Last week wasn’t too shabby, says the performances of Marvin Jones Jr. (30.20), Jalen Hurts (40.82), and the Dallas defense (15.00). T.Y. Hilton (11.10) underwhelmed and Cole Kmet (3.20) was a bust, but at least those salaries weren’t prohibitive and allowed you to pay up somewhere…you know, for someone like DeAndre Hopkins (34.00). Anyway, onward and upward to Week 16.
No frills in this space, just the five or so picks that I’m really building a handful of lineups around. Full disclosure, we’re basically talking “cashy” types of plays. Think 100-man or so competitions and you’ll get the gist. Personally, chalky plays don’t really scare me. If a guy is a good play, he’s a good play. I don’t want to overthink things. Besides, it only takes one low-owned player to make a lineup unique, and that’s the general philosophy I keep.
QB Jalen Hurts @ DAL ($7,000 DK, $8,200 FD)
His salary took quite the jump, from $5,900 a week ago (a free square) to now being priced as the sixth-best QB on DraftKings. On FanDuel he’s up to $8,200 and is fifth in the QB ranks, or $300 more than Russell Wilson. Honestly though, I still think he’s too cheap. He could be $7,500 on DK and I’d still think it was justified. As is, he’s basically the bottom of the elite grouping–after Hurts it drops down to Big Ben at $6,400. What I dig about Hurts is that he frees me up. I don’t feel pressured to stack anyone with him, and I don’t necessarily feel I’ve got to run it back with anyone on the Dallas side–not since Hurts can do a ton of damage all on his own with his rushing ability. Give me all this rushing floor and upside. Hurts put a 40-burger on a solid Arizona Cardinals defense last week. What in the world will he do indoors against a cupcake Dallas defense? I will be paying up to find out.
RB David Montgomery @ JAX ($7,700 DK, $7,800 FD)
The resurgent Chicago Bears still have a real shot at the playoffs if they can run roughshod over the Jaguars on Sunday and then win next weekend. Chicago (7-7) are the winners of two in a row, and they’ve now rattled off four straight games of 25 or more points since Mitchell Trubisky was reinstalled as the quarterback. During that four-game stretch, here are Montgomery’s DK point totals: 28.3, 27.1, 27.5, and 32.2. Montgomery has reached the 100-yard rushing plateau in three of those four games, but has over 100 yards from scrimmage in all four. He also has six total scores over that stretch (5 rushing, 1 receiving). And then there’s this smooth move by Jacksonville, announced on Saturday:
That’s right, it’s Mike Glennon in for the Jags, and stud rookie runner James Robinson (ankle) will be riding the pine. I’m certain the Jaguars will play like professionals, but these are two teams currently heading in opposite directions. The icing on the cake is QB Mitchell Trubisky, who has been tolerable with 14 scores against six picks this year…but he still hasn’t exceeded more than 267 yards passing in any game, and only managed 202 yards versus the Vikings last week. Who you do REALLY think the Bears should be leaning on?
TE Austin Hooper @ NYJ ($3,500 DK, $5,100 FD)
I won’t say he’s a free square given that he’s had an underwhelming start in his tenure in Cleveland. But the Browns are missing literally ALL of their receivers due to Covid-19 protocols. Really, here’s the tweet:
Hooper is coming off of a sturdy 5-41-1 effort last week (six targets). And that was in a game with a healthy Browns receiving corps. His price only went up $300, as this Covid-19 protocol business was late-breaking news on Saturday evening. Even if his target count doesn’t rise considerably–assuming the Browns run the ball 45 times–Hooper’s matchup is still epic. The Jets have allowed 30 passing scores in 2020, second only to the Jaguars (31) and Cowboys (31). And go figure, those are two defenses we are already targeting today. Like I said, I like to keep things simple. Against tight ends specifically, the Jets have allowed a stunning 13 touchdowns (tops in the NFL). New York has also allowed the seventh-most receptions (74) and the most yardage (926) to enemy tight ends. Look, it’s just super-logical, okay? He doesn’t even have to do a lot to pay off his meager salary. I was liking Hooper BEFORE the news broke about the wideouts. I have to like him now.
D/ST Chicago Bears @ JAX ($3,600 DK, $4,700 FD)
Here’s your simple enough correlation play to go along with Montgomery. The Jaguars managed 14 points last week, against a Ravens defense that looks eerily similar to Chicago’s. Chicago has been a smidgeon easier to pass on this year, but has also been a little sturdier against the run. But against Glennon and without the services of James Robinson…does it really matter? The Bears are a great play for Week 16.
WR Mecole Hardman vs. ATL ($3,100 DK, $5,500 FD)
Normally I wouldn’t include this sort of Hail Mary play in this space. However, Hardman saw a season-high nine targets last week. He only caught three balls for 22 yards, but he salvaged his day with a touchdown grab, managing 10.7 DK points. More importantly, he had 152 air yards, third-most among all receivers last week. But there’s a potentially new wrinkle this week:
If you’re a Hill owner in a season-long championship, I wouldn’t be overly concerned with his status, and I’d fire him up like usual. But if there’s even a breath of a chance that Hardman will remain as involved as he was last week, AND that he might see some additional snaps due to Hill’s hammy, I’m all-in at only $3,100 this week.