Open-Ended DFS: Don’t Blink

One day we’re 12 years old in our mothers’ basements, joining a fantasy football draft online with a bunch of strangers. 

We blink, and it’s 10 years later, and we’re still doing fantasy football drafts. But this time it’s in our loft apartments. It still happens online, but now the online strangers we play with have grown into more than just casual seasonal meetings. Now we can call them our friends.

Sometimes we’re afraid to blink today because of knowing what the future brings. Will it still be just like it is today – the good times – playing, writing, talking and laughing about fantasy football with our friends?

Week 15 Water Tower DFS Picks

RB: Cam Akers (New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams) — $6,600

Welcome to the Cam Akers show, Los Angeles. After last week’s 29-carry, 171-yard performance against New England, the rookie running back has to be considered the main guy for the Rams. While I’m sure Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson will still get some carries, this is Akers’ backfield now and that tenure starts with one hell of a favorable matchup against the New York Jets. And while I’ve been known to pick against the Jets before in this column, I trust Akers will continue to shine no matter who the Rams are playing. – Elliot Hicks

WR: Brandon Aiyuk (San Francisco at Dallas) — $6,300

Rookie sensation Brandon Aiyuk is still going at a great value on DraftKings this week considering he just had 16 targets last week that he turned into 10 receptions for 119 yards.

He’s a high-ceiling, solid-floor play against a Dallas defense that allows 26.9 Points Per Reception (PPR) points to opposing receivers and should be a favorite amongst lineups this week. – Seth Woolcock

WR: Calvin Ridley (Tampa Bay at Atlanta) — $8,200

There’s a very strong argument to be made that Calvin Ridley is the number one receiver in Atlanta moving forward. Ridley just broke the 1,000-yard mark while pulling in eight catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. 

He’s averaging 19.9 PPR points per game and has established himself as a key piece in the Falcon’s offense. This week Ridley will be at home against a wavering-of-late Tampa secondary. In addition, Julio Jones is battling a hamstring injury that held him out of Week 14, and even if Jones plays, that soft tissue injury could slow him down. I’m all-in on Ridley this week. – Thomas Cuda

QB: Ryan Tannehill (Detroit at Tennessee) — $6,700

Who would have thought we would ever be talking about Ryan Tannehill as an elite quarterback? It’s incredible what can happen when you get talent away from Adam Gase. Tannehill has quietly been a solid fantasy football play this season. He has thrown 28 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions this far in 2020 and has Tennessee on the path to another playoff appearance.

This week is a prime matchup for Tannehill and one you’ll want to exploit. Detroit has had a poor defense all season, giving up an average of 21.9 fantasy points to quarterbacks, and Tannehill should be able to exceed that total this week. At $6,700, he is a relatively low-priced anchor to build your rosters around and lead your team to the money. – Nate Polvogt

Week 15 Typewriter DFS Picks

WR: T.Y. Hilton (Houston at Indianapolis)  $5,500

The T.Y. Hilton of old appears to be back. He has had three consecutive weeks with double-digit fantasy production with four touchdowns during that stretch. He shredded Houston two weeks ago and I see no reason to think he won’t repeat that performance. It’s possible we see 100+ yards and a touchdown or two this week. $5500 seems too cheap for a guy who could put up 25+ fantasy points this week. – Conor Coughlin

WR: Lynn Bowden Jr. (New England at Miami) — $3,600

Between injuries and positive COVID-19 tests, the Miami Dolphins’ offense is depleted. But thanks to rookie WR/RB Lynn Bowden Jr., there’s still value to be had.

Bowden Jr., who worked a majority out of the slot in Week 14 secured seven of nine targets for 82 yards against a solid Kansas City defense.

For the price of $3,600, I’m firing him up everywhere I can for his matchup this week against an underwhelming New England defense – allowing major flexibility at other positions. – Woolcock

WR: James Washington (Pittsburgh at Cincinnati) — $3,900

We’re digging deep with some of these typewriter picks this week, but James Washington is going to at the very least be well worth his price on “Monday Night Football” against the Bengals. It’s true that the Steelers’ offense is indeed somewhat hapless at the moment, but knowing Mike Tomlin, this is the week that will either make or break their performance the rest of the season; either they find it or they don’t. 

Regardless, Washington is a trustworthy option for Ben Roethlisberger, something that wide receiver core desperately needs amid countless dropped passes and inconsistent play. I trust Washington to build on his performance from last week, which included a touchdown catch against Buffalo. – Hicks

QB: Jalen Hurts ( Philadelphia at Arizona) — $5,900

Jalen Hurts finished his first career start against the New Orleans Saints as the QB13 in Week 14.

It’s finally time to see what Jalen Hurts can do at the helm of an NFL offense. With Carson Wentz battered and worn down, Philadelphia finally made the switch we have all been waiting for, and Hurts did not disappoint in his debut as the starting quarterback. 

Last week, against the Saints, one of the best defenses in the league, Hurts managed 23.3 fantasy points from a combination of 106 yards rushing on 18 carries coupled with 167 yards passing and a touchdown. 

Hurts is going to be difficult for defenses to stop. Heading into a matchup against an Arizona defense that is allowing an average of 19.1 points per game to quarterbacks and 21.5 to running backs, this is a great opportunity to get Hurts at a value with incredible scoring potential. – Polvogt

RB: Gus Edwards (Jacksonville at Baltimore) — $4,400

I’ve been advocating that in season-long formats you should not be starting Gus Edwards this week, as you shouldn’t leave your championship up to a risky play unless it’s desperation. But, in DFS, the fact that Edwards is $1,500 cheaper than J.K. Dobbins while outscoring him the last two weeks, makes him a steal with a high ceiling. 

Edwards has seen the bulk of red zone work and in a game where the Ravens should be ahead most of the time, I imagine that staying on the ground and giving Lamar Jackson a bit of rest will be the game plan. Edwards is a high-risk play, but the matchup with the Jaguars’ Swiss cheese of a run defense is too juicy to pass up. – Cuda


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