Draftkings NFL Cash & GPP Lineup Daily Fantasy Football Week 16
We’re down to the final two weeks of the regular season, that means that we’ll have to monitor team reporters much closer than we usually would have to on Sunday morning. We could see instances where teams that have already clinched playoff berths/bye rest regulars. And we can also see a situation like the Packers where Aaron Rodgers was placed on IR after Green Bay was eliminated from postseason contention.
This applies more next week (week 17) than this week. But we could see a case where the Eagles get a little conservative if they clinch a first-round bye (PHI clinch a first-round bye with Vikings loss on Saturday). Let’s dive right in.
With no more Thursday Night or Sunday Night games, we are left with two Saturday games and two Monday Night games this week, but none of those games are on the Draftkings main slate. The Draftkings main slate features a 12-game slate and is Sunday only games.
The Draftkings main slate has only one game with a game total over 50. The Falcons visiting the Saints line is currently sitting with a 52.5 over/under. The next games with the highest game totals are the Rams at Titans (48), Seahawks at Cowboys (47), Bills at Patriots (47), and Panthers at Bucs (46.5). Outside of those five games, no other game has a total over 45 points.
Regarding implied team totals, they are headlined by several of the teams I mentioned above. The Pats (29.75) and Saints (29) lead the way with over a four-touchdown implied total, but the Panthers (28.25), Rams (27.25), and Chiefs (27) are not that far behind. Some other teams with decent team totals are the Cowboys (26), Chargers (24.5), Lions (24). The Falcons (23.5) and Jags (23) round out the top ten of teams with the highest implied total.
In terms of game script, we have three teams that are double-digit favorites. The Pats are 12.5 points favorites at home against the Bills. The Chiefs are 10.5 point home favorites against the Dolphins. And lastly, the Panthers are 10 points favorites over the Bucs (this line is very interesting because the line initially opened at Panthers (-4) and has since moved 6 points). Outside of those huge favorites, the Chargers (-6.5), Bears (-6.5), and Rams (-6.5) all opened up as more than a touchdown favorite, but have since dipped below.
All this Vegas Data was taken as of Wednesday night, so I strongly suggest checking back on Vegas Insiders on Sunday morning.
Quarterback pricing is relatively even this week. The top 11 quarterbacks are all priced within $1,000 of each other with Russell Wilson ($7,000) leading the way and Dak Prescott ($6,000) rounding out the lower 6k range.
Drew Brees ($6,500) – It’s tough to choose between the top 5 priced quarterbacks, they are all in pretty good spots. I think due to recency bias Cam will be the most popular among that tier. I’m hedging from the slightly higher owned Cam for a cheaper Drew Brees. I like Brees for the $300 savings from Newton and the fact that his game has a higher game total (52.5 vs. 46.5) as well as a closer spread (-5.5 vs. -10). The Falcons and Saints games have traditionally turned into a shootout over the last three seasons, and Brees has crushed each time. Brees is a perfect 3 for 3 at exceeding his salary at home against the Falcons in their last 3 meetings at the Superdome. I know that the Saints have transitioned to a running team with their 2-headed monster, but I like taking my chances with Brees against Atlanta who ranks 20th against QB in aFPA. I get it that Cam has the safer floor, but when Brees is in the right matchup, he has the highest ceiling of any QB in the league.
Dak Prescott ($6,000) – There’s no mistake about it, Prescott has been awful without Zeke. But now the Cowboys finally get Zeke back after a six-game suspension, so that brings Prescott and the Cowboys offense back into play. Prescott is a home favorite facing a Seahawks defense that ranks 15th in aFPA to opposing QBs. The matchup is far from ideal, but if you’re looking to take a flyer on a quarterback with nice rushing upside, Prescott is your guy. I don’t like him as much as the next guy I mention, but if you’re looking at this salary range, I like his rushing upside.
Kirk Cousins ($5,400) – Yes, this is a bad matchup on paper against the Denver Broncos. But the Broncos aren’t the same feared defense that they were in the past. The Broncos rank in the bottom 5 in the league in passing touchdowns allowed (26) on the season. They still rank atop the league in passing yardage allowed (189) but are at the bottom 6 in the league in interceptions forced (8). Teams are throwing the least against the Broncos (418 attempts), yet 6 of the last 7 QBs to face the Broncos have met salary expectations. The lone exception is Josh McCown who was injured early in the game. I’m not saying you should start Cousins with 100% confidence, but Cousins is at his lowest price of the season and should air it out at least 30 times. Cousins has had some big games at home this season, so I think I’ll take a flyer on him for tournaments.
C. Newton, R. Wilson, D. Brees, A. Smith, T. Brady
(all of above) K. Cousins, D. Prescott, B. Bortles, M. Stafford
Kareem Hunt ($8,400) – Everyone will pay up for Gurley after his 48 point eruption game. Gurley is always in play, so I won’t write him up for the rest of the season. But a pivot off Gurley to save a few hundred bucks is Hunt. Hunt is only a $600 discount, so it’s nothing too crazy, but Hunt is slowly starting to look like how he started off the season. In the last two weeks under a new play caller, Hunt has absolutely smashed. Hunt in his last two games, Hunt has 24 and 25 carries in each game. In those two games, Hunt has 12 targets and 10 receptions totaling 73 yards. Overall he’s scored 3 touchdowns in his last two games, and now he faces the Dolphins who rank 29th in aFPA to opposing running backs. Hunt is a huge home favorite (-10.5) and in another nice spot this week.
Devonta Freeman ($6,500) – Barring any news about Tevin Coleman, Freeman is shaping up to be the highest owned running back on the slate. Freeman is coming off of his best game of the season where he touched the ball 27 times and totaled 194 yards with one rushing touchdown. Freeman’s workload is expected to remain the same, and he’s facing the Saints in which he has killed throughout his career. The Falcons are road underdogs, but this game should stay close, and Freeman could see another 5 targets in a game that has the highest potential to shoot out.
James White ($4,100) – Searching for value, we might have to land on the headache of the Patriots backfield. It’s always a mystery with what Bill Belichick will do with his trio of running backs, but this week we get some clarity. Rex Burkhead will be inactive, and Mike Gillislee ($3,900) is expected to be active for the first time in 5 weeks and should see all the goal-line work. That leaves Dion Lewis ($6,000) and James White ($4,100) in store to get the work in before the Pats reach the 5-yard line. White has seen a fair share of snaps with 45% over the last two games and has also received the most targets in the past four games (15). White figures to see an improved role out of the backfield and will continue to get targets. I like taking a flyer on him at his $4,100 price tag over Lewis.
T. Gurley, K. Hunt, D. Freeman, M. Gordon, G. Bernard, A. Kamara, C. McCaffrey.
(all of above), E. Elliott, L. McCoy, L. Fournette, P. Barber, J. White
A.J. Green ($6,700) – Michael Thomas ($7,600) is likely the highest owned receiver and for a good reason. A.J. Green is a nice pivot off the high priced Thomas. Once again, Green finds himself below 7k, but this time he’s a much better matchup than last week. Green faces the Lions defense that ranks 24th in aFPA to opposing wide receivers. Erasing last week’s tough matchup with Xavier Rhodes, Green is still seeing close to double-digit targets on average and is seeing 30% of the team’s targets. Green has had a somewhat disappointing season so far, but he always has the potential to go off for 20+ points. Green should come in at single-digit ownership and would be a nice pivot off the heavily owned Thomas.
Larry Fitzgerald ($6,800) – Fitz has 10 targets in 2 of the last 3 games for the Cardinals. This week Fitz goes up against the Giants secondary that is very depleted. The Giants rank 31st in aFPA to wide receivers and the Cards are home favorites. Fitz is a bit discouraging considering that Drew Stanton will be under center, but Fitz will continue to see the majority of the targets from the receiving corp.
Josh Doctson ($3,500) – A value GPP shot in the dark is Josh Doctson. I mentioned in the quarterback section that the Broncos rank in the bottom 5 in the league at allowing passing touchdowns. If you are going to take a shot with Cousins, you should consider stacking him with Doctson. Doctson may not be the possession receiver that Jamison Crowder ($5,000) is, but Doctson leads the team with 33% touchdown percent in the red zone. Doctson doesn’t have a safe floor but has a pretty decent ceiling. If he could find the end zone and catch 3-4 balls, he’ll smash value.
M. Thomas, K. Allen, J. Jones, A. Green, L. Fitz, J. Crowder, C. Kupp, R. Matthews, D. Thomas, K. Cole, D. Westbrook,
(All of above), T. Hill, J. Landry, D. Funches, M. Evans, D. Bryant, M. Jones, M. Goodwin, J. Gordon, P. Richardson,
Eric Ebron ($3,300) – Ebron has been pretty good since the beginning of November. In his last 7 games, Ebron has 40 targets (5.7/gm) and has 32 catches. That’s good enough for an 80% catch rate. During that span, Ebron also has a pair of touchdowns. This week Ebron is going up against the Bengals who rank 29th in aFPA. In a slate that has very little value, I like Ebron to save some salary.
Antonio Gates ($2,500) – Hunter Henry was placed on IR earlier this week, which signals more opportunity for old man Gates. Gates is the bare minimum and provides salary relief to the roster in studs at other positions. Last week Gates caught his lone red zone target for a 10-yard touchdown. At $2,500 you don’t need much to get four times salary.
T. Kelce, E. Ebron, A. Gates, G. Olsen, T. Kroft
(All of above), R. Gronkowski, G. Celek
Carolina Panthers ($3,100) – The Panthers have been on a tear their last two games creating turnovers. In the previous two games against the Packers and Vikings, they have accumulated 9 sacks, 2 fumbles, and 5 interceptions. This week they are huge 10 point favorites at home against the Bucs who are allowing defenses to outscore their implied points projection every time in the past 3 weeks.
Panthers, Jacksonville, New England, Kansas City,
(all of above) Arizona, Washington