Derrick Henry Key to Week 16 DFS
NFL Week 16 - Week 16 is here and it brings a 10-game slate full of studs. If you're hoping to play a lot of them, you'll need some bottom-of-the-barrel options to make it happen. So let's get to it and go over all the best plays of this week.
Josh Allen $8500 @ Chicago Bears
The Bills aren't in as other-worldly form as they were in 2021, but Josh Allen consistently produces with his legs and averages 57 rushing yards in his last seven games, picking up four rushing touchdowns in that time. The Bears have the 32nd-ranked defense over the last four weeks and have allowed three different quarterbacks to rush for over 50 yards in a game this season, while five different quarterbacks have scored a rushing touchdown against them, including three for Jalen Hurts in Week 15.
Usage Suggestions: Allen is an expensive choice in a prime matchup, and it'll make the rest of your lineup tough to build, but he has slate-breaking potential and can easily score 30-plus against the Bears. In tournaments, we can get aggressive and stack Allen with Stefon Diggs in a move some will find too uncomfortable to make.
Justin Fields $7500 vs. Buffalo Bills
Justin Fields became the third quarterback in league history to rush for 1,000 yards with 95 yards on Sunday, and on Monday told reporters that he is aiming to surpass Lamar Jackson's record 1,206-yard season in 2019. To break that record, Fields will need to average 69 yards per game, and if he does that there's a very strong chance he'll be returning value each week. The Bills defense has allowed just one quarterback to rush for 30 or more yards this season, but they haven't faced any dual threats outside of Lamar Jackson, and we shouldn't be worried about the matchup when Fields has averaged 100.7 yards per game in his last eight games.
Usage Suggestions: Fields feels a stronger play for tournaments this week rather than cash games (50/50 or multipliers) on the off chance that he isn't able to hit his floor if the Buffalo defense shows up.
Joe Burrow $7000 @ New England Patriots
The Bengals are heating up at the right time of year and Joe Burrow has scored 24 or more points in three of his last five games, has scored the second-most passing touchdowns (31), and now ranks fifth in effective yards. The Patriots defense ranks 17th in pass defense DVOA over the last four games and is coasting by reputation thanks to having stomped some weak teams earlier in the year. The Bengals are not a weak team, and Burrow is averaging 2.6 passing touchdowns over his last five games. This Bengals offense should be too much for the Patriots.
Usage Suggestions: Burrow is in such good form I wouldn't be afraid of playing him in either cash games or tournaments. Tee Higgins matches up well for stacks with New England 25th against WR2s in DVOA.
Gardner Minshew $4800 @ Dallas Cowboys
The bargain bin selection of the week is Gardner Minshew, who is sometimes more meme than quarterback, but this week likely gets a chance to start for the Eagles in an important game against the Cowboys. Earlier in the season, the Cowboys defense looked dominant, but lately they have fallen off, ranking 24th in passing defense DVOA over the last four games. In 2021, Minshew played two full games and scored over 18 fantasy points in both of them.
Usage Suggestions: Minshew is cheap enough to consider for both cash and tournaments.
Derrick Henry $8600 vs. Houston Texans
The Texans allow the most adjusted fantasy points to running backs and Derrick Henry has had their number in recent years, going over 200 rushing yards in each of their last four meetings. Henry ranks fourth in effective yards and has finished as a top-seven running back on eight occasions this year, and he feels as safe a bet as any this week.
Usage Suggestions: Much like Josh Allen, fitting Henry into your lineup means you'll have to get uncomfortable elsewhere to make it work. But Henry feels like such a lock that it's worth trying to build around him in cash games.
Saquon Barkley $7900 @ Minnesota Vikings
Since Week 11, the Vikings have allowed three running backs to rush for more than 80 yards in a game, and in that time they have also allowed two running backs to have over 70 receiving yards against them. Barkley comes into this game off a season-high eight targets and 87 rushing yards. The Vikings rank 26th in DVOA against throws to running backs and have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs catching the ball.
Usage Suggestions: With Derrick Henry set to be such a popular pick, it's unlikely Barkley becomes too chalky, and as such he's an excellent play as leverage off of Henry. It's unlikely you can fit both in a lineup without having to get very cheap elsewhere.
Jerick McKinnon $5900 vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks rushing defense has plummeted in recent weeks, ranking 31st in DVOA over the last four games, and they also rank 29th against running backs in the receiving game. McKinnon has scored 66.6 PPR points in his last two games and is less likely to be scripted out of the game compared to Isiah Pacheco. The Seahawks have allowed nine running backs to score over 15 PPR points, including three in the last three games, and 12 different running backs have scored a touchdown against them.
Usage Suggestions: McKinnon still feels a little shaky for cash games with his role fluctuating, but if we want to play the studs this week we have to get cheap somewhere.
J.K. Dobbins $5800 vs. Atlanta Falcons
Since Dobbins' return from IR, he leads all running backs in rushing yards with 245 in two games and averages a ridiculous 8.8 yards per carry. The Ravens passing game is floundering to the point where they had to claim Sammy Watkins on waivers, but the ground game has been consistently working now that the offensive line is healthy. Regardless of who plays at quarterback, Dobbins looks to be in a good spot against a Falcons rushing defense that ranks 24th in DVOA over the last four weeks, allows the seventh-most adjusted fantasy points this year, and has allowed eight running backs to score 18 or more PPR points.
Usage Suggestions: This play is cheap enough for cash games and also fine for tournaments. If you want to gain leverage off Dobbins, who may prove popular, Gus Edwards is $4,800 and has seen plenty of involvement of late but hasn't scored the points so far.
Stefon Diggs $8500 @ Chicago Bears
We're simply blessed with too many good choices at the top of the price range this week, and with Derrick Henry such a well-known good play, it's possible that Stefon Diggs, at the same price, goes under-rostered, which could be a huge mistake for a wide receiver who has scored over 20 points in eight games this year. The Bears rank 30th against WR1s and have allowed four players to pick up 95 or more receiving yards since Week 10 alone.
Usage Suggestions: Stacking Diggs and Allen together might force you to miss out on Henry, but that stack has real slate-breaking potential and could be the key to tournaments this week.
DK Metcalf $7100 @ Kansas City Chiefs
This season, DK Metcalf hasn't reached the heights we have seen in previous years, but he has been a value compared to his offseason ADP of 57.8 and has scored over 17 PPR points in half of his games this year. The Chiefs rank 32nd against WR1s and allow the third most yardage to them, along with allowing 12 wide receivers to score 15 or more PPR points. With Tyler Lockett missing this game, Metcalf is the clear best choice to target.
Usage Suggestions: Metcalf makes for an interesting tournament correlation with Jerick McKinnon or can be played on his own.
Tee Higgins $7000 @ New England Patriots
Ja'Marr Chase often attracts the headlines and has the higher ceiling of the two Bengals receivers, but Higgins is consistently available at a discount and has scored 16 or more fantasy points in three of his last five games. The Patriots struggle against WR2s, ranking 25th in DVOA, and this season they have allowed nine receivers to pick up 70 or more receiving yards.
Usage Suggestions: There won't be many people stacking the Bengals this weekend, and as such, it looks like a very appealing play for tournaments.
DJ Moore $5500 vs. Detroit Lions
The Lions are a resurgent team who have improved greatly since their bye week, but they still struggle against wide receivers, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to the position, including four games since Week 11 where an opposing receiver scored 19 or more PPR points. DJ Moore now has a career-high five touchdowns this year, and whilst his production has been up-and-down, this feels like a good spot with the Panthers unlikely to be able to count on their running backs against the Lions defense that ranks third-best over the last four games.
Usage Suggestions: Moore is cheap enough to consider for cash if you're selecting several of the expensive studs.
Chris Moore $4700 @ Tennessee Titans
The Titans passing defense is 31st in DVOA over the last four games, and in that spell they have allowed the third-most deep targets, which is an area Chris Moore can exploit, having six deep targets in his last two games. Moore's Week 14 22.4 PPR points might be a break from what we can normally expect, but at $4,700 it's a price worth considering.
Usage Suggestions: The Texans aren't a team to rely on in cash games, but when using Derrick Henry in tournaments, I like correlating Chris Moore with him.
Richie James $3900 @ Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings consistently struggle against slot receivers, allowing the second-most fantasy points across the league. Richie James has lined up in the slot on 82% of his snaps this season and is averaging 5.8 targets over the last four games. At this price, we don't need a huge game for James to pay off, and he could be the skeleton key to allowing us to play the more expensive players elsewhere.
Usage Suggestions: James is cheap enough and in a strong enough matchup that I would consider him for all formats, but most likely in lineups without Saquon Barkley in case Barkley hoovers up the near-line-of-scrimmage targets.
Travis Kelce $8000 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Another elite player coming at a cost is Travis Kelce, who faces a Seattle defense that allows the most adjusted fantasy points to tight ends and gives up 7.7 targets per game to the position along with the third-most receiving yards at 62.3. It's possible, even likely, that Kelce goes over both of those numbers this week with 8.6 targets and 80.8 receiving yards in his last five games.
Usage Suggestions: People often look to pay down at tight end to open up spending elsewhere, and if Kelce is going to be low-rostered, he offers an excellent opportunity to gain leverage. It'll be hard to do, but correlating Kelce with Metcalf looks explosive.
T.J. Hockenson $4900 vs. New York Giants
The Giants rank 32nd in DVOA against tight ends and will have their work cut out against T.J. Hockenson, who averages eight targets per game since arriving in Minnesota. The Giants also have allowed the second-most deep targets in the last four games with 23, and Hockenson has had at least one deep target in each of his last three games.
Usage Suggestions: This matchup is strong enough that Hockenson can be considered for cash games and tournaments.
Chigoziem Okonkwo $3500 vs. Houston Texans
Chigoziem Okonkwo has scored double-digit points in each of his last three games, which is a level of consistency we don't always see at tight end. The Texans allow the seventh-most fantasy points to the position and have allowed three top-12 fantasy performances to the position since Week 11.
Usage Suggestions: Okonkwo can be seen as leverage off Derrick Henry or stacked with him in tournaments. Playing Travis Kelce and Okonkwo together is the kind of move you might need to make if you want to fit Kelce into lineups.
That's all for now, but as ever this article will be updated till the games kick off. If you have any questions you can find me on Twitter, where I'll be posting plays for the Christmas Day slate, and you can also hop into the Football Outsiders Discord and ask them there.
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