Week 15 Daily Fantasy Football: Picking the Optimal Lineup
Last week was a pretty good example of when not to go contrarian. I felt it’d be a great time to roll out Ameer Abdullah, play Julio Jones against Josh Norman and not use Russell Wilson.
What happened was Jones was okay, Abdullah was weak and my non-Russell play (Tyrod Taylor) paled in comparison. The rest of our week 14 daily fantasy football optimal lineup was fine, but as a whole, it was far from optimal.
That’s the way things go sometimes and this week I’m less into risk or contrarian thinking and more into my gut. What players make sense as locks to produce and how can I fit all the options I like onto one team. You know, make it optimal. That’s precisely the point of this article, after all. Just keep in mind that my optimal lineup doesn’t always have to be yours. Take it all or take bits, but here’s my breakdown of the perfect DFS team at DraftKings for week 15:
QB: Aaron Rodgers – Packers ($7.4k)
This is the last shot at $1 million for the year, I’m a Packers fan and no one else will be on Rodgers. Lets’ face it, the Packers have been extremely hit or miss all year on offense, which is very possibly going to make Rodgers extremely low owned. Oakland is a pretty bad pass defense, too, so I’m shooting for the moon and hoping some of the would-be locks like Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and the like don’t put up monster days. Rodgers isn’t cheap, but he hasn’t gone full sack (19+ fantasy points in five of last six games) very often lately.
RB: Latavius Murray – Raiders ($4.5k)
Murray has not gone off really in 2015, so I don’t expect him to be used a ton once again this week. That being said, he’s better than this low price tag and he’s at home against a pretty beatable Packers run defense. This guy can still burn an average run defense and this could be the perfect time for him to do just that. At this discounted price, I’m game for the mild gamble.
RB: David Johnson – Cardinals ($5.7k)
I’m not sure I can bypass Johnson this week, as he’s the main rusher and has been awesome in that role the past two weeks. He’s a feature back for a good offense that is facing a pretty weak Eagles defense, so there’s a lot to like. The price puts the cherry on top in a week where reliable running backs feel few and far between.
WR: Golden Tate – Lions ($5.5k)
Tate has been a bit of a machine lately, hauling in 6+ receptions in each of the last four games and also scoring three times (two last week) during that span. He’s healthier than Calvin Johnson and it shows, while his low price makes him the better play, all around. He could be lights out this week, when he faces a bad Saints secondary under the bright lights of Monday Night Football. I don’t like forcing myself to have a MNF closer, but he looks too good to pass up.
WR: Amari Cooper – Raiders ($6k)
Cooper got blanked last week and has hit a bit of a wall during the second half of the year, but I think he’s due for a big game against the Packers. It only helps that the guy is at home and will be facing young corners, as top Green Bay cover man Sam Shields has already been ruled out with an injury. Cooper is talented enough to dominate the red-zone or break big plays, and after a goose egg I have to think the Raiders look his way and try to get him involved.
WR: Randall Cobb – Packers ($6.3k)
If I’m using Rodgers I need to try at least one Packers wide receiver and after seeing a ridiculous 14 targets last week, it’s clear Cobb has to be the guy. Mike McCarthy took back the controls of Green Bay’s offense and it quickly translated to a more balanced game plan and a 28-7 home win. Cobb is back to being a big piece of the puzzle and in a plus matchup with a beatable Oakland secondary, I think there’s a chance he has a big day.
TE: Gary Barnidge – Browns ($5k)
I love Barnidge for week 15 for two huge reasons: no one else will and the guy is red hot. I know he’s on the road against the Seattle Seahawks but two things are very important here. For one, they stink against good tight ends. He qualifies as one, while the Browns likely getting beaten into oblivion actually benefits him, as he’ll be seeing more targets as the day goes on. Whether he catches 5-6 passes for 50-60 yards or hauls in a touchdown or two, I think Barnidge is a lock for 10+ fantasy points. He also is a strong contrarian play with most everyone else paying up for Rob Gronkowski or rolling with Jordan Reed. Use Barnidge for cheaper and cross your fingers those guys fall on their faces.
FLEX: Brandin Cooks – Saints ($5.9k)
I don’t really think Cooks is going to be super low owned with a possible shootout with the Lions on MNF, but he’s the exact same price of Doug Baldwin, who is on a ridiculous tear of 8 TDs in his last three games. That is not a sustainable run – even against the Browns – so I’m opting for some closing upside in my Flex spot. I could be wrong there, but you do still need a little contrarian thinking to try to steal the big pots – even if it means going against what seems like air tight logic.
DEF: Kansas City Chiefs ($3.7k)
I don’t know if I want to use any other defense at all this week. The Chiefs are expensive but they have the best combination of upside, reliability and matchup. Seriously, who else has topped 10+ fantasy points nine times this year? They’ve been absolutely mad over the past seven games and even when they dropped the ball in that stretch they still managed to get a respectable five fantasy points. I can’t see them imploding against a bad Ravens offense this week.
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