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NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight: Week 15 Sunday Night Football DraftKings & FanDuel | Saints at Buccaneers

Eric MacPherson



Week 10 NFL DFS top stacks DraftKings FanDuel today tonight free expert advice tips strategy daily fantasy football ownership projections optimal lineup optimizer Tom Brady Mike Evans Buccaneers Josh Allen Bills Stefon Diggs

For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, this column will provide free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks for today. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 15 Sunday Night Football slate featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the New Orleans Saints.

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NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 15 Sunday Night Football

New Orleans will be without offensive linemen Ryan Ramczyk, Terron Armstead and blocking tight end Garrett Griffin. Lil’Jordan Humphrey is dealing with a hamstring injury and will be a game time decision. Mark Ingram II resumed practicing on Friday after coming out of the health and safety protocol. Tampa Bay running back Leonard Fournette is expected to play through an ankle injury tonight while Giovani Bernard landed on the injured reserve Tuesday with a hip and knee injuries. Antonio Brown is still suspended and Breshad Perriman was placed on the COVID reserve Saturday. The Buccaneers defensive backfield is looking thin with Richard Sherman (Achilles) unlikely to play and safeties Antoine Winfield Jr. (foot) and Jordan Whitehead (calf) questionable.

New Orleans Saints: 17.0 Points


Tampa Bay is a good defense, though they have allowed quarterbacks to rack up some rushing production. Jalen Hurts (11/44/0), Justin Fields (8/38/0), Jameis Winston (4/40/0) and of course last week Josh Allen (12/109/0). Taysom Hill will have his work cut out for him, though he has rolled up 22/174/2 on the ground in his last two games. Hill did get some volume in Week 13 against Dallas with 41 pass attempts for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Of course that was offset by four interceptions, but it is good to see that when needed, coach Sean Payton will let it rip.

Running Back

Alvin Kamara saw a heavy workload after missing a month with knee and hamstring issues. On the ground he had a season high 27 carries and 120 yards with a score. Through the air while he had only five targets, that was nearly a quarter of the 21 pass attempts by Hill. Mark Ingram II will return as the backup which means either Tony Jones or Ty Montgomery will likely be inactive and neither has relevance.

With such a heavy workload, Kamara is in a prime spot to convert his extra opportunities into production on the field, and gamers can take advantage of all of that usage in the NFL player prop betting market. Kamara’s over/unders have some great expected win rates and ROI on OddsShopper. Be sure to utilize those free projections before making NFL player prop bets tonight.

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Wide Receiver

Deonte Harris is suspended for the next two games which consolidates the targets for Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith. If healthy Lil’Jordan Humphrey of course is always lurking and can break a prime time slate out of the blue. If Humphrey is out, then Kenny Stills will likely operate as the third wideout and while he has 22 targets he has only five receptions for 64 yards and a score. IN four of his last five games he does not have a single target while averaging 23 snaps per appearance.

Tight End

Nick Vannett has 10 targets over the last two games which is easily outpacing Juwan Johnson who has had one look in each of those tilts. This looks like a 60-70% snap share for Vannett which has him squarely in play as a mid-tier option. The absence of Garrett Griffin is not likely to make much of a difference as he has just four targets this season despite playing 234 snaps. Adam Trautman (knee) is back after missing a month and he is a wild card that could muddy the recent Vannett production surge.

Defense/Special Teams

Over their last five games, Tampa Bay has ceded just four sacks and they are allowing just over a turnover per game. New Orleans averaged just over two sacks and a takeaway per tilt.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 28.5 Points


Tom Brady has been a fixture appearing in prime time games for nearly two decades. We know exactly what we are getting with the 44-year old who is in his 22nd NFL campaign. Remember that season when he was hurt in the opener and Matt Cassel took over? That was back in 2008 and before DFS existed. Brady is leading the league with 318.0 passing yards per game along with 36 touchdowns and he is the rare quarterback worthy of the fantasy multiplier designation even though he does not do much with his legs.

Running Back

Leonard Fournette has taken over the Tampa backfield with 80% of the snaps each of the last three games. In this stretch he has 25 of the 28 running back targets and his 49 carries are four times as many as the other backs in this stretch. In the five games since the bye, Giovani Bernard is averaging 7.4 snaps 1.2 targets and half a carry. Ronald Jones II is averaging 4.6 snaps 3.8 carries and he has one lone target in this stretch.

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Wide Receiver

Mike Evans will be facing his nemesis Marshon Lattimore who has done a tremendous job of shutting him down regardless of who is under center. Now we know that Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time and also in the MVP conversation this season so be wary of putting too much stock into  this particular narrative.

Chris Godwin continues to be phenomenal and in his last two games he has a whopping 32 targets. Godwin is 10th in targets and his 81.1 yards per game ranks 8th along with five touchdowns. Tyler Johnson is a viable punt option in large field tournaments with Antonio Brown and Breshad Perriman both out.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski has seen at least eight targets in each of his last four games with his worst fantasy game in this stretch being four receptions for 58 yards. Over the five games since the bye week, Cameron Brate has 18 targets while the rest of the tight ends have combined for one.

Defense/Special Teams

The Pewter Pirates have racked up 18 sacks in their last five games with six fumbles recovered and five interceptions. In his last two starts Hill has been sacked five times with four interceptions.

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Sunday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value, but for those taking the MME approach, remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their quarterback.

Week 15 Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Leonard Fournette: He has earned this ranking and then some, what a turnaround since being released by Jacksonville.
  2. Chris Godwin: Slight edge over his quarterback on FanDuel with the half-PPR, easy nod for the discount and full-PPR scoring on DraftKings.
  3. Alvin Kamara: Volume will be there but so will the Bucs defense.
  4. Taysom Hill: The rushing upside is undeniable.
  5. Tom Brady: It feels like lighting may strike me for ranking him this low.
  6. Tyler Johnson: Savings on DraftKings is crucial, on FanDuel he would lead the next section.
  7. Ryan Succop: 89% success rate in his 29 games with the Buccaneers, though only three attempts from beyond 50 yards.
  8. Brett Maher: Made his NFL debut as a 29-year old in 2018 for Dallas, league average at best and the fourth different kicker for the Saints this season.
  9. Tampa Bay D/ST: Not much of a premium at $4,000 on DraftKings keeps them viable.
  10. Mike Evans: Okay, I lied and I do buy in to the Lattimore narrative and the results, of course it takes just one blown coverage to make the doubters look foolish.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Rob Gronkowski: We simply to not have the salary cap flexibility to play everyone.
  2. Nick Vannett and Adam Trautman: Can we trust the recent volume for Vannett… maybe. Tautman at the $200 minimum on DraftKings is enticing, even if he only gets a couple of targets.
  3. Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway: Should get a handful of targets, let personal preference and salary constraints guide your decision. Callaway will likely return punts and kickoffs with Harris suspended.
  4. Mark Ingram: Likely capped at 10 touches unless something happens to Kamara.
  5. Lil’Jordan Humphrey: Hamstring issues can easily be aggravated when running fast and cutting, which is what he will be doing tonight.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Cameron Brate: Well down the pecking order, but still live with Brady as his quarterback.
  2. Kenny Stills: Only if Humphrey is out.
  3. Juwan Johnson: Only if Trautman is inactive for some reason.
  4. New Orleans D/ST: On the road against Brady is a tough ask.
  5. Ronald Jones: Just enough to warrant his own line, even if Fournette were to go down there is no guarantee he would get many looks.
  6. Ke’Shawn Johnson, Jaelon Darden, Scotty Miller, Tony Jones: This group has a 6.5 over/under for their collective opportunities. Darden returns punts and kickoffs.
  7. Ty Montgomery, O.J. Howard and Tony Jones: If they beat us, they beat us.

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If you’re interested in other NFL DFS data for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking. View our FanDuel NFL ownership rankings and our DraftKings DFS NFL ownership rankings. Take a look at our NFL lineups, NFL depth chart list and inactives. We also have NFL single-game projections and NFL DFS showdown ownership projections.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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