Happy Holidays, everyone! It’s the most wonderful time of the year — festivities with family and friends, gifts exchanges, delicious food and drink, and the best football of the regular season. And if you’ve been mastering sleepers and value plays in NFL DFS all season, you’ve likely assembled quite the cache of presents. We’re not materialistic, we swear, but man, do we love winning FanDuel and DraftKings tournaments.
We’re here every week to help you pinpoint sleepers and high-value DFS picks. The more value players you add, the more money you’ll have left for proven weekly studs at other roster spots.
MORE WEEK 16 DFS: Lineup builder
If you read this column ahead of Week 15, you would have benefited from our advice to grab a plethora of low-cost, high-value players for your classic DFS lineups. Here’s our “nice list” from last week, a group of dudes who spread the holiday cheer and brought home the bacon for thousands of contestants (Week 15 matchups, costs and output are listed).
- James Robinson, Jaguars vs. Texans (DK: $5,400 | FD: $6,300): 17.8
- Javonte Williams, Broncos vs. Bengals (DK: $6,100 | FD: $7,000): 12.1
- Brandin Cooks, Texans at Jaguars (DK: $5,800 | FD: $6,900): 29.2
- Braxton Berrios, Jets at Dolphins (DK: $3,200 | FD: $5,300): 10.6
- Mike Gesicki, Dolphins vs. Jets (DK: $5,000 | FD: $6,200): 9.3
- Bills D/ST vs. Panthers (DK: $3,100 | FD: $4,900): 8.0
That’s a tidy list of six low-cost, high-value DFS plays, and Philly QB Jalen Hurts will likely add to it by the end of tonight’s COVID-postponed game. We’ve been slaying value plays all year, and we’re ready to fill Santa’s sleigh with more fantasy goodness right now. So, grab some Egg Nog with Rumchata, and come make some more money with me!
All player values are from DraftKings and FanDuel. All stats are from NFL.com and Pro Football Reference.
NFL DFS Picks Week 16: QB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Matthew Stafford, Rams at Vikings (DK: $6,700 | FD: $7,900)
Stafford and the Rams will be salivating this weekend for a multitude of reasons. For one, Arizona’s Week 15 loss to the Lions puts the NFC West title back into LA’s scope. Second, Minnesota’s lackluster secondary gives the MVP candidate a chance to put up a huge stat line. The Vikings rank 26th against QBs in fantasy this season, and as of this writing, Stafford has scored at least 23.4 points in three consecutive contests (maybe four by Tuesday night). He’s not a sleeper, but he’s absolutely a value at these modest prices.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. Bears (DK: $6,100 | FD: $7,500)
Wilson finally looked like himself again in Week 14 against the Texans, reaching 260 yards and two touchdowns for the first time since Week 2. I like his chances of putting up another goodie this weekend. Hey, he’s having a pretty decent season, all things considered. Most guys would kill to register 16 TDs, four INTs, 2,302 yards, and a 103.7 rating across 10 games. We’re just spoiled by the incredible things we’ve seen Mr. Unlimited do in the past. Go with the upside at $6,100 here. The Bears have been floundering against the pass all season, and they’re currently decimated with injuries and COVID protocols.
Tyler Huntley, Ravens at Bengals (DK: $6,000 | FD: $7,500)
Obviously, this play is contingent on Huntley actually starting his second game in place of Lamar Jackson (ankle). Huntley did his best Jackson impression last Sunday, and he ended up performing better than Jackson has lately. His line: 28-of-40 for 215 air yards and two TDs (99.5 rating), 13 rushes for 73 yards and two TDs (5.6 yards per carry), and 35.9 total fantasy points. Yeah, I’ll take even a fraction of that performance in a divisional battle with the Bengals, who often struggle against mobile QBs.
*Stocking Stuffer Bonus*
Cam Newton, Panthers vs. Buccaneers (DK: $5,600 | FD: $7,200)
Newton scored over 24 fantasy points against the Bills last week, and he’s rushed for a score in each of the five games since he declared “I’m baaaack!” He’s also tossed four TDs, so it hasn’t been all bad. It won’t be pretty, but it will most likely be worth the $5,600 expenditure.
WEEK 16 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
NFL DFS Picks Week 16: RB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Javonte Williams, Broncos at Raiders (DK: $6,100 | FD: $6,300)
If Williams doesn’t watch out, he’s going to get the DFS Value Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s appeared on this list multiple times, mostly because the ever-present existence of Melvin Gordon in this backfield limits Williams’ ceiling. But it’s quite possible, and even probable, for both backs to continue thriving. The Broncos have prioritized the run game almost as much as Cleveland has over the past few years. Williams has received at least 14 carries in four straight games, and he’s scored four TDs and been targeted 19 times during that stretch. He has 342 yards over the course of the past three weeks (114 yards per game), and Vegas ranks 30th in fantasy points allowed to running backs. The old adage remains: “Start your studs.” Williams qualifies, and he’s a massive value at $6,100.
James Robinson, Jaguars at Jets (DK: $5,900 | FD: $8,200)
J-Rob is most likely one of the guys who said “dueces!” when Urban Meyer got the axe last week, as he was once again (mercifully) given double-digit touches after a bizarre two-week timeout. Robinson responded, netting 88 total yards and a touchdown against the Texans. Now he gets the Jets, who rank dead last in fantasy points allowed to running backs this season. Have yourself a holiday feast, King!
David Montgomery, Bears at Seahawks (DK: $5,700 | FD: $6,600)
Montgomery has quietly averaged 18.1 PPR points over Chicago’s past three games, and he’s enjoyed 68 total touches in that span. He’s clearly the focal point of this Bears offense, and now he gets to inflict his will on a Seahawks team that serves as the second-most generous defense to fantasy running backs. Montgomery’s floor is his season average, 14.8 points, and his ceiling is somewhere in the low to mid 20s.
*Secret Santa Bonus*
Ronald Jones II, Buccaneers at Panthers (DK: $5,100 | FD: $5,400)
RoJo could serve as the Bucs’ primary back for a couple weeks, with Playoff Lenny Fournette suffering a hamstring injury in Week 15. Jones turned 10 touches into 71 yards after Fournette went down — a pretty solid feat against a stout New Orleans defense. Carolina has allowed 548 total rushing yards over the past four weeks, which breaks down to 137 yards per game.
WEEK 16 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
NFL DFS Picks Week 16: WR sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Russell Gage, Falcons vs. Lions (DK: $5,900 | FD: $6,700)
Gage has been a late-season fantasy revelation, scoring a lucky 77.7 DK points since Week 12 (19.5/game). Matt Ryan clearly trusts the young wideout as his WR1, peppering him with at least 11 targets in two of the past three weeks. Now they get to rack up some stats against the Lions, who will be booting punts-a-plenty if Jared Goff is still quarantined. Ride the Gage wave.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions at Falcons (DK: $5,600 | FD: $6,500)
I know I just said Detroit will be punting a lot against Atlanta, but St. Brown will also be garnering a ton of targets in a pass-heavy game script. Like Gage, this kid has emerged in the home stretch of the season. He has 63.6 PPR points over the past three weeks, good for 21.2 points per game. He’s seen 35 targets in that span and hauled in at least eight catches in all three games. Regardless of who starts at QB for the Lions, St. Brown is a rock-solid play against the Falcons, who rank 29th against wideouts in fantasy this season.
Van Jefferson Jr., Rams at Vikings (DK: $5,500 | FD: $6,300)
So much for the narrative that LA’s pass game would slip after the injury to WR2 Robert Woods! The Rams have enjoyed consistent late-season production from Jefferson, who has scored in three consecutive games and averaged 16.4 points during that stretch. He’s lightning fast and runs great routes, so he’s sure to see continued usage this week against the Vikings, who allow the most fantasy points in the NFL to wideouts. Sportsbooks give LA an implied total of 26 in this one, so Van the Man should contribute heavily once again.
*Pot Luck Bonus*
Antonio Brown, Buccaneers at Panthers (DK: $4,900 | FD: $7,000)
AB’s price tags have plummeted since we last saw him on the field in Week 6 thanks to a plethora of injuries combined with his knuckleheaded decision to roll with a fake vaccine card. Well, the knucklehead will come in handy for Tampa this weekend, with Chris Godwin (ACL) and Leonard Fournette (hamstring/ankle) both out and Mike Evans (hamstring) on the wrong of “questionable” for the reigning champs. Tom Brady should look Brown’s way early and often.
NFL DFS Picks Week 16: TE sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Dallas Goedert, Eagles vs. Giants (DK: $5,100 | FD: $5,900)
Goedert struck gold in Week 13, catching all six targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns. My crystal ball won’t tell me jack about the Eagles’ on Tuesday after this was written, but it does list Goedert as a great play against the G-men in Week 16. He’s (hopefully) healthy and going against a defense that ranks 19th against tight ends in fantasy this year.
Hunter Henry, Patriots vs. Bills (DK: $4,700 | FD: $6,000)
Henry has remained a focal point of New England’s offense all season, seeing three or more targets in 12 of his 14 games. He has nine touchdowns on the season, and he’s a good bet to have a much busier day than the last time these teams met during a severe winter storm. Henry caught six-of-eight targets against Indy last week, finding the end zone twice. Fire King Henry up.
*Elf on the Shelf Bonus*
Jared Cook, Chargers at Texans (DK: $3,500 | FD: $5,100)
The Chargers are in the thick of the AFC playoff race, sandwiched between Indy and Buffalo in the wild card picture. Don’t expect 2020 Rookie of the Year QB Justin Herbert to take his foot off the gas against the lowly Texans, who bleed points and passing yards. Cook has two TDs over the past four weeks, so he’s a decent upside play if you’re stuck with $3,500 to spend at TE.
NFL DFS Picks Week 16: D/ST sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Seahawks vs. Bears (DK: $3,000 | FD: $4,500)
The Seahawks are by no means a good defense, but they have forced four turnovers in Weeks 12 and 13, showing they can still create big plays. The Bears have been a mess lately, marred by injury and COVID-19 protocols. I don’t love this play, but it’s the best we can get at $3,000 or lower. Seattle is always a tough place for a rookie QB to play, especially in December, so take the gamble, and cross your fingers that Justin Fields implodes.
*Nice List Bonus*
Broncos at Raiders (DK: $2,800 | FD: $3,800)
Stuck with $2,800 after filling your position spots? Consider the Broncos, who have logged double-digit fantasy performances twice in the past four weeks. The Raiders are decent offensively, but veteran QB Derek Carr still makes plenty of mistakes in crunch time. Denver’s D is legit, and Vegas might be without top pass-catcher Darren Waller (knee) again this week. You could do much worse at this price.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Thanks for being loyal readers throughout the year! I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and safe holiday, and I hope all your DFS lineups cash this holiday weekend!