FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 16
Welcome to our weekly FanDuel daily fantasy football helper, where we give you an overview of the Sunday main slate to help you get started on your research. As always, we recommend checking out all of 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. You also have access to numberFire's weekly projections, which can assist you in nailing down who might be the slate's top scorers and best values.
Now, let's run through some of this week's top plays on the FanDuel main slate.
Lamar Jackson ($9,300 on FanDuel): Lamar Jackson is averaging just under 28 FanDuel points per game, an absurd mark that leads all players on the slate, including Christian McCaffrey. Cleveland ranks 17th in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play and has struggled to contain rushing quarterbacks all season, including Jackson himself in Week 4. To no one's surprise, he's the top projected scorer across all positions this week.
Russell Wilson ($8,300): Russell Wilson is the next most expensive quarterback but comes at a sizable $1,000 discount from Jackson. He draws a favorable matchup against Arizona, which ranks 30th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play and has allowed the most FanDuel points to opposing quarterbacks. There's some blowout risk here, though, as Seattle is a 9.5-point home favorite, and when these two teams played early in the season, Wilson coasted to a modest 14.3 FanDuel points in an easy victory. Still, if Kyler Murray ($7,700) and friends make a game of this, Wilson should be set up for nice performance, and he checks in as the best point-per-dollar quarterback value.
Matt Ryan ($7,700): Matt Ryan isn't quite putting up the flashy numbers he had earlier in the year, but he's quietly posted three straight games of 18-plus FanDuel points, including last week's surprising upset over the 49ers. Excluding his injury-shortened Week 7, he's thrown over 300 yards in 9 of 12 healthy starts and has also tallied multiple passing scores nine times. A spike week isn't out of the question against Jacksonville, which ranks 21st in schedule-adjusted passing defense and is gifting Atlanta the slate's third-highest implied total (27.00).
Christian McCaffrey ($10,800): A mainstay in these pieces all year, McCaffrey had one of his trademark monster games in Week 15, turning 19 carries and 10 targets into a dizzying 175 yards from scrimmage and 2 scores. The usual high salary keeps him from being a true must-play, but the upside goes without saying, and he's now totaled a combined 18 rushing and receiving touchdowns. Indianapolis is an average run defense when adjusted for schedule (15th), and McCaffrey is once again projected for the most FanDuel points at the position.
If you can't get up to McCaffrey's salary, Chris Carson ($8,200) checks in as one of the better point-per-dollar values among backs priced over $8,000. He's a big home favorite against a Cardinals team that ranks 20th in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play.
Leonard Fournette ($7,500): Week 15 was the same old story for Leonard Fournette, logging a solid 15 carries and 7 targets but again failing to hit paydirt. He's still stuck on three scores for the entire season, and as a 7.5-point underdog in Atlanta with a middling 19.50 implied total, finding that elusive fourth touchdown may not come easy. Still, the volume continues to be there every week, and the Falcons aren't an imposing foe, ranking 14th in schedule-adjusted run defense and 23rd in Target Success Rate allowed to running backs.
Alvin Kamara ($7,200): Alvin Kamara enters the weekend as the slate's top value at running back, despite a similar vacancy in the touchdown department. Amazingly, he hasn't scored since Week 3, which is even more surprising when you consider he plays in a proficient New Orleans offense. But like Fournette, the usage remains strong, as Kamara has averaged 11 carries and 8 targets per game since the Week 9 bye, and a likely shootout looms against Tennessee (50.5 total). The Titans are tough against the run but rank 20th in Target Success Rate allowed to opposing backfields.
Devonta Freeman ($6,200): Devonta Freeman isn't a guy we consider in DFS very often, but we'll make an exception as a home favorite against the Jaguars. Jacksonville ranks 30th in schedule-adjusted run defense and have allowed the second-most FanDuel points to running backs. Freeman hasn't dropped below 15 opportunities in any of his three games since returning from injury in Week 13. DeAndre Washington ($5,600) is also worth considering against the Chargers now that Josh Jacobs is officially out.
Michael Thomas ($9,000): Michael Thomas has enjoyed a remarkable campaign, leading the league with 11.4 targets per game while sporting a hefty 32.5% target share and 38.8% air yards share. He's surpassed 100 receiving yards in seven of the last eight games and now gets a Tennessee defense that ranks 26th in Target Success Rate allowed to wide receivers. Thomas is the top projected scorer at the position by a sizable margin.
Julio Jones ($8,000): With Calvin Ridley out for the year, it was the Julio Jones show in Week 15, seeing an eye-popping 20 targets (51.3% share) and roasting a normally stingy San Francisco defense for 13 catches, 134 yards, and a pair of scores. Needless to say, we'll happily roster him in a plus matchup against Jacksonville.
D.J. Moore ($6,600): With Will Grier ($6,000) taking over as the Panthers' quarterback, there's theoretically the possibility that D.J. Moore doesn't get the same number of looks as he did with Kyle Allen, but this is still a tempting price for someone who owns a team-high 25.9% target share and 34.4% air yards share this season, regardless of the quarterback. The Colts rank just 20th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play and 28th in Target Success Rate allowed to wideouts.
Tyler Boyd ($6,300): This week's AFC toilet bowl between the Bengals and Dolphins actually draws some fantasy intrigue due to the porous defenses on both sides. That includes Tyler Boyd, who's garnered a 24.0% target share since Andy Dalton ($7,100) was given the starting job back in Week 13. Miami ranks 32nd in schedule-adjusted pass defense and has allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points to wide receivers -- including a league-high 24 touchdowns.
Zach Ertz ($6,900): It's pretty much the same usual suspects at tight end every week, and Zach Ertz projects as our top scorer on a team hurting for healthy pass catchers. He's really taken off since Week 9, averaging 10.8 targets over the last six games while totaling five touchdowns. Dallas ranks 30th in Target Success Rate given up to tight ends, so the matchup checks out, too.
Jacob Hollister ($5,700): If you're looking to save a little cash, it never hurts to try the ol' start-tight-ends-versus-Arizona strategy. Against tight ends, the Cardinals rank dead last in Target Success Rate allowed and have given up far and away the most FanDuel points. They've coughed up 15 touchdowns to the position, and no other team has allowed even double digits. Jacob Hollister doesn't see the most consistent volume, but he's averaging a respectable 5.6 targets per game since Week 7 after Will Dissly was ruled out for the season.
Denver D/ST ($5,000): If you can afford them, Denver's defense is a strong start against Detroit, which forked over 15 FanDuel points to Tampa Bay last week and 13 to Minnesota the week prior. Undrafted rookie David Blough has thrown at least one pick in all three of his starts, and the Lions have easily the lowest implied total on the board (15.50) as 6.5-point road 'dogs. The Broncos rank 11th overall in schedule-adjusted defense and top this week's defense projections.
Baltimore D/ST ($4,500): Following a lopsided loss to the Cardinals, the Browns enter this weekend as 10.0-point underdogs on their own turf against a much tougher foe in the surging Ravens. Throw in all sorts of negative rumors swirling around Cleveland, and it wouldn't be shocking to see an absolute beatdown from Baltimore. The Ravens are a top-10 defense in numberFire's metrics.