NFL Week 15 Cash Pool: Below are the players that I consider to be viable plays on DraftKings in Cash Games (H2H, Double-Ups, 50/50s). This article is updated throughout the weekend with a final update at 12:00 PM EST on Sunday to account for surprise inactives and late-week news.
IN: Emmanuel Sanders & Tre’Quan Smith, Lynn Bowden, Tony Pollard
OUT: Michael Gallup, Leonard Fournette
Lamar Jackson ($7,500): After heroically returning from a tough battle with “cramps,” to beat The Browns on Monday night, Lamar Jackson and The Ravens host a Jaguars team with no hope to compete. Jackson has had a floor of 9 or more rushing attempts and produced 50+ yards in 7 straight games. The only hole you could poke in Jackson as a cash game play is the possibility of a 2019-like Ravens domination that only requires 3 quarters of action from the former MVP. Update: Marquise ‘B Movie’ Brown and Miles Boykin are expected to make it back from the COVID-19 list in time to play this week, which only boosts Jackson’s outlook.
Jalen Hurts ($5,900): After singlehandedly breathing life into an Eagles offense that had appeared to have died at the hands of Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts will look to find continued success against The Cardinals this week. Hurts became only the second quarterback in the modern era to rush for over 100-yards in his first start. Arizona has allowed the sixth-most rushing yards per game to opposing QBs in 2020. While it’s unreasonable to project Hurts for 15+ rushing attempts, it’s also hard to imagine his floor being lower than 10 attempts. The $800 price increase that DraftKings gave him was simply not enough; Hurts remains underpriced and is the top value at QB this week.
QB Positional Notes: Undoubtedly a better raw play than Hurts, Lamar Jackson is a tough player to fit into cash lineups this week. Jalen Hurts fits builds well and his floor as a rusher makes him a confident play in only his second career start. I think Hurts has a floor of 10 attempts on the ground and has the highest potential ceiling for rushing attempts by any quarterback in Week 15.
Derrick Henry ($9,500): After jamming 200+ yards directly down the throats of the naysayers last week, King Henry astoundingly finds himself in an even better spot for Week 15. Boasting a slate-high 31.5 implied team total, The Titans will host The Lions as massive home favorites (-11). Detroit has allowed the second-most FPPG to opposing backs this season and are only one-of-three teams allowing over a full rushing TD per-game to the position. Henry needs to average 156 yards per game over the next three weeks to become the eighth player in NFL history to reach the 2000 yard benchmark as a rusher.
Alvin Kamara ($7,400): The boost that Drew Brees’ return gives to Alvin Kamara’s fantasy stock cannot be understated. Over the first 10 weeks of the season with Brees at QB, Kamara averaged 7.4 receptions per-game and 1.2 TDs per-game. In Taysom Hill’s four starts, Kamara averaged 2.5 receptions per-game and .75 TDs per-game. Kamara will once again become a focal point of The Saints offense in what is the highest totaled game on the main slate (52). UPDATE: Michael Thomas has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against KC. Alvin Kamara is now locked in as the #1 fantasy play on DraftKings for Week 15.
Cam Akers ($6,600): After 10-days of rest, Cam Akers should be ready to put The Rams offense on his back once again. Akers’ rookie breakout appears to be fully underway. Over the past two weeks, Akers has out-touched backfield mates Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown 53:12, taking command of what had once been a true RBBC. The Rams have the second highest ITT on the slate (30.75) and are favored by three scores (-17.5) against the hopeless New York Jets.
Tony Pollard ($5,200): Ezekiel Elliot was ruled out Sunday morning. Tony Pollard figures to see 80+% of snaps with receiving work at an affordable price. He is a fantastic play that takes Leonard Fournette out of consideration.
RB Positional Notes: The return of Drew Brees to The Saints starting lineup has shaken up the slate and changed my views on what the optimal cash game lineup construction is. I’m appreciative of this change because Kamara’s sudden availability as a rock solid cash play allows for me to get away from the Fournette trap. Even if Fournette manages to hit value, I don’t see him as a player with a ceiling that can bury you if you fade him. In my opinion, the best cash game lineup construction will consist of three RBs priced $6,600 or above.
Tyreek Hill ($8,800): Seeing career-high usage, Tyreek Hill has averaged 13 tar/pg over his last five games. Hill’s ability to beat any defensive player one-on-one does not bode well for a New Orleans secondary that primarily runs a man coverage scheme. Hill offers slate-breaking upside on a weekly basis.
DeAndre Hopkins ($7,900): Having dealt with a brutal run against the league’s top corners over his last five games (White, Gilmore, Ramsey, Bradberry), DeAndre Hopkins will enjoy doing battle against a soft Eagles secondary that is set to be without Darius Slay and several other key defensive pieces. Hopkins has commanded 27.5% of Arizona’s team targets in 2020.
Brandon Aiyuk ($6,300): With Deebo Samuel out and George Kittle another week away, Brandon Aiyuk is a borderline free square. Over the last four games he’s played, Aiyuk has averaged 12.5 tar/pg and produced no less than 19.7 DraftKings points. Dallas is allowing the second-most FPPG to opposing WRs and has a secondary that is entirely unequipped to handle the 49ers stud rookie.
TY Hilton ($5,500): Removing my personal biases the equate TY Hilton with being a washed up old scrub, The Colts veteran wide out profiles as a decent mid-range play on DraftKings this week. Over the last three weeks, Hilton has seen 23 targets, including an 11 target game that he converted into an 8-110-1 line against the same Houston team that he is set to play this week.
Emmanuel Sanders ($4,200) & TreQuan Smith ($3,200): The return of Drew Brees as well as the fallout of Michael Thomas being placed on I.R. has had widespread effects on the Week 15 slate. Not only did Kamara become the top play at RB, but The Saints ancillary pass catchers are suddenly very interesting. During Thomas’ initial hiatus (Weeks 2-8), Sanders and Smith each saw 31 targets. Sanders played two less games during that span and commanded the higher share of targets on a weekly basis. Sanders projects as a better pt/$ play, but I don’t think you’re giving up much to go down to Smith and the extra $1,000 you save by doing so can go a long way in lineups.
Lynn Bowden ($3,600): On Sunday morning, The Dolphins ruled DeVante Parker, Jakeem Grant, and Mike Gesicki out. Lynn Bowden is the last man standing and will look to follow up last week’s strong performance as Tua’s primary weapon in Week 15. Bowden should see 7+ targets and he is dirt cheap.
WR Positional Notes: There is an argument to be made that without Davante Adams on the slate, Tyreek Hill is an even better play than usual. Hill could very realistically separate from the rest of the WR field this week and deserves consideration in all formats of DFS. That being said, if you aren’t bullish on Fournette as a ‘value’ play, it will be hard to jam any WR price above $7,000 into cash lines this week. I’m comfortable playing free-square Brandon Aiyuk as my highest priced WR in Week 15. UPDATE: The availability of The Saints WRs makes Fournette an easier cash fade. The opportunity cost of filling the RB3 spot on your roster with Fournette is significantly higher than the opportunity cost of filling your WR3 spot with Sanders or Smith.
Cole Kmet ($3,000): After playing on 70+% of snaps for four weeks straight including a season-high 85% last week, the transition from Jimmy Graham to Cole Kmet as the top Bears TE is complete. Kmet has earned Trubisky’s trust; he’s seen back-to-back games with 7 targets. Kmet’s emergence as Trubisky’s second-favorite target makes him a phenomenal value play at $3,000 flat.
TE Positional Notes: Listeners of The DFS Dose podcast will be shocked to see Mark Andrews off of this list. The expected return of Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin have reduced expectations and easily allowed me to revert back into my pay-down comfort zone at fantasy football’s least important position. I debated writing up Irv Smith Jr. ($3,600) with Kyle Rudolph ruled out, as well as Hayden Hurst ($3,300) with the potential to see more targets in a game that Julio Jones will miss. Ultimately, Kmet is cheaper than both of those alternatives and he just so happens to be the strongest play of the group. Kmet is an easy “set and forget,” at TE this week. Jimmy Graham is questionable this week and if he can’t go, that only boosts Kmet’s outlook.
Priority Plays: Alvin Kamara, Brandon Aiyuk, Lynn Bowden, Cole Kmet
Fades: David Montgomery, Leonard Fournette, Travis Kelce
Cash Game Results 2020:
Week 1: 185.1 Points. 87% Win Rate (83.3% of 78 H2Hs, 100% of 22 DUs)
Week 2: 161.9 Points. 91.3% Win Rate (90.3% of 103 H2Hs, 100% of 12 DUs)
Week 3: 112.1 Points. 17.7% Win Rate (21% of 119 H2Hs, 0% of 22 DUs)
Week 4: 139.50 Points. 81% Win Rate (77.9% of 104 H2Hs, 100% of 17 DUs)
Week 5: 143.68 Points. 31.1% Win Rate (35.9% of 103 H2Hs, 0% of 16 DUs)
Week 6: 138.12 Points. 32.45% Win Rate (35.9% of 103 H2Hs, 0% of 11 DUs)
Week 7: 199.40 Points. 37.5% Win Rate (32.5 % H2Hs, 91.6% of 12 DUs)
Week 8: 112.66 Points.55.5% Win Rate (61.9% of 105 H2Hs, 0% of 12 DUs)
Week 9: 162.60 Points. 97% Win Rate (95.7% of 119 H2Hs, 100% of 11 DUs)
Week 10: 94.10 Points. 2.2% Win Rate (4% of 119 H2Hs, 0% of 12 DUs).
Week 11: 167.82 Points. 92.5% Win Rate (92% of 161 H2Hs, 100% of 13 DUs)
Week 12: 121.98 Points. 23.7% Win Rate (37/140 H2Hs, 0% of 16 DUs)
Week 13: 152.4 Points. 57.4% Total Win Rate, 54.4% of 125 H2Hs, 9/9 DUs
Week 14: 155.80 Points. 58.5% Total Win Rate, 55.9% of 161 H2Hs, 10/10 DUs