We have just two weeks left of the NFL regular season, and we’re entering the weird phase of the DFS grind.
Some big names have been shut down (like Aaron Rodgers) while teams with playoff spots locked up might start to rest players. This is more of a factor in Week 17, but it should be on your radar for Week 16 too.
Here’s the list of players you can lock into your Week 16 DFS lineups.
Note: There’s always a case to be made for playing any player in tournaments. This list of “locks” is cash game focused, but I typically like these players across all contest types.
Wilson was awful against the Rams in Week 15, but he had 24-plus DraftKings points in 9 of his previous 11 games. The Cowboys have given up multiple passing scores to opposing quarterbacks in 10 games this year, including in six of their past seven.
Fantasy’s No. 4 quarterback over the past four weeks, Bortles gets another great draw against the 49ers in Week 16. San Francisco has given up multiple passing touchdowns in eight of their past nine games, and they now have a quarterback who keeps games competitive, meaning more back-and-forth.
Featured on Monday (Christmas Day), Roethlisberger draws the Texans, who have given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year. Roethlisberger has been the No. 1 fantasy quarterback over the past six weeks, throwing for a league-high 1,963 yards and a league-high 16 touchdowns in that span. No Antonio Brown is an obvious drawback, but the matchup is ripe.
With Rex Burkhead likely out, Lewis is primed for a big role against the Bills in Week 16, who have given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this year. Lewis is the No. 14 running back in PPR leagues since Week 10; Burkhead is No. 9.
Finally back in a groove, Hunt is hitting his stride just in time for a great matchup against the Dolphins, who have given up the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this year.
Kareem Hunt leads all players in missed tackles with 71. Le'Veon Bell is second with 58. Hunt has touched the ball 96 fewer times than Bell.
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) December 19, 2017
I like Collins on Saturday as a nearly two-touchdown home favorite against the Colts, who have seen running backs post lines of 42-190-1 and 42-196-0 against them in the past two weeks. Collins laid an egg against the Browns in Week 15, but he had five touchdowns in his previous four games while consistently providing 20-plus touches.
This is assuming Tevin Coleman misses again in Week 16. Freeman is seriously underpriced for a player who could touch the ball 25-30 times if he’s the only back against — especially in a game that could turn into a track meet. The NO-ATL tilt is currently projected to be the highest-scoring game of the week by almost a full touchdown.
Thielen will primarily see corner Damarious Randall in coverage, our No. 78-graded corner out of 119 qualifying players. Thielen has scored the ninth-most fantasy points per opportunity among wideouts this year, and his 124 targets (seventh), 83 receptions (seventh), and 1,191 yards (fifth) all rank in the top 10 at the position as well.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
With Antonio Brown out, Smith-Schuster is primed for a big role in an important Week 16 game for the Steelers. Smith-Schuster has displayed big-play ability several times this year, and he ranks in the top 20 in both points per snap and points per opportunity.
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Cowboys corner Xavier Woods has been thrust into a bigger role in recent weeks, and while he has performed relatively well, he still has seen just 23 targets against in his entire NFL career (giving up 18 receptions). He faces his biggest test yet against Baldwin and Russell Wilson.
Funchess busted in Week 15, catching just one pass for 19 yards, but he had a string of five strong games from Weeks 10-14, and he gets another great matchup in Week 16 against the Buccaneers, who have given up the most receptions, yards, and fantasy points to opposing receivers this year.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
A lock among locks this week, Kelce draws the Dolphins, who have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year, including some impressive lines to tight ends in recent weeks including 7-101-0, 6-84-2, 4-61-1, and 8-126-0 — all since Week 9.
Ertz gets the Raiders this week, who have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to enemy tight ends this year, including lines of 8-104-1, 8-99-0, and 5-78-0 just in the past three weeks. The Eagles still have something to play for in Week 16, too (home field advantage is up for the taking).
The min-priced Gates will see an uptick in usage with Hunter Henry now on IR. Will he have a massive game? No. But Gates, always a threat to score, doesn’t need to do much to return value on his cheap salary.