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Fantasy Football Picks: New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Christmas Eve Showdown Strategy

Pearce Dietrich gives his top DraftKings NFL Showdown picks for Sunday Night Football on Christmas Eve.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

DraftKings Fantasy Football features a merry Christmas Eve showdown in Week 16. The DFS main slate may be in the books, but there is plenty of DFS action available for Sunday Night Football. Check out the NFL Showdown Slate DFS picks for the Week 16 Sunday Night Football matchup between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1M Sunday Night Showdown [$250K to 1st] (NE vs DEN)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Pick

Ezekiel Elliott (CP $15,300)

The Broncos had a nice run, but it’s over. The defense did not magically turn things around. They simply forced turnovers and won games. When the turnovers dried up, the Broncos got beat down. Denver has allowed 1,806 rushing yards (most) and 12 rushing touchdowns (fifth-most). That’s good enough for the second-most fantasy points surrendered to running backs this season (30.5 DKFP per game). But it doesn’t end there. They let QBs and RBs play pitch and catch, too. Running backs have caught 76 passes for 531 yards and five touchdowns. All three of those numbers rank inside the bottom 10 in the NFL. Elliott did not do much on the ground last week. Although he disappointed with his feet as the Patriots bellcow back, he contributed with his hands — five receptions for 21 yards. In Week 14, Elliott caught seven passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. He posted a four catch 40 receiving yard stat line the week before that.

FLEX Plays

Hunter Henry ($7,000)

The Broncos cannot stop tight ends. They allow 16.9 DKFP per game to tight ends. Only the Bengals allow more fantasy football points per game to the position. This is good news for the Patriots’ anemic offense. New England has always relied on tight ends, but even more so this season because nothing else is working. Henry caught seven passes for 66 yards and a touchdown in Week 15. Against Pittsburgh in Week 14, he only caught three passes, but two receptions were touchdowns. Bailey Zappe ($8,800) and Hunter Henry aren’t Brady and Gronk, but DFS players could construct worse combos.

Demario Douglas ($6,800)

Recency bias could lower Douglas’ ownership. Leveraging ownership is key to winning an NFL DFS showdown slate on DraftKings. Douglas returned in Week 15 after a two game absence due to a concussion. DFS players expected his production to resume. It did not. The rookie slot receiver out of Liberty University posted a meager line — three catches for 33 yards. Mac Jones was the quarterback when Douglas put together his modest run before his injury. Douglas needs to build a stronger rapport with Bailey Zappe. His numbers should improve this week with more reps. The matchup should improve Douglas’ numbers. Denver struggles with short-to-medium routes over the middle. That’s what Douglas does. His 7.6 yard aDoT (average depth of target) is only bigger than JuJu Smith-Schuster’s 7.0 yard aDoT on 29 catches — Smith-Schuster is the Patriot’s other slot receiver and he was inactive in Week 15.

Courtland Sutton ($11,000)

This is not the most appealing prime-time game. This Sunday Night Football game lacks star power. The only reason to put this game on the TV screen is action. It’s Christmas Eve, but there’s DraftKings Sportsbook bets to be made and NFL DFS lineups to construct. Sutton could be a star. He should be a star. Poor quarterback play could be the excuse. On this slate, he might as well be a star. He is a talented player with as much upside as anyone on Sunday’s Christmas Eve DFS Showdown Slate. It’s never pretty. It’s never efficient. But Sutton gets there in the end. He has a touchdown in 10 of the Broncos’ 13 games this season. Touchdowns are significant for showdown slates. They mean more when two weak offenses play. Volume points — yardage and receptions — could be in short supply, and DKFP via TD could be even rarer. The few that find the end zone will be the few that find their way into the winning NFL DFS lineup on DraftKings.


Fades

Russell Wilson ($11,400)

The Patriots are a mess, but it’s not a complete disaster. Belichick’s defense can still hold its own. This is a top-10 defense. Across every category that matters, the Patriots rank near the top of the league. The defensive unit limits yards and points. They’ve committed the second-fewest penalties. It’s not an easy matchup for Russell Wilson. He doesn’t necessarily need an easy matchup to win the game. This has been a terrifically efficient season for the 35-year-old. Efficiency is great, but in DFS volume is king. Ostentatious stat stuffers are the best DFS picks. We want the me-first, team-second player. Wilson is too old for that. The veteran doesn’t care about the stats on the back of his football card. He wants one more championship. He wants wins. A selfless QB in a tough matchup is an easy fade.


THE OUTCOME

Someone is getting a lump of coal but it’s not DraftKings users. This might not be the greatest game, but most of us get Monday off and we get to stay up past bedtime and play DFS. The Broncos and Patriots both deserve lumps of coal based on their play this season, but Santa is going to give one of them a present. Denver is almost a touchdown favorite at home. What have they done to earn that? Nothing. It’s what the Patriots have done.

Final Score: Denver Broncos 19, New England Patriots 16

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1M Sunday Night Showdown [$250K to 1st] (NE vs DEN)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.