Daily Fantasy Football Week 16: DraftKings, FanDuel Strategies and Value Picks

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 20, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 16: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints reacts against the Indianapolis Colts during a game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on December 16, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

If regular-season NFL action is your preferred daily fantasy option of choice, time is running out to cash in on the 2019 campaign.

Only two weeks are left on the slate, and as any seasoned fantasy footballer can attest, it might functionally be only one, since Week 17 can get unpredictable.

So, even though this format always keeps the pressure up, it could feel even higher than most weeks with the seconds ticking down on the season clock.

Let's help you make the most of things by identifying two core players and two value picks who demand consideration on your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.


Week 16 Core Players

Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints ($9,300 DK; $9,000 FD)

The wide receiver position is inherently volatile. The player doesn't control his touches, and he's at the mercy of everything from quarterback accuracy and coaching aggressiveness to defensive coverage and game script.

But somehow Michael Thomas has found a way to almost eliminate all volatility. Seven of his last eight outings have featured at least 101 receiving yards. He's averaged 10 receptions and 0.625 touchdowns in this stretch.

His price reflects his scorching hot streak, but consistency at the position is worth the heavy investment. Plus, his upcoming opponent, the Tennessee Titans, have been ripped apart by this position's elite, like DeAndre Hopkins (six receptions for 119 yards), Tyreek Hill (11 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown) and Mike Evans (11 grabs for 198 yards and two scores).


Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles ($6,400 DK; $6,900 FD)

As with Thomas, Zach Ertz comes attached to a level of security seldom seen at his position.

Tight end target shares have seemed to rise and fall with little (if any) rhyme or reason. But as the last recognizable pass-catcher on an injury-ridded Philly roster, he is all but guaranteed to be an active participant in the aerial attack. He's been targeted 10-plus times in five of his last six games, totaling 47 receptions for 464 yards and five touchdowns in this stretch.

Ertz almost produces like a WR1, he just isn't priced as such. That makes him a worthwhile investment every week, but he looks especially inviting against a Dallas Cowboys defense allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends, per Yahoo Sports.


Week 16 Value Picks

Drew Lock, QB, Denver Broncos ($5,600 DK; $7,300 FD)

Looking to save some pennies on your passer so you can splurge on skill players? Drew Lock should be right up your alley.

Forgive the rookie for his Week 15 struggles. As bad as the numbers might look (45.0 completion percentage, zero scores with one pick), just remember he was playing in a snowstorm and against a defense that's probably stingier than you realize (Kansas City Chiefs, 11th-fewest passing yards allowed per game).

Go back to Lock's two previous starts—the first and second of his NFL career—and he connected on 72.7 percent of his passes while throwing for five touchdowns against two interceptions.

Now, he draws a Detroit Lions defense allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. It's almost like the football gods scheduled him a bargain-priced bounce-back game.


Mike Boone, RB, Minnesota Vikings ($4,900 DK; $5,900 FD)

The injury reports will make or break this recommendation. But with Dalvin Cook unlikely to play, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, and Alexander Mattison not practicing as of Thursday, Mike Boone is looming large as a clearance-priced potential starter.

It would be the first start of Boone's NFL career, so an investment here would require some risk. But it would still be a start in one of the league's top rushing attacks against one of its worst run defenses. The Green Bay Packers give up the eighth-most fantasy points per game, making him an intriguing option if he ends up atop this backfield.

He already flashed his potential in Week 15, when injuries afforded him 13 carries, and he capitalized on the chances with 56 rushing yards and two scores. He has something close to RB1 upside, and if he delivers on it, he'll probably be the common link between Week 16's biggest daily fantasy winners.