Week 16 Fantasy Football DraftKings Preview – Championship Week Early Games Edition

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) calls a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

What is going everyone! Andrew Erickson here, hoping to help you on your DraftKings daily fantasy football lineups for Week 16 of the NFL season. I will be going through all the Sunday early games, offering my expert analysis on which players to have in your lineups. It is championship week in most seasonal leagues, but if you are out test your skills on DraftKings this week!

Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5, 43.5)

FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 07: Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs dives for the pylon to score a 4-yard rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 7, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


Over the past six weeks the Miami Dolphins rank 28th versus the QB, 31st versus the RB, and 29th versus the TE. Ironically, they do rank 4th versus the WR, but WR Tyreek Hill at $6,500 has such strong upside that he could be an nice target in tournaments despite his red matchup ranking in DraftKings. Stacking Hill, with TE Travis Kelce at $6,900 and QB Alex Smith at $6,600 is a great option. But if you want to avoid the stack, but still want a piece of this game, grab RB Kareem Hunt at $8,400 in a great matchup.  Chiefs D/ST is a nice play at home at $3,300.

The Chiefs defense has played much better lately, so the only guys I like are RB Kenyan Drake at $7,100 and WR Jarvis Landry at $6,300. The Chiefs over the past six weeks rank 20th against the RB, and even if Miami falls behind, Drake is getting the passing downs work. Same goes for Landry who has had a nose for the end zone this season. In 2017 the Chiefs have allowed the third most TD receptions to the WR.

Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals (+3, 44)

Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals are done.  Over the past two weeks they have allowed the 11th most fantasy points to the QB, second most fantasy points to the RB, and 6th most fantasy points to TE.  These statistics make QB Matthew Stafford at $6,200 a nice play, along with stacking his TE Eric Ebron at $3,700 who has averaged over 14 fantasy points per game over his last two. RB Theo Riddick at $4,700 is also a nice cheap option at RB because of the volume he is getting along with the fact that the Bengals have allowed the third most receiving yards to the RB over the past two weeks. I am not super hopeful of the Lions WRs as the Bengals have allowed the 7th fewest fantasy points to the position over the past six weeks. However if I want to stack one of my Lions WRs with Stafford I will stack Marvin Jones Jr. at $6,400. More touchdown upside.

On the Bengals side, WR A.J Green at $6,700 will be facing off versus Darius Slay in a matchup that could be tough. Avoiding Green. The only Bengals I like are RB Joe Mixon at $5,200. The Lions cannot stop the run. Over the past six weeks the Lions rank 29th versus the RB position. TE Tyler Kroft is worth mentioning as well, as the Lions have traditionally, done very poor versus the TE. They have allowed the eighth most fantasy points to the TE in 2017.

L.A. Rams at Tennessee Titans (+6.5, 47.5)

Oct 1, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) hurdles over Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath (38) in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It is crazy to believe the Titans are in playoff contention, after their performance a week ago. For fantasy the matchup is great for the Rams. The Titans over the past six weeks actually rank number two versus the RB, but RB Todd Gurley at $9,100 is playing at a god-like level. Play him despite the tough matchup. People may shy away from him because of the red matchup on DraftKings. But besides the RB, the Titans have been god-awful versus TE and WR ranking 30th and 24th respectively over the past six weeks.  WR Robert Woods at $6,500 is nice, but any of the Rams wide receivers are worth playing as you construct your lineups. QB Jared Goff at $6,100 could also have a solid game for a reasonable price. Stack with Woods and some of his other wide receivers or with Gurley who is used in the passing game often.

For the Titans offense, TE Delanie Walker at $4,900 is very cheap considering the Rams rank 21st versus the TE. The other positions all have tough matchups, but for WR Rishard Matthews at $5,100 he could definitely be played especially in the projected negative game script for Tennessee.

Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears (-6.5, 38)

cred. /Chicago Tribune

The players that should be in your DraftKings lineups: RB Jordan Howard at $6,600, WR Josh Gordon at $6,300, and CHI D/ST at $3,500. The Browns offense is like a turnover machine and their defense over the past six weeks ranks 21st versus the RB. The Bears defense is extremely underrated, but struggle versus the WR. Over the past six weeks they rank 26th versus the position.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-10.5, 46.5)

Dec 3, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton tosses the ball to running back Christian McCaffrey against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Clause/Daily Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports

A game with a high under/over I really like both QBs in this spot. QB Cam Newton at $6,800 has been playing lights out, and has to make up for his defense allowing the fifth most fantasy points to the QB positon over the past four weeks. QB Jameis Winston at $5,700 is cheap this week and he has been great since returning from his injury. One of the best stacks this week could be Winston with WR Mike Evans at $6,400 and TE Cameron Brate at $3,300. Both WR DeSean Jackson and TE O.J. Howard will be missing, so it will be these guys receiving the majority of targets.

More on the Carolina offense, I really like WR Devin Funchess at $6,600 to bounce back. Over the past four weeks the Buccaneer have allowed the third most fantasy points to the WR. The Buccaneers have also allowed the third most fantasy points to the RB over the past four weeks, making RB Christian McCaffrey at $6,400 another solid option. TE Greg Olsen at $5,200 is another great play versus Tampa Bay. The last time Olsen played versus Tampa Bay at home he went for 181 yards!

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-6, 52.5)

The largest under/over of the week there should be some fireworks for sure. RB Alvin Kamara at $8,300 is one of the more cheap options and should have a great day versus the Falcons who continue to struggle against pass-catching backs. WR Michael Thomas at $7,600 came up on the injury report, which means his ownership will be lower. Still start him, though if he is active for Sunday’s game. QB Drew Brees may be locked in as a top five option this week, as Atlanta as allowed the fourth most fantasy points to the QB over the past two weeks and rank 29th over the past six weeks.

The Falcons offense does not any favorable matchup across the board, but RB Devonta Freeman at $6,500 has been running well and is reasonable priced. Not sure I feel great about rolling WR Julio Jones at $7,900 with how inconsistent he has been in a matchup with Pro Bowl corner Marshon Lattimore.

L.A. Chargers at New York Jets (+6.5, 42.5) 

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson (56) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

QB Philip Rivers at $6,400 is a great option versus the Jets who rank 27th versus the QB over the past six weeks. That being said RB Melvin Gordon at $7,200 seeing tons of carries with RB Austin Ekeler most likely missing. The Jets over the past six weeks rank 25th versus the RB. WR Keenan Allen at $7,700 is a little on the pricey side for especially because he is coming off an injury last week. That is why I do like WR Tyrell Williams at $4,500 who is a big play waiting to happen. I think there is a great return on investment for Williams this week. TE Antonio Gates at $2,500 is literally so cheap, so he is worth slotting into lineups if you are going with the Rivers-Gates stack for sure.

On the Jets side, aside from RB Bilal Powell at $4,000 I am avoiding everyone. Even with WR Robby Anderson at $5,000 getting tons of targets from QB Bryce Petty, I do not love the matchup versus Casey Heyward.

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-11.5, 46.5)

Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;
The New England Patriots running back Mike Gillislee (35) runs the ball during the 1st quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

I game that I will be attending it is all about the Patriots players. Most notably the RBs for New England. RB Dion Lewis at $6,000 is super safe versus the Bills last ranked run defense, so play him. But if you want to take more a dart-throw as we all do in DrafKings or other daily formats, take a risk with RB Mike Gillislee this week. He is $3,900, but with Rex Burkhead out, Gillislee should be re-worked into the rotation. Especially if you love the #revengegame narrative Gillislee is a fun player to add to any lineup this week! For the Bills, I would avoid RB LeSean McCoy at $7,800. There are other RBs priced similarly to McCoy that have much higher ceilings.

Denver Broncos at Washington Redskins (-3.5, 40.5)

Oct 22, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) is tackled by Los Angeles Chargers free safety Tre Boston (33) and linebacker Charmeachealle Moore (50) during the first quarter at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

QB Kirk Cousins can be avoided this week. Despite his great performances at home, I am unsure how he will do versus the Denver Broncos defense. Over the past six weeks they rank 7th versus the QB and 1st versus the WR. The Redskins are lacking offensive playmakers right now so it is tough to trust many of them. The ones that I think are low-salary high ceiling guys are TE Vernon Davis at $3,400 and RB Kapri Bibbs at $3,500. The Broncos defense is weaker versus RBs and TEs so that I why believe that is how the Redskins will attack them. RB Samaje Perine at $4,300 could miss, but if he plays could also be an option.

The Redskins defense has not been great. Versus the RB and WR they rank 26th and 2oth respectively. WR Emmanuel Sander is out so I really like WR Demaryius Thomas at $5,500. Very cheap price for a player that averages over 13 fantasy points per game. RB C.J. Anderson has a good matchup, but seems like a player that you are chasing points with. Not sure if Denver will have a big lead where they can just turn to run on very play. Anderson is all about volume and there is always sense of risk with Anderson getting that volume.