4 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 16

The beauty of daily fantasy football is that, unlike a season-long draft where someone is tied to their top players all year, any top players in the NFL can make their way into your lineup. While that can be a blessing, it can also be a curse.

Although you're able to roster Austin Ekeler, Jonathan Taylor, and Najee Harris all at once if you want, it is unlikely that all three running backs are optimal plays at their respective salaries for a particular week. There are many elements to decide which players are the best plays, and a large aspect of daily fantasy is the matchup a player has.

While usually encompassed in some respects inside the salary figure, a soft matchup can carry a good running back to a great week. On the other hand, a tough matchup can make superstars suboptimal to roster.

Which matchups are lurking in this weekend's games that we can take advantage of on FanDuel?

Chargers Passing Attack vs. The Texans Secondary

Justin Herbert ($8,400) and the Chargers might go overlooked in a dream matchup. There are plenty of quality options at the top of the board, and many may flock to Austin Ekeler ($9,400) assuming he's active. That's going to naturally be the side many target this Houston defense from, but don't ignore the passing game.

Houston is allowing 0.20 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back this season -- the fourth-worst mark in the NFL. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Texans allow the second-most adjusted FanDuel points per drop back to quarterbacks. Wideouts versus Houston are also top-10 in adjusted FanDuel points per target.

The best part of this L.A. passing attack is how easy it is to stack. You're considering just two realistic options -- Keenan Allen ($7,700) and Mike Williams ($6,600).

Allen has seen 10.3 targets per game in their last five contests, and Williams has seen just 7.2 targets. Normally, the instinct would be to find the salary to get to the better option, but Williams has seen a higher percentage of snaps (83.1%) and routes (88.6%) in this stretch. Both have great roles.

As far as top quarterbacks go, Herbert is an easy choice in a toothless matchup.

James Robinson vs. The Jets Run Defense

When your daily fantasy process is heavily based on matchups and game scripts, "sticker shock" is less of an issue.

Sure, the salary on James Robinson ($8,200) is lofty. He was just $6,300 last week. Still, he's well worth it considering his role in a matchup worth targeting.

In four games this year where Carlos Hyde didn't register a carry, Robinson has an 82.8% snap rate. He's seen 91.5% of Jacksonville's running back carries in that sample, and he's averaged a whopping 23.8 adjusted opportunities (carries plus double targets). Simply put, he is in a total feature role for the rest of the season considering Hyde was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week.

It doesn't get much better than the Jets' defense in any capacity, and on the ground is no exception. New York is allowing 0.10 Rushing NEP per carry to opponents -- third-worst in the NFL. That speaks to efficiency and not even the fact the Jets trail most Sundays, boosting their overall volume.

This game's total opened at 39.0, but it's up to 41.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook at the moment. Robinson should have a crucial role with scoring potential in a game with weak defenses on both sides.

Mark Andrews vs. Bengals Linebackers and Safeties

Regardless of his signal-caller, Mark Andrews ($8,000) keeps coasting towards being the top tight end in fantasy football.

Over the last five weeks that is split fairly evenly between Tyler Huntley and Lamar Jackson, Andrews has run 88.9% of Baltimore's routes, and he's seen 10.6 targets per game. Some may argue Jackson to Huntley hasn't been a drop off for the entire offense, but it definitely hasn't hurt Andrews.

Even at a new, lofted salary, Andrews is the top tight end this weekend without argument. Travis Kelce is on the COVID-19 list and in doubt for the game, and Rob Gronkowski's offense may struggle with efficiency in light of its absences.

It helps Andrews has a phenomenal matchup. The Cincinnati Bengals are allowing the 10th-most adjusted FanDuel points per target to tight ends. The Packers entered Week 15 as the 8th-best team in that category, and Andrews alone dropped them to 17th. Cincy is already towards the bottom before their date with the TE1.

There should be plenty of value present on a Week 16 slate with plenty of COVID news and injuries, so the premium to roster Andrews is well worth it.

Bears D/ST vs. Seahawks Offensive Line

We'll go back to the same well picking on Seattle after the Los Angeles Rams D/ST was able to hold them to 10 points while picking up 3 sacks and a takeaway.

Through that contest, the Seahawks are still allowing a 31% pressure rate as an offensive line. That's the third-highest rate in the league. Now, on a super short week, they'll turn around to host a Bears defense that's quietly become underrated.

The Chicago D/ST doesn't get a ton of pressure (27%), but their league-best 23% sack rate on those pressures implies they usually dial up a blitz to get home. That makes sense with Khalil Mack having been lost for the season.

Still, the Bears have gotten at least three sacks in four of their past six games, and they've faced a brutal schedule that's included Arizona, Green Bay, and Minnesota. Those are three top-eight teams in terms of Offensive NEP per play. Seattle is 18th -- and dropping.

The Seahawks could also still be without several players on the COVID-19 list, and Chicago, luckily, hasn't had such troubles. They'll look to exploit that advantage on the road against "The 12th Man" in Seattle.