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Welcome to the Week 15 edition of The Wire Report for the 2021 NFL season.  In this article I’ll be highlighting some of the top players that should still be available in your season long leagues.

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As week 15 should be the first week of the playoffs in many leagues, the waiver wires are almost bare of production players at this point. That said, there are a few out there that can help

Below are my top waiver wire targets:

Rashaad Penny – Running Back – Seattle Seahawks (8.6%  Rostered in ESPN Leagues)

What a week for Rashaad Penny.  Penny finished up week 14 with 16 carries and 137 rushing.  He also found the end zone twice.  This now makes it back to back weeks where Penny had double digit carries.  Heading into a matchup against the Rams in Week 15 Pete Carrol should start to lean on Penny even more, especially if he’s going to average more than 8.5 yards per carry like he did on Sunday. 

Nico Collins – Wide Receiver – Houston Texans (1.2% Rostered in ESPN Leagues)

Was this the breakout week for Nico Collins?  Going into week 14 Collins hadn’t had more than 6 targets in any given week.  On Sunday Mills targeted him 10 times and he was able to catch 5 of them for 69 yards.  With the Texans season all but done and a week 15 matchup vs. the Jaguars, could the Texans finally give Collins a real look?  I think they do and if you need a receiver this weekend, Collins should excel in an easy matchup.

Tyler Huntley – Quarterback – Baltimore Ravens (.3% Rostered in ESPN Leagues)

This is 100% reliant on Lamar Jackson missing this weekend so you’ll need to monitor through the end of the week.  Huntley actually looked like a better QB this weekend than Jackson.  He ran better, threw better, he just doesn’t have the name recognition that Jackson has.  Should Jackson miss the week 15 matchup vs. the Packers, Huntley should be able to fill in admirably and get you multiple stats.  

Devanta Parker – Wide Receiver – Miami Dolphins (50.2%  Rostered in ESPN Leagues)

With a week 15 matchup vs. the New York Jets, I want to try to grab any pieces from the Dolphins offense as I can.  Parker comes to the top of the list as he’s available in half of ESPN leagues.  In his first game since week 8 against the Bills, Parker caught all 5 targets for 62 yards.  While we would have loved to see more than just 5 targets out of him, my hope is that they wanted him to get his feet wet in his first game back and the looks will be there this week. 

Ty Johnson – Running Back – New York Jets (26%  Rostered in ESPN Leagues)

Ty Johnson only had 6 carries this weekend, but he had we really coveted.  Johnson was targeted 7 times this weekend.  It was his most targets since week 10 vs. Buffalo and it was the third time this year he had at least 7 targets.  With Elijah Moore on injured reserve there are more passes to go around and Johnson was a big beneficiary of it.  Look for Johnson to play an important role in the Jets offense in Week 15. 

Gabriel Davis – Wide Receiver – Buffalo Bills (2.5% Rostered in ESPN Leagues) 

This is another pickup that is 100% reliant on injury news.  Should Emmanuel Sanders miss week 15 we have to love the spot for Davis.  Once Sanders went down Davis took on a bigger role in the offense.  Davis was targeted 8 times on Sunday and was able to coral 5 of them for 43 yards.  Keep an eye on Sanders status throughout the week and if he’s ruled out, Davis makes for a great pickup. 

Make sure you follow me on Twitter at @rangerzfan79 and be sure to sign up for an ALL ACCESS GOLD ACCOUNT here at Win Daily Sports. Gain access to our Projection Models and jump into our Discord where we will have our experts talking plays across every sport and slate! 

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The NFL DFS season continues with the Thursday night showdown, and we’ve got the breakdown to help you win big money in the first Week 3 NFL DFS contests!

NOTE: For a refresher on showdown general rules and strategy, see the Week 1 TNF showdown article.

Let’s get to the game!

Week 3 NFL DFS MVP candidates (1.5x points)

Some notes on the differences between MVP on FanDuel and DraftKings: The 1.5x point boost on FD comes with no salary penalty, while and DK also bumps the salary to 1.5x – a crucial factor in deciding who we can and cannot afford on both sites. We can use this to our advantage on FD by occasionally targeting non-QBs to establish more variance and more unique lineups, and on DK it allows us to build more hearty overall stacks when we punt the MVP position with a cheap but high-upside player.

Week 3 NFL DFS Chalk: Christian McCaffrey (FD $17,500, DK $20,100)

Pivot: Sam Darnold (FD $15,000, DK $16,800)

Contrarian #1: D.J. Moore (FD $14,000, DK $15,900)

Contrarian #2: Brandin Cooks (FD $13,000, DK $15,000)

Contrarian #3: Panthers DST (DK $9,300)

Given how he’s used and the yardage props (136.5 rushing + receiving yards) that are posted for tonight, Christian McCaffrey has to be the chalk play, but Sam Darnold should probably be the closest pivot since he has his full complement of receiving weapons’ and the Panthers are 8-point favorites. It’s not going to be easy to get both Darnold and McCaffrey in lineups this week because of their inflated salaries, but it’s possible.

Panthers notes: The Panthers offense is mainly Darnold, McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, but Robby Anderson offers some upside at a discount. Stacking up the main options from these teams is near impossibility with any one of the Panthers corps at captain. With pricing so tight, we’re forced to look at kicker Zane Gonzalez, TE Dan Arnold and rookie WR Terrace Marshall, Jr. as the best fringe options. TE Ian Thomas is a punt play I might grab some shares of, and we could see more touches for rookie Chuba Hubbard if the game gets out of hand early. Brandon Zylstra scored a big TD last week and could be relevant tonight, but I’m more interested in the Panthers DST for the extra $1,600. They could be worth using at captain as well if that gets us both McCaffrey, Darnold and the main offensive weapon for the Texans.

Texans notes: Davis Mills is not even close to being ready for prime time, so I have little interest in jamming him into builds this week. The Texans projected team total is just 17.25 points, so the main focus of our lineups should be Brandin Cooks, bargain option Chris Conley (who saw his snap share rise up to 90 in Week 2 with the injuries to Danny Amendola and Nico Collins — both out tonight). I’m also comfortable facing Mark Ingram, since we’ll likely see more of both Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson on the short week and assuming a game script that forces Mills to pepper his RBs with dump-offs. Sure, the Texans could just feed Ingram and the other backs all day and find enough success to keep it close, but I just don’t see this happening too far into the second half. Other worthwhile options include TE Jordan Akins and former Bears WR Anthony Miller, who could be in the mix if he suits up tonight. The only sub-$1K guys I see who could contributing are Andre Roberts (who may not see as many snaps if Miller is active) and Rex Burkhead, but he’s probably only an option if one or more of the main Houston RBs sits this one out.

Week 3 NFL DFS Final thoughts (and some DOs and DON’Ts)

Remember to build your team based on an NFL DFS narrative that makes sense.

DO: Build a trio (or quartet) of offensive weapons for a team that makes sense together

DON’T: Worry about spending every dollar. I’ve built one lineup so far that leaves $1K on the table, and I’m fine leaving up to about $2K out there if the narrative makes sense. It could get weird tonight, even with the tight pricing.

DO: Use the projected team totals to shade one way or the other with your selections.

DON’T: Tread too much in the sub-$1K range this week. Houston WRs Miller and Conley are about as cheap as I’ll go, even if both are viable in this particular showdown.

Now that we’ve established some Week 3 NFL DFS narratives and MVP candidates, the best way to round out this piece is with a list of my favorite options in descending order, based on overall value (a combo of salary and projected points):

  1. Christian McCaffrey
  2. Sam Darnold
  3. D.J. Moore
  4. Brandin Cooks
  5. Robby Anderson
  6. Davis Mills
  7. Mark Ingram
  8. Panthers DST
  9. Phillip Lindsay
  10. Dan Arnold
  11. David Johnson
  12. Terrace Marshall, Jr.
  13. Chris Conley
  14. Jordan Akins
  15. Brandon Zylstra
  16. Zane Gonzalez
  17. Joey Slye
  18. Anthony Miller
  19. Ian Thomas
  20. Chuba Hubbard
  21. Texans DST
  22. Andre Roberts
  23. Rex Burkhead

Don’t forget to read the rest of WinDaily’s excellent football articles this week as you prep for Week1 action!

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The NFL DFS season kicks off with a Thursday night showdown, and we’ve got the breakdown to help you win big money in the first Week 1 NFL DFS contests!

Introduction to Single-Game Showdowns

DraftKings calls them “Showdowns,” and FanDuel doesn’t really have a name for them other than “Single-Game Contests,” but whatever we call them they require an understanding of game narratives and game theory – which means we need to target low-ownership players that will give us the best opportunities within the narratives and game outcomes we’re expecting.

My picks will focus almost exclusively on finding GPP-winning combinations that have a chance at taking down the contests you’re entering, be they single-entry or MME. While we can’t cover all the possible combos or provide full lineups for you to deploy, the goal here is to give you the tools to win and highlight some names that will help make for profitable results.

Let’s say I enter five lineups in a large-field GPP. At least three of those lineups will focus on the most likely game outcome (based on Vegas odds, props and totals), with one or two contrarian builds. As we know, late-breaking news can have a significant effect on full slates, and that’s just amplified with single-game contests. If you have any questions leading up to lock, please consult our NFL DFS experts in Discord.

Let’s get to the game!

Week 1 NFL DFS: MVP candidates (1.5x points)

Some notes on the differences between MVP on FanDuel and DraftKings: The 1.5x point boost on FD comes with no salary penalty, while and DK also bumps the salary to 1.5x – a crucial factor in deciding who we can and cannot afford on both sites. We can use this to our advantage on FD by occasionally targeting non-QBs to establish more variance and more unique lineups, and on DK it allows us to build more hearty overall stacks when we punt the MVP position with a cheap but high-upside player.

Chalk: Patrick Mahomes (DK $18,900, FD $16,500)

Pivot: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (DK $13,200, FD $12,000)

Lower-risk Contrarian #1: DeShaun Watson (DK $17,700, FD $15,000)

High-upside Contrarian #2: Will Fuller V (DK $12,000, FD $10,500)

High-risk Contrarian #3: Randall Cobb (DK $6,300, FD $8,500)

DK-only Punts: Chiefs DST ($5,100) and Darrel Williams ($2,700)

With the Chiefs listed as 9-10 point favorites with a 31.75 implied team total in the season opener, we’re going to see Mahomes as MVP in the vast majority of FD lineups and a healthy portion on DK. I’m calling the Chiefs rookie RB “CEH” to avoid too much typing, and I’m going to have a fair share of him at the top spot as well. He’s not a bad anchor if we want to build out with the Chiefs DST, Mahomes and a couple Texans.

The path to a low-owned lottery ticket with plenty of upside comes with a great deal of risk if we use Watson, but I’ll have at least one in five GPP lineups that uses this strategy. We’ve seen Watson have many an explosive second half with the Texans trailing by multiple scores and that’s just what could happen here if the Chiefs D does its job in the first half and relaxes with a two or three-score lead in the fourth quarter.

Fuller, when healthy (or simple active) is a dangerous man. He’s my favorite Texans player and another possible candidate. Whether Brandin Cooks sits or not, we can give Randall Cobb a huge bump, as he’s always capable of big plays out of the slot and a TD or two. Hint: DeShaun Watson loves throwing to the slot…

On DK, it might pair to have some shares of the Chiefs DST in the MVP slot if we’re looking to get three more Chiefs and one of the two Johnsons (David or Duke) with Fuller.

The largest unknown in this game is probably how the Chiefs will utilize their RBs (CEH, Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson), so exploring some different combinations there will be key. I like Darrel Williams a lot because he’s the Chiefs’ top pass-blocking back and short-yardage guy – and he’ll see a handful of touches/targets with the possibility of 8-10 if he gets a “hot hand.” At just $2,700 (just $1,800 in a utility slot), he could be a gamebreaker if he hits his 15-20 point upside.

Week 1 NFL DFS: Utility options

Now that we’ve established some narratives and MVP candidates, the best way to round out this piece is with a list of my favorite options in descending order, based on overall value:

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. DeShaun Watson
  3. Tyreek Hill
  4. Travis Kelce (questionable, knee)
  5. Will Fuller
  6. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  7. Chiefs DST
  8. David Johnson
  9. Mecole Hardman
  10.  Duke Johnson
  11.  Darrel Williams
  12.  Harrison Butker
  13.  Randall Cobb
  14. Sammy Watkins
  15.  Kenny Stills
  16.  Jordan Akins
  17.  Ka’imi’ Fairbairn
  18.  Brandin Cooks (questionable, quad)
  19.  Daniel Fells
  20.  Texans DST

Good luck this week and don’t hesitate to get in Discord and pepper our writers with any question you may have!

Image Courtesy of Smashdown Sports News

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