Maximizing your fantasy points per salary dollar is the key to cashing in DFS. If you want to afford the best cash plays on the slate, dumpster diving for underpriced value plays is the way to go. Here are the best DFS Flex values for Week 15 based on PlayerProfiler’s advanced stats, metrics, and analytics.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DraftKings: $4500, FanDuel: $5500
Leonard Fournette finds himself in a smash spot this week without Ronald Jones in the lineup. With rookie pass-catching back Ke’Shawn Vaughn and washed veteran LeSean McCoy to contend with, Fournette is set to pick up the majority of Jones’ 13.8 carries per game given his 6-0, 228-pound frame. The Buccaneers are also six-point favorites over the Falcons this week, meaning we should see extra ground game volume out of this team.
hard to resist at $4.5k…. https://t.co/fJ5ZNezcWE
— the podfather (@Fantasy_Mansion) December 17, 2020
Fournette also has a secure role as a receiver in this backfield, leading the group with 4.1 targets and 3.1 receptions per game. The Falcons notoriously funnel targets to RBs and have allowed the sixth-most RB receptions entering Week 15. That gives Fournette an excellent pass-catching floor on DraftKings, and it won’t take much for him to pay off his $4500 price tag. Plus, the Bucs have a 27.25-implied team total. Fournette is best suited for goal-line duties, meaning he has a multi-touchdown upside here. That makes him a solid play on FanDuel’s scoring format as well.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
DraftKings: $6300, FanDuel: $6900
While the 49ers have been decimated by injuries, they’ve had a true alpha WR emerge. We should have seen Brandon Aiyuk coming all along given his 40.6-percent (82nd-percentile among qualified wide receivers) College Dominator Rating and 26.9-percent (70th-percentile) College Target Share, highlighting his ability to carry an offense. He’s done just that for the 49ers over his last five games, averaging 7.2 receptions, 99 receiving yards, and 0.6 touchdowns. He’s also dominating the Air Yards, seeing at least 85 in six of his last seven, highlighting his elite role in San Francisco. Aiyuk has posted these numbers against strong secondaries in New England, New Orleans, Buffalo, and Washington.
Now Aiyuk draws one of the softest possible matchups in the form of Dallas, who ranks No. 23 in Defensive Passing DVOA. They’ve allowed the most receiving touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to WRs this season. While this matchup has a relatively low 45.5-point total, the Cowboys average 43.2 (No. 1) Team Pass Plays per Game and has the ability to create shootouts. Aiyuk is cheaper on FD relative to the $60,000 salary cap, but the full-PPR and receiving bonus gives him a ridiculous combination of floor and ceiling on DK.
Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons
DraftKings: $4700, FanDuel: $5700
Julio Jones is inactive once again with his hamstring injury and might not play another down in this lost season for the Falcons. While Brandon Powell will see the increased playing time in his place, Russell Gage has been the one picking up the extra targets. Atlanta’s slot WR has seen 32 targets over the last four weeks, handing in a 19/225/1 stat line while also throwing a touchdown pass. He has struggled with seven (No. 5) drops this season, but Matt Ryan continues to look his way.
Russell Gage drops a DIME ? @GageRussell @CalvinRidley1 #RiseUpATL
?: #ATLvsLAC on FOX
?: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/3alYfT3slD pic.twitter.com/216O1mKNSo
— NFL (@NFL) December 13, 2020
The Buccaneers have big and athletic corners across the board, but they are weakest in the slot. Gage, who runs out of the slot on 66.7-percent of his snaps, will be lined up on Sean Murphy-Bunting for most of the game. He has a -27.1 (No. 77) Coverage Rating, allowing 58 (No. 71) receptions, 753 (No. 74) yards, and eight (No. 80) scores this season. The Falcons have struggled to run the ball with Todd Gurley and Brian Hill, meaning we’ll get another 40 pass attempts from Ryan. Gage has the softest matchup and will see significant volume in this spot.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, New Orleans Saints
DraftKings: $4200, FanDuel: $5500
Michael Thomas’ ankle injury seemingly flared up and the Saints have already ruled him out for Sunday’s game with the Chiefs. While Thomas would have been a strong play at his price tags, we now get excellent salary relief options in Emmanuel Sanders and Tre’Quan Smith ($3200 DK, $5000 FD). Both are in prime positions to pay off their cheap salaries. This matchup has a 52.5-point total, the highest on the slate, and the Saints are three-point underdogs. That, along with Drew Brees‘ return, will increase the passing volume and keep these WRs busy.
Drew Brees in, Michael Thomas out. https://t.co/kbr8jEHaWa
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 18, 2020
In the games where Sanders has played and Thomas hasn’t, Sanders has averaged a solid 14.5 Fantasy Points per Game, including a monster 12-catch, 122-yard performance in Week 5. He held the more secure role over Smith, who was held under 60 yards in five of his six games without Thomas. The Chiefs have allowed the fewest yards to WRs this season, but their cheap salaries make it easy for them to hit value. Most cash lineups will have multiple Saints players this week, so playing both Sanders and Smith is a viable strategy.
One way to differentiate is to go to Jared Cook ($3400 DK, $5600 FD). He has caught 15 touchdowns in 26 career games with the Saints and saw at least three targets in every game Thomas missed. He hasn’t surpassed 52 yards since Week 1, making him a touchdown-or-bust play, but most tight ends not named Travis Kelce need to score to get there. Cook has multi-touchdown upside and offers leverage off of the Alvin Kamara/Saints WR chalk.
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
DraftKings: $3500, FanDuel: $5200
The Cowboys steamrolled the Bengals last week, limiting Andy Dalton to his lowest pass attempt total (23) in a full game this season. That tanked the value of Michael Gallup, who still saw six targets for a 26.1-percent Target Share. He also continued his trend of solid Air Yards, picking up another 81 against Cincinnati. If the game environment was better, he had the usage for a monster day.
See our best Michael Gallup lineups on PlayerProfiler’s DFS Lineup Genius:
Assuming that usage continues, he has another shot at a boom week against the 49ers on Sunday. The Cowboys are three-point underdogs, meaning Dalton should see closer to his average of 38.4 pass attempts. Gallup should spend plenty of time with Richard Sherman, who is looking like his age is catching up to him. The 32-year-old CB has only played in four games this season, allowing 218 yards and three scores. He ranks outside the top-60 in Coverage Rating, Fantasy Points Allowed per Target, and Fantasy Points Allowed per Game.