Pick 3-4 players, situations to highlight as particularly attractive or avoid DFS situations for Week 16 after poor game(s) leading up to this week:
- Adam Thielen
- Tyreek Hill
- JuJu Smith-Schuster
- Amari Cooper
- Allen Robinson
- Zach Ertz
- George Kittle
- Eric Ebron
- Jared Cook
- Rob Gronkowski
Phil Alexander: Is it cheating to say all of the above? The Lions don't have the talent in their secondary to hang with both Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Hill is a core play for tournaments every week regardless of matchup. The Patriots were able to take Smith-Schuster out of the game plan for Pittsburgh, but the Saints cornerbacks barely stand a puncher's chance of doing the same. Cooper gets to feast on Tampa Bay's embattled defensive backfield at home. Robinson's role is difficult to project week-to-week but the matchup against San Francisco doesn't get much better.
Dan Hindery: I find the Bears passing game, including Allen Robinson, intriguing this week. While the Bears have been winning games, the passing game has definitely been in a funk the past three weeks. 165 passing yards against the Vikings, 110 against the Rams, and then 235 against the Packers last week are disappointing totals and probably not the type of numbers to make a deep run in the playoffs. The 49ers defense is solid, so it won’t be a walk in the park but we have seen Mitch Trubisky pop off for big weeks quite a few times this season and there is a real possibility he does so again in Week 16.
A matchup against Houston looks like a nice bounce-back spot for Zach Ertz. While it was Alshon Jeffery who exploded for a big game in Nick Foles’ return to the starting lineup, Ertz still tied for the team lead with eight targets. Plus, Houston has given up fantasy points to tight ends a lot less talented than Ertz of late. Since the midway point of the season, Jeff Heuerman has put up 10-83-1, Jordan Reed had 7-71-1, Eric Ebron had 4-65-1, and Jonnu Smith had 2-63-1.
Adam Thielen – Vikings need a big division win to have a chance to score a wild card spot. Lions are playing for next season already, and Thielen should have a solid game against them this week.
Amari Cooper – Cooper has a bounce-back week for sure against a soft Tampa defense. We’ve seen upside for multiple touchdown possibilities and we’ve seen him flame out like last week against the Colts. This week he has a better week with upside for big points.
Allen Robinson – Robinson is a boom or bust player for the Bears. He might be worth a dart or two because he could break a couple long plays. He could also just as easily turn in a two-catch, 30-yard performance.
Eric Ebron – Talked about him above – I think Hilton is the stack to have with Luck, but Ebron could have a good game too.
Tyreek Hill – Kansas City is the SNF game this week but if you do play on a slate with them on it I love going back to the Mahomes/Hill stack. The beauty of Hill is that he can hit value on a single pass no matter at what point in the game. He is probably the only player in the league right now with that built-in ability.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – With the combo of both Smith-Schuster and Brown the Steelers have the best pair of WR’s in the entire league. This should be a good matchup for Smith-Schuster as Brown will demand WR1 coverage. He is coming off a 4/40/0 game against the Patriots but just missed a touchdown in the end zone which would have vaulted his stat line on the week. With this Steelers/Saints game looking like the game of the week with the highest over/under you are going to want to take some shots with players in this game.
Amari Cooper - I think Amari Cooper is a great WR1 this week as the Cowboys look to bounce back from their zero-point effort against the Colts last week. This week the matchup is good for Cooper as the Buccaneers are in the bottom half of the league at defending the pass. With five touchdowns over the past four games and helping to turn around the Cowboys season, I like Cooper to be a focal point this week in the offense.
Zach Ertz – I like Ertz to bounce back in this must-win game for the Eagles. Foles, Jeffery, and Ertz all seem like they are in great spots this week for a high scoring game. Ertz is continuing to chase the TE reception record and is currently at 101 catches on the year. Jason Witten holds the record at 110 receptions in a season so, with only 9 catches to go in two more games, the Eagles will continue to feed Ertz the ball.
Justin Howe: I’m a big fan of Adam Thielen, but I’m nonplussed by his recent drop-off. For one, of course, he had nowhere to go but down, and I’m not a fan of paying Week 7 prices in December. And it’s just no longer wise to merely project him at 8-100-1. In general, the Vikings are shifting more to a run-rooted offense, not one that looks likely to pepper him with targets. He’ll avoid Darius Slay, which is nice, but I don’t care for his volume projection going forward.
Tyreek Hill is never out of DFS appeal. If he was held without a catch for three straight weeks, I’d be forking it over for him the next. Hill is a weekly blowup threat for a reason: the Chiefs don’t care about his limitations, or about his matchup with [insert cornerback here]. They’re always looking to make his game-breaking ability a focal point, and if it didn’t work last week, they’ll try it again this week. Besides, Hill is one of a few top-level receivers who only need 5-6 targets and 3-4 catches to project for dynamism. I’d rather chase volume than efficiency, but if the DFS world is going to zig on Hill over that, I’ll happily zag.
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