Updated: Dec 27, 2020
Welcome to week 16 of the NFL season! I hope everyone was able to have a happy holiday season. Let's get one more week of profit in before we start the new year.
Each week, we’ll be previewing the main slate on DraftKings. Our philosophy with these selections is to provide you with solid floor plays with some upside to start your roster construction, with potential GPP pivots for even further upside in tournaments.
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If you're new to DFS, I'd recommend checking out our DFS 101 article before getting started, as it can give this column a lot more context.
If you'd like to see how I did in previous weeks, you can find that here: Week 15 | Week 14 | Week 13 | Week 12 | Week 11 | Week 10 | Week 9 | Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1
Please note that the authors of this post are also players of daily fantasy sports, and the selections they make when creating their rosters may or may not include players listed below. You can find Derek Devereaux on DraftKings via the username DerekDevereaux.
This week’s lineup building beer of choice
It's no secret to those that know me that 3 Floyds is one of my favorite breweries, and their take on a hazy IPA is one of the best in the category. Like most of their beers, it's quite hoppy; if you're not into that, this hazy is probably not for you. It does have some nice fruity flavoring post the in-your-face hops, almost a mixture of tangerine and passion fruit.
All lines via Bovada, current as of Saturday afternoon.
Cleveland -10 at NY Jets, 47.5 total (opened at 43.5)
Atlanta at Kansas City -10.5, 53 total
Cincinnati at Houston -7.5, 44.5 total
Indianapolis -1 at Pittsburgh, 43 total (opened at 48.5)
NY Giants at Baltimore -10, 44 total
Chicago -7.5 at Jacksonville, 47 total
Denver at LA Chargers -3, 48.5 total (opened at 51)
Carolina at Washington -1, 41.5 total (opened at 45)
LA Rams at Seattle -1, 47.5 total
Philadelphia -3 at Dallas, 49.5 total (opened at 48)
Favorite games to target
I think ownership will be pretty consolidated around the following areas:
Both sides of the Atlanta/Kansas City game, which I might be underweight on for stacking purposes just because most of the players you want to play are so expensive;
The Philadelphia side, aka the "Jalen Hurts Is The Best QB And The Cowboys Suck" side, although I think that in theory the Cowboys receivers will also be popular;
I think plenty of people will play Lamar and the Ravens;
That leaves me to want to target...
The Denver/LA Chargers game, and the Broncos side is super cheap, so playing them could allow you to get expensive one-offs or secondary correlations elsewhere;
Maybe the passing game for Chicago as Montgomery leverage;
Maybe the Cleveland passing game;
Houston and Cincinnati, because two garbage teams can easily just out garbage each other defensively, it's YOLO season.
Let's get to it on a player level.
Jalen Hurts, $7000, PHI (at DAL)
He's going to be the most popular QB on the slate, so think long and hard about what you want to do here in GPPs, especially in larger tournaments (which is where I play). But for cash games? Sure, why not. There's a solid rushing floor, he can throw just fine (although his weapons aren't the greatest), and he's in a good matchup. Just know that any QB that's going to hit like 30% ownership is fadeable in tournaments, but if he's far and away the best scoring QB and you don't have him, you're dead, too.
Matt Ryan, $5800, ATL (at KC)
Atlanta is going to have to throw the ball a ton in this game, and you know Matt Ryan can be capable of keeping up with teams when he's on. The lack of rushing means there's not a real floor here, but we saw last week he can put up 30 points or more with just his arm.
Drew Lock, $5000, DEN (at LAC)
Can Drew Lock get you 20+ points? Sure. Is he cheap? Yes. Will nobody play him? Probably. He's very inefficient with his pass attempts, but we've seen high attempt games from him previously - including 41 attempts the last time he played against the Chargers in week 3 (and got 20.8 points!) I think he's the guy if you're going cheap this week.
Potential GPP pivots: Deshaun Watson ($7600, vs. CIN), Jared Goff ($5900, at SEA), Mitchell Trubisky ($5700, at JAX)
David Montgomery, $7700, CHI (at JAX)
What is happening here? He's exploded for four straight weeks, and prior to last week, it was all about efficiency with average to below average touch counts:
16 in Week 12
21 in Week 13
14 in Week 14
Then Week 15 shows up, his price hits $7000, and you look at it and go, well, is what he did in those prior weeks repeatable again without additional volume? And then he gets 33 (!) touches. Montgomery will, in my mind, be far and away the chalkiest high priced running back. If you believe the touches will be there, he's a great play, but if you don't, now's the time to get off. I tend to believe that the matchup is good enough that he could be efficient still, and 25 touches isn't outside the realm of possibility, so I expect to have some of him.
Le'Veon Bell, $5800, KC (vs. ATL)
Playing any Chiefs RB can be risky, but that risk it mitigated when only one of them is going to get meaningful work. Enter Le'Veon, who ended up with a serviceable 16 touches last week after Clyde Edwards-Helaire left the game early. Getting to 20+ touches, including passing work out of the backfield, can give us a high floor and some ceiling as well against an underrated but still beatable Falcons defense. I think he could be popular, but I view this as good chalk.
Darrell Henderson Jr., $4500, LAR (at SEA)
He and Malcolm Brown ($4000) are expected to share the work this week with Cam Akers out due to an ankle sprain. Both are probably fine to take a shot on, but we've seen Henderson be more efficient with his touches during his runs as a primary ball carrier this season, so I'm a bit more willing to take a shot there. It's 100% possible this becomes a "Sean McVay chooses the guy with the hot hand" game, and you'll have to get it right or else you've wasted a roster spot.
Potential GPP pivots: Austin Ekeler ($7600, vs. DEN), Kareem Hunt ($5900, at NYJ), Ito Smith ($4000, at KC)
Robert Woods, $7000, LAR (at SEA)
It's like Woods and Cooper Kupp ($6300) traded places, as Woods has been the one that has received a higher share of the targets over the past five weeks. He's also used on jet sweeps at times, too, although we're not really here counting on his rushing ability. Going against an improved but still beatable Seahawks team, I think this is a great spot for him to get into the end zone, too.
Diontae Johnson, $6300, PIT (vs. IND)
Ah yes, we meet again. My arch nemesis. My lineup burner. The man who has hit the medical tent more times this year than I have won a GPP tournament in my life (4). Are we going to do this again? It's as if you're sitting there, just tempting me, with your insanely high target counts and DraftKings' reluctance to price you where you belong, with the guy I listed above. You are my yellow Starburst. I prefer the other Starbursts, but you're still better than Skittles. (Don't @ me.)
Michael Gallup, $4100, DAL (vs. PHI)
Back to the well. He's fully healthy, he's cheap, he gets consistent targets, he has upside, he's not a bad QB. Is he on next week's main slate, too? Just pretend he's a staple at this point.
Potential GPP pivots: Keenan Allen ($7500, vs. DEN - I'm assuming he won't end up on as limited of a snap count as he was last week, but check for news tomorrow), TY Hilton ($5500, at PIT), Tee Higgins ($4700, at HOU), Chad Hansen ($4400, vs. CIN), Keelan Cole ($3500, vs. CHI)
Travis Kelce, $8500, KC (at NO)
Wash rinse repeat from last week, which I said: "Is $8000 too expensive for a tight end? Not if that tight end is leading the league in receiving yards, sixth in receptions and sixth in touchdowns. Would you play him at $8000 if he was a wide receiver? Of course you would. I don't normally play two tight ends in lineups, but if that second tight end gets me that, why not?" Now add $500 to his price. Far and away the best TE on the slate, and there's some value in other areas that you can get here.
Dallas Goedert, $3600, PHI (at DAL)
This is too cheap for a target count this high. Yes, his efficiency has been down a bit in the short sample size we have with Hurts, but it's exactly that - a short sample size. I will take nearly 8 targets per game at this price point every single week.
Potential GPP pivots: Noah Fant ($4800, at LAC), Jordan Akins ($3300, vs. CIN)
Good luck, and may your screens be green!