Hello and welcome to the Week 16 Update. What is this article? Mostly it’s a follow-up to yesterday’s big DFS piece – Scott Barrett’s Week 16 DFS Breakdown. But this article should also offer some utility of its own for redraft and dynasty players.
Each week I’ll be breaking down the key injuries, news, and notes from Saturday / Sunday and will be updating this article up until kickoff (1PM EST). And I’ll also be providing a sort of TL;DR to yesterday’s big DFS article. Who are my core cash game plays? You can find that at the end of the article.
Key News, Injury Updates, & Notes
Sunday Morning Update
- Chargers WR Keenan Allen remains a GAMETIME DECISION, but he’s (reportedly) unlikely to play. WRs Mike Williams and Jalen Guyton are terrific plays if he sits out. Justin Herbert gets a significant bump down, while Austin Ekeler should be expected to receive more work in the passing game. Johnny thinks Guyton is the best WR punt on the slate. I think I actually prefer Mike Williams. If I knew he were fully healthy I might have nearly locked him in. He scored 30.9 DK FP in Week 5 when Allen left in the 1st Quarter. The concern is he’s not fully healthy (42% of the snaps last week), but he practiced in full all week, and he’s going to go far less highly owned than he should.
- BREAKING: Per Tom Pelissero, Ravens WR Marquise Brown is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
- BREAKING: Per Matthew Berry (via Ed Werder), Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is expected to serve in a timeshare alongside Tony Pollard today.
- BREAKING: Per Adam Schefter: “Washington still has not announced its starting QB, but there continues to be concern that Alex Smith can’t do everything he needs to do to be effective today, per sources. Dwayne Haskins took all the starter’s reps through Thursday, and would start if WFT does deactivate Smith.”
- BREAKING: Washington QB Dwayne Haskins is EXPECTED TO START.
Saturday Night Update
- BREAKING: Washington WR Terry McLaurin is OUT.
- BREAKING: Washington RB Antonio Gibson is EXPECTED TO PLAY.
- BREAKING: Per Adam Schefter, Bears WR Allen Robinson “listed as questionable for Sunday due to a hamstring injury, is expected to play vs. the Jaguars, per source.”
- BREAKING: Per Adam Schefter, “Chiefs’ WR Tyreek Hill, listed as questionable for Sunday due to a hamstring injury, is expected to play vs. the Falcons, per source. But Chiefs will monitor Hill and be smart with him as well.” As Edwin alluded to further down below (before this news came out), it might be worth bumping down exposure. And, in all honesty, he may be too risky for cash. “Monitor and be smart.” The Chiefs don’t need him for this game, they’re 99.9% likely to lock up the No. 1 seed. They do need him for the playoffs. It’s worth bumping up Mecole Hardman, who we already liked, and bumping down Patrick Mahomes (slightly) based on this news.
- BREAKING: Per Adam Schefter, "Chargers do not expect WR Keenan Allen, who is listed as questionable for Sunday with a hamstring injury, to play against the Broncos, per source. Chargers also thought Allen would rest last week vs. Raiders and he played; but plan going into Sunday is to let him recover.”
- BREAKING: Browns WRs “Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, KhaDarel Hodge and Donovan Peoples-Jones have all been ruled out.” More on this further down below.
Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, KhaDarel Hodge and Donovan Peoples-Jones have all been ruled out. No other players have been ruled out as of now other than LB B.J. Goodson, who tested positive for COVID-19. https://t.co/Akx5MfkKuQ
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 26, 2020
- Jaguars RB James Robinson has been ruled OUT. I’m not really sure what to do here. Dare Ogunbowale and Devine Ozigbo are both in play as punts. I’d guess Ozigbo leads the backfield in carries and Ogunbowale leads the backfield in routes, but there’s a chance (a better chance for Ogunbowale in my opinion) that one of these RBs handles something like 70% of the backfield XFP. Though I wouldn’t necessarily bet on it, and I don’t expect to end up with any exposure to either player.
- Jaguars QB Mike Glennon WILL START.
- Giants QB Daniel Jones WILL START.
- Bengals QB Brandon Allen WILL START. We were hoping we’d get Ryan Finley for Tee Higgins. He’s still a great play but worth bumping a spot or two down from where I had him in the TLDR. A.J. Green gets a small bump. I’m far less bullish, but he’s actually the top overall value on DraftKings, per the now updated SuperModel.
- Washington QB Alex Smith is a TRUE GAMETIME DECISION. But Ian Rapoport reported on Saturday that there’s not as much optimism as there was on Friday.
- Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay is OUT.
- Falcons WR Julio Jones is OUT.
- Rams RB Cam Akers is OUT.
- Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is OUT.
- Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey is OUT.
- Chargers TE Hunter Henry is OUT.
- Texans RB Duke Johnson is OUT.
- Bengals WR Tyler Boyd is OUT.
- Giants WR Golden Tate is OUT.
- Browns OG Wyatt Teller is OUT.
- Chargers EDGE Joey Bosa is OUT.
- Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott is QUESTIONABLE but LIKELY TO PLAY. On the off chance he’s out, Tony Pollard would be a top-5 RB play on both sites (probably top-3 on FanDuel).
- Washington RB Antonio Gibson is QUESTIONABLE.
- Bears WR Allen Robinson is QUESTIONABLE.
- Broncos RB Royce Freeman is QUESTIONABLE. Give a boost of about 3.0 carries and 1.5 targets to Melvin Gordon if he’s out.
Notable Injury Analysis
Here’s what Edwin Porras had to say about Tyreek Hill and Allen Robinson, two guys we like quite a bit who are both battling hamstring injuries:
Tyreek Hill - Hamstring
Hill was limited in practice twice this week with a hamstring injury. Those two LP’s were on the heels of a Wednesday DNP. Additionally, Hill is constantly having his hamstring worked on by trainers which isn’t necessarily a good sign. If you’re a cash player, be aware that this is becoming an increasing concern as time goes on. Below, you’ll notice Hill’s practice status has been up and down for two weeks now due to this hammy - an issue that’s lingered since the pre-season. So what’s all this mean? You shouldn’t necessarily fade Hill, but being overweight on him vs. the field is probably not a great idea. The hope is you can hang on for one more week.
Allen Robinson II - Hamstring
Another cash-game watch, Robinson went FP-DNP-LP this week with a hammy which is not ideal. Season long players this is obviously something you just grit your teeth and play through. Even GPP players can probably live with this, but everyone else: be aware this makes Robinson more volatile than usual. In the grand scheme of things, Hill is less volatile than Robinson, but both are not without concern this week.
What do we do with Cleveland, after they’ve lost their top-4 WRs? The Over/Under has already dropped 3.0-points and continues to fall. QB Baker Mayfield is no longer in play. NYJ DST is slightly more intriguing. We liked Jarvis Landry a lot on FanDuel, and Rashard Higgins on both sites. Obviously, they’re no longer in play. WR Marvin Hall will be playing alongside 2 practice-squad WRs (Ja’Marcus Bradley, Derrick Willies). Hall is a capable deep threat, and should be forced into a high-volume role, but he’s also played zero snaps with the Browns this year. QB rapport is a thing, but he’s also just $3,000 on DraftKings.
Expect to see Cleveland operate more out of 2TE sets, and expect Cleveland to lean even harder on the RBs, but with significantly less offensive success overall. TE Austin Hooper was already high on our radar, and now he’s arguably the best TE play of the slate. Kareem Hunt is likely to see about 3-5 more targets than whatever we had projected previously. And Nick Chubb should see a bit more work than we previously anticipated. Both RBs are really strong plays this week. Chubb is the one with slate-busting potential, as we discussed in the DFS Breakdown. We also forgot to note DT Quinnen Williams is out (PFF’s 10th highest-grade run stopper), making the Jets weaker up front and less of a pass funnel. Though (as we talked about) maybe that’s offset by the loss of OG Wyatt Teller. I like Hunt quite a bit, and especially as it relates to ownership. Cleveland lost 4 WRs, and Hunt spent a bulk of this offseason working with the WRs. I wouldn’t be surprised if he maintains his typical role, but is also a primary option in the pass game, operating out of the slot and running legitimate WR routes every few plays.
From that article: “[N]ew Browns assistant Chad O'Shea has talked up Hunt as a pass-catcher this offseason, and not only that, but he's had Hunt cross-train with the team's wide receivers during Cleveland's virtual program. "There has been a lot of interaction among us, a lot of crossover, that has been really helpful," said O'Shea, the team's WRs coach and passing game coordinator. As Orange & Brown Report noted, O'Shea apparently also included Hunt in the discussion for the Browns' No. 3 WR job, saying the competition is "constantly evolving" and won't be narrowed down until the team hits the field.”
For whatever reason, I forgot to mention Giovani Bernard in the Breakdown. He’s a gross name, but a fine value, and a very viable punt play. Bernard saw 25 carries in a surprise victory last week, and now gets a Texans defense that ranks worst in YPC allowed (5.41) and worst in rushing FPG allowed (21.0). I don’t think I like him enough for him to have cracked the TLDR, but he’s in play.
After updating the SuperModel, A.J. Green moved to No. 1 on DraftKings. He’s not that high on my own list, but he is a decent punt. He gets a slight bump relative to Tee Higgins with Brandon Allen starting. Higgins’ target share falls from 34% to 24% with Allen under center, who said this a few weeks ago:
Bengals notebook: Brandon Allen says team needs to get A.J. Green the ball https://t.co/WNqKov7wXY
— Enquirer (@Enquirer) December 11, 2020
Cole Kmet is another name popping in the SuperModel who we neglected yesterday. He averages 5.3 targets per game over his last 3 games, and actually played on 100% of the team’s snaps last week. He’s in play, but is not a top play for me.
I also forgot to mention my preference for Houston stacks. Keke Coutee is a solid value, averaging 6.3 targets and 16.9 DK FPG over his last 3. But I greatly prefer Brandin Cooks, who was chalk in each of his last 2 games, despite the fact that those were brutal matchups (IND sells out to stop opposing WR1s). And now he’ll go massively underowned this week. The price-point is far from ideal but that’s my lean for GPPs.
1. Austin Ekeler, RB (33.4%)
2. David Montgomery, RB (31.7%)
3. Le’Veon Bell, RB (22.0%)
4. Travis Kelce, TE (21.1%)
5. Darrell Henderson, RB (20.7%)
6. Melvin Gordon, RB (19.9%)
7. Calvin Ridley, WR (19.8%)
8. Allen Robinson, WR (16.7%)
1. David Montgomery, RB (35.3%)
2. Austin Ekeler, RB (35.0%)
3. Travis Kelce, TE (27.4%)
4. Le’Veon Bell, RB (26.6%)
5. Allen Robinson, WR (22.5%)
6. Tyreek Hill, WR (21.3%)
7. Calvin Ridley, WR (21.3%)
8. Miles Sanders, WR (17.4%)
Cash Core (DK/FD)
QB: Jalen Hurts, Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes
RB: Melvin Gordon, David Montgomery, Austin Ekeler, Miles Sanders
WR: Diontae Johnson, DJ Moore (DK), Tyreek Hill, Allen Robinson (FD), Robert Woods (FD), Calvin Ridley (FD), Darius Slayton, Michael Gallup (DK), Tee Higgins, Jamison Crowder (DK), A.J. Green (DK), Marvin Hall (DK)
TE: Donald Parham, Austin Hooper, Travis Kelce (FD)
DEF: HOU, JAX, DEN, BAL (FD), CAR (FD), NYJ