NFL

4 NFL DraftKings Studs to Target in Week 16

Week 16 of the NFL season is here, so let's see which high-priced studs stand out on DraftKings and project to be high-end performers, according to our models.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

DraftKings Price: $6,400

Projected Points: 20.6

The Dallas Cowboys were able to ease the workload of Dak Prescott last week with the effectiveness of the run game, as he had his lowest pass attempt total of the season with 23. With that he was still able to put 17.7 DraftKings points and has now thrown two more passing touchdowns in five of the last seven games. Prescott has been highly efficient this season and finds himself only behind Lamar Jackson in our Total Net Expected Points (NEP) metric.

Week 16 brings a highly motivational game for the Cowboys who are 2.5 point home favorite against the Eagles. The game total is the fourth-highest on the main slate at 46.5. It is a good spot for Prescott against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that ranks 23rd in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. Dwayne Haskins, Eli Manning & Ryan Fitzpatrick have combined for seven passing touchdowns against the Eagles over the last three games while averaging 22.3 DraftKings points. 53.8% of Prescott’s passing touchdowns have come on throws 16 or more Air Yards, and the Eagles have allowed 10 so far this season. Dak looks poised to be a top performer this week.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

DraftKings Price: $10,100

Projected Points: 24.7

There isn’t much more that can be said about Christian McCaffrey, we only have a couple more weeks to play him so let’s take advantage of it. He is currently averaging 31.2 DraftKings per game, and over the last five weeks, he has seen a 27.1% target share. The motivational factors are there for McCaffrey to continue his strong season, he needs 388 total yards to break the single-season scrimmage yard record and he needs 186 receiving yards to accomplish a 1,000-yards rushing and 1,000-yard receiving season.

McCaffrey has overcome matchups, playing with a backup quarterback, a low implied team totals all season long, and he will look to do that again with the Carolina Panthers turning it over to Will Grier. The one nugget regarding matchup for McCaffrey is the fact that the Indianapolis Colts have allowed the fourth-most receptions to opposing running backs, and he has seven or more receptions in five straight games. Get him in your lineups, and let others make the mistake of fading him.

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

DraftKings Price: $9,300

Projected Points: 29.1

First and foremost I must point out that Michael Thomas is the highest projected player on the slate in the numberFire model amongst all players including the quarterback position. Thomas has already surpassed his receptions and receiving yards from last season with two more games to go. He is averaging 9.5 receptions and 110.9 receiving yards per game which equates to 25.9 DraftKings points. After last week, Thomas now has 17 career games with 10 or more receptions ranking him tied for fifth all-time and if he is able to add one more this week he can surpass Reggie Wayne for most receptions in a single season (143).

The New Orleans Saints own an implied team total of 26.75 against the Tennessee Titans this week. Both teams have a ton to play for in terms of the playoffs. The Titans rank 16th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP, while owning the fourth-best rushing defense which should set up nicely for Thomas. Matchups don't really matter though, as no one can guard this guy even when they know it's going to him. He owns a 31.7% target share on the season, and those volume numbers while chasing history shall carry on as the top wide receiver play in Week 16.

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons

DraftKings Price: $4,400

Projected Points: 12.4

Austin Hooper returned back into his starter's role last week, as he played on 82% of the Atlanta Falcons offensive snaps while seeing six targets. He has now has seen at least five targets in every game he has played and amongst all tight ends with 50 or more targets, he ranks seventh in Reception NEP Per Target. Hooper leads the Falcons in targets inside the ten (8), and Atlanta has an implied team total of 26.5 points.

Hooper faces a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has been getting absolutely shredded over the last six games giving up an average of 31.7 points per game to opponents. The Jaguars have allowed the fourth-most touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season. With Calvin Ridley out and only Julio Jones to trail in targets, Hooper's volume and matchup have him as a top tight end play in Week 16.


Adam Nessel is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Nessel also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ANessel01. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.