Christmas and Hanukkah week is upon us and the NFL has a full weekend slate to keep NFL fans healthy. The Week 16 schedule begins with the Giants-Eagles game on Thursday, followed by a full 1:00, 4:00 and night game on Saturday, two more on Sunday and finally Lions-Cowboys on Monday. I know many of you will be sweating out season-long league championship games over that five-day stretch. But for the main slate DraftKings DFS players, we have 12 games on Christmas Eve day.
Six of the seven QB’s on the list are in the three Vegas over 52 total games. Not going much out on a limb here. All are in very good spots to post numbers. Game flow will determine which QB’s outperform the others.
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7400||The game vs. TB two weeks ago was a fluke|
|QB||Matt Ryan||Atl||7200||Should be another up and down the field game|
|QB||Andrew Luck||Ind||7000||Playing for their playoff lives|
|QB||Kirk Cousins||Was||6800||The only QB on this list not in an over 52 game|
|QB||Derek Carr||Oak||6800||Uncomfortable with finger injury but getting by|
|QB||Cam Newton||Car||6600||Cam not running but Atl defense has holes|
|QB||Jameis Winston||TB||6500||Could have beaten Dal with better fourth quarter|
With LeVeon Bell off the main slate and David Johnson in a tough match-up, we have the chance to slide down a little at RB and save some money for WRs. LeSean McCoy was under $7k six of the first seven weeks of the season and has now hit $9k.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||9200||Is he totally match-up proof?|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||9000||Hitting the elite price range|
|RB||Devonta Freeman||Atl||7100||Worried about Coleman|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||7000||Two TDs vultured by Henry last week|
|RB||Latavius Murray||Oak||6200||Needs to hold onto the ball|
|RB||Bilal Powell||NYJ||6000||Very high volume PPR option with Forte injured|
|RB||Ty Montgomery||GB||5900||Will be the hot choice this week. DK moves him to RB|
|RB||Carlos Hyde||SF||5800||Faltered last week but always in a good spot|
|RB||Thomas Rawls||Sea||5100||O-line could not block for him last week|
|RB||Kenneth Farrow||SD||5000||Elite match-up for average RB|
|RB||Mark Ingram||NO||4400||Pouting worked for Cooks|
Mike Evans tops my WR list again, but he's coming off three straight poor games. I do not see a fourth. Wide receiver ownership should be spread out with plenty of very good options on the board across all price ranges.
|WR||Mike Evans||TB||8500||Big price is a risk with three straight games under 10|
|WR||T.Y. Hilton||Ind||7800||Disappointed vs. Min but 23 targets in two games prior|
|WR||Michael Crabtree||Oak||6100||Double-digit targets in four of past eight|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||6000||Ten targets after missing a week|
|WR||Dontrelle Inman||SD||6000||Favorable match-up but Rivers spreads the wealth|
|WR||Davante Adams||GB||5400||Looking to rebound from two dropped TDs|
|WR||DeAndre Hopkins||Hou||5200||Thank you Tom Savage|
|WR||Tyler Lockett||Sea||4800||Finally healthy and a great weapon for Wilson|
|WR||Cameron Meredith||Chi||4700||Took awhile to develop the rapport with Barkley|
|WR||J.J. Nelson||Ari||4400||Taking advantage of drunken Floyd's departure|
|WR||Kenny Stills||Mia||3900||Big play guy at low price|
Tight end has been an enigma all season. Too many times the expensive guys just did not perform. There always seems to be a min-price player coming through each week.
|TE||Greg Olsen||Car||5200||Elbow a concern with a weak TE group|
|TE||Jimmy Graham||Sea||4500||Big price drop after back-to-back one-catch games|
|TE||Delanie Walker||Ten||4300||Attractive price in this spot|
|TE||Cameron Brate||TB||3900||Catching everything near him|
|TE||Ryan Griffin||Hou||3300||Missed him last week at min price with C.J. out|
|TE||Dion Sims||Mia||2600||Near min price with four TDs in past four games|
The Patriots are clearly the stand-out defense and if they get ahead early, it could be real trouble. There are several other high potential defenses at a discount if you do not trust the Patriots.
|DST||Patriots||NE||3600||Score depends only on how interested NE is|
|DST||Titans||Ten||3400||Sacks and turnovers|
|DST||Chargers||SD||3400||Continuing with defenses against Cle theme|
|DST||Bengals||Cin||3200||Not completely buying the Savage hype|
|DST||Dolphins||Mia||3000||Playing at a very high level|
|DST||49ers||SF||2800||Ultimate punt against the Rams|
Here is my planned GPP lineup, led by the two Bucs main men.
We enter Week 14 with the Bucs in first place. I must say that I did not see that one coming. But their defense has held strong recently and their passing offense has been really good. Now the Saints come down to Tampa (in fact, the Bucs play the Saints two of the next three weeks) in what is the highest Vegas point total on the board.
Drew Brees and Jameis Winston highlight the QB list to no surprise. I am torn on Marcus Mariota. He has been playing so well and nobody will be on him this week. Eli Manning is due for one of those big games, but I just don’t know if he has it in him.
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7400||Tampa will not keep the ball away like the Lions did|
|QB||Jameis Winston||TB||6700||Anyone vs. the Saints|
|QB||Philip Rivers||SD||6600||In a good spot|
|QB||Russell Wilson||Sea||6600||Packers pass defense not up to NFL standards|
|QB||Kirk Cousins||Was||6300||Looking to keep Redskins in race and guarantee money|
|QB||Marcus Mariota||Ten||6200||Bad spot but playing so well|
|QB||Eli Manning||NYG||5500||Makes me very nervous but in a good situation for points|
With a couple of cheap wide receivers, you can still fit David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell in your lineup. However, dropping down to LeSean McCoy to save the money does allow a ton of flexibility. As long as there are no vultured touchdowns.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||9800||Not priced high enough yet|
|RB||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||9000||Not a good spot - but matchup proof catching passes|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||8200||Touchdown vulture hurting total - $1600 discount from Johnson|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||7000||Rest helps toe recover|
|RB||Matt Forte||NYJ||6800||As long as Jets don’t fall behind - in for big game|
|RB||Jeremy Hill||Cin||5800||Torched Browns on limited carries in first meeting|
|RB||Thomas Rawls||Sea||5700||Showed he is all the way back|
|RB||Carlos Hyde||SF||4900||Only legitimate 49er weapon|
|RB||Darren Sproles||Phi||4400||As long as Mathews is still out|
Mike Evans will be in my lineup this week at all costs. I will be surprised if Evans is not the highest scoring receiver in the league this week. Taylor Gabriel is also a recent favorite of Matt Ryan and should see more targets with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu banged up.
|WR||Mike Evans||TB||8900||How does he not have ten catches this week?|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||6700||Brees' top target|
|WR||Golden Tate||Det||6600||Fits right in with recent Lions short pass style|
|WR||Emmanuel Sanders||Den||5700||Can beat Titans downfield|
|WR||Jamison Crowder||Was||5600||Still not being taken as a legitimate threat|
|WR||Allen Robinson||Jax||5000||Price pick only|
|WR||Randall Cobb||GB||5000||With Sherman likely on Nelson - maybe this is the week?|
|WR||Tyler Boyd||Cin||4900||Filling the Green targets|
|WR||Dontrelle Inman||SD||4800||Scoring with good target numbers|
|WR||Taylor Gabriel||Atl||4300||Becoming a popular Ryan target|
|WR||J.J. Nelson||Ari||3600||Someone besides Fitz has to step up|
Jimmy Graham and Cameron Brate fit into my two favorite QB-WR-TE stacks this week. There is no “safe” place to go for tight end numbers.
|TE||Jimmy Graham||Sea||5500||Seahawks stack should be popular this week|
|TE||Zach Ertz||Phi||4900||Double digit targets in two of the past three|
|TE||Delanie Walker||Ten||4400||See Mariota above|
|TE||Cameron Brate||TB||4100||In the Bucs stack|
|TE||Ladarius Green||Pit||3900||Price going up but producing with Pitt short receivers|
|TE||Vance McDonald||SF||3000||Good goal line target|
I certainly can’t argue with going for any of the top three defenses but I am having trouble fitting one of them in my lineup, so I am looking further down the list at Miami and San Diego.
|DST||Vikings||Min||3900||Anyone vs. Jax is high on the list - but you pay a price|
|DST||Lions||Det||3600||Lions playing keep-away helping their defense|
|DST||Bengals||Cin||3500||Cleveland and RGIII|
|DST||Dolphins||Mia||2600||Should be better at home vs. QB who can't move|
|DST||Chargers||SD||2600||Carolina has pretty much mailed it in|
We will see if the Bucs stack can outscore the Seahawks stack.
Turkey Day marks the three-quarter mark of the NFL regular season, and while two teams have not yet had their byes (Titans, Browns), we have a full slate for the weekend. It is definitely a week of haves vs. have-nots. The challenge is trying to predict the games that could stay close and generate some back and forth points as opposed to watching a team just grind clock for an entire quarter or half. The Bills, Dolphins and Saints are big home favorites. The Titans, Seahawks and Patriots are big road favorites.
It should be little surprise that most of the recommended quarterbacks this week are from the heavily favored teams. These certainly reflect the safest floor among the quarterbacks. There will be at least one quarterback from the underdog side of these games that piles up big stats playing catch up, but I challenge you to go guess which one.
|QB||Tom Brady||NE||7800||No concern over injury report|
|QB||Marcus Mariota||Ten||7200||At least 17.68 in past seven|
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7100||Brees big favorite at home|
|QB||Russell Wilson||Sea||6700||Lack of healthy backs leads to more Wilson|
|QB||Eli Manning||NYG||6500||Eli should excel - so why am I too scared to use him?|
|QB||Derek Carr||Oak||6100||Home against a subpar Carolina defense|
Tough week for running backs on the Sunday slate as Lev Bell and Zeke Elliott both play on Thursday. I see minimal options to roster a team that fades David Johnson. After Johnson, there are several players with nice ceilings.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||8900||Matchup proof|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||7700||Should have no trouble earning 3x price|
|RB||Jay Ajayi||Mia||7600||Would be at top of the list with healthy offensive line|
|RB||Thomas Rawls||Sea||5700||Ran well in season debut and now has no split|
|RB||Rashad Jennings||NYG||5600||Very good in past two with a great matchup|
|RB||Latavius Murray||Oak||5500||Primary ball carrier with all goal line looks|
|RB||Jeremy Hill||Cin||3900||No Gio - what do the Bengals do?|
Another week with a good mix of “safe” expensive receivers and riskier less-expensive receivers. I would much rather pay up for the points at running back and take my chances with some of the lower end receivers.
|WR||Odell Beckham Jr.||NYG||8800||Solid but unspectacular in recent efforts|
|WR||Julio Jones||Atl||8500||Highest game total on Sunday slate|
|WR||Julian Edelman||NE||6800||Four straight good scores|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||6600||Might be hitting rookie wall but in good spot|
|WR||Doug Baldwin||Sea||6400||A lot of Seahawks on the list this week|
|WR||Rishard Matthews||Ten||5800||Been a ball hog recently|
|WR||Sterling Shepard||NYG||5500||Has a knack for touchdowns|
|WR||DeVante Parker||Mia||4700||High-risk, high-reward|
|WR||Marqise Lee||Jax||4000||Surprisingly very good most of the season|
|WR||Tyler Boyd||Cin||4000||Figures to get AJ's targets|
Jordan Reed, Jason Witten, Kyle Rudolph and Eric Ebron have all been popular DFS tight ends this season and all are gone from the Sunday slate. Add in the Gronk injury and proceed to throw a dart at the board.
|TE||Greg Olsen||Car||5800||Top TE on the board|
|TE||Jimmy Graham||Sea||5300||Been a top target in the new Seahawks passing game|
|TE||C.J. Fiedorowicz||Hou||3300||Never thought he would be on my list|
|TE||Will Tye||NYG||3000||Does not need to do much at $3k|
|TE||Vance McDonald||SF||3000||Been a TD target lately|
|TE||Austin Hooper||Atl||2800||Tamme officially to IR|
All of the defenses on my list are from the group of heavy favorites except for the Chargers.
|DST||Bills||Buf||3800||Expensive price to pay, but Jax is sloppy with the ball|
|DST||Giants||NYG||3600||Just look at mediocre Steelers D last week|
|DST||Patriots||NE||3400||It's the Jets|
|DST||Dolphins||Mia||3300||Dolphins D has been good recently|
|DST||Chargers||SD||2700||Chargers have been surprisingly good all season|
Last week’s Colts stack with Lev Bell and Rashad Jennings had me dreaming of big money after the first half of the early games, with a score of 106 in the bank. But they all faded badly in the second half and I was left to withstand a Sunday night shootout between the Packers and Redskins just to cash. But it was fun for awhile seeing a 1 next to your name in the standings, even if it was short-lived. This week, we are going with a Seahawks stack on the road against the Bucs. The Bucs have the ability to score and keep the game relatively close for awhile.
In Week 13, we have one of the most productive QB/RB pairs in Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray on a bye and then we have the lowly Browns on a bye. Week 12 was a major DFS disaster for Seahawks backers – Wilson, Rawls, Baldwin, Graham – all turkeys. They can’t possibly have been that bad. How can anyone fade the Lions-Saints this week? Their Vegas total of 53.5 is four points higher than any other game.
You can try to be cute and ride the Kaepernick train, and maybe it will work. Or you can just pay up for a QB that always seems to post numbers that support the price. Brees at home – check. Roethlisberger at home – check.
|QB||Drew Brees||NO||7600||Has to be under consideration every week|
|QB||Ben Roethlisberger||Pit||7400||Every week at home|
|QB||Matthew Stafford||Det||7000||Game with Saints has highest Vegas total by a lot|
|QB||Russell Wilson||Sea||6300||Big bounce back. Under-owned after last debacle|
|QB||Colin Kaepernick||SF||6100||Becoming a trendy pick|
|QB||Eli Manning||NYG||5900||Cheap price for productive QB|
|QB||Tyrod Taylor||Buf||5700||Getting primary deep threat back in form|
Try hard to fit either Johnson or Bell into your lineup. The price is steep, but they deliver every week. There are other attractive cheaper options to pair with them.
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||9500||He has been gold, but now must get 30 to earn value|
|RB||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||9200||Same as Johnson, but is always in the play|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||7800||Nice discount off Johnson and Bell|
|RB||Jordan Howard||Chi||6900||Start the RB against SF - always|
|RB||Mark Ingram||NO||6000||Played like his mind was altered after the concussion|
|RB||Theo Riddick||Det||5800||Figures to be heavily involved|
|RB||Carlos Hyde||SF||5300||Primary offense for SF when healthy|
|RB||Jeremy Hill||Cin||4300||Caught plenty of passes with Gio out|
Cheaper receivers continue to post useful numbers and there are plenty of receivers in the $4k range to choose from. Sure they all come with risks, like the QB can forget that the receiver plays on the team (see Shepard and Cooks). But that scenario is unlikely.
|WR||Antonio Brown||Pit||9100||Has to be a consideration every week|
|WR||Odell Beckham Jr.||NYG||8500||Will be focused on outperforming Brown|
|WR||Michael Thomas||NO||6900||Brees' solid primary target|
|WR||Julian Edelman||NE||6800||More looks if Gronk is out|
|WR||Davante Adams||GB||6300||From the dog house to the Pro Bowl in one season|
|WR||Golden Tate||Det||6200||Figures to be right in the middle of highest scoring game|
|WR||Sammy Watkins||Buf||5500||He's back and in GPP play|
|WR||Sterling Shepard||NYG||4900||Nice when QB apologizes for forgetting about you|
|WR||Tyler Boyd||Cin||4800||8-9 targets for under $5k - I am in|
|WR||Marvin Jones Jr.||Det||4400||Falling way out of favor but is so darn cheap|
|WR||Anquan Boldin||Det||4100||Boldin, Lee, Wilson, Rogers all in play in this price range|
My off-season project is to search for a dependable way to project TE usage. There seems to be little rhyme or reason that leads to a tight end posting a zero or being a hero.
|TE||Jordan Reed||Was||6400||Dislike the pick due to injury - was this close to being a dud on turkey day|
|TE||Greg Olsen||Car||5100||A nice discount off Reed|
|TE||Eric Ebron||Det||3900||These guys do not need much to earn value - but they do tend to disappear|
|TE||Cameron Brate||TB||3600||Fitting in nicely as second look for Jameis|
|TE||Vance McDonald||SF||2900||Knack for the end zone|
|TE||Ladarius Green||Pit||2800||Continues to round into form|
There are three defenses that appear to be worth paying for, but on the flip side there are two cheaper options.
|DST||Broncos||Den||3900||Premier matchup against turnover-prone Jax|
|DST||Patriots||NE||3700||Pats against a rookie QB|
|DST||Seahawks||Sea||3500||Neither team is at Super Bowl level|
|DST||Chargers||SD||2900||Been sneaky good all season|
|DST||Dolphins||Mia||2600||Getting better every week|
Count me among the victims of the Seahawks walking the plank last week. This week I want a piece of the Lions-Saints game, but I am going to lean towards the Lions, who should be lower owned.
Week 11 is the last major week of byes (Falcons, Chargers, Broncos, Jets). Then only the Browns and Titans (Week 13) will have byes remaining. From a DFS perspective, it does not really matter, but from a season-long game perspective, I wish that the NFL would just have eight teams on byes in Weeks 6-9 and get them all out of the way. There is no reason to have some teams with byes in Week 4 and others more than two months later. The Titans-Colts game pops off the chart with a whopping Vegas total of 53 and a close point spread. As we saw last week in the Steelers-Cowboys game, a ton of points can be racked up with teams going back and forth in the fourth quarter. How many more points could Marcus Mariota have scored last week if the Packers could have kept the game closer?
There is no shortage of viable QB options in Week 11. Some figure to be on the positive side of blowouts, which usually provides a nice floor but a limited ceiling. Titans-Colts and Packers-Redskins figure to be close back-and-forth games.
|QB||Tom Brady||NE||7800||Disappointed on Sunday night - fear running TDs|
|QB||Aaron Rodgers||GB||7600||GB is all pass with no defense|
|QB||Ben Roethlisberger||Pit||7500||Needs early TD passes as Pit figures to roll Cle|
|QB||Andrew Luck||Ind||7200||Highest Vegas total we have seen in a long time|
|QB||Marcus Mariota||Ten||6700||See Luck - can't deny how great he has played|
|QB||Eli Manning||NYG||6300||Giants should steamroll Chi but Eli has failed before|
|QB||Kirk Cousins||Was||5800||GB will score, so Wash will have to keep up|
It is becoming very apparent that the upper-echelon running backs have returned to the NFL. The weekly “formula” has been to fill up with high-priced backs and save at receiver. All four of the guys at the top figure to put up big numbers again.
|RB||Le'Veon Bell||Pit||8800||Best matchup of the upper tier backs|
|RB||DeMarco Murray||Ten||8200||Been as good as the Dallas days|
|RB||Ezekiel Elliott||Dal||8000||Speaking of Dallas - earning every bit of first round|
|RB||David Johnson||Ari||7900||27 was a disappointment - Minn will be a test|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Buf||6900||Should be back to full health - will be overlooked|
|RB||Frank Gore||Ind||5000||Fits with Colts stacks - catches passes and scores|
|RB||C.J. Prosise||Sea||4200||Bulk of work in Seattle and all the passes|
|RB||Kenneth Dixon||Bal||3900||Looked good last week|
Very hard to justify a lineup with more than one of the high-priced receivers. There is just too much value in the mid-tier receivers and too much risk in the lower tier backs.
|WR||Antonio Brown||Pit||9500||Very expensive and might be out before 4th quarter|
|WR||Odell Beckham Jr.||NYG||8500||Bears defense can get torched|
|WR||Jordy Nelson||GB||7800||I can't explain it - but getting most of the looks|
|WR||T.Y. Hilton||Ind||7700||Colts stack|
|WR||Stefon Diggs||Min||7000||34 catches on 42 targets in past three games|
|WR||Julian Edelman||NE||6300||Been disappointing but coming on lately|
|WR||Donte Moncrief||Ind||6100||Very cheap in the Colts stack|
|WR||Terrelle Pryor Sr.||Cle||5600||Steelers D will give up some points|
|WR||Golden Tate||Det||5300||Re-emerged as top dog in Detroit|
|WR||Sterling Shepard||NYG||4700||Great hands and knack for end zone|
|WR||Tyreek Hill||KC||4500||Consider if Maclin is out again|
|WR||Eli Rogers||Pit||4300||Underpriced value|
Finally, I hit on a DFS tight end last week. Why do I feel like that was more luck than skill? The tight end spot has been an absolute crap shoot in 2016. Any of the five below could excel, or they could just lay an egg.
|TE||Jordan Reed||Was||5900||Tight end seems like a wasteland - Reed gets targets|
|TE||Delanie Walker||Ten||5700||Been the shining star of the TE group|
|TE||Eric Ebron||Det||4100||Highly inconsistent|
|TE||Kyle Rudolph||Min||3900||Been Diggs and Rudolph in Minn|
|TE||Martellus Bennett||NE||3700||Moves up if Gronk is out|
There are a few home teams that are big favorites. They are always a threat to get out to a big lead and generate defensive points when their opponent has no choice but to pass on every down.
|DST||Patriots||NE||3600||Have to look at anyone playing SF, but Ari failed|
|DST||Giants||NYG||3500||Defense improving and Bears are a mess|
|DST||Chiefs||KC||3400||KC at home against mistake-prone TB|
|DST||Lions||Det||3200||Det defense not great, but Jax turns the ball over|
|DST||Dolphins||Mia||2900||Defense has really stepped it up lately|
Last week, the Titans stack and a late switch to Shepard from Hogan (in a full-slate tournament) put me in the money. Here is my DraftKings GPP game lineup as of today. I may be over-Colted and I would like to figure out how to get a Titan or two into the lineup.