Week 16 brings a shorter slate with three games knocked off over to the Saturday slate, so we have just 10 games with three of them in the late afternoon window.
It appears there is no weather issues in the forecast for the main slate of games although the Titans/Packers does project to have snow in the Sunday Night Football matchup. This is essentially our last big slate of the season because the route to go in Week 17 is play 1PM and 4PM only slates over the main slate where the value is just insane due to guys resting; and in 2020 with only one bye, I think there’s going to be a ton of teams resting starters. If you missed out on the Saturday 3-game slate then you need to be playing the short 4PM only slate this afternoon to get used to those type of slates for the playoffs.
INJURIES AND MOTIVATION FACTORS
The Chiefs are going to be the #1 seed in the AFC, which means they are the only team getting a BYE and have nothing much to play for these last two weeks. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire going down last week, I think they’d be wise to not come out and suddenly give 100% of the touches to Le’Veon Bell who should be a popular choice. These next two weeks are just get in and get out for the Chiefs.
The same honestly can start to be said for any team who is likely going to be a #2, #3 or #4 seed. The only team who truly falls into this category though in Week 16 is Buffalo and they are playing on Monday Night. The Seahawks, Rams, Washington, Eagles, Bears, Colts, Steelers, Browns, Ravens are all still technically playing for a playoff spot or even a first round home game. Now, the home game doesn’t mean as much this year with limited crowds but I do think teams would greatly prefer to be home in the first round than having to travel three times to make the Super Bowl.
- Antonio Gibson (Questionable) – This is a huge one with McLaurin banged up for Washington. If he sits JD McKissic gets a huge bump, but I expect Gibson to be in.
- DeSean Jackson is expected back for Philadelphia. I could honestly care less about his impact and so should you.
A lot of players on the Chiefs will be hyped up this week but nobody specifically over the rest. I am fading all Chiefs this week because I don’t see them forcing the issue into a high scoring game with the Falcons. Outside of that, here are the highest owned players (non-Chiefs) projected on this slate.
QB – Jalen Hurts, DeShaun Watson
RB – David Montgomery, Austin Ekeler, Miles Sanders, Nick Chubb
WR – Calvin Ridley, Allen Robinson, DJ Moore, Cooper Kupp
TE – Cole Kmet, Mark Andrews, Logan Thomas
DEF – Bears, Washington, Cleveland
Ben Roethlisberger (Ambush Play)
You gotta have a short memory in DFS. Too many times we read analysis that hypes up a pick and then says something in reference to what happened last week as the reason why it’s gonna be that way again. In reality that’s nothing more than just finding a cheap way to justify what is usually an obvious play. In the case of Big Ben though we’re going opposite of what the public see’s over these last few games from the Steelers. I have full confidence that Pittsburgh is still a team to not sleep on coming out of the AFC if we’re considering non Kansas City teams. Yes, the offense has hit a brick wall but tell me the last time the Steelers had a normal Sunday afternoon game?
The answer is November 22nd in Week 11. Since then Pittsburgh went through the chaos of re-scheduling with the Ravens (Wednesday), then faced Washington on an odd day (Tuesday), followed up with a very difficult game on Sunday Night at Buffalo and then slept walked through the first half on Monday night vs Cincinnati. No doubt they went through a dip, but the Colts defense this week will start to get them back on track as this is a near must win for Pittsburgh. If the Steelers win, they’re home in the first round and can just rest in Week 17. If they lose, they have to go face a hungry Browns team for the AFC North division crown next week. Indianapolis has yielded over 300 yards in four of their last five with the lone exception being when Derrick Henry ran over their throats. Pittsburgh has enough depth and talent at WR to exploit the Colts. In a week where a lot of the QB options seem kind of thin I will gladly take Big Ben getting back on track with a 300 yard and 3 TD performance in a gotta have it spot.
Typically the Rams use the running game to have success when they travel up to Seattle, but Goff should find a way to pick apart a still bad Seattle secondary. Question is can he get the big touchdown game and I’m cautious about that.
Watson is in cruise control right now riding out the season with full control over this offense. He gets the Bengals coming off their biggest win in a long time and should just dismantle Cincinnati’s secondary.
Just missed the cut: Russell Wilson, Jalen Hurts
Not Touching: Patrick Mahomes
Miles Sanders (Ambush Play)
The Eagles are starting to get some momentum on offense because the change to Jalen Hurts has allowed their offensive line to focus on run blocking and avoid issues with quick passes. A lot of this means that Miles Sanders is able to no longer just be a guy helping to pass protect in certain spots but also someone who has greatly benefited from some opened up running lanes. The San Francisco 49ers were able to do what I expected last week and unfortunately Mostert got hurt and obviously had to deal with other mouths to feed on the ground. Sanders only has to contend with maybe a Jalen Reagor jet sweep or two and Jalen Hurts keeping it himself. It’s really hard for me to imagine Miles doesn’t continue to touch the ball a ton after 42 touches the last two weeks combined.
The Bears are very much alive and as of the time I am writing this we don’t know the outcome of the Cardinals game but if they somehow lose to the 49ers then Chicago is in full control for the #7 spot in the NFC. Going into Jacksonville they should be smart and rely upon Montgomery and their defense which are two logical ways to beat the Jaguars. Just don’t yell at me if for some crazy reason they let Trubisky throw the ball 40+ times in this game because there’s absolutely zero reason for them to do that against one of the worst home rush defenses in the NFL.
If you want to stack a team in a blowout situation it’s the Texans and not the Chiefs and it should include David Johnson along with Watson and a pass catcher or two. The Texans were able to get Johnson the ball plenty last week and although they still are poor in the run blocking arena, I do expect them to have goal to go situations and Johnson is in a great spot to hit value simply with natural attrition and single touchdown.
Without McLaurin the Washington offense is going to be really thin in terms of who touches the ball. Gibson is questionable but trending towards playing and he seems to be the forgotten man against a rush defense who has been targeted almost every week this season. If Washington is gonna win, Gibson is going to have to find the endzone.
Just Missed The Cut: Austin Ekeler, Chris Carson
Not Touching: Lev Bell, Nick Chubb
I mentioned above why I don’t like the Chiefs and specifically Lev Bell. Chubb on the other hand just gets a team that I still dont want to attack on the ground when the Browns should be able to have so much success through the air and Kareem Hunt is going to split touches with Chubb. While the Browns won’t let the Jets slip past them like the Rams did, they are in a classic look ahead spot with a massive Pittsburgh game in Week 17. Get in and get out spot.
Cooper Kupp (Ambush Play)
One thing that really stood out to me in the Rams-Seahawks match-up is how few plays both offenses have ran the last two weeks. Seattle has been under 60 offensive snaps two games in a row while the Rams have run 63 (vs New England) and 59 (vs NY Jets) the last two weeks. For both teams these are low numbers and signs of the offenses not converting on third down and honestly both teams have underwhelmed in the passing game lately. Specifically for the Rams, the man who has been Goff’s conversion guy all along is Cooper Kupp. When the Rams offense is moving, Kupp is seeing double digit targets and he should feast against the secondary we’ve picked on all season in Seattle. Look for the Rams to have more success controlling this game between their ground game and quick passes to Kupp.
When the Eagles and Cowboys meet on Sunday afternoon, Philadelphia will be getting back #1 CB Darius Slay who I expect to draw most of his assignments with Amari Cooper, but Philadelphia is also going to be down DL Josh Sweat who has had a strong season generating pressure on opposing teams. All this combined with what projects to be a good paced up game leads me to expecting Lamb to see a high volume of productive targets this week against the Eagles second tier DB’s. Lamb has just one 100 yard game in his rookie season but with Philadelphia’s stout rushing defense the Cowboys should pass it a high volume and I expect Lamb to have in the neighborhood of 7-9 catches which gives him a great chance to hit the 100 yard bonus and my favorite TD bet of the week is a Lamb touchdown in this game.
Lockett has had just a couple blow up games this year but otherwise has actually taken a step backwards. This is a spot the Seattle offense is going to have to find a way to live without DK Metcalf as Jalen Ramsey likely shadows him once again. Lockett has proven to be Wilsons go to guy in big divisional spots and I would have faith in using him in a stack spot with Kupp and Goff on the other side.
This hit earlier this season and we’re gonna go right back to someone who has really been a let down the last couple of weeks. The oft-injured Mike Williams should once again dominate the Broncos depleted secondary if he can remain on the field. Williams has receiving totals ranging from 65 to 117 yards with 2 touchdowns in the last 4 meetings against Denver and Herbert went to him 8 times back in early November when the two AFC West rivals met up. This should be another high upside game for the $4500 Williams provided he can just stay on the darn field.
Just Missed The Cut: Jarvis, Landry, Brandin Cooks, DJ Moore
Not Touching: Tyreek Hill, Calvin Ridley, Allen Robinson,
Eric Ebron (Ambush Play)
This is my big bold call of the week, Eric Ebron hauls in two touchdowns and I’ll have both Ebron and Logan Thomas together in a two TE lineup that has Big Ben at QB. If Ben is going to have a big game as I expect then we gotta pair him with a pass catcher and Ebron is the one who has the better match-up and for his $4200 price on DraftKings makes the most sense in a bounce back spot after getting banged up vs Cincinnati last week. Lots of questions about Ben’s arm right now but he will still find his big TE over the middle as he was doing prior to this last game. Expect a solid game from Ebron who finds the endzone twice this weekend.
Logan Thomas (Ambush Play)
Early in the season I was very much against Logan Thomas with Haskins at QB, but the converted TE has won me over. He’s such a big target that has to see an increase in usage with Terry McLaurin banged up and facing the small and wide open Panthers zone defense. All Thomas did last week was haul in 13 of 15 targets for 101 yards and he has an equally strong match-up this week, yet for some reason he’s being ignored in ownership projections. Lock him in.
Philadelphia has changed up their offense and now that the ball is coming out quickly it’s benefiting Goedert quite a bit. With Ertz back in the mix Dallas G has still seen a high number of targets and should strongly be considered in Philly-Dallas gamestacks.
Just Missed The Cut: Austin Hooper
Not Touching: Travis Kelce
Baltimore Ravens (Ambush Play)
If you pay up for a home defense it has to be the Ravens vs the Giants. No matter who is in at QB for the Giants this year they’re prone to turn it over and this is an extremely tough spot for the Giants to muster up much of a competition against a good Ravens defense.
Defense is a hot pile of garbage considering it’s Week 16 and generally there’s an easy button defense to lock in. I certainly can understand thinking the Browns are in a lock button spot vs the Jets, but the Bears are in a must win position and Jacksonville’s only threat to them is James Robinson who didn’t practice all week and is questionable.
Cincinnati just had their “Super Bowl” vs Pittsburgh, and we should go back to picking on this bad offense. Houston is a team who gets gashed on the ground but still has a viable pass rush and generate enough defensive points that way to make them a good value play.
1. Big Ben and the Steelers get right at home vs the Colts. Play Big Ben and Ebron together.
2. Miles Sanders & Cee Dee Lamb lead their teams in a nice NFC East afternoon battle.
3. Ravens Defense dominates the afternoon.
4. TE has all the value you need this week with Ebron and Logan Thomas
5. Cooper Kupp and Tyler Lockett setup for a late afternoon back and forth NFC West title bout.
THE AMBUSH Q&A
QUESTION: Who is getting overlooked this week and why is it Russell Wilson?
Everyone has a short term memory and we forget how dominant Wilson was at home early in the season. With a tough defense on the other side Wilson is projecting to be maybe 2-5% owned at best but the game flow sets up extremely well in a game both teams are desperate to win. I have faith in Wilson against any defense and without a dominant running game right now to lean on he will have to keep Seattle in this one. Goff is the higher projected QB based upon price but Wilson has far less ownership on him and there’s no reason he should be this low.
QUESTION: Favorite 1PM and 4PM only stacks and plays?1PM ONLY
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, Chase Claypool, Eric Ebron
- Houston Texans: DeShaun Watson, David Johnson, Brandin Cooks, Texans Defense
- Rams vs Seahawks: Goff or Wilson, Kupp, Lockett
QUESTION: What’s the game you do not have a lot of players in which scares you to go off?
QUESTION: Favorite Bets of the Week?