The Contrarian is back to help you find some potential diamonds in the rough to help round out your tournament lineups for Week 15. Before digging into this week’s selections, let’s take a look at some of the games that may fall off the radar for the masses and contain some of this week’s hidden gems.
Under The Radar Games Of The Week
Philadelphia Eagles @ Baltimore Ravens
On Sunday’s main slate of 13 games, only five of them check in with projected totals of at least 45 points. Part of that is due to the plethora of weather concerns out there this week, as several of those games appear as if they’ll be contested under absolutely frigid conditions. Since the majority of the games are projected to be relatively low scoring, that means a good portion of users will go hunting for points as opposed to only focusing on the projected high scoring affairs.
We do that each and every week anyway for contrarian purposes, so we can take solace in the fact that we have a pretty good eye for finding the points each and every week. For Week 15, this is one of the games that stand out as a potentially fruitful spot, but we’re most excited about one particular facet of this matchup. The Eagles have been quite fantasy friendly to opposing quarterbacks over the past few weeks, and that bodes well for Joe Flacco and company.
Flacco’s reasonably priced, and he’s delivered a solid return in back-to-back games. The Eagles have allowed a pair of passing touchdowns in each of their last three games, and it’s not too hard to see Flacco extending that trend by another week. For stacking purposes, we can look in a few different directions, but Mike Wallace stands out as the top option.
It’s not too hard to see him breaking a long one against a beatable secondary, and he comes in at an affordable price to boot. If you’re looking to mix it up from Wallace, Breshad Perriman has found the end zone in two of his last three games, and Dennis Pitta is only one game removed from a two-score outing against the Dolphins.
The Ravens have also allowed some points to opposing signal callers of late, including a pair of three-score outings from Dak Prescott and Tom Brady. However, Carson Wentz has not inspired a ton of confidence of late. Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz could be some low-owned sources of value, but there’s plenty of risk with those selections due to Wentz’s recent struggles.
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
In years past, a matchup between these two squads would capture a bit more interest for DFS purposes. This year’s edition features an elite passing defense in the form of the Broncos, and a lackluster passing game - also from the Broncos. Add in the fact that game time temps could be downright cold, and it’s easy to see why many people may pass this one by.
However, there’s still points that will be scored and yards that will be gained, and that means we need to figure out where they’ll be coming from. We mentioned the Broncos strength against the pass, so that dims our optimism on Tom Brady’s prospects for the week. That being said, he’ll still get some, it’ll just likely be lower than what we’d normally expect from the Patriots passing attack. Additionally, exactly which of his targets are in line to produce is becoming increasingly difficult, and you could easily make a case for Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell or Chris Hogan.
We’ll look to avoid the Patriots passing attack unless rolling with multiple lineups, but the ground game is a different story. The Broncos are beatable against the run, and this game shapes up well for LeGarrette Blount. Cold temps, a shutdown pass defense and a projected close score point to Blount being fed the rock a good amount in this one, and he shapes up as one of the week’s more intriguing contrarian choices.
The Broncos run game has been a work in progress since C.J. Anderson went down to injury, so we can safely cross the team’s backs off the short list. Trevor Siemian has actually delivered a nice return over his past two games, and there could be some value we can extract from the Broncos passing game. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both receiving a ton of targets, and they’re quite affordable for this week.
Let’s take a look at this week’s top contrarian selections, starting at the quarterback position.
Derek Carr, $6,300. Carr delivered a massive dud last week against the Chiefs, but we like his chances to bounce back against the Chargers. The Raiders will have had a full ten days in between games, which is always a welcome occurrence as the season draws to a close. These two clubs hooked up back in Week 5, and Carr was able to throw for 317 yards and two scores. The Chargers have done a pretty nice job of holding opposing signal callers in check over the past few weeks, but we like the time off for the Raiders this late in the season to inspire a big bounceback performance this week. Interest will be lower than usual in him due to the dud he delivered last time out, but we’ll swoop in and snag him at a lower ownership percentage and look for him to get back to his productive ways.
Joe Flacco, $5,700. Flacco is one of those quarterbacks that doesn’t attract a ton of interest for fantasy purposes, but every once in awhile he can sneak in with a huge game. He’s actually done that for the past two weeks in a row, and we like his chances to make it three in a row in a matchup against the Eagles. The Eagles have been getting torched by opposing signal callers in recent weeks, and we always like to target perfect storm matchups such as this. A quarterback on a hot streak versus a team that’s had recent struggles against the position can be a recipe for success, and we’ll serve ourselves a helping of Flacco in Week 15.
LeGarrette Blount, $5,000. We touched on Blount’s matchup against the Broncos earlier, and he makes for a fine low-cost contrarian option this week. The risk is always there when rostering a Patriots running back, but the upside could be pretty big. He has three multiple-score games under his belt this season, and 14 touchdowns on the season as a whole. While the Broncos elite passing defense holds Tom Brady and company relatively in check, we’ll look for Blount to pick up a good portion of the slack.
Tevin Coleman, $5,000. Coleman is another low-priced back with huge upside this week, as the Falcons face off with the porous defense of the 49ers. The problem with rostering Coleman is that Devonta Freeman will get plenty of touches as well, and it can be pretty tough to pinpoint which one will go off in a given week. That may not be an issue in Week 15, as there’s plenty of upside for both of them to partake in. Coleman has only broken 15 points on DraftKings five times this season, but we’ll look for him to add to that total this week.
Demaryius Thomas, $6,300. Thomas came back to life in a big way last week against the Titans, and we’ll look for him to keep the good times rolling against the Patriots. The targets have been there consistently for Thomas this season, but he was finally able to put together a huge yardage total en route to 25.6 points on DraftKings. That’s his second game with 20+ points in his last four, and this game sets up well for him to do it again.
Mike Wallace, $4,800. The Ravens are facing off against a very beatable Eagles secondary, and that bodes well for a deep threat such as Wallace. He hasn’t found the end zone or broken 20 points since Week 9, but the speed and upside are there for a huge outing in this tilt. A stack of Flacco and Wallace could make some noise in GPPs this week, and it’s an incredibly affordable stack to boot.
Kyle Rudolph, $4,300. Rudolph has delivered double-digits in fantasy points for three consecutive weeks, and he makes for a nice pivot off of the week’s higher-priced tight ends. He has a solid matchup on the table against a Colts squad that has had an a up and down season, and they may very well be back on the downward track once again after last week’s disappointment against the Texans. We’ll look for Rudolph to continue receiving his fair share of targets and to sneak one in the end zone this week.
Jermaine Gresham, $2,500. Gresham will save you a ton of salary this week, and that’s welcome news for a week in which some of the studs check in with eye-popping prices. That’s not the only reason to roster Gresham, as he’s actually developed into a viable passing game option for the Cardinals. Over the past three weeks, he’s been targeted 23 times, and he’s found the end zone twice over his past four games. Gresham is a bargain bin tight end that has realistic prospects for a 4x return on salary, plus the upside for more.
Green Bay Packers, $3,200. The Packers were one of last week’s bigger surprises on the defensive side of the ball, as they made things pretty miserable for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. They have a matchup on the table against the offensively-challenged Bears in frigid conditions in Chicago, and that could point us to a low-scoring affair that tilts towards the defenses. The Packers have scored 10 points or more in two of their last three outings, and there’s a good chance they can make it three in a row this week.
New York Giants, $2,900. The Giants are another defense that has come alive of late, and the team is coming in off of massive win over the division-leading Cowboys. While there’s certainly the risk for a letdown after an emotionally-charged win, we’ll look for the Giants to keep their eyes on the prize of a playoff berth. To make matters more appealing for the Giants fantasy prospects, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford comes in with a banged up hand, and that could lead to a turnover or two.
Thanks for reading The Contrarian for Week 15. Enjoy the games this weekend, and best of luck with your lineups. Feel free to hit me up anytime on Twitter - @cm_feery - or email - firstname.lastname@example.org - with questions or comments.