We’re nearing the end of the 2018. A depressing thought indeed. Week 14 was a beautiful mess, per usual. Quarterbacks remained relatively predictable. Nick Mullens put up a solid performance against the Broncos, and Derek Carr mirrored his Week 13 fantasy numbers at home against the Steelers. Josh Allen was able to rush for over 100 yards against the Jets, but his turnovers put a heavy damper on his fantasy output.
Tight ends from Week 14? Well, Ian Thomas was a kernel of hope among a throng of despair. The position has been a headache all season. If you played Kittle, there was a good chance you won your Week 14 match-up! He was just 4 yards short of breaking the all-time NFL record for receiving yards in a game by a tight end. You gotta wonder why/how he didn’t get a single reception in the second half of that game to break the record. Either way, we’re on to Week 15. If you’re still in contention in your Season Long leagues, congratulations! Whether you’re heading to your league’s championship or semi-final this week, we got your quarterback and tight end streamers covered. If DFS is more your speed or you’ve turned to DFS after being knocked out of your Season Long leagues, don’t worry. We still got you covered.
Lamar Jackson vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – FD: $7,700 | DK: $5,900
As the old saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And that’s the logic we’ll apply to Lamar Jackson this week. Jackson looks to be growing more confident in his passing game, throwing for two touchdowns with zero interceptions last week against the Chiefs. He also maintained his fantasy floor as a rusher, running for 71 yards on 13 attempts. The outcome of that game must have certainly been frustrating for the rookie, but he (and the Ravens’ vaunted defense) gave his team the best chance at a victory. In Week 15 the Ravens will be facing off against the Bucs. Granted, their defense, admittedly, has improved since Mark Duffner took over as Defensive Coordinator, but not enough to shy away from starting a perfectly usable quarterback against them. Jackson should continue to find his value on the ground, and if he improves throwing the ball his ceiling will mirror that improvement.
Josh Allen vs. Detroit Lions – FD: $7,600 | DK: $5,800
How can you pass up on a player, any player, who has averaged 112 rushing yards over the past three games. That’s Josh Allen, and he’s a quarterback. The kid is impressive in his running ability. His ability to turn the ball over is less impressive, and borderline infuriating. Against the Jets this past weekend he threw two interceptions and lost one fumble. Take away those turnovers and you’re looking at a QB1 type of day. That’s a big ask from the rookie who seems to have a penchant for at least one turnover a game. Still, you have to give the kid a chance. In Week 15 he’ll be playing at home against a Lions’ defense that is decent enough against the pass, but has struggled mightily against the run. Sounds like Allen’s cup of tea.
Nick Mullens vs. Seattle Seahawks – FD: $6,600 | DK: $4,800
On Sunday, Nick Mullens lit up the Denver defense (with a sizeable helping hand from George Kittle) to the tune of 322 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Now, I know that you might be scared of the Seattle match-up, but let me put your mind at ease. It’s a divisional game, and while the Seahawks have essentially dominated the 49ers in head-to-head matchups over the past 4 years, the 49ers do have a habit of keeping games close for a while. Not to mention the last time Mullens went up against the Seahawks (in Seattle mind you) he threw for 414 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. This was just two weeks ago. Mullens is gaining momentum at home after a huge win against the Broncos this past week. I would be very surprised if he doesn’t build on that success, and put up a fight against the 49ers’ division rivals this Sunday.
Baker Mayfield @ Denver Broncos – FD: $7,500 | DK: $6,000
He’s a more expensive option in DFS than the majority of these quarterbacks, but he’s still outside the top 10 in terms of cost at the position. This match-up is a fantastic test for the rookie. Their team is still in playoff contention (despite the Hue Jackson effect), and they’re going on the road to Mile High stadium to face off against a Broncos team that is also in the playoff hunt. The Broncos are coming off a bad loss on the road to the 49ers of all teams. I believe that if Nick Mullens can get it done against the Broncos, then so can Baker Mayfield. Mayfield’s last two starts have been lackluster at best, but he did show flourishes of excellence, completing multiple passes of at least 50 air yards this past week. I expect that this will be an exciting game, and that Mayfield will have a bounce back fantasy performance. As always you want to keep your eyes on the weather in Mile High!
Derek Carr vs. Cincinnati Bengals – FD: $6,800 | DK: $5,400
Carr, underneath those naturally smokey eyes, has had himself a solid two game home stretch. Over that two game span, Derek has averaged 303 passing yards, 2.5 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Now comes the real test. Can he repeat these numbers on the road? I believe that he can and will in Week 15. The Bengals’ defense did put up a fight against the Chargers on the road, but they’re still one of the worst defenses against the pass in the League. On paper, Carr shouldn’t have much of an issue connecting with his pass catchers, and maintaining his current average. Let’s hope that he reads that paper and sticks to the script. I figure he will, and that this game will be a high scoring affair between two teams who are just fighting for pride at this point in the season.
Marcus Mariota vs. New York Giants – FD: $7,100 | DK: $5,100
Mariota had a bad fantasy day against the Jaguars last Thursday, well, because he simply didn’t need to throw the ball. Derek Henry did all the legwork both figuratively and literally. Before Week 14, Mariota had two strong starts against relatively competitive defenses. The Titans are in the playoff hunt. This game certainly matters more to them than their opponent, the Giants. The Giants on the other hand will be trying to put a wrench in the Titans’ playoff plans. I expect more from Mariota this week. The Giants will certainly be expecting a heavy ground attack with Henry this week, which should encourage Mariota to throw the ball in a more balanced approach.
Hail Mary Quarterback of the Week
Jeff Driskel @ Oakland – FD: $6,400 | DK: $4,100
As I said above in Carr’s breakdown, this game has the makings of a shootout. Shootouts benefit the quarterbacks, and Driskel is the Bengals’ starting QB. It’s not ideal, but if it were it wouldn’t be a Hail Mary play. The Raiders’ run defense showed up in a big way against the Steelers last Sunday, and I expect a similar defense to show up in Cincy. If the Bengals aren’t able to establish a run game on Sunday they’ll look to Driskel to exploit the porous Raiders secondary. Can he do that at home? I think he can and will.
Ian Thomas vs. New Orleans Saints – FD: $5,400 | DK: $3,400
Ian was one of the few bright spots at the tight end position, from a streaming/DFS standpoint. He was targeted 11 times, and managed to haul in 9 of those targets for 77 yards. Impressive numbers for the rookie, and promising for the young tight end who is in a position to be the future tight end in the Panthers’ offense. Now this week’s match-up against the Saints is not ideal. The Saints have had a relatively stout defense against tight ends all season, despite giving up two touchdowns to my main man, Brate, in last weekend’s affair. Fortunately, there’s a little bit of history on our side. When the Panthers & the Saints face off it typically develops into an offensive bloodbath. That’s not to say that Thomas will have an explosive game, but he should maintain a healthy portion of his target share. Enough to make him a confident stream.
David Njoku @ Denver Broncos – FD: $5,300 | DK: $3,600
Njoku has struggled of late, there’s no denying that. Of his past six games he’s only broken double digit fantasy points twice, and his target share has been noticeably diminished. The Browns’ new offensive scheme clearly doesn’t involve as much Njoku as we would have liked. Still! Did you see what Kittle did against the Broncos last Sunday? He put on a clinic, and you can bet that his peers were taking notes. With only two weeks left (hopefully) of your fantasy seasons, Njoku on the road in Denver is certainly a risk. Then again, what tight end outside of the Top 3 hasn’t been? The Mayfield/Njoku connection gets re-established this weekend.
Vernon Davis @ Jacksonville – FD: $5,300 | DK: $3,200
The match-up isn’t ideal, but Vernon’s opportunity makes up for that. Jordan Reed re-injured his foot last Sunday during the route against the Giants, and when Davis stepped in, hauled in four out of four targets for 31 yards. Pedestrian numbers, but he was involved which is what matters. Jacksonville’s defense must be chomping at the bit to play opposite either Mark Sanchez or Josh Johnson. I can predict a lot of short passes underneath to the tight end in order to protect the ball. This benefits Davis. The doesn’t strike me as a high scoring affair, but I believe Davis will be targeted enough to have a productive fantasy outing in Week 15.
Hail Mary Tight End of the Week
Blake Jarwin @ Indianapolis Colts – FD: $4,700 | DK: $2,700
It’s Week 15, and I’m suggesting Blake Jarwin as a potential tight end streaming/DFS candidate. “Is this real life?” The fact of the matter is it’s hard to ignore the targets he received this past Sunday night against the Eagles (7 targets, for 7 receptions and 56 yards). It’s also hard to ignore the shift this offense has made since the arrival of Amari Cooper. Things are different in Dallas, and for the better. Let’s not forget that we are less than one year removed from the Jason Witten era. The Dallas offense relied on the tight end for significant production for years. It would make sense that they want to re-institute a similar offensive scheme. Is Jarwin the clear cut recipient of that role? It’s hard to say. But with Geoff Swaim out, the tight end pool slims a bit in Dallas making it a little easier to determine who will be the primary benefactor of tight end targets. This week’s match-up against the Colts is intriguing as well. This game has the signs of a potential shootout. The Eagles showed that the Cowboys’ defense isn’t impenetrable, and they’ll be away from home, too. I expect Jarwin to maintain his target share in what should be a relatively high scoring game which gives him obvious value.
QB/TE Combo for Week #15
Last week I tried to break out of my comfort zone, and give you a combo, that I thought would yield the best results based on projected DFS ownership. It didn’t work out that well, and my heart remains broken by Trey Burton’s fall from grace within the Bears’ offense. I could write a diatribe against that tight end, but let’s stay on topic. This week, I’m gonna suggest a throwback as the QB/TE Combo. Baker Mayfield & David Njoku. Mayfield and the Browns will be tested this Sunday going on the road to Denver. It makes sense that he would target Njoku given just how god awful the Broncos’ defense has been this season defending the tight end position. If you saw what Kittle did to them this past week then you’d understand. Week 15: Mayfield/Njoku.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #167, 6/23/2019 Host Brian Roach, Jr., Co-Host Cole Freel, Guest Kevin Bzdek
Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #169, 8/4/2019 Host Cole Freel, Guest Joe Iannone
@brandonziman You are more than welcome Brandon. You were a fantastic writer and a joy to work with. As we move through a very big transition for us hopefully we can continue to work with one anither.