NFL DFS Main Slate – Above/Below – Key Plays for Week 15

The main NFL DFS slate features too many viable combinations to count in a lifetime, even when we eliminate several of the lower-end stacks we are left with possibilities galore at several positions. With NFL DFS picks, tips, tricks, touts, shoutouts, tweets, spreadsheets, slams, and sims coming from every direction all week, the purpose of this article is to feature a few plays for which our projections land above or below what appears to be the industry standard for the week, which will identify plays that are potentially over or undervalued by the public.

*note – despite the title of this article and what would probably be a more logical configuration, the “below” category comes first in the following content.

NFL DFS Sunday Main Slate Above/Below – Week 15


Patrick Mahomes – Quarterback – Kansas City Chiefs – $7,800/$8,100 – QB8 points/QB17 value DraftKings; QB8/QB9 FanDuel

23 touchdowns this season are an enduring testament to the talent of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. While that is not a particularly impressive total for this quarterback through 12 games, Mahomes has managed that total with possibly the worst wide receiver group in football. The quarterback has racked up 260.5 yards per game and 7.0 yards per attempt this season despite working with the likes of Kadarius Toney and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Travis Kelce is a superstar at the tight end position and Rashee Rice has grown into the lead role at wide receiver, but the team lacks a true number one receiver and that has been evident in their lackluster performances this season. Added to the issues inherent to the team’s composition is the fact that the opposing Patriots rank 1st against the run and 13th against the pass with 6.3 yards allowed per attempt. New England has given up just 14 passing touchdowns this season and they have 26 sacks with a 20.7% pressure rate and a 34.7% blitz rate. Mahomes will be without lead running back Isiah Pacheco and will have to rely on Clyde Edwards-Helaire against the tough rush defense, which means the team will be in obvious passing situations that will not be ideal. Mahomes has more than enough to beat this Patriots team twice over, but Vegas does not like this matchup for a ton of scoring, the game has just a 37.5-point total with Kansas City drawing a 23-point implied total. Mahomes ranks as a mid-level option, landing just inside the top-10 at 8th on both sites by fantasy points, but his points-per-dollar value on DraftKings is crushed by a high salary and he does not look like nearly as strong an option as in other circumstances.

Tommy DeVito – Quarterback – New York Giants – $5,000/$6,600 – QB17 points/QB12 value DraftKings; QB16/QB16 FanDuel

The Giants land as stack 17/16 on DraftKings and 17th across the board on FanDuel, they are not an appealing stack, though Tommy DeVito is an inexpensive quarterback at just $5,000/$6,600 across sites. DeVito’s growing legend is inflating faster than the expense account his newly famous “agent” is ringing up. DeVito has won more games than one would expect from someone who still needs his mom to drive him to the dentist, but the quarterback has relied primarily on his defense, the talent at the running back position, and a bit of good fortune to this point, he has posted one truly strong fantasy outing, though his extremely inexpensive pricing made him a winning option with just 158 yards and a touchdown on the short slate in Week 14. DeVito threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns, completing 18 of 26 passes in Week 11, he has thrown for less than 200 yards and just one touchdown in each of the two next games. DeVito will be facing a New Orleans pass defense that has been regarded as a spot to avoid for fantasy scoring in recent seasons. This year, the Saints rank 19th with 6.6 yards allowed per pass attempt but just 189.5 yards allowed per game and 16 touchdowns allowed on the season. New Orleans has managed 23 sacks and 14 interceptions with a 19.6% pressure rate and a 24% blitz rate this season, while DeVito has posted 6.6 yards per pass attempt in his six games. The quarterback has thrown eight touchdowns and three interceptions, but his play and overall opportunity is far too managed for sustained DFS success, even from a value perspective. DeVito has thrown just 17.5 passes per game so far in his career, completing 11 of them for 116 yards per game, this is not a prominent passer as quarterbacks go.

Lingering Lows

  • Kyler Murray
  • Antonio Gibson
  • Romeo Doubs
  • Rams defense
  • Tyjae Spears
  • Aaron Jones
  • Taysom Hill
  • Chuba Hubbard
  • James Cook

Don’t miss our full breakdown in the Groups/Stacks article, complete with notes & stack rankings for every team


Dak Prescott – Quarterback – Dallas Cowboys – $8,000/$8,600 – QB3 points/QB9 value DraftKings; QB3/QB5 FanDuel

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been on fire all season and a little bit of rain in the Buffalo area on Sunday is probably not going to be enough to extinguish his DFS excellence. Prescott has thrown for multiple touchdowns in seven straight games. In three of those seven games, the quarterback threw four touchdown passes, and he has a total of 22 over that stretch. Prescott has connected for a touchdown with standout receiver CeeDee Lamb in all but one of those seven games, the first-read receiver is the team’s primary weapon, he had 71 yards on 6-10 receiving last week and he put up a big 116-yard performance on a whopping 12 of 17 catches the week before, he and Prescott are a very high-end tandem in stacks. Prescott is expensive, his price cuts his value somewhat on both sites but he still lands as a top-10 option across the board and he has a nearly unrivaled ceiling for fantasy scoring with the weapons at his disposal and the team’s aggressive approach. The fact that he will be playing in the slate’s featured game against a very high-end opponent in a game with the second-highest total of the day at 49.5 is very appealing. Dallas is a 2.5-point underdog on the road but that simply amounts to home-field advantage, the money likes this one to stay close and provide scoring. Dallas ranks third by fantasy points and fourth by points-per-dollar in our stack rankings on DraftKings, they sit third by points and first overall by value on FanDuel, and Prescott is in the driver’s seat for the bulk of that value in any given game. We land more than two points ahead of the industry average projection on Prescott this week, he is our most heavily differentiated player against the average and we expect to be over the field on what will no doubt be a popular player and stack.

Saquon Barkley – Running Back – New York Giants – $7,300/$7,800 – RB6 points/RB12 value DraftKings; RB7/RB9 FanDuel

While the Giants’ quarterback and passing game may not be up to snuff in our projections, running back Saquon Barkley lands about 1.25 fantasy points above the industry average in our model in the team’s game against the Saints. New Orleans has given up 4.6 yards per rush attempt, the 26th-best mark in the league this season, and they have allowed a hefty 131.5 yards per game, though they are a bend-don’t-break defense against the run with just 0.69 touchdowns allowed per game. Barkley has gained 4.2 yards per rush attempt this season but he has managed just three rushing touchdowns in the inept Giants offense. Most of that is not Barkley’s fault, if you don’t believe that just wait until the eye-popping numbers he posts with the Chiefs or Chargers next season. Barkley remains one of the top talents in the league at the running back position, he is heavily targeted in the passing game and picks up additional value as a receiver both in full and half-PPR scoring formats, he has four receiving touchdowns on the season with 4.4 targets per game and five total red zone targets. Barkley also sees significant volume across the board, he had 20 carries and four targets last week and is at or above 20 potential touches most weeks of the season. If the Giants are going to find success against the Saints today it will be because Barkley was able to chew them up for 100 or more scrimmage yards and because the defense played well, then the hero of lightly breaded chicken fans everywhere will snatch the credit with one or two good passes late in the game.

Amari Cooper – Wide Receiver – Cleveland Browns – $6,000/$7,200 – WR8 points/WR5 value DraftKings; WR9/WR7 FanDuel

The Browns have not been frequent visitors to the above section through most of this season, but wide receiver Amari Cooper (and tight end David Njoku) are interesting options with veteran Joe Flacco at the helm. Flacco has looked like one of the league’s top quarterbacks over his first two starts. In Week 13 the veteran threw a surprising 44 passes, completing 23 of them for 254 yards and two touchdowns while losing an interception against the lowly Rams. Flacco followed that up with a dazzler against the Jaguars, throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns with an interception in that game as well. Flacco completed seven of those Week 14 passes for 77 yards to Cooper and, even more importantly, he targeted the top receiver a ridiculous 14 times. Cooper was out-targeted by Elijah Moore 12 to 5 in Flacco’s first game, but that discrepancy was corrected in the second outing and Cooper is the clear top option in the passing game. The Bears rank just 17th against the pass this season, allowing 6.4 yards per attempt and 230.85 yards per game with a sneaky-high 1.85 touchdowns allowed through the air per game for a total of 24 on the season. Chicago has just 21 sacks and a 19.1% pressure rate this season, Flacco should have time to allow Cooper and his fellow receivers to run their routes, and he has proven his ability to still deliver the ball, Cleveland has the potential to put up a strong game from mid-level ownership and low salaries this week, Cooper is showing top-10 scoring and value marks on both sites at the wide receiver position on this slate. Despite just two touchdowns on the season, Cooper’s heavy volume and potential connection with Flacco are interesting against such a weak pass defense, he has 876 yards on 57 receptions for the season with 105 targets and 8.3 yards per target. Cooper is a strong downfield option, he has an average depth of target of 13.4 yards this season and he has accrued 1,397 intended air yards in just 13 games with 684 completed air yards. The receiver has a fairly strong ceiling for the money in this spot, we are roughly 1.5 fantasy points ahead of the average industry projection for Amari Cooper on this slate.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Rachaad White
  • Brock Purdy
  • CeeDee Lamb
  • Josh Allen
  • Gabe Davis
  • Sam Howell
  • Jahan Dotson
  • Matthew Stafford
  • David Njoku
  • Jets Defense
  • Kyle Pitts
  • Juwan Johnson
  • Derrick Henry

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