Welcome to Week 16 of the NFL! Last week’s article got a nice reaction (thanks to all who reached out) so I will continue with the “high, medium, low” column. That means we go position by position to break down different salary ranges, providing you flexibility in your lineups.
Drew Brees is in a really interesting spot. He’s one of the better options on the slate, but not without concerns. Let’s start with his recent history and Drees is averaging 22.6 DraftKings PPG in the last four weeks, which is the most of any QB. However, those four games have been wildly inconsistent scoring 36.5, 13, 7.5 and 33.4 DK points. He is at home this week, where we all know that Brees tends to thrive, but he’s facing a Tampa Bay team that he faced just two weeks ago. In that game, Brees was held to just 257 passing yards, with zero TDs and three picks. Brees is likely to be a top scoring QB when the week is over, but he’s certainly not a lock to get there.
Since Arizona’s bye week, they are allowing 21.1 DraftKings PPG. Compare that to the 14.1 DK PPG they allowed in the eight games before the week off. Clearly a defense trending in the wrong direction and this week they have a date with Russell Wilson. There’s not too much to say about Wilson that you don’t already know, he’s a dual threat who won’t score a ton of TDs but can rack up yards in a hurry. He’s coming off a solid 21.3 DraftKings point game where he completed 19 of 26 passes and added three TDs. Wilson is more of a game theory play this week as Arizona is indicated as the 9th best defense against QBs on DraftKings, but they are much worse if you look closer.
I’m wondering why Dak Prescott is still priced this low. The rookie QB has scored at least 18 DraftKings points in 11 of last 13 games which would be over 3x value again this week. In fact, if you use that magic number of 18 DraftKings points, no other player in the league has scored 18+ more often than Prescott (David Johnson and Andrew Luck are tied). Now Prescott is at home (where he’s four DK points better), in a good matchup as a significant favorite. I’m firing him up.
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Jeez, I know it’s a good matchup but you have to be a glutton for punishment to roster Todd Gurley this week. The underperforming RB gets a $2,000 price increase from last week to face the porous Niners defense. Don’t get me wrong, the Niners defense is brutal, but Gurley has been absolutely miserable for a long time. Remember when he burst on the scene last season and reeled off 566 yards in his first four games? Well in the 22 games since then, he’s broken 90 yards just ONCE! His value has mostly been saved by TDs, but even those have dried up, only scoring five times this year. This just feels like Fools Gold.
Here’s the list of most DraftKings points by running backs in the last four weeks:
Howard is the name that sort of jumps off the page at me. I knew he’s been good, but he’s actually been great. Averaging 20.68 DraftKings points in the last month and has scored double digit points in ten of his last eleven games. Now he gets a home matchup (6 DK points better) against the team giving up the fourth most DraftKings points to opposing RBs. He’s not cheap, but he’s priced at the 9th most expensive RB when he will likely finish the week better than that.
Are you willing to forgive Kenneth Farrow? He fumbled twice and only gained 39 yards on 15 carries last week as a big chalk play. The saving grace is that he still received 15 carries which totals to 31 in his last two games and he’s caught eight balls in that span. Farrow dominated the RB snaps and there is no better matchup in the world than Cleveland.
Julian Edelman, I’m begging you. Please, please, please breakout this week! Edelman has been a target monster. He’s averaging 13.4 targets per game in the last five weeks which has translated to 17.6 DK PPG. He’s also racked up at least 73 receiving yards in each of those games. He’s done everything but find the endzone, a feat that he has only accomplished twice this season. It just feels like a matter of time before he has a massive game and it could be this week against the Jets. The Pats are 16.5 point favorites at last look and are a bottom ten defense in the league against opposing WRs.
Don’t forget that Alshon Jeffery is back after his four game suspension. In his first game back last week, he caught six of nine targets for 89 yards and a TD (20.9 DraftKings points). Alshon has been a solid contributor this season, and has seen at least 8 targets in every game since Week 6. The Bears are super thin at the WR position and he’s undoubtedly “the man”. It’s also worth noting that Jeffery has only played two games with QB Matt Barkley as the starter. He’s seen 20 targets in those two contests.
Oh here’s an interesting one. Anquan Boldin is 10th in the league in redzone targets, third in redzone receptions and third in redzone TDs. And he’s priced at $4,100 this week. Those stats are going to be valuable in a game that has the Lions as a seven point dog, which will likely point to them trailing and having to throw their way back into the game. He has not been a volume receiver, but he’s leveraging those valuable looks inside the 20.
You may not realize this, but Jimmy Graham is TE3 this season in total points. Even with his two duds in the last two weeks, scoring 6.7 DK points total, he’s still averaging 12.7 DK PPG this season. His ranking might be more of an indication of how bad this posiiton has been this year as opposed to his performance, but either way it’s notable. He’s found double-digit scoring in eight of his last 12, which is a feat that few of his peers can boast. This is a brutal matchup, but where else are you going to go? Graham gets a discount, is at home on a team that’s a favorite. At this thin position, that’s doing pretty well.
Okay, there is somewhere else you can go and that’s Kyle Rudolph. He’s the more solid, consistent option who has earned 40 targets in the last four weeks. He’s converted on 27 of them, averaging 14.9 DraftKings points in the last month. If you want redzone targets, Rudolph is your guy. He’s seen 23 such looks which is third most in the league of any position. If the Minnesota defense continues to play as bad as they have recently, the Vikings are going to need to throw their way to victory.
The Kansas City Chiefs are probably my favorite defense of the week. They’ve been great this season, scoring double digit fantasy points in nine of their last twelve games. They have a knack for finding the endzone, scoring four defensive TDs in their last four games. This week they draw the Denver Broncos at home, who are allowing opponent defenses to score 9 DK PPG this season, but 11.8 DK PPG in their last five weeks. It’s well documented how loud it will be at Arrowhead this week and the Chiefs thrive in their home stadium.
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