DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 16

Ezekiel Elliott may be pricey, but he comes in at a discount compared to the last time we saw him. And he makes for a strong play on DraftKings in Week 16.

The daily fantasy football games offered on FanDuel and DraftKings have many similarities, but one distinct difference is that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. Much like you would in season-long leagues, that means we must evaluate players slightly differently on each site. In this space, we'll help you on the DraftKings side of the equation.

Be sure to pay attention to inactives prior to Sunday's games. Similar to late scratches in the NBA, injuries can have a huge impact on playing time, and great values can open up for you at the last minute. At a position like running back, a low-priced backup can suddenly find his way into a feature role and become an excellent play.

Also, check out numberFire's premium tools at your disposal. In particular, the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals, and every team's strengths and weaknesses.

Now, let's run through this week's top plays on the DraftKings main slate.


Russell Wilson ($7,000): Well, what do you know, Russell Wilson is human after all. Wilson finally had a dud against the Los Angeles Rams last week, but we shouldn't hesitate to dive back in with Wilson for a bounce back spot against the Dallas Cowboys, who rank 22nd against the pass by numberFire's metrics. Prior to Wilson's clunker, he had scored at least 24 DraftKings points in seven of the last eight games, with the only exception being a still solid 19.42-point performance in Week 10. He remains pretty much the entire Seattle Seahawks offense, and could come at lower ownership following his Week 15 misstep.

Cam Newton ($6,800): Newton is likely to be a popular choice following his four touchdown performance against the Green Bay Packers on his way to 31.48 DraftKings points. He has a golden opportunity to duplicate that against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, numberFire's 28th-ranked pass defense. Newton leads all quarterbacks with 114 rushes for 643 yards, increasing both his floor and ceiling.

Drew Stanton ($4,500): If you're paying down at quarterback, your best bang for your buck is... Drew Stanton? Yes, the name doesn't illicit much confidence, but time and time again we've witnessed lesser quarterbacks hit value when the price is right, and at just $4,500, Stanton fits that mold. The New York Giants rank just 24th against the pass by numberFire's marks, and Stanton reached 15 DraftKings points in both of his starts this year, which we would happily take at this salary.

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott ($8,000): Todd Gurley and a resurgent Kareem Hunt are great plays, but let's also not forget the return of one Ezekiel Elliott. The last time we saw Elliott he cost $9,000 -- meaning we're essentially getting him at a $1,000 discount against a Seahawks team that just got demolished by Gurley. On the season, Elliott is behind only Le'Veon Bell in market share of carries and targets (43.2%), and we know the Dallas Cowboys won't be afraid to ride their well-rested bell cow back in a must-win game.

Melvin Gordon ($7,200): Austin Ekeler went down with a broken hand last week, and while he claims he'll be a game-time decision this week, he's unlikely to play. So Melvin Gordon should have his volume secure against the New York Jets. As it stands, Gordon has seen 20 or more touches in six consecutive games, and he's coming off a Week 15 in which he saw 8 targets, a very welcoming sign in PPR. Even with the game on the road, the Los Angeles Chargers are 6.5-point favorites, so game flow should also be in his favor.

Dion Lewis ($6,000): Rex Burkhead's knee injury frees up Dion Lewis as the top dog in the New England Patriots backfield, and the setup looks awfully nice as an 11.5-point home favorite against numberFire's worst rush defense in the Buffalo Bills. Lewis has garnered 14 or more touches in seven of the last eight games, and should be a better bet for passing-game work and red zone touches. It's worth noting, however, that Lewis' season-high in touches is just 17, and given his injury history, it's likely the Pats will be hesitant to go overboard on his workload with James White and even Mike Gillislee getting involved. White makes for an intriguing flyer in tournaments in case he inherits more of Burkhead's role than expected.

Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen ($7,700): Keenan Allen suffered a back injury in Week 15, but he wasn't even listed on the injury report this week, so we can fire him up with confidence against the Jets. Allen has been a monster lately, seeing 31.3% of the targets over his last five games and surpassing 100 yards in four of them. The Jets are numberFire's 23rd-ranked pass defense.

Keelan Cole ($4,700): Apparently Keelan Cole didn't like Dede Westbrook hogging all the attention, so Cole promptly went and dropped 7 receptions, 186 yards, and a touchdown on the Houston Texans. It might feel like point chasing, but Cole saw 9 targets last week with Marqise Lee going down, and Lee isn't expected to be back this week. The spot against the 30th-ranked San Francisco 49ers pass defense is ripe for the picking, and Cole remains much cheaper than Westbrook.

Chris Godwin ($3,000): When Mike Evans served his one-game suspension in Week 10, Chris Godwin was one of the main beneficiaries, playing nearly all the snaps (97.2%), and seeing a season-high 10 targets. DeSean Jackson missed practice again on Thursday, and if he were to miss Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, that should once again open up a bigger role for Godwin. The Panthers are a strong defense, but are more susceptible against wide receivers, and we don't need much to pay off Godwin's minimum price tag.

Tight Ends

Rob Gronkowski ($7,400): The Patriots are rocking a 29.5 implied team total against the Bills, which sure sounds like a fantasy bonanza we want to be invited to. Rob Gronkowski has been the life of the party lately, enjoying three straight games with 25-plus DraftKings points, while seeing 34.4% of the targets over that span. One of those games came against these same Bills, so we ought to expect more of the same this time around. Gronkowski would get also get a slight boost if Chris Hogan remains out.

Antonio Gates ($2,500): Wait, Antonio Gates is still relevant? Admittedly, Gates has done little all season, but with Hunter Henry lost for the season with a lacerated kidney, those snaps and targets have to go somewhere. Gates has seen just 29.8% of the snaps over his last five games, so a fairly significant workload increase is not out of the question. At this point, the yardage upside is limited, but Gates is still a presence in the red zone, and it's not often you can find worthwhile options this cheap.


Chicago D/ST ($3,500): Attacking the Cleveland Browns has worked all season, so there's no reason to stop now. DeShone Kizer continues to have the dubious honor of leading the league in interceptions (19), and including fumbles, he's turned the ball over 7 times across the last three games. The Bears are 6.5-point home favorites and are sixth in sacks this season (39.0).

Washington D/ST ($3,400): Whether it's Brock Osweiler or Paxton Lynch quarterbacking the Denver Broncos, we have to like or chances attacking either one. Washington is fifth in adjusted sack rate, and is numberFire's 11th-ranked pass defense.

Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.