Fantasy Football Trends to Watch – Week 15 Edition

After enduring “load management” to start the season, Todd Gurley looks like Los Angeles’ bell-cow back moving forward. He continues to operate in one of fantasy’s friendliest roles. In just the last two weeks, he has 12 red zone touches. Facing a Dallas team that allowed back-to-back 100-plus yard games to the Bills and Bears, Gurley is a solid option heading into the fantasy playoffs.

With Mike Evans likely to miss the remainder of 2019, Justin Watson stepped up in a major way for the Buccaneers. After Evans played only 23.4-percent of Tampa Bay’s snaps, Watson recorded a 55-percent Snap Share. On his increased playing time, he notched five catches for 59 yards and a score on eight targets. With Tampa Bay leading the NFL in pass attempts, Watson projects to play a pivotal role for the Buccaneers down the stretch.


Aaron Rodgers and the Other Week 14 Fantasy Busts

As much as people want Aaron Rodgers to still be an every-week QB1, he just isn’t that guy anymore. He’s too volatile and match-up-dependent. At this point, we know who Rodgers is. He’s an elite game-manager with the ability to take advantage of poor defenses. Unfortunately, he plays against a Chicago team that is fifth-best in limiting quarterbacks in Week 15.

Like Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara, Leonard Fournette also disappointed with a high-touch share. Even with 15 carries and six targets, he only gained 63 yards. Also like Barkley, Fournette’s 89.4-percent (No. 3 among qualified running backs) Opportunity Share is massive. This week he plays against the Raiders, who give up 2.26 fantasy points above the mean (No. 8) to opposing running backs.


Second Year Breakout Report: Josh Allen, Courtland Sutton and more

Courtland Sutton has made dynamic plays almost every week, consistently pulling down highlight-reel catches, many coming in the end-zone. This took place while Sutton, far and away Denver’s most dangerous weapon through the air, was matched up with opposing defenses’ best corner. His future is bright, and he remains a premier buy-high or steady hold in all dynasty formats.

D.J. Moore will head into next season as the clear top wideout in Carolina, and changes are coming. Kyle Allen will not be under center, would should only improve the quality of targets for Moore. Cam Newton is reportedly on the way out too, so it’s uncertainty at head coach and quarterback for the Panthers, who have a top-eight talent configuration on offense. Moore is still 22 years old, so his future in dynasty is blindingly bright.


John Ross Rebound and other Week 14 Waiver Targets

The Bengals face off against the Patriots in Week 15, and finish their fantasy tour against the Miami Dolphins. A healthy John Ross, playing a full complement of snaps, represents home run ability with volume. In the season’s first two weeks, Ross ranked 11th in targets, first in receiving yards and second in fantasy points. He’s the definition of an upside add.

It is time for Ian Thomas to step forward and show that he is capable of contributing to the new identity of the Carolina Panthers. In dynasty leagues, Thomas is exactly the kind of tight end prospect that fantasy gamers can buy low on, or even just add. He was on the radar as a quality prospect leaving college. Greg Olsen’s return to the Panthers’ lineup has postponed the party, but it is no less inevitable.


Week 14’s Lessons Learned: Ryan Tannehill stays hot

Since naming Ryan Tannehill the starting quarterback, the Titans are second in the league in offensive touchdowns and points per game. He’s simply smashing. He’s been a better fit for this offense than Marcus Mariota and has changed the perception of a perennially middle-of-the-road team. Keep Tannehill locked into starting lineups, and look to game stack the crucial AFC South matchup in DFS next week.

Mitchell Trubisky’s resurgence tour runs into the Packers and Chiefs. The Bears mustered three points against Green Bay in Week 1, and Trubisky has averaged 233 yards and 0.8 TDs in four games against the Packers. This astounding Cinderella story might go full pumpkin as Green Bay angles for playoff seeding. Avoid the Bears in DFS and fire up Aaron Jones once more.


The Long Gain: Bargain Running Backs to Target in Week 14

Despite a tough matchup against a New York Jets team allowing -2.21 fantasy points above league average (No. 25) to opposing running backs, Patrick Laird has a legitimate path to success if the workload is there. He became the featured back against the Eagles after Kalen Ballage went down last week. If his growing workload is any indication, then Laird is ready for his bellcow debut in Week 14 against the Jets.

Duke Johnson averages 12.9 fantasy points per game in Houston wins, compared to 9.2 in Houston losses. It’s simple math, but it’s also no secret that he needs to be involved more. Over the last five weeks, the Broncos are giving up 22.3 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, including 29.7 points to Chargers running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler last week.


DraftKings Value Plays and GPP Targets for Week 14

Currently missing T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron, the Colts sorely miss a speed element. While Parris Campbell only has limited snaps on his NFL profile to date, his college profile makes him interesting this week. With this game also totaled at 47-points, both offenses project to feature their respective passing attacks. Priced at $3,200, Campbell provides intrigue as a complete punt in GPPs.

The Cardinals continue to involve their backs in the receiving game. Kenyan Drake’s 59 targets rank ninth in the NFL, creating a potential avenue for success. In recent weeks, the Steelers have shown slight vulnerability to enemy backs in the receiving game. Ultimately, Drake remains a solid GPP target based on volume and price.


Derrick Henry And The Lock Button Plays For Week 14

Two weeks ago, we declared it officially Derrick Henry season and he hasn’t disappointed. Henry has four-straight weeks of top-four finishes with 631 total yards and seven touchdowns over that span. He became just the fifth running back in NFL history to rush for at least 145 yards and a touchdown in three consecutive games. He will look to become the first to do it in four straight.

If there was any remaining doubt that DeVante Parker was a reliable fantasy play, it evaporated after his Week 13 performance. Parker beat up on the Eagles secondary, catching seven of his 10 targets for 159 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the week as the top scoring wide receiver. Parker has scored among the top-31 in nine straight games and in the top-10 in two of the last three.


Cheap DFS Lineup Makers for Week 14

Tyrell Williams has a great matchup with a Titans secondary sans Malcolm Butler. Former fifth-round pick Tye Smith will be in his place on the outside. Smith has an 88.3 (31st-percentile among qualified cornerbacks) Speed Score, meaning “The Gazelle” will burn right by him with his 104.1 (81st-percentile) Speed Score. Take advantage of this speed mismatch.

If Dalvin Cook were to miss Sunday’s game with his shoulder issue, Alexander Mattison would receive the lock button. He has a 123.0 (75th-percentile) Burst Score and excellent size for breaking tackles. He also has sneaky pass-catching upside, posting a 7.8 percent (56th-percentile) College Target Share at Boise State.


Leveraging the NFL’s most volatile players for GPP upside in Week 14

One intriguing play stands out among the volatile field-stretchers this week: John Ross ($4,400). He hasn’t played since suffering a Week 4 shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve, but the Bengals activated him on Tuesday and coach Zac Taylor expects him to play against Cleveland. He’s priced for optimal roster construction and possesses lid-lifting, 100th-percentile speed.

Robby Anderson’s price ($5,100) doesn’t reflect his recent spike in production. Facing the weakest defense in the league, his price still ranks below his high point this year ($5,500). If, by the grace of the fantasy gods, his ownership stays low, he’s a dream play in a crushable matchup against the Dolphins. Miami ranks last in defensive efficiency.