clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fantasy Football Value Picks: Top DraftKings NFL DFS Bargain Plays for Week 16

Zach Thompson goes position-by-position to find the best affordable plays for the Week 16 main DraftKings NFL slate, which locks at 1:00 p.m. ET on December 27.

This Sunday is the second-to-last week of the 2020 regular season, and DraftKings is ready to roll with another main slate of 10 games on Sunday afternoon after a special Christmas Day matchup and a Saturday triple-header get the week started. With eight teams in those games plus the four in action on Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football, we’re left with 20 teams providing plenty of options for the player pool on the main slate.

The schedule is actually fairly balanced with six games kicking off at 1:00 p.m. ET and five more in the later wave around 4:00 p.m. ET. The two games in the featured 4:25 p.m. ET slot are both divisional clashes from the NFC as the Seattle Seahawks host the Los Angeles Rams while the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Dallas Cowboys. Those are two of the three divisional games on the main slate. In the early window, some of the most attractive matchups are the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Atlanta Falcons and the Cleveland Browns traveling to take on the woeful New York Jets. The Pittsburgh Steelers will try to get their season turned back around after three straight losses, but they have a tough matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. In another game with playoff implications in the wild NFC East, the Washington Football Team hosts the Carolina Panthers, and they could wrap up the division with a win if the New York Giants lose to the Baltimore Ravens in the early wave.

As you look at each of the ten matchups and set your DraftKings roster, make sure to take a look at the affordable plays listed below that come with some great upside at a very affordable salary. Each week, I dive into the bargain bin and give you my favorite cheap plays based on recent form, matchup and expected opportunity. Check out the plays I like the most this Sunday.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football Millionaire lineups here: NFL $3M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st]



QUARTERBACK

($6,000 and under)

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars, $5,700 – Trubisky has been playing very well since taking back the starter’s job for the Bears’ past four games. He has averaged 18.88 DKFP in those four contests, highlighted by an impressive 24.98 DKFP against Houston. He’ll take on another AFC South foe this week in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars are actually much better off as a franchise if they lose their final two games. Trubisky and the Bears are still in the playoff hunt, and he appears to be playing his way into more of a chance to be the Bears’ starter moving forward after the failed experiment with Nick Foles under center. Trubisky and Foles have each started seven games for Chicago this season, and the Bears are 5-2 with Trubisky while gaining 2,650 yards and only 2-5 with Foles with 1,905 yards of offense.

Since returning to the lineup, Trubisky has been running more play-action, rollouts and bootlegs, which have opened things up for him especially in the short and intermediary passing areas, and coach Matt Nagy seems to be playing much more to Trubisky’s strengths. Trubisky has the athletic ability to be more of a mobile QB and ran for 34 yards last week against the Vikings and threw for 202 yards a touchdown and an interception on his way 14.48 DKFP. The Jaguars have given up at least that many DKFP in all but one of their games this season and gave up 243 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown last week to Lamar Jackson ($8,000). While Trubisky may not reach that ceiling of production, he does have lots of upside given his recent form and this tasty matchup.

Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $5,500 – Dalton has thrown multiple touchdowns in three straight games with over 15 DKFP in each contest. He has been fairly efficient, completing over 66% of his passes over his past five games and averaging 219.4 yards per game over that stretch. Aside from primetime losses to Washington and Baltimore, the Cowboys have been picking up some much-needed wins and momentum during that span as well, showing Dalton can still be a serviceable backup at this point in his career, whether for Dallas or another team.

This week, the Red Rifle and the Cowboys will take their two-game winning streak into their divisional matchup against Philadelphia. The Eagles are short-handed in the secondary and have given up big games to Taysom Hill and Kyler Murray the past two weeks. They have allowed over 200 passing yards to every QB they have faced in their six weeks since their bye week, averaging 277.7 passing yards allowed per game and even giving up over 400 yards to Murray last week.

Other Options: Matt Ryan ($5,800), Daniel Jones ($5,000)


RUNNING BACK

($5,000 and under)

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans, $4,800 – The Bengals shocked the world with their Monday Night Football win over the Steelers, and Bernard had a big game with 22.7 DKFP. He had a season-high 25 carries in that contest and ran for 83 yards and a touchdown. He also hauled in his only target for a 14-yard touchdown. The two touchdowns brought his total for the year to six, and he’s expected to continue to serve as the team’s lead RB since Joe Mixon (foot) is still on IR and isn’t expected to return this week.

Bernard gets a great matchup against the Texans, who have allowed over 100 rushing yards to opposing RBs in four straight weeks while also giving up three rushing touchdowns during that span. Houston has given up more DKFP to RBs than any other team in the NFL, so Bernard and Trayveon Williams ($4,000) both have intriguing upside.

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Giants, $4,400 – Another RB situation that has big-time potential this weekend is the Ravens’ backfield rotation against the Giants. Edwards is splitting time almost evenly with J.K. Dobbins ($6,200), but Dobbins has gotten the touchdowns and is much more expensive and productive as a result. Last week, Dobbins had 14 carries and a catch while Edwards had nine carries and two catches while playing 41% of the snaps, compared to 53% for Dobbins. Dobbins definitely has the advantage, but Edwards is still getting significant opportunities. Last week against the Jags, Edwards had three red-zone chances and also had runs that ended on the two-yard line and the five-yard line before being giving the touchdown runs to Dobbins and Lamar Jackson ($8,000). Even without realizing those opportunities, Edwards still had 9.8 DKFP and has over 9.0 DKFP in three straight contests coming into this matchup with the Giants.

The Giants have given up the eighth-most DFKP to opposing RBs this season and have given up an RB touchdown in three straight weeks. Especially if they get an early lead, the Ravens will likely run the ball a ton, giving Edwards opportunities to put up points. He’s one of the most reliably involved cheap RB options and comes with nice upside if he gets into the end zone.

Other Options: Darrel Williams ($4,200), Ito Smith ($4,000), Trayveon Williams ($4,000)


Put your DraftKings daily fantasy football skills to the test against other readers and writers of DraftKings Playbook! Check out the brand new Cramer’s Cash Contest to see the winning lineup from last week and enter your Week 16 lineup.


WIDE RECEIVER

($5,000 and under)

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans, $4,700 – This year’s class of rookie WRs has been great in fantasy football throughout the season with big games from names at the top of the draft and consistent production down the list as well. Higgins was the seventh WR taken in the draft at the very top of the second round and has been very productive for the Bengals both before and after the season-ending injury to Joe Burrow. Higgins had at least five catches in three straight games after the game in which Burrow was injured, averaging 12.0 DKFP per contest. He only had three catches for 31 yards in the Bengals’ upset win on Monday Night Football, but remember that the team only had 89 passing yards, so his percentage of production was actually still pretty high.

While the Bengals probably won’t air it out a ton against the Texans, it is a much more favorable spot than facing the Steelers. Higgins was targeted on 55% of the passes that Ryan Finley ($4,800) threw to WRs and should be in for another busy day this week, especially if Tyler Boyd ($4,900; concussion) isn’t able to clean the NFL concussion protocol in time. The Texans have given up seven WR touchdowns over their past four games, giving Higgins nice upside if Cincinnati does end up throwing the ball more this week.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,000 – After a record 13 WRs went in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, Mooney slipped to the fifth round and was one of 37 total WRs taken in the draft. Mooney has stepped in as the Bears’ WR2 and been a solid fantasy option with at least 8.0 DKFP in four straight games and trips to the end zone in each of his two most recent contests.

He isn’t usually getting a huge target share with Trubisky focusing heavily on Allen Robinson ($7,700), but Mooney has the speed to make the most of his chances and actually tied Robinson for the team lead with five targets last week. He is one of only three players in the NFL to not have a dropped pass this year with a minimum of 50 targets, and he gets a great matchup against the Jaguars, who have given up the seventh-most DKFP to WR this season.

Greg Ward, Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, $4,000 – While Mooney looks like a great value from the fifth round, one of the biggest busts in the 2020 NFL Draft WR class so far is Jalen Reagor ($4,600; ankle) who has been limited by injury and only hit double-digit DKFP twice all season. With Reagor again banged up last week against Arizona, Ward stepped up and caught two touchdowns from new starting QB Jalen Hurts ($7,000).

Ward had five targets and was the only pass-catcher with multiple looks in the red zone. Both his touchdowns came in the second quarter, and he also came up with a big catch in third down in the fourth quarter on the Eagles’ critical drive. While he isn’t getting all the looks like Higgins is, he is getting red-zone chances and enough involvement to be a very good play against the Cowboys this week, especially if Reagor isn’t able to play through his latest issue.

Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Chicago Bears, $3,700 — Let’s finish off the value WRs with another rookie option who is very involved in his team’s passing game. Shenault led the team in targets each of the past two weeks. He caught 5-of-6 for 43 yards and 9.4 DKFP against the Ravens after hauling in 6-of-11 targets for 49 yards and 11.1 DKFP the previous week against the Titans.

Shenault also usually gets a carry or two in the Jaguars’ gameplan and could get more work with James Robinson ($6,800; ankle) battling injury. Shenault’s versatility and involvement make him a solid bargain play against the Bears, even though Chicago has been pretty solid against WRs this season.

Other Options: Rashard Higgins ($4,800), Michael Gallup ($4,100), Darius Slayton ($3,800), Denzel Mims ($3,600), KJ Hamler ($3,200)


TIGHT END

($4,000 and under)

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, $3,600 – In each of Hurts’ first two starts, Goedert has lead the team in targets. He finished with four catches for 39 yards and 7.9 DKFP against the Cardinals last week and could have had a much bigger game if he had hauled in either of his two end zone chances on the Eagles’ second-to-last drive of the game. Goedert played 73 snaps (88% of the Eagles’ snaps) last week, 11 more than Zach Ertz ($3,100) and also 19 more than any WR. He seems to have a strong rapport with Hurts and should be able to post a good game against the Cowboys, who gave up a Jordan Reed touchdown last week and rank in the middle of the pack against TE this season.

Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs, $3,400 – Hurst has averaged 5.4 targets per game in his first season with the Falcons and converted 4-of-5 targets into catches last week with 21 yards, a touchdown and 12.1 DKFP. Hurst had a very nice run from Week 6 through Week 9 with four double-digit DKFP performances before hitting a rough patch the past few weeks. If the Falcons are going to keep up with Kansas City, they’ll need to get Hurst involved in what is expected to be a pass-heavy game script this week. The Chiefs have given up the sixth-most DKFP to TEs this season, including a 100-yard performance to Rob Gronkowski in addition to four TE touchdowns over their five games since their Week 10 bye week.

Other Options: Austin Hooper ($3,500), Tyler Eifert ($3,000)


DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

($2,800 and under)

Seahawks DST, Seattle Seahwks vs. Los Angeles Rams, $2,600 – The Seahawks’ defense was awful at the beginning of the season but has rounded into form lately. They have allowed under 20 points in four straight games with at least 9.0 DKFP in each of those contests. They had three sacks and a fumble recovery for 5.0 DKFP in their previous game against the Rams, and have averaged 8.2 DKFP in their past six games dating back to that game. The Rams dropped a ugly game to the Jets last week, allowing three sacks in addition to turning the ball over one time. Jared Goff ($5,900) has thrown six picks over his past five games, and the Rams have nine total turnovers during that stretch.

Broncos DST, Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers, $2,300 — The Broncos’ defense was crushed by Josh Allen and the Bills last Saturday night and actually finished with -1.0 DKFP. They do still have a high ceiling, though and had put up double-digit DKFP in two of their previous four contests against the Panthers and Dolphins. The Chargers have turned the ball over six times in their past six games and have given up 13 sacks during that span, so there is some potential for Denver to make some plays. Even though this matchup doesn’t impact the playoffs, it’s still a divisional clash and is an important contest for both teams headed into uncertain offseasons for their head coaches.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football Millionaire lineups here: NFL $3M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st]


Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA) or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789. 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/NH/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL/TN only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.