Over the course of the season I’ll look at each game utilizing recent trends, usage, opportunity, and performance to find potential FanDuel value plays.
But first, let’s do a quick recap of Week 15. My goal is to have at least 2x value in my cash picks and 3x value for GPPs on FanDuel.
I’m aiming for a 55 percent hit rate for cash picks (to beat the rake), and a minimum 20 percent hit rate for GPP picks (which is the typical GPP cash threshold).
Three of my seven cash picks hit last week (42.9 percent success rate). Colin Kaepernick (2.32x) was able to pile up garbage time points into a 17.4-point outing, while Pierre Garcon (2.09x) and Cameron Meredith (2.76x) both reached value. I struck out on my GPP calls and will be looking to bounce back there in Week 16.
That brings me to an overall record with a 56.2 percent success rate in cash picks and 20.0 percent success rate in GPPs.
Let’s dive into some value plays to pursue this week.
Week 16 FanDuel Value Plays
Tyrod Taylor ($7,500) – Cash
Despite coming off a sub-200 yard passing game against the Browns last week, Tyrod Taylor looks to be in a great spot in Week 16 to capitalize against a depleted Dolphins secondary. Taylor takes on a Miami defense that’s allowing the eighth-most passing touchdowns and tenth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Taylor has scored at least 15 points (2x value) in 11 of 14 games this season and is averaging over 37 rushing yards per game — nearly the equivalent of an additional passing touchdown. He had a 24.3-point outing in his previous matchup with Miami and could put up a similar performance this week playing as 3.5-point home favorites.
Matt Barkley ($6,300) – Cash
Washington’s secondary has struggled this season, giving up the fifth-most passing yards and sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Five of the last six quarterbacks they faced threw for over 300 yards, averaging 21.4 fantasy points over that span. Matt Barkley has been rather hit or miss playing in his four starts, but one came in a heavy snow game and the other in one that had one of the lowest temperature games ever in Chicago. Barkley has still managed to throw for 300-plus yards and throw for multiple scores twice in his four starts. Current weather forecasts depict this game as nothing to worry about, and with the plus matchup against Washington’s vulnerable secondary, Barkley makes for a sound punt play at $6,300.
Bilal Powell ($6,500) – GPP
Matt Forte‘s torn meniscus has limited him to just eight total touches over the past two weeks. During that span, Bilal Powell has burst onto the scene with 61 total touches while averaging 27.1 fantasy points per game. The Jets are massive 16.5-point road dogs in this one, which will likely force New York to utilize Powell out of the backfield as a receiver. Powell’s coming off an 11-reception game, which bodes well against a Patriots defense that has allowed the second-most receptions and receiving yards to opposing backs. It’s hard to imagine Forte rushing back given the Jets’ 4-10 record, leaving Powell in line for another potential garbage time game.
Kenneth Farrow ($6,100) – Cash
Kenneth Farrow was a swing and a miss at this spot last week, but with Melvin Gordon still sitting out of practice (as of this writing on Tuesday), Farrow will look to be the lead dog on an early Saturday game. The last three lead running backs that have faced the Browns have averaged 27.4 fantasy points with some monster outings. The Browns have allowed the second-most rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and fantasy points to opposing running backs. They rank dead last in FootballOutsiders‘ Run DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). Fire up Farrow with confidence.
Frank Gore ($6,000) – Cash
The Raiders defense is starting to turn around but it’s still quite vulnerable against the ground game. Oakland is giving up the fourth-most rushing yards, seventh-most rushing touchdowns, and ninth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. They’re allowing 3.7 red zone trips per game to opposing offenses — thee fourth-highest rate in the league. Frank Gore may have to contend for red zone looks (carries plus targets) with Robert Turbin (six touchdowns this season), but Gore is still seeing 61.8 percent of the red zone opportunities between the two. With a game total currently at 53 points (highest of the week), there should be more than enough opportunities for both to thrive in this matchup.
Michael Crabtree ($6,200) – Cash
FanDuel is giving out some great holiday deals on wideouts this week and it begins with Michael Crabtree. Over the past four weeks, Crabtree is averaging 9.8 targets per game and has either scored and/or reached 100-plus receiving yards in three of four. The Colts’ corners are rather stationary and don’t move around the formation, which should leave Crabtree running most of his routes against Rashaan Melvin. ProFootballFocus ranks him as their 65th-ranked corner, allowing 0.24 fantasy points per route defended. Melvin has been targeted heavily by opposing quarterbacks, being challenged on 23 percent of his routes in coverage. That should lead to plenty of volume Crabtree’s way in the highest scoring game of the week.
Jordan Matthews ($5,600) – GPP (TNF)
The perimeter corners of New York have been playing great football as of late, but we’ve seen the middle of this Giants’ defense susceptible to being exploited. Golden Tate and Randall Cobb both hit the century mark against the Giants, and it should leave optimism for Jordan Matthews to expand on his 6-88-0 line when he played them in Week 9. Outside of missing Week 13’s contest, Matthews has had double-digit targets in six of his last seven games. Slot cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has given up 0.27 fantasy points per route defended and the Giants rank top-ten in most receiving yards allowed to wideouts. Should Janoris Jenkins miss the game, forcing the Giants to move Rodgers-Cromartie outside, that would mean Matthews is likely run most of his routes against 32 year old Leon Hall. Even then, Matthews’ heavy volume still makes him in play at $5,600.
Tyler Boyd ($5,300) – GPP
Another value play that could pay off handsomely is Tyler Boyd from Cincinnati. Kareem Jackson has struggled defending slot receivers this season, allowing 0.41 fantasy points per route defended. Slot receivers T.Y. Hilton (9-115-1) and Dontrelle Inman (6-119-1) both found success operating in the middle of the field. Since A.J. Green‘s injury, Boyd has been playing on 70 percent of the team’s snaps averaging 6.4 targets over that span. Vegas has the line trending towards Cincinnati’s direction in what has now become almost a pick ’em, with Houston narrow one-point home favorites. Both teams rank top-ten in plays per game, meaning more volume.
C.J. Fiedorowicz ($4,900) – Cash
After missing last week’s game with a concussion, C.J Fiedorowicz should return to the starting lineup in a home matchup against Cincinnati. The Bengals rank top-three in most receptions, receiving yards, and fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends this season. Five tight ends have scored at least 9.8 fantasy points against Cincinnati (2x value for Fiedorowicz). Fiedorowicz is averaging eight target per game over his last four, and should see an uptick in quarterback performance with Tom Savage under center.
Charles Clay ($4,500) – Cash
Over his last two games, Charles Clay has put up stat lines of 3-52-1 and 7-72-1, averaging 14.7 fantasy points over that span. His knee injury that bothered him for much of the season looks to be behind him, and with Sammy Watkins back out there, things are opening up for Clay in the middle of the field. Miami has allowed the sixth-most receiving touchdowns to opposing tight ends and ranks 18th in DVOA against the position. Add in a dash of former-team narrative and you get a fairly sound play at the minimum $4,500 price.