Welcome to the Daily Fantasy Strategy Analyzer article for Week 16 of the NFL season. A lot of talented quarterbacks are returning to the main slate, which made a lot of stacks look appealing at first glance. However, once you dive deeper, you can poke some holes in some of these matchups/game environments. Injuries have also depleted some rosters, helping to narrow down our stacking options. However, we were able to land on a couple of tournament plays that we like this weekend.
Vikings vs. Rams
There are a couple of spots that stand out to us as places to target this weekend, and the first of them is the NFC matchup in Minnesota. There are a lot of very talented players on both offenses, and both of these teams have the ability to put up fireworks. Both of these teams are also in the top-12 in points per game scored and have shown that they are more than capable of allowing points.
When it comes to our primary stack, we are more interested in the Rams’ side of the ball. Matthew Stafford has thrown 2+ touchdowns in each of the past four games and has thrown 3 touchdowns in three of the four games. The Rams also rank 6th in pass rate over expectation, and we’d like to buy into that passing offense, as opposed to the Vikings, who rank 20th. So we know which quarterback we’re taking, now who are the stacking options.
The rest of the stack practically makes itself, as there are only two decisions to make. With Stafford, you know you’re putting Cooper Kupp in the stack. Kupp is the engine to their entire offense and has to be included with Stafford. If you decide to double stack, you have to decide between Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. There isn’t much difference between the two, and the answer is to simply go with whichever one is lower-owned. When it comes to bring-back options, you can choose between Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. If you believe that Minnesota will jump out to a lead, then Cook makes a lot of sense. If you think that the Rams take the lead, then roll with Jefferson.
Another one of our favorite spots to attack isn’t necessarily a game stack, but more so a team stack. In yesterday’s article, we highlighted all the injury issues in Tampa Bay, and how condensed that offense is going to be. With Leonard Fournette missing time, Ronald Jones will now have a stranglehold over the backfield until Le’Veon Bell is up to speed. With Chris Godwin out for the year, and Mike Evans most likely missing this contest, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski should see all of the targets that they can handle.
If the ownership stays in check, the route to success may simply be taking Tom Brady, and using Brown and Gronkowski with him. The Panthers have given up 27+ points in five straight games, and there’s no real reason that that trend should stop here. The Bucs will come out ready to go, as they look to bounce back from an utter embarrassing performance.
If you’re playing in a smaller-field tournament, another option is to add Jones to the stack. He is so cheap and will benefit greatly from the overall offense’s success. If the slate is wonky, and some of the high ownership plays underperform, going very overweight on the Bucs could be an easy path to success. The larger the tournament, the less viable this strategy is.
Best of the rest
Some other quarterbacks who we like targeting in tournaments this week are Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts. We have to await the COVID news with the Chargers to see who is viable to stack with Herbert. Austin Ekeler and Jalen Guyton were placed on the COVID list, so we’re in wait and see mode. Hurts can be stacked with Dallas Goedert, and Devonta Smith can be added in as well.
When it comes to running backs and pass-catchers, some of our other favorite tournament plays are Cordarrelle Patterson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Stefon Diggs. Patterson and Edwards-Helaire are favored running backs with advantageous matchups. Edwards-Helaire is good leverage off of the Chiefs’ passing options, and Patterson is just a beast overall.
Diggs will probably see limited ownership this week, as people are afraid of the matchup with New England. He feasted on this secondary last year, and if he was able to locate the deep ball in their first matchup, he would’ve ended up with 16+ fantasy points on both sites. Diggs gets alpha usage, and as long as airbender Bill Belichick doesn’t craft up some sort of tornado for this matchup, we think Diggs could have a big day.