The NFL regular season only has two more weeks to it but that doesn’t mean week 16 is any less important. A number of teams are still fighting for a playoff spot or home-field advantage. There are 1 game on Thursday night, 11 games on Saturday (Christmas Eve day), 3 games on Christmas Sunday and 1 game on Monday night. Here are a few thoughts related to the main slate of games on Saturday. As usual, have fun and use this information to make the best decision for you.
Narrative Street – Antonio Gates is 2 touchdowns shy of tying Tony Gonzalez’s 111 mark for all-time NFL Tight Ends. Cleveland is dead last against the Tight Ends in DVOA. In the last two weeks, they have allowed Tyler Eifert to go for 5-48-2 and Charles Clay to go for 7-72-1. The future Hall of Famer, Gates played college basketball at nearby Kent State University, where he led the Golden Flashes to the NCAA’s Elite Eight.
You’re My Boy Blue – If Bryce Petty is fully recovered and plays against the Patriots after last week’s Petty Sandwich then expect Robby Anderson to see a lot of love from his BFF. Draftkings Adam Levitan describes Robby Anderson as the “Randy Moss of NFL Preseason”. He has talent. In the two full games that Bryce Petty has played, Anderson has seen 12 and 11 targets. Before Petty got injured, he was on his way to another highly targeted game. He has earned 16+ DK points in each of the last three games. If Ryan Fitzpatrick plays, then forget all that I just said and take out a second mortgage and put double-down on New England’s defense. They will be his favorite receivers that day.
No Excuses, Play Like a Champion – Julio Jones went for 12 catches, 300 yards and a touchdown in Week 4. Atlanta is playing for a divisional crown and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is a hot head-coaching candidate. Even though the game is at Carolina, Julio’s turf toe will not be an issue. He went through the NFL combine with a broken foot. He’s had two weeks to sit out and rest while Atlanta played a couple of CFL-wannabe’s.
What the What?!? – Who has been the second best running back the last two weeks? In the last two weeks since Matt Forte’s injury, Bilal Powell is the #2 scorer on Draftkings and has the second most scrimmage yards overall. Who is first in both categories? Le’Veon Bell. Powell has actually had the most pass targets among running backs in the last two weeks with 19. TJ Yeldon is second with 17.
Noisy Wheel Gets the Grease – Mark Ingram was visibly upset after getting yanked from goal-line work late in the Arizona game last week. Tim Hightower scored two touchdowns against his former team (Narrative Street – alert). Ingram carried the ball more times 17 to 11 but lost out in the red zone. Last time Ingram made some noise was after getting benched for fumbling in week 8. All he did in week 9 was go for 158 yards and a touchdown.
Blood Bank Guarantee – Julian Edelman has been the model of consistency in the last 8 weeks. He has had 60+ yards or a touchdown in eight straight games. On DraftKings, he is the only player to have double-digit points in the last 8 weeks. He has averaged 11.75 targets per game during this span. He leads the NFL in targets in the last three weeks with 39 (12/15/12). He has a safe floor and will get you double-digit fantasy points (even if his coach is the enemy of fantasy players everywhere).
99 Problems but a Britt Ain’t One – Nobody has given up more Wide Receiver touchdowns this year than the Chip Kelly “led” 49ers. This Rams-49ers should be ugly but Kenny Britt might just be someone that adds so excitement to it. He has averaged nearly 10 targets per game the last three weeks. He has 9+ DK points in each of the last seven weeks. Britt is also only 13 yards shy of 1,000 for the season, which would be the first such season for him. Did I mention that the 49ers are still coached by Chip Kelly.
Never Go Against a Sicilian When Death is on the Line – Could also be called “never get involved in a land war in Asia” or “don’t ever argue with your wife” . . . all classic blunders. Seattle has a great defense and are playing at home. Don’t play running backs against them. But David Johnson is the running back. He’s a machine. Don’t overthink it. Play DJ. If you are wrong, then you went down swinging with the best running back in the NFL who has had 100+ all-purpose yards in EVERY GAME this season, including 171 in a week 7 matchup against the Seahawks. Yes, Seattle has been good the last five weeks against the run but is 2016 Todd Gurley, James Starks, Jonathan Stewart, 2016 Doug Martin or anyone that the Eagles roll out even remotely scary? Play David Johnson and avoid a classic blunder.
Bags Fly Free – Cameron Meredith is only $4,700 on Draftkings and is coming off of a 13-target game last week against Green Bay in the freezing temperatures. He has had 19.2 and 22.4 DK points in the last two weeks. The Bears are at home against Washington. Vegas has this as the fourth-highest total game. It should be a shootout and Meredith will likely not be matched up with Josh Norman.
It’s a bold strategy, Cotton – RGIII-to-Coleman is not just a Baylor Bears alumni special, but it could be a winning play for the Mistake-on-the-Lake if the San Diego Chargers have cashed in the season and just go through the motions. The chalk play might be the Chargers defense against the winless Browns and their mistake prone QB. However, both RGIII and Corey Coleman are getting more healthy. Though it only takes one hit on RGIII to resurrect Cody Kessler, everybody’s favorite backup. Against the Bills this past week, RGIII ran for 48 yards and a TD. He picked up 18.6 DK points. He is only $100 over the minimum. Coleman is only $3,900 and has seen 15 targets in the last two weeks. Remember back in week 2 when he had 30.4 DK points against a very good Baltimore defense? Plus Terrelle Pryor is nursing an injury.
Stage Five Clinger – Let’s face it, we all like the hot girl that is into us. We don’t like the hot girl that won’t leave us alone and is pulling us down into the abyss. Allen Robinson is that hot girl. He is one of the most talented players in the NFL. He has been atrocious this year after leading the NFL in touchdowns last season. He was once $8,300 but is now down to $4,600 on Draftkings in a good matchup against Tennessee. I watch his YouTube highlights. I remember him putting a dagger in my heart as a Michigan fan. He is dangerous and yet I can’t get away from him. He was my #3 season-long draft pick after Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott. Please help me not to play him this week. He will ruin my DFS week 16. He will continue to cause me to lose money. He will pull me into his Blake Bortle-deep abyss. But did I mention he really talented and is in a good matchup at home against Tennessee. Maybe he won’t be so bad, after all. He did have 13 DK points last time against Tennessee. That is decent value at $4,600. He’s due…right?Maybe I’ll give him one more chance.
Puzzle Pieces That Fit – At home in the 2nd highest projected game of the weekend with team total of 27.5 against a defense that funnels offenses toward passing and I’d say go with the New Orleans Saints passing game this week. Did I mention that they just dropped 48 on the Cardinals in Arizona? Drew Brees should be the chalk since he’s playing in the Coors Field of football stadiums and coming off a 389 yard, 4 touchdown performance in Arizona. Michael Thomas should be covered often by Vernon Hargreaves. According to ESPN’s Mike Clay, he has allowed the most receptions, yards and fantasy points in the league. Thomas is a rookie but very talented. He has seen double-digits DK points in 10 of his 13 games this year. Brandin Cooks leads the league in yards per reception when playing at home with nearly 19 yards per catch. In his last 10 games, he has 11+ DK points in 9 of those games (including a 33.5 and last week’s 40.6 performance). Willie Snead saw 11 targets last week and double-digit DK outings in 4 of his last 5 games. All this in spite of not having a touchdown (can you say TD regression).