Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 16

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Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 16

I’ve poured over everything I can pour over related to Week 16, and I’ve whittled down the DFS options to the guys who stand out to me most based on price, matchup, potential, downside, etc.

QUARTERBACKS

Note: At least on DK, this is a pretty odd week for QBs in that there are fewer appealing values than usual. Most of the top values are shaky plays I’m not inclined to back (like Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton, Derek Carr, and Drew Lock). So this looks like a week to pay up for a pricey top option on DK.

On FanDuel, there are several high-end players who are also values.

Matthew Stafford (Det vs. TB - $5600 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - He’s the top value on DK and top-5 on both sites. I really don’t know what’s going on with the Bucs defense, but they have been pretty dreadful lately, and they won’t have one of their top corners this week in Carlton Davis. Stafford is playing through his rib injury, so there’s some risk, and he won’t have Kenny Golladay, of course. But the numbers QBs are posting against the Bucs continues to be absurd, with QBs completing 72% of their passes for 354/2.5 per game the last four weeks. A previously deceased Matt Ryan, who appeared hopeless without Julio Jones last week, turned in a 356/3 passing day, and the Bucs have given up 25+ FP to QBs in three of their last four games. I’d be shocked if Stafford didn’t get at least 18 FP this week, especially since the Lions D should give up a lot of points. They have major issues with their HC out and all that, but Stafford’s a vet who can call his own plays. If he does, I’d bet he’s more aggressive, since that’s his game.

Tom Brady (TB at Det - $5600 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - He’s only the 11th-best value on DK, but he’s the top value on FanDuel. The Lions are still down their best two CBs (Trufant and #1 pick Okudah), and they may be down another corner this week (Roberts). They are extremely beatable, and Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Tannehill have each thrown for 270+ yards and 3 TDs for 30+ FP the last two weeks against the Lions. Brady has thrown for multiple TDs in five straight with a season-high 390 yards last week, and that was despite their poor start and a tougher matchup. Unless Leonard Fournette gets very lucky with 2-3 TDs, Brady should crush them for 300+ and 2-3 TDs.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Aaron Rodgers (GB, at - $7800 on DK and $9000 on FanDuel) - He’s only the 14th-best value on DK, but he’s the third-best value on FanDuel. Rodgers rarely has two bad games in a row, and the last time he had a really poor game in Week 6 with 160/0 passing, he put up 283/4 passing the next week. The Titans have been using CB Malcolm Butler as a matchup corner lately, and if they try that against Davante Adams, Adams is going to crush them. Adams and Rodgers should crush it no matter what, since the Titans don’t rush the passer and give up 2.1 TD passes per game (3rd-most). They may come out throwing, as well, with Jamaal Williams likely out, and they don’t want to give Aaron Jones a ton of carries.

Jalen Hurts (Phi at Ari - $7000 on DK and $8200 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-4 value on FanDuel, but only the 14th-best value on DK. Hurts continues to play well on film, and last week we saw he could play from behind, and at the end of the day, this is a passing offense. His cost is up, but he’s still very palatable, if not very appealing. He’s scored 20+ FP in two straight and this overall matchup is certainly beatable. The Cowboys got rocked by Lamar Jackson and his running back in Week 13 with 94/1 rushing and 26.7 FP, and Hurts ranks behind just Lamar as the QB2 with 29.1 FPG over his first two games. 21 FP isn’t too much to ask with Hurts showing well in the passing game and running the last two weeks as well as anyone. Dallas tends to have some breakdowns on defense and Jalen Reagor does look like an explosion waiting to happen, so he may be due for a big game. If so, Hurts will crush it. If not, Hurst can still crush it.

Kyler Murray (Ari, at SF - $7500 on DK and $8700 on FanDuel) - He’s only the 18th-best value on DK, but he is top-6 on DK. We all thought Murray was back heading into last week, and he was back. Murray had some designed runs early, which was a great sign. He now has 21/76/1 rushing and 650/4 passing (9.2 YPA) his last two games. He got them for 230/1 passing and 91/1 rushing in the season opener, and they are now down CB Richard Sherman and CB/S Jimmy Ward, two big losses, so Murray should be more than fine here with 20+ FP.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Mitchell Trubisky (Chi, at Jax - $5700 on DK and $7200 on FanDuel) - Feel free to ignore if you’d like because I’ve listed him twice the last month, and for his two so-so fantasy games over that span. But Trubisky is 5-2 as a starter this season and he’s playing pretty darn well. He gets the second-best fantasy matchup in the league against the Jaguars, who have allowed 2 TD passes or more in eight straight games. Trubisky is also running a little more lately and had 34 rushing yards last week. All signs point to David Montgomery rushing for 150+ yards and 2-3 TDs, which means it’ll probably be a little more success throwing it for Trubisky. Because that’s just how things tend to go in the NFL.

OTHER QB PLAYS I’M INTO THIS WEEK

None of note.

RUNNING BACKS

David Montgomery (Chi, at Jax - $7700 on DK and $7800 on FanDuel) - We’ve come a long way since Week 12, when I backed Montgomery for DFS at only $5300. His salary is way up there, but the thing is he’s still the top value on both sites. When I plugged in logical projections for Montgomery based on his recent production and the matchup, the projected number surged to a huge number. I even chopped it down 10% or so, and DM was still the top value. Don’t use him if you want to avoid an extremely popular pick, but Montgomery is looking at another 25+ touches in a great matchup, and he’s feasted on great matchups. J. K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards combined for 159/1 scrimmage against the Jaguars last week, and the Jags are giving 31 RB carries a game the last four weeks for 167/1 (5.4 YPC). They also give up 5/50 per game in the passing game to RBs. My gut feeling is Montgomery is too good to be true and that he’ll fall short of our high expectations. Like he’ll “only” rush for 100 yards and a TD with 3-4 catches for 25-35 yards. Of course a day like that is still good for 23-25 FP.

Leonard Fournette (TB, at Det - $5500 on DK and $7000 on FanDuel) - He’s the second-best value on DK and 10th on FanDuel. Supporting Leonard here has to be done, despite the scare he put in me last week when I bravely recommended him. The Lions are an absolute mess with their coaching absences and injuries and they’re giving up a promising 22/101 rushing, good for 4.6 YPC the last four weeks. They have given up 25+ FP to Derrick Henry and David Montgomery in consecutive weeks. The Bucs should crush them in the passing game, setting Leonard up for multiple TD opportunities. Even if he scores only 1 TD, a big game should be in order with 20 touches.

Miles Sanders (Phi, at Dal - $7000 on DK and $7200 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on DK, but top-2 on both sites. You have to accept some downside with Sanders, but if the matchup is right, the upside is worth the risk, and the matchup is right. The Cowboys have been hit for 133.6 rushing yards per game and 4.9 YPC by RBs this season with 5.3 YPC the last four weeks with 29/152/1.3 per game. They’ve struggled with gap integrity often this year, making a fast, big-play threat like Sanders more appealing. Sanders isn’t always in a great spot to produce here, but he has handled 36-of-41 RB touches since Jalen Hurts took over, so his role is huge. I’m seeing a long TD run from him, so 100+ rushing and a TD are looking good.

David Johnson (Hou, l - $6100 on DK and $6700 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on FanDuel, but top-11 on both sites. I actually liked Johnson last week, but I had no idea he could possibly be able to catch more than 5-6 balls in a game. Of course, he had 11 grabs for 106 and put up 24.3 FP. Duke Johnson has been ruled out, so Johnson is looking at 80% of the snaps like last week. The matchup is excellent, as the Bengals are giving up 4.9 YPC to RBs and even allowed Benny Snell and Pittsburgh’s bad running game to get 18/84/1 rushing and 3/23 receiving. He’s a little pricey and may be TD-dependent, but the Texans should be in control of this game and 20+ opportunities make Johnson a safe bet for 15-20 FP.

Jeff Wilson (SF, at Dal - $5000 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on DK, but top-12 on both sites. I liked Wilson a lot last week and had him here, and he was certainly okay with 60/1 rushing. He did underwhelm with 20 opportunities, but with Raheem Mostert out, Wilson should get a healthy number of snaps and opportunities, and he’s been their guy at the goal. Wilson’s averaging only 3.98 YPC, but he runs very, very hard and looks good on film, so I like him as a 15 FP guy this week with a TD, 80 total yards, and 1-2 catches.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Aaron Jones (GB, vs. Ten - $7500 on DK and $8600 on FanDuel) - He’s the eighth-best value on the board on both sites per our projections. With Jamaal Williams doubtful, Jones is looking at a lot of work, just like last week when Jones played a season-high 90% of the snaps and had 23 touches and 158/1. The Titans have given up 17 TDs to RBs this season, 7+ catches per game to RBs, and D’Andre Swift posted 19/82/2 scrimmage in this matchup last week. Also, Aaron Rodgers will be pissed after last week and will light it up in the passing game. That should ultimately help Jones have a big day.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Darrell Henderson (LAR, at Sea - $4500 on DK and $5600 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on FD, but top-8 on both sites. This is mainly a case of the opportunity + talent is too good to pass up at his very low price. Cam Akers is abandoning 92% of the RB carries with a 10% target share in the last two games, and most of that may go to Henderson, the likely lead runner. Malcolm Brown is in the mix in passing situations and maybe near the goal, but Henderson has no limitation and can do it all. On the chance that he does do it all, or most of it (running and catching the ball, goal line work, etc.), he looks like a great play to me at this price.

Devin Singletary (Buf, at Dal - $4400 on DK and $5600 on FanDuel) - I do also like Zack Moss’ chances, and Moss is a better value on FanDuel. But since I play DK, I’ll lean to DK, where Singletary is $100 cheaper and projected to score 1 more FP. I’m not sure what’s going on with the Patriot run defense (they have the least revealing practice reports in league history, so who knows who’s hurt or not), but the film looks bad. They’re getting pushed around to the tune of 5.2 YPC to RBs the last four weeks with 28/145/.8 given up in that span. It could be Moss, or it could be both. I’ll take a shot with Singletary, who has more potential in the passing game and has been the clear lead runner as recently as two weeks ago. But the Bills are winning this game handily, and Josh Allen’s shaky history in this matchup could be good news for their RBs, especially with the Pats getting run all over lately.

Gio Bernard (Cin, vs. Hou - $4800 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - He’s the with-best value on DK and the 14th-best on FanDuel, so ideally this play is on DK, with a full PPR. Betting on Gio can end badly, as some fantasy owners learned in Week 14 when he fumbled early in the game and was essentially benched. He got back into their good graces last week, though, as he somehow posted 22.7 FP against the mighty Steelers defense. He just beat the best defense and now he takes on one of the 1-2 worst in the Texans, who are giving up 5.4 YPC and 180 total yards per game to RBs. They’re giving up 31 FPG the last four weeks to RBs, and we’ll take just under half that for Gio and be happy. It would really, really help if Brandon Allen got the start, that’s for sure. You can bail on Gio if it’s not Allen, honestly.

OTHER RB PLAYS I’M INTO THIS WEEK

Myles Gaskin (Mia, vs. Hou - $5300 on DK and $6600 on FanDuel) - He’s the 12th-best value on DK and much less of a value on FanDuel. The Dolphins have leaned on one primary back when a good primary back has been available to them, and Gaskin has been the best option all year. There’s a chance he handles 20+ touches in a great matchup, so he’s really intriguing. There is some downside, though, as they could use Salvon Ahmed on early downs and as their main runner, since he’s been better than Gaskin running it.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Marvin Jones (Det, vs. Hou - $4900 on DK and $6800 on FanDuel) - He’s a way better value on DK (6th-best) than FanDuel (20th). Marvin is getting the ball with 8+ catches and 110+ yards in 2 of his last 3 with 10+ targets in 4 of his last 6. Calvin Ridley lit this defense up last week with 10/163/1 and the Bucs have four different WRs to post 25+ FP in the last four games (Ridley/Tyreek/Woods/Kupp). Tampa won’t have top CB Carlton Davis, so Jones actually looks insanely cheap at these prices, especially on DK. I’m expecting the Lions to throw it 40+ times, and maybe even 45+ times.

Mike Evans (TB, at Det - $6100 on DK and $7500 on FanDuel) - He’s not a great value on either site, but I think he’s the safest bet among the TB receivers, and I love the Buc passing game this week. Evans hasn’t scored in two straight, but had his first 100-yard game since Week 4 last week and the Lions have given up 4 TD passes to WRs in the last two weeks, and are still down their top two corners. Evans is probably the safest bet to have a big game due to his big-play and red zone action.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Davante Adams (GB, vs. Hou - $9100 on DK and $9100 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-3 value on both sites. As mentioned above, the Titans have been using CB Malcolm Butler as a matchup corner lately, and if they try that against Adams, Adams is going to crush them. Adams and Rodgers should crush it no matter what, since the Titans don’t rush the passer and give up 2.1 TD passes per game (3rd-most). Marvin Jones just lit up the Titans for 10/112/1 receiving last week, and he’s no Adams.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Jamison Crowder (NYJ, vs. Cle - $4500 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - He’s the fifth-best WR value on DK, and only 12th on FanDuel. He’s obviously a low-end option, but it’s not like he can’t go off or do very well any given week with his boy Sam Darnold. Crowder does have 12+ FP in 2 of his last 3, but the matchup is key for me. The Browns have Denzel Ward back to help slow down the outside WRs, but they have been bad against slot WRs for most of the season and still give up the eight-most FPG to slot WRs. The Browns are also solid against the run, so this could be a Crowder game.

Jalen Reagor (Phi, at Dal - $4600 on DK and $5700 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-9 value on both sites and better on DK. File this one under the old “gut feeling” category, but Reagor has been Jalen Hurts’ favorite target overall. Yes, Greg Ward has done well with Hurts in the red zone, but Reagor is their shot-play guy, and he had a team-high 8 targets last week. He’s just missed some big plays the last 1-2 weeks, and the Cowboys, while talented on the back end, have had breakdowns in the secondary this year. There’s tangible upside in Reagor this week, and I think he will have one big game this year. It’ll be either this week or next, obviously.

Cam Sims (Was, at NYJ - $3300 on DK and $5000 on FanDuel) - He’s the #1 value on DK this week, assuming Terry McClaurin is out, which is likely since he's doubtful. Also assuming it’s Alex Smith at QB, there’s clear hope Sims, who is a big body who moves pretty well. Back in Week 13, he looked great in a tough matchup playing with Smith against the Steelers. He caught all 5 of 9 targets for 92, and he does have 5 catches in 2 of his last 3. If McClaurin is out as expected, Sims should definitely hit 10 FP, which would be a win on DK, for example.

OTHER WR PLAYS I’M INTO THIS WEEK

CeeDee Lamb (Dal, vs. Phi - $5300 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - I liked him last week and it worked, as I won two prop bets here on the site on his catch and yardage totals. I’m liking him again this week with the Eagles getting Darius Slay back. He will likely shadow Amari Cooper, and Lamb could get a nice matchup in the slot this week.

TIGHT ENDS

Austin Hooper (Cle, at NYJ - $3500 on DK and $5100 on FanDuel) - Once all their WRs were placed on the Covid list, I updated Hooper projection, and keep in mind he was looking good going into this one, and he came out as the top value on both sites. It’s a great matchup by the number, and I think he will be treated as the #1 WR. I can see David Njoku actually playing WR, but I like Hooper now for sure. Added: 12/26/20

Noah Fant (Den, at LAC - $4800 on DK and $6200 on FanDuel) - He’s not a great value on either site, but the vibes are great right now with Fant. I thought a month ago he would be “Fanta Claus” for most of the holiday season, but his illness in Week 14 was a major problem. Of course, he had gifts to bring last week with 8/68/1 on a season-high 11 targets (34% share). He’s clearly Lock’s guy, and he’s clearly healthy now. Fant also had a 7-catch game in this matchup back in Week 8.

Dallas Goedert (Phi, at Dal - $3600 on DK and $5700 on FanDuel) - He’s the second-best value on DK and the fifth-best on FanDuel. He’s no lock with Zach Ertz in the mix, but Goedert had a better snap share (88% to 75%) and a better target share (18% to 16%) than Ertz last week, and he has 4+ catches in six straight. Dallas has been decent against TEs this year, but they really haven’t faced a top TE all year. I think this could be a high-scoring game, so Goedert looks like a nice and cheap option with upside. Jordan Reed did score a TD against them last week, which helps.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Logan Thomas (Was, vs. TB - $4900 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - He’s the second-best value on FanDuel and only the 10th-best on DK. But the bottom line is he’s the man in this passing game, especially with Terry McLaurin likely out and RB Antonio Gibson extremely iffy and likely limited if he plays. Thomas has hit double-digit FP in four straight, and that’s even with two different QBs. We want it to be Alex Smith, by the way, and that seems likely. The Panthers have given up double-digit FP to a TE in nine straight, so we’re likely looking at another big catch day for Thomas. If he scores, he will go off.

TJ Hockenson (Det, vs. TB - $4600 on DK and $6100 on FanDuel) - He’s the top value on FanDuel and the eighth-best value on DK. Last week was bad, but he still has 50+ receiving yards and/or a TD in 12-of-14 games and the Bucs have given up 12+ FP to TEs in three straight games (Hurst/Irv/Kelce) with 8/68/.5 given up per game the last four weeks, good for a promising 17.9 FPG. Detroit will have to throw it 40+ times most likely, so Hock could easily go off.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Jordan Akins (Hou, vs. TB - $3300 on DK and $5100 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-8 value on both sites. I know he’s been annoying, but he’s been in a position to produce every week and has 6 targets in 3 of his last 5, including last week when he had 5/50. The matchup is good, as the Bengals have been giving to TEs all year and are giving up 14.6 FP to TEs (6th-most) and 13.4 FPG the last four weeks. He’s gotta score to come through, but he’s well in the mix in the red zone.

Note: Baker Mayfield and Rashard Higgins removed Saturday night, and Austin Hooper added.

Sample Lineups

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on ESPN.com, NFL.com, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded FantasyPoints.com.

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