NFL DFS: Week 16 FanDuel Tournament Plays
In daily fantasy football, it is essential to find value for your lineups. If we want to be able to afford the top dollar names like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, we’ll inevitably need to balance our lineup with less expensive players who provide upside.
There are certain value thresholds that we need from these players in order to cash in, and more importantly, win tournaments and larger leagues.
For FanDuel tournaments, we need our guys to reach 3X their salary (for example, Jonathan Stewart is $6,400 this week and would need to score 19.2 FanDuel points to justify his usage).
If these high-upside plays are also low-owned, we now have an elite GPP tournament play. Each week, we’ll look at who the most popular plays will be and how we can pivot away from them without losing upside.
Here are the top tournament plays for Week 16.
These three quarterbacks are in great spots:
$7800 | DAL -7, 44.5
Week 16 has some weird scheduling with one Thursday game, 12 Saturday games, two Sunday games, and one Monday night game. With that being said, you’ll have plenty of different opportunities to get exposure to various players depending on the slates you play. If you’re playing a slate that includes the Monday night game between Dallas and Detroit, then Dak Prescott should be at the top of your quarterback list for GPPs.
The Vegas total in this matchup has already increased three points since it opened (from 41.5 to 44.5), and Prescott is just one of 10 quarterbacks this week playing in a non-divisional matchup. Last week, Prescott impressively completed 88.9 percent of his passes against Tampa Bay, and now he’ll get to face the 30th ranked pass defense in DVOA in Week 16. He’ll need 23.4 FanDuel points to reach tournament value this weekend — he’s already done that four times this season.
Robert Griffin III
$6100 | CLE +6, 43.5[the_ad id=”66786″]Fresh off his first 3X performance of the season, Robert Griffin III will look to continue his success in Week 16 against the Chargers. This is a major letdown spot for San Diego — they’re traveling across the country after losing a close divisional game to Oakland to play in 35-degree weather in a game with no playoff implications against the 0-14 Browns. It’s nearly impossible to expect them to show up for this contest. RGIII will score most of his fantasy points on the ground — he has 116 yards and two touchdowns rushing in three starts this year — but he’s also due for some positive regression in the passing touchdown department. He’s yet to throw at touchdown on 82 attempts, which is obviously far below his career touchdown rate of 3.5 percent. Once Griffin throws his first TD of the year, he’ll be able to eclipse the easily-attainable 18.3 FanDuel points necessary for tournament usage.
$8100 | OAK -3.5, 53
Looking at Derek Carr this weekend, he has two huge positives going for him — he’s playing at home against an opponent outside his division and this game has the highest Vegas total of the weekend (53). Some may point to his injured pinkie for his lack of success over the last two weeks — he’s scored just 16 combined FanDuel points — but don’t discount the fact that it was against two divisional opponents in San Diego and Kansas City. Quarterbacks perform far worse the second time they play an opponent in a season, so we should see Carr revert to his pre-Week 14 ways against Indianapolis on Saturday. The Colts are the 27th-ranked pass defense in DVOA and have allowed six quarterbacks to reach 20-plus points on FanDuel this season. Many will look at Carr’s game logs and cross him off their list for Week 16 — don’t make that mistake.
Vegas likes these three running backs:
$7300 | OAK -3, 53.5
After three consecutive games of at least 23 touches, Latavius Murray fumbled early in the Raiders’ Week 15 game versus the Chargers and was limited to 14 touches and just 50 percent of the snaps. Assuming the fumble and playing time punishment was a one-week aberration, we should see Murray return to his usual workload and play on more than two-thirds of the snaps. While Indianapolis has a terrible pass defense, they’re even worse versus the run — only three teams have a worst run defense DVOA ranking. They’ve only allowed the 14th-most FanDuel points to running backs this season, but they’ve given up some big performances as six different RBs have topped 20 FanDuel points against them. Oakland has one of the highest team totals of the weekend at 28.25 points, so if you’re looking for an outside-the-box stack, pair Murray with Derek Carr and lock up every point the Raiders score this weekend.
$7200 | NE -16.5, 44
If you’re looking for the ultimate Vegas play, look no further than LeGarrette Blount in Week 16. The Patriots are favored by a whopping 16.5 points over the reeling Jets this weekend, so we should expect plenty of ground-and-pound from the New England offense in the second half. Over his career, Blount has scored 7.0 more FanDuel points per game when his team is favored by a touchdown or more, thanks to the increased workload and playing time bumps that result from playing with a lead. He hasn’t played more than 45 percent of the snaps in any game since Week 9, but he’s handled 17 or more touches in all but one game during that span. He leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns this season with 15, and we should expect him to have multiple opportunities to increase that number on Saturday. It’s not unreasonable to expect Blount to score two or more touchdowns given the Patriots’ slate-high 30.25-point team total, and if that happens, he’ll easily eclipse 3X tournament value.
$6200 | SEA -8, 43
Can you really roster Thomas Rawls after his super unimpressive 21-carry, 34-yard performance last week against the Rams? Since his return in Week 11, Rawls has failed to score a touchdown and/or eclipse 70 rushing yards in four of his five games. He finally saw a major bump in playing time and volume last Thursday — after playing on less than 60 percent of his snaps in every game this season, he was on the field for 93.4 percent of the plays against Los Angeles. His 23 touches against the Rams, by the way, were a season-high. So while the production hasn’t been there, it at least seems that Rawls is back in shape to handle the bulk of the workload for Seattle’s backfield. Onto Week 16, the Seahawks are favored by 8 points at home against the Cardinals in a game where Rawls should see another huge workload. Arizona has allowed the seventh-most FanDuel points to running backs over the last four weeks, thanks to the seven touchdowns allowed to the position over that span. Rawls’ salary is attractive at just $6200, and there’s no way DFS owners will be willing to roster him due to recency bias, so he’s an elite tournament play that we’ll get at low ownership.
Two cheap receivers who will see tons of targets:
$5500 | CHI +3, 46.5[the_ad id=”58835″]Cameron Meredith was a fantasy darling early in the season when he took over for the injured Kevin White, then disappeared into fantasy irrelevance, but has since resurged since Matt Barkley became the starting quarterback. Pointed out by Evan Silva, Meredith leads the Bears in target share at 23 percentage with Barkley on the field, and he’s seen at least eight targets in three of four Barkley’s starts. Now in Week 16, the Bears will host the Washington Redskins, a team that has allowed the most FanDuel points to quarterbacks over the last five weeks. With no true threat at the tight end position (they’ve accounted for just 9 percent of Barkley’s yards in his four starts), expect Meredith and Alshon Jeffery to have big games if the Redskins’ defense continues their fantasy-friendly hospitality. At $5500, Meredith is way underpriced for this matchup.
$5500 | NYJ +16.5, 44
In the past three weeks with Bryce Petty under center, Robby Anderson is 9th in the NFL with 9.7 targets per game. With Brandon Marshall ailing and Anderson having worked with Petty with the second team for most of the season, the two clearly have a connection and that has resulted in some big fantasy performances from Anderson recently. During this three-game stretch, Anderson has scored at least 14 FanDuel points in every game, and has nearly reached tournament value in each contest. As 16.5-point underdogs on Saturday, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where the Jets aren’t passing the ball 90 percent of the time in the second half. If that holds true, expect Anderson to match or surpass his career-high in targets (12 versus Indianapolis in Week 13). He’s still only priced at $5500, so a repeat of last week’s game — or 5 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown — will result in a 3X performance.
Two low-priced tight ends with upside:
$4900 | HOU -1, 41
After missing last week with a concussion, C.J. Fiedorowicz fully practiced on Wednesday and appears to be on track to play against the Bengals on Saturday night. Prior to his absence last week, Fiedorowicz saw at least five targets in 10 straight games, but because of a touchdown drought, his price has remained reasonable on FanDuel. While he was out last week, backup Ryan Griffin hauled in eight passes and was a favorite target of new starting quarterback Tom Savage. If this tight end lovefest continues, expect Fiedorowicz to be the Texans’ second-leading receiver after DeAndre Hopkins in Week 16. He’ll face Cincinnati this week, and they’ve allowed the second-most receiving yards to tight ends this season (74/game) — Fiedorowicz will just need to get into the end zone to justify tournament usage. If Fiedorowicz somehow isn’t cleared in time for this game, Ryan Griffin would also be an elite GPP play at $4500.
$5000 | GB -7, 43[the_ad id=”58837″]Let’s take a look at Jared Cook’s game logs since returning from an ankle injury five weeks ago. In Weeks 11 and 15: 19 targets, 12 receptions, 190 yards, 1 touchdown. Weeks 12-14: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 41 yards, 0 touchdowns. That’s the definition of a boom-or-bust option, which is something we can live with in tournaments. Is there a way to tell when he will boom? Well, his two big games came against bottom-tier DVOA defenses versus the tight end (Washington 27th, Chicago 28th) and his three duds were against tough DVOA opponents (Houston 1st, Philadelphia 2nd, and Seattle 17th versus the position). Guess what? This week he’s matched up with Minnesota’s 24th ranked DVOA versus tight ends. If there’s a week he’s going to blow up, it’ll be this one. Cook should go nowhere near you cash game lineups this weekend, but his upside is undeniable in GPP formats.
Brian has been playing fantasy football for 16 years and commissioned his first fantasy league at age 12. When he’s not writing about sports, you can find him playing every daily fantasy sport and participating in high stakes fantasy football contests. Brian won more than 1,000 NFL contests on FanDuel last season and has won multiple league championships in the Footballguys Player Championship contest. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Brian usually spends his winters agonizing over Terrapins basketball. When the weather is warmer, Brian is known for his receiving prowess in flag football leagues on the National Mall in Washington, DC.