The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 16 FIRST LOOK
December 20, 2016 | Doug Shain
The Huddle – Opening Statement
Welcome to the FIRST LOOK at the GPP plays for NFL Week 16. If you want to know more about my article and what it’s all about, please click here.
There are a lot of different slates to work with this weekend with games on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. This article is going to focus solely on the main FD/DK slate, which is the Saturday only slate. I want to keep this as simple as possible for the masses, and the masses play on DK/FD (although they really should be playing FantasyDraft if they want to avoid the sharks, but that’s another discussion/blog for another day).
Because of the large number of players on these lists, please understand when I don’t write a blurb about each and every one of them. If you want to know more about a player that I glossed over, or why they are placed into the list I have them in, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@bankster17). I respond to everyone who writes to me so you can feel confident that your question will get answered. Enjoy the read for now and make sure to come back this weekend to see who we should be locking into our GPP lineups.
Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Matt Ryan (ATL) @ CAR Matt Barkley (CHI) vs WSH Matt Moore (MIA) @ BUF
Kirk Cousins (WSH) @ CHI Marcus Mariota (TEN) @ JAX Cam Newton (CAR) vs ATL
Philip Rivers (SD) @ CLE Jameis Winston (TB) @ NO Robert Griffin III (CLE) vs SD
Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs MIN Russell Wilson (SEA) vs ARI Blake Bortles (JAX) vs TEN
Tom Brady (NE) vs NYJ Andy Dalton (CIN) @ HOU Colin Kaepernick (SF) @ LA
Derek Carr (OAK) vs IND Tom Savage (HOU) vs CIN
Andrew Luck (IND) @ OAK Drew Brees (NO) vs TB
– Thank goodness I’m NOT including the Sunday/Monday games because if I was that would make things even more confusing for me (I’m in love with using Big Ben this weekend). There is a shockingly large amount of yummy goodness presenting itself in Week 16; narrowing things down is going to be a chore. The public should be going heavy on big name QBs this week with so many of them having plus matchups. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers all have something to play for, and they all face garbage defenses. I’m probably not going to pay up for Brady, nor do I want to play the ownership game with Brees (although I might have to with his incredible upside). Matt Ryan is all well and good, but my fantasy dollar, at least on chalky plays, is probably going to go into the direction of Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck. Both are playing outstanding football right now and have paths towards big weeks in front of them. The reduced price on Rodgers is particularly appealing. Philip Rivers should be very chalky against the Browns, but I’ll mostly avoid that matchup after he put up kind of a dud last week. I know we need to put the past behind us, but Rivers just doesn’t perform in fantasy when we need him to.
– When Matt Barkley is allowed to wing the ball 40 times a game, he puts up solid numbers. I think that’s exactly what we are going to see against the Redskins and their weak secondary this weekend. Washington should be able to score on Chicago, and much like last weekend we are going to see the new King of Garbage Time do his thing. With Alshon Jeffery back and Jordan Howard playing like a mini-David Johnson, this Bears’ offense is better than you think. Winston, Mariota, and Wilson all have matchups they should be able to take advantage of. I think I’d probably choose Wilson of the three with a home game and Arizona clearly reeling after last week’s thrashing by the Saints.
– Cam Newton looked really good on Monday night, and he actually still has something to play for. Although the chances are (very) slim, Carolina still isn’t out of the playoff hunt. ATL, for all the good that they do, gives up a ton of points on defense. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Newton puts on an inspired performance this weekend to keep the Panthers in the playoff hunt. Because of his poor play for most of the season, you can get Cam at a big discount against the Falcons. I know it sounds nuts, but I think I might like RG3 against the Chargers in Week 16. I don’t think Griffin comes back to the Browns in 2017, so this is one of his last shots to audition for another team. His numbers looked terrible in Week 15, but his body language was of a man that’s fully invested in being a top flight NFL QB. He is averaging 40 yards rushing and 1 TD on the ground over his last two starts. If he can get any sort of game going with his arm, he should be good for 20+ fantasy points this weekend. That’s incredible for his low price. The more I think about it, the more I like RG3 this weekend; he opens so many intriguing possibilities at your other positions.
Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
LeSean McCoy (BUF) vs MIA Jay Ajayi (MIA) @BUF Tevin Coleman (ATL) @ CAR
Devonta Freeman (ATL) @ CAR Jonathan Stewart (CAR) vs ATL Kenneth Farrow (SD) @ CLE
Ronnie Hillman (SD) @ CLE Robert Kelley (WSH) @ CHI Isaiah Crowell (CLE) vs SD
Jordan Howard (CHI) vs WSH Derrick Henry (TEN) @ JAX Duke Johnson (CLE) vs SD
Latavius Murray (OAK) vs IND Dion Lewis (NE) vs NYJ Adrian Peterson (MIN) @ GB
Bilal Powell (NYJ) @ NE Frank Gore (IND) @ OAK Doug Martin (TB) @ NO
DeMarco Murray (TEN) @ JAX Thomas Rawls (SEA) vs ARI Tim Hightower (NO) vs TB
David Johnson (ARI) @ SEA Lamar Miller (HOU) vs CIN Carlos Hyde (SF) @ LA
Todd Gurley (LA) vs LA
– It’s finally happened, Todd Gurley is the chalk RB play of the weekend. You know that after using him all season, there’s NO WAY I’m fading him against the 49ers in Week 16. He is the first name I’m going to click and will be one guy that I will most likely own on every team I have. The blinders are on and I’m going full steam with this elite talent against a historically bad run defense. Give me 100 yards and 1 TD and I’m happy.
– One of the better reasons to use Gurley this weekend is that there aren’t a ton of big name RBs on this slate with Dallas and PIT playing in the SUN/MON window. That takes Elliott and Bell out of the equation and leaves some room for other names to emerge. I’m actually off of David Johnson this weekend. I just don’t see how he’s going to be able to run all over the Seahawks. Might he get to his 100 total yards against this weekend? Sure, I won’t put that past him. Is he going to 150 and 2 scores? I don’t see how he can do that, and if he can’t do that, then he’s not worth his cost. I’d rather spend down a bit and go right back to LeSean McCoy. He’s been running like a man possessed and if he can get some carries inside the 5 yard line, he should be a top 3 scoring RB once again in Week 16. The other higher priced RB I like this week is Jordan Howard. He’s David Johnson Jr, filling up the stat sheet in a variety of ways. He’s gone over 100 scrimmage yards in six of his last seven games, and in the one game that he didn’t he had 99 total yards. He’s only had 5 TD during that run of games, and 3 of them came in one game, but TD’s are hard to predict and I’ll gladly take the guy getting all the work. He’s completely underappreciated, and I’ll be all over him this weekend. If Melvin Gordon is out again this weekend, I really think it’s going to Ronnie Hillman getting the work over Kenneth Farrow. If that’s the case, he’s going to be 30% owned or higher facing the Browns. That said, he’s facing the Browns, and I want exposure. I’ll gladly take the ownership hit to save the cap space for some bigger players elsewhere. I’m not buying Bilal Powell this week against the Patriots, nor will I spend up for DeMarco Murray when Derrick Henry is getting this much work.
– Speaking of Henry, if you are on a site where he’s really cheap, I see no reason to not use him. He’s been getting an increased workload over the last few weeks and he looks incredible (29 carries, 160 yards, 3 TD). This is how I thought TEN would use Henry and Murray all season. He’s really close to a monster game, and JAX is the right opponent to have it against. Frank Gore is the most boring player in the NFL. Frank Gore also averages 81 yards per game and had 8 TDs on the season. He is cheap and an excellent Flex play against the Raiders, boring or not. Jonathan Stewart does not compete for carries on Carolina. That’s a rare commodity in today’s NFL. ATL is one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. If he can get to 15+ carries, then a game of 75 yards and a TD is well within reach. Fat Rob is always in play, especially now that he’s learned to catch passes. Even in a bad game against Carolina on Monday he was in double digit fantasy points because of his receiving skills. Chicago can be run on….see: Ty Montgomery in Week 15.
– It’s not entirely impossible that Adrian Peterson has a good game this weekend. Limit your expectations, but also realize that he’s had great games against the Packers in the past. He’s the ultimate HuLo play. If you want a little safer play, Tim Hightower seems to have emerged as the guy to own in New Orleans and TB can be run on. Carlos Hyde keeps producing, even in bad matchups. Both CLE RBs are in play against the Chargers, although my preference is to use Crowell.
Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
TY Hilton (IND) @ OAK Julian Edelman (NE) @ NYJ Willie Snead (NO) vs TB
Malcolm Mitchell (NE) @ NYJ Jamison Crowder (WSH) @ CHI Philip Dorsett (IND) @ OAK
Jarvis Landry (MIA) @ BUF Dontrelle Inman (SD) @ CLE Julio Jones (ATL) @ CAR
Taylor Gabriel (ATL) @ CAR Davante Adams (GB) vs MIN Pierre Garcon (WSH) @ CHI
Alshon Jeffery (CHI) vs WSH Marqise Lee (JAX) vs TEN Travis Benjamin (SD) @ CLE
DeSean Jackson (WSH) @ CHI Mike Evans (TB) @ NO Stefon Diggs (MIN) @ GB
Tyrell Williams (SD) @ CLE Michael Thomas (NO) vs TB Amari Cooper (OAK) vs IND
Ty Montgomery (GB) @ MIN Kenny Britt (LA) vs SF JJ Nelson (ARI) @ SEA
Jordy Nelson (GB) @ MIN Ted Ginn Jr (CAR) vs ATL
– This sure doesn’t feel like a week to go too cheap or too expensive at WR. I like the upper mid-range to lower-mid range plays. Alshon Jeffery might be my favorite play with his volume and Matt Barkley’s emergence as a chucker. I get it that there’s the Josh Norman factor, but Alshon is playing for a contract and he’s got something to prove. I’m going to ride him until he stops producing. I’d be more than happy if he replicated his Week 15 stat line. Ty Montgomery and Jordy Nelson are both playing great; I’d use both if I could fit them into my lineup. I love that McCarthy has finally figured out that he’s better off with Montgomery getting 15 touches rather than any of his other RB. Look at how well GB plays when the ball is in Montgomery’s hands. Give me Malcolm Mitchell to bounce back against the Jets and Robby Anderson to try to match him on the other side of the ball. Tyler Lockett won’t have to contend with Patrick Peterson, and we all know what that means; #2 WRs torch the Cardinals (Cooks did all his damage when he wasn’t covered by Peterson and Thomas scored a TD off coverage as well). Michael Crabtree is the WR you want in OAK. T.Y. Hilton continues to be the man for IND; coverage by David Amerson isn’t going to scare me off.
– I want all the Dontrelle Inman I can handle. He’s been the top target for Rivers for a few weeks now, and he was a TD away from obliterating value in a PPR this past weekend. He’s going to get his against the Browns. Marqise Lee is the best WR on Jacksonville, for what that’s worth, and he gets a very soft TEN secondary this weekend. He got skunked in Week 15 (save for a KO return TD), but aside from that he’s got 6+ targets in all but three weeks this season. Against the Titans that’s more than enough for an acceptable return, even with Blake Bortles as his QB. Both Michael Thomas and Kenny Britt are target machines with great matchups. I expect both to put up solid games this weekend for very reasonable prices.
– If Julio Jones plays, I can see Matt Ryan making it a point to get him involved early and often against Carolina. Let’s not forget what Julio did to the Panthers the last time they played (12-300-1). Sammy Watkins is getting the targets, but he hasn’t done a ton with them. If he can just catch two-thirds of his targets he could be looking at a 6-100-1 type of line against Miami. Stefon Diggs burned the Packers the last time they played, and MIN needs to involve him again if they hope to stay in this game. Ted Ginn, not Kelvin Benjamin, is the best WR on the Panthers, and they’ve got a really soft matchup against ATL this weekend.
Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Greg Olsen (CAR) vs ATL Jared Cook (GB) vs MIN Kyle Rudolph (MIN) @ GB
Jordan Reed (WSH) @ CHI Tyler Eifert (CIN) @ HOU Hunter Henry (SD) @ CLE
Antonio Gates (SD) @ CLE Ryan Griffin (HOU) vs CIN Lance Kendricks (LA) vs SF
Martellus Bennett (NE) vs NYJ Charles Clay (BUF) vs MIA Eric Swoope (IND) @ OAK
Cameron Brate (TB) @ NO Dion Sims (MIA) @ BUF
– Cameron Brate is a #1, elite TE. He is the favorite target of Jameis Winston (even more than Mike Evans recently), and he’s actually got really good hands for a big guy. New Orleans is very weak defensively, which puts Brate right at the top of the TE discussion this weekend. I love him and I won’t hesitate to use him if I have the cap space to make it work. One player I won’t be using is Antonio Gates. I know that the Browns give up the most points to opposing TEs, but it sure looks like Rivers is favoring Hunter Henry near the goal line, and I prefer to spend down at TE where I can. This is an easy pivot to make without sacrificing too much upside.
– If C.J. Fiedorowicz is out then Ryan Griffin is a great TE play at, or near, min-price. He got 8 targets last weekend and that’s pretty consistent with how the Texans have been using their TE all season. At such a low price, he doesn’t really need to do much more than catch 4 passes to be worth your time. Charles Clay has now gotten into the end zone two straight weeks, and I say he makes it three against his former team. Revenge games can totally exist past the first time a player faces his old squad. The targets have been there all season, and Taylor is not going to stop feeding him now.
– I’m not sure I buy into the good games from Swoope and Sims, but if you do, by all means go ahead and use them in GPPs. They are both min-price so all it takes is one catch in the end zone to pay off. Obviously I prefer Hunter Henry, as discussed above. He’s a red zone monster and has a ton of upside against a very bad Cleveland defense. Kyle Rudolph keeps getting targets, so Kyle Rudolph keeps getting mentioned.
Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Tennessee Titans @ JAX Green Bay Packers vs MIN Oakland Raiders vs IND
New England Patriots vs NYJ Cincinnati Bengals @ HOU Los Angeles Rams vs SF
Seattle Seahawks vs ARI Houston Texans vs CIN
San Diego Chargers @ CLE
– “Anyone against the Jaguars.” “Anyone against the Browns.” That’s about all you need to know as reasons why TEN and SD will be popular DST picks this weekend. I prefer Tennessee of the two. Honestly though, I’d rather just go with New England against the Jets. Bryce Petty can throw it a bit, but Bill Belichick is going to confound the kid and be all over him all game. The Pats give up the fewest points per game of any defense in the league, and they are 16.5 point favorites in Week 16. They are going to crush the Jets.
– MIN looks so bad on offense right now. I’ll gladly take the Packers this weekend, at home, against the weak sauce that the Vikings bring. I’m not sure I believe in Tom Savage the way Bill O’Brien does; the dude was beat out by Brock Osweiler and couldn’t overtake him for 15 weeks. Contract or not, that says something. If they are cheap enough, I’ll use the Bengals for sure.
Best of luck this week! I hope you all kick some butt and make a ton of money. Make sure to check out all the great content at The Fake Football including the Cheat Sheets.You’ll find a ton of analysis, and data. It’s well worth the cost of subscription.
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments. I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.