense than usual when facing a Seattle offense thatís been totally reliant on Russell Wilson for most of the year. Davis stands to benefit this week, serving as the lead rusher for a home favorite (-2.5) in a game thatís tied for the second highest over/under (47.5) on Sundayís slate.That being said, Iíll probably replace Davis with Kenyan Drake in most lineups if Damian Williams (shoulder) ends up missing another game.

Other options: LeíVeon Bell, PIT (vs. NE), $9,300; LeSean McCoy, BUF (vs. MIA), $8,400; Todd Gurley, LAR (at SEA), $8,300; Kenyan Drake, MIA (at BUF), $5,800; Alex Collins, BAL (at CLE), $5,000; Jay Ajayi, PHI (at NYG), $5,000; Latavius Murray, MIN (vs. CIN), $4,900

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams
, GB (at CAR), $6,800 - With Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) making his return, thereís a lot of hype surrounding the potential revival of Jordy Nelson, who never made it above 35 yards in seven Brett Hundley starts. While the chemistry between the 34-year-old Rodgers and his 32-year-old wideout canít be denied, Iím betting that the past eight weeks represented a true changing of the guard, with Adams clearly superior to Nelson at this point in their respective careers. Rodgers is smart enough to recognize that reality, even if heíll still rely on Nelson for those famous back-shoulder throws in the end zone. Of course, Adams also is more than comfortable making contested catches in the painted area, and heís much better than Nelson when it comes to separating from defenders with or without the ball in his hands. Offering both big-play ability and red-zone prowess, Adams figures to finish the year strong and could even push for second-round status in season-long leagues next year.

A.J. Green, CIN (at MIN), $6,500 - Green draws a tough matchup from both an individual and team perspective, but itís not quite so difficult as to outweigh his combination of talent and likely volume at this unprecedented price. He already has four games with more than 25 DK points this season, with only one of those coming against a team (Green Bay) thatís especially generous to wideouts. Two of his big outings came against the Steelers and Bills, who have allowed the sixth and seventh-fewest DK points to opposing wideouts, respectively. Minnesotaís Xavier Rhodes is a very good cornerback, but he isnít quite on the Patrick Peterson level of dominance, which is the only thing that could scare me away from Green at this price in a matchup that likely will force Andy Dalton to air it out.

Stefon Diggs, MIN (vs. CIN), $5,800 - Diggs has been a pretty consistent disappointment since the first four games of the season, dropping his price from a high point of $7,500 in Week 5 all the way down to $5,800 for Weeks 14 and 15. He at least got back on track in terms of volume during last week's 31-24 loss to the Panthers when he caught six of 10 targets for 64 yards, though he did have a costly drop that was intercepted after it fell from his hands. Adam Thielen ($7,600) is the safe bet to thrive against a banged-up Cincinnati defense in the absence of TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle), but Diggs offers a similar ceiling at a much lower price, with the added benefit of lower ownership.

Other options: Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. NE), $9,100; Brandin Cooks, NE (at PIT), $7,100; Robert Woods, LAR (at SEA), $5,700; Jamison Crowder, WAS (vs. ARI), $5,600; Chris Hogan, NE (at PIT), $5,500; JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (vs. NE), $5,400; Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs. PHI), $5,200; Randall Cobb, GB (at CAR), $4,900; Nelson Agholor, PHI (at NYG), Deonte Thompson, BUF (vs. MIA), $3,100

Tight End

Charles Clay
, BUF (vs. MIA), $3,000 - Iím not particularly fond of the options at tight end unless Iím rolling with a Brady-Gronkowski or Wilson-Graham stack, neither of which is a cheap proposition. As for lineups that need to free up room for expensive players at running back and wide receiver, Clay is a solid discount play in a favorable matchup against his former team. He hasnít done much of anything since injuring his knee in Week 5, but he did reach 15 DK points in three of his first four games this season. Facing a Miami defense thatís allowed tight ends to catch 71 of 99 targets (tied for the second most receptions), Clay has a nice chance to get back on the right side of double digits, particularly if Kelvin Benjamin (knee) is absent or limited.

Other options: Rob Gronkowski, NE (at PIT), $7,300; Delanie Walker, TEN (at SF), $5,200; Jimmy Graham, SEA (vs. LAR), $4,900; Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (at NO), $2,900; Jesse James, PIT (vs. NE), $2,900


Washington Redskins
(vs. ARI), $2,800 - I made a case for the Washington defense in my Week 15 streaming recommendations, banking on Blaine Gabbertís continued struggles while playing behind an already-porous offensive line that just placed starting left tackle Jared Veldheer (ankle) on injured reserve. The Cardinals have given up 50 DK points to team defenses in Gabbertís four starts, with only the Texans in Week 11 falling shy of double digits. The Titans and Rams combined for 15 sacks of Gabbert over the past two weeks, even though he attempted only 58 passes. His 12.2 percent sack rate is the worst in the league among QBs with 50 or more attempts, easily topping Jacoby Brissettís unsightly mark of 10.7 percent. The Redskins defense isnít anything special, but itís at least held its own against a nightmare schedule with 31 sacks (t-16th) and 13 interceptions (t-7th). The Perine-Redskins D/ST stack is my favorite play of the week.

Other options: Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. HOU), $4,500; New Orleans Saints (vs. NYJ), $3,900; San Francisco 49ers (vs. TEN), $2,600; Green Bay Packers (at CAR), $2,300

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jerry Donabedian plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: jd0505, DraftKings: jd0505.