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Dan Podheiser

Dan  Podheiser

Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

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Dan's DFS picks for NFL Week 15

16 Dec 2015

By Dan Podheiser
Man, last week sucked.

Not only was I knocked out of my season-long fantasy football league's playoffs, but I also had cashes stolen from me in two DraftKings GPPs. My Week 14 lineup entering Monday night was good enough to put me in the money in both the $3 buy-in Millionaire Maker and the $27 buy-in $1.5M Gridiron, but then Odell Beckham Jr.'s ridiculous performance against the Dolphins vaulted tens of thousands of entries ahead of me.

So, if you've been following along with my picks this season and have been taking my advice, please tell your children I'm sorry that they won't be getting any Christmas presents this year. That is, unless we turn things around in a big way over the final three weeks of the regular season.

Hey, we've gotta bink that milly at some point, right?

For a full explanation of the differences between DraftKings and FanDuel scoring, read this blog post by Daily Fantasy Sports 101.

Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (DK: $6,600; FD: $8,000)

The Saints' 2015 season is over, so Brees is out there slinging the ball all over the field like he's got nothing to lose. Last week, Brees completed 31 of 41 passes against the Bucs for 312 yards, two touchdowns and zero picks, the seventh time he has thrown for 300 or more yards in a game this season.

New Orleans' projected team scoring total is fourth in the league this week, according to oddsmakers, and with Saints starting running back Mark Ingram out for the season, look for Brees to continue chucking the ball all game long. He also has a nice matchup this week against the Lions, who have slowed down after their torrid three-game stretch in November. At these prices, Brees is a great value in GPPs.

Running Back (DK): Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots ($3,200)

Patriots running backs are just about the biggest gamble in fantasy football, but that's perfect when you're trying to win a GPP. With LeGarette Blount's season-ending injury, Bolden now finds himself as the featured back in a New England offense that is favored by 14.5 points this week against the Titans and could easily put up 50.

Bolden seems like a great play, especially at this price, but the gamble is twofold. First, James White, the Pats' other living, breathing running back, has been pretty good this season and could steal a lot of touches from Bolden. Second, you just never know what Bill Belichick is going to do; he could have Tom Brady throw the ball 60 times in a 40-point rout, just because he woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day.

Still, starting Bolden at this price opens the door for my roster to have several great, high-priced players. It's a gamble, but you have to take risks if you want to win one of these things. (I know from experience, obviously.)

Running Back (FD): Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings ($8,600)

Peterson is my favorite running back on the board this week in what I believe is going to be a bounce-back, statement win for his Vikings at home against the sliding Chicago Bears. Peterson leads the league in rushing, but he has just 87 yards combined in his last two games, a pair of tough losses to NFC West powers Seattle and Arizona.

This week should be when Peterson and Minnesota get back on track, however, and "AP" loves running against the Bears. He chalked up 103 yards on 20 carries against Chicago in a Week 8 win, and has actually rushed for 100 or more yards in each of his last five games against the Bears. So yeah, Peterson's a sure thing this week.

Wide Receiver (DK): Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks ($4,200)

Lockett, who began the season solely as a special teams dynamo, has emerged as one of the top threats in the newly high-powered Seahawks offense. The rookie wideout has been targeted seven times in each of the last two games, including a six-catch, 104-yard, two-touchdown performance in Baltimore last week.

This week, Seattle is 14-point favorites at home against the Cleveland Browns, and I don't expect their offensive success to end anytime soon. I love Lockett in this matchup, and he might even reign in a punt return touchdown for some added juice.

Wide Receiver (FD): Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons ($8,600)

Remember when Jones was on pace for the greatest season for a wide receiver in NFL history? Well, needless to say he's slowed down his pace, but he's still having a monster 2015 campaign with 109 catches and 1,426 yards through 13 games. Jones has seen double-digit targets in all but two of his games this year, which is insane.

The Falcons visit Jacksonville this week in what I predict will be a "bounce-back" performance for Jones, meaning I think he'll get in the end zone for the first time since Week 9. I'm thinking 12 catches on 15 targets for 200 yards and two touchdowns. That sounds fair, right?

Tight End: Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints (DK: $4,800; FD: $5,600)

Watson has been terrific this season as the Saints' starting tight end, and I'm finally willing to believe that he's not just a fluke (at least from a fantasy perspective). If you believe in Drew Brees this week, you've gotta believe in Watson, too, who has seemingly had a big game every time Brees goes off.

Defense: Minnesota Vikings (DK: $2,500; FD: $4,600)

I think the Vikings' defense is supremely undervalued this week. Before the last two weeks, Minnesota had the No. 2 defense in all of football and were downright terrifying to play against. And this week, they come back home to play against the division rival Bears in arguably their biggest game of the season. Go purple.
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