"Whose Slate is it Anyway..?" Week 15, where the Projections are made up, and the Players don't matter!

Sunday, Dec 19, 2021 at 8:29 am ET

Week 15 of the NFL season has been complete chaos and it's only Friday night/Saturday morning. Don't run to your preferred content provider for help, chances are they are still reeling in the information to make sense of everything themselves before providing you with their analysis.

I'd like to take a moment to remind you to thank your content provider this week. Realistically we should probably thank them every week. They digest all the information, statistics, injury reports etc. before the majority of us even look at the slate. They grind early in the week to give us the information we need to know by the end of the week. This week in particular has to be incredibly frustrating while trying to maintain their typical ahead of the crowd schedules. It really is remarkable that they do this day in and day out for five months straight. Y'all are appreciated!!

Back to business.

Other than the lengthy covid list and postponed games this week, what else makes week 15 different? There are a few things but the one that stands out the most is the Vegas spreads and totals. Not one game with an over/under above 50 points which gives the slate a lack of game stack-ability. The spreads are also at a wide margin in the higher total games which gives a vibe for less games with a true shootout potential. To the untrained eye this only builds into this week 15 chaos theory, but let us remember that chaos favors those who are willing to dig deep.

This might be news to some but Vegas is trying to make money. Duh! So when lines are set they are not set at the sharpest point total or spread. They are more likely to be set towards a median outcome. This way Vegas can take bets on either side of the line they set and hope the outcome results in profit. So while Vegas information can be useful it can also be a tad deceitful. From a macro stance a few of the games that have caught my eye despite Vegas totals are Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee, Arizona vs. Detroit, and Cincinnati vs. Denver. These games bring interest because five of the teams are all still very much playing for either a spot in the playoffs or fighting for seeding in the playoffs. Pittsburgh has an outside chance at 6-6-1 to sneak their way in. The Bengals and Broncos find themselves amongst a six way tie in the AFC at 7-6. This game could actually have big implications if Pittsburgh adds one in the win column. The Titans (9-4) currently have the #3 seed but a loss here puts them in the sights of the teams who are all in the previously mentioned log jam, which would include Pittsburgh if Tennessee were to lose. Arizona sits in a three way tie with Green Bay and Tampa Bay at 10-3. Upcoming on the Cardinals schedule is Indianapolis and Dallas, so getting a win against the lowly Lions is bigger than it seems. While it's unlikely Tampa loses one or more of the final games, a win is a win nonetheless and won't hurt them. Something to keep in mind is that while Detroit's record is in the cellar, they have actually fared relatively well this season in "playing up" to their opponents. If Detroit puts up any kind of point total, I expect Arizona to unleash the offense and as Coach Yoast would say "Leave no doubt!!"

Figuring out a macro slate perspective that is different from the field and attacking it is one way we can help give ourselves a slight edge over the field in DFS contests. However there are other edges to be made and unfortunately just finding one will not be enough to achieve GPP Bro status. With the craziness of this slate I will probably wait as long as possible to make any final decisions on rosters for Sunday. While I'm not a fan of being in a time crunch I will need the most information possible before confidently putting together any rosters. I'm certain that current rostership percentages will not reflect those of Sunday morning but there are a few plays/situations I'll be looking to capitalize on.

Sticking with the brand here...while most who are looking for salary relief at the receiver position will flock to $3,700 Gabe Davis, I'll be looking to leverage his seemingly high RST% by getting some value from Pittsburgh slot receiver Ray-Ray McCloud III. While he has been splitting time with James Washington, McCloud fits the slot mold and has been more efficient on the season. Last week He finally out-snapped Washington and I'm hoping this is a trend that continues. The best part Tennessee's slot CB Elijah Molden has been far from great this season. Per PlayerProfiler Molden has a -6.2 coverage rating which ranks him 141st in the league. Tennessee also allows 8.6 targets per game to the slot which is second highest on the slate. Sign me up.(I do like a mini game stack here with Julio Jones or D'Onta Foreman).

If James Conner is in fact ruled out, I think we will be getting Chase Edmonds back this week. The Cardinals will be without DeAndre Hopkins which enhances Edmonds pass catching role out of the backfield. Edmonds is coming off injury himself so that will definitely cap ownership on him as many players are hesitant to roster a player his first game back from an injury. I'll look to leverage that and play the number one RB on the team with the highest implied point total. The Lions also have the 2nd worst DOCE Score (Dump-off Containment Efficiency) making his role in the offense much juicier.

Lastly I leave you with what could be my favorite stack this week. As noted earlier I'm looking to take advantage of the field that will almost assuredly be condensing on the false pretense of certainty this week. I'm super interested in stacking Joe Burrow with two of Chase, Higgins, or Boyd this week. I love the idea of bringing it back recent dfs disappointment Courtland Sutton or even adding another piece in Javonte Williams. Even if I don't have enough courage to play Sutton, I still like bring-backs with Noah Fant and even Tim Patrick. Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are sandwiched between CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper who I expect to be much more popular than the Cincy wide-outs. They will simply go overlooked just because of how pricing worked out this week and how all players between the Bengals receivers were ruled out. And for some reason DFS gamers love to play Dallas for some reason.. Even after they have mostly disappointed this year. (Week 2 @LAC, Week 8 @Min, Week 11 @KC, and most would consider last week @ WAS a let down).

I'm off to sort out as much of this mess as I can. Look for ways to be different this week as chalk will always form, but on a week with so much uncertainty we can leverage this right into our bank accounts!! Best of luck!

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