Christmas weekend is going to be nuts. A lot of the higher priced backs are going to be some of the most popular plays, while some of the highest priced WRs offer the biggest edge. Finding a way to construct lineups is going to be critical this week.
They’re some solid savings at WR, which is why it is so easy to build a lineup with the highest priced backs. Our job in GPPs is to be contrarian but also not blatantly fade great matchups. As always, ask me in chat if you have any questions. With this slate falling on Christmas Eve, I will be tied up a little bit more than usual but I’ll make sure I am available during critical times of the day.
Top game stacks
DET @ CAR
BUF @ CHI
NYG @ MIN
Honorable Mention: PHI @ DAL
SEA @ KC
I’m not going to leave the game with the highest game total off of recommended stacks but it is highly unlikely I will go this route. I would rather stick to indoor games and pick and choose players from this game to one-off. The temperature is looking at single digits with 10-15 MPH winds. This isn’t within itself a huge concern but it is big enough of a knock to pivot elsewhere when this game will command a lot of ownership. You will find players from this game throughout the article and if you wanted to stack this game, I understand. Ask in chat if you have any questions on why I am fading this game stack.
Justin Fields (Chicago Bears – $7,500/$7,800)
It is looking like no one is going to play Justin Fields this week. The windchill is going to make it feel like it’s -10 degrees and there is projected to be 20-25 MPH sustained winds with gusts up to 35-40 MPH. Fuck playing in that weather. Good thing is we don’t have to play in it and another good thing is that both Josh Allen and Justin Fields are used to playing in this type of cold. Maybe not this cold, but both of them have been playing in Buffalo and Chicago/Ohio. Justin Fields has scored at least 19 fantasy points in every game since Week 7, being the QB1 during that time frame, averaging 28.85 PPG. As I just mentioned, he will face off against Josh Allen, who is the QB5 in that same time frame and the QB3 overall this season. I love the idea of playing one of these QBs and stacking this game with next to no ownership on the players.
Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills – $8,500/$9,500)
Jared Goff (Detroit Lions – $5,400/$7,000)
Goff has been on fire the last month of the season, ever since he got his full arsenal of weapons back. As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of the best skilled groups in the NFL on offense from the offensive line to the WR group. The Carolina Panthers have been middle of the pack, giving up fantasy points to opposing QBs and even in Pass DVOA. However, that is centered around the Panthers’ offense having great success running the ball, as well as playing some below average offenses over the last month. The Lions offense should have absolutely no problem scoring in this one and I’ll take the leader of that offense to have himself a game.
Honorable Mention: Kirk Cousins (MIN), Sam Darnold (CAR)
Gardner Minshew (Philadelphia Eagles – $4,800/$6,100)
It isn’t set in stone as this is being written whether Jalen Hurts will be able to play or not on Saturday. However, if he does not, Minshew offers some good cap savings. I’m likely to pay up for the players above but with Minshew being so cheap and being able to pair and stack this game, he is a great value.
Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans – $8,600/$9,800)
Ryan Tannehill is likely done for the season for the Titans. This means that Malik Willis is going to head the offense, which is now going to run even more through Derrick Henry. This week they will face off against the Houston Texans, a team that Henry notoriously dominates. In Week 8, he was our RB1 on the week and here is the write up from that article:
“Another week, another game we target the Houston Texans. The Texans are an embarrassment at stopping the run. They by far have the worst rush DVOA in the NFL. They are giving up 31.9 full PPR PPG this season, the highest mark in the NFL, and have given up a total of 812 rushing yards (5.2 YPC) and 8 TDs over the span of six games. To further drive the nail into the play, the last time Henry faced the Texans was 2020 where he had 56 rushes for 462 yards and four TDs in two games. I expect the Titans to let Henry eat and I firmly believe he will.”
Henry proceeded to run the ball 32 times for 219 yards and two scores. Malik Willis was the QB in that game and he only threw the ball 10 times. Fire up Henry again, even though his price has jumped since that Week 8 matchup.
Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns – $7,700/$7,900)
I selfishly wish Chubb was missing this game and Kareem Hunt was getting the start. The Saints have been dreadful against the run as of late and the weather in this matchup is a perfect storm for Chubb to ball out. Since Week 12, the Saints have given up the fourth most PPR points to opposing backs on a per game basis and are giving up a 4.9 YPC to those backs, which is the seventh highest in the NFL. If Chubb plays, I expect it to be because he is a full go. I also expect others to shy off on him due to his limited participation in practice this week. Chubb has a 150+ yard with a multiple score ceiling and the weather just enforces that ceiling even higher.
Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings – $7,200/$8,700)
All season long the Giants have been gashed by opposing backs. Over the entirety of the season, they have given up the 3rd highest YPC to opposing backs and since Week 9 they have given up the 4th most PPR points to opposing backs at 27.9 per game. Over the last three weeks, Cook has posted 16.3, 8.6, and 27 PPR points. He has at least 16 touches in each of his last four games and outside of facing the stout Detroit Lions front, he has dominated. Last week against the Colts, he saw 95 yards on 17 carries and added another 95 in the air, catching all four of his targets. The volume is going to be there along with the big plays for Cook this week.
Isiah Pacheco (Kansas City Chiefs – $5,700/$6,700)
Pacheco is facing one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL. Since Week 9, they have given up 32.8 PPR points per game to opposing backs, while giving up 5.2 YPC to those backs. I expect people to pivot from Pacheco because he had a bad week overall against the Texans in Week 15 but he still ran the ball 15 times in that game for 86 yards while catching his only target for an added 11 yards. He has had at least 15 touches in every game since Week 10. This game is going to be a cold and windy one and with Pacheco’s hard and speedy running style, he is going to be tough to bring down. He offers some cap savings on both sites this week as well. 100+ yards and a score is absolutely within Pacheco’s range of outcomes.
Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints – $6,800/$7,400)
The Browns can’t stop the run to save their life. They just got shredded by the Ravens on the ground, giving up 13/125 to Dobbins and 7/55 to Gus Edwards. Dobbins is still working his way back from his ACL injury and is lacking his breakaway speed or his stat line would be closer to 200 yards on those 13 carries. Since Week 9, the Browns are giving up an absurd 6 yards per carry to opposing backs, which is by far the most in the league. The concern here is that Kamara is taking only about 65% of the RB snaps as of late. But I think that those 65% of snaps will lead to 20+ touches in this matchup. This is specifically due to the weather in Cleveland. We are looking at temperatures below 0 here and a blizzard snow storm. The game total opened up at 31.5 and in these games, they historically favored the RBs. It is harder for the air game to work due to the high winds and the receivers vision being hindered. Also, RBs are able to cut quicker opposed to defenders due to the wrecked terrain, giving them an advantage on breaking tackles. This will lead to more carries and more success on those carries. If Kamara gets 20+ touches and falls in the endzone against this putrid rush defense, he pays off his price tag and offers a 100+ yard and multi-score ceiling.
Honorable Mention: Saquon Barkley (NYG), JK Dobbins (BAL)
Chuba Hubbard (Carolina Panthers – $4,900/$6,000)
Hubba is a little bit pricer than I prefer down here so I’ll list two more backs below Hubbard but I do like Hubbard a lot this week. The Carolina Panthers were trailing the majority of the game this past week against the Pittsburgh Steelers so Hubbard ended up seeing 63% of the offensive snaps. He finished with only four carries for 10 yards but caught all three of his targets for 57 scoreless yards. I fully expect the Lions to come out of the gate firing and keep the pedal to the floor this entire game. Another game where Hubbard sees over 60% of the snaps and will see a minimum of 3+ targets and will split the red zone carries is a situation I will sign up for every single time, especially in a full PPR format.
James Cook (Buffalo Bills – $4,900/$5,300)
Last week, Cook saw 35.9% of the offensive snaps and carried the ball five times for 34 yards with two receptions for an extra five yards and a score. He has had games this year of 20 touches and over 100 total yards. Priced down to where he is and his growing involvement in this offense, we could see that ceiling again in this matchup as the Bills travel to Chicago to take on the Bears as 8-point favorites in a brutally cold game.
Kareem Hunt (Cleveland Browns – $4,900/$5,600)
Keep an eye on the Nick Chubb situation. As of this article coming out (Thursday,) Chubb has logged a limited practice. As I mentioned above, I fully expect him to play and play his normal snaps. However, if he is listed as a gametime decision or any reports of him being not 100% entering kickoff, I would take a look down at Kareem Hunt. If Hunt plays 50%+ of the snaps, he will ball out. Refer to Chubb’s write up as to why.
Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings – $9,300/$9,300)
Justin Jefferson is the best WR in the NFL right now and it is not close. He has seen at least 11 targets in six of his last seven games, scoring at least 25 PPR points in five of those seven games and three of them topping 30. So with Jefferson being matchup proof, he has a great matchup in Week 16 facing off against the New York Giants. Since Week 7, the Giants have given up the sixth most PPR points to opposing WRs and the second most to perimeter WRs, which is where Jefferson lines up about 67% of the time. The Vikings also have found themselves playing in nothing but shootouts the last month of the season. Since Week 12, they have had game totals of 59 (vs. NE), 49 (vs. NYJ), 57 (@ DET), and 75 (vs. IND). This game carries the second highest point total on the slate and is another home game for the Vikings so I expect this game to also get up into the 50s.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Detroit Lions – $7,800/$8,400)
You can play Amon-Ra St. Brown every week but I specifically like firing him up after two subpar games and with suppressed ownership. I also think that the Carolina Panthers are a better matchup than what we see on paper. From Weeks 1-7, the Panthers gave up the 10th most PPR points to opposing slot WRs. From Week 8-15, they slide in as giving up the fifth fewest. Drastic turnaround for a defense that didn’t make a personnel or scheme change. What has happened is that this defense has played absolutely no slot WRs of substance since Week 8 with Tyler Lockett (5/60/1) and Tyler Boyd (5/44/0) being the only WRs of note. They have played ATL, CIN (Boyd), ATL, BAL, DEN, SEA (Lockett), and PIT. Look for ARSB to right the ship and get back to 20+ fantasy points in this matchup.
AJ Brown (Philadelphia Eagles – $8,100/$8,500)
I don’t care who is the QB for the Eagles, AJ Brown has a great matchup this weekend. The Cowboys secondary is very vulnerable and has a lack of talent if their defensive front can’t get home. The Eagles just so happen to bring one of the best offensive lines with them to Dallas so it is unlikely the Cowboys are able to get home as much as they’re used to and their defensive backs are going to have to cover that extra second or two. Enter AJ Brown, who has averaged 25.3 PPR points over the last three weeks, behind only Justin Jefferson. Combine all of this with the Cowboys having given up the fourth most PPR points per game to opposing perimeter WRs and AJ Brown is a smash play. Devonte Smith ($6,600/$7,600) can be played as well if you need the cost savings but I prefer AJ Brown overall.
DK Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks – $7,100/$8,000)
Tyler Lockett will miss the Seattle Seahawks Week 16 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. The talent alone mixed with the volume is enough to get DK Metcalf into your line ups but the Chiefs have given up the ninth most PPR points per game to opposing perimeter WRs since Week 11. They are also dead last on the season in DVOA against opposing team’s WR1. Since Week 12, DK Metcalf is the WR7 in PPR points per game and has seen 10.5 targets per game over that span. Give me double digit targets for Metcalf in a projected high scoring game against a favorable opponent all day long.
DJ Moore (Carolina Panthers – $5,500/$7,100)
DJ Moore has a prime spot this weekend and if it wasn’t for Sam Darnold being his QB, he would be higher. He is facing a team that has given up the eighth most fantasy points to perimeter WRs since Week 8 and the second most overall to WRs during that time frame. DJ Moore has lined up on the outside about 73% of the time the last three games, but he has had multiple games this year of lining up over 40% of the time in the slot. I think that Ben McAdoo will put his star WR in the best position to succeed and he will eat this secondary alive. He will see more volume as well because the Lions are going to push the Panthers to have to throw at a higher clip than they are used to.
Honorable Mention: Stefon Diggs (BUF), Darius Slayton (NYG)
Richie James (New York Giants – $3,900/$5,200)
James is a great play this weekend against a terrible pass defense. As I’ve mentioned before, James is seeing the volume needed to have consistent success. He has a low average depth of target but he is seeing the targets and that’s what we want in a full PPR format, and even at his price, half PPR format. James has seen 23 targets over his last four games, with almost all of his snaps coming from the slot. The Vikings have given up the second most PPR points to the slot since Week 7. It is well documented how much I love attacking the Vikings secondary and James is the prime target this week. The only issue is that he likely exceeds 25-30% ownership on both sites, but he is worth playing for the cost savings.
Cole Beasley (Buffalo Bills – $3,700/$4,700)
This play is the bottom of the barrel, absolutely no owned play. No one is going to be playing Beasley in this frigid game. However, I think he is worth a look. Cole Beasley rejoined the team only four days before the Bills took on the Miami Dolphins last weekend. He ended up starting. Beasley spent three years with Buffalo before rejoining the Bills so the week was literally just catching up to speed in Ken Dorsey’s offense as opposed to Brian Dabol’s offensive terminology. He ended up playing 11 total snaps which was a 14.1% share. I expect that number to jump up closer to 50%, if not more against the Bears in Week 16. He is a slot WR and is going to see a lot of high volume passes. If this game blows up like I think it can and the Bears push the Bills to throw the ball, Beasley could end up seeing 6+ targets and fall into the end zone.
Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs – $8,000/$8,600)
A lot of seasonal championship teams are going to have Travis Kelce on their roster. He is far and away the TE1 in terms of PPR points per game, scoring 19.8 a game and would rank as the WR6 if he were a WR. For perspective, the TE2 is Mark Andrews who is averaging 12.6 points per game and would be the WR32. With this, Kelce is still priced at a discount given his matchup against one of the worst teams in the NFL guarding the middle of the field. The Seahawks have given up the second most points to TEs and 12th most to opposing slot WRs. If you can fit Kelce in your lineup, I would make it a priority.
Mark Andrews (Baltimore Ravens – $5,500/$6,400)
I’m banking on volume for Andrews. The Baltimore Ravens have looked atrocious recently and the only time that Tyler Huntley has looked good in his career is when he has hyper targeted Mark Andrews. This week they take on the Atlanta Falcons at home in cold, windy weather. Since Week 10, the Falcons have given up the fourth most PPR points per game to the TE position. I expect the Ravens to keep their passes quick and accurate with Andrews being the beneficiary of that. Andrews salary is a far cry from what we’re used to and not many TEs bring the ceiling he offers to the table at his price tag.
Honorable Mentions: TJ Hockenson (MIN)
Daniel Bellinger (New York Giants – $3,300/$4,700)
Bellinger is mispriced on both sites entering this weekend’s slate. He has averaged four targets a game over the last three games since his return to the lineup from his eye injury. He has only scored 7.4, 4.9, and 1.4 PPR points over that span but two of those games were against Washington and the other was Philadelphia. Both teams are in the top 10 in DVOA against opposing TEs. This week he will face off against the Minnesota Vikings, who rank 18th in that category. It is well documented how slim the Giants receiving core is and facing off against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL plays well into Bellinger’s lap.
Tommy Tremble (Carolina Panthers – $2,500/$4,600)
My fuck it punt of the week is Tommy Tremble. He has seen only two or three targets in the games since Sam Darnold has become the QB but he is an athletic TE who can make plays. He is facing off against the Detroit Lions who are bottom 5 in DVOA against TEs and have been in the top 5 in points given up to the TE all season long. Having the Lions and Panthers as one of my favorite stacks goes along with saying I think points will be scored. At his price tag, he opens up a ton of doors and if he can even put up a 3/30/1 stat line he knocks his price tag out of the park.
San Francisco 49ers ($3,900/$5,000)
The Washington Commanders are facing the decision of continuing to trot out career back up, Taylor Heinicke or switch to the injury prone Carson Wentz. Either way, I don’t care. The Niners defensive front is going to blow the socks off of the Washington offensive line. The Commanders love running the ball and once that gets stuffed, they will have to turn to their QB to move the ball. This will result in ample sacks and high turnover situations. The 49ers defense is going to swallow and dominate this game at every level.
Baltimore Ravens ($3,200/$4,900)
I’m going to attack the rookie QB in Week 16. The Ravens defense has been stout at stopping the run ever since they got healthy and added Roquan Smith. As I just mentioned with Andrews, the Ravens take on the Atlanta Falcons this week. Desmond Ridder looked “OK” in his rookie debut, but this week will face a much tougher matchup and this game will be played in cold, windy weather. If the Falcons get stuffed by the Ravens on the ground, Ridder will be forced to throw and I’m not confident he will be able to do that this week.
Cleveland Browns ($3,800/$4,100) – New Orleans Saints ($2,800/$3,800)
I’ll confidently fire up the floor of both of these defenses this week. I would lean the Cleveland Browns because they have played a tad better as of late and are the home team. Also, I like the Browns ground game more in this one. This game has an opening implied game total of 31.5 which is one of the lowest I’ve ever seen. There will be a blizzard during the game and a windy, frigid temperature. Both QBs have been average at best the last month so we get the added bonus of potential turnovers later on in the game.
Atlanta Falcons (Fanduel – $3,400)
It is worth mentioning the Atlanta Falcons and their price tag on Fanduel. This game total is only 37.5 and as I mentioned in my waivers article, the Browns just dropped the DST3 finish last week on this bad Ravens offense. They didn’t even have a defensive score, as they racked up three sacks, a pick and a forced fumble while only giving up three points. I don’t expect 14 points out of this Falcons defense, but if you are looking to save some cash this week punting all the way down to the Falcons makes sense