The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 16 WEEKEND UPDATE December 23, 2016  |  Doug Shain

The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Hail Mary WEEKEND UPDATE where I look at our GPP plays for NFL Week 16. You can check out my First Look article to see what I was thinking on Tuesday night, but this is my most up to date thoughts on the weekend slate. I’ll be using ownership data from the Fantasy Aces Thursday slate to help me determine public and HuLo plays. Public plays will be the players who were 10% owned or more on those slates unless otherwise noted. We have to keep in mind that these rankings have to be taken with a little grain of salt because ownership numbers can be down on non-Thursday players due to the high ownership of Thursday players as well as the fact that this is a 2QB site, so QB’s with incredible value are going to be very highly owned.

I will not be including Sunday/Monday games because the main slate on DK/FD do not have them. If you want to see who I like on those slates, I will be covering them in my cheat sheets for Fantasy Draft and Yahoo.



Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Matt Barkley (CHI) vs WSHColin Kaepernick (SF) @ LAAaron Rodgers (GB) vs MIN
Tom Savage (HOU) vs CINMarcus Mariota (TEN) @ JAXCam Newton (CAR) vs ATL
Philip Rivers (SD) @ CLETyrod Taylor (BUF) vs MIARussell Wilson (SEA) vs ARI
Robert Griffin III (CLE) vs SDMatt Ryan (ATL) @ CAR
Tom Brady (NE) vs NYJKirk Cousins (WSH) @ CHI
Derek Carr (OAK) vs IND
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, and narrowing things down is going to be a chore. The public did not go too heavy on big name QB’s this weekend, but we have to remember that Aces is a 2QB site and most people are going to pair a top name stud with a value QB. This leads to a high ownership percentage on guys like Savage, RG3, and Barkley. Of those three, I think that Savage will maintain a decent ownership, while the other two will probably end up in the HuLo category. I’ve cooled off a bit on my Barkley love from Monday night, but I’m still riding high with RG3. Something tells me that the Chargers are going to be a little down in this game (early start, west coast team coming east, nothing to play for), while the Browns are going to be going all out to win their first game of the season. Let’s also not forget that Griffin is playing for a contract, so he’s going to be very motivated.  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. Of the bigger name QB’s that are being played heavily, I definitely want some action on Luck. He showed last week that he’s basically matchup-proof, and he’s got a ton to play for against the Raiders (a bad pass defense). I’ll also get my hands on Drew Brees back at Dome Sweet Dome. He’s a monster there and should have no problems with the Buccaneers.

I will be more than willing to pay up for a Luck/Hilton stack this weekend. I’m fading Tom Brady because this isn’t the same FU Pats from a few years ago, and I don’t see them struggling at all against the Jets. He may end up with 250 yards and 3 TD, but for his crazy high price I’m going to want to see a floor of 300 yards and 4 TD. I’d rather spend down for Luck, Rodgers, or Newton.  The only other really popular QB play that intrigues me is Blake Bortles. I didn’t even consider him on Monday night but that matchup against Tennessee, with a new coach in Jacksonville, could be just what the Jags need to spark their offense. I won’t go heavy on Bortles but I’m going to have to have at least one lineup that features a Bortles/ARob stack.

– I’ve heard a lot of people talking this week about the high floor that Kaepernick gives you. Let him be someone else’s problem. He’s not tearing up the Rams in LA, a place where they give up under 16 points a game (and that includes a drubbing at the hands of the Falcons). Speaking of the Falcons, I’m kind of calling my shot this weekend that they are going to get blown out by the Panthers. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be fantasy points for the offense but I’ve got a bad feeling here and won’t use Ryan. I may end up using Julio because of his low ownership, but Ryan is only going to see his ownership rise this weekend and I want no part of that. Kirk Cousins is a favorite of mine usually, but the Bears play pretty solid defense and Cousins is not a good performer on the road. I can see Washington leaning heavily on the run game on Saturday and that’s where I’ll focus my attention.

– Cam Newton looked really good on Monday night and he actually still has something to play for. Although the chances are slim, Carolina still isn’t out of the playoff hunt. ATL, for all the good that they do, kind of give 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. The Vikings pass defense has been exposed and Aaron Rodgers is going to carve them up. It would not shock me at all if he was the highest scoring QB this weekend and if the Packers put up the most points of any team in the NFL on Saturday. At a very low ownership (under 5%), I want all the Rodgers this weekend.

My guys: Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Drew Brees, Blake Bortles






Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
LeSean McCoy (BUF) vs MIAJay Ajayi (MIA) @BUFJonathan Stewart (CAR) vs ATL
Jordan Howard (CHI) vs WSHCarlos Hyde (SF) @ LADerrick Henry (TEN) @ JAX
Latavius Murray (OAK) vs INDKenneth Farrow (SD) @ CLEDion Lewis (NE) vs NYJ
DeMarco Murray (TEN) @ JAXDevonta Freeman (ATL) @ CARFrank Gore (IND) @ OAK
Todd Gurley (LA) vs LARobert Kelley (WSH) @ CHIDavid Johnson (ARI) @ SEA
Ty Montgomery (GB) @ MINBilal Powell (NYJ) @ NE

– 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 RB 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. I’m well aware that the trio of Gurley, McCoy, and Howard is the absolute chalk this weekend but when the chalk are the nuts then you kind of have to ride it out. I’ll differentiate my lineup elsewhere (like at QB).  I’m not going to ride the Ty Train this weekend. Expectations are way too high for him and his price/ownership combination doesn’t appeal to me at all. I’d rather use Gurley at the same price range.

– The late we’ve gotten into this week, the more I’m buying into a big game from Jay Ajayi. I know that he’s got some offensive line problems but the Bills were the team that he ran for 200 yards against and they are having major issues stopping the run right now. I don’t think he gets to 200 yards or anything but if he can get us 100 yards and a score then he’s totally worth using. He makes a very tempting pivot off the chalkiness of Gurley and Howard (I won’t pull McCoy for him though).  I also have some interest in both Freeman and Kelley as high floor plays if you’re going to get risky with some of your other picks. I don’t think either win a GPP but neither should lose one for you either.

– I love the idea of using Jonathan Stewart this week…I’m just not sure if I love him more for cash or GPP. He’s not a very high ceiling guy but he’s got a really high floor and a perfect matchup. Having no competition for carries is also going to make him a very appealing play for me this weekend. I think I’m most interested in using him on Fantasy Draft or Fantasy Aces, where I can have up to 4 RB. He’s an awesome second Flex option. I talked about David Johnson a lot earlier in this section but he could actually prove to be a value if he’s going to end the week at 5% ownership or lower. If he goes off and you’re the only person who has him, you’re going to look like a genius. I probably won’t play him but that doesn’t mean he’s not in the GPP conversation. If you want some cheaper options to fill out a lineup then I’d focus on Farrow, Powell, or Henry.

My guys: LeSean McCoy, Jordan Howard, Todd Gurley, Jay Ajayi, Robert Kelley, Jonathan Stewart, Devonta Freeman






Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
TY Hilton (IND) @ OAKTyrell Williams (SD) @ CLEMalcolm Mitchell (NE) @ NYJ
Julian Edelman (NE) @ NYJAllen Robinson (JAX) vs TENAmari Cooper (OAK) vs IND
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) vs CINDavante Adams (GB) vs MINJulio Jones (ATL) @ CAR
Michael Thomas (NO) vs TBKenny Britt (LA) vs SFTyler Lockett (SEA) vs ARI
Dontrelle Inman (SD) @ CLERobby Anderson (NYJ) @ NE
Mike Evans (TB) @ NOBrandin Cooks (NO) vs TB
Ted Ginn Jr (CAR) vs ATLAmari Cooper (OAK) vs IND
Michael Crabtree (OAK) vs INDJordy Nelson (GB) @ MIN
Marqise Lee (JAX) vs TEN

– For the first time in a long time it looks like the chalk at WR are actually going to be some of the bigger names at the position. For a few weeks in a row we’ve seen extreme value plays with the higher ownership but it appears that the public has moved off that this week with guys like Evans, Hilton, and Edelman as some of the more widely owned players. There are still some big names that we can get at a low ownership (Julio Jones, Brandin Cooks, Jordy Nelson, and Amari Cooper) so don’t be in too much of a hurry to go and grab guys like Evans if you don’t absolutely love him. I don’t love Evan, in particular, this week because he’s been terrible against the Saints for pretty much  his entire career and I’m not paying that much money on the hopes that he figures it out now. Of the more popular plays this week, I’m much more interested in Hilton, Hopkins, Inman, Ginn, and Thomas. All five of those guys are players I’ve targeted all week. My position isn’t changing on them even with the high ownership. TY Hilton is going to be in just about every one of my lineups this weekend. He’s by far my top WR play of the week.

– I have been all over Dontrelle Inman recently because he was at a lower ownership than Tyrell Williams but that has flip-flopped this weekend. It’s Williams who has the lower ownership. I’m still on the Inman bandwagon though as he’s still cheaper and is more reliable. Williams is more of a home run play, but one that I don’t think I’m going to need. I’d much rather go steady with my SD WR; I’ve got upside in abundance elsewhere. This seems like one of those “if it doesn’t happen now, when will it ever” weeks for Allen Robinson. I don’t know what happened to him this year but he’s been terrible. This is the best matchup he’s going to have seen in a long while and something tells me he has a decent game. Sadly, I think his ownership is going to bubble its way over 10% by the time lock hits us on Saturday.

– I love the HuLo WR this weekend. Malcolm Mitchell is one of my favorite plays at the positions, add in a low ownership and you have a guy that slots in right below TY Hilton for me. Jordy Nelson, Tyler Lockett, and Julio Jones also get a nice bump in my estimation because they are going to be so low owned. If any one of them could see a spike in ownership before lock, it’s going to be Jones (who now has a clean bill of health). Let’s not forget that he torched the Panthers for 300 yards earlier this year. Even if the Jets get spanked, I think Robby Anderson is going to get his usual 8+ targets from Bryce Petty. I don’t have the stones to take a chance on Chris Hogan but he’s got a pretty good shot to take one deep against the Jets. Something tells me that Terrelle Pryor is going to be out to prove all the naysayers wrong in a halfway decent matchup against the Chargers. If he can avoid Casey Heyward, he could be in for a huge game. One other note: I was all over Alshon Jeffery earlier in the week. I forgot that he’s going to be covered by Josh Norman. I’ll pass on that, thanks.

My guys: TY Hilton, DeAndre Hopkins, Ted Ginn Jr., Dontrelle Inman, Michael Thomas, Jordy Nelson, Malcolm Mitchell, Terrelle Pryor, Tyler Lockett, Allen Robinson





Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Greg Olsen (CAR) vs ATLDelanie Walker (TEN) @ JAXCharles Clay (BUF) vs MIA
Cameron Brate (TB) @ NOKyle Rudolph (MIN) @ GBHunter Henry (SD) @ CLE
Antonio Gates (SD) @ CLEVernon Davis (WSH) @ CHIDion Sims (MIA) @ BUF
Ryan Griffin (HOU) vs CIN

– 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 and that 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 TE 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.

– Have you seen the cleats that Rudolph the Red Zone Reindeer is going to use this weekend? If you haven’t, you should because they are awesome. The experts love him and I can see his ownership going through the roof. I won’t be using him. Vernon Davis is very productive without Jordan Reed in the lineup. We’re not going to see Reed this weekend so Davis is a great punt play.

– If CJ 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. Even if Fiedorowicz does end up playing, I have no issue using Griffin as he’s gotten 3+ targets per game even with CJF in the lineup. 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 love me some Hunter Henry this weekend. He’s a goal line favorite for Rivers and I’m more than happy to use him against the most generous team to opposing TE.

My guys: Vernon Davis, Hunter Henry, Charles Clay, Cameron Brate, Dion Sims





Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Green Bay Packers vs MINLos Angeles Rams vs SFTennessee Titans @ JAX
New England Patriots vs NYJCincinnati Bengals @ HOUChicago Bears vs WSH
Seattle Seahawks vs ARIHouston Texans vs CIN
San Diego Chargers @ CLEBuffalo Bills vs MIA

– “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 don’t know why I didn’t write about them on Monday, but I really like the Rams this weekend. They give up less than 16 points per game at home and face a terrible 49ers team. I see no reason why they won’t put up a big score this weekend. If you want to get really sneaky, then I kind of dig the Bears at home against a Redskins team that just isn’t the same away from home. At their really low price, they don’t have to do much to hit value.

My guys: LA Rams, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers



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.



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