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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cory Bonini

The best fantasy football gamble of Week 15

Every week, at least one player becomes my fascination of whether he’s worthy of a fantasy football start as a streamer. The decision can be a mental wrestling match, but for the purpose of brevity, only one player can be chosen as the fantasy football gamble of the week.

The best fantasy football gamble for Week 15

Tracking my predictions: 4-9-1
Win: Player produces ≥ 75% of projected fantasy points
Loss: Player produces >75% of projected fantasy points
Tie: Player is ejected, leaves with an injury, or lands on COVID-19 list after publishing

2021 record: 8-9-1
2020 record: 5-10-1

Woohoo! Last week, Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff not only met my projection of 22.85 points but exceeded it by nearly 23 percent. Let’s see if there’s any momentum behind it to extend this success another week.

TE Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals

The promising rookie has managed to post several fantasy-relevant performances in 2022, but they’ve come at an erratic spacing. On a per-contest basis, if the benchmark for games played is Dulcich’s eight appearances, he enters Week 15 ranked 12th in PPR scoring.

He has evenly split those eight games with half being good for at least 11.1 PPR but no more than Week 13’s 14.5. In the other outings, the UCLA product finished with results of 2.1, 7.0, 3.1, and 7.2 fantasy points. Dulcich hasn’t scored since Week 6.

With the ebbs and flows of his game established, one other factor comes into play: Russell Wilson (concussion) is in jeopardy of missing this interconference meeting. His absence would turn the reins over to Brett Rypien. On the surface, it’s easy to see why this would be of concern to gamers, but in the Week 7 meeting vs. the New York Jets, with Wilson on the trainer’s table, Dulcich drew a personal-best nine targets from Rypien. He corralled six of them for 51 yards without a score.

In the past two weeks, Dulcich has been targeted eight times apiece, landing nine for 14.1 yards per grab. He has at least three targets in each game played and five or more in all but three showings. This week, he could once again see a large share of the target total as Courtland Sutton (hamstring) is day-to-day after having to sit last week.

Arizona’s defense has been laughably bad vs. tight ends in 2022, and it hasn’t really turned the corner at any point. Over the most recent five weeks of play, tight ends have averaged the fifth-most fantasy points per game in PPR, third most in non-PPR, and top-10 figures for the three fantasy-point-generating stats.

Since Week 9, the Cardinals have allowed five receptions (8th most) for 64 yards (5th) per contest, and only nine defenses have been easier to score on. Over the course of 2022, TEs have produced averages of 6.6 catches and 73.1 yards, scoring once every 9.6 catches. Ten opposing tight ends have posted at least 10 PPR points this year, and half were good for 17 or more points. The matchup rating is a massive 55.2 percent better than average.

With a lack of a downfield presence, likely no Sutton, a backfield offering nothing of note as checkdowns, and a relatively inexperienced passer poised to start, many signs point to a strong game for the rookie.

My projection: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 63 yards, 1 TD (19.3 PPR fantasy points)

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