3 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 16

We have loads of pieces on numberFire dedicated to helping you figure out which plays you should target in your daily fantasy football contests on FanDuel and DraftKings. And you should definitely check them all out!

But an underrated aspect of the DFS process is figuring out who you shouldn't play. Narrowing down your short list of potential plays by avoiding those who are overpriced and/or in tough matchups goes a long way towards ensuring that you create optimal lineups.

Let's go through three guys to consider fading on this week's DFS main slates.

Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

FanDuel Price: $7,700
DraftKings Price: $6,100

Currently projected as QB5 on the main slate, do Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals make for a fantasy feast in Week 16?

It doesn't look likely. While the Seattle Seahawks look like a defense to gash on the ground (ranked 17th by numberFire's metrics), they are pretty strong against the pass (14th) and overall (13th).

While Murray's rushing ability provides a solid floor for his fantasy afternoon, in terms of Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, his 0.04 Passing NEP per drop back mark clocks him in 12th-worst among signal callers. To add salt to the wound, the Cardinals' implied team total of 21.00 points is pretty bland on this main slate.

With so many outstanding quarterback options in smash spots -- led by Lamar Jackson, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson -- spending up for Murray doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

FanDuel Price: $10,800
DraftKings Price: $10,100

Yup, I'm really telling you not to pay up for arguably one of the top three dynamic players in fantasy football.

Look, there's lots of reasons why Christian McCaffrey is a no-brainer -- he plays in a paced-up offense and is a heavily involved option in this attack, especially in the passing game. In fact, he's racked up a whopping 57 targets over the last five games.

But here's the deep breath moment -- his opponent this week (Indianapolis Colts) has been pretty astute against the run. From Weeks 9 to 14, only one player cracked the 100-rushing-yard barrier, and we rank them 15th against the run this season.

It's not that McCaffrey won't score some points -- it's just that the price is incredibly expensive for what could be a tough matchup, especially with Will Grier getting the start and the implied team total sitting at only 19.75 points.

With guys like Alvin Kamara, Leonard Fournette, and Devonta Freeman all providing far more bang for the buck, it's hard stomaching so much of your salary cap in McCaffrey.

Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

FanDuel Price: $9,000
DraftKings Price: $9,300

While we are heaping on the hot takes, here's another -- Michael Thomas may not be worth the hefty coin that's involved.

Look, the wide receiver is absolutely demolishing records, and he may even break the single-season catch record this week with a game to spare and with a few games of Teddy Bridgewater under center. Dude is ballin'.

But like the entire Saints offense, the stats from Thomas's home/road splits in 2019 alone are staggering:

Home 8871027128.4

While rostering Thomas is almost a no-brainer at home, a drop in 40 yards per game from a receiving perspective is massive. And the Titans have been solid against the pass this season -- they rank 16th by our per-play metrics, and only Philip Rivers and Patrick Mahomes have gone for 300 or more passing yards in Nashville.

While Adoree' Jackson and Malcolm Butler will miss the contest, which could free up some space for Thomas to roam, guys like Julio Jones and Tyler Lockett seem to be much better options this week.

Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. 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.