7 Daily Fantasy Football Tournament Plays for Week 16
In the season-long fantasy world, championship excitement is in the air. For those of us with the sour fate of playing in consolation games instead, there's always our good friend daily fantasy to keep things interesting.
In addition to those, here are some GPP plays I like for Week 16.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints -- With the over/under floating around 56, the Saints/Falcons game is projected to be the highest-scoring of the week, and as six-point favorites, New Orleans' projected team total of 31 is the highest of the week. With the Falcons' run and pass defenses equally miserable (our Net Expected Points (NEP) metrics have them ranked 31st in both categories) the Saints offense will be popular targets in daily fantasy this week.
I like Brees' upside more than banking on the Saints rushing attack and playing Mark Ingram or Pierre Thomas this week in part because of the Saints red-zone play-calling. Over the last six weeks, they have the seventh-highest red zone pass-run ratio in the league. The Saints have also only had a running back find the end zone more than once in a game on three occasions this year (most recently in Week 9). Brees has thrown 3 or more touchdowns in five of his last eight games and has gone over the 300 yard mark seven times this season -- numbers that wouldn't be surprising from him this week in a game projected to be a shootout.
The Giants defense that Mason will be up against this week has been very soft against the run, ranking 28th according to our metrics, and allowing the eight-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Getting a heavy workload against a weak defense, Mason has a high floor while also having the potential to rack up a ton of yardage. With a projected team total of 24.5, there will also be opportunities for Mason to find the end zone, which can be enough to take his score this week from solid to huge, all while coming in with a fairly low DraftKings salary of $4,600.
Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons -- Jackson will be up against the Saints defense this week, something that has fared well for running backs all season. The Saints are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points as well as fourth most rushing touchdowns to running backs. Our metrics also have the Saints defense dead last against the run.
Over the last four weeks, Jackson has the second most touches inside the 10 yard line among all running backs. As I mentioned above, this is projected to be the highest scoring game of the week, so plenty of scoring opportunities should exist for Jackson.
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Despite a fairly unexciting year so far, Jackson has remained a focal point of the Bucs' offense. Over the last two weeks he has been targeted 27 times, second only to Odell Beckham in that span.
Jackson has only found the end zone twice this year -- but not for a lack of opportunity. He has accounted for 29% of Tampa Bay's red zone targets this season (despite the emergence of Mike Evans as a touchdown scoring machine, Jackson's red zone targets have remained consistent, seeing 30% of the Bucs' targets over the last four weeks.
Tampa Bay is a big underdog (10.5 points) to the Packers this week, so it's fairly safe to assume they will be forced to go to the air while playing from behind for a huge portion of the game.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots -- Over the last four weeks, Edelman has the third-most targets in the league with 47, with at least 10 each week. This kind of consistently high usage is par for the course for Edelman and gives him his usual high floor, but what is really interesting is his recent scoring potential. Over the last four weeks he is tied for fourth in the league with eight targets in the red zone.
The Patriots have tended to go the path of least resistance against defenses this year, so with the Jets' bottom-10 pass defense and top-half rush defense, it would come as no surprise to see New England attack through the air consistently this week, a gameplan that would certainly feature a big dose of Edelman.
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts -- The Colts' tight ends are the lucky group to be up against Dallas this week. Dallas is giving up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this year, and is giving up far and away the most receptions to the position, allowing 6.6 per game, a whole 0.6 higher than the next worst team.
While teammate Dwayne Allen has found the end zone more often than has Fleener, they actually have the same number of red zone targets in the games Allen has played in. Fleener's edge in targets while seeing a similar red zone work load gives him that much more of an attractive upside for me.
Green Bay Packers -- While I obviously wont be putting them in the same lineups as Vincent Jackson, I really like Green Bay's defense in tournaments this week. Tampa has a relatively low projected total of 19 this week, keeping the Pack defense's floor fairly high.
Green Bay is also tied for fourth in the league in takeaways while the Tampa Bay offense has been generous with the football, ranking second in the league in giveaways, giving the Green Bay defense a huge ceiling, as the big number of turnovers they have the potential to rack up will also increase their potential of taking one to the house.