by Byron Hamilton
Managing Your Money – Week 16 DFS Guide
Week 16 was the week of the running backs yet again. There were eight different players at the position to score more than 20 fantasy points, and Devonta Freeman, LeSean McCoy, and Ty Montgomery led the charge with over 30 points each. Montgomery was the most surprising of the bunch by far as he racked up 162 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Brandin Cooks finally broke out of his shell on the way to his best game of the season, and Drew Brees got back on track after two abysmal games. Let’s take a look around the league to see if we can pick out a few players you can snag that’ll help you put together a winning lineup this week.
Side note: the values and scoring we use are from Draft Kings. I prefer them for two reasons. They utilize PPR scoring and have an additional flex spot on the roster with no kickers. Everyone hates kickers.
Tom Brady – New England Patriots
Value – $7,700
The Broncos completely shut down Tom Brady last week, but the same could be said for just about every other quarterback that’s faced Denver this year. Despite throwing for only 188 yards, Brady is averaging over 306 passing yards and two touchdowns in the ten games he’s played this season. This week presents a nice bounce back opportunity as the Patriots face a Jets defense that just allowed Matt Moore to throw for 236 yards and four touchdowns. Brady is the most expensive quarterback on the slate, but he’s about as reliable as they come.
Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Value – $7,200
The top three quarterbacks in fantasy football so far this season consist of mostly the usual suspects. Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are near the top of the league each and every year. Matt Ryan, however, has been a pleasant surprise this season. He is averaging 261 yards over the last two games and has at least two touchdowns in each contest. The Falcons have demolished their opponents by 28 points in each of their last two wins, so there hasn’t been much of a reason for Ryan to air the ball out. I think that may change this week against the Panthers. The Panthers defense shut down a talented Redskins offense on Monday night, and Cam Newton finally had a game similar to what we saw last season. This game should be more competitive than most people might think, and I think Matt Ryan will have to move the ball through the air if the Falcons want to score.
Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
Value – $6,600
Cam Newton finally looked like the player we saw last season. He moved well in the pocket and found open receivers downfield. He threw for 300 yards for the first time since week six and completed two touchdowns for just the third time in that span. I’m hesitant to jump right back on the wagon after one game, but this week’s matchup against the Falcons is pretty enticing. Atlanta ranks last in the league against the quarterback position, and Carolina will face them at home. Cam is relatively inexpensive when you consider his potential, and I think he’s worth a flier this week against a generally soft defense.
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Value – $5,900
Dak Prescott turned in an extremely efficient performance last week against the Buccaneers as he completed 89% of his passes for 279 yards. While he failed to throw for a touchdown, he was able to score on the ground. The rookie sensation has thrown a touchdown pass in every game since week three of the season, so I’m not too worried there. The Cowboys host a Lions defense that has been friendly to quarterbacks this season, and I think Prescott provides a solid floor and value.
Matt Moore – Miami Dolphins
Value – $5,200
I’ll admit I was out on Matt Moore and the Dolphins offense in general last week. While the matchup against the Jets was a quarterback friendly one, I didn’t see this guy making his first start of the season and doing much with it. It appears that I was mistaken. Moore only attempted 18 passes but was able to complete 12 of them for 236 yards and four touchdowns. Again, twelve completions and four touchdowns. That’s some crazy efficiency. The matchup this week against the Bills will be a much tougher task, but I’m willing to take a flier on Moore after what we saw last week.
LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills
Value – $9,000
What do you think would happen if Shady was able to stay healthy for a full season? I’m willing to bet he’d be a top-five fantasy running back each and every year. He’s currently the fifth highest scoring back despite missing essentially two games. McCoy has no fewer than 22 fantasy points over the last four games, and he’s basically matchup proof at this point due to his heavy involvement in the passing game. He’s like Le’Veon Bell with a mediocre quarterback. I like Shady’s matchup this week more than the other big name backs, and he’s $200-$400 less expensive than David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell. Roll him out with confidence against a middle of the road Miami defense this week.
Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears
Value – $6,300
If Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t so dominant, and the Bears weren’t so bad you could make a case for Jordan Howard being rookie of the year. He’s not had less than 75 yards rushing since week seven and was contending for carries with Jeremy Langford for the first part of the season. Howard’s 90 yard, one touchdown performance was impressive against a Green Bay defense that’s been tough against the run this season. The rookie’s biggest downfall this season has been touchdowns as three of his seven scores came against the 49ers a few weeks back. Either way, Howard is the bell cow in this offense. That’s a designation that’s becoming more and rarer in the NFL. The Redskins are 28th in the league against running backs this season, so consider Howard a lock at his price.
Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders
Value – $6,200
Everyone hit the panic button on Murray early in the season once word spread that rookie DeAndre Washington was slowly but surely closing in on the starting running back job in Oakland. It seems that took until week ten against the Broncos for the Oakland coaching staff to realize that Murray is their running back. Washington has seen six carries since week 11, and Latavius Murray has been on a roll. He’s either scored a touchdown or rushed for 80 yards in five out the last six games, and he’s averaging almost 19 fantasy points since week seven. Murray is a steal this week at his asking price against a Colts defense that ranks 24th in the league against running backs.
Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers
Value – $5,200
Stewart has been up and down over the second half of the season, but if we dig a little deeper we can see why. Cam Newton has been the model of mediocre for most of this season, and the Panthers have faced tough run defenses such as the Seahawks, Chiefs, and Rams. Outside of those three games Stewart has scored four touchdowns and has rushed for over 65 yards twice. We all saw the stiff arm that was heard around the world, and I think Stewart has a strong shot to replicate similar numbers against a weak Falcons run defense this week.
Ryan Mathews – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $4,000
The Eagles may have the most frustrating backfield in the league outside of the Bengals and Ravens. Ryan Mathews dominated the Ravens last week in the absence of both Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles, and he’s has a few very impressive games this season. Mathews has scored nine touchdowns this season despite missing time and splitting carries with up to three other teammates. Either way, Smallwood is done for the season or Sproles is questionable. If Mathews is the only option at running back for the Eagles once again, then he could put up a solid performance once again this week.
TY Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Value – $7,800
TY Hilton is the fifth highest scoring wide receiver in PPR scoring this season. He is without a doubt the number one receiver in this offense, and Andrew Luck looks his way early and often. Unfortunately, he has highs that go through the roof and lows that can cost you some money. Hilton has five games this season with less than 10 fantasy points and six games with more than 20. That only leaves three games where he has had a “decent” performance. I think this week’s matchup against the Raiders could be one of those 20 point weeks. Oakland has struggled to contain opposing wide receivers this season and has surrendered at least 20 points in 11 games. Hilton one of my favorite high tier receivers this week.
Golden Tate – Detroit Lions
Value – $6,600
Golden Tate started off the season averaging a little under 27 yards receiving through the first five games, and people were hitting the panic button. Marvin Jones had arrived as Megatron reincarnated. That proved to be short-lived, however, and Tate has reemerged as the go-to receiver in the Lions offense. He’s seen ten or more targets and has at least 70 yards in four out the last six games. Detroit will face a solid Dallas defense this week, but Tate is a staple in this offense and will be peppered with targets. He’s got a solid floor at the price.
Ted Ginn Jr – Carolina Panthers
Value – $4,500
We saw this happen towards the end of last season. Ted Ginn had been mostly hit or miss for the majority of the year then hit a hot streak over the final stretch. He now has scored a touchdown in four of the last five games and is Carolina’s version of Desean Jackson. Ginn’s speed is a great complement to Cam Newton’s big arm, and he has caught a pass of over 30 yards in three of the last four games. The Panthers will host one of the league’s most explosive offenses in the Atlanta Falcons this week, and this game has points written all over it. Cam Newton looked a lot more like an MVP caliber player last week, and the Falcons have had a tendency to give up a lot of points to quarterbacks and receivers this season. I like Ginn’s chances at finding the end zone once again this week.
Desean Jackson – Washington Redskins
Value – $5,500
When you think of Desean Jackson the word consistent doesn’t usually come to mind, but he’s been exactly that over the last few weeks. Since week eleven Jackson has either scored a touchdown or had more than 100 receiving yards in four of the last five games. He was targeted ten times last week against the Panthers, which was the most he’s seen since the first week of the season. The Redskins will face a Bears team this week that boasts a solid run defense. If Rob Kelley is once again held in check, then Washington may turn to the passing game to move the ball.
Tyler Lockett – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $4,800
Lockett may finally be delivering on his sleeper status in Seattle, even if it took until the last few games of the season. He’s scored 24 or more fantasy points in two of his last three games and is fresh off a performance of seven catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. The speedy receiver is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball, and his involvement on punt returns gives him an added layer of value. While the matchup against the Cardinals looks intimidating on paper, Arizona was just shredded by Drew Brees and has given up 20 or more points in seven straight games. Lockett hasn’t performed consistently enough to make him a must-start option, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to put up some points this week.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $5,300
Ertz has strung together some solid games over the second half of the season after getting off to a slow start. He caught six passes for 80 yards against the Ravens last week and has been a mostly consistent source of fantasy production as of late. Since week nine Ertz has only one game with less than 11 fantasy points and has been targeted no less than seven times in as many games. He only has two touchdowns on the season, but he’s developed a solid floor as he’s become one of Carson Wentz’s favorite targets. The Eagles will face a solid Giants defense this week, but I think Ertz’s involvement in the offense makes him a viable option.
Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
Value – $5,200
After getting off to a hot start this season Olsen has been mostly quiet over the second half of the year. Cam Newton hasn’t played at a very high level, and Olsen’s production has suffered as a result. However, the veteran tight end has strung together back to back games of at least four catches and 85 yards. That’s something he hasn’t done since the sixth week of the season. He’ll face an Atlanta defense this week that’s ranked 27th in the league against tight ends, which makes him a solid option at only $5,200.
Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $4,900
Kyle Rudolph caught eight passes for a season-high 97 yards last week against the Colts, and he’s been very consistent over the last four weeks. He’s not scored less than 10 fantasy points since week 11 and has seen at least eight targets over the last four games. Rudolph is without a doubt one of Sam Bradford’s favorite targets, and he’s got a great matchup this week against a Green Bay defense that’s 23rd in the league against the tight end position. He’s a solid play this week.
Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Value – $3,900
Cameron Brate is arguably the most effective pass catcher in the Buccaneers offense other than Mike Evans. Evans has been held in check over the last three weeks as opposing defenses have made it a priority to slow him down, and Brate has put up some solid numbers as a result. The big tight end has caught at least five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown in two of the last three games, so he seems to have certainly earned the trust of Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay will face one of the worst defenses in the New Orleans Saints this week, which helps make Brate a solid tight end option. He’s a steal at his price tag if the Saints can somehow continue to contain Mike Evans.
Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills
Value – $3,200
Clay has had some pretty decent games this season, but he tends to be overshadowed by the tenacious running attack in Buffalo. However, the Bills don’t have many reliable receiving options outside of Sammy Watkins. Clay only has two touchdowns on the season, but both scores have come in the last two games. He has also caught ten passes for 124 yards over that span, which is one word shy of his highest two-game total of the season. I don’t expect the Dolphins to put on the same performance they did against the Jets last week, but Clay is a cheap flier should this game turn into a high scoring affair.
Who I’m Stacking:
Andrew Luck/TY Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Total Value – $14,800
The hope here is that this game turns into a shootout. Luck has been underwhelming by his standards as of late, and he hasn’t thrown for more than since week seven. However, he’s thrown for multiple touchdowns in six of his last seven games. Oakland has a beatable secondary, and TY Hilton should do big things this week. This is a pricey stack, but this dynamic duo should bring in 40-50 fantasy points.
Jameis Winston/Mike Evans – Tampa Buccaneers
Value – $15,000
Mike Evans has been incredibly disappointing over the last three games. His best game over that span was last week where he caught four passes for 59 yards. Evans has been one of the most dominant wide receivers for the majority of the season, so this slump has been frustrating. Jameis Winston has been up and down all season, but this matchup against the Saints could be the remedy for the Buccaneers playmakers. New Orleans has given up less than 21 points in only three games this season, so Winston and Evans have a great opportunity to get back on track. Evans is the second most expensive wide receiver this week, but I have a feeling we’ll see him get back to the guy we were all drooling over earlier in the season.
Matt Moore/Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins
Total Value – $10,700
The success of these two players is entirely dependent on the weather in Buffalo this weekend. If the snow holds off I think we could continue to see Landry dominate the targets in this offense, and Matt Moore clearly knows who his top targets are. Moore was extremely efficient last week, and Landry is coming off back to back 100-yard receiving games. This is a cheap stack that is the definition of a boom or bust play. Fingers crossed.
Steals of the Week:
Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts
Value – $4,800
Frank Gore is an every down back in an explosive offense that faces a subpar run defense and is priced under $5,000. This seems like a no-brainer. Gore has scored more than 14 fantasy points in seven of the last nine games. Derek Carr has been underwhelming as of late, so there’s an outside chance Andrew Luck gets the Colts off to a fast start. If Indianapolis gets up on the Raiders, then look for Gore to grind out the clock in the run game.
Malcolm Mitchell – New England Patriots
Value – $5,200
The Patriots as a whole were shut down against the Broncos in the passing game, which was expected. However, Mitchell has taken over as Brady’s second favorite target since Gronk has been unavailable. Matt Moore of all people tore the Jets apart last week, so you have to assume Tom Brady will make short work of this secondary. Mitchell is less expensive than other names at his position like Kelvin Benjamin, Willie Snead, and Brandon Marshall. I’ll take that all day.
I hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it each week. I’m truly passionate about fantasy football and love any opportunity to share my opinions with you. As always, hit us up @No_HuddleFFB on Twitter for any questions you might have. Get rich this week!!!