We're in the thick of the playoff hunt here in Week 15, with several teams either playing for pride, or packing it in. This week's slate on FanDuel is chocked full of great matchups and value plays. I'll go through a few of my favorites below.
TJ Yates - $6,000
Yates is your Hail Mary, save on quarterback option this week. The Texans are heading to Indianapolis to face the Colts, the winner will take sole possession of first place in the AFC South. Yates is not a hidden gem destined to take over the starting role, but he is a capable backup that shrugs off mistakes, and loves to throw it deep. DeAndre Hopkins has been very lightly targeted over the last couple of games. That trend will not continue with Yates under center. Yates will give Hopkins a chance to compete for passes, and I think Nuk will come down with more than his fair share of them. At $6k, you don't need a whole lot out of Yates to hit value, and owning him this week will let you pack the rest of your roster with studs.
Drew Brees - $8,000
If you like to spend up at quarterback, I like Brees this week, playing at home, on Monday night, against the Detroit Lions. The Lions defense is playing well, but betting against Drew Brees at home in prime time is a great way to go broke. We're in for a shootout on Monday according to Vegas, with this game's over/under set at 51. It has been tough sledding for the Saints at times this year, but Brees will come through for you in this one.
Denard Robinson - $6,300
Robinson is expected to get the starting nod in week 15 with TJ Yeldon suffering injury last week. We've seen Robinson perform well when given the opportunity in the past, and the Jaguars are hosting the an Atlanta defense that is getting torched by every competent running back they face. Robinson will likely be highly owned at this excellent price, but I'll take the value here and look to diversify my lineup elsewhere.
James Starks - $5,800
For the Packers, the talk last week was all Eddie Lacy and his redemption song. Overlooked a bit in all the Lacy praise was Starks' two touchdown effort. Both running backs are looking good in Green Bay, and with Mike McCarthy returning to play call duty, it seems that the Pack may start to rely on their two-headed backfield with their lack of receiving options. I think both Green Bay backs are good plays this week, but Starks showed last week that he can really explode on a defense that has been ground down and worn out by Lacy's hard running.
Markus Wheaton - $5,900
This Steelers v Broncos matchup is a great strength versus strength game with a seemingly unstoppable Pittsburgh offense going against a defense that has been exceptionally stout all year. The last time we saw the Steelers play against a similarly scary defense in the Seattle Seahawks, Wheaton went for over 200 yards receiving and looked good doing it. I think we'll see something similar this week, with Aqib Talib and Chris Harris slowing down (not stopping, just slowing down) Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, while Heath Miller and Markus Wheaton roam the middle of the field picking up chunk yardage all day.
Willie Snead - $6,000
Snead continues to perform when healthy for the Saints. We'll get a tasty matchup on Monday Night, and as I mentioned earlier, I think Brees is going to have a typical, big prime time performance. Snead and Brandin Cooks should be the main beneficiaries, and at $6k, Snead offers a great floor with plenty of upside.
Tyler Lockett - $6,000
As you can see, I like a lot of guys priced in this $6k range this week. Lockett is coming on strong at the end of his rookie campaign, powered by a sizzling hot Russel Wilson. The Seahawks are hosting the Cleveland Browns this week and this one may get out of hand early. Fortunately, even when the ‘Hawks are firing on all cylinders, they do not take their foot off the gas pedal. Seattle is playing like a team possessed as they get ready for their playoff run, and I want a piece of this offense come Sunday.
Heath Miller - $5,600
It's always great to have that one octogenarian in the lineup to help keep the young guys in line. Miller has no flash to his game, but he's a Roethlisberger favorite and teams have had some success with the tight ends facing Denver. This is a safe, volume play.
Will Tye - $4,900
And now we go to our broken record segment of the article. Will Tye everyone. Eli leans on the tight end, creating a new name for us to kick around near the end of each season. Tye is the guy this year. He's not flashy, and does not have overwhelming physical traits, but he is a dependable relief valve for Eli Manning. The matchup against Carolina this week is a tough one, but the Giants seem to save themselves for their toughest opponents. I expect Tye to hand in another solid, 8-9 point performance, and I'm crossing my fingers that he'll tack on a receiving touchdown to push him over as a great play this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers - $4,600
The Steelers are the near-min price D of the week. The Broncos offense is in shambles. Brock Osweiler is getting pressured, and hearing footsteps when his O-line does manage to get things blocked well. Both Ronnie Hillman and CJ Anderson are nursing injuries, and the Steelers pass rush is picking up here at the close of the season. Denver's defense may be able to keep this one close, but a couple of quick scores from Pittsburgh early could put the Broncos in dire situation, relying on Brock to drop back and chuck it to Demaryius Thomas and friends.
Kansas City Chiefs - $5,200
If I end up with some extra cash in lineups this week, I'll be spending it on the KC defense. The Ravens have been playing their hearts out, but they've lost too much on offense to even be competitive. The Chiefs D is showing well against mediocre offenses, and they'll have another one of those opportunities this week when the travel to Baltimore.
Blair Walsh - $4,600
Walsh is just about min-price, and the Vikings are hosting the Bears this weekend. Neither Chicago nor Minnesota are much threat to light up the scoreboard, but both coaches are likely to play conservative and take points where they can get them. A slow, slug it out NFC North matchup is expected, so I'll toss in Walsh this week.