Ten members of the Footballguys DraftKings staff compiled value-based rankings for Week 15 of the NFL season. Those results are shown below with the highest ranking at the top. Each position is ranked as follows: (A dash indicates that player was not ranked).
Quarterback - Top 8
Running Back - Top 12
Wide Receiver - Top 12
Tight End - Top 8
Defense - Top 5
To determine the average ranking, any player not ranked received a value of the lowest rank for that position, plus 1 (LR+1). For example, the Top 8 quarterbacks are ranked by each staff member. If one staff member did not rank a particular quarterback, but others did, the ranking for that quarterback is 8+1 or 9. Instead of displaying a 9 in the table, a dash is used to show that player was not ranked, after average rank was obtained.
The value-based, collaborative results provide a window into which players are the best options for this week's slate of games. I'll explain why certain players are ranked as they are and also provide additional commentary volunteered by various staff members.
Please note - there are only 9 staffers ranking this week - Jason Wood missed this week's deadline.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: QUARTERBACK
|Aaron Rodgers||GB||at CHI||7100||2||-||3||1||8||4||-||1||8||5||5.0|
|Drew Brees||NO||at ARI||6600||-||-||8||-||3||6||-||-||-||2||7.3|
|Andrew Luck||IND||at MIN||6400||-||-||-||6||5||-||-||-||-||4||7.8|
|Blake Bortles||JAC||at HOU||5000||-||-||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||7||8.0|
|Cam Newton||CAR||at WAS||6400||-||-||-||8||-||8||7||5||-||-||8.2|
|Tom Brady||NE||at DEN||6700||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||8.4|
|Derek Carr||OAK||at SD||6300||-||-||-||7||-||-||-||-||6||-||8.5|
|Jameis Winston||TB||at DAL||6100||-||-||-||-||7||-||-||-||-||-||8.8|
|Ben Roethlisberger||PIT||at CIN||6600||7||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.8|
|Colin Kaepernick||SF||at ATL||5800||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||8.9|
According to the consensus, the chalk plays at quarterback this week are Kirk Cousins ($6,800) vs. Carolina and Matt Ryan ($7,300) vs. San Francisco. Both have good, if not great home matchups against defenses that have been disappointments this year. Cousins has elevated his game with 10 touchdown passes in his last four home games. The chances are high of him having another 2-3 touchdown game with high yardage - he does have six 300+ yard passing games this season. Matt Ryan hasn't been as productive at home lately, but he's definitely capable of putting up solid numbers any given week, especially at home and especially against inferior defenses like San Francisco. Atlanta may be without Julio Jones (toe) for the second consecutive week, but Ryan isn't expected to see much of a decline, if any at all.
Take note of Tyrod Taylor and Joe Flacco (both at $5,700). These are cheaper options that worked their way up the value rankings this week. The consensus likes the matchup of Taylor at home vs. Cleveland and Flacco vs. Philadelphia. The Browns have allowed opposing quarterbacks to pass for three touchdowns in seven games this year. Philadelphia has allowed two touchdown passes in each of the last three games. Both are good options to use if you want to spend your money elsewhere.
Aaron Rodgers is always a decent bet to put up solid numbers. The game at Chicago is expected to be brutally cold, but if anyone can play in the cold it's Rodgers and the Packers. Rodgers, despite dealing with varius recent injuries, has ten touchdown passes in the last four games. Chicago has allowed one touchdown pass in the last two games and their defense has thrived at home in the cold weather. There's definitely some optimism for Rodgers and Green Bay, but Chicago has made a statement with their defense lately.
Tom Brady - His salary has depressed to the point that you have to feel comfortable. Brady tends to underachieve fantasywise at poor times, but also carries an upside few can boast. He's a much better GPP play than cash, but he still belongs squarely in your plans.
Sam Bradford - Don't let the last two weeks against Bryce Petty and Brock Osweiler fool you. Indianapolis allowed multiple passing touchdowns in nine of their other 11 games this season. Bradford has scored at least 15 DraftKings points in each of his last two games and shouldn't be priced at the QB mimimum in this matchup.
Tyrod Taylor - Taylor faces the Browns at home as a 10 point favorite. He can sleepwalk his way to a 3x salary multiple.
Trevor Siemian - New England's defense has been fairly generous to quarterbacks not named Jared Goff over the last five weeks. Vegas expects a close game between the Patriots and Broncos, and so do I.
Russell Wilson - It's worth playing the Thursday slate to gain some exposure to Wilson at home against the dismal Rams.
Cam Newton - Not inspiring confidence lately, but too cheap for his upside at just $6,400
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: running back
|Le'Veon Bell||PIT||at CIN||9800||1||-||2||1||2||1||-||1||4||7||4.5|
|Latavius Murray||OAK||at SD||5800||7||-||4||6||-||3||11||5||-||2||7.7|
|LeGarrette Blount||NE||at DEN||5000||-||-||-||9||8||-||-||-||9||4||10.8|
|Carlos Hyde||SF||at ATL||5900||-||-||-||7||6||-||10||-||-||10||11.1|
|Isaiah Crowell||CLE||at BUF||4100||-||-||-||8||-||-||7||-||-||-||11.9|
|T.J. Yeldon||JAC||at HOU||4100||-||-||-||12||-||-||4||-||-||-||12.0|
|DeMarco Murray||TEN||at KC||6900||-||-||-||-||12||-||-||-||8||12||12.3|
|Ryan Mathews||PHI||at BAL||3900||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||11||-||-||12.8|
|James White||NE||at DEN||3600||-||-||11||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.8|
Le'Veon Bell ($9,800) tops David Johnson ($10,100) this week after exploding for well over 200 yards of offense last week at Buffalo. Both are well worth the price and it's possible to craft a competetive cash game team with both backs.
Now that Melvin Gordon III (hip/knee) is out of the picture, the third spot in the value rankings is Kenneth Dixon ($3,800) who is starting to make his move as the Ravens lead back. Dixon topped Terrance West in snaps and carries last week en route to a big coming out game that included 8 receptions. Only David Johnson (31/22) has more targets and receptions than Dixon (19/16) among running backs since Week 12. At $3,800 Dixon is a bargain considering his potential to put up decent numbers, especially with the point per catch scoringof DraftKings.
Spencer Ware ($5,700), LeSean McCoy ($8,900), Latavius Murray ($5,800) and Devonta Freeman ($6,700) are others to consider. All have good, if not great matchups and all are consistent scorers commonly used with cash game lineups. If you elect to shy away from the high dollar options of David Johnson and/or Le'Veon Bell, the aforementioned group is worthy of lineup consideration.
Kenneth Farrow ($4,400) is a low priced option who could reach 70 total yards plus 4-6 catches. Look for San Diego to turn to him as Melvin Gordon III's replacement in the offense. I don't expect the Chargers to alter their offense, instead I think we'll see Farrow play the Gordon role and get plenty of touches as a result. At $4,400 he's someone you can take a flier on with the chance of reaching 3x or 4x value if he hits.
One other back to consider is Carlos Hyde ($5,900), who is coming off 193 yards against the Jets. He has 8 touchdowns this year despite missing three weeks of action with a shoulder injury. His opponent this week, Atlanta, has allowed six touchdowns to running backs in the last four games. The opportunity and talent is there for Hyde to produce.
Le'Veon Bell - If you're chasing floor - as you should be in cash play - Bell needs to be rostered. He's one of a small, small handful of guys guaranteed bell cow workloads, and his dynamic upside is off the charts. He excels in any game script, and considering his discount from David Johnson, there's probably not a more crucial DFS option at any position.
Latavius Murray - Murray has a vice grip on the Raiders' backfield production, and his touchdowns can be all but counted on at this point (he's scored seven times over the last five weeks). And the Chargers have been chewed up by recent ground games. Murray should see ample usage here.
Jerick McKinnon - McKinnon has been productive relative to his salary for three straight games, and gets an outstanding matchup at home against Indianapolis.
David Johnson - Priced over 10K and still one of the best projected point per dollar values on the slate.
Kenneth Farrow - Farrow looks poised to be the workhorse back in one of the league's most running back friendly offensive systems. It's a great matchup to boot against a soft Oakland run defense.
LeGarrette Blount - It's fair to pencil Blount in for a touchdown any given week and the matchup against Denver sets up perfectly for Blount to see 20+ carries.
Kenneth Dixon - Dixon caught eight passes last week, which in a PPR setup is a tremendous boost to his value
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: wide receiver
|Jordy Nelson||GB||at CHI||7300||1||-||4||2||-||2||-||1||5||5||5.9|
|Antonio Brown||PIT||at CIN||8400||3||-||1||10||1||3||-||4||4||9||6.1|
|Rishard Matthews||TEN||at KC||4600||-||-||9||6||5||1||-||-||-||2||8.8|
|Michael Crabtree||OAK||at SD||5900||12||-||10||1||-||5||-||-||-||1||9.4|
|Mike Evans||TB||at DAL||8300||-||-||6||-||-||8||-||9||1||8||9.7|
|Marqise Lee||JAC||at HOU||4000||4||-||8||-||-||-||1||7||-||-||9.8|
|T.Y. Hilton||IND||at MIN||7200||11||-||-||8||4||-||-||-||-||6||10.7|
|Davante Adams||GB||at CHI||6100||10||-||7||5||-||-||-||11||-||-||11.1|
|Malcolm Mitchell||NE||at DEN||4700||9||-||-||-||-||-||9||-||-||10||11.9|
|Julian Edelman||NE||at DEN||6100||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||12.0|
|Amari Cooper||OAK||at SD||7100||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||8||-||12.0|
|Allen Robinson||JAC||at HOU||4400||-||-||-||-||-||-||5||-||-||-||12.2|
|Corey Coleman||CLE||at BUF||4100||-||-||-||-||7||-||-||-||-||-||12.4|
|Ted Ginn Jr Jr.||CAR||at WAS||4500||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||-||12.5|
|Jordan Matthews||PHI||at BAL||5400||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||9||-||12.6|
|Anquan Boldin||DET||at NYG||4500||-||-||-||-||-||-||10||-||-||-||12.7|
|Chris Hogan||NE||at DEN||3800||-||-||11||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.8|
|Jarvis Landry||MIA||at NYJ||5400||-||-||-||-||-||-||12||-||-||-||12.9|
Jordy Nelson ($7,300) and Antonio Brown ($8,400) are the top options at wide receiver this week. Nelson has been incredibly consistent this year. He has scored a touchdown in six of the last seven games and has at least six receptions in five of the last six. Brown has been a productive receiver in his own right and has 11 touchdowns this year, but he has played in six games where he didn't score at all. The Bengals, this week's opponent, have allowed only one touchdown to a wide receiver since Week 10. The Roethlisberger and Brown combination can be lethal regardless of opponent, but that's a stat to take note of.
Larry Fitzgerald ($7,000), Tyreek Hill ($5,700), Rishard Matthews ($4,600), Odell Beckham ($8,000) are the next in line in this week's rankings. Hill has been hot lately, especially when you factor in his ability to score via punt or kick returns.
Michael Crabtree ($5,900) has had a number of drops lately, but Derek Carr continues to go to him. This week he may have the edge, as San Diego CB Casey Hayward will see a lot of Amari Cooper. Hayward has been stingy lately, which means Crabtree may be the preferred Raiders receiver to target.
There's a lot of options at receiver this week, which brings up others that made the Top consensus list. Dontrelle Inman, ($5,100) Pierre Garcon ($4,700) and Malcolm Mitchell ($4,700) are others worthy of your consideration this week. Inman has scored in three straight games, Mitchell has four touchdowns in the last four games and Garcon is coming off two good games in a row that included a touchdown in last week's contest at Philadelphia.
Marqise Lee - Lee continues to be the only reliable fantasy option in Jacksonville's passing game. Remains priced as though he hasn't scored at least 13.5 fantasy points in four of his last six games.
Dontrelle Inman - Developing into one of the most reliable cash game options at WR. Great matchup against the Raiders secondary.
Robby Anderson - Can't argue with 23 targets over the last two games at just $4,200.
Allen Robinson - Down to $4,400. Don't want to play him, but have to buy a few shares at that price.
Mike Wallace - The Eagles have given up the most 20+ yard completions in the league and the odds of Wallace hitting a big play or two over the top are high.
Pierre Garcon - Averaging 7+ targets over his last five games and still priced under 5k against a weak Carolina secondary
T.Y. Hilton - Hilton is coming off of back to back 100+ yard games and his price is still sub 8k.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: tight end
|Delanie Walker||TEN||at KC||3900||7||-||1||4||1||3||7||5||5||4||4.6|
|Cameron Brate||TB||at DAL||3800||-||-||6||7||-||2||2||6||3||3||5.6|
|Greg Olsen||CAR||at WAS||5000||4||-||2||2||2||8||4||-||-||-||5.8|
|Martellus Bennett||NE||at DEN||4000||5||-||4||-||-||1||-||7||-||-||7.1|
|Ladarius Green||PIT||at CIN||3700||-||-||-||3||-||5||8||-||-||-||7.9|
|Eric Ebron||DET||at NYG||3700||-||-||-||-||-||-||5||-||4||-||8.1|
|Zach Ertz||PHI||at BAL||4900||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||7||-||8.2|
|Trey Burton||PHI||at BAL||2500||-||-||-||-||4||-||-||-||-||-||8.5|
Travis Kelce ($5,900) is on fire lately with four straight 100+ yard games. As good as that is, Kelce has not found the end zone since Week 8 (six games ago). The Titans have allowed a tight end to score in four of the last seven games but they have not allowed any to exceed 78 yards (Doyle in Week 7).
In the same game, Delanie Walker ($3,900) may be too cheap to pass up, which is why the consensus has him ranked #2. Walker has six touchdowns this year, but he has had three straight less than stellar games in a row. The matchup against Kansas City is not an easy one. The Chiefs have allowed only one touchdown to a tight end (Jesse James in Week 4).
Jermaine Gresham ($2,500) is minimally priced and is someone to consider. Gresham has five catches in each of the last three games and is third in targets in that span, trailing only David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald for the most on the team. Gresham also found the end zone in two of the last four games. At $2,500 he's worth a flier, especially if you want to target both top priced backs in this week's slate.
Martellus Bennett ($4,000) may finally be over his high ankle sprain, which is a good sign for the Patriots. The last three games, Bennett is fifth in targets on the team, but when he's healthy, he'll surely see more action. At $4,000 the price is decent for a player who has three 100-yard games this season.
Jermaine Gresham - Continues to see significant targets and decent production. Continues to be priced at the tight end minimum.
Ladarius Green - The Bengals are last in the league defending the tight end and have always struggled to defend the position against the Steelers. With the focus on stopping Bell and Brown, Green should be in a great spot to take advantage of single coveage.
Tyler Eifert - Eifert has 18 touchdowns in his past 20 games. He is a red zone monster and well worth paying up for this week.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: defense
|Green Bay||GB||at CHI||3200||-||-||1||2||-||1||-||2||-||5||4.1|
|New England||NE||at DEN||2800||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||1||-||-||5.2|
There's quite a few defenses to consider this week with Buffalo ($3,700) leading the way with a home game against the 0-13 Browns. Cleveland has allowed the most points against opposing defense/ST units this year and Buffalo is fifth in sacks. Quarterback pressure tends to lead to turnovers and that's what the Bills are counting on.
Baltimore is a strong team at home and is a decent option at $3,100. Houston $3,800 will face Jacksonville at home and the Jaguars lead the league with a -17 turnover ratio.
Atlanta ($3,900) is a little steep, but they have a great home matchup against the 49ers who have lost 12 games in a row.
Don't overlook the Giants ($2,900) who are fresh off their strong game at Dallas. They'll face the Lions and Matthew Stafford, who is dealing with a finger injury. He says he'll be fine, but how will he fare with a face full of pressure all game long?
Green Bay ($3,200) is one to consider as well, especially considerring the potential weather situation in Chicago this weekend. Cold, wind and snow is a great recipe for defensive success. Even Chicago ($2,400) could be in play this week.
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