NFL Sports Betting Toolkit
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
The Giants are rolling defensively and somewhat sputtering offensively and figure to control this game's tempo, all pointing to such a low Las Vegas line; therefore, low daily fantasy expectations.
Odell Beckham is the only premium play on either side, because he gets certain volume and produces up to even his lofty prices. The past meeting with the Eagles was one of Beckham's lowest days in yardage, but he did reel in two TDs. He has also become a one-man show for the Giants' offense, too.
The Eagles have allowed the third-most fantasy points to WRs to date, so consider the value of Sterling Shepard, too. He went 3-50-1 in the past meeting and quietly has seven received TDs in his rookie season, relegating Victor Cruz to being a non-factor. Volume just is not on Cruz's side in DFS.
The Giants' running game has been more important in games of late, as Rashad Jennings has racked up 35 touches in the past two games, while rookie Paul Perkins has chipped in 27. This timeshare is too split to impact DFS, especially since the Eagles haven't given up a 100-yard rusher all year. That's less than 50 yards for either back.
The Eagles were able to run the ball last week in Ryan Mathews' return (20-128-1) to the feature-back role against a very good Ravens run defense (No. 2 in the NFL). We wouldn't expect a repeat of that effort against the Giants – No. 6 against the run and top 10 against fantasy RBs – but the price should be there for him, even if a return from Darren Sproles (concussion) might usurp some volume.
Downfield, you have to fade rookie Carson Wentz and his outside receivers, who have been banged up and inconsistent. If anything, the Giants defense has proven to have a loaded secondary that can limit opponent's downfield passing.
Zach Ertz is more likely to make an impact in the short game and off play-action. Ertz has gotten high volume in the second half of the season and has been far more steady of a DFS producer than his price suggests. Sure, he is not a high-ceiling GPP monster, but he moves the needle at his price in cash games.
This might not be a great source of DFS points all around, but pieces like Beckham, Mathews, Ertz and the Giants D/ST will find their ways into a number of lineups in Week 16.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Matt Moore got off to a four-TD start against the Jets last Saturday, but we rate this one as a tougher challenge in Buffalo against a Rex and Rob Ryan defense. We are going to fade many of the Dolphins, as Las Vegas' 19-point project does.
Jay Ajayi's breakthrough season stalled once C Mike Pouncey was lost for the season, so even if he had 214 yards in the past meeting, the circumstances have changed here. Plus, this game likely will be light on scoring, even if you deem Ajayi's price favorable against the Bills run defense that ranks sixth worst in the NFL and is bottom 10 against fantasy RBs.
Our favorite play from the Dolphins is a bit more contrarian. The Bills have a very good secondary, but we like Jarvis Landry beating man coverage over the top off play-action. The Bills have an aggressive defense and Landry can prove to be a home-run hitter for Moore.
The Bills' side is the same as it ever was: LeSean McCoy early and often. He faces the Dolphins defense that is third worst against the run. We will say their might be some DFS players avoiding him after his eight carries for 11 yards in the past meeting, but that just makes him more intriguing in GPPs. It shouldn't take much for him to get 100 yards in a game whose tempo should be RB-friendly.
If you're slotting a defense in this expected defensive battle, we would prefer the Dolphins' value against a limited Bills offense that is more one-dimensional. Also, the Dolphins have been producing as a D/ST in the second half of the season.
New York Jets at New England Patriots
There have been very few games this lopsided, something that confuses your stacking plays on the Pats, perhaps.
This much is clear: Fade Jets. The running game won't get much done against the Pats' No. 4-ranked run defense, while the only saving grace in this blowout might be a play on the surging Robby Anderson. He has averaged almost 10 targets per game since Bryce Petty has taken over and has a TD in two of the past three.
For the Pats, it is all in, starting with Tom Brady as the trigger man. The Jets still have a decent run defense, so Brady will be leaned on to squeeze the ball into the end zone with TE Martellus Bennett, WR Malcom Mitchell and WR Julian Edelman – all highly advisable options in any DFS formats. Heck, even Michael Floyd might show up in the end zone in his Pats debut.
The run game might not carry the load in yardage, but the expectation of a blowout should lead you to some exposure on LeGarrette Blount for short TD runs. Dion Lewis is more intriguing in a tougher matchup, evidenced by his season-high 18 carries against the Denver Broncos defense.
The Pats are a premium D/ST play, but likely going to move the needle for cash games more than GPPs – since so many are going to be all over this one. It is difficult to make an argument against any Pats option, but our Pats stacks are going to start with Brady-Bennett-Pats D/ST.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Here are two teams which have gone in diametrically opposite directions this season. The Titans are potentially heading toward the postseason, while the Jags are getting a new coach and a top-five NFL draft pick.
One thing about the Jags this season, though: They have become a viable defensive team, even if their offense has sputtered mightily. They are particularly good against the pass thanks to the additions of talent on the back end.
It leads us to avoid Marcus Mariota against the No. 4-ranked pass defense, even if we like the volume and values of WR Rishard Matthews and TE Delanie Walker. The Titans' best offensive weapon still is the running game, led by bell-cow DeMarco Murray scoring via the run and pass and RB Derrick Henry scoring at the goal-line and in the second half running out the clock.
As much as we love Murray's potential and volume, it is Henry who provides the value and the TDs of late. Henry is the Titans' short-yardage back and has average over 10 touches in the past five games (four TDs). If you're going with another premium back, Henry might be an affordable way to fill out the position in DFS lineups.
For the Jags, it is Allen Robinson's time. His price has dropped like one of his dropped passes, but he gets too many targets to be priced this low. AR-15 is a must-play option this week in this matchup. The Titans have the fourth-worst pass defense in football and are fourth worst against fantasy wideouts. Robinson, mind you, had 15 targets (6-70-0) in the past meeting. He gets 8-110-1 in garbage time here.
The Jags' running backs and running game? Forget it. The Titans are No. 6 against the run and No. 4 against fantasy RBs.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
After last week's debacle at home vs. the Indianapolis Colts, no one can like anything the Vikings bring to Green Bay. The offensive line has ruined the run game and Sam Bradford has officially proved to be an NFL backup quarterback after years of fooling multiple franchises.
Even a favorable matchup against the Packers secondary make WR Stefon Diggs or TE Kyle Rudolph a leap-of-faith play. Adrian Peterson (knee) proved he came back to soon, while all of the Vikings' offensive options proved they need Peterson.
The Vikes' D? Forget it. Aaron Rodgers just won't make mistakes at home, even if he is limited in the pocket and might be susceptible to the rush.
The Packers side should have you fading Jordy Nelson, if not any of Rodgers' downfield options because of the shutdown capabilities of Xavier Rhodes. He is arguably the best in the NFL at making opposing teams look elsewhere. If you do in DFS, look to the values of Davante Adams and/or Jared Cook.
We would never justifiably tell you to sit Rodgers, but you might not want to avoid his premium in a Packers game that is unlikely to get loose, if only because the Vikings cannot muster a challenge on the other side. That may lead to Ty Montgomery plays, but the exposure is more likely to exceed his production, too.
San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns
It is somewhat surprising Las Vegas believes the Browns are going to get any points, honestly. They don't have a true passing game and the Chargers are quietly top 10 against the run.
Sure, Robert Griffin III is scoring DFS points via the run – and there should be wide-open garbage time for him and Terrelle Pryor, Gary Barnidge and Corey Coleman – but none of that has moved the needle in lineups of late. We do like the play of RB Duke Johnson, though. The Chargers are up there with the Atlanta Falcons with the most receiving points allowed to fantasy RBs.
You should have a lot of love for the Chargers in this one, even if Philip Rivers is a warm-weather passer. Both TE Antonio Gates and TE Hunter Henry should be high-exposure plays in GPPs, while WR Dontrelle Inman has emerged as Rivers' consistent go-to man downfield.
It will be 15 mph winds and temps just above freezing, so you might not want to take the chance on Rivers going 300-3 vs. another QB in more passer-friendly conditions. We don't love Kenneth Farrow, even against the Browns' awful run defense, though, so the best of the Chargers plays lie with the TEs on short-range Rivers targets.
The Chargers defense against the woeful Browns will be a popular play in DFS, but that makes it more of a cash-game option than a GPP needle-mover.
Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears
The Redskins let you down last week, so once bitten, twice shy here. Kirk Cousins and company is facing – even if you might not see it this way – a tougher challenge at Chicago against John Fox's Bears defense than at home against the Carolina Panthers.
Rob Kelley has a nice price against the Bears' bottom 10 run defense, so put your Redskins exposure there over the passing game against the Bears' No. 6-ranked pass defense. Cousins, TE Jordan Reed, WR Jamison Crowder, WR DeSean Jackson and WR Pierre Garcon are all fades in our DFS playbook this week.
The Bears' side presents two premium options for us: RB Jordan Howard and WR Alshon Jeffery. Howard hasn't been held under 75 rushing yards or 95 total in seven games. Seven! Also, the Redskins just happen to be fourth worst against fantasy RBs, allowing 132 to the plodding Jonathan Stewart last week … at home.
Jeffery returned from suspension to outstanding results last week, too. The fact Matt Barkley is the QB and CB Josh Norman is likely to line up against Jeffery might mitigate some of the GPP exposure on Jeffery, who is still underpriced.
We really like the Bears in this one, especially the DFS play of Howard as high exposure in any DFS format.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
The public has moved this total down a tick, while giving the Falcons a slight boost. Joe Public really likes the Falcons, which actually makes us like both sides of this potential shootout. We like when an elite offense like the Falcons needs to produce at a high rate, especially against young Panthers corners.
You have to be all over the Matt Ryan play, especially after he racked up 503-4 in the past meeting, albeit at home vs. the road. WR Julio Jones is a stacking play, while we also should stay on the Taylor Gabriel bandwagon in DFS. Both can go 6-100-1, while Ryan is almost a sure-fire 300-3, if not better, against the last-ranked pass defense in football.
The running game might have it a bit tougher against the No. 3-ranked run defense, but that just puts more volume on Jones and Gabriel downfield and RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman out of the backfield. Coleman is the far better value, especially since he does the pass receiving and gets the goal-line TDs.
We love the Ryan-Jones-Gabriel-Coleman stack.
For the Panthers, everything goes through RB Stewart now after his 132-yard effort Monday night. The Falcons are sixth worst against fantasy RBs, even if they have a decent run defense. The high-scoring affair will put Stewart in scoring position at least.
Cam Newton's disappointing season gives us value on his price, but he's not racking up the rushing points like he used to and his wideouts are struggling, namely Kelvin Benjamin. Even Greg Olsen has been a bit disappointing. We do like the latter to get a TD – he usually does better at home – and the Falcons are fifth worst against fantasy TEs.
This is going to be a popular game for DFS exposure, and for many great reasons – not the least of which is focused volume on key offensive weapons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
If anything, this should be an entertaining game. The expectation of points brings it a lot of DFS exposure, and there are some premium plays on both offenses.
Mike Evans and Cameron Brate should both get eight-plus targets, especially if you like the Saints to score their usual 30-plus points at home. The Saints are third worst against fantasy RBs, so you might even want to put some plays on Doug Martin for a 100-2 performance on the ground. We would make Martin more of a must-play option if RB Charles Sims hadn't usurped the passing-down numbers and shown some spunk – just enough to damage Martin's value, though.
We would be more excited about Winston as a DFS play if he hadn't been held without a 300-3 effort since September, and he has just one such performance all season.
The Saints' Drew Brees did not have a TD pass in the pass meeting at Tampa Bay, so that just means he's due for four of five here, right? The Saints have had some bad home performances – and the Bucs defense has shown improvement – but WR Brandin Cooks and WR Michael Thomas are both 8-100-1 candidates.
The running game timeshare limits the GPP potential of Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower, the latter of which provides better value and receiving numbers. We would tend to fade both against an underrated Bucs defense. The best of the plays is the Brees-Cook stack.
Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Raiders
After the Colts went to Minnesota and put up huge numbers, you have to love this game to be the wildest of the Week 16 slate. Andrew Luck vs. the Raiders, even if Derek Carr hasn't been as explosive downfield with his pinky injury.
The Raiders are a bottom-10 run defense, so RB Frank Gore will get volume and TD opportunities, making him a solid cash-game option at his price. It will be Luck, WR T.Y. Hilton and WR Donte Moncrief will do big damage if this game gets loose. The Vikings took them out of the game last week, but the Raiders bottom 10 against the pass should prove to be much more favorable to explosive numbers.
Moncrief had a TD in six of his eight games, remember. This could be a two-TD performance for him. Even Dwayne Allen might return to move the DFS needle.
The Raiders should pound Latavius Murray against a Colts defense that has given up five 100-yard rushers. Murray is particularly important since Carr hasn't been a high-volume passer in the past two games with his finger injury. Also, Amari Cooper (shoulder) and Michael Crabtree (finger) have been banged up.
If you're playing a Raiders wideout, we choose the value of Crabtree, who has been better than Cooper and is less likely to be facing Vontae Davis, the Colts top cover guy, in coverage. The numbers favor the Colts, but the Raiders are at home and present value and potential on their side, too. This will be a game worthy of a lot of DFS exposure.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
Ignore the mess than was the Cards defense last week. The last time these teams hooked up it was a 6-6 tie through overtime. Yuck.
You cannot like anything in this one either. Sure, David Johnson's price and volume look inviting as a contrarian play, but the Seahawks are No. 3 against fantasy RBs and haven't given up a 100-yard rusher at home since Carlos Hyde in a Week 3 blowout. We have to fade Johnson at any price, especially the way the Cardinals have choked on their Cheerios.
The Legion of Boom is down a bit of late, but save for the volume of Larry Fitzgerald or price of Jermaine Gresham, you cannot like Carson Palmer and his lackluster pass protection against the Seahawks defense in Seattle. We would be apt to avoid all Cardinals.
The Seahawks have some potential sleepers in Thomas Rawls, Russell Wilson and perhaps Doug Baldwin, but we wouldn't advise Jimmy Graham against the Cards defense that has been No. 1 against fantasy TEs this season. The Cards have allowed just one TD to the position and 363 yards, both NFL lows.
We will say there is a lot of intriguing with Tyler Lockett at his price, coming off his 7-130-1 performance. It was his first start in a two-receiver set and has been a long time coming in what should have been a breakthrough season. If you're thinking Brees' ripping of the Cards secondary last week is a sign of a white flag, load up exposure on Lockett for another huge value performance with Wilson – who is far more productive at home.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
If there is ever a reason to hope for a 25-200-2 performance out of Todd Gurley, this has got to be it. The 49ers are dead last against the run and fantasy running backs, and they have given up multiple-TD days to No. 1 RBs in each of the past three games and six times total this season.
The best news of all is Jared Goff is not going to be a volume passer, so the run game will finally get a boat-load of touches for Gurley, who deserves 30 or more in this matchup. And, if you like Gurley to finally produce lofty numbers, you should also like WR Tavon Austin blowing the top off the 49ers defense on some deep shots downfield.
As for the 49ers, it is Carlos Hyde and a cloud of dust. Volume and price are both on Hyde's side, especially if Gurley's getting a high-volume of rushing attempts on the other side. It should be a RB-friendly game.
We just cannot trust QB Colin Kaepernick to get any more than 200 yards and one TD passing. The Rams have a better defense than their record indicates and shouldn't have much issue controlling the tempo of this one.
Go all-in on a Gurley breakthrough, even if he managed just 17 carries for 47 yards against the 49ers in the season opener.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
We agree with Las Vegas' lines in not loving this game for DFS production. The Texans have one of the NFL's better defenses and the Bengals are banged up on offense, and general modest in their production even when 100 percent – especially against a good unit.
This has the feel of a field-goal game.
Jeremy Hill has a TD in each of the past three games, but he has been limited in practice with a knee issue and we cannot trust him against a Texans run defense that has been much better in the second half of the season.
Downfield, fade it all for the Bengals because of the overall quality of the Texans' No. 2-ranked pass defense working against a hamstrung A.J. Green (groin) or his modest fill-ins. We will fade Andy Dalton and everything on the Bengals' side, especially on the road against the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense.
The Texans have a banged-up Lamar Miller (ankle) and a backup QB in Tom Savage making his first start of the season. The latter actually makes long lost WR DeAndre Hopkins more intriguing. Hopkins has a modest price for his talent and Savage did an outstanding job targeting him downfield. Hopkins got 17 targets and 8-87 last time out. Like AR-15, we love the value of Hopkins.
We cannot trust Savage at any price, but we do like him for what he does for Hopkins – even if the Bengals have been top five against fantasy WRs.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Usually you throw out the numbers when these teams match up, but the Steelers are just too exciting for DFS plays when they are at home. We are advising you load up on Steelers here.
The Steelers are top 10 against fantasy QBs, so fading Joe Flacco, Steve Smith, Mike Wallace and Dennis Pitta is advisable, even if you believe the Steelers can erupt at home and open up garbage time. Also, the Ravens' running game is a full timeshare between Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon, so consider them difficult to trust, even if the Steelers are fifth worst against fantasy RBs.
We would be more apt to take the value and goal-line potential of Dixon than anyone else for the Ravens, and that includes the D/ST and Justin Tucker.
The Steelers give us value on Ben Roethlisberger, whose home performances have been outlandishly good. Big Ben at home: 289-2 (against a very good Giants secondary), 408-3 (Dallas, another good one), 380-4, 300-5 and 259-3. Those make Big Ben, Antonio Brown and a resurgent WR Eli Rogers strong plays.
The Ravens are still No. 2 in the NFL against the run and fantasy RBs, so Le'Veon Bell's huge premium looks difficult to trust. He managed just a season-low 32 yards rushing in the past meeting. Those numbers will be trump by high volume, but they do lead us to believe Big Ben makes plays downfield and gives Bell some touches in scoring position.
There is not a Steelers play we wouldn't make, and than includes TE Ladarius Green (concussion) if he is cleared before lineup lock.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
As much as this matchup provided fireworks last time, we side with Las Vegas is suggesting a full-on DFS punt.
The struggles of the Broncos running game does put volume on WRs Demarius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who was a 7-162-1 monster in the past meeting. That fact makes us believe the Chiefs work to take Sanders out with rolled coverage, giving us some value to take on Thomas.
But do you trust QB Trevor Siemian at Kansas City? Us either.
Forget the plodding Justin Forsett or the almost completely forgotten rookie RB Devontae Booker, even against a Chiefs defense that has been fifth-worst against the run.
The Chiefs side should us volume and DFS potential on Spencer Ware. The Broncos have been the fifth-worst run defense and bottom-10 against fantasy RBs. It is also due to the fact they are so tough on fantasy QBs and against the pass (No. 1 in both categories).
Fade Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin and even the game-breaking performances of speedy rookie WR Tyreek Hill, who is going to draw a lot of attention from a great pass defense. If you're going with any of the Chiefs' pass-game weapons, it has to be TE Travis Kelce, who racked up 8-101 in the past meeting and won't draw the attention of the elite Broncos' corners.
This game is going to be played at just too slow of a pace vs. the past meeting to get us excited for prime-time DFS plays.
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason, so there is very little to play for – in fact, they would be wise to protect Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant and no show much of anything against a potential first postseason opponent.
That leaves a lot of DFS intriguing on the Lions, which wouldn't have gotten it otherwise.
Matthew Stafford, Anquan Boldin and Golden Tate look like great plays in a game that might be run-heavy for the Cowboys, but not with Elliott. The Cowboys are going to score points and the Lions won't be able to move the ball on the ground against the No. 1 defense and team against fantasy RBs.
For the Cowboys, avoid Elliott at all costs. He might get a TD or some yards, but volume won't be there as they rest him for the postseason. It should be the Alfred Morris show, making him a huge bargain behind the Cowboys' offensive line.
Morris will get 100 yards and at least a TD, making him a hugely important DFS option amid the circumstances of the Cowboys having clinched. Heck, we should even see Tony Romo kick off the rust off the bench in the second half and make some downfield plays with scout-team receivers Terrance Williams and Brice Butler.
The largest takeaway from this game will be backups getting starter's volume at basement prices for the clinched Cowboys. Consider playing more full-slate GPP lineups with these bargains. They will help you afford some of the week's priciest stars.