Managing Your Money – DFS Guide Week 16

Our biggest flaw last week was the wide receiver position. Outside of Michael Thomas most of the other players I recommended either got injured or were very underwhelming. With that being said, Cam Newton put on a show against the Packers and Nick Foles relieved a ton of Eagles fans with his strong play. LeSean McCoy and Kenyan Drake were the two running backs that hit, and our Joe Flacco/Mike Wallace stack actually paid off pretty well. This is a weird slate of games this week. There isn’t an option to play the Thursday through Sunday games, so we’ll just be focusing on the games that will he played on Sunday. Let’s get started and make some money!

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.

Quarterbacks:

Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers

Value – $6,800

Cam Newton has had his fair share of struggles this season, and it’s been difficult to navigate through his ups and downs. The Panthers ruined Aaron Rodgers’ homecoming party last week, and Cam three for 242 yards while completing four touchdown passes. That was good enough for him to finish with his third highest fantasy output of the season, and I like his chances at putting up big numbers again this week at home against a bad and banged up Buccaneers defense.

Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars

Value – $6,500

Is this real life? I mean, could Blake Bortles actually be developing into a viable fantasy quarterback down the final stretch of the season? If you look at the numbers, then the answer seems to be yes. Bortles has thrown for at least two touchdowns with no turnovers in three consecutive weeks, which is the first such streak for him this season. He picked apart Houston last week for 326 yards and three touchdowns, which was much needed considering the team was without Leonard Fournette. Considering the matchup this week against the 49ers should see Jacksonville generate a decent amount of points, Bortles is a solid play once again.

Phillip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers

Value – $6,400

I knew it was too good to last. Phillip Rivers had been on fire in recent week’s heading his matchup with Kansas City as he threw for 1,097 yards and completed six touchdown passes over three consecutive games. Unfortunately, Rivers ran into a buzzsaw that was the Chiefs. The veteran threw for just 227 yards and a touchdown while throwing three interceptions. That’s obviously less than ideal considering the hot streak he was on. Consider him a bounce back candidate this week as the Chargers travel to play the Jets.

Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Value – $5,700

I almost don’t want to pull the trigger on this one, but there’s a serious lack of upside at quarterback on this slate. I realize that Jameis Winston hasn’t progressed this season to the point that we all would like to see. The real head scratcher here is the fact that the third year starter put together some nice games earlier this season. In weeks three through seven Winston three for over 300 yards in all but one of those games. Unfortunately injuries arose, and he’s just not been the same player down the stretch. I think he has a chance, however, to put up decent numbers this week against a beatable Carolina secondary. I have little doubt that the Panthers will destroy the Buccaneers, so we should see Winston throw the ball around quite a bit. He’s also a cheap option at only $5,700.

Hail Mary play:

Brock Osweiler – Denver Broncos

Value – $4,800

At the time of this writing we don’t know who will be starting for the Broncos this week. There’s little doubt in my mind that after last Thursday night it should be Brock Osweiler, which I realize is crazy. However, Osweiler rejuvenated this offense last week and finished with over 25 fantasy points after scoring three total touchdowns. That’s not something Trevor Siemian has the luxury of being able to say for the vast majority of this season. If Osweiler is named the starter, then he’s still a pretty huge gamble. However, he’s a steal if he can get anywhere close to matching his numbers from last week.

Running backs:

Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints

Value – $8,300

Alvin Kamara continues to impress the hell out of me, which isn’t really a big surprise. The rookie out of Tennessee is a perfect fit for this offense, and you know Sean Payton loves this kid. If we remove the Thursday night game two weeks back when Kamara left in the first quarter with a concussion, then he has scored at least 20 fantasy points in six straight contests. On top of that we have to all the way back to the second week of the season to find the last time he didn’t score in double digits. Kamara is my favorite running back on the slate this week and should continue to see plenty of work against the Falcons.

Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears

Value – $6,600

You’ve got to feel bad for Jordan Howard. This kid has a ton of talent that is being squandered in a cesspool of mediocrity in Chicago. I was hopeful that Howard could build upon his impressive 147 yard performance against Cincinnati, but the second year standout saw only ten carries in his matchup with the Lions and was only able to gain 37 yards. It’s obvious that the Bears are not a great team, which often leads to them getting down early in games. They’re quick to abandon the run in those situations, and Jordan Howard often becomes an afterthought. The good news is the Browns are coming to town this week, which bodes well for Howard’s prospects. This should be a much closer game, which sets up well for Howard from a workload perspective.

Dion Lewis – New England Patriots

Value – $6,000

Nobody likes to see players get hurt. However, in this situation, Rex Burkhead’s injury could have given Dion Lewis a huge boost this week. Lewis is just about the closest thing the Patriots have had as far as a featured running back this season, and he’s put up double digit points in five out of the last six games. As I mentioned, there shouldn’t be any Burkhead this week. That should make Lewis the default running back around the goal line. I think Lewis is a steal at $6,000 considering the lack of competition for touches behind James White.

Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals

Value – $5,100

It’s unclear at this point if Mixon will be cleared to play after suffering a concussion two weeks ago. Consider Mixon and Giovani Bernard basically interchangeable at this point, because both will cost you around the same amount. Mixon rattled off some solid performances down the stretch and was coming off his biggest game of the year before getting injured against Pittsburgh. If he suits up I like him as a dark horse this week against Buffalo. The Bills are sitting at 23rd in the league against opposing running backs this season, and I can’t imagine this will be a very high scoring game on Buffalo’s part. Mixon should see plenty of work and will find room to gain some yards.

Hail Mary play:

Wayne Gallman – New York Giants

Value – $3,900

I fell into this trap a few weeks ago with Orleans Darkwa, so let’s hope that doesn’t happen again. Wayne Gallman has steadily increased his workload this season and has suddenly become a commodity in the Giants backfield. While he hasn’t seen many carries, the rookie has seen at least seven targets in the passing game over the last two weeks and has 40 receiving yards in both contests. If that trend continues we’re looking at a floor of ten points at only $3,900, which is a steal. I’d anticipate New York wanting to see what they have on the roster from a talent standpoint, which should continue to play into Gallman’s favor. He’s a risk that could pay off big this week.

Wide receivers:

Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints

Value – $7,700

Michael Thomas has been one of the more consistent wide receivers in the league this season. He’s scored double digit points in all but two games this season and is without a doubt Drew Brees’ favorite target. While his numbers weren’t flashy earlier in the season, Thomas now has 19 receptions for 210 yards in the last two games and has found the end zone in three consecutive weeks. This week’s matchup with the Falcons has some big implications for the playoffs, so look for this to be a competitive game where Brees leans on his top receiver.

Sterling Shepard – New York Giants

Value – $6,600

I may be hanging my hat a little too much on one performance here, but I’d been waiting for a game like this from Sterling Shepard for a while now. The second year player is literally the only receiver left on the depth chart that was a starter heading into this season, but he’s been banged up and often has been left on the sidelines. Shepard was peppered with 16 targets from Eli Manning last week, which he turned into 11 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown in what was a surprisingly close game against the Eagles. Now that Shepard is seemingly healthy, I like his chances at producing at a high level as Manning’s favorite target. He’s a strong start against the Cardinals this week.

Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams

Value – $6,500

I was little concerned there’d be some rust on the tires in Robert Woods’ return from injury last week, but he picked up right where he left off as Jared Goff’s go to receiver. Woods hauled six passes for 45 yards and a touchdown in a beatdown over the Seahawks. The Rams didn’t have to throw the ball much since the game was was essentially over before halftime, so it was nice to see Woods succeed despite the game flow working against him. Considering his level of involvement and chemistry with Goff, I like Woods again this week against a struggling Titans defense.

Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Value – $6,400

Well it’s about damn time Mike Evans and Jameis Winston got on the same page. Evans was targeted eight times on Monday night against the Falcons and hauled in five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. His day would’ve been much more impressive had he not had a long touchdown called back due to a pass interference penalty. While Evans has yet to surpass 100 yards this season, it was an encouraging sign to see Winston give so much attention to his star receiver. I’m willing to roll the dice this week due to the Buccaneers facing a beatable Panthers secondary and Evans’ price dropping below the $6,500 mark.

Hail Mary play:

Keelan Cole – Jacksonville Jaguars

Value – $4,700

I’ve been hyping Blake Bortles for a few weeks now, and it looked like Dede Westbrook was going to be the guy that took this offense over. While we discussed Keelan Cole as a guy to watch last week, I never would’ve thought this kid would put up 186 yards for a touchdown on seven receptions. Considering his uptick in usage and the fact he’s scored a touchdown in three consecutive games, I’ll roll the dice on Cole this week. Chances are this will blow up in my face, but this is an offense that is clicking with an advantageous matchup.

Tight ends:

Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots

Value – $7,400

There’s not much to say here. Gronk is the best player at his position, and there simply aren’t that many great options at tight end this week. His price tag is a little tough to swallow, but he’s produced at an incredibly high level over the last few weeks. Gronk has at least 25 fantasy points in three consecutive games. Consider him a lock.

Evan Engram – New York Giants

Value – $5,600

After coming on strong earlier in the season, Engram has struggled at times in recent weeks. There are a multitude of issues you can point to, but the good news is that the rookie out of Ole Miss has proven to be as good as advertised when the Giants drafted him. Engram has scored at least 18 fantasy points in two out of the last three week and is coming off an eight catch 87 yard performance in a high scoring affair against the Eagles. Unfortunately this isn’t the greatest matchup this week as Arizona is 11th in the league against the tight end position. However, Engram has a chance to put up serviceable numbers considering the lack of receiving options the Giants have.

Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans

Value – $4,900

I still don’t fully understand how the Titans offense is so bad this season considering all of the hype surrounding the team in the offseason. If there’s one player that’s shown any consistency at all for Tennessee it’s Delanie Walker. While the veteran caught five passes for only 37 yards last week, he was able to salvage his day from a fantasy standpoint by scoring his third touchdown in the last four weeks. Marcus Mariota has keyed in on Walker more recently as well as he’s seen 19 targets come his way in the last two games. The matchup this week against the Rams is less than ideal, but somebody has to catch passes on this team. Delanie Walker is as good a bet as anyone else.

Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions

Value – $3,700

Eric Ebron, the perennial sleeper tight end, hasn’t really done much this season. However, over the last two weeks he’s been seeing more attention from Matt Stafford and has put together back to back double digit performances for the first time this season. He caught ten passes for 94 yards two weeks ago and found the end zone for the third time this season against the Bears in last week’s matchup. Considering the increase of his involvement in the offense recently, Ebron is worth a gamble at his price tag. Cincinnati is ranked 27th in the league against tight ends, so there’s some cause for optimism here.

Hail Mary play:

Garrett Celek – San Francisco 49ers

Value – $2,800

It’s a shame that the 49ers have to play Jacksonville this week. This offense is operating at a high level with Jimmy Garoppolo under center, and several players have been useful options from a fantasy standpoint. For example, Garrett Celek has back to back games with more than 60 yards and a touchdown. That’s not something I thought I’d be typing out this season. This is a total gamble considering the matchup, but Garoppolo has proven himself a capable starter and looks for his tight end down the field. You’re essentially hoping for 40-50 yards and a touchdown here.

Who I’m Stacking:

Alex Smith/Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs

Value – $15,000

This one will cost you, but there’s a lot of upside here. Alex Smith has sputtered out at times down the final stretch of the season but is only two weeks removed from 366 yard performance against the Jets where he completed four touchdown passes. Pairing Smith with Tyreek Hill seems like the logical choice, but Kareem Hunt has looked much more like the breakout player we saw at the beginning of the season as of late. The rookie racked up 206 total yards and two touchdowns last week and as reasserted himself as a focal point in this offense. Considering the matchup this week at home against the Dolphins, both Smith and Hunt could produce at a very high level.

Tyrod Taylor/Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills

Value – $9,300

This is obviously a stack that has a very good chance to flop. However, Tyrod Taylor played well last week as he threw for 224 yards and had two touchdowns against the Dolphins. My thought here is that New England shouldn’t have much of an issue with putting up points against the Bills. If they fall behind Taylor is going to have to throw the ball to keep them in the game. At this point Charles Clay is about the only semi-reliable option here. Clay has struggled since his return from injury, but he is coming off his best performance since week four. This one is risky but could pay off big at a discount if we can squeeze around 30 points out of these two.

Hail Mary play:

Andy Dalton/AJ Green – Cincinnati Bengals

Value – $11,300

Let’s be real here, Andy Dalton has been awful this season. The Red Rocket has had five single point performances this season and has a put up a combined 11.1 points in the last two weeks. However, there was a four week stretch where Dalton threw multiple touchdowns in each contest. This week’s matchup against the Lions isn’t too intimidating, and AJ Green is still one of the most talented wide receivers in the National Football League. If these two can get on the same page, then you could get a decent amount of points at a discount.

Steal of the Week:

Devante Parker – Miami Dolphins

Value – $4,200

Consider this a borderline Hail Mary pick with a ton of upside. Devante Parker was pushing Jarvis Landry for the title of number one receiver for the Dolphins earlier this season and even got to the point where he was more expensive than Landry in daily fantasy leagues. Unfortunately the injury bug hit, and Parker had been mostly quiet until last week when he caught six passes for 89 yards on a whopping 12 targets. Considering this matchup against the Chiefs has the makings of a blowout, Parker could find himself busy in a comeback effort. If that happens he’s a great value pick at only $4,200.

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!!!

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