The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 16 WEEKEND UPDATE December 26, 2015  |  Doug Shain



The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the WEEKEND UPDATE for the Hail Mary, Week 16. With it being the holiday weekend and all (I hope you all had a great Christmas) I’ll keep the update short and to the point. All new info and thoughts are going to be in bolded italics.

In golf, after the regular season wraps up, they call it the “silly season”. Well, that’s about where we are at right now. Teams are wrapping up their seasons and few have much to play for at this point. Things get a lot wonky and that can lead to a lot of value for your DFS teams. This week, more than any other up to this point in the season (next week even more so), don’t worry if you’re leaving cap dollars on the table. Often times the best plays this time of year are NOT the most expensive plays.

To take a look at a list of “musts” when building my GPP lineup, click here. Best of luck this week!


The Depth Chart – The Plays of the Week

I’m going to list 3 groups of players for each position (except K). These groups are going to be PUBLIC plays, EXPERT plays, and HuLo plays. For an explanation of what those plays mean, click here. They are not ranked in any order. I’ll give a little analysis after each position section, but I won’t necessarily give a narrative about each player.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Tom Brady – NE Matthew Stafford – DET Jameis Winston – TB
Drew Brees – NO Philip Rivers – SD Eli Manning – NYG
Cam Newton – CAR Tyrod Taylor – BUF Ryan Tannehill – MIA
Ben Roethlisberger – PIT Kirk Cousins – WSH Jimmy Clausen – BAL
Aaron Rodgers – GB Teddy Bridgewater – MIN Ryan Fitzpatrick – NYJ
Blake Bortles – JAX Derek Carr – OAK
Carson Palmer – ARI Alex Smith – KC
Russell Wilson – SEA


– Despite the great games from Big Ben, Cam, and Wilson these last few weeks I’m still not inclined to spend up big for QB in a GPP. In cash, yeah, I’m all over all three of those guys this week, but in a GPP I’d much rather roll with some of the lower priced guys. I do like Bortles this week, a lot, but his ownership should be sky high. The more I think about it, the more I like Ben this week. His ownership might be high, but I think Bortles’ will be higher. Given his track record and something to play for, I’d rather own Ben at a lower ownership.

– So, if I’m not going with the big names where am I going? My top plays this week are Bridgewater, Stafford, and Tyrod. All three have great matchups and they all give you great opportunities to stack cheaply (Bridgewater/Diggs, Stafford/Tate, Tryod/Watkins). With the playoff scenarios coming more into focus, I’m actually off Bridgewater/Diggs despite the great matchup. With relatively little to play for, at best, MIN is going to play a very basic game and I don’t see as much upside.

– If you want to go way off the board this week then Jimmy Clausen is your man. He’s got the Steelers, who can’t stop anyone. Even if Pittsburgh puts up 40 that doesn’t mean that Clausen can’t throw for 250+ with a couple of TD’s. You can even go way nuts and double stack him with Kamar Aiken/Maxx Williams. This is not for the faint of heart, but it is terribly exciting. Do not do this if you’re firing a single bullet this week.

– Is there a bigger contrarian play this week than Eli Manning? Everyone is counting him out with a tough matchup and Beckham out, but he’s a talented QB that could be going up against a defense with little to play for. I’m not saying that this is a safe pick, but if you want to go off the grid with some upside then Eli is an interesting play.

My guys: Ben Roethlisberger, Tyrod Taylor, Blake Bortles, Jimmy Clausen, Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Eli Manning


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Todd Gurley – STL Doug Martin – TB Frank Gore – IND
Adrian Peterson – MIN Latavius Murray – OAK Theo Riddick – DET
David Johnson – ARI Cameron Artis-Payne – CAR Bilal Powell – NYJ
DeAngelo Williams – PIT Darren McFadden – DAL Steven Jackson – NE
Matt Forte – CHI Charcandrick West – KC Jay Ajayi – MIA
Devonta Freeman – ATL Tim Hightower – NO Alfred Blue – HOU
James White – NE Christine Michael – SEA Mike Gillislee – BUF
Danny Woodhead – SD Buck Allen – BAL
Rashad Jennings – NYG
Ameer Abdullah – DET
Jerick McKinnon – MIN


– Is anyone going to sit David Johnson this week? He’s today what Todd Gurley was six weeks ago. That idea alone means I’m fading him hard. He’s a monster, but he’s not going 187-3 again this week. I’m really not into paying for high end RB this week (much like with QB), and I’ll save my money for WR. I’m more interested in rolling out guys like White, Woodhead, Powell, and Riddick this week. This is especially true on DK where they get a full point per reception. These guys are productive week in and week out and are about as reliable as they come. I’m in on all four.

– I’m really worried about AP playing this week. There’s NO reason for the Vikings to risk him. Even if he’s active I expect a lot of McKinnon on this game. He’s moving up my list quickly.

– The other top end RB I’d look at this week is Matt Forte. He does the same things as those “lesser” players, but he’s even more reliable.

– If Andy Reid can just stick to one RB (like he has EVERY year before this year) then West is in line for a big game. The same goes for Darren McFadden, Latavius Murray, and Doug Martin. All four are among my top plays for the week. Murray paid off on Thursday and I’m still riding high on West, DMC, and Martin. If I had to choose just one it’d be West.

– If we hear anything negative about Lamar Miller and/or LeSean McCoy (I don’t see how he can play) then I’m more than happy to give a shot to both Jay Ajayi and Mike Gillislee. There’s some concern that Karlos Williams could take carries away from Gilislee, but Williams can’t stay healthy either and Buffalo loves to use two RB.

– Steven Jackson….just don’t.

– What to do with Christine Michael? He’s a Twitter darling and he finally got some carries last week and looked very good in the process. I think his ownership won’t justify his potential and I’ll probably fade reluctantly.

– The longer the week wears on the more I want to go all-in on Ameer Abdullah. SF is garbage defensively, so we know Detroit is going to score. At this point what purpose does it serve for the Lions to run Joique Bell? It’s time to see what they have with Abdullah when they give him 15+ touches. His price is low and people are not going to be on him. He’s the ultimate HuLo play and the Hu part is off the charts (think David Johnson against Philly last week).

My guys: Charcandrick West, Ameer Abdullah, Doug Martin, Darren McFadden, Jerick McKinnon, Matt Forte, Cameron Artis-Payne, Bilal Powell


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Allen Robinson – JAX Eric Decker – NYJ Albert Wilson – KC
Antonio Brown – PIT Jordan Matthews – PHI Dorial Green-Beckham – TEN
DeAndre Hopkins – HOU Michael Crabtree – OAK Tavon Austin – STL
Calvin Johnson – DET Mike Evans – TB Mike Wallace – MIN
DeSean Jackson – WSH Tyler Lockett – SEA Markus Wheaton – PIT
A.J. Green – CIN Golden Tate – DET Dez Bryant – DAL
Amari Cooper – OAK Brandin Cooks – NO Travis Benjamin – CLE
Julio Jones – ATL Jeremy Maclin – KC Kamar Aiken – BAL
Brandon Marshall – NYJ Jarvis Landry – MIA Kenny Stills – MIA
Ted Ginn Jr – CAR Michael Floyd – ARI Randall Cobb – GB
Doug Baldwin – SEA Stefon Diggs – MIN
Sammy Watkins – BUF


This is the position where I want to spend up. I’m all about Julio (ATL is going to play him in the slot more than last time), Marshall, ARob, Antonio Brown, Doug Baldwin, Sammy Watkins, and Amari Cooper this week. They are going to be worth the hit to your cap. I have a sneaking suspicion that Calvin Johnson is not going to like all the negativity he’s hearing about his play this week and he’s going to take it out on the 49ers.

– DJax is not terribly expensive, but his upside against Philly is outstanding. He’s near the top of my best plays this week.

– Along with some of the big guys, I actually like a lot of their running mates as well. I’m all about Michael Crabtree, Eric Decker, Markus Wheaton, and Golden Tate — and their discounted prices. Stefon Diggs has a great matchup and I’m good with either him or Mike Wallace this week against a terrible Giants pass D. Cooks, Maclin, and Landry continue to get targets and targets equal dollars.

– If you’re going to shoot for total upside and crazy then Kamar Aiken is a play you have to consider against a weak Pittsburgh defense. Kenny Stills and Dorial Green-Beckham are also guys that will be on my teams where I’m spending up elsewhere and need to save money at WR.

– I’m kind of off Diggs right now because I don’t see the Vikings doing all that much against the Giants. If I was going to play a Viking WR, though, I’d take a shot on Wallace getting behind the D and popping off a long one.

– With Mathieu out for ARI, I expect Cobb to really put up a big game from the slot. He’s not completely safe, but he should be able to get 10+ targets and pay off.

My guys: Antonio Brown, Jarvis Landry, Kamar Aiken, Julio Jones, Randall Cobb, Mike Wallace, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Golden Tate, Allen Robinson, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Floyd, Kenny Stills, Dorial Green-Beckham


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Greg Olsen – CAR Antonio Gates – SD Maxx Williams – BAL
Rob Gronkowski – NE Ben Watson – NO Kyle Rudolph – MIN
Julius Thomas – JAX Will Tye- NYG Tyler Kroft – CIN
Jordan Reed – WSH Zach Ertz – PHI
Delanie Walker – TEN
Gary Barnidge – CLE


– TE has really sorted itself out at the top. There’s Gronk and then there’s the rest of this public play group. I’m leaning towards Julius Thomas against the Saints, but wouldn’t fault you at all for riding the hot streaks of Jordan Reed and Delanie Walker.

– I’m pretty much all-in on Julius Thomas this week. His price is so low that his potential value is off the charts. If I don’t go Thomas I’m going value play at TE with Tye, Kroft, or Williams. There’s really no in-between in my mind.

– Can anyone stop Will Tye?? OK, he hasn’t set the world on fire, but he’s crushed value in 3 of his last 4 weeks. With OBJ out of the lineup Eli is going to have to find someone to throw to. I expect Tye to see a few more targets this week.

– Cincy loves to use their TE. If Eifert is out again then Kroft is definitely in play. Bradford seems to love Ertz so he’s worth a look as well against Washington on Saturday night.

My guys: Julius Thomas, Jordan Reed, Will Tye, Tyler Kroft, Maxx Williams


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Carolina Panthers Detroit Lions Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals
Seattle Seahawks Houston Texans Minnesota Vikings
Denver Broncos


– I do not like a lot of defenses at all this week. With their prices so low anyway, I think this is the week to just stick mostly with the chalk. Seattle against the Rams, Carolina against the Falcons, KC against the Browns, and Denver against the AJ McCarron-led Bengals are all prime matchups. Take your pick.

– If I want some under the radar upside then perhaps the Lions and Steelers are the way to go. Anyone against SF is in play; same goes for anyone against the Ravens.

– Sometimes I just miss a play. Houston against Tennessee is one of those plays. Thank goodness I publish an update. Let’s just chalk it up to too much Christmas Spirit clogging my mind.

– The really out of the box play this week is the Cardinals against the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is just a bit off this year and Arizona is playing great football. The Vikings are interesting with OBJ not suiting up for the Giants. Cincy has a great defense and neither QB for Denver instills a ton of confidence so they are in play, too.

My guys: Kansas City, Seattle, Houston, Detroit

Check out the Fake Football Cheat Sheets for my sample lineups. I do the DraftKings section, but the process of selecting the lineups is the same on all the sites.

Follow me on Twitter @bankster17 and good luck with your Hail Mary!

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