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Rotogrinders Exclusive

RotoGrinders Primer: Week 15

by Stephen Keech

Welcome to the Week 15 edition of the RotoGrinders Primer! It’s insane to think that we’re down to just three weeks of regular season football. Lots of teams are fighting for playoff spots/seeding while others are just playing for pride, but our objective never changes.

I'll dive into a handful of the available research tools at RotoGrinders to uncover some of the top options for Sunday’s main slate.

A few of the tools I’ll dive into are for DFS premium members, so you’ll get a sneak preview of our top content. I’ll also take a look at some of my favorite free content that I use weekly while building my own lineups. Let’s get into it…

 

Targets & Touches

The Targets & Touches page is something I use every week during football season – it’s one of the best indicators of opportunity, which we like for fantasy purposes. You can find target data for RBs, WRs and TEs in addition to snap data and percentage of workload information. One of my favorite features is that you can view this information alongside salaries for each site, which makes it a little easier to spot value.

 

Jaylen Samuels ($5,500 on FanDuel, $5,200 on DraftKings) – While he didn’t look like Le’Veon Bell or James Conner, Samuels was still treated as a lead-back, dominating snaps (80%) and touches out of the backfield. Stevan Ridley frustratingly vultured a touchdown towards the goal-line but was a non-factor otherwise, gaining four yards on his five carries. Conner hasn’t practiced yet this week and it’s not looking like we’ll see him out there Sunday, so Samuels figures to lead the way yet again and should be especially appealing on full-point PPR sites. He caught all seven of his targets last weekend while Ridley didn’t see any action in the passing game, so it’s clear Samuels will be heavily involved in that facet until Conner returns, making him a playable option in all formats. His seven targets in Week 14 slotted him T-3rd among RBs.

 

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Ezekiel Elliott ($8,800 on FanDuel, $9,000 on DraftKings) – Elliott is coming off an outing where he saw monster usage, touching the ball 40 times in a big division win over the Eagles. The Cowboys remain in the driver’s seat in the NFC East and will want to keep their foot on the pedal in a spot where they should be able to continue confidently feeding Zeke in the passing game. The Colts aren’t a pushover on the ground, but they are particularly friendly to pass-catching backs, surrendering the second-most receptions and fourth-most receiving yards to the RB position this year. Only McCaffrey, Barkley and Kamara have more targets among featured backs and Elliott ranks 4th at the position in red-zone targets.

 

Eric Ebron ($6,500 on FanDuel, $5,900 on DraftKings) – He’s appeared in this spot about as much as anyone thanks to Jack Doyle missing big chunks of time this season, and it continues to be well deserved as he churns out dependable stat lines with heavy usage. Despite sharing time with Doyle at times this year, Ebron still ranks 2nd among TEs in targets and leads the position in red-zone looks, an indication of how much Andrew Luck likes using his TEs in the red-zone. He’s seen targets counts of 8 and 16 in the last two games Doyle has missed and will likely fall somewhere in between on Sunday. Dallas poses a friendly PPR draw for a tight end – especially one that is already heavily involved – considering they allow the second-most receptions per game to the position. He’s a really strong play in any format and is at the top of my list among TEs for Week 15.

 

 

WR/CB Matchup Chart

We’ll pivot over to the Wide Receiver/Cornerback Chart, which helps to highlight some of the better matchups for receivers each week. It’s an extreme rarity that one corner follows a receiver for all of his snaps, so this chart shows which matchup each receiver is likely to be in for the largest number chunk of his day. Snap data available on the chart gives you a better idea of how often each matchup is likely to occur.

 

Tyler Boyd ($6,700 on FanDuel, $5,700 on DraftKings) – There hasn’t been a spike in production since A.J. Green’s injury, but Boyd was also stuck in a couple of rough draws and has had to deal with Jeff Driskel acclimating himself to the NFL level. There is considerable bounce-back appeal for Boyd against an Oakland defense that has allowed an NFL-high 31 passing touchdowns to receivers this year. Boyd has the third best Matchup Rating on the WR/CB Chart in Week 15, as he figures to draw a fair amount of Nick Nelson who owns a well-below average grade. I do prefer Boyd on DraftKings where he’s a little cheaper and would be comfortable utilizing him in cash games at $5,700 but would prefer to save him for GPPs on FanDuel.

 

Adam Thielen ($8,200 on FanDuel, $8,600 on DraftKings) – Regression has struck Thielen hard over the last five weeks, as he’s went for 30 yards or fewer in two of those games and has caught just two touchdowns over his last four games, a far cry from his early season pace. He’s due to bounce right back in Week 15 in a matchup with the Dolphins secondary – he and Stefon Diggs are #1 and #2 on the WR/CB chart this week. Not only will Thielen have a massive size advantage (six inches) over Bobby McCain, but he’s also faster and this sets up as by far the most lopsided WR/CB matchup of the week. Thielen will of course see other coverage, but he’s in a great spot regardless given that several Miami corners provide plus draws.

 

JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,800 on FanDuel, $8,000 on DraftKings) – JuJu was thought of as a clear #2 to Antonio Brown entering the year, but that narrative has started to change as we’ve gotten deeper into this season. Dating back to Week 6, Smith-Schuster has out-targeted Brown 81-76 and actually leads the WR position in red-zone targets after surpassing Davante Adams last weekend. It also appears more likely that the Patriots will use Stephon Gilmore on Antonio Brown if they utilize him as a shadow, which they’ve done in 10 of 13 games this year. Gilmore said this week he prefers to be used that way and if Brown draws that assignment, we could continue to see Smith-Schuster lead the way in targets and red-zone looks in what should be one of the most DFS-friendly contests of the weekend.

 

Value Town!

Welcome to Value Town, parts unknown. I won’t be recommending the Todd Gurley’s of the world here, but instead will try to find a handful of viable value plays at each position to make the rest of the roster building process a little easier. I won’t go into detail for each player, but they are ranked in order of preference for GPPs/tournaments at each position.

 

Quarterbacks

  1. Dak Prescott ($7,300 on FanDuel, $5,500 on DraftKings)
  2. Kirk Cousins ($7,800 on FanDuel, $6,200 on DraftKings)
  3. Lamar Jackson ($7,700 on FanDuel, $5,900 on DraftKings)

 

Running Backs

  1. Jaylen Samuels ($5,500 on FanDuel, $5,200 on DraftKings)
  2. Dalvin Cook ($6,200 on FanDuel) – Way too cheap on FanDuel, but he’s more appropriately priced on DraftKings. He’s still a fine play over there.
  3. Chris Carson ($6,300 on FanDuel, $5,600 on DraftKings)

 

Wide Receivers

  1. Zay Jones ($5,100 on FanDuel, $4,200 on DraftKings)
  2. Taylor Gabriel ($5,100 on FanDuel, $4,200 on DraftKings)
  3. Dede Westbrook ($5,400 on FanDuel, $4,500 on DraftKings)

 

Tight Ends

  1. Vernon Davis ($5,300 on FanDuel, $3,200 on DraftKings) – He’s a better value on DraftKings.
  2. C.J. Uzomah ($5,000 on FanDuel, $3,600 on DraftKings)
  3. Austin Hooper ($5,500 on FanDuel, $4,200 on DraftKings)
Stephen Keech
Stephen "SBK" Keech is a head-to-head specialist who has shot up to being ranked in the Top 100 for Overall, MLB, NBA, and NHL. SBK’s a lead contributor on RotoGrinders, and can be found on Twitter @StephByronKeech.