In Week 16, the main DraftKings slate features 12 games and in order to help navigate your roster options, I’ll provide some data points for two or three players at each position that have the potential to return value over their salary implied totals.
Before reviewing some of the possible roster options for this weekend, there’s just a couple of quick notes beforehand.
All data and statistics included in this article are provided courtesy of FantasyData.com. All points allowed, points scored, and pricing is based on DraftKings (DK) data. In addition, all positional rankings and rankings for points allowed to each position is based on a points per game basis.
With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the fantasy relevant running backs on Sunday.
Nick Chubb, $7300 (RB21)
Cleveland vs Cincinnati – Game Total 44 (CLE –9)
Since trading Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Nick Chubb has become a workhorse for the Cleveland Browns.
Since the start of Week 7, Chubb is averaging 18.5 rushing attempts, 85.9 rushing yards, 0.75 rushing touchdowns, 2.0 receptions, 18.8 receiving yards, 0.25 receiving touchdowns, and 19.2 DK points per game. In fact, his per game average since taking over as the lead back would actually put him tied with Joe Mixon as RB9 on a per game basis.
On Sunday, Chubb and the Browns will be facing a Bengals run defense which is allowing the most DK points to running backs at 32.2 per game. In their first meeting in Week 12, Chubb recorded a rushing line of 28-84-1 and a receiving line of 3-44-1 for 27.8 DK points. In addition to the aforementioned outing by Chubb in Week 12, Cincinnati has allowed large fantasy outings to several other running backs this season. These include Christian McCaffrey (24.4), Kenyan Drake (24.5), James Conner (31.9), Kareem Hunt (37.1), Mark Ingram (28.2) and Alvin Kamara (26.2), Gus Edwards (22.5), and Phillip Lindsay (31.9).
Christian McCaffrey, $8800 (RB3)
Carolina vs Atlanta – Game Total 44 (ATL –3)
Earlier this week, it was announced that the Panthers made the decision to shut down Cam Newton for the final two weeks of the season. Shortly thereafter, additional reports noted that Christian McCaffrey didn’t practice on Thursday.
Consequently, there may be some who are concerned that the Panthers could lighten McCaffrey’s workload to finish out the season since the Panthers are now out of the playoff picture. That said, McCaffrey returned to practice on Friday and appears to be good to go on Sunday. While it’s certainly possible that the Panthers could treat McCaffrey with kid gloves in the final two games, the opportunity against Atlanta this weekend is too good to pass up.
On the season, McCaffrey is averaging 13.9 rushing attempts, 69.9 rushing yards, 0.5 rushing touchdowns, 6.7 receptions, 7.1 targets, 54.9 receiving yards, 0.4 receiving touchdowns, and 26.2 DK points per game. He hasn’t scored less than 13.6 points in any game this season and has scored 20.0 or more in ten of fourteen, including seven of the last eight. In the Panthers first meeting against Atlanta in Week 2, McCaffrey put up 30.9 DK points and didn’t even find the end zone. In that game, McCaffrey only had 8 rushing attempts for 37 yards, but he caught 14 passes on 15 targets for 102 receiving yards.
With the Falcons on tap again in Week 16, if McCaffrey sees his normal workload he has the potential to absolutely smash in this spot. On the season, the Falcons are allowing the 3rd most DK points to running backs at 31.73 per game. In addition, in each of the past three seasons, Atlanta has led the league in receptions allowed to running backs and they are leading that category again this year.
In addition to the 30.9 outing logged by McCaffrey in Week 2, other running backs that have found success against Atlanta this season include Jay Ajayi (20.2), Alvin Kamara (37.0), Giovani Bernard (25.6), James Conner (37.5), Peyton Barber (20.6), Saquon Barkley (26.4), Nick Chubb (38.9), Ezekiel Elliott (36.1), Aaron Jones (19.6), and David Johnson (19.1).
Elijah McGuire, $4700 (RB42)
New York Jets vs Green Bay – Game Total 46.5 (GB –2.5)
With Isaiah Crowell placed on injured reserve and Trenton Cannon as the only competition for touches out of the backfield, Elijah McGuire has the potential to see a sizable workload at a discounted price.
Over the past two weeks, McGuire has carried the ball 35 times, hauled in 6 receptions, scored two rushing touchdowns, and has averaged 16.2 DK points per game. While these totals don’t blow your socks off when compared to players like Todd Gurley or Christian McCaffrey, they are absolutely serviceable based on his $4700 price tag.
Up next is a matchup against the Green Bay Packers who are allowing the 12th fewest DK points to opposing running backs at 24.5 per game. While McGuire’s potential workload and price make him appealing, he is best suited for GPPs. Through the first fourteen games, the Packers have only allowed four running backs to score 20.0 or more DraftKings points. These include Adrian Peterson (27.0), Todd Gurley (36.5), James White (28.3), and Chase Edmonds (20.6).
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