FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 16 Saturday Slate

The NFL's first Saturday action takes place in Week 16, and we get a trio of games to kickoff the week. FanDuel is offering an all-day slate that encompasses each of the three games, and the slate begins at 1 p.m. EST.

The Slate

Away Home Over/
Houston Tampa Bay 50.0 -3.0 26.50 23.50
Buffalo New England 37.5 -6.5 15.50 22.00
LA Rams San Francisco 44.0 -6.5 18.75 25.15

Looking at the slate, the Houston Texans-Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup is going to be the one that gives us the most fantasy-friendly environment, as the total is six points higher than any other contest's. It'll also be the game most people load up on. The Los Angeles Rams-San Francisco 49ers clash has a second-best 44.00-point over/under, while the AFC East showdown between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots has a brutally low 37.5-point total.

Let's break down this slate.


To Deshaun Watson or not to Deshaun Watson -- that's the question.

Watson ($8,600) is the top-projected player on this slate by a fairly wide margin, per our models. Facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' pass-funnel D (third-best against the run, per our schedule-adjusted metrics), we forecast him for 23.0 FanDuel points, 2.6 more than anyone else. Of course, he's the most expensive signal caller and will likely be very popular, so we need to entertain other options. In cash, he's the way to go, and it's not hard to find the coin for him.

Jameis Winston ($8,400) just keeps on keeping on, tossing picks but putting up monster fantasy days. He's posted 33.72 and 37.74 FanDuel points in his last two and chucked it a combined 87 times in that span. He should have to air it out often to keep up with Watson. While being without Mike Evans and Chris Godwin is a blow, we have Jameis as the QB2 on the slate, forecasting him to total 20.4 FanDuel points.

It's hard to get excited about any of the four other quarterbacks. Of the bunch, Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,900) is likely the best option, though he's pricey for a guy who has topped 19 FanDuel points only once in his last four outings.

With pricing pretty friendly on this slate, you don't need to pay down at quarterback. It's probably a slate to just swallow the chalk and use either Watson or Winston.

Running Back

This is a bad slate for running backs. Our models have just one guy -- Todd Gurley ($7,400) -- projected for more than 12.0 FanDuel points. On the bright side, the lack of high-priced studs makes it easier to pay up everywhere else.

Raheem Mostert ($7,100) and Sony Michel ($6,100) are the lead backs for the slate's two big favorites, but they both have plenty of warts. After seeing a 74% snap rate in Week 13, Mostert has been in on just 60% and 53% of plays in back-to-back weeks, as Matt Breida's ($5,300) return has mucked up things. Michel needs a positive game script to be worth anything. In wins this year, Michel has averaged 17.2 rushing attempts per game. In losses, he’s seen just 6.3 carries per game. If you're building under the assumption of a New England Patriots win, he's in play.

James White ($6,500) has at least 9.9 FanDuel points in three straight. Over the last three games, White (19% target share) and Julian Edelman ($7,500; 25%) are the Patriots' entire passing game, for the most part. Edelman appeared to be far less than 100% healthy in a two-catch, nine-yard outing last time out. If Edelman isn't right, it could lead to more looks for White this week.

As for the aforementioned Gurley, his resurgent usage continued in Week 15 as he played 96% of the snaps even in a blowout loss. He mustered just 38 total yards, though, on 17 opportunities (11 rushes and six targets), saving his fantasy day with two tuds. The snaps and volume keep him in play on a small slate, but the San Francisco 49ers have allowed just 14.2 FanDuel points per game to backs, the second-fewest.

The team that's given up the fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs is New England (13.8), the opposition for Devin Singletary ($6,400). Similar to Gurley, the workload -- at least 18 opportunities in four straight -- necessitates that we think about him, but, yikes, this is a bad spot. If you want to put a positive spin on it, the Buffalo Bills will likely struggle mightily passing the ball, so they'll probably pound Singletary while they're in the game, and the rookie's 15 targets over the past three give him a floor if the Bills do get behind big.

It would be fun to roster running backs from the one game with a big total, but the backfields in both Houston and Tampa Bay are hard to pin down.

Carlos Hyde ($6,600) is at the top of the running back heap in that game, per our projections, and is tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns (0.46). The matchup is a difficult one, however, versus an elite Tampa run defense, but Hyde has seven carries inside the five, compared to just one for Duke Johnson ($5,400). Duke is the anti-Michel, as he needs a negative game script to thrive, which isn't the expectation here with Houston a 3.0-point favorite. Johnson averages 15 more total yards per game in losses than he does in wins.

Neither Ronald Jones ($5,500) nor Peyton Barber ($5,400) see much more than 50% of the snaps very often, but Jones (48%) did lead the way a week ago. That resulted in all of 11 carries for 23 yards and one catch (on three targets) for 26 yards. If you want to roll the dice, Dare Ogunbowale ($4,800), who leads the Bucs' backfield in targets, played 28% of the snaps last week -- the same number at Barber -- in a very positive game script. With Tampa Bay decimated at wideout, Ogunbowale could see an increased role.


The Texans-Bucs game gives us some good wideout plays, though each of the big-three options is going to see a good amount of ownership.

DeAndre Hopkins ($8,700) tops the list as our models project him for 17.4 FanDuel points, the most among all non-quarterbacks. Hopkins will be one of the slate's highest-owned players. Teammate Will Fuller ($6,100) is also in play assuming he's active. These two dominated the targets last week -- 30% target share for Hopkins and 26% share for Fuller -- so of course Kenny Stills ($5,500) scored twice. Fuller accounted for a team-best 32% of the air yards in his return last week and has slate-breaking upside. It's certainly feasible to go all-in on the Houston aerial attack and pair both Nuk and Fuller with Watson.

On the other side, Breshad Perriman ($7,400) got a $1,000 price bump after his 113-yard, three-score day a week ago. Jameis is going to have to throw it to someone, and Perriman will be operating as the Bucs' number-one receiver. Houston has the 10th-worst pass D, per our metrics, and Perriman makes all the sense in the world this week. Also on the Bucs, Justin Watson ($5,700) should be busy sans Godwin. Watson flopped last week (two receptions for 17 yards) but played 56% of the snaps, and there's just so much target volume up for grabs in this Bucs offense.

Robert Woods ($7,200) has played 99% and 100% of the snaps in the last two games and profiles as the best receiver play in the Rams-49ers game. He's got a 28% target share over the past three games, dwarfing the usage of Cooper Kupp ($7,300; 12%) and Brandin Cooks ($5,700; 9%) in that time.

Even though the Los Angeles Rams got punked last week, Jalen Ramsey and company did their thing, bottling up Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper for a combined two grabs and 25 yards. This isn't a good spot for the 49ers' wideouts.

Neither team's wideouts are very enticing in the Buffalo-New England tilt.

A healthy Edelman would offer a nice floor, but after his two-catch day last week, we can't count on that. With that said, there's a chance said Week 15 outing coupled with a date against the quality pass D of the Bills scares off everyone, making Edelman an intriguing GPP flier. If you're in the Edelman-isn't-right camp, Jakobi Meyers ($5,100) is a dart throw who is third on the Pats in target share across the last three (12%).

For Buffalo, John Brown has a mere 15 catches and 190 yards in four games since he went nuts on the Miami Dolphins. With Stephon Gilmore on tap, Brown doesn't offer much appeal. In the last three, Cole Beasley has a 22% target share but just 17% of the air yards, giving him very little upside in a game in which the Bills hold a 15.50-point implied total.

Tight End

Most main slates are brutal for tight ends, so a three-game slate isn't going to be pretty.

George Kittle ($7,400) is the clear-cut top option, and given the price of running backs, getting to him isn't super hard. We project him for 13.4 FanDuel points, a whopping 5.4 more than anyone else at the position. With the Rams locking down outside receivers, the Niners' passing game should run through Kittle.

We have just two other tight ends forecasted for more than 6.0 FanDuel points -- Tyler Higbee ($6,300) and O.J. Howard ($5,500).

Higbee has come on big time down the stretch, seeing a massive 26% target share and 29% air yards share with Gerald Everett ($5,300) sidelined for the past three games. But Everett is back this week, and San Fran is giving up just 7.3 FanDuel points per game to tight ends, so tread lightly. Howard is hard to trust since he's been a non-factor for most of 2019, but with Evans and Godwin out, he should see some extra work. He got seven targets a week ago, tying his single-game high for the year.

Cameron Brate ($5,000) having a multi-touchdown game in what appears to be a good spot for Howard would be a very Cameron Brate thing to do. For the year, Brate (47) has one more target than Howard (46), though Brate was in on just 41% of the snaps last week, compared to 88% for Howard.

Houston's tight end tandem of Jordan Akins ($4,900) and Darren Fells ($4,500) gives us a cheap way to get exposure to the Texans. Fells has seen four targets inside the five-yard line this season, just one fewer than Hopkins -- the team leader -- has. He's also got 11 looks inside the 20, again only one fewer than Hopkins' red zone target count.


Our models have the New England D/ST ($4,800) in their own tier, projecting them for 9.4 FanDuel points, 1.4 more than any other defense. The price tag really isn't that bad, and they're an easy plug-and-play stacking partner with Michel if you're building under the assumption of a Pats win. Josh Allen threw for just 153 yards with three picks in the previous meeting this year, and he tossed two interceptions last season at New England.

If you want to dodge the chalk, I like the San Francisco D/ST ($4,500). Priced just $300 cheaper than the Pats, this defense may go a bit under-owned, but it's a money spot at home against Jared Goff. The Rams' signal caller threw for just 78 yards -- yes, 78 -- at home against these Niners earlier this campaign and was sacked four times. He's got 15 picks and five lost fumbles on the year.

Oh, and we have to mention the Houston D/ST ($4,100). They're playing Jameis Winston. Enough said.