Sometimes I think the history of the matchup matters are much as the numbers from the current year, and this weeks NFL schedule has framed that up nicely for me. Consider Steelers vs. Bengals – the hatred there is palpable. San Diego vs. Oakland is another one this week, and with Josh Norman now changing teams, you can bet there will be some bad blood in the Washington vs. Carolina game on Monday night. Some of these teams are way up this year and in the hunt, and others are down and out. But that won’t stop them from giving everything they have, even in a lost season, to beat a hated divisional opponent. I love to watch these games, but even more, I think these games present DFS players a rare opportunity to invest in something more than stat line – bad blood. With that in mind, I invite you to examine my Week 15 DraftKings Value Picks:


Ben Roethlisberger PIT @ CIN – $6,600

The Steelers and the Bengals don’t much care for each other. This is a must-watch AFC North game that lives up to the expectations every single year. This year, the pendulum has swung in favor of the Steelers, who are sitting at 8-5 with their elite offense. I doubt they leave any offense on the field here as a road win in Cincy is the definition of glory in Pittsburgh. Ben is coming off a down game, and he’ll make up for it here in a divisional matchup that often gets ugly. Count me in to watch the game and to play Big Ben.

Derek Carr OAK @ SD – $6,300

When 10-3 Oakland heads to San Diego, they’ll be in possession of the better offense, the better defense, and the better season outlook. Don’t think that will keep the Chargers from playing them tough as nails – this is another late season, ugly division rivalry that I want to watch every minute of. I think Carr rebounds here against a middling pass defense and he brings the rest of the offense with him. He scored 20 DraftKings points in all three games prior to last week – I think he gets back to the 20-point plateau again this week, with some sweet revenge upside to boot.

Running Backs

Tevin Coleman ATL vs. SF- $5,000

I’m salivating at the chance to start Coleman here. Look at it: Huge mismatch, Falcons at home priming for a stretch run. When they get out to a lead, how quickly do you think they go to Coleman at RB? Let’s say they don’t get out to a huge lead – Coleman is their PPR magnet, change of pace guy, but he’s one that seems to get 10-14 touches per week and manages to score more often than not. The love him in the red zone, and they also love him between the 20’s. I just love him. Start!

Kenneth Farrow SD vs. OAK – $4,400

Assuming my main man Melvin Gordon misses this week (and it looks like he will) I think Farrow is a great replacement play at a bargain-bin price. People are making noise about Ronnie Hillman, but there’s a reason he keeps washing out of organizations – he just isn’t that good. Farrow showed chain-moving ability in relief last week, grinding his way to 78 yards on 20 total touches including six receptions. He’s got the tools to at least be a great fill-in back for a couple games, and he’s a potential waiver-wire hero for 2017 for Gordon owners. Love this play – it’s all upside baby.

Wide Receivers

Jamison Crowder WAS vs. CAR – $5,300

Crowder finally had a down week against the Eagles, his first in quite some time. His price had been as high as $5,800, and now that it’s more reasonable, I’m buying back in. The Carolina defense has been atrocious against opposing WR, and they’ve more or less checked out. Meanwhile, for Washington, this is must-win game one of four must-win games in a row. The Redskins also got pounded by the Panthers last year, and they’re probably wanting some payback. The Jordan Reed injury just opens up more targets for Crowder, and I think his floor is six catches and 50 yards here at home.

Taylor Gabriel ATL vs. SF – $5,600

Dudes averaging over 16 DraftKings points per week over his last four. I think at this point, we can say he’s earned a spot in the Atlanta offense regardless of whether Julio plays or not. He’s their WR2, and every single week from here on out he has No. 1 overall WR upside in my book. I’m probably continually in until he goes over 6K, which very well could be next week. Atlanta’s offense is just too good right now, and Gabriel too dynamic, for me to not want to keep him rolling.

Dontrelle Inman SD vs. OAK- $5,100

Name me someone who has been better than Inman over the last three games. Anyone? We’re talking 239 yards receiving and three touchdowns here, and the Chargers get another cake matchup this week against the Raiders at home. He’s emerged as the Chargers top WR threat, capable of popping off at any time. We know that Phillip Rivers will not be shy about slinging the ball everywhere, and we know Oakland will score points on San Diego. I love the possibility for a shootout here and for Inman to go berserk.

Tight Ends

Greg Olsen CAR @ WAS – $5,000

I know that Carolina has been bad, but they’re not this bad. What the hell is going on that a guy with weekly No. 1 TE ability and opportunity costs $5,000? That’s crazy, and I love it. PS – Washington IS TERRIBLE against opposing TEs, and they have been for years. I think the Redskins win this game, but I can very easily see Olsen amassing ten catches or even more. Locked and loaded.

Ladarius Green PIT @ CIN – $3,700

Green screwed us last week. A not-so-subtle reminder, I suppose, that there are a lot of mouths to feed in the Steelers offense. But also, that game was played in a fricken’ snowstorm, and Le’Veon Bell had a record-setting day on the ground. Those two aren’t going to both happen too often. In a matchup against the second-worst TE defense in the NFL, I think Green gets back on the horse here with five catches, 55 yards and a touchdown.

Defense/Special Teams

Baltimore Ravens BAL vs. PHI- $3,100

I still love the Falcons again this week, but as they’re the most expensive overall defense I can’t say they’re much of a bargain, per se. Baltimore is though. The Ravens are at home, in a must-win game for them, against a team (and a rookie QB) that has been collapsing for several weeks. While I think better days are ahead for Wentz and the Eagles, those times don’t start this week and I can easily see the Ravens improving on their 9.2 DraftKings points per week average for the year.