Merry Christmas and welcome into the Week 16 Sunday Update.
I’ll be breaking down all of the news this morning and going through my favorite contrarian plays like normal – but make sure you also listen to Cashing Points, read Wes’ Advanced Matchups, Jake’s Values, and Wes’ Bottom Line to help get you prepared while building lineups.
Key News, Injury Updates, & Notes
Sunday Morning Update
– Matt Breida is INACTIVE. Zack Moss, a healthy scratch in the Bills last two games, is ACTIVE.
– D’Andre Swift is INACTIVE, as expected.
– Adam Thielen is ACTIVE, as expected.
– Jamison Crowder is INACTIVE.
– Travis Kelce did not clear the league’s COVID protocols and he is OUT. Tyreek Hill did clear protocols and WILL PLAY.
This will be Patrick Mahomes’ first game ever without both Kelce on the field. Noah Gray will likely start in place of Kelce, but he’s so thin. All in all, I think this means the Chiefs probably just run more than usual with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, especially considering that the Steelers are allowing 5.1 YPC over the last eight weeks. CEH is a very strong play.
– Damien Harris (hamstring) is good to go. Proctor and I were in agreement that he’s our favorite RB play in tournaments with Rhamondre Stevenson (COVID) out. Public sentiment hasn’t changed on him, either – Harris is projecting for just 3% ownership on DraftKings. He’s one of the best plays on the slate.
– Mike Williams (COVID), Austin Ekeler (COVID), and Jalen Guyton are all out. We’re going to see Keenan Allen absolutely peppered with targets and Williams’ absence also boosts Jared Cook / Justin Jackson a bit. Josh Palmer will be a full-time player and is the chalk punt play on DraftKings at just $3,300.
– Adam Thielen (ankle) seems likely to play. He was “close” last week, so I’m expecting him to get close to his usual role here. Thielen was averaging 5.7 receptions, 62.4 yards, and scored 10 TDs in 11 games before getting hurt.
– Brandin Cooks (COVID) is out. Nico Collins hasn’t been a full-time player yet, but he will be today. David Johnson is not expected to play. It’ll be the Rex Burkhead show for Houston.
– TJ Watt (ribs) will play.
– DJ Moore is expected to play. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says Sam Darnold is “expected to play” and “play a lot.”
– Justin Fields and Andy Dalton are both OUT. Nick Foles will start. We’re going to see a huge dose of David Montgomery here. The Bears implied total has slipped to just 17.5 points, which is tied with the Texans for fourth-lowest on the slate.
– Jared Goff (COVID) is out. Tim Boyle is going to start. I haven’t seen any news on D’Andre Swift this morning yet.
– Jake Fromm will start. Kadarius Toney is expected to play.
– Nelson Agholor is out. Kendrick Bourne cleared COVID protocols and will play.
– The Rams will be without LT Andrew Whitworth (COVID).
– The Jags are in the middle of a brutal COVID outbreak and are down Josh Allen, Myles Jack, and Laviska Shenault.
Graham Barfield’s Contrarian Angles
Contrarian Plays With Slate-Breaking Upside
(Projected ownership in parenthesis).
It’s an amazing RB slate and there are a handful of plays slipping through the cracks. My favorites (in order):
Damien Harris (3%) – See above.
Cordarrelle Patterson (9%)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (7%) – See above.
Rashaad Penny (3%)
Tyler Lockett (6%) – Bears allowing a league-high in fantasy points per attempt on deep targets.
Dawson Knox (4%) – Bills down Davis and Beasley. Diggs will get doubled. The ball has to go somewhere. Gronk is TE1 on the slate, Goedert is TE2, and Knox has a great case for TE3 at far less ownership.
Chalk Plays (Ownership Projections)
Cash Core (DK/FD)
QB – Jalen Hurts, Matthew Stafford, Justin Herbert (in that order)… Josh Johnson is in play as a punt, but I don’t think it’s necessary with all of the RB value on the slate
RB – Alexander Mattison (free square on FD), James Robinson (way too cheap on DK), Justin Jackson (borderline free square on DK), Ronald Jones (great TD ceiling, questionable PPR floor), David Montgomery (DK only)
WR – Antonio Brown (he’s the nuts), Cooper Kupp, Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill, Josh Palmer (you can play Jackson and Palmer together for cash)
TE – Rob Gronkowski (he’s the nuts), Dallas Goedert (too cheap still; Eagles pass volume a concern), Jared Cook (feels gross)
DEF – Bengals (DK/FD), Jets (DK)