Week 16 is here and things start to get tricky with teams fighting for playoff position, other teams resting players for a playoff run, and then mix in some injuries which open up value.
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Matt Ryan(DK - $6,100 FD - $8,500)
I will start this week with Matt Ryan in a matchup between two teams who have nothing to play for but pride in Week 16. Despite a losing season, Ryan has been very consistent for fantasy as he leads all quarterbacks on this slate with an average of 24.1 DraftKings points per game and is second to Big Ben on FanDuel with an average of 22.3 points per game. Volume has been the key to his fantasy success this season as he is fourth overall in pass attempts(538) while completing 69.9% of those(3rd) for 4,307 yards(3rd). He now gets a plus matchup vs. the Panthers who rank 21st in passing yards against per game(250.3) and have also given up the fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. On FanDuel, I could definitely see going multiple different directions this week as Ryan is the second-most expensive QB but on DraftKings, he is a terrific value as the eighth-most expensive.
Dak Prescott(DK - $5,700 FD - $7,300)
If you are looking to load up at the running back or wide receiver positions this week, Dak Prescott is in an excellent spot and is 13th in salary on both sites giving us a ton of savings to make it happen. There is also a chance he will be lower owned as he is coming off arguably his worst game of the season throwing for just 206 yards and and no touchdowns but I am not too worried as the matchup is a huge upgrade this week. He and the Cowboys are seven-point home favorites against the Buccaneers who rank 27th in passing yards per game allowed(258.5) while allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the position that includes the fifth-most rushing yards allowed to QB’s. On a weird week where there are few viable “safe” options I will gladly take the discount and load up elsewhere.
Also Consider: Baker Mayfield(CLE)
Running Back Targets
Ezekiel Elliott(DK - $9,000 FD - $8,800)
Despite the entire Cowboys team laying an egg last week in a shutout loss to the Colts, Zeke was still able to put up a decent fantasy day racking up 128 yards from scrimmage on 25 touches. Volume has definitely not been a problem for Elliott this season as he leads all running backs in rush attempts(286), yards(1,349), and touch share(92%). More good news as he has also seen a big uptick in targets as he sits third among running backs with 8.3 per game over the last four weeks. This week he also gets an upgrade in matchup facing a Bucs team that has allowed the 6th most rushing yards per game(128.1) and 5th most fantasy points per game to the running back position. With Gurley questionable and McCaffrey operating with a backup quarterback, Elliott is easily my top cash game running back this week.
Nick Chubb(DK - $7,300 FD - $7,900)
Since taking over as the Browns bell cow running back, Nick Chubb has been a terrific fantasy option averaging 18.5 carries and 85.9 rushing yards per game. He has also had no problem scoring as he has reached the endzone at least once in six of those eights games. His salary has now hit a season-high but fading him might be a mistake as he checks off all the boxes. He and the Browns are big nine point home favorites which leads to a very positive game script and the matchup is an elite one against a Bengals team that has allowed the fourth-most rushing yards per game(142.4) and the most fantasy points per game to running backs. It may seem crazy but the Browns still have a shot at the playoffs and will most certainly lean on their bell cow back this week. Chubb is an excellent play in all formats this week.
Also consider: Dalvin Cook(MIN) who is coming off a terrific game(19 rushes, 136 yards, 2 TD) and gets another plus matchup as favorites against the Lions
Wide Receiver Targets
Julian Edelman(DK - $7,200 FD - $7,000)
If you have the salary, I would not argue at all if you wanted to go with Devante Adams or Michael Thomas in the $8K range as both have been incredibly consistent all season. For me, I will be loading up on the running backs above so love the $1,000+ in saving that Julian Edelman provides. Since the Patriots Week 11 bye week, Edelman leads all Pats pass catchers with 36 targets(nine per game) including double digits in each of his last two games. A third double-digit target game is definitely in the cards this week for a couple reasons starting with the fact Josh Gordon is stepping away from football/facing a suspension. The Bills have one of the best corners in the league with Tre’Davious White but he enters the slot less than 5% of the time so will more than likely be covering Chris Hogan or Cordarrelle Patterson most of the game. All things considered, Edeleman has a nice floor for the price and should be targeted in cash games.
Robbie Anderson(DK - $4,500 FD - $5,900)
I am not in love with this play but I feel prioritizing the high end running backs is the way to go in cash games this week. What there is to like Anderson is that he is the #1 wide receiver in the offense leading the team with 30 targets over the last four games including 11 last week that he turned into seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. On the surface, the matchup may not stand out as the Packers rank 9th in passing yards allowed per game(225.5) but have also given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to wideouts as they have given up the second-most touchdowns(20) to the position. At these prices, I am willing to take the risk with the Jets passing game if it means loading up with two elite running backs.
Also Consider: Alshon Jeffery(PHI) who has been Nick Foles favorite target since taking over at QB
Tight End Target
Evan Engram(DK - $4,600 FD - $5,700)
We got the news early in the week that Odell Beckham Jr. will will another week so it makes sense to go back to Evan Engram despite the increase in salary on both sites. Without OBJ in the lineup the last two weeks, Engram has tallied 75 and 77 yards and saw a season-high 12 targets last week against the Titans. The Giants now face a red-hot Colts team and come in as nine point dogs which should lead to a pass heavy attack. More good news as the Colts have also given up the eighth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends on the season.
Also Consider: David Njoku(CLE) who also gets a plus matchup against the Bengals who have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to tight ends