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DraftKings Fantasy Football Early Look: NFL Week 16 DFS Picks, Sleepers, Fades

Julian Edlow goes position-by-position breaking down some of the best and worst NFL targets for Week 16’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate, which locks at 1:00 p.m. ET on December 27.

It’s an interesting week in the NFL, as we have a Christmas Day game, a three-game Saturday slate, and the final SNF and MNF games of the season. That leaves us with a manageable 10-game slate on Sunday before we close the season with the Week 17 16-gamer. Here’s what jumps out in my first look at the Week 16 NFL main slate on DraftKings.

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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Atlanta Falcons ($8,500) — Mahomes is generally the safest play on the board, and that remains true this week. He brings a massive ceiling against an Atlanta secondary that ranks 29th in DKFP allowed to QB. With so many games off the main slate, it makes rostering Mahomes even more enticing. Salary eaters like Davante Adams and Derrick Henry are off the slate, which helps.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys ($7,000) — Hurts was the value play listed in this article two weeks in a row, paying off both times. Now we actually have to pay up for him, but we haven’t seen anything to say he won’t be worth it. Hurts aired it out for 338 yards and three touchdowns, along with 63 rushing yards and another score in Arizona. He gets a similar matchup this week in Dallas and should continue to thrive.


Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles ($5,500) — Like I mentioned, a lot of the WR and RB studs are off this slate, making it a much simpler call to pay up for a QB — at least in single entry or cash fields. There isn’t much value, but we did just see the Cardinals and Eagles have a shootout, and Dallas was able to get 41 points on the board last week. Philly ranks just 24th in DKFP allowed to QB.

Other Options: Just pay up unless we get an injury

Running Back


David Montgomery, Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,700) — Man, how the RB landscape has shifted entering this slate. Here are the RBs playing in primetime or Saturday games that aren’t on this slate — Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Josh Jacobs, whoever starts for the Bucs against the Lions, Derrick Henry and Aaron Jones. While I didn’t think I’d be jumping at the chance to pay $7,700 for Montgomery, he’s in a fantastic matchup, and has been excellent for the last month. Monty is averaging 28.8 DKFP over his last four games, scoring at least 27 in each. Jacksonville ranks 30th in DKFP allowed to the position. No reason Monty shouldn’t keep rolling.

Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles ($6,500) — I’m completely lost when it comes to a second stud RB play. We probably just want to go down to some mid-priced values, not of which are all that cheap. But if Ezekiel Elliott (calf) misses another game, Pollard will get a crack at a big game. We got word on Sunday he’d start against San Francisco, and he finished with a productive 12-69-2 on the ground and 6-63-0 in the air (31.2 DKFP). Pollard played 52-of-58 offensive snaps for Dallas and saw 75% of the carries. If he sees that role again, he’s a play.


Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Atlanta Falcons ($5,800) — Clyde Edwards-Helaire went down with hip and ankle injuries on an awkward tackle against the Saints, and we probably won’t see him until the postseason. This is part of the reason why the Chiefs acquired Bell. Lev looked decent last week, turning 16 touches into 76 yards and finding the end zone (14.6 DKFP), and that was with CEH getting 15 touches. Darrel Williams ($4,200) will factor into the backfield now, but Bell should lead the way. The Falcons rank 23rd in DKFP allowed to RB and provide Bell with some extra pass-catching upside. J.D. McKissic ($6,400) and David Johnson ($6,100) also have value strictly on their pass-catching abilities.

Other Options: J.D. McKissic ($6,400), J.K. Dobbins ($6,200), David Johnson ($6,100)

Wide Receiver


Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Atlanta Falcons ($9,000) — Outside of the game in Buffalo, in which we saw some weather issues, Hill has just about as safe a floor as you can at WR. He also brings 60-DKFP upside, which is always an options against this Atlanta defense, which is allowing the most DKFP to WR. Like I keep mentioning, a lot of big names of this slate puts us in position to play a lot of Chiefs. I don’t see where else you’d want to break the bank on this slate.

Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs ($8,500) — Ridley makes for a nice pivot play off Hill, or an option for a game stack if you pay down at other positions. Julio Jones (hamstring) doesn’t have much motivation to play these last couple of weeks, and Ridley’s been fantastic when he’s out. In the five games Julio has missed, Ridley has produced the following lines: 5-110-0, 8-136-0, 6-50-1, 8-124-1, 10-163-1. Kansas City has been solid defending WR, but if the game script we expect holds, Ridley will see plenty of chances.


Keke Coutee, Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati Bengals ($5,400) — Figuring out WR on this slate is going to be a bit tough. This matchup also looked a lot better before we saw the Bengals dismantle the Steelers on MNF, but I think that says a lot more about Pittsburgh. The Texans don’t have much to work with on offense, but that’s meant a lot more targets for the guys that are out there. Coutee is averaging almost 17 DKFP over the last three, and was just short of another touchdown last week (but instead fumbled the game away).

Other Options: Russell Gage ($5,100), Chad Hansen ($4,400), Tyron Johnson ($4,000), Greg Ward ($4,000), James Washington ($3,600), Jalen Guyton ($3,200), Mecole Hardman ($3,100)

Tight End


Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Atlanta Falcons ($8,500) — Yup, more Chiefs. However, at TE, there legitimately isn’t another option. Kelce is the clear cut stud at the position, getting his numbers on a weekly basis, regardless of matchup. But, as you’d assume, the Falcons are a good matchup, ranking 26th versus opposing TEs this season.


Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars ($3,000) — Kmet didn’t put up numbers last week as a chalky play, catching both of his targets for just 12 yards. That keeps him cheap with a good matchup against the Jags, and he might be in position to break out. He played every single offensive snap last week, running routes on 77% of the passing plays. Look for Kmet to get back to the solid production we saw the previous two weeks, with some touchdown upside.

Other Options: Logan Thomas ($4,900), Hunter Henry ($4,700), Jordan Akins ($3,300)



Washington Football Team DST ($3,000) vs. Carolina Panthers The Rams were $4,500 last week, which is the prime example of why we don’t want to pay too much for defense. I think Washington is in a solid spot hosting Carolina this week, following a lackluster fantasy performance against Seattle. While there are some big plays at the top of the board, I’ll probably be looking to plug in something cheap that falls into my lineup.


Dallas Cowboys DST ($2,400) vs. Philadelphia Eagles — I’ll give plenty of love to Hurts, but that doesn’t mean Dallas is a poor play on defense. They’ve been cheap the last two weeks and put up 18 DKFP against the Bengals and 15 DKFP against the Niners. The Eagles are a much tougher matchup right now, but rookie QBs are bound to make some mistakes.

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