2015 Fantasy FootballFantasy FootballRyan Noonan

2015 Daily Fantasy Football Strategy : Week 15 Wide Receivers

The Wide Receiver position is loaded with options in this new, ever-prolific passing era of the NFL, and I’m here to give you my take on the best plays and values this week. I’ll break it up into tiers, essentially, WR1’s, 2’s, 3’s and FLEX/deep options. We won’t get too legalistic on the tiers. The goal is to highlight players in each pricing tier, highlighting the plays and matchups in each spot.

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Your WR1 and WR2’s are no-brainer starts in your normal season-long fantasy leagues. I’ll highlight them if they have an exceptional matchup or price. We’re likely going to find some inexpensive plays here week in a week out as well, due to the depth at the position. When applicable, I’ll note if the player is more of a cash game play versus a tournament option. Cash games (where roughly 40-50% of the player pool wins money) and the players that you want to use in those contests can vary drastically from a tournament option (tournaments or GPP’s where 10-15% of the pool wins money).

Scoring and other settings can be found here and you can find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan.

WR1

Antonio Brown – PIT vs. DEN ($8,700)

I’m just not going to fade him in cash if Ben is healthy. I can’t. That might be a donkey move given the matchup, but Antonio Brown is the safest bet for a dozen targets and I’m willing to pay up for that safety in cash games. Brown’s big-play ability and after the catch skills keep his ceiling high, as well. Denver has the top ranked pass defense according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, but this will prove that Antonio Brown is essentially matchup proof.

Julio Jones – ATL @ JAX ($8,500)

I know I’m not alone in wondering why the Falcons haven’t gone out of their way to scheme Julio Jones in to a bigger share of the offense lately. He’s still been strong, hauling in 7 balls per game over his past four, but he’s topped 100 yards receiving just once in that time and has failed to find the end zone as well. I think that streak ends this week against weak cover corner Nick Marshall and Jacksonville’s 27th ranked pass defense.

Odell Beckham Jr. – NYG vs. CAR ($9,200)

This will be fun to watch. We have arguably the game’s top receiver Odell Beckham Jr. squaring off against the league’s top graded cover corner, Josh Norman. I imagine we’ll see Norman shadow Beckham all over the field, making this a better watch than viable DFS option. I don’t have to convince you that OBJ has elite tournament upside, but clearly it’s capped a bit in this spot. I do think that the Giants will look to increase Beckham’s snaps from the slot, a place where Norman has played just 1% of his snaps this season.

WR2

Brandon Marshall – NYJ @ DAL ($7,600)

Brandon Marshall has exceeded all expectations this season. He was clearly battling injuries during his final few chapters in Chicago, and stories of his demise have been greatly exaggerated. From a DFS perspective though, it’s been easier to fade him and grab his high volume teammate, Eric Decker, for thousands less each week. Well that pricing gap has vanished while Marshall’s production has stayed the same. Decker’s matchup in the slot against talented rookie Byron Jones is much more difficult than what Marshall will see on the outside against Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne.

Calvin Johnson – DET @ NO ($6,900)

We’ve just been given glimpses of the former best wide receiver in the world this season, glimpses instead of his consistent dominance, but that’s enough to know that he can still exploit a great matchup for a huge fantasy day. Think of Philadelphia on Thanksgiving Day, for example. Calvin against Brandon Browner and the Saints 32nd ranked pass defense is a match made in DFS Heaven.

Larry Fitzgerald – ARZ @ PHI ($7,300)

I want exposure to the Cardinals passing offense somehow, and while my preferred means of doing so is Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald offers the most security among the wide receivers. Teammates John Brown and Michael Floyd appear to have better matchups against the outside cornerback tandem of Eric Rowe and Byron Maxwell, but I’ll take Fitzgerald in the slot over Malcolm Jenkins any day of the week. This week, that day is Sunday.

Demaryius Thomas – DEN @ PIT ($6,800)

By any measure, it’s been a down year for Demaryius Thomas and the Broncos passing game. Thomas hasn’t done himself any favors, with costly drops in multiple spots this season, but he’s still targeted heavily and his elite skill level makes him a difficult matchup for Pittsburgh’s suspect back half. Thomas is averaging more than 10 targets a game with Brock Osweiler under center, while hauling in three scores in four games. Typical keeper of this space, Jonathan Bales, has done extensive research around value tied to price drops so it’s worth noting that DT is $2,300 less than he was on opening weekend.

WR3

Jeremy Maclin – KC @ BAL ($5,500)

Jeremy Maclin has been a target monster of late, especially given the low volume nature of Kansas City’s passing game. I liked seeing that the Chiefs went out of their way to get Maclin going early last week, targeting him four times on the opening drive. Despite his recent outburst, his price has stalled and it is $1,400 less than he was in Week 1. Baltimore’s pass defense has been a sieve of late, ranking 30th in the league.

Jarvis Landry – MIA @ SD ($6,300)

With a full point per reception, we have to give Jarvis Landry serious consideration every week when he’s priced like this. He’s the focal point of Miami’s offense and their quick trigger when it comes to abandoning the run always works in Landry’s favor.

Michael Crabtree – OAK vs. GB ($5,700)

I like the chances of Oakland’s passing game bouncing back in this one, and I’ll take Michael Crabtree and his red zone targets over discounted teammate Amari Cooper ($6,000). Both of Oakland’s talented wideouts have been relatively quiet of late, but Crabtree has six touchdowns in his past seven games and will have a size advantage over all of Green Bay’s undersized corners.

FLEX

Nate Washington – HOU @ IND ($3,400)

Nate Washington is my preferred sub-$4k receiver this week. I don’t think Vontae Davis will shutdown, or even shadow, DeAndre Hopkins, but I think Nate Washington sees enough of Davis’ teammate Greg Toler to return value. The Texans took four shots down the field to Washington last week versus New England and that bodes well for his upside at this price.

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