Week 15 NFL DFS Playbook Watch List
**THURSDAY UPDATES COMPLETE** Howard Bender starts the NFL DFS Playbook research off each week with a watch list of players he is considering for use in daily lineups. This piece will be updated throughout the week based on recent news and injuries, leading up to the publishing of the final Playbook.
If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.
We take this adage to heart when it comes to playing NFL DFS. The Fantasy Alarm Playbook isn’t just about handing you a list of players and a lineup to use each week. It is designed to help you learn to be a better DFS player. It’s about teaching you the process used in selecting which players to scout and, eventually, which ones to use.
Therefore, we will begin each week with the Weekly NFL DFS Watch List. We’ll still have our Weekly DFS Rankings, but the Watch List is designed to keep tabs on marquee names, chalk plays and, of course, the weekly bargains who may not see the same coverage and exposure. This piece will be continuously updated based on the most recent news and injuries which means you may see a name or two removed as we get closer to kick-off. You may also see a few late-week additions who pique our interest for some reason too, and by the end of the week, this watch list will eventually become your Playbook. Again, it’s about teaching you the process.
With Week 14 data in the books, it's time to start looking ahead to Week 15 and see who looks good.
SIDE NOTE: Due to the changes in the NFL schedule this week, we will be covering the Saturday games in their own special Playbook which will come out on Friday. The main Playbook which comes out on Saturdays will only have the Sunday main slate games included.
PLAYERS ADDED -- 12/13 (SEE BELOW FOR BREAKDOWNS)
THURSDAY GAME THOUGHTS:
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Chargers: Run D – 16th Pass D – 9th
Chiefs: Run D – 32nd Pass D – 15th
The Chargers pass-rush may rank just 17th in the league right now, but that ranking has been climbing with the return of Joey Bosa and in coverage, Pro Football Focus has them ranked third. Is that going to bother Patrick Mahomes ? You’d like to think it wouldn’t and he did have a somewhat decent game against the Ravens on Sunday, so fading him seems a little less likely. Of course, we’re going to have to watch the health of Tyreek Hill . His play-making abilities certainly help make Mahomes look better at times and it’s hard to think the rest of the receiving corps is going to be able to do the same if Hill is out. It sounds like he’ll play as he put in some limited practice time, though.
Philip Rivers against the Chiefs should make your mouth water even with Eric Berry back on the field. His history in Arrowhead isn’t the greatest, but this defense is pretty trashy. The line on this game is going to be high and whether Melvin Gordon is back or not, Rivers is going to have a field day with his receivers against the super-soft coverage of the Chiefs. He failed to throw for more than one touchdown this past week for the first time all season, so you can bet he wants to get back on-track with that.
It looks like Spencer Ware is going to miss this one as he is listed as doubtful. That means Damien Williams and Charcandrick West will handle the bulk of the work with Daryl Williams helping out. It’s not pretty by any means and probably only leaves Damien Williams as the viable rushing option here.
The latest news from Adam Schefter indicates that Melvin Gordon , who made the trip to K.C., actually won’t play. With Austin Ekeler also out for this one with a concussion/stinger, it looks like Justin Jackson will shoulder the full load here. Against a super-soft Chiefs run defense, he should be a strong candidate for your lineups, whether it’s season or DFS. He didn’t get a whole lot of work in Sunday, so he should have fresh legs here.
The heel injury for Tyreek Hill is going to freak out a lot of people. He spent most of the game limping around, though he did still manage to post 139 yards on the day. If he’s fine, he’s an obvious must for lineups. If he doesn’t, sorting through the rest is going to be a nightmare. Tight end Travis Kelce is still a front-runner for targets even though the Chargers rank first overall in guarding the position, but Chris Conley is probably the only reliable name otherwise. Sammy Watkins is perpetually hurt, we don’t really know what to expect from newly-acquired Kelvin Benjamin and then there’s just a hodge-podge of darts to throw. Still, given the power of Mahomes’ arm, even the dart throws have a chance.
Just like we’re salivating over Rivers, Keenan Allen , Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams should be garnering just as much attention and drool. Allen is obviously the premier talent to own, but given how soft the coverage has been in the Chiefs secondary, all three could have big days. Kansas City is allowing 257.7 passing yards per game, but more importantly, they’ve coughed up 25 passing touchdowns on the season.