While most daily fantasy players are more familiar with the usual salary-cap structure, DraftKings also has tournaments in a pick’em style: There are no player salaries, and you simply select one player across the eight tiers.
This style of game allows you to quickly create lineups because you don’t have to spend time weighing cap costs against points. Just choose the best player. For FantasyLabs readers, our Models — powered by Sean Koerner’s No. 1 in-season rankings — are a massive edge in choosing the best players and making weekly profits in Tiers.
Here’s a breakdown of the DraftKings Tiers slate for Week 15 of the NFL season.
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Tier 1: Pocket Passer
Jared Goff, LA Rams
The highest total of Sunday currently belongs to Eagles-Rams at 52 (It has dropped a point so keep up to date with line movement with the Vegas Tool) and the Rams also have the highest implied team total at 31.75. None of the Eagles starters at safety or cornerback rank higher than 50th at their position, per PFF, because of a number of injuries.
Goff has the highest projected floor, median, and ceiling in our Models and is a safe bet to do work on a decimated defensive unit.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck has come back to Earth after going on a streak of eight games where he threw three or more touchdowns. In his last two games, Luck has thrown just two touchdowns. This week and the game total has risen a point to 47.5.
Dallas has a solid defense but the air is still the best way to attack them. They allow the second-fewest percentage of rushing touchdowns to the 12th fewest percentage of passing touchdowns. They’re also 26th in interceptions, which should help the Colts sustain drives through passing.
In a game that bettors are hitting the over, Luck is a solid pivot in tournament games.
Tier 2: Mobile QB
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Based on his rushing and passing usage, Allen may be the most volatile quarterback on a weekly basis. In the eight games he’s started, Allen has averaged 7.8 rushes.
Top-10 highest scoring fantasy players in the past four weeks with only rushing stats
1. Saquon Barkley
2. Phillip Lindsay
3. Derrick Henry
4. Ezekiel Elliott
5. Christian McCaffrey
6. Lamar Miller
7. Chris Carson
8. Aaron Jones
9. Lamar Jackson 👀
10. Josh Allen 👀
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) December 12, 2018
On top of this, Allen is throwing the ball downfield extremely often. He has an average depth of target (aDOT) of 12. Goff’s aDOT is 8.9. Allen can score points on the ground or by going deep. This makes him the perfect tournament passer.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger leads the NFL with 551 pass attempts this season and has been scoring at a reasonable rate (5.1-percent). This week he faces the Patriots in a game with a 52-point total.
Pittsburgh has already leaned on Roethlisberger — they pass on 67.2% of their plays — and may be without James Connor this week (check the FantasyLabs News Feed for injury updates). With Connor out, Big Ben could be their only hope to put up points in a game that will require a lot to win. Bet on volume with Roethlisberger.
Tier 3: Bellcow RB
Todd Gurley, LA Rams
Gurley is projected to be the highest scoring back in Week 15 and should be able to score at will. Gurley leads all running backs with 62 carries inside the 20 and is third in targets at 16 on the season.
Note: Gurley has a negative correlation with all other Rams players. It’s best to use him alone from the Rams and looks elsewhere for receiving options.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Elliott has six games under 20 fantasy points this season. Five of them came before the Cowboys bye week. Since then he’s averaging:
- 22.7 carries per game
- 7.5 targets per game
- 29.8 fantasy points per game
The Cowboys have made a clear effort to get Zeke the ball more and it shows in his fantasy points. He remains a strong play again this week.
Tier 4: Committee RB
Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
There are eight players in Tier 4. Cohen is the only one with multiple games over 30 points. Conventional wisdom says that Cohen’s size makes him the ideal play when the Bears are throwing and in negative game script.
Tarik Cohen: 5'6", 181 pounds
Dante Fowler: 6'4", 255 pounds
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) December 11, 2018
This has not been the case. Cohen has done better when the Bears are favored like they are this week against the Green Bay Packers. Cohen has averaged 3.6 more points as a favorite in his career.
Fade the conventional wisdom and buy Cohen as a favorite.
James White, New England
White has the highest projected floor of Tier 4 but a lower ceiling than four of the backs. White leads all running backs in targets (109) and is catching 71-percent of those targets. His low ceiling stems from a lack of scoring. The Patriots have a wealth of ways that they can score which has kept White out of the end zone in four straight games.
White is the quintessential cash play of this tier.
Tier 5: Target Leader
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown returns to the better side of his Home/Away splits this week and a single-digit fantasy performance against Oakland last week should serve to keep his ownership in check. Despite a falloff in efficiency, Brown has still scored touchdowns (12 to be exact) and he was an unanimous pick to gain more yards than JuJu Smith-Schuster this week on the NFL Week 15 Fantasy Flex Podcast.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
No receiver is used more than Jones right now. He leads the NFL in targets (144) and Air Yards (2,121). After scoring no touchdowns in seven games, he’s scored five in his past six.
Now scoring touchdowns like an elite receiver, Julio is locked-in cash play every week.
Tier 6: Deep Threat
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
Cooper played six games for the Raiders before getting traded to the Cowboys, where he hs also played six games.
- In Oakland: 22 receptions | 280 yards | one touchdown
- In Dallas: 40 receptions | 642 yards | six touchdowns
Cooper has found a home in Dallas and the models reflect this, giving him the highest ceiling of any receiver this week.
Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
Since returning from an injury four games ago, Diggs has quietly assumed the leading receiver role in Minnesota. He leads the Vikings in targets (40), receptions (30), and receiving yards (328). Because of this, Diggs has the highest floor projection of any receiver in Tiers.
Play the Vikings true No. 1 receiver while he can still be had in the “deep threat” tier.
Tier 7: Possession WR
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
After Week 8, Boyd has been operating as the Bengals leading receiver with A.J. Green out for most of that time. In those five games, Boyd owns 32-percent of the Bengals Air Yards and 22-percent of the targets. Boyd also averages the most fantasy points (16.6) in the tier.
Tier 7 lacks top-end talent which makes Boyd’s volume even more valuable compared to the other options.
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
Robinson is has been targeted 7.2 times per game in his last five outings but has scored or gone over 100 yards just once in that span. Green Bay may be able to change that as their defense allows the second highest passings touchdown rate (6.3-percent) and ninth-highest Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (9).
Robinson is solely a tournament play but the matchup does offer some upside.
Tier 8: Receiving TE
Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts
The Cowboys pass defense has generated most of its value by stopping No. 1 receivers, who they are sixth in DVOA against. They are 18th against tight ends.
This bodes well for Ebron. Ebron is second on the Colts with 94 targets and he leads the team with 20 red zone targets. With the defense likely keeping T.Y. Hilton in check, Ebron is in a great spot this week.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Stacking the opposing tight end with Pittsburgh players is a high-upside option that has paid off previously. Pittsburgh’s quarterback has a .37 correlation with the opposing tight end over the past two years, which is 0.1 point above league average.
Gronk missed two games with an injury but has played 97.3-percent in his three games back.
On the field in all scenarios, Gronk has multi-touchdown upside in a potential shootout.
Pictured above: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16)
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports