NFL Week 16 Cash Pool: Below are the players that I consider to be viable plays on DraftKings in Cash Games (H2H, Double-Ups, 50/50s). This article is updated throughout the weekend with a final update at 12:00 PM EST on Sunday to account for surprise inactives and late-week news.
Patrick Mahomes ($8,500): Patrick Mahomes is unquestionably the best raw quarterback play on the slate. Still, $8,500 is a steep price to pay for any QB on DraftKings. Mahomes is averaging nearly 28 FPPG on DK and The Chiefs have the only implied team total above 30 on the slate (31.75), and are hosting the only game with a total above 50 (53).
Jalen Hurts ($7,000): Hanging on by an absolute thread in the NFC playoff race, Jalen Hurts and The Eagles will attempt to stay alive on the road in Dallas in what could be their last stand. Hurts ability as a dual threat weapon has made him a fantasy machine through two starts. In the current iteration of Philadelphia’s offense, it’s hard to imagine Hurts has a rushing floor lower than 10 attempts. In only 2 games, Hurts has displayed a massive ceiling on DraftKings after hitting both the 100-yard rushing bonus in Week 14, and throwing for 300-yards passing and 3 touchdowns in Week 15.
QB Positional Notes: The $1500 discount from Mahomes down to Hurts is no small thing. As mentioned above, Mahomes is the better raw projection. With so few viable high-end WRs and RBs on this slate, I would prioritize spending up at those positions to solidify them. Hurts floor/ceiling combination is appealing and it doesn’t feel like you are sacrificing much by plugging in the electric dual threat rookie.
David Montgomery ($7,700): Fresh off of a mouth-watering 33 touch game, David Montgomery is an elite Week 16 play. The Bears are in a must-win situation against a Jacksonville team that couldn’t want to win less. Failed WR Cordarrelle Patterson has operated as Montgomery’s primary back-up and is a longshot to play this week. Montgomery could once again flirt with 30 touches, in a pristine matchup, on a team with the third highest ITT on the slate (27.5).
Le’Veon Bell ($5,800): With Clyde-Edwards-Helaire out, Le’Veon Bell is set up to dominate backfield touches in the best offense in the NFL. It feels like it’s been decades since Le’Veon Bell was one of the league’s most dynamic RBs. Once upon a time, he was a weekly staple in DraftKings cash games. Those days are no longer. Bell has shown as recently as Week 13, that he could fail in a game without CEH (7.5 DK points, 11-40 rush, 2-14 rec). On a particularly ugly slate with few appealing games and even fewer appealing individual teams to target in DFS, Bell is an acceptable floor play as a home favorite (-10.5) on a Chiefs team with a slate-high ITT (31.75).
Melvin Gordon ($5,600): After sending Phillip Lindsay to I.R., Melvin Gordon suddenly has some juice as a narrative-driven play in what will be a revenge game against The Chargers. The 30-40% of snaps that Lindsay siphoned on a weekly basis will leave room for Melvin Gordon to expand into a true 3-down role, with a strangle hold on receiving work and goal line attempts. Royce Freeman (questionable) could be involved, but I expect his usage in Denver’s offense to be capped at around 25% of snaps.
Giovani Bernard ($4,800): I would bet every damn dollar to my name that Giovani Bernard does not replicate the 26 touch performance that he produced last week. Perhaps even more shocking than The Bengals upset over The Steelers, was Bernard’s Week 15 usage. Still, if the Bengals are trying to “run the season out,” then Bernard could once again stumble into a successful fantasy outing. The Texans are one of only two teams allowing over 30 FPPG to opposing running backs and are conceding a league-high 136.86 rushing yards per-game to the position.
Darrell Henderson Jr. ($4,500): With Cam Akers out, Darrell Henderson is the most likely candidate to handle primary rushing duties for a Rams team playing for their playoff lives. The Seahawks have been stout against the run in 2020, and to the dismay of every football viewer with a pair of eyeballs, Malcolm Brown figures to be involved in Sean McVay’s offensive game plan. For Henderson to hit value, he will have to hit the ground running and wet McVay’s whistle enough that LA’s coach rides the hot hand and feeds DH the ball.
RB Positional Notes: The argument could be made that this article should include the likes of Austin Ekeler, Miles Sanders, and perhaps even Nick Chubb. While all three of those players are by definition, “cash viable,” they haven’t fit the builds I’m currently favoring and don’t feel right recommending plays that I’m not truly considering. I think Ekeler is comparable to Montgomery, but ultimately, Montgomery’s touch floor is higher and he is an established goal line threat, something that Ekeler is definitively not. In the mid-range, Bell and Gordon are nearly identical plays. Bell is in a better scoring environment, but Gordon has more gas left in the tank. Giovani Bernard and Darrell Henderson are simply price-based pivots and would only be played in an effort to spend up elsewhere.
Tyreek Hill ($9,000): On a slate without Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, and Davante Adams – Tyreek Hill is the premiere pay-up option on DraftKings. Hill was a limited participant in practice on Thursday and Friday, but is fully expected to suit up and play without limitations. Hill has been targeted 10+ times in five out of the last six games and is averaging 12.5 tar/pg during that span. The Falcons are allowing the second-most FPPG to opposing WRs. This is a dream spot for Cheetah.
Calvin Ridley ($8,500): The Chiefs have been effective at limiting opposing WRs this season, but will have their hands full with Calvin Ridley in Week 16. Ridley has seen 36 targets over the past three weeks and is averaging 131.6 receiving yards per-game over that stretch. With Julio Jones out, Ridley will remain the center piece of Atlanta’s passing attack as Matt Ryan desperately attempts to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes in a shootout.
Diontae Johnson ($6,300): Despite having feet for hands, Diontae Johnson should once again see a hefty share of Ben Roethlisberger’s targets as The Steelers attempt to remain relevant as AFC contenders. Johnson has averaged 11.7 tar/pg over the last seven weeks and has been Pittsburgh’s most consistently utilized weapon in 2020 (when healthy).
Tee Higgins ($4,700): With Tyler Boyd out, Tee Higgins projects to see a larger share of Brandon Allen’s targets in Week 16. The quarterback play in Cincinnati has been abysmal post-Joe Burrow this season and Allen’s limitations as a player cap Higgins’ upside. Boyd’s absence from this game will not change Higgins’ role, the rookie WR was already a full time player. Higgins would not be in play if the WR landscape on DraftKings was not so desolate this week.
Cam Sims ($3,300): With Terry McLaurin doubtful, Cam Sims will be Washington’s de facto WR1 in Week 16. Sims won’t see much of a role change as he has played on an average of 95% of snaps over the past two weeks, but could see an increase in targets without McLaurin on the field. I would expect him to remain behind Logan Thomas and JD McKissic in terms of team pecking order.
WR Positional Notes: Week 16 presents us with overall thinnest crop of viable cash game wide receivers that we’ve had all year. Tyreek Hill is a must play for me. On a macro level, The Chiefs could easily separate from every other team on this slate from an offensive production standpoint. On a micro level, Hill has the ability to separate from every other player on this slate, a statement made only truer when we consider the skill-position players absent from it. In terms of value, I prefer Sims to Higgins. Both of these players could be over projected by people who don’t realize that the respective losses of Terry McLaurin and Tyler Boyd aren’t actually changing either of their roles. Both players should be on the field for 90+% of snaps on terrible offenses. Sims is just $1,400 cheaper.
Dallas Goedert ($3,600): In Jalen Hurts’ two starts for The Eagles, Dallas Goedert has seen a team-leading 16 targets. Goedert has also out-snapped Zach Ertz in three consecutive games since the former favorite target of Carson Wentz returned from injury.
Donald Parham ($2,500): XFL legend Donald Parham should see a near every down role with Hunter Henry on the COVID list and Virgil Green on I.R. Parham is an athletic beast with size, speed, the potential to see targets with Henry out and Keenan Allen banged up. Perhaps best of all, he is a min priced TE on DraftKings.
TE Positional Notes: Travis Kelce or punt? If you’re a regular reader of this article, you know where I stand on the matter. I am simply never paying over $8,000 for a TE on DraftKings. I’m also “one of those guys,” who irrationally and briefly loved the XFL for the excitement of a new DFS medium. It’s safe to say I may have biases towards the great Donald Parham. Even if I did not, the chance to legitimately save $6,000 in salary off of a historically high-priced Kelce for an athletic pass catching TE with boosted opportunity is too good to pass up.
Priority Plays: Jalen Hurts, David Montgomery, Tyreek Hill, Donald Parham
Fades: Austin Ekeler, Tee Higgins, Travis Kelce
Cash Game Results 2020:
Week 1: 185.1 Points. 87% Win Rate (83.3% of 78 H2Hs, 100% of 22 DUs)
Week 2: 161.9 Points. 91.3% Win Rate (90.3% of 103 H2Hs, 100% of 12 DUs)
Week 3: 112.1 Points. 17.7% Win Rate (21% of 119 H2Hs, 0% of 22 DUs)
Week 4: 139.50 Points. 81% Win Rate (77.9% of 104 H2Hs, 100% of 17 DUs)
Week 5: 143.68 Points. 31.1% Win Rate (35.9% of 103 H2Hs, 0% of 16 DUs)
Week 6: 138.12 Points. 32.45% Win Rate (35.9% of 103 H2Hs, 0% of 11 DUs)
Week 7: 199.40 Points. 37.5% Win Rate (32.5 % H2Hs, 91.6% of 12 DUs)
Week 8: 112.66 Points.55.5% Win Rate (61.9% of 105 H2Hs, 0% of 12 DUs)
Week 9: 162.60 Points. 97% Win Rate (95.7% of 119 H2Hs, 100% of 11 DUs)
Week 10: 94.10 Points. 2.2% Win Rate (4% of 119 H2Hs, 0% of 12 DUs).
Week 11: 167.82 Points. 92.5% Win Rate (92% of 161 H2Hs, 100% of 13 DUs)
Week 12: 121.98 Points. 23.7% Win Rate (37/140 H2Hs, 0% of 16 DUs)
Week 13: 152.4 Points. 57.4% Total Win Rate (54.4% of 125 H2Hs, 9/9 DUs)
Week 14: 155.80 Points. 58.5% Total Win Rate (55.9% of 161 H2Hs, 10/10 DUs)
Week 15: 145.96 Points. 13% Total Win Rate (24/170 H2H, 0/15 DUs)