You’ll find no frills in this space, just a few guys I like for some NFL DFS action in Week 15. Jalen Hurts was good to me last week, and he gets another chance to come through against a blitz-happy Cardinals team this week.
QB Jalen Hurts @ Arizona Cardinals ($5,900 DK, $6,900 FD)
Hurts is too cheap. He beat the vaunted New Orleans Saints last week, mostly on the strength of his legs (18 rushes for 106 yards). He only threw for 167 yards and a score while completing 17 of 30 attempts, but he didn’t throw a pick or take a sack. The Saints and the Cardinals read like similar pass defenses, with each checking in with a top seven 5.8 NY/A mark. The Saints have allowed 22 scores through the air against 13 picks, while the Cards have allowed 20 scores and have secured 10 picks. One difference is the ground game, where Arizona (4.5 Y/A, 12 TDs) has been gashed compared to New Orleans (3.7 Y/A, 7 TDs). As for defense against running quarterbacks, the Saints are 10th-best in the league with only 181 rushing yards allowed. The Cardinals, however, have allowed the 7th-most rushing yardage to enemy quarterbacks on the ground, at 316 yards. I’m thinking it’s possible that Hurts and Miles Sanders can do enough damage to keep pace in this one, especially given the blitz-happy tendencies of the Cardinals. Hurts may take a sack or two in this one…but he’s also apt to get loose for some chunk gains on the ground, giving him a nice floor to go along with his upside.
WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Houston Texans ($5,500 DK, $6,800 FD)
Hilton is already a noted Texan-killer, and he’s coming into this game on a major heater. Consider his last three games:
Hilton hadn’t scored a touchdown all year until Week 12, and he’s posted his three highest yardage totals of the season over his last three games. The Texans have allowed 18 touchdowns to wide receivers on the season, third-most in the NFL after only the Cowboys (22) and Vikings (20). Hilton’s 17.89% target share leads all Colts pass-cathcers, and over the last three weeks he ranks 11th among all wideouts in air yards (283). He’s parlayed that opportunity into 277 actual yards, seventh-most among wideouts over that same stretch. With such a cushy matchup on tap and a bargain of a salary, I don’t know how I can stay away.
WR Marvin Jones Jr. @ Tennessee Titans ($5,700 DK, $6,100 FD)
Look, another two-score game is comin’ at some point. He’s seen target counts of 8, 12, and 12 over the last three weeks, and his 557 air yards is tops among all wide receivers by a country mile over the same stretch. Calvin Ridley checks in with the second-most at 476, for reference. Jones ranks 15th in actual yardage over that time frame, with 212 actual receiving yards. But he should get a boost due to the return of Matthew Stafford, who seems all set to play on Sunday despite a rib cartilage injury suffered last week against the Packers. The Lions are out of the playoff hunt, but it’s likely Stafford is auditioning for his next team at this juncture, due to being on the last year of his deal with Detroit. As for Jones, the matchup with Tennessee is tasty. The Titans have allowed 15 scores to enemy wideouts, tied for the 7th-most in the NFL. They’ve also allowed the 2nd-most receptions (210) and the 5th-most yardage (2,420). As a unit, the Titans have allowed 28 passing scores in 2020, tied for the most in the NFL with the Jaguars, Jets, and Cowboys. That’s not a list you want to be on, folks. In lineups where I don’t have stud tight end T.J. Hockenson, I’m just fine with the very affordable Marvin Jones.
TE Cole Kmet @ Minnesota Vikings ($3,000 DK, $5,100 FD)
Kmet has seen seven targets in each of his last two weeks, as it appears the Bears want to see what they have in the youngster. He has parlayed those looks into 5-37-1 (vs. Detroit) and 4-41 (vs. HOU). Thing is, Detroit is one of the stingier teams against tight ends on the season, allowing the fewest receptions (44) and 2nd-fewest yardage (423). They have been stung a bit with seven scores, but still. The Texans and Vikings are fairly similar against tight ends, both pretty middling with regard to receptions, yardage, and touchdowns allowed. However, Minnesota’s linebacker Eric Kendricks–who excels in coverage–has been ruled out of this game already. Kmet should get a chance to find some paydirt in this one, much like Rob Gronkowski did a week ago in the same situation. The Vikings have allowed 26 passing scores so far, tied for sixth-most in the NFL. They also rank 24th with 6.9 NY/A allowed. That’s good news for the much maligned Mitchell Trubisky, who comes into this one on a bit of a heater after torching the Texans last week. Since being reinstalled as the Bears’ starting signal-caller, Trubisky has managed seven passing scores against only two interceptions. He’s also completed 67.3% of his passes, which is pretty darn solid. For reference, Kirk Cousins (67.5%) ranks 13th and Kyler Murray (67.0%) ranks 14th on the season. Anyway, I’m a fan of Irv Smith Jr. on the other side of this one, but he’s got a ton more competition for looks in Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson. On the Bears side, it’s Allen Robinson and the running game, in my opinion. I just like the volume outlook for Kmet, okay? And the absence of Kendricks is enticing. Let’s see if Trubisky can keep it up for one more week, eh?
DST Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers ($2,700)
Full disclosure, I do a decent bit of mixing and matching with defenses. I also quite like the 49ers defense–as well as taking a dart on Raheem Mostert finally getting more of a bellcow’s role against the Swiss cheese Dallas run defense. Anyway, I just think the Cowboys defense at home against Nick Mullens bears mentioning, especially at this price point. You can do some mighty fine things on DK with the ‘Boys defense, Cole Kmet, and say, Emmanuel Sanders (now the de facto WR1 for New Orleans). I’m just sayin’. You’ve got to find ways to pay up for Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara this week, and the ‘Boys didn’t disappoint against the Bengals’ atrocious passing game last week. That one was on the road, and I could see Dallas keeping it going at home.
Lastly, it bears mentioning that one can pay up for Patrick Mahomes, Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, and Tyreek Hill…if only you’ll consider guys like Kmet, Manny Sanders ($4,200), and Dez Bryant ($3,000). Lamar Jackson did seem to zero in on Bryant when last they played together, and Bryant is fresh off the reserve/Covid list. I’m just saying, there’s a chance.
What say you folks? Who do you like today?