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.
Tom Brady (NEP): $8,500 vs. NYJ
Week 17 is always tough to peg due to some playoff teams not being completely straight forward with starter's playing time. We do know that the Patriots still have something to play for though, so Tom Brady will definitely play the whole game this Sunday against the Jets. The Patriots and Steelers are both currently 12-3, so the Patriots still need a win or a Steelers loss for the Patriots to completely lock up the one seed. The Jets have been pretty awful against the pass this season, so I fully expect Brady to have a huge game through the air.
Russell Wilson (SEA): $8,700 vs. ARI
Russell Wilson is another elite quarterback who has everything to play for this week. The Seahawks and Falcons both play in the late afternoon games and the Seahawks can get into the playoffs with a win against the Cardinals and a loss for the Falcons. Wilson has hit a rough patch with a couple of down performances in Week 15 and Week 16. However, he still leads all quarterbacks with 21.8 FanDuel points per game. That number has been higher at home this season, averaging 24.9 FanDuel points per game in seven games at CenturyLink Field.
Other options to consider: Cam Newton (CAR), Drew Brees (NOS), Ben Roethlisberger (PIT), Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)
LeSean McCoy (BUF): $8,200 @ MIA
With the Rams resting Todd Gurley and reports out of Pittsburgh suggesting that the Steelers could scale back Le'Veon Bell's workload, LeSean McCoy becomes my favorite top dollar running back option this week. The Bills still have an outside chance at making the playoffs if they win and both the Titans and Chargers lose. The Dolphins have been awful against the run this season and McCoy just had a great game against them in Week 15 with a total of 96 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and four receptions.
Derrick Henry (TEN): $5,800 vs. JAC
With DeMarco Murray out with a third degree MCL tear, Derrick Henry should shoulder the running game for the Titans this week. If the Titans can defeat the Jaguars this Sunday, the Titans will earn the sixth seed in the AFC playoff bracket. The Jaguars have an extremely good defense. However, the Jaguars are locked into the three seed of the AFC, so they really have nothing to play for this Sunday. At only $5,800, Henry is a chalk lock across all formats this Sunday.
Malcolm Brown (LAR): $4,500 vs. SF
If you are looking for a GPP pivot from the extremely chalky Henry, consider using Malcolm Brown. With Gurley resting, Brown will likely see the majority of the touches in the Ram's backfield. By dropping down to $4,500, you can really load up at every other position, which could be an extremely contrarian GPP strategy this week.
Other options to consider: Alvin Kamara/Mark Ingram (NOS), Kenyan Drake (MIA), Dion Lewis (NEP), C.J. Anderson (DEN)
Julio Jones (ATL): $8,400 vs. CAR
Julio Jones and the Falcons have a do or die game this Sunday against the Panthers. If they win, they will earn the sixth seed on the NFC side of the playoff bracket. Pro Football Focus is projecting that James Bradberry will be shadowing Julio for most of this game. According to PFF's cornerback grades, Bradberry ranks 105 out of 121 cornerbacks graded. I'm not sure who will win this contest, but Julio should have a huge game at home on the turf.
Doug Baldwin (SEA): $7,100 vs. ARI
Doug Baldwin has been struggling lately, which is likely directly related to Russell Wilson's struggles over the past two weeks. Baldwin has only 41 receiving yards over the last two games, but he was able to salvage last Sunday's performance with a touchdown. I'm looking for the Seahawks to bounce back in a huge way at home against the Cardinals, since there is still a chance that they can make the playoffs with a win and a Falcons loss. Baldwin will avoid shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson since Baldwin lines up in the slot on an extremely high percentage of his routes.
Will Fuller (HOU): $5,100 @ IND
With DeAndre Hopkins ruled out for Sunday's game, Will Fuller is likely to be the Texan's leading receiver against the Colts. I don't completely trust the talents of T.J. Yates, but it is extremely hard to ignore someone who will likely be approaching 10 ten targets and who is just a hair over $5,000. Also, the Colts have one of the worst secondaries in the NFL.
Other options to consider: Michael Thomas (NOS), Keenan Allen (LAC), Brandin Cooks (NEP), Marquise Goodwin (SF)
Rob Gronkowski (NEP): $8,500 vs. NYJ
Not only is it important to examine which teams have something to play for and which ones do not, it is also important to monitor seasonal contract bonus incentives for individual players. Rob Gronkowski needs only 11 receptions or 116 receiving yards to kick in a $2.5M bonus. Brady and Gronk are probably fully aware of this which makes Gronk an even more elite option this week.
Jack Doyle (IND): $5,400 vs. HOU
Jack Doyle has been a pretty safe value option at the tight end position for most of this season, tying T.Y. Hilton for the most targets on the Colts. In this same matchup in Week 9, Doyle had eight receptions on nine targets for 63 yards. While those numbers don't scream excitement, they would be decent enough for cash game lineups at his current salary.
Other players to consider: Greg Olsen (CAR), Delanie Walker (TEN), Jimmy Graham (SEA), Rhett Ellison (NYG)
- Nick Rose (LAC): $4,600 vs. OAK
- Adam Vinatieri (IND): $4,600 vs. HOU
- Graham Gano (CAR): $4,800 @ ATL
Broncos (DEN) vs. KC $4,600
I really like what the rest of my lineup offers me if I decide to go the value route at defense. For that reason, I'm really considering using the Broncos at home against the Chiefs. The Bronco's defense has been a big letdown this season after doing so well over the previous few years. However, they will face a Chief's team who has absolutely nothing to play for before the playoffs and have already announced they will be sitting some pretty key players from the offense.
Patriots (NEP) vs. NYJ $5,100
If I am spending up on defense this week, it will be with the Patriots at home against the Jets. The Patriots had one of the worst defenses in the NFL during the first half of the season, but they have been extremely solid since their Week 9 Bye. Bryce Petty was not too awful in his first start against a depleted Saint's secondary, but he looked pretty bad last Sunday against the Chargers.
Other defenses to consider: Chargers (LAC), Seahawks (SEA), Lions (DET)