Welcome to the NFL FanDuel Week 16 Top Plays. I will highlight my favorite options with FanDuel’s scoring/salary in mind. These can typically be used on all sites, but use some common sense if another site scores differently or has a different salary. Remember, this is only a guide, and several factors may influence who you should select each day. Please keep in mind that unless noted, weather is not taken into account and with NFL action, it can be a factor.
Cam Newton (CAR): $8,300 vs. TB
Cam Newton really overshadowed the big headline of Aaron Rodger’s return last Sunday, throwing for 242 yards and four touchdowns while adding 58 yards with his legs. This week he has a golden matchup with the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers kept Newton in check just a couple of weeks ago. However, the Buccaneer’s awful secondary continues to lose more and more players to the injured reserve list, giving Newton every opportunity for a huge game this week.
Russell Wilson (SEA): $9,000 @ DAL
Russell Wilson had by far his worst performance of the season last week at home against the Rams. I'm willing to overlook this poor performance since Wilson has been money in nearly every other week this season. Wilson still has the ability to pick up a decent of yards on the ground and with no running game, Wilson is likely to involved in almost every touchdown that this offense scores. The Cowboys are improving on defense, but they are not a unit who I fear.
Other options to consider: Matthew Stafford (DET), Alex Smith (KC), Drew Brees (NOS)
Todd Gurley (LAR): $9,100 @ TEN
Todd Gurley showed once again last Sunday why he is 100% matchup proof. Gurley accumulated a total of 180 yards and scored four touchdowns at Seattle. He has another tough matchup against the Titans this week, who have been pretty stingy against opposing running backs. However, I have zero concerns with using Gurley this week.
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): $8,300 vs SEA
Ezekiel Elliott will be returning to action this Sunday after serving his six game suspension. FanDuel has him priced down pretty low given his talent. The Seahawks are decent against the run, but they are prone to getting shredded by elite running backs as we saw last week with Gurley.
Kenyan Drake (MIA): $7,100 @ KC
Kenyan Drake had another excellent game last week against Buffalo, despite the Dolphins trailing for most of the game. Drake scored a touchdown and gained a total of 113 yards on 16 carries, 11 targets and six receptions. Damien Williams is expected to return this week, but I would have to think Drake has earned the lion's shares of the touches in this backfield while Williams was out with an injury. In the three games that Williams missed, Drake averaged nearly five yards per carry on 64 rushing attempts.
Other options to consider: Kareem Hunt (KC), Mark Ingram (NOS), Alvin Kamara (NOS), Dion Lewis (NEP)
Michael Thomas (NOS): $8,200 vs. ATL
Michael Thomas has scored a touchdown in each of the past three weeks after going seven consecutive games without scoring one. One of those matchups included the Falcons, who he will be facing again this Sunday. The Falcons do have one pretty elite cornerback in Desmond Trufant. However, Trufant only stays on one side of the field 88% of the time according to Pro Football Focus. The Saints have done a great job at moving Thomas around, so Thomas will not likely see too much of Trufant this Sunday.
Robert Woods (LAR): $6,600 @ TEN
Robert Woods returned to action last Sunday after missing three games with an injury. While the yardage (43 yards) was not quite there, he was able to score a touchdown on seven targets and six receptions. I look for him to take another step forward with another week removed from his injury. According to Pro Football Focus, Woods is likely to draw shadow coverage from Adoree Jackson, who has only been average at best this season.
Sterling Shepard (NYG): $6,700 @ ARI
Sterling Shepard had a huge game last week against the Eagles, with 16 targets, 11 receptions, 139 yards and a touchdown. Outside of Evan Engram, Shepard has been Eli Manning's favorite target since Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall have gone down with injuries. I wasn't going to write Shepard up this week since I assumed Patrick Peterson would be shadowing him. However, Pro Football Focus is not projecting Peterson to shadow Shepard this week, so I definitely will be using him this week.
Other options to consider: Keenan Allen (LAC), Jarvis Landry (MIA), Keelan Cole (JAC), Golden Tate (DET)
Cameron Brate (TB): $5,100 @ CAR
With O.J. Howard being placed on IR with an ankle injury, we no longer will have to determine if it is a Howard week or a Brate week. Before we saw Howard's role increase this season, Brate was one of Jameis Winston's favorite targets on the team, especially in the red zone. There was a stretch this season where Brate scored a touchdown in four consecutive games. I'm ready to jump back on the Brate wagon this week and he is a great bargain at only $5,100. If you go the Brate route with your roster construction, I highly suggest using the savings to spend up at both running back positions opposed to spending up at wide receiver.
Rob Gronkowski (NEP): $8,400 vs. BUF
Rob Gronkowski has not scored any touchdowns since Week 12. However, he has had a total of 24 targets, 18 receptions and 315 receiving yards over his last two games. The Bills have only been middle of the pack against opposing tight ends and Gronk just went for 147 yards in this same matchup in Week 13.
Other players to consider: Travis Kelce (KC), Jimmy Graham (SEA), Evan Engram (NYG),
- Harison Butker (MIN): $4,900
- Matt Bryant (ATL): $5,000
- Graham Gano (CAR): $4,800
Bears CHI vs. CLE $4,800
Pretty much anyone facing the Browns are fair game. The Bears as a whole have not been very good this season, but it's more so because of the offense than it is the defense. The defense has been pretty solid in some difficult matchups. Their only weakness is they sometimes fail to get off of the field on third and long plays. I don't think that will be an issue against an extremely dysfunctional Browns defense. As long as they can slow down Josh Gordon, they should be a great bargain for DFS lineups this week.
Chiefs KC vs. MIA $4,500
I'm not quite sure why the Chiefs are priced so low this week when considering Arrowhead Stadium is a difficult place to play and Jay Cutler is prone to turnovers. The Chiefs have been a top eight fantasy defense in five of their seven home games this season. There are definitely some top dollar defenses in great spots this week, but I've always been in the camp of finding the best value defense I can find so that I can spend up elsewhere in my lineups.
Other players to consider: Jaguars (JAC), Rams (LAR), Patriots (NEP)