Daily Fantasy Football Quarterback Primer: Week 16
Welcome to another edition of my weekly NFL DFS quarterback primer article. Each week I will be looking to find an edge at the quarterback position for daily fantasy football contests.
In this weekly column, you will find the best value quarterbacks for tournaments and head-to-head cash games. Additionally, I will highlight one or two quarterbacks to avoid in the upcoming week.
Last week was an up-and-down one for this column. Our play of the week, Patrick Mahomes, came through for us, finishing as the third-best quarterback on the main slate despite playing in heavy snow. Both Baker Mayfield and Eli Manning, our two cash-game plays, scored at least 16 FanDuel points. They failed to reach their ceilings, but both players still returned value given their cost. Lastly, we correctly faded Drew Lock as the rookie followed up his stellar game in Week 14 with the second-fewest FanDuel points on the main slate in Week 15.
Let's keep the success going in Week 16.
Best Overall Play of the Week
Russel Wilson ($8,300) -- Leading a team with the highest implied total of Week 16, Wilson offers the upside we are looking for when playing in tournaments. He gets a matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, who have the second-worst passing defense, according to our schedule-adjusted numbers. The Cardinals' defense has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. The season is almost over, yet we have still not had a quarterback score fewer than 13 fantasy points against this D. The Cardinals have also allowed the most passing touchdowns while Wilson has thrown for the third-most touchdown passes. It comes as no surprise that our models project Wilson for more passing touchdowns than any other quarterback in Week 16. Our projections have Wilson as the top point-per-dollar play across all positions this week. Fire up Wilson with confidence in all formats.
Drew Brees ($8,200) -- Drew Brees has thrown nine touchdowns across his last two games. Let that sink in. Of course, we should not expect him to keep up that pace, but it does offer a glimpse into the weekly upside Brees has in fantasy football. This week, the veteran quarterback gets a matchup with a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed more than 240 passing yards and two touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in each of their last two games. The Titans' secondary ranks dead in the middle of the league, according to our metrics. We can expect Brees to throw the ball early and often this week in a game with the second-highest over/under on the main slate. Our models project Brees to throw more passing yards than any other quarterback in Week 16.
Matt Ryan ($7,700) -- Ryan has had a strange season. After starting out hot, throwing for three-plus touchdowns in four out of his first six games of the season, Ryan has failed to hit that mark since Week 6. He has thrown for two touchdowns in each of his last three games, but in tournaments, we are chasing upside. That type of upside could be there this week as Ryan gets a home matchup against a Jacksonville Jaguars secondary that ranks in the bottom-12 by our numbers. They have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to the quarterback position. Ryan comes in as the fourth-best point-per-dollar play at the position for Week 16, according to our models. Stacking Ryan with Julio Jones, who had an insane 51% target share last week, could be the recipe for maximum upside in tournaments in Week 16.
Lamar Jackson ($9,300) -- There are only a few certainties in life -- death, taxes, and Lamar Jackson in cash. Jackson is the best rushing quarterback the NFL has ever witnessed. His rushing floor makes him an auto play in cash, and his upside makes him playable in tournaments, as well, though he's not easy to stack with. He is currently on pace to break the single-season record for fantasy points, which was set by Mahomes last season. Even at Jackson's costly salary, our projections have him as the second-best point-per-dollar play across all positions for Week 16.
Quarterback to Avoid
Baker Mayfield ($7,700) -- Mayfield has a tough matchup this week against the Baltimore Ravens, who have the fourth-best pass D in the league by our numbers. Mayfield has proven to have an extremely low floor this season, scoring fewer than 10 FanDuel points four times. That type of floor makes him nearly impossible to trust in cash. We also have not seen much of a ceiling out of the second-year quarterback, a guy who set the rookie passing touchdown record last year, as he has only two games of more than 20 fantasy points this season. This limited upside makes him hard to play in tournaments. Our models project Mayfield outside the top-12 point-per-dollar plays at the quarterback position this week.
Samuel Factor is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Samuel Factor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Samfact2. 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.