Merry Christmas…almost! Before we get to Christmas, we have a juicy 12-game slate on Christmas Eve. As I always say, the holidays are for family, friends, and…football. We are all looking for nice spike’s to make the Christmas weekend that much more enjoyable. This week is a weird one because we don’t have the likes of Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, OBJ, Ezekiel Elliott or the Kansas City Defense to lean on. Draftkings has priced up the top running backs in David Johnson and LeSean McCoy (both over $9,000) and then the next highest is Devonta Freeman with Gordon already being ruled out. My advice this week is to pay up for QB and WR. Lots of lineups are just going to jam in DJ and McCoy and hope to secure 60 points there and build with a low-priced QB and the $5000 WRs. But the top WRs are in great spots and are bound to go under-owned. I’m not saying paying up for DJ, McCoy, or both is wrong. I’ll have exposure, but I’ll look to build lineups I like fading them in what I see as tougher spots. Plus, as you can see, I’m taking Brady this week who is the most expensive QB. Let’s get into it – the TFA Contrary-Ten Week 16 Edition. Happy Holidays!
(Contrary-Ten Cover Boy)
Draftkings Price: $7700
Brady is on a roll and is quietly putting together a solid season despite missing the first four games of the season. He’s already thrown for 3,000 yards and has a ridiculous 22-2 TD-INT ratio. With his rough game (in Denver, mind you) last week I expect a lot of people to be off of Brady and pay down the $100 it takes to get Brees. I’m not going to say that’s a dumb move by any means, but it will be extremely popular. Brady has only had three games without multiple scores and two of them came against Seattle and Denver defenses. Brady has had recent success versus the Jets at home, throwing for five touchdowns total in the last two meetings in New England and over 260 in both games. This year he already put up 286-2 against him in a game he threw 50 times. Jets give up the fifth most points to the QB position and it doesn’t help their case Matt Moore carved them up last week. Brady is this week’s cover boy for the Contrary-Ten.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 10 percent and 7 percent
Draftkings Price: $5000
Tom Savage is the minimum price this week, the same price as Brock Osweiler, who he replaced mid-game last week. I don’t know if Draftkings watched the game last week or are trying to bait me (and you) into playing him this week, but I love this spot for him here. He doesn’t have to do much of anything to return value on this price tag. He got to double-digit DK points without throwing a touchdown. He’s going to score this week in a primetime match-up versus a Bengals defense who have nothing to play for as they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs. The one thing here, too, is that AJ Green may play on Saturday night which would raise the projected points to be scored in this game AND Lamar Miller may miss the game forcing Alfred Blue to start. Yuck. Any quarterback with weapons like DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and C.J. Fiedorowicz in a favorable match-up at minimum price has to be considered any week.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 26 percent and 2 percent
Andrew Luck ($7000) @ Oakland; Tyrod Taylor ($5400) vs. Miami; Matt Barkley ($5000) vs. Washington
Draftkings Price: $6500
This is the best match-up for Todd Gurley of the season. He gets the 49ers awful run defense in a home match-up where the Rams are -4.5 favorites. For those of you who drafted him in season-long leagues, this is your chance to make all the money on Gurley you missed out on. This is the most expensive Gurley has been since Week 6 @ Detroit – hopefully, that scares people off even though the match-up is prime. The 49ers rank 30th in rush DVOA and have allowed multiple rushing TDs to Devonta Freeman, Jordan Howard, David Johnson (week 5), and LeSean McCoy. Gurley is still a great talent, I don’t care what the numbers say. He’s seeing four targets per game in the past four games as well which is very encouraging for his upside and he has a 78 percent usage rate on rushes in the red zone for the Rams. Don’t be scared to plug in Gurley this week with confidence.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 37 percent and 16 percent
Draftkings Price: $5200
Stewart won people a lot of money on the Monday-Thursday slate for week 15. He went over 100 yards in a regular season game for the first time all season and the first time since 2015. If you want the exposure to the Panthers in a game that has a current over/under of 52 and don’t want to play Cam (like myself), Stewart is your guy. There are a ton of Wide Receivers I’d rather pay up for so I need the mid-tier solid running backs. Stewart’s price is way too cheap in my opinion. He’s had three games this year over 20 DK points. He’s gotten over 20 carries the past two games and Cam Newton has been rushing less this year, maybe because of the hits he’s been taking. Stewart wasn’t in the earlier match-up versus Atlanta but I expect him to be heavily used on Saturday and for this price he should have no problem returning 3x value on his price tag.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 3 percent and 2 percent
Bilal Powell ($6000) @ New England; Latavius Murray ($6200) vs. Indianapolis; Jay Ajayi ($5600) @ Buffalo
Draftkings Price: $8100
Remember the last time Julio faced the Panthers pass defense? He just put up the historic line of 12-300-1 line for 51 DK points. It was an incredible performance and I hate to tell anyone to “chase points” but with Julio battling injury, if I think I can get him for any type of ownership discount, I’m all over it. The Panthers pass defense has been playing much better over recent weeks, just ask Kirk Cousins, but Julio is match-up proof. They have no one in their personnel who can cover him. The touchdowns and receptions have been affected by injury but he’s still the No. 2 receiver in yards. This is the cheapest Julio has been all season and he’s scored an incredible 20+ DK points in seven games this year. I expect his ownership to go up slightly more if he’s ruled playing before Saturday morning, but right now he’s going to be too under-owned to not get exposure to him.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 5 percent and n/a percent
Draftkings Price: $7800
Coming into the season a lot was made about Donte Moncrief overtaking Hilton as the No. 1 Wide Receiver for the Colts this season. Of course, no one can predict injury and Moncrief has missed six games because of it, but Hilton is one his way to a career year. Josh Wilson (@JoshWilsonSB) tweeted on Friday that Hilton is “only two catches, 98 yards, and two TDs away from setting single-season career highs in each category.” Yeah, I’m on Hilton. Then when you factor in Oakland’s pass defense ranks 21st in pass DVOA and has given up big plays all year Hilton finds himself in a premiere spot.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 16 percent and 11 percent
Draftkings Price: $6900
I can’t have Edelman be my cover boy without writing up his favorite target, Julian Edelman. To get Brady exposure, I guarantee you the masses are going to flock to Malcolm Mitchell who scored four touchdowns in his previous four games before being held to one target, one catch and 14 yards versus Denver in Week 15. Edelman, however, has been killing on the season despite only hitting pay-dirt twice. He has a 32.5 percent target share over the past five weeks, two of those weeks he had a forty percent target share. Before OBJ’s ridiculous 20 targets last night, Edelman led receivers with 76 targets in the past five weeks. He’s fourth in the league in receptions. The touchdown equity for Edelman this season has made no sense, but he’s scored double-digit DK points in every game since Week 6. If he gets a TD this week, he could be a top-five WR on the slate, easy.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 12 percent and 8 percent
Draftkings Price: $5500
I won’t argue against targeting Jordy Nelson this week, but I cannot play WRs versus Pro Bowler Xavier Rhodes. He’s been shutting down No. 1 Wide Receivers all year, but No. 2 WRs have been able to have great fantasy days against the Vikings. Phillip Dorsett and Erik Swoope both caught TDs last week. Marquise Lee had a line of 5-113 against them. Boldin found success in both match-ups and Pierre Garcon had six catches for 81 yards. Sensing a trend here? It was discussed on the TFA podcast this week how much I love Adams, especially in great spots like this one. Don’t let his 2-6-0 game last week in Chicago discourage you from rostering him. Ty Montgomery was eating and Adams should have had two TDs catches but dropped both them. He’s fourth in the league in TD catches with nine on the year and he is second to Jordy Nelson on the team in RZ usage.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 4 percent and 5 percent
Tyrell Williams ($5800) @ Cleveland; Desean Jackson ($5500) @ Chicago; Marquise Lee ($4300) vs. Tennessee
Draftkings Price: $4900
Every Tight End around Kyle Rudolph has a ‘Q’ tag next to their name on Draftkings. Rudolph has been one of the most consistent options for Bradford all week and one of the few options in the passing game putting up numbers. He’s had double-digit targets in three out of his last four games and double-digit points in all four. He didn’t make the Pro Bowl even though he has scored the third-most points at the Tight End position so I expect him to show out in this match-up. DFS players have made a ton of money picking on the Packers defense this year. From the Tight End position, I want someone who can score around 18-20 points or 5-80-1. I think he’s one of few options you can trust to attain those numbers and he’s under $5000.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 1 percent and 2 percent
Draftkings Price: $3700
Originally I wanted to write up Hopkins in this article because I’m liking Savage this week on a few teams, but when I realized you could get a Savage-Fiedorowicz stack for only $8700 of your $60,000 salary I started salivating. Tight Ends when new QBs come into the offense (rookie or veteran) become instant targets within the offense. The Bengals have quietly struggled all year containing the position and Fiedorowicz has been much better playing at home. He is averaging 10.3 DK points and has had all three of his touchdowns come in home games.
Ownership from Thursday Lock Contests on FantasyAces/FantasyDraft: 3 percent and n/a percent
Antonio Gates ($4400) @ Cleveland; Charles Clay ($3200) vs. Miami; C.J. Uzomah ($2500) @ Houston
Draftkings Christmas Eve Main Slate Team
QB – Tom Brady
RBs – Todd Gurley
WRs – Julian Edelman, Davante Adams, T.Y. Hilton
TE -C.J. Fiedorowicz
Flex – Marquise Lee
D/STs – Patriots D