DFS Roundup: NFL Week 16 Value Picks and Big Money Contests

Image credit:
Giovanni Arteaga

NFL Week 15 is over and now we have just two more weekends of regular season games. Right off the bat, let me remind you that this week’s games mostly happen on Saturday and not on Sunday. The big NFL Week 16 contests will all be going live on Saturday and that means you have one fewer day to prepare your lineups. Don’t be caught off guard between that and all the other Christmas festivities happening this weekend.

Things are starting to slow down in fantasy world on the promotional front as we hit final stretch of the regular season. However, the big fantasy football sites are still giving out free contest entries to new customers and holding big contests with millions of dollars in guaranteed prizes for this week’s games.

This week we have twelve games to choose from in the big GPPs and three of those games have opened with over/under point totals of 52 or higher according to online sportsbooks. For the uninitiated, this means there are three games in particular that the oddsmakers perceive as likely to be high-scoring affairs:

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints: 52.5 points
  • Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers: 52 points
  • Indianapolis Colts @ Oakland Raiders: 53 points

These games are all worth a closer look as far as drafting players with high upside potential. Generally, an online sportsbook lists a game with a high points total when it anticipates weak defenses, abnormally strong offenses or a combination of both. Offensive players in these matchups have the potential to earn a good deal of fantasy points as they make plays and capitalize on scoring opportunities.

Best Week 16 NFL GPPs

Week 16 NFL games will be taking place on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday this week, but the biggest contests we’ll be discussing this week all revolve specifically around Saturday’s 12-game slate. The games on Saturday are the ones from which you will be drafting your lineups for the big GPPs at both FanDuel and DraftKings.

 FanDuel: $1.1M Saturday Million

  • Entry: $25
  • Total Entries: 51,764
  • First Place: $200,000
  • Places Paid: 10,655
  • Enter Now: www.fanduel.com

FanDuel: $700K Saturday NFL Sling TV Rush

  • Entry: $5
  • Total Entries: 164,705
  • First Place: $100,000
  • Places Paid: 32,860
  • Enter Now: www.fanduel.com

FanDuel: $500K Saturday NFL Monster

  • Entry: $300
  • Total Entries: 1,867
  • First Place: $100,000
  • Placed Paid: 334
  • Enter Now: www.fanduel.com

FanDuel: $250K Saturday NFL Snap

  • Entry: $2
  • Total Entries: 147,058
  • First Place: $25,000
  • Places Paid: 28,698
  • Enter Now: www.fanduel.com

DraftKings: $4M NFL Main Event Championship

  • Entry: $1,500
  • Total Entries: 2,962
  • First Place: $1,000,000
  • Places Paid: 510
  • Enter Now: www.draftkings.com

DraftKings: $1.5M NFL Front Four Championship

  • Entry: $4
  • Total Entries: 441.1K
  • First Place: $100,000
  • Places Paid: 115,500
  • Enter Now: www.draftkings.com

DraftKings: $1.25M NFL Chop Block Championship

  • Entry: $50
  • Total Entries: 28.4K
  • First Place: $100,000
  • Places Paid: 6,350
  • Enter Now: www.draftkings.com

DraftKings: $750K NFL Wildcat

  • Entry: $333
  • Total Entries: 2,502
  • First Place: $100,000
  • Places Paid: 559
  • Enter Now: www.draftkings.com

Week 16 Value Picks

Once again, we’ll be focusing our attention on cheap players with high upside potential for this portion of our weekly wrap. The goal here is not to pick expensive but reliably high-producing players. You can do that on your own fairly easily by looking for the best players in the league. Your lineup will in all likelihood include a few of those picks as it is.

What we want to do here is find players that might be a nice fit for you to save money. Your salary limitations make it impossible to draft an all-star team from top to bottom. You’re going to have to save some money somewhere to draft a full lineup. That’s where your value picks come in – to fill your roster without breaking the bank but also giving you a chance to accumulate some much-needed production.

Best Value Quarterbacks for Week 16

Tom Savage ($6300 FanDuel / $5000 DraftKings) of the Houston Texans will be starting Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Savage is a tempting value pick in the QB spot after coming in to last weekend’s game in the second quarter to replace struggling starter Brock Osweiler. In his first outing for the Texans, Savage went 26-of-39 for 260 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.

Tom Savage is a big question mark at this time, but his first game with the Texans was good enough to earn him the starting job and move the ball down the field. His matchup this weekend is so-so against the Bengals who rank 13th in the league against the pass and 21st in overall defense.

Jameis Winston ($8000 FanDuel / $6500 DraftKings) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is just a step down from the elite quarterbacks in terms of pricing, but the Bucs/Saints game has the second-highest point total of the week and ranks second-to-last in the league in allowed passing yards per game.

The scariest thing about this pick is Atlanta hosted New Orleans just two weeks ago in a game that resulted in a 16-11 final score with Winston throwing for 184 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. On the other hand, the Saints did just give up 41 points to the Arizona Cardinals last week.

Tyrod Taylor ($7500 FanDuel / $5400 DraftKings) of the Buffalo Bills is a pretty reliable pick for the money. Over his last four games, Taylor has accumulated roughly 15 to 20 fantasy points per game and hosts the Miami Dolphins at home this week. The Dolphins rank 11th against the pass but 24th in overall defense.

Running Backs

Latavius Murray ($7300 FanDuel / $6200 DraftKings) of the Oakland Raiders has shown a lot of potential to blow up teams and go for 30+ fantasy points in a single game. He had a tough outing against San Diego last week, but gets a favorable matchup against the Colts in Week 16 who rank 20th in the league against the rush.

Murray has also been a reliable touchdown scorer this year with 12 rushing TDs so far this year. That puts him 4th among running backs in the league on that stat. Look for the Raiders to give him the ball in the red zone against the Colts this week.

Jordan Howard ($7200 FanDuel / $6300 DraftKings) of the Chicago Bears has been hitting double-digit fantasy point totals every game since Week 8 with two of those weeks being 30+ point totals games. He had 17 attempts for 90 yards and a TD plus 4 receptions on 4 targets for another 23 yards last week.

Between rushing and receiving, Howard has gone for 99+ yards for seven straight games with five touchdowns during that time. Howard next faces the Washington Redskins who rank 22nd against the rush, 26th against the pass and 29th in total defense.

Wide Receivers

Taylor Gabriel ($5900 FanDuel / $6200 DraftKings) of the Atlanta Falcons has been reliably scoring fantasy points in the absence of Julio Jones, but look a bit further back in Gabriel’s game log and you’ll see he still produces even when Jones is active. Speaking of which, Jones is still listed as questionable with a sprained toe. We should find out more about Jones’ status on Wednesday.

In either case, Gabriel has significant upside. He has scored seven times in his last seven games and his fantasy point average has trended upward over the second half of the season. Gabriel also has a juicy matchup against the Panthers and their 32nd-in-the-league pass defense. Gabriel is an especially attractive pick on FanDuel.

Brandin Cooks ($7100 FanDuel / $6800 DraftKings) of the New Orleans Saints had a huge game last week and will be a popular pick this week, but he’s still a good deal cheaper than the top-tier wide receivers. Last week, Cook caught 7 balls on 8 targets for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns against a tough Cardinals passing defense.

Up next, he faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who rank 20th in the league against the pass. Cooks does sometimes see little action (or none as was the case in Week 12), but his latest showing should make him an attractive target for Drew Brees playing at home in Week 16.

Tight Ends

Hunter Henry ($5400 FanDuel / $3500 DraftKings) of the San Diego Chargers is a solid value pick with a favorable matchup against the winless Cleveland browns. Value is tough to find in the tight-end position, so Henry looks pretty decent for the salary with a touchdown three of his last four games even though he doesn’t rack up much yardage.

We can look for Henry to get a few shots at the end zone against the Browns who rank dead last in the league in giving up fantasy points to tight ends.

Cameron Brate ($5600 FanDuel / $3900 DraftKings) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a pretty good day against Dallas last week as the Cowboys smothered Mike Evans. In last week’s game, Evans had 5 receptions on 8 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown en route to racking up 18.3 fantasy points at DraftKings and 15.8 at FanDuel.

Brate might be up for another productive game this week against the Saints who are 31st in the league against the pass and 19th against opposing tight ends.