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NFL Week 15: December 15th – 19th, 2016

We’ll provide some insights and review some DFS value players for week 15.

Vegas lines are as of the time of this writing.

News updates will be made throughout the week as new information comes to light.

Quarterback

Trevor Siemian (DEN) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5200, FanDuel (FD) – 6600. Siemian’s upcoming salary ranks him 23rd/24th on DK/FD, respectively. Siemian put up a line of 35/51, 334, 1:0 at Tennessee last week. Siemian’s fantasy points of 20.36/17.36 ranked him 5th/9th on DK/FD, respectively. Siemian’s price per point efficiency ranked him 3rd/7th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The Vegas line with the Patriots currently has the game total at 44 points, with the Broncos as +3 point home dogs.

New England’s defense ranks 15th in pass yards allowed (247.8), 6th in rush yards allowed (90.2), and 2nd in points allowed (17.7) per game. New England’s defense ranks 23rd (tied) in takeaways with 14 and 15th (tied) in sacks with 28. New England’s defense also ranks 24th against QBs (17.46), 11th against RBs (15.69), 10th against WRs (21.89), and 12th against TEs (6.32) in fantasy points allowed. Joe Flacco went 37/52, 324, 2:1 for a 92.1 passer rating at New England last week.

Denver’s offense ranks 19th in passing yards gained (234.2), 27th in rushing yards gained (93.8), and 16th in points scored (22.8). Denver also ranks 17th (tied) in giveaways and 5th in most sacks allowed (36).

The offense will go through Siemian as Denver cannot run the ball (combined line of 9-18-0 last week) which is also New England’s defensive strength. Siemian has averaged 40.5 pass attempts and over 310 yards over his past four games with an 8:3 TD/INT ratio. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders each had at least 14 targets, 10 receptions, and 100 receiving yards last week, and this trio should again be the offensive formula for Denver. Current projected weather in Denver should not be an issue.

Derek Carr (OAK) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 6300, FanDuel (FD) – 7900. Carr’s upcoming salary ranks him 10th/7th on DK/FD, respectively. Carr put up a line of 17/41, 117, 0:0 at Kansas City last week in his worst game of the season.

The Vegas line with the Chargers currently has the game total at 49.5 points, with the Raiders as -3 point road favorites.

San Diego’s defense ranks 25th in pass yards allowed (261.4), 7th in rush yards allowed (91.9), and 29th in points allowed (26.7) per game. The Chargers’ defense ranks 1st (tied) in takeaways with 25 and 27th in sacks with 23. San Diego’s defense also ranks 14th against QBs (16.28), 25th against RBs (20.21), 9th against WRs (21.88), and 19th against TEs (7.68) in fantasy points allowed. Carr went 25/40, 317, 2:1 for a 93.4 passer rating against San Diego in week 5.

Oakland’s offense ranks 5th in passing yards gained (264.2), 6th in rushing yards gained (116.2), and 2nd (tied with New Orleans) in points scored (27.5). Oakland also ranks 1st in turnover differential at +15, 1st in fewest sacks allowed (13), and 4th (tied with Kansas City) in fewest interceptions thrown (5).

Carr is setup for a nice bounce back game with shootout potential. Considering the other QB matchups around his price range, Carr potentially makes for the highest floor/ceiling play.

Running Back

LeGarrette Blount (NE) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5000, FanDuel (FD) – 6300. Blount’s upcoming salary ranks him 23rd/20th on DK/FD, respectively. Blount put up a line of 18-72-1 and 1-7-0 on 1 target against Baltimore last week. Blount’s fantasy points of 14.9/14.4 ranked him 18th/16th on DK/FD, respectively.

The Vegas line with the Chargers currently has the game total at 49.5 points, with the Raiders as -3 point road favorites.

The Broncos’ defense ranks 1st in pass yards allowed (183.5), 29th in rush yards allowed (127.2), and 6th in points allowed (18.6) per game. The Broncos’ defense ranks 6th (tied with Arizona) in takeaways with 23 and 2nd in sacks with 38. The Broncos’ defense also ranks 22nd against running backs (19.42) in fantasy points allowed and 16th in DVOA to opposing backs against the pass. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry combined for a line of 33-134-1 against Denver last week.

New England’s offense ranks 4th in passing yards gained (280.3), 7th in rushing yards gained (115.5), and 5th in points scored (26.8).

Blount leads the league in rushing TDs with 14 and red zone rushing TDs with 12. He also ranks second in red zone rushing attempts (48) behind Melvin Gordon and in red zone rushing yards (126) behind Ezekiel Elliott. Blount’s 1,029 rushing yards (career high) ranks him 5th in the league. It’s never a certainty with this team, but this smells like a Blount week.

Latavius Murray (OAK) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5800, FanDuel (FD) – 6800. Murray’s upcoming salary ranks him 11th on both DK/FD. Murray put up a line of 22-103-1 at Kansas City last week. Murray’s fantasy points of 19.3/16.3 ranked him 9th/5th on both DK/FD. Murray’s price per point efficiency ranked him 11th /12th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The Vegas line with the Chiefs currently has the game total at 46 points, with the Raiders as +3 point road dogs on Thursday night.

San Diego’s defense ranks 25th against RBs (20.21) in fantasy points allowed and 17th in DVOA to RBs against the pass. Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker combined for a line of 27-81-1 against San Diego last week. Murray was out in the team’s first meeting.

Murray is ranked 2nd in the league (tied with Ezekiel Elliott) with 12 rushing TDs and also ranks 2nd in red zone rushing TDs with 11. Murray has rushed for seven TDs in his past six games since returning from injury. San Diego doesn’t give up a lot of rushing yards but they do give up the 3rd (tied with Washington) most rushing TDs with 17. The positive game script and scoring matchup should suit Murray well.

Wide Receiver

Taylor Gabriel (ATL) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5600, FanDuel (FD) – 5800. Gabriel’s upcoming salary ranks him 27th/42nd on DK/FD, respectively, making him a much better relative value on FD. Gabriel put up a line of 3-82-1 on 6 targets (tied for 2nd on team) at Los Angeles last week. Gabriel’s fantasy points of 17.2/15.7 ranked him 17th/16th on DK/FD, respectively.

The Vegas line with the 49ers currently has the game total at 51.5 points (highest on the board), with the Falcons as -14 point (2nd widest on the board) home favorites.

San Francisco’s defense ranks 14th in pass yards allowed (244.5), last in rush yards allowed (170.8), and last in points allowed (30.2) per game. San Francisco’s defense also ranks 28th against QBs (18.29), 31st against WRs (26.52), last against RBs (28.04), and 11th against TEs (6.3) in fantasy points allowed.

Atlanta’s offense ranks 3rd in passing yards gained (295.7), 16th in rushing yards gained (106.6), and 1st in points scored (32.9).

Julio Jones (toe) is currently day-to-day, but whatever his playing status ends up being on Sunday, may not have any affect on Gabriel. Atlanta is the current division leader and a playoff contender, coming off a game where they routed the Rams, 42-14, in Los Angeles, without Julio. Atlanta actually gets an easier matchup this week at home. It would seem nonsensical to risk their #1 stud (yet injury-prone), in a cakewalk game where he is clearly not needed. RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 43 snaps last week. Terron Ward out carried them both with 10. Gabriel, however, logged 78% of offensive snaps, second only to Aldrick Robinson at 86%.

This game could get ugly in a hurry. Gabriel should see a heavy snap count regardless of game script and shouldn’t be at risk of losing snaps comparatively to the other offensive weapons that may be done by the end of the third quarter. The matchup and opportunity are potentially all there for Gabriel.
Update – Mohammed Sanu (groin) put in a limited practice on Wednesday and is expected to return this week. Julio has been ruled out for this week.

Tyreek Hill (KC) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5700, FanDuel (FD) – 6400. Hill’s upcoming salary ranks him 24th/21st on DK/FD, respectively. Hill put up a line of 6-66-1 on 6 targets (2nd on team behind Kelce), a lost fumble, and added a 78 yard punt return for a TD against Oakland last week. Hill’s fantasy points of 23.8/19.8 ranked him 5th/4th on DK/FD, respectively. Hill’s price per point efficiency ranked him 10th/7th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The Vegas line with the Titans currently has the game total at 42 points, with the Chiefs as -5.5 point home favorites.

The Titans’ defense ranks 31st in pass yards allowed (274.9), 3rd in rush yards allowed (86.6), and 20th in points allowed (23.5) per game. The Titans’ defense also ranks 30th against QBs (18.41), last against WRs (26.61), 6th against RBs (14.81), and 17th against TEs (7.24) in fantasy points allowed.

Kansas City’s offense ranks 18th in passing yards gained (236.4), 25th (tied) in rushing yards gained (96.2), and 14th in points scored (23.2).

Hill’s snap percentage isn’t high (45% last week), but his involvement in the offense isn’t a fluke when he’s on the field, as he has accounted for four all-purpose TDs in the past three weeks and has averaged over 24.6 fantasy points over his last four (DK scoring). The matchup should lend to a pass-funnel offense for the Chiefs, giving Hill solid opportunities, albeit perhaps limited.

Tight End

Kyle Rudolph (MIN) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 4300, FanDuel (FD) – 5800. Rudolph’s upcoming salary ranks him 7th/8th on DK/FD, respectively. Rudolph put up a line of 4-60-1 on 8 targets (team high) at Jacksonville last week. Rudolph’s fantasy points of 16/14 ranked him 5th/4th on DK/FD, respectively. Rudolph’s price per point efficiency also ranked him 5th on both DK/FD, for the position.

The Vegas line with the Colts currently has the game total at 45.5 points, with the Vikings as -4 point home favorites.

The Colts’ defense ranks 23rd against TEs (8.75) in fantasy points allowed and 30th in DVOA against TEs. Houston TEs combined for a line of 5-55-0 on 9 targets against the Colts last week.

Rudolph has averaged 10 targets and over 13 fantasy points in his last three games and has a positive matchup bringing a solid floor.

Cameron Brate (TB) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3800, FanDuel (FD) – 5700. Brate’s upcoming salary ranks him 11th/10th on DK/FD, respectively. Brate put up a line of 4-47-0 on 5 targets against New Orleans last week. His 47 yards was actually a team high. Brate’s fantasy points of 8.7/6.7 ranked him 15th/14th on DK/FD, respectively.

The Vegas line with the Cowboys currently has the game total at 46.5 points, with the Bucs as +7 point road dogs.

Dallas’ defense ranks 26th against TEs (8.75) in fantasy points allowed and 31st in DVOA against TEs.

Brate leads Tampa Bay in red zone catches with 8 and is tied for 2nd in the league in red zone receiving TDs with 6. As Jameis Winston’s #2 target, Brate gets a positive matchup and implied game script and is always a threat to score in the red zone.

Check out the Week 15 Defense value picks here.

Check out the Week 15 schedule with current spreads/totals here.


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