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NFL DFS Week 15 Picks & Lineups

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Welcome to Week 15, where we get NFL games on four days. This is the first of three weeks, with games on Saturday.

Injuries have left us with approximately four starting quarterbacks, nine running backs, and one tight end. It’s business as usual for Showdown, but the Saturday and Sunday multi-game slates will have much to consider before lock as more players are ruled out.

Do not forget to check out all of The Game Day’s Week 15 fantasy football content. There’s a lot of great analysis from the crew as we enter the fantasy playoffs and twilight of the NFL regular season.

Reminder: Use the Table of Contents to the right to easily navigate each section of the weekly DFS article.

Week 15 Thursday Night Football DFS: Chargers @ Raiders

The NFL lines used for TNF are current as of Thursday, Dec. 14, at 12:00 p.m. ET., courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:

  • Spread: Raiders -3
  • Total: 34.5 Points

The injury report is bad, and that does not include the loss of Justin Herbert for the season after finger surgery,

Keenan Allen (heel) and CB Deane Leonard (ankle/heel) are out for Los Angeles. Donald Parham Jr. (shoulder, $2,800 on DraftKings), LB Amen Ogbongbemiga (hamstring), and DT Otito Ogbonnia (knee) are questionable.

Las Vegas has a depressing injury list, too. OC Andre James (ankle) and OT Kolton Miller (shoulder) will miss Week 15. Josh Jacobs (quad, $10,200), Davante Adams (illness, $11,200), DE Maxx Crosby (knee), DT Adam Butler (ankle), and DB Brandon Facyson (shin) are questionable.

Jacobs is not expected to play, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.


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Four of the top five players in salary are out or questionable, which means numerous slots to pay down at. Zamir White ($3,000) should operate as the early down back for the Raiders sans Jacobs, with Ameer Abdullah ($4,800) getting passing downs and two-minute drill work, as a base.

The one thing Aidan O’Connell ($9,600) has that Easton Stick lacks ($9,400) is his WR1. Davante Adams ($11,200) continues to hog the target share from AOC. Adams averages just shy of 10 targets per game (30 over his past three games), including a healthy 17.6% target per snap percentage. The next closest to Adams in both categories is Jakobi Meyers ($8,600, 6.8, 12.2%).

Stick does have do-it-all back Austin Ekeler ($11,000), but he has seen less of the rushing work, barely scraping 10 carries per game over the past month. It wouldn’t be surprising to find out after this season that Ekeler’s ankle injury to start the campaign lingered.

If you don’t want to consider Ekeler L.A.’s WR1, then that title goes to Josh Palmer ($6,200). He missed the last six games due to a knee injury, so it is unknown if he will be thrusted into a full-time rule. If he is, Palmer will be vital in keeping the ball moving against the Raiders defense ($4,200). LV’s defense has 23 of their 33 sacks coming at home and averages 8.7 fantasy points per game in Sin City (5.0 on the road).

Favorite Thursday Night DraftKings Showdown Plays

* Stacks

Captain Austin Ekeler with Chargers DST and Michael Mayer

Salary should not be an issue in most builds. Mayer or Meyers could be the best receiving option coming back with lower aDOTs and similar targets per game the past month.

Captain Zamir White with Raiders DST and Josh Palmer

Unless the Chargers limit Palmer’s workload, I expect Stick to lock in on him. White will be a popular CPT since he allows Ekeler and Adams to fit most builds comfortably.

Captain Davante Adams with Aidan O’Connell and Gerald Everett

Everett could be the best pass catcher, not named Ekeler, for the Chargers. If Parham is ruled out, Everett has little competition from his other position-mates.

* Dart Throws/Cheap Options

RB Brandon Bolden ($200)

If Jacobs is out, Bolden would slot in as the RB3 for the Raiders.

TE Stone Smartt ($200)

If head coach Brandon Staley is looking for extra juice in the passing game, Smartt should be active. He has been a healthy scratch, so blocking TEs Stephen Anderson and Nick Vannett can be active. Parham’s status could lead to Smartt playing. He is third on the Chargers in TE production.

WRs Alex Erickson ($1,000) and Jalen Guyton ($1,400)

Both wideouts played on offense over rookie Derius Davis. Erickson is a low-aDOT safety blanket, while Guyton adds a deep threat should Stick want to take shots downfield.

*Thursday Night Captain Picks

Austin Ekeler ($16,500)

Ekeler saw seven targets in Week 14, his most since Week 10. Expect the same and more as the only known offensive threat on the Chargers.

Davante Adams ($16,800)

Few receivers get the work Adams does, but O’Connell is no guarantee to get the ball to him despite a plus matchup against the L.A. secondary.

Zamir White ($4,500)

White has a chance to see 15 total touches at a friendly price tag for builds.

Josh Palmer ($9,300)

I am a believer in Palmer getting the WR1 duties since the Chargers are struggling with fielding three decent WRs. Vegas is in the top 10 in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to wideouts according to 4for4, but that is more reason to lean into a heavier target share for a desperate team.

Week 15 DFS Saturday Slate

We get our first taste of Saturday football this week with three matchups. Below are the players I plan on building around.

Quarterback

Jake Browning (vs MIN), Mitchell Trubisky (@ IND), Gardner Minshew (vs PIT), and Russell Wilson (@ DET)

Wilson will garner the most rostership, having the best QB matchup. He and Trubisky are the only QBs with consistent rushing floors when starting. We saw Trubisky save an abysmal start in Week 14 with a rushing score.

The Bengals passing game is going to be skipped over with the Vikings defense top 10 in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to QBs, RBs, and TEs, according to 4for4. It’s a prime spot for a stack and Justin Jefferson as the comeback.

Running Back

Ty Chandler (@ CIN), Chase Brown (vs MIN), Jaylen Warren (@ IND), and Jahmyr Gibbs (vs DEN)

There will be rostership on Zack Moss and Javonte Williams, and it’s justified. The four names listed help add variance in rostership, or complete fades of the perceived best RB plays.

Brown is particularly interesting as his snap and touch percentage has increased in his two games since returning from I.R. His 20 total touches in 29 snaps the past two weeks show that he will get the ball when he is on the field. His fresh legs are a boon for the surging Bengals.

Wide Receiver

Justin Jefferson (@ CIN), Tee Higgins (vs MIN), Michael Pittman Jr. (vs PIT), and Courtland Sutton (@ DET)

Sutton sticks out, especially if avoiding a Broncos stack to avoid getting duped. The Lions have allowed their opponent’s WR1 to get 96, 94, 119, and 68 yards over their past four games. Of those four performances, three found the end zone.

Tight End

T.J. Hockenson (@ CIN), Pat Freiermuth (@ IND), and Sam LaPorta (vs DEN)

Hockenson and Freiermuth have top five matchups according to aFPA, and LaPorta is having a historic rookie TE experience. Don’t overthink the position on a short slate.

DST

Colts (vs PIT), Steelers (@ IND), and Bengals (vs MIN)

Indy and Pitt offer pivots off Bengals-Vikings with lower floors. Minnesota is also the cheapest option with rostership attached to it.

Indy is a slight home favorite, and the Steelers got full practices from T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. According to Brandon Thorn of Establish The Run, both defensive lines in the midday game have edges over their offensive line counterparts.

Week 15 DFS Sunday Main Slate

Injuries! Holy cow, the injury bug is claiming offensive players left and right.

Week 15 will be without C.J. Stroud (concussion), Isiah Pacheco (shoulder), Brian Robinson Jr. (hamstring), and Nico Collins (calf), among others.

There are also legit weather concerns with Jets-Dolphins, with winds expected in the 20-25 mph range and gusts pushing 40 mph.

We persist! The Game Day fantasy football team has you covered for all the games between Saturday and Monday. Get rankings, start/sits, and more!

Week 15 Quarterbacks to Target

Matthew Stafford (vs WAS), Dak Prescott (@ BUF), and Josh Allen (vs DAL)

Price and rostership be damned, Prescott and Allen are in the best game environment, with Cowboys games averaging 55 points per game over the past month and the Bills playing in games averaging the most plays per game (139) over the same plan.

Week 15 Quarterbacks to Consider

Sam Howell (@LAR), Jordan Love (vs TB), and Brock Purdy (@ ARI)

Love will get overlooked being sandwiched between Stafford and Howell in pricing, but he has a chance to face a Bucs defense missing up to six starters. Love will also be in play if Aaron Jones (knee) and A.J. Dillon (broken thumb) are inactive.

Week 15 Running Backs to Target

Raheem Mostert (vs NYJ), Kyren Williams (vs WAS), and Ezekiel Elliott (vs KC)

Zeke is a cash game lock without Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) because of his elite passing role. Mostert will be in my top RB group because of weather, injuries, and getting out of a bad situation with a win.

Week 15 Running Backs to Consider

Christian McCaffrey (@ ARI), Tony Pollard (@ BUF), and Derrick Henry (vs HOU)

Henry is in a smash spot with half of the Texans offense out. Despite Will Levis‘s excellent Week 14, there is no need to put more pressure on him with Henry looking like his annual December self.

Week 15 Wide Receivers to Target

Curtis Samuel (@ LAR), Puka Nacua (vs WAS), and Marquise Brown (vs SF)

I can’t explain why Howell loves Samuel as much as he does, but I won’t complain. The former Buckeye continues to get priced low and is a road underdog.

Week 15 Wide Receivers to Consider

Stefon Diggs (vs DAL), CeeDee Lamb (@ BUF), and Wan’Dale Robinson (@ NO)

I’d be overweight on Robinson if Parris Campbell were to miss another game, but I doubt he does. Wan’Dale’s aDOT hit double-digits in Week 14, and he has developed chemistry with rookie QB Tommy DeVito. Being a road dog with the aforementioned pluses makes the slot receiver a pay-down option.

Week 15 Tight Ends to Target

Jake Ferguson (@ BUF), Travis Kelce (@ NE), and Cole Kmet (@ CLE)

Despite being a top defense in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to tight ends, the Browns are battered on all three levels of the defense. Kmet has been the second read for Justin Fields and should remain that with the remaining Browns monsters on defense trying to get to him.

Week 15 Tight Ends to Consider

George Kittle (@ ARI), Trey McBride (vs SF), and Tucker Kraft (vs TB)

Even if LB Devin White (foot) plays, Kraft is getting targeted a lot (10 the past two games) and could be in a situation where dump-offs to him replicate runs if Green Bay is without its top two backs.

Week 15 DST to Target

Titans (vs HOU), Jets (@ MIA), and Patriots (vs KC)

New York has an opportunity to put a bruising on Tua Tagovailoa with the Dolphins down to one or two original starting offensive linemen, depending on Sunday’s inactives.

Week 15 DST to Consider

Bills (vs DAL), Giants (@ NO), and Bears (@ CLE)

Did you know the Bears have 14 fantasy points on defense each of the past two games?

The Bills are a slim favorite because of their bargain price tag. What gives it validity is Buffalo’s increased sack and fumble recovery rates at home. Fumble recoveries are fluid, but the defense likes playing at home.

Favorite Week 15 Dart Throws

QB: Will Levis (vs HOU)

RB: Patrick Taylor (vs TB)

WR: Treylon Burks (vs HOU)

TE: Tommy Tremble (vs ATL)

DST: Panthers (vs ATL)

Week 15 Sunday Night Football DFS Showdown: Ravens @ Jaguars

  • Spread: Ravens -3.5
  • Total: 42 Points

Baltimore heads to Jacksonville relatively clean on the injury report. S Kyle Hamilton (knee) and LB Malik Hamm (ankle) are questionable.

Jacksonville will be without CB Tyson Campbell (quad) and S Andre Sisco (groin). Jamal Agnew (IR, shoulder, $200 on DraftKings), Brenton Strange (foot, $200), OLs Ezra Cleveland (knee) and Walker Little (hamstring), CBs Christian Braswell (hamstring) and Tre Herndon (concussion), and LS Ross Matiscik (back) are questionable.

Bad weather is expected to end prior to kickoff, so a wet field is the worst of the conditions because of precipitation. Winds could push 15 mph.

At this point, Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken needs to target a Jags secondary that is not only injured, but is allowing the 4th-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to opposing WRs, according to 4for4.

Jacksonville also runs 80% of their defense in zone, a defense Zay Flowers ($8,800) is best at beating. His consistency is already a target for Showdown, but his elusive spike week could be nigh.

This also leads to positive vibes for Odell Beckham Jr. ($7,200) and Nelson Agholor ($2,400) in builds avoiding Baltimore’s three-headed backfield against an okay Jags run defense.

Speaking of the Jaguars, their offense is pass first, fit in runs with Travis Etienne Jr. ($10,200) where it makes sense. Only three offenses have a Passing Rate Over Expectation (PROE) higher than Jacksonville. That’d be better if Trevor Lawrence ($10,400) had a healthy offensive line and ankle while facing a Ravens defense ($4,400) second in sack rate on the season.

Favorite Sunday Night DraftKings Showdown Plays

* Stacks

Captain Travis Etienne Jr. with Jaguars defense and Zay Flowers

The Jags defense is not a formidable one more often than not, but their 5.51% sack rate the past three weeks is 0.38% better than overall. Josh Allen is a force, and Travon Walker is making strides.

Captain Zay Flowers with Lamar Jackson and Zay Jones

Target rate monsters Flowers and Jones open salary for spike players such as OBJ and Calvin Ridley.

Captain Calvin Ridley with Trevor Lawrence and Isaiah Likely

Likely and OBJ could be flipped depending on rostership, as they are $400 apart in pricing.

Lamar Jackson with One Pass Catcher

Pick a single WR/TE and build the rest around Jacksonville to ge unique.

* Dart Throws/Cheap Options

WR Jamal Agnew ($200)

If active, Agnew slots in as the WR3 for a pass-heavy Jacksonville offense and is a trick play option as a WR or RB.

TE Luke Farrell ($1,200)

Farrell would need to find the end zone to pay off his salary.

WR Nelson Agholor ($2,400)

The veteran has hit every peak and valley possible in 2023, but make sense if building for the over to hit, as well as the Ravens to be trailing more often than not.

*Sunday Night Captains

Lamar Jackson ($18,600)

Jackson could realistically hit the passing and rushing yard bonuses no matter the game script because of the swiss cheese Jaguars defense. The best talent, go figure, is priced the highest.

Trevor Lawrence ($15,600)

Lawrence offers leverage at CPT because a lot of DFS players will pass on him because his rushing could be capped with his ankle sprain that he is playing through.

Zay Jones ($8,400)

Fully healthy, Jones has one more target than Ridley over the past two games and is back to being T-Law’s binky.

Zay Flowers ($13,200)

The rookie is my favorite non-QB CPT because he continues to possess a 25% target rate no matter the personnel available to the Ravens.

Week 14 Monday Night Football DFS Showdown: Eagles @ Seahawks

  • Spread: Eagles -3.5
  • Total: 45 Points

Philadelphia will be without three critical players. LB Zach Cunningham (knee), OG Cam Jurgens (pectoral), and CB Darius Slay (knee) were ruled out, while Jalen Hurts (illness, $11,400 on DraftKings) is questionable.

Seattle could also be without numerous contributors. S Jamal Adams (knee), LB Nick Bellore (knee), CB Devon Witherspoon (hip), D’Wayne Eskridge (ribs, $200), and Geno Smith (groin, $9,400) are all questionable. Smith may need a Monday miracle to play with his groin issue.

If you thought the Eagles offense was run-heavy with Hurts healthy, imagine it with Marcus Mariota ($6,000). Only 10 teams have a lower neutral situation pass rate than Philly and would be in a bad spot if Mariota started and had to consistently push the ball down the field, especially if losing.

In four games since their bye, D’Andre Swift ($8,000) has been capped, maxing out with 15 total touches Weeks 11-12. He has 17 total the other two games, including his first catchless game of 2023 Week 14.

The best outcome is the run game finally gets on track, and the offense can take advantage of the 1-2 receiving punch of A.J. Brown ($11,200) and DeVonta Smith ($9,000). The passing game is concentrated to the point that Smith is the distant WR2 for the Eagles, but still has a 24% target share.

Drew Lock ($9,200) may be Seattle’s best chance at winning with Smith nursing a groin injury. He played well in his Week 14 spot start in San Francisco and averaged a healthy 8.7 yards per passing attempt. Injuries to the Eagles secondary as only a three-point home underdog should provide some relief for the offense.

Jaxon Smith-Njiba ($5,600) led the talented Seahawks WR trio with seven targets Week 14. Against a recently struggling, but overall productive Eagles defense ($4,600), JSN’s target share could remain similar with the lowest aDOT of the three.

Favorite Monday Night DraftKings Showdown Plays

* Stacks

Captain DK Metcalf with Drew Lock/Geno Smith and Dallas Goedert

Metcalf’s salary will make him a fade at CPT, which is why he is arguably the best leverage up top. Swift gets a top four Week 15 matchup according to 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) metric.

Captain D’Andre Swift with Eagles DST and Jaxon Smith-Njigba

This play will gain steam if Hurts is out, but Swift’s recent production will keep his rostership in check.

Captain A.J. Brown with Jalen Hurts/Marcus Mariota and Tyler Lockett

Brown has double-digit targets in six games this season, including two straight. Part of his production has been because of the struggling run game, so including Swift in Brown CPT builds is not always recommended.

Captain Zach Charbonnet with Seahawks DST and Kenneth Walker III

This is an uncommon build, but including the second RB in a tandem backfield with your RB CPT has correlated in winning lineups.

* Dart Throws/Cheap Options

TEs Will Dissly ($200) and Colby Parkinson ($200)

Neither has been productive, but each continue to play behind Noah Fant, and Parkinson found paydirt Week 14.

WR Quez Watkins ($800)

Since returning from I.R., Watkins has run as the Eagles WR3. He is the definition of boom-or-bust, posting as many goose eggs as games with a catch (3). The injured Seahawks secondary could allow any of Philly’s wideouts to get behind them.

WR Olamide Zaccheaus ($2,200)

Zaccheaus got the deep target connection over Watkins Week 14. It was his only catch, but at his salary he’d need a few catches and/or a touchdown to pay off his salary.

*Captains

Jalen Hurts ($17,100)

If Hurts plays, play him as if the illness isn’t an issue. Philadelphia needs to win this game, especially after the Cowboys lost. Hurts is good to throw for multiple TDs and then score a few of his own.

Dallas Goedert ($9,300)

Goedert has another week of practice under his belt, and his involvement Week 14 was encouraging despite being the third-most targeted option by a wide margin behind Brown and Smith.

Tyler Lockett ($9,900)

Lockett makes sense as long as Metcalf’s CPT rostership climbs ahead of kickoff. Lockett has less risk because of his usage closer the QB, no matter who is under center.

Author

Jeff Hicks

Jeff is the Digital Content Coordinator at The Game Day. He has been covering sports in some fashion for a decade. He has been published on Yahoo Fantasy, 4for4, FantasyLabs, The Action Network, Bleacher Report, Daily Herald (IL), and numerous others. His first published piece was a poem in 8th grade, so naturally he progressed to sports writing.

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