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Jared Goff
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Daily Games

DFS Tiers for NFL Week 15

by Hayden Winks

DraftKings tried to pull a fast one last week by switching the Tiers format, but it’s back to the normal setup. For the record, I prefer this one to last week’s but testing new game modes every once in a while is fine with me. If you are new to Tiers, then read how to play below:


If you aren't familiar with this new game mode on DraftKings called ‘Tiers’, all you have to do is select one player from each basket of players. For the NFL, the first two tiers are filled with just quarterbacks, the next two are just running backs, the next three are receivers, and the last tier is reserved for tight ends.


Typically, they are the highest scoring players, so it's not necessary to know the difference between a low-end TE2 and the Jets' WR3 for example. Instead, the key is to make close decisions on the studs, like choosing between Michael Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins. Just like in the other DraftKings' game modes, you can enter 'Tiers' tournaments, 50/50s, Head-to-Heads, and more. This column will help you build your own lineups for each type of contest.

Expect updates to the rankings until lock, but feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@HaydenWinks) if you have questions about the game mode or about this slate.



Tournament Rankings


The ‘Salary’ is pulled from the DraftKings’ Classic player salaries. The ‘Winks’ rankings come from myself (@HaydenWinks), while the ‘Daugherty’ rankings come from Patrick Daugherty’s (@RotoPat) weekly Rankings column. His rankings aren’t directly built with DraftKings Tiers in mind, but they are a great tool in finding value and eliminating some players from consideration. Lastly, the 'Hribar' comes directly from Rich Hribar's (@LordReebs) weekly Worksheet column.


Tier 1 Opp FPPG Salary Winks Daugherty Hribar
Jared Goff PHI 22.6 6400 1 QB3 TRUST
Tom Brady @PIT 20.2 5900 2 QB6 TRUST
Andrew Luck DAL 23.5 6400 3 QB7 ON THE CUSP
Kirk Cousins MIA 20.5 6200 4 QB10 ON THE CUSP
Matt Ryan ARI 24.0 6100 5 QB15 BUST
Aaron Rodgers @CHI 20.6 5700 6 QB13 BUST
Derek Carr @CIN 17.0 5400 FADE QB19 ON THE CUSP


Jared Goff has the highest DraftKings salary, is Daugherty’s No. 1 quarterback in the tier, and is a “trust” in Hribar’s Worksheet. Let’s not get too cute with the quarterback playing at home -- Goff has major home/road splits -- with a team implied total of 32 points. If building multiple lineups, then Tom  Brady, Andrew Luck, and Kirk Cousins make sense as well.


Tier 2 Opp FPPG Salary Winks Daugherty Hribar
Ben Roethlisberger NE 24.7 6600 1 QB2 TRUST
Russell Wilson @SF 19.6 6700 2 QB11 TRUST
Mitchell Trubisky GB 22.5 6000 3 QB14 ON THE CUSP
Dak Prescott @IND 18.9 5500 4 QB8 ON THE CUSP
Lamar Jackson TB 8.2 5900 5 QB18 ON THE CUSP
Jameis Winston @BAL 21.1 5600 6 QB17 BUST
Josh Allen DET 17.0 5800 FADE QB20 IF YOU MUST
Marcus Mariota @NYG 15.2 5100 FADE QB22 ON THE CUSP


Ben Roethlisberger is oddly priced below Russell Wilson, but Big Ben is ranked ahead of Wilson on almost all rankings, including Daugherty’s (No. 2 to No. 11). Vegas also expects the Steelers to score one more point this week and 80% of the Steelers production has came through the air recently. If building multiple lineups, then Wilson, Dak Prescott (Amari Cooper stack), and Lamar Jackson make sense as well.


Tier 3 Opp FPPG Salary Winks Daugherty Hribar
Todd Gurley II PHI 27.4 9500 1 RB1 TRUST
Saquon Barkley TEN 27.0 9400 2 RB3 TRUST
Ezekiel Elliott @IND 24.3 9000 3 RB2 TRUST
Leonard Fournette WAS 15.8 7500 4 RB8 TRUST
Joe Mixon OAK 18.3 6100 5 RB4 TRUST
David Johnson @ATL 15.9 7100 FADE RB13 ON THE CUSP
Josh Adams @LAR 5.6 4800 FADE RB28 BUST


Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, and Ezekiel Elliott are in a tier of their own -- Leonard Fournette and Joe Mixon should also have good weeks in plus matchups -- but I’ll give Gurley the slight edge over Barkley with another gap to Zeke. Everything about Gurley’s matchup is favorable.


Tier 4 Opp FPPG Salary Winks Daugherty Hribar
Tarik Cohen GB 16.4 6300 1 RB17 ON THE CUSP
James White @PIT 18.3 5700 2 RB23 ON THE CUSP
Sony Michel @PIT 12.1 5400 3 RB18 BUST
Derrick Henry @NYG 11.3 5000 4 RB24 IF YOU MUST
Dion Lewis @NYG 11.0 4600 FADE RB35 IF YOU MUST
Gus Edwards TB 7.5 4400 FADE RB31 IF YOU MUST
Jordan Howard GB 10.0 3900 FADE RB26 ON THE CUSP
Kenneth Dixon TB 10.2 3500 FADE RB30 IF YOU MUST


Tier 4 is brutal with all options having a clear path to five DK points, but Tarik Cohen, James White, Sony Michel, and Derrick Henry are the top options. Cohen is $600 more than the others on DraftKings’ Classic -- that’s a good thing -- and is Daugherty’s No. 1 option in the tier. Henry’s ownership could be way higher than it should coming off that insane TNF game, so he’s not a bad player to fade. White and Brady would be a nice contrarian option.


Tier 5 Opp FPPG Salary Winks Daugherty Hribar
Antonio Brown NE 21.3 8500 1 WR4 TRUST
Adam Thielen MIA 24.0 8600 2 WR8 TRUST
Davante Adams @CHI 22.7 7900 3 WR6 TRUST
Julio Jones ARI 22.6 8400 4 WR7 ON THE CUSP
Brandin Cooks PHI 16.5 7300 5 WR13 TRUST
Robert Woods PHI 17.3 7400 6 WR15 TRUST
Julian Edelman @PIT 17.6 7200 7 WR16 TRUST
Zach Ertz @LAR 19.1 6500 FADE TE2 TRUST


Antonio Brown and Big Ben will be the most stacked duo in Tiers this week, and rightfully so. Adam Thielen is right there with Brown and pivoting to Cousins (Tier 1)/Thielen/Big Ben (Tier 2)/JuJu instead of Big Ben/Antonio could be sharp with ownership in mind. Davante Adams and Julio Jones both have high floors but are both in tough matchups. Brandin Cooks -- and to a lesser extent Robert Woods -- are in play in Jared Goff (Tier 1) lineups. The Patriots could also steal the Chargers game plan of using the slot receiver (Keenan Allen) to match up with linebacks and nickel backs, so Edelman is a distant tournament option.


Tier 6 Opp FPPG Salary Winks Daugherty Hribar
JuJu Smith-Schuster NE 21.1 8000 1 WR9 ON THE CUSP
Stefon Diggs MIA 19.6 7600 2 WR14 ON THE CUSP
Amari Cooper @IND 17.3 7500 3 WR10 ON THE CUSP
Odell Beckham Jr. TEN 20.5 8100 4 WR12 ON THE CUSP
T.Y. Hilton DAL 19.0 6800 5 WR11 ON THE CUSP
Josh Gordon @PIT 12.9 6400 6 WR19 ON THE CUSP
Tyler Lockett @SF 14.5 6200 7 WR21 ON THE CUSP
Mike Evans @BAL 18.8 6700 8 WR17 BUST


Nobody in this tier was listed as a “trust” by Hribar, but both Daugherty and I agree with putting JuJu Smith-Schuster at the top. JuJu would also be the most expensive player in this tier if Odell Beckham (quad) doesn’t play. Pivoting off JuJu to play Stefon Diggs or Amari Cooper is most definitely in play, and both of their quarterbacks are low-owned options as well.


Tier 7 Opp FPPG Salary Winks Daugherty Hribar
Tyler Boyd OAK 16.6 5700 1 WR20 ON THE CUSP
Corey Davis @NYG 12.8 5600 2 WR24 ON THE CUSP
Allen Robinson II GB 12.2 5500 3 WR23 BUST
Kenny Golladay @BUF 13.8 5400 4 WR27 BUST
Larry Fitzgerald @ATL 11.0 4700 5 WR26 ON THE CUSP
Alshon Jeffery @LAR 13.6 5600 6 WR25 BUST
Josh Reynolds PHI 4.6 4700 7 WR33 IF YOU MUST
Golden Tate @LAR 14.1 4800 FADE WR40 BUST


Tyler Boyd and Corey Davis are slightly ahead of Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Larry Fitzgerald, and Alshon Jeffery, but nobody is comfortable about playing any of them. There also isn’t any stacking options either -- Mitch Trubisky I guess could count. This tier is ultimately pretty random, so I’d keep exposure relatively flat if making a ton of lineups.


Tier 8 Opp FPPG Salary Winks Daugherty Hribar
George Kittle SEA 16.6 6300 1 TE4 TRUST
Eric Ebron DAL 15.6 5900 2 TE3 TRUST
Jared Cook @CIN 14.7 5600 3 TE6 TRUST
Rob Gronkowski @PIT 13.0 5800 4 TE5 TRUST
Austin Hooper ARI 11.2 4200 FADE TE9 BUST
Evan Engram TEN 9.1 4100 FADE TE16 ON THE CUSP
Vance McDonald NE 9.6 3900 FADE TE8 IF YOU MUST
Jimmy Graham @CHI 8.9 3800 FADE TE14 BUST


There is a clear top four -- George Kittle, Eric Ebron, Jared Cook, and Rob Gronkowski -- but DraftKings’ Classic pricing agrees that Kittle is the No. 1 option in Tier 8. That certainly doesn’t mean 100% exposure to Kittle because Ebron, Cook, and Gronk are just barely behind. Stacking Luck/Ebron or Brady/Gronk could be tournament winners since ownership should be low and there is an actual path to finishing No. 1 in their respective tiers.



Cash Game Considerations


There are 9,834,496 different ways to build a Tiers roster this week. These cash game considerations will help you narrow down your options for H2Hs, 50/50s, and Double Ups.


Tier 1

1. Jared Goff (vs. PHI)

2. Tom Brady (@ PIT)


Tier 2

1. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. NE)

2. Russell Wilson (@ SF)


Tier 3

1. Todd Gurley (vs. PHI)

2. Saquon Barkley (vs. TEN)

3. Ezekiel Elliott (@ IND)


Tier 4

1. Tarik Cohen (vs. GB)

2. James White (@ PIT)

3. Sony Michel (@ PIT)


Tier 5

1. Antonio Brown (vs. NE)

2. Adam Thielen (vs. MIA)

3. Davante Adams (@ CHI)

4. Julio Jones (vs. ARI)


Tier 6

1. JuJu Smith-Schuster (vs. NE)

2. Stefon Diggs (vs. MIA)

3. Amari Cooper (@IND)


Tier 7

1. Tyler Boyd (vs. OAK)

2. Corey Davis (@ NYG)

3. Allen Robinson (vs. GB)


Tier 8

1. George Kittle (vs. SEA)

2. Eric Ebron (vs. DAL)

3. Jared Cook (@ CIN)

4. Rob Gronkowski (@ PIT)